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Technology has enabled organizations to grow and change faster than ever. As they grow, people come and go, promotions are given, and teams are reorganized. But keeping up with that change is not only cumbersome, it also has the power to affect everyday business processes and leave leaders feeling out of the loop if they don’t have access to the most accurate organizational information.

Portrait of Bill Boebel

Pingboard is solving this problem, one interactive org chart at a time. With collaborative org charts that can be viewed and edited in real time, Pingboard makes it easy to organize teams, plan for growth, and keep everyone informed while eliminating the need for manual updates that waste time and money. I recently connected with Pingboard CEO Bill Boebel on his company’s tech stack as part of our Tech Stack Chat series and discussed the importance of building in a growth strategy from the start.

Watch the full interview or read the highlights below.

You’ve identified workforce planning as sort of the missing link in the HR stack. Talk to me about the HR stack and what you’re seeing in this trend.

Obviously, every company’s got a payroll system. Some are just payroll, some are more like a full HRIS. Companies are also using an applicant tracking system. What we see is, there’s a gap between the current state of your company and those jobs that you’re posting. There’s a lot of planning that takes place when it comes to deciding “What roles are we hiring in Q3? What are we doing in terms of promotions? If we’re promoting, maybe there are some backfill positions.” You have to think about not just the cost of the new hires, but the cost of the raises you’re going to give everyone.

Today, all that is done manually. It’s meetings, spreadsheets, whiteboards, and a lot of back and forth emails. Basically, we’re plugging that gap by trying to tie in data from the HRIS. We started with the org chart because we see that as foundational to how you do organizational design.

What are the elements of your stack and your teams that you think are really going to help fuel that growth you’re aiming for?

In our HR tech stack, we use ADP for payroll and benefits because it seems to be the most common one used by our customers. We want to make sure we fully understand what it’s like to be a consumer of that product. Plus, it’s the first HR system that we built an integration for.

Screenshot of workforce planning flowchart

We also use Google Hire for applicant tracking, and we’ve used Lever in the past. We don’t use an onboarding tool yet, but we’re looking at Sapling right now. We’re a 25-person company, so we use a lot of the common tools startups use like Google apps, Slack, and Trello.

For sales, we switched to HubSpot for CRM and wired up a lot of our analytics. We store analytics in Amazon Redshift. We actually give away a free version that lets people build an org chart quickly and easily. We’ll have thousands of companies sign up every month for a free version, and HubSpot has a really good API workload for feeding in that data. That way, our sales team only interacts with the companies who have the highest likelihood of buying the paid product. We want those conversations to have value instead of just pushing a paid product.

It sounds like you’ve got a smart approach to organizational design; not just technological design. Do you have a secret sauce?

We do copy a lot from the consumer world and try to apply it to business, especially when it comes to customer acquisition. We design for pretty much any persona rather than a specific niche role inside a certain tech company. Our products are designed so you never need a user manual.

A lot of companies have been founded by more of a sales-minded leadership as opposed to an engineering and marketing-driven mindset. We’re definitely on the engineering and marketing-driven side. When you do that, you end up building a B2B software product and go-to-market strategy that looks much more like a consumer company.

The other thing is, we’ve chosen not to take a lot of venture capital money. We try to invest every dollar we have in various growth activities, whether it’s building out the products further or hiring marketing or salespeople. We’re raising on our terms, when we’re ready.

The Pingboard Tech Stack

What are the new types of innovations that you’re keeping your eye on?

One of the newest things we’re trying is on the sales side. We don’t have good analytics on our phone calls because of the volume that we’re doing. We’re realizing it would be useful to know what some of the objections are that are coming out of the calls. Or even deeper, what are the HR systems our customers are using so we can get quantitative about what the next integration should be. So we’re switching to a new phone system called Air Call.

With Air Call, we’ll have the ability to count the number of times certain words are said, jump to that point in the conversation, and listen to what was actually said. It will give us deeper analysis around those conversations so we can make more informed decisions.

There’s so many different applications for this stuff. It’s great that these companies have published these platforms that we can all build on top of. There’s always more to build, so there’s always more gaps. There’s not going to be a decrease in apps. You just have to figure out how to deal with it. Companies are starting to embrace the fact that they’re going to have dozens and dozens of apps inside every company.

 

Check out the full video interview.

Watch the full interview to see how Bill discusses the Pingboard sales strategy, who is responsible for managing and innovating on tech within the company, and the “app mindshift” all companies need to embrace to move forward.

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