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Catchpoint uses Pendo to accelerate trial conversions and sales


Sales Cycle Time by reduced by 50%

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Guided test drive experience reduces sales cycle time by 50%

Norm Robinson is a knowledge development manager at Catchpoint, a digital experience monitoring platform that helps companies better understand the actual performance their end users are receiving in their products. “You can think of a knowledge development manager kind of like a product manager for client help resources,” says Norm, “We work closely with our customers to make sure they’re able to get value from our platform. Our software and industry are complex. I help our customers get technically set up, and make sure their onboarding and continued education goes well.”

“Catchpoint does end-user experience monitoring,” says Norm. “Any sort of digital interaction where it’s important to have an efficient, worthwhile user experience—we help you monitor it. We show you how your web applications are performing for actual people. So, say you have all of your testing set up in North America because that’s where most of your customers are, but all of a sudden your product is featured on the largest reality show in Japan. You don’t have a data center in Asia, and now your website performance is terrible for people in that region who are trying to buy your product. We help you see things like that and empower your decision making.”

Product insights for technical success

Pendo was initially acquired by the product management team at Catchpoint. “Our product managers brought in Pendo to learn more about how people were using our application,” says Norm. “They tagged all of the pages and features, which provided a ton of useful data. When I first saw Pendo, I realized it would be a great tool to communicate updates around outages and promote some of the upcoming webinars or new how-to video series we’ve made.”

In addition to direct work with clients, Norm’s team creates a lot of the company’s e-learning and help content. “We have some of the same kinds of prioritization challenges that the product team has,” says Norm. “I’m always trying to decide where to focus next – what content to build. Everybody has an opinion about what they think users are interested in, or what areas of the product we should teach them more about, but now we have data. We actually know what parts of the application get used heavily, and which ones need more content. We’re developing content based on user behavior, not our gut, and that’s really comforting.”

As the Catchpoint team began exploring Pendo’s guide center, an idea for a potentially valuable use case was born. “As we started looking at the guide center, we realized that this would be a great tool for self-service user education,” says Norm. “We could build out training walkthroughs and make them part of the trial experience.”

The challenge with trials

Like a lot of enterprise software companies, Catchpoint offers prospective customers a 30-day trial of their product. “The way our marketing worked is that we’d use whitepapers and other assets to bring in prospects, and then work them into a trial,” says Norm. “The problem is that there’s a lot of complexity and time involved with setting up the trial. We want to be able to demonstrate the value the customers can receive from our platform, but there’s a lot of hand-holding required to get them there.”

To get started in a trial, prospects have to sign an NDA, have a new client provisioned, figure out what features to enable, deploy the client, and begin tracking their applications. “Some of our users are really savvy about IT operations and networking, and they’re able to get up and running in a couple days,” says Norm. “But a lot of our users need help. There’s a bit of a steep learning curve, there’s a lot of bells and whistles in our application, a lot of things that you have to communicate. And that stuff is obviously difficult to do over the course of a sales call. We typically have several sessions where the account rep and a performance engineer will sit down with the client to show them what the tool is capable of doing.”

It isn’t just the sales and success teams that are involved in the trial. “There’s engineering work involved in setting up a new client, and our finance team gets pulled in to set up the accounts and initial contract in our systems,” says Norm. “It ends up being a lot of overhead for each trial, and it drags out the sales cycle. Our marketing team wanted to accelerate and simplify the process.”

The 7-day guided experience

The potential value of the Pendo guide center and the need for a simplified trial experience came together in the form of a short, guided self-service experience in the product. “The idea behind the guided experience was to eliminate as much of the setup as possible, while still being able to show the value of the product,” says Norm. “We created a single client instance for the experience, and filled it with dummy test data. Then we built a bunch of Pendo walkthroughs that take prospects through common use cases, and showcase how they can get value from the application.”

“Deciding which walkthroughs to include in the experience involved a pretty broad team,” continues Norm. “Folks from our executive team, sales, and marketing got together and built a matrix of all the possible use cases and features we’d like to show. We prioritized the walkthroughs based on how well we could show the feature in the experience, which features are forward-looking— aligned with the direction the industry’s going—and which ones address some of the most common problems our customers are trying to solve.”

Norm’s team then built out the highest priority walkthroughs as part of the guided experience. “We added each of the walkthroughs to the guide center,” says Norm. “In some cases, where we couldn’t illustrate the feature well, if it needed client data for example, we embedded screenshots or videos of what the experience would look like. We also integrated the guide center with Zendesk to make sure that users were well supported. From the guide center, a user can click to submit a ticket, open a chat session with one of our support reps, and, of course, opt into a full trial experience at any time if they like what they see.”

The new trial experience

The seven-day guided experience reduced both the trial time and amount of manual effort involved in trials. “We have marketing landing pages that allow users to register directly for the experience,” says Norm. “Once they sign up, one of our sales development reps will add them to the experience. Our engineering team set up an API job that will wipe out their access in seven days. We integrated Pendo with Salesforce to make it easy for the sales team to track the progress of trial users. We run visitor reports to see which walkthroughs they’re going to, which things they’re checking out, what they’re interested in, and push this info to Salesforce. At the end of the experience, the sales team can follow up with prospects and have a really fruitful discussion about the product and steer them towards a full 30-day trial.”

“Users who have gone through the guided experience have a much higher baseline of knowledge going into a full trial, and as a result, are able to get much more value out of the experience,” continues Norm. “Since launch, 10% of our marketing-sourced deals are coming through the guided test drive, and leads from the test drive experience close roughly twice as fast as leads that go through the full free trial process. We’re moving to make this experience standard for all of our prospects.”

“Since launch 10% of our marketing-sourced deals are coming through the guided test drive, and leads from the test drive experience close roughly twice as fast as leads that go through the full free trial process.”

Expanding guide center usage

With the success of the guided experience, the team at Catchpoint is rolling out the content to all of their users. “We want to bring more in-app training to our paying customers as well,” says Norm. “They’ll have the same access to support resources directly in the product, the ability to open a ticket, or launch a chat with one of our team members.”

“Our product and marketing teams are also expanding their usage of Pendo,” says Norm. “They’re using the guide center notifications to communicate new features and product release notes. We’re using the API to export usage data out of Pendo into Power BI to get more business intelligence around how our users are interacting with the application, how strong their usage is, and using that data to help us evolve the client health score. We definitely have a lot of hooks into Pendo.”

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