As a member of the Pendo sales engineering team, I’m usually the first person that customers consult with before deciding whether they should partner with Pendo.
What’s piqued my interest lately has been studying how customers use Pendo after partnering with us. That usually involves me keeping track of Pendo’s NPS responses and the adoption of new and redesigned features. I always had a general sense of how our users were feeling and how successful feature launches and designs were.
My favorite product metric to keep up with was Pendo’s NPS because it was
- simple, yet very insightful
- a leading indicator of churn or growth
- actionable (you could, for instance, reach out to detractors for detailed feedback)
However, it wasn’t always clear whether the customers I helped introduce Pendo to were finding constant value until contract renewals were announced. That changed when Pendo launched retention analytics.
What is a sales engineer using retention analytics for?
Part of my job as a sales engineer is to help customers realize the value and potential of Pendo. The better I am at understanding customers’ needs and articulating Pendo’s value, the more engaging my customer meetings are. Retention analytics helps me figure out what successful Pendo users are doing in the product so that I can share those success stories with potential customers.
A sales engineering team that doesn’t truly understand what users are doing in their product is likely to introduce a bunch of new customers with false expectations that eventually churn. What better way to keep ourselves honest than to study Pendo’s user retention?
How does the Pendo sales engineering team use retention analytics?
The Pendo sales engineering team uses retention analytics to help us identify opportunities to improve the Pendo trial experience so that users can quickly become familiar with Pendo’s capabilities and ultimately become engaged and happy customers.
One of the projects I’m currently working on at Pendo is improving the onboarding experience in our trials. Trials help our customers validate that Pendo is a good technical fit for them, and is also their first impression of Pendo’s product. The sales engineering team provide support for trial users, but we also use Pendo guides on Pendo for in-app guidance.
The trial onboarding process starts with asking users what they’re interested in using Pendo for as soon as they log into Pendo:
New Pendo users are then provided with an onboarding checklist that helps them get started with setting up Pendo and learning how to use our key features. I’m working on optimizing our trial onboarding and figuring out which key features users should be introduced to first. I use retention analytics to help me figure out which key features result in engaged trial users and higher trial conversion rates using the following process:
After deciding on an experiment to run in a sample group of trial users, I’m now working on a building modified trial onboarding experience using Pendo guides and then measuring the impact that those changes have on our trial users’ experience. Measuring the retention of users that go through the newly designed Pendo trial experience isn’t immediate since I’ll have to wait 4 weeks to get a month’s worth of that cohort’s data. In the meantime, I’ll be using a combination of funnels and paths to keep a close eye on trial users’ journeys and eventually using in-app surveys to collect their feedback.
Where it gets even more interesting is the intersection of behavioral analytics and user feedback, such as creating retention reports for users who gave negative feedback on a key feature… but I’ll save that for another post.
Pendo is more than just a tool for product managers, it’s becoming a platform for democratizing product data so that anyone in a product-driven business can drive decisions based on data. Everyone at Pendo has access to our NPS score, our monthly active user count and our retention metrics. As a sales engineer who has been selling the Pendo dream for 2 years, I’m always eager to use our own product to build sales and trial experiences that customers love.
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