Product Teams

Using Product Data in Sales

Published Sep 29, 2015

Open up the throttle: Maximize the value of your tools

My name is Robert and I wear a sales hat. It’s one of the many hats you wear when you work for a startup. You see, you don’t get involved with startup businesses without knowing that. I’ve heard the term “grunt” thrown around before describing startup workers and I couldn’t agree more with that sentiment. When you’re in sales, you do a little BD work too. You help out with Marketing and Customer Success from time to time. Perhaps you work in software and you’re even called upon to help the Project Management “PM” and User Experience “UX” teams develop their roadmap. All the while they’re helping you deliver solutions to your startup’s customers. No more than in the young stages of a company, does everyone team up to pull the weight. As teams and companies grow, we become (because we have to) less reliant on the team and more reliant on our own skills. Still though, we need help and there are zillions of ways to get it.

SaaS tools help pick up the slack

SaaS tools are getting better every day and the better ones on the market have that “start-up” mentality built into their DNA. Tools like SalesForce and Workday can span across entire companies, solving many problems and providing value to multiple departments. Strong consideration must be given when making an investment in a SaaS product to the TOTAL value the investment can bring to the ENTIRE team. You want that investment to grow into something positive and it’s up to you to make that happen. So have you looked at your tools lately? Have you taken a look into everything that they can do and opened up the throttle?

Untapped potential?

I work for an awesome company called Pendo and we provide what we call a “Product Engagement Platform”. Pendo delivers deep insights into product usage by providing rich analytics partnered with a robust in-app messaging solution. The in-app messages are “smart” and combined with the analytics, present a powerful tool to help SaaS companies build, measure, and learn. More often than not, Product Management teams and UX teams are our bread and butter audience and are the most receptive to the gospel that we preach. As our product evolves, we’re coming to find (as we originally suspected of course, we’re not dummies) that more and more departments are finding value in what we offer. Today, I want to discuss one way specifically because I’m in sales and it’s very interesting to me. Our customers are using the data they gather from our product to enhance their sales efforts. How cool is that!?

Empirical data meets a clever strategy

So what is Pendo helping them do? First, they’re able to convert more trial customers to paying customers by measuring their trial customer’s activity while in-app. Accompanied with customer feedback, they’re able to measure trial success and increase trial conversions by closing at the right time. They’re also using that empirical data to identify and close up-sell opportunities. By identifying in-app buying signs, you can reach out to a customer while they’re “hot” and upgrade them according to their needs. Another extremely useful piece of functionality is the ability to monitor users for inactivity to stay ahead of the dreaded (unless I’m talking about butter, I hate typing this word) churn.

The last one I’ll mention is my favorite. Our customers are taking the data Pendo provides and refining their sales approach in very clever ways. They’re able to answer questions like, “Who are my super users?” and reach out to them to formulate powerful testimonials that help generate new business. They’re also able to leverage the usage data to gain insights into specific use cases across the industries they serve. Fact: When you combine a detailed customer success testimonial with a cool product and direct it at the appropriate audience, you’ll win more often than you lose.

Thanks to some hard work, our team and our customers have taken this SaaS tool and maximized the value that it can deliver and that’s extremely rewarding. When you decide to join a company these stories are the wins you’re looking for. Because of this I can say with absolute certainty, I’m proud of our product and I’m proud to be a part of a great team.

Robert Cerimele