We started our customer discovery survey adventure knowing that startups and SMB’s are paying a price for relying on a toolbox of specialized SaaS apps. If you’ve been hanging out here for a while, you know that price is a fragmented stack that requires manual data entry and copy/paste to keep your apps in sync and your workflows functioning.
That’s business-speak for wasted time and money.
Obviously the answer is a tool that helps you integrate your SaaS apps and automate the flow of data between them, right? Who needs a survey to know that this is what needs to be built?
Except it’s not that easy.
This general SaaS “glue” is already taken care of by the likes of Zapier and IFTTT. They make it pretty easy for you to do simple integrations between a bunch of popular apps without involving IT.
We know that trying to compete in this general SaaS glue market is silly.
BUT, like most markets ruled by a first mover that’s positioned horizontally, there might be room for some specialists. Many of our survey respondents mentioned using Zapier while still showing interest in what we do. That suggests that there is a vertical or two that is underserved.
And that’s what our most recent customer discovery efforts wanted to uncover – whether there exists a particular vertical that is underserved by Zapier and friends that we could serve with more pizzazz by focusing on their particular challenges.
Sales & Marketing Teams Dig Blitzen
You can imagine our delight when we saw these results. The two teams showing the most interest by a healthy margin are marketing and sales – teams whose functions are tightly tied to revenue. This is fantastic because being closely tied to revenue makes it a heck of a lot easier to communicate the value your solution brings to an organization. There isn’t a big gap between using Blitzen and making more money.
We didn’t choose the winner though. Marketing automation is well-established. You’ve got Marketo, Hubspot, Eloqua, etc. that all do this quite well and they’ve been doing it for a while. These tools can be expensive, so I imagine many that reported wanting to use Blitzen for this are looking for an inexpensive alternative.
We don’t want to get into a market where the only way to “win” is to be dirt cheap.
Working with sales teams and the sales stack… now there’s an idea.
Stay with me for a sec:
- Sales Hacker stated that 2015 is the year of the Sales Development Rep (SDR).
- The SDR acts as a bridge between marketing and sales – the two teams showing the most interest. Inbound marketing efforts capture leads and the SDR reaches out to leads, builds out their profile, and qualifies them for an Account Executive (closer) or passes them back to marketing for nurturing.
- Marketing and sales alignment is a challenge that is alive and well according to this recent Forrester post and this webinar at Inside View. There are a lot of problems that are tied tightly to revenue that need fixing.
Looks like the first place to dive into the sales stack problem could be at this baton moment between marketing and the SDR.
Lead Management & Customer Relationship Management Most Popular Blitzen Use Cases
Next, we wanted to see how people envisioned themselves using Blitzen – especially people that saw it as a solution for their sales team.
We were secretly crossing our fingers and hoping that lead management would win since that’s the awkward space between marketing and the SDR that we’re hoping to fill. Well, that’s exactly what the results showed.
The other two results that round up the top three are also of interest and part of the same problem – collecting customer feedback and customer relationship management.
With Blitzen, collecting customer feedback will be simple with Blitzen’s surveys – that is, after all, how we collected feedback for this blog post and our product roadmap.
We’re also working toward playing nice with all of the major CRM’s such as Salesforce, RelateIQ, Pipedrive, and more. Beyond sending lead data into your CRM automatically, you’ll also be able to attach customer feedback and discovery survey data to your contacts. That means accurate snapshots of each prospect and customer without the manual data entry.
Collecting Form Data & Automating Flow to Apps
Our form and survey tool is the most complete part of Blitzen. All major form fields and logic are in place so that you can create anything from a simple lead capture form to a complex customer discovery survey with hide/skip logic.
Despite the form builder being the most complete part of Blitzen, we’re going to be giving it a little more love. We’ve noticed that many startups and SMB’s are using (and paying for) a number of services to build lead lists and survey customers and prospects.
- Exit intent popups
- Scroll, time, and click activated popups
- Lead capture bars
- And more.
With our team’s history in the form building space from a previous product, we know there’s an opportunity to consolidate these services, saving our customers a lot of money and from having to switch between a number of apps. Perhaps this topic will fuel our next survey.
In a close second place is what we thought would run away with first place – automating the flow of data between your forms and web apps.
Our developers are losing sleep to make sure we get this just right for you. When complete, you’ll be able to collect basic lead data, automatically enrich it with all kinds of important data points, and then send your lead and survey data to your SaaS apps automatically, without IT’s help. Even better, you’ll be able to route that data to your apps based on the lead data you collect. For example, want deals of a certain size and lead quality to go directly to your star account executive? Consider that done.
Finally, in third place, is the ability to visualize customer data with an analytics dashboard. This just got a facelift and the next step is to see what sales specific analytics we need to include. Things like pipeline velocity, conversion rates, pipeline value etc. Then, we want to make it easy to drill deep into the customer data you collect to uncover valuable insights – this upgrades the analytics dashboard from data visualization to deep analytics.
Answers and More Questions
The customer discovery process is ongoing – especially prelaunch.
These surveys along with conversations we’ve had with prospects have helped us focus on a vertical – sales. We’ve learned the importance of being able to collect leads and customer feedback, keep that data in sync with their CRM and email marketing apps, and visualize key performance metrics to keep everyone on the same page and accountable.
But, we’re also left with more questions that we’ll need to ask in our next iteration of the survey and in conversations with prospects and beta testers.
Did this leave you with any questions of your own? Let’s hear them in the comments section or hit me up with a tweet @Blitzen.