Archive for Close.io

My InsideSalesSummit interview: How sales and engineering teams should work together

I did an interview for the Close.io Inside Sales Summit, a free 5-day virtual summit with perspectives from 50+ leaders on inside sales. Ryan Robinson interviewed me for an engineer’s perspective on topics related to sales, including how sales teams and engineering teams can work best together.

Watch the interview here: https://www.insidesalessummit.com/interviews/wednesday/phil-freo/

Overview:

In this interview, Phil digs into his personal experience to share what he believes are the best ways for sales and engineering teams to work together, including how to pitch (in-demand) feature requests to product and engineering and how reps should address feature requests from high-value prospects. Phil also explains why technical founders need to care about sales, and goes over common misconceptions about both engineers & salespeople.

Interview Length: 19:14

Topics Covered: The best ways for sales and engineering teams to work together, how to pitch (in-demand) feature requests to product and engineering, how to address feature requests from high-value prospects, why technical founders need to care about sales, and common misconceptions about engineers & salespeople.

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Don’t punish old trials and former customers

A common pattern in SaaS apps is to allow a free trial period of 2 weeks or 1 month, and then to require a credit card to use it any longer.

Either out of curiosity or out of a genuine need for a tool that some SaaS service is offering, I will often sign up for a free trial soon after learning about it in order to check it out. For a variety of reasons by the time the free trial is up, I’m not ready to purchase.

It could be because I was just poking around. But more often it’s because I got too busy. Or my reason for signing up didn’t stay a high enough priority to be ready to purchase and fully implement some solution. Or maybe because the product just wasn’t far enough developed to satisfy what I was looking for.

What I find happening is that 3, 6, 12, or 18 months later I’ll find myself thinking about this tool. Perhaps the problem that led me to originally check out tools of the service has become more pressing than ever before. Or perhaps I’m fed up with another tool I chose, and am searching again for a better option. Or I’m hoping that the product has evolved more. Or whatever.

When logging back into your previously-created account, what you typically see is something like this:

Your free trial expired. Please enter your credit card to continue.

At this point, it’s far too easy to just close the tab. I’ve done it many times, even when I actually was in need (and willing to purchase) a tool in their category.

Savvy users will email the site’s sales or support team and can usually get a trial extended, but this often takes a few hours, which sucks. When a user gives you enough attention to want to check out your product right now, you should always take advantage of that. It’s too easy for that attention to get lost if you make the user wait.

Similarly some users will just use another email address, which is really bad for understanding your marketing funnel and metrics, and is a bad user experience overall. Plus, this may mean losing whatever progress was made on the first trial.

Let’s stop punishing our older trials.

I always thought this was a bad user experience, but I knew we were guilty of doing the same thing at Close.io. Not anymore. Now if you login to a trial that has been expired for long enough (i.e. you haven’t checked out the product in a long time), we give you a single click to get started again.

Screenshot 2015-08-04 14.50.22

The same applies for former customers. Once you’ve been around a while, it won’t be uncommon for an early adopter to have churned and then want to give you another shot a year later. We should welcome this!

It’s a super easy change to make and within minutes of pushing this change we already saw its effects pushed to our chat.

Screenshot 2015-08-07 16.53.17

Don’t treat old users worse than new trials!

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How one of my tweets landed Close.io a $585/month customer

One of my tweets is featured in an article on Mention.com:

How Close.io Closed $585 in Monthly Revenue from 1 Tweet.

Check it out!