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Bos2013: Building Stuff To Help You Sell The Stuff You Build


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Patrick McKenzie's presentation at Business of Software 2013 about building systems (and organizational/cultural factors) to support DevMarketing initiatives like A/B testing, lifecycle emails, and the like.

Published in: Technology, Business
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Bos2013: Building Stuff To Help You Sell The Stuff You Build

  2. 2. Want To Follow?   Hashtag #BoS2013 or tweet at @patio11 Slides are available at
  3. 3. Update: She Said Yes
  4. 4. My Wee Little Business
  5. 5. Rather Smaller Than Many Here Profits (Through 2012, Excluding AR) 200000 160000 120000 80000 40000 0 Training Consulting BCC Day Job
  6. 6. Marketeering / MarkDev         SEO AdWords A/B testing conversion optimization funnel analytics Onboarding / first-run experience Lifecycle emails / drip email marketing etc, etc
  7. 7. Most Important Takeaway You should have: full-time engineers who are only tasked with marketing/sales objectives
  8. 8. Why Don’t We Do This?     We’re too busy with day-to-day to invest. We can’t overcome organizational/cultural barriers. We assumed integrating a SaaS would do that. We can’t find the expertise internally.
  9. 9. Progress Is Measured In Working Code?
  10. 10. Organizational/Cultural Issues
  11. 11. I’d Like To Hire A MarkDev Person
  12. 12. Getting Engineering Onboard     Exploit the hacker ethic: “Beat the system.” Overcommunicate on experiments and results. Surface business-level goals more explicitly to the engineering team. Make this a career track, and award it appropriately, via salary/bonuses/status/etc.
  13. 13. Changing The Culture     Focus on early, obvious wins on low-hanging fruit. Show engineers fun, challenging problems outside of Product. Show marketers effective, measurable tools which supplement but do not replace them. Emphasize mutual respect, empowerment, and opportunities to learn.
  14. 14. Tools Aren’t A Panacea    Just buying it isn’t enough. Make sure to continue exploiting things which you know to work. Share what you’ve learned (internally and externally). Remember the tremendous leverage you get from integration with your product/systems. If you’re not using the API, something is probably wrong.
  15. 15. How Do We Get Them On Our Team?  Train them out of your existing engineers.  Best  Hire entrepreneurially-minded techies, give them a new brief and room to run.  One  option for most of you. option: “Failed” startup founders Hire proven people who have done exactly these things before.  Just saying: expect to pay through the nose for this…  … in the unlikely event you find anybody.
  16. 16. Sidenote: Career Advice
  17. 17. Concierge Onboarding
  18. 18. A Bit Of A Mismatch We sell products but customers want to buy solutions.
  19. 19. The Traditional SaaS Grid Less product, Less cost More product, More cost
  20. 20. Aligning Pricing With Customer Goals We tell you how to fix the problem We provide tools so that you can fix the problem We fix the problem We fix the problem
  21. 21. What Is Concierge Onboarding?    We proactively engage you at or before signup, to ensure you have a successful experience. We deal with setup / integration / migration for you, to maximize probability of successful use. We nag you constantly ^H^H^H assist you in achieving your expressed preference to get started using this software productively, even if you get momentarily distracted by other pressing business matters.
  22. 22. Can You Import From $SYSTEM? Requirement: A user has a client/patient/etc management system, which we’ve never encountered before. Design a comprehensible onboarding experience which will allow them to export their current client list and import it into Appointment Reminder. Goals: This takes under 60 seconds, always works, and can successfully be accomplished by Milly the Office Manager. Minor challenge: We have no a priori knowledge of file format. We cannot influence it. The customer cannot edit it. Good luck!
  23. 23. Format-Agnostic Import Feature!
  24. 24. Impact On Conversion Rate
  25. 25. Impact On Account LTV (Guess-y)
  26. 26. But Those Multiply, So…
  27. 27. Other Examples Of Concierge     Drip (email marketing): Need an email campaign? We’ll write it for you. WhooshTraffic (marketing analytics): Not sure what this will do in your business? Our CEO will give you 2 hours of personalized advice. PlanScope (Project management): Our CEO will walk you through the whole software on Skype. Campaign Monitor (email marketing): We’ll hold your hand until your first campaign goes out to your real email list.
  28. 28. Improves Innovation Cycle Concierge Onboarding Product Changes Automated Onboarding
  29. 29. Getting Started    Offer it in a limited/timeboxed fashion to establish a cost baseline. Make it a standard component of higher value plans, to drive customers to higher LTV plans. Scale it up as far as the economics warrant.
  30. 30. Testimony
  31. 31. Thanks for Listening     Blog at Email list. ~2 emails a month on selling software. You should be on it. Slides will be posted. See @patio11 Send me email. I love chatting about this.