iSPIRT Product Roundtable in Ahmedabad

As the Very Merry Christmas holiday brings joy and wonder to the world, The year of 2017 comes to a close, ushering in a New Year with the promise of joy and prosperity for all. To begin the New Year on a promising note and help with growth, we are announcing a series of Product Roundtables for our startups.

Register Now!

Why are product teardowns important? For Product Validation & For Growth!

A constant struggle for validation and growth is a common theme for founders across startup stages, across early to late stage startups, regardless of focus on SaaS, B2B or B2C startup. A product teardown session, with our peers and practitioners, gives us an opportunity to visualize the value our products provide to solve our customers’ pain and also have a glimpse of how our customers discover our product proposition and connect with their needs.


The teardown model

In this playbook roundtable, we look at evaluating product-market fit and how to get your messaging right and building a website and signup/onboarding flow that converts with very little human intervention. This roundtable would begin with a deep dive into the product Idea, Discovery Process and navigate through the Landing Page and Signup flow, to deliver a “Wow” experience. The format of the playbook is built around quick 10 minute demos from a handful of startups, followed by peer-feedback from the participating founders on product validation and customer acquisition. Here’s a post of Product Teardown explained in 10 minutes (well almost!)

Register Now

If you are ready or know someone who would be interested in growing through this journey, please do register or help them to Register hereSince there are limited seats we would request you to kindly apply at the earliest. (An Invite confirmation will be sent shortly after registration.)

 
Stay tuned as more playbooks are coming your way in the coming months.

Guiding the customer “Wow” journey from Discovery → Signup → Onboarding for SaaS Startups – Product teardown roundtables (Delhi)

This set of PlaybookRT will focus on “Guiding the customer journey from Discovery to Signup & Onboarding – for SaaS Startups“.  We start the new year, post Diwali, with a set of Product Teardown PlaybookRT. These teardowns are being planned for all our startup cities in quick succession (see schedule below). We will begin with a teardown RT in Chennai which will be facilitated by Suresh Sambandan (KiSSFLOW), Bharat Balasubramanian (FreshWorks).

Apply to get your slot here.

SaaS is awesome – you can build a real business with a small team sitting in India serving customers all over the world, turning in real profits and growing real fast. To get your SAAS revenue and growth engine running, you need to find a product fit with a good market, and ensure that your website and marketing convey the right message. With a few things like integrations, marketplaces and email marketing figured out, you can hit an awesome growth rate without having to spend tonnes of money on hiring an army of sales-people.
In this playbook, we look at how to get your messaging right, and building a website and signup/on-boarding flow that converts with very little human intervention. This roundtable would begin with a deep dive into the company’s Idea, Discovery Process and navigate through the Landing Page, Sign Up, and its “Wow” experience. The format of the playbook is built around quick 10 minute demos, followed by peer-feedback moderated by SAAS founders & experts who have already built successful SAAS businesses.

Registration and Pricing

If you are keen to attend this RoundTable, do let us know by filling in your details here. We will confirm your seat subject to availability. All RoundTables are conducted pro-bono. They only payment you have to make is to provide your undivided attention and active involvement in the process. Playbook-RoundTables are a dialogue and there’s no monologue. None!

Teardown Roundtable Schedule (tentative)

City Date Time Venue
Teardown RT in Chennai 4-Nov-2017 (Sat)  11am – 4pm  TBC
Teardown RT in Bangalore 11-Nov-2017 (Sat)  TBD
Teardown RT in Delhi 18-Nov-2017 (Sat)  TBD
Teardown RT in Hyderabad 25-Nov-2017 (Sat)  TBD
Teardown RT in Pune 2-Dec-2017 (Sat)  TBD
Teardown RT in Mumbai TBD


Notes

These are founder invite only events. Date, Time & Venue details will be sent along with the confirmation.

Playbook-RoundTable is one of the most sought after community events of iSPIRT. It’s a gathering of 12 like-minded product startups who are beyond the early stage. RoundTables are facilitated by an iSPIRT maven who is an accomplished practitioner of that Round-Table theme.

Guiding the customer “Wow” journey from Discovery → Signup → Onboarding for SaaS Startups – Product teardown roundtables (Bangalore)

 

This set of PlaybookRT will focus on “Guiding the customer journey from Discovery to Signup & Onboarding – for SaaS Startups“.  We start the new year, post Diwali, with a set of Product Teardown PlaybookRT. These teardowns are being planned for all our startup cities in quick succession (see schedule below). We will begin with a teardown RT in Chennai which will be facilitated by Suresh Sambandan (KiSSFLOW), Bharat Balasubramanian (FreshWorks).

Apply to get your slot here.

SaaS is awesome – you can build a real business with a small team sitting in India serving customers all over the world, turning in real profits and growing real fast. To get your SAAS revenue and growth engine running, you need to find a product fit with a good market, and ensure that your website and marketing convey the right message. With a few things like integrations, marketplaces and email marketing figured out, you can hit an awesome growth rate without having to spend tonnes of money on hiring an army of sales-people.
In this playbook, we look at how to get your messaging right, and building a website and signup/on-boarding flow that converts with very little human intervention. This roundtable would begin with a deep dive into the company’s Idea, Discovery Process and navigate through the Landing Page, Sign Up, and its “Wow” experience. The format of the playbook is built around quick 10 minute demos, followed by peer-feedback moderated by SAAS founders & experts who have already built successful SAAS businesses.

Registration and Pricing

If you are keen to attend this RoundTable, do let us know by filling in your details here. We will confirm your seat subject to availability. All RoundTables are conducted pro-bono. They only payment you have to make is to provide your undivided attention and active involvement in the process. Playbook-RoundTables are a dialogue and there’s no monologue. None!

Teardown Roundtable Schedule (tentative)

City Date Time Venue
Teardown RT in Chennai 4-Nov-2017 (Sat)  11am – 4pm  TBC
Teardown RT in Bangalore 11-Nov-2017 (Sat)  TBD
Teardown RT in Delhi 18-Nov-2017 (Sat)  TBD
Teardown RT in Hyderabad 25-Nov-2017 (Sat)  TBD
Teardown RT in Pune 2-Dec-2017 (Sat)  TBD
Teardown RT in Mumbai TBD


Notes

These are founder invite only events. Date, Time & Venue details will be sent along with the confirmation.

Playbook-RoundTable is one of the most sought after community events of iSPIRT. It’s a gathering of 12 like-minded product startups who are beyond the early stage. RoundTables are facilitated by an iSPIRT maven who is an accomplished practitioner of that Round-Table theme.

Product Teardown explained in 10 minutes (well almost!)

Last Saturday we had an awesome teardown roundtable in Chennai moderated by Suresh (KiSSFLOW) and Bharath (FreshDesk) 🙇🏻.. This was my first direct experience with the teardown. Six companies participated (PickYourTrail, FoodEngine, SysCloud, CustomerLabs, Tagalys, and ManageArtworks). While the entire session of 4+ hours was extremely intense, I want to quickly share with you in 10 minutes (almost) of what happens in a Product Teardown.

Teardowns are coming to your city. Please apply here (Limited Seats).

Product Teardown Framework

The iSPIRT product teardown (esp. for SaaS websites) is primarily structured around 5 key principles outlined below.

Idea 💡

What is the problem you are trying to solve? Who is your target user? It is critical to have a clear picture of your target user persona, their problem and how your solution solves their pain point. Essentially establish your problem-solution fit and articulate it for the customer journey from Discovery → Conversion.

Discovery 🔍

How do customers find your product? Is it through google search? Is there a channel they frequent? Have you identified your TAM (total addressable market), SAM (serviceable addressable market) and SOM (serviceable obtainable market)? Use this model to help identify strategies to have your SOM discover your product.

Website 🕸

Your website is the first & most important way to establish trust & relationship with your customer. This is true even if you don’t use inside sales. What is your first message or hook for your target user persona? Are they able to connect your product with their problem and the path through which they discovered your product? Are they able to understand how your product solves their problem, and why they should use it? Once they identify with your message and establish trust & credibility the rest becomes easier.

Sign up 💰

If the customer has understood your solution and found it fit for their needs, the last purchase decision is the cost. As Suresh said

If the cost connects, signup happens!.

WoW! reaction 🌅

Post signup, is there a WoW first experience? Whether it is a try & buy experience or a first purchase onboarding, it is important for customers to experience some instant gratification for the grueling journey they just went through. Believe me, making a purchase decision can be taxing. If you can make this journey pleasant and the final destination fantastic, you have a winning product 🏆.

Do go through the video above and hear Suresh’s simple explanation. And if you like what you hear remember you can apply here for a teardown in your city.

Coming soon – 2017 SaaS Survey

While I still have your attention, we are excited to announce that we would be launching the third edition (2017) of the India SaaS Survey in a week from now. This survey is an annual exercise conducted jointly by SignalHill and iSPIRT to gather valuable data for drawing insights which help various stakeholders in the ecosystem understand this space better.

Please click on the following link to access last year’s survey results

Please stay tuned to this space. We will be providing a link to this year’s survey very soon in an upcoming blog post.

PS

The amount of time & effort Bharath & Suresh provided to review and analyze each product before the actual teardown is simply inspiring. 🙇🏻. to their commitment to the community.

Guiding the customer “Wow” journey from Discovery → Signup → Onboarding for SaaS Startups – Product teardown roundtables

This set of PlaybookRT will focus on “Guiding the customer journey from Discovery to Signup & Onboarding – for SaaS Startups“.  We start the new year, post Diwali, with a set of Product Teardown PlaybookRT. These teardowns are being planned for all our startup cities in quick succession (see schedule below). We will begin with a teardown RT in Chennai which will be facilitated by Suresh Sambandan (KiSSFLOW), Bharat Balasubramanian (FreshWorks).

Apply to get your slot here.

SaaS is awesome – you can build a real business with a small team sitting in India serving customers all over the world, turning in real profits and growing real fast. To get your SAAS revenue and growth engine running, you need to find a product fit with a good market, and ensure that your website and marketing convey the right message. With a few things like integrations, marketplaces and email marketing figured out, you can hit an awesome growth rate without having to spend tonnes of money on hiring an army of sales-people.
In this playbook, we look at how to get your messaging right, and building a website and signup/on-boarding flow that converts with very little human intervention. This roundtable would begin with a deep dive into the company’s Idea, Discovery Process and navigate through the Landing Page, Sign Up, and its “Wow” experience. The format of the playbook is built around quick 10 minute demos, followed by peer-feedback moderated by SAAS founders & experts who have already built successful SAAS businesses.

Registration and Pricing

If you are keen to attend this RoundTable, do let us know by filling in your details here. We will confirm your seat subject to availability. All RoundTables are conducted pro-bono. They only payment you have to make is to provide your undivided attention and active involvement in the process. Playbook-RoundTables are a dialogue and there’s no monologue. None!

Teardown Roundtable Schedule (tentative)

City Date Time Venue
Teardown RT in Chennai 4-Nov-2017 (Sat)  11am – 4pm  TBC
Teardown RT in Bangalore 11-Nov-2017 (Sat)  TBD
Teardown RT in Delhi 18-Nov-2017 (Sat)  TBD
Teardown RT in Hyderabad 25-Nov-2017 (Sat)  TBD
Teardown RT in Pune 2-Dec-2017 (Sat)  TBD
Teardown RT in Mumbai TBD


Notes

These are founder invite only events. Date, Time & Venue details will be sent along with the confirmation.

Playbook-RoundTable is one of the most sought after community events of iSPIRT. It’s a gathering of 12 like-minded product startups who are beyond the early stage. RoundTables are facilitated by an iSPIRT maven who is an accomplished practitioner of that Round-Table theme.

Guiding the customer journey from Discovery → Signup → Onboarding for SaaS Startups

Are you ready for the product teardown roundtable in your city

As Diwali marks a Joyous celebration and heralds a Prosperous New Year for all, we kick off a series of Product Teardown Roundtables to help our SaaS startups prepare for a successful year ahead. This series of PlaybookRT will focus on Guiding the customer journey from Discovery to Signup & Onboarding.  The teardowns are being planned across our startup cities in quick succession (see tentative schedule below). We kickoff with a teardown RT in Chennai which will be facilitated by Suresh Sambandan (KiSSFLOW)Bharat Balasubramanian (FreshWorks).

Apply to get your slot here. (Limited seats).

Why are product teardowns important? For Explosive Growth!

Explosive growth is a common pain point for founders across startup stages, be it an early stage startup or a late stage startup. One key attribute to explosive growth is to make your customers market for you. Quoting from the article Six attributes of Explosive Growth Startups,

Nothing parallels word-of-mouth marketing

Why? Because the customers do this work for the startup. If this is to happen for your product it is important for your customers to have a clear-cut understanding of your product proposition, discovering it’s ROI and a WOW no-brainer experience of signing up and using it.

Our product teardown session is focused on exactly this evaluation for your product. Using our community of peers and leading practitioners, you would go through an intense journey and visualize how your potential customer discovers, understands, signs up and connects the product proposition and ROI to their needs. If you do a damn good job about this, you gain a big advantage because you don’t have to work so hard for marketing leads, getting you further on the path to explosive growth.

The teardown model

In this playbook series, we look at how to get your messaging right, and building a website and signup/on-boarding flow that converts with very little human intervention. This roundtable would begin with a deep dive into the company’s Idea, Discovery Process and navigate through the Landing Page, Sign Up, and its “Wow” experience. The format of the playbook is built around quick 10 minute demos, followed by peer-feedback moderated by SAAS founders & experts who have already built successful SAAS businesses.

Past teardowns

You can read some of the previous teardown experiences from the founders who participated.

Registration and Pricing

If you are keen to attend this RoundTable, do let us know by filling in your details here. We will confirm your seat subject to availability. All RoundTables are conducted pro-bono. The only payment you have to make is to provide your undivided attention and active involvement in the process. Playbook-RoundTables are a dialogue and there’s no monologue. None!

Teardown Roundtable Schedule (tentative)

City Date Time Register
Teardown RT in Chennai 4-Nov-2017 (Sat)  11am – 4pm Register
Teardown RT in Bangalore 11-Nov-2017 (Sat)  11am – 4pm Register
Teardown RT in Delhi 18-Nov-2017 (Sat)  TBD Register
Teardown RT in Hyderabad 25-Nov-2017 (Sat)  TBD Register
Teardown RT in Pune TBD (Dec) Register
(if interested please apply)
Teardown RT in Mumbai TBD (Dec) Register
(if interested please apply)


Notes

These are founder invite only events. Date, Time & Venue details will be sent along with the confirmation.
Since there are limited seats, we would request you to kindly apply at the earliest.

Playbook-RoundTable is one of the most sought after community events of iSPIRT. It’s a gathering of 12 like-minded product startups who are beyond the early stage. RoundTables are facilitated by an iSPIRT maven who is an accomplished practitioner of that Round-Table theme.

Customer Success: The secret ingredient behind hyper growth product companies

We’re adding more fire to the global Customer Success movement with the first CS meetup in India! The event will most likely comprise of two panel discussions, our panelists ranging from entrepreneurial stalwarts to early adopters of customer success. With discussions around how early start-ups think about Customer Success to stimulating Customer Success into product thinking, we plan to have some exciting conversations!

Join Sanjiv Singhal, CEO Scripbox, Tushar Vashist, CEO Healthifyme, Bharath Devanathan, CCO Belong.co and others in their journeys to Customer Success on 7th September.

We have a limited number of seats. RSVP here for an invite.

This event is hosted by enterprise workflow software, Zapty (San Francisco, Bangalore) and customer success platform, Strikedeck (based in Sunnyvale).

Why #SaaSx4 Product Teardown is for all SaaS startups

Whether you’re an early stage, late stage or VC funded startup (pun intended). There is one thing all of us struggle with always and that is ‘Growth’. So, how to keep this repeatable in constantly changing market dynamics?

Acommunity is a great place to learn, unlearn and grow at the pace you never imagined. For SaaS startups in India(bravery award goes to you), SaaSx is a community built by thought leaders for other builders to nail this process in and out. #SaaSx4 was a tech event that provided SaaS founders the opportunity to network and share product insights with other SaaS founders.

How we got into #SaaSx4 Product Teardown..

Widely is an early stage SaaS startup, we’re right now hustling, learning and trying to respond to the amazing traction we’re receiving. While all this was happening, we got a call from Prasanna K to attend SaaSx, that was the first time we heard about Product Teardown and horror stories around it. Imagine your product being grilled down to levels in front of the whole community.

It did seem scary, but we said YES!

Because very often when something scares you, it’s the very thing worth doing.

So, what were our asks?

Initially they were simple, to validate our thought process, marketing channels, and product roadmap, but subsequent calls and discussions with Avlesh Singh, CEO, WebEngage, Bharath Balasubramanian, Director of Design, Freshdesk, and Shekhar Kirani, Accel Partners, made us realize it is an opportunity to deep dive and their critical remarks made us rethink over pricing to customer onboarding.

#SaaSx4 Event Day: The D-Day

This was my first SaaSx & by the end of the day, I was left amused and happy to become part of the SaaSx community. It is by SaaS founders for SaaS founders, hence, the learning becomes easier & straight cut out for us.

UnConference, Product teardown & Fireside chats, also in between meeting Investors (trust me that was not the driving force for anyone joining in there), the energy was to learn and grasp as much as possible. When you hear guys like Girish, Sudhir, & Avlesh talking about their mistakes, you feel confident within.

There comes the Scary Product Teardown

So, how it began?

I was called on the stage, Bharath, Avlesh and Shekhar ready with their inputs. The hall was full of awesome SaaS founders, including those of India’s best SaaS companies, interacting constantly over the good and bad parts of products(Imagine receiving suggestions from the experienced).

Widely Product Introduction
  • Introduction: I went up and gave some context to the audience

Widely helps online businesses to acquire new mobile users, increase conversions and grow user retention with nothing but their existing website by upgrading it into a progressive web app in minutes. Introducing native mobile app features into a website, the plug and play setup with the analytics based dashboard to trigger and customize a Progressive Web App (Mobile Web App).

  • Product teardown segments & Widely’s State

Product teardown was segmented into three sections primarily, Finding Customers, Keeping Customers & What is my market.

  1. Widely’s primary traction channels are SEM and SEO,
  2. Also, our customer segment is a marketer or a product manager.
  3. For us to convert a website visitor into a customer is a simple 2 step process, a signup and then 15 minutes plug & play integration into their website.
Widely Setup Flow

These details were used in teardown, and so teardown was designed in a way to be helpful for others struggling in the similar space.

  • The Teardown began

As an early stage startup with a goal to reach the global audience, we’ve identified search and ads as great ways to go ahead. So, exactly this was the first step, Widely’s SEM at one side works great, SEO is where our keywords don’t match. That was eye opening to me as sometimes while building and selling the product we tend to forget most basic things.

Then came product landing, with few ifs and buts, here we saw our moments of wows & learning, in the form of better representation.

Product Landing Page

Bharath pointed out key areas we need to improve upon during Sign up too, although this is something we’re constantly working upon and rigorously followed making website our best marketing person, but exactly the point, improvements to become sticky for the set of next 100 customers should be the focus.

The Wow Moment

The final step to Setup!

So, out of all signups we get every day there are many who don’t integrate (A huge loss to our marketing efforts), there could be many reasons, we’re constantly using visualizations and website conversion optimization tools to see where our funnel breaks and fix those parts immediately. For us to come at something which we saw next would have taken some next 100 signups we believe,

Current State of Setup Flow using Widely
The whole process

The next step of teardown focused on our claim of no coding required, though that is not required but looking at the setup it feels a coder is required, and for us targeting product managers this doesn’t look related at all.

Suggestions by Bharath for the setup screen

Sign Up After Landing
Easy UX

The designs in themselves speak louder than words and hence, something we loved instantly, apart from great design and user experience inputs. We got great insights from,

Girish — Website landing page heading should initially focus on technicalities, then functionalities and later on the larger message when the brand is big enough.

Ex: Coca-Cola — open happiness.

Ex: We say ‘Upgrade into a Progressive Web App’, this is good for us initially as an early stage startup, segmented only for the crowd who knows.

Shekhar — Asking telephone numbers from our initial customers is a great way to increase conversions rapidly, our signup should have that one field.

The last but not the least, Product Positioning and Market

All the above insights make no sense when we don’t know our market. I did talk about the positioning of early stage startups and how we did it for widely.

As there is this increasing need of brands to be accessible by all mobile users, we get queries from enterprises, brands, services/agencies related to our solution, we’ve been on and off on where to focus and what we should leave. This also made us change our pricing many times.

The last part of teardown was a relief when the founders sitting there, Shekhar & Avlesh made us believe you don’t need to stay at one, until you get where the best market is. All this made sense, as then we could generate higher revenue by understanding our value add to the users.

At the same time, we received Girish’s point of view on growing freemium way and onboard as many users as we can,

So here is the beauty of SaaSx, you get everything, now it is going to be a tough fight within the team to choose a way.

Key takeaways..

An enthralling experience in Widely’s product journey, SaaSx, and product teardown happened to be extremely helpful. In my opinion, teardown is a great way to eliminate blockers and move faster against competition and changing market.

I’d like to end by a note I sent out to Avlesh, Shekhar, Bharat & Avinash.

Thank you note SaaSx

Definitely I’m in awe and I’d like to mention Product Teardown of Omnify & Product Teardown of 99Tests, these were our fellow product teardown startups, they have explained the process extensively to explore further. Hope it helps more SaaS startups growing and hustling.


Anshuli Gupta, Co-Founder @WidelyHQ, My twitter handle @anshulix

Every Product Needs A Good Teardown

(originally posted here)

Last Saturday in Chennai at the SaaSx3 I had the privilege of participating in my first “Product Teardown”

A Product Teardown, “or simply teardown, is the act of disassembling a product, such as a television set, to identify its component parts, chip & system functionality” – Wiki

In the context of the teardown of my company, Hummingbill, a Software as a Service (SaaS), it involved a deep dive into the company’s Idea, Discovery Process, Landing Page, Sign Up, and its “Wow” experience.

Prouct-Teardown-1024x576

(image courtesy of Suresh Sambandam of Kissflow)

But before getting into the details of the teardown I want to make mention of the audience in front of whom I presented, and the panelists who judged me. This teardown event was among several sessions during this year’s SaaSx – a conference cum meet up of India’s best-in-class SaaS founders, among whom in the audience were Girish Mathrubootham, founder of FreshDesk, Avlesh Singh, founder of WebEngage, and Pallav Nadhani, founder of FusionCharts. And as impressive as the audience was, so too were the group of panelists critiquing my company. They were, Shekhar Kirani, partner at Accel Partners India, Suresh Sambandam, founder of Kissflow, and Bharat Balasubramanian, director of Design at Freshdesk. The entire experience was an honor, to say the least.

So! how did it all go down?

The panelists had me up on stage with a projector showing our website, and we started with Shekhar and Suresh who was requested a description of the Idea of Hummingbill, which included a snapshot of the problem, solution, and our characteristic customer and user.

Our Idea:

(bear with my plug!) Hummingbill is a Gmail plugin that automates accounts receivable management for organizations that track hundreds of unpaid invoices from hundreds of customers. Our characteristic clients are SaaS and advertising companies. Currently, these companies use QuickBooks Online, Tally and Zoho to manage their invoices, but the problem is that these softwares make invoices inaccessible to those who need them most – sales reps and account managers who are among many things also responsible for payment collection. Today, the only window accounts and sales staff have into Accounts Receivable is a manually generated, manually distributed weekly aging report sent from the finance team.

Second, we discussed the Discovery process of Hummingbill:

or how businesses find us on the web. Because Hummingbill is more of a direct sales organization at-the-moment, we were let off-the-hook on this one, but for any disciplined SaaS company, they must be extremely conscientious of the “keywords” they use on their website to make their website more likely to be found by their target customer on Google. This is called Search Engine Optimization. By identifying those keywords – e.g. “Invoice Management” and “Accounts Receivable” – and carefully placing those keywords into their website, businesses can improve their performance ranking on Google which allows them to be more easily found by their target customers.For an example of a highly search-engine-optimized website, have a look at HiverThey are one of my favorite examples of a company that carefully updates its website over and over again to improve its performance for specific keywords within its category.

Then, after discussing discovery, Bharat critiqued us on the Design of our website

A lot of learning happened here. Some of the key takeaways were:

  1. If you have big customers like we do, put them up at the top of your webpage. This helps build trust in your product.
  2. Use the most accurate language possible on your landing page for your target users. Don’t be generic. During the event, the title on our landing page was “Get Paid Faster” – Suresh pointed out that this title  would be an empty statement for our target users, CFOs and Heads of Finance. Instead we should use more accurate language like “Reduce Days Sales Outstanding”.
  3. Add a second Sign-up button at the bottom of your landing page. This makes it easier for people to sign-up for your product .. .which is just good for everyone.

After the Design step, Bharat walked us through the Sign-Up process

or onboarding experience of Hummingbill. This step is where new users enter in their contact information and preferences, and then are guided through the software product.  If you’re not familiar with SaaS, then you should know that this step is the first impression customers have of your product, so it can “make or break” a business. It’s the reason why, for example I didn’t use Ola cabs, a very popular taxi service in India, for a whole year – I found their sign-up process clunky and time consuming, so I immediately switched to their competitor taxi service. And similarly to how I fell-off of Ola, SaaS founders need to be conscientious of their target customers’ patience, less they lose them at the first step to using their product. Building a fluid and intuitive sign-up process takes significant discipline to decide which information to collect from users now vs. later, and which features of the product to show now vs. later.  For inspiration on great onboarding experience, check out UserOnboard.com to see examples of how some of the best tech companies in the world  sign-up their users.

And last but not least, the product teardown ended with the functional Wow of Hummingbill. The functional Wow is simply the moment when users experience the 1 or 2 features of your product that fulfill the value they were seeking and found on your website. This is where products can close the deal and why it’s important for companies to get to that functional Wow delivered as quickly as possible. For example, if a company has a CRM product, then the functional Wow would be something like guiding the new user to creating a “prospect” customer in their sales pipeline, enter in the prospect’s details, and then move the prospect to becoming a “lead” in the CRM. For Hummingbill, we like to Wow users during onboarding by getting them to: 

1. Generate an Invoice 

2. Track the invoice in Accounts Receivable

3. Receive an email aging report

This functional Wow helps confirm to the users why they signed-up for your product. Seeing is believing, so the best practice here is to show your users the functional Wow ASAP

All-in-all the Product Teardown was an excellent learning experience for my team and I

As a public forum, it forced me to look more carefully at Hummingbill through the eyes of my target customer. Because SaaS is very much a numbers game – about driving as much traffic to your website, then trying to convert as many visitors to becoming users of your product, then trying to convert those free users to becoming paid users – SaaS is all about constantly iterating your website and customer onboarding experience to improve those conversions. Do teardown your product yourself. Though it’s an exhausting process, do it with a potential-user who can be honest with you and give their feedback in real time as they visit your website, sign up, and try your product for the first time. Best of luck in this process and keep doing it because it’s the only way for early stage companies, apart from marketing, to ensure they will have a constant growth of new users.

– Adam