Posts tagged Dave blogs

3 notes &

Try In July: 6 Top Execs Tell Us Why They Test in the Summertime

By Dave McLaughlin, CEO at Vsnap

image

For many businesses that sell enterprise software, July can be a slow month. That makes it a perfect time to be experimenting with new technologies and processes. I reached out to a few contacts to ask them if they think of July in this way. Here’s what they had to say.

Mike Troiano is CMO at fast-growing copy data virtualization company Actifio.

“July is halftime on our year. We use it to regroup, check what’s working and what’s not, and to be sure we’re doing more of the former and less of the latter in the back half of the year. It’s a good discipline, given how different the world usually looks in July than it did in December.”

Michael Nugent is CEO of BISON, which provides data to help fund managers and Limited Partners find the right match in both directions.

July and August are great months to test stuff with hardcore users — those that will use your product despite the natural tendency to go off the productivity grid for the summer.”

This July, Nugent is testing a new connection capability in their product, and a new approach to gathering data directly from GPs.

Matt Bertuzzi, of The Bridge Group, is an inside sales leader and a Salesforce.com MVP.

“July is a great time to try things.  More off-time, fewer coworkers around, less overall grind — it just gives you more space to explore. In essence, a refreshed mind and less cluttered calendar is a requirement for developing and trying new ideas.”

Bertuzzi is currently testing a new Salesforce.com app he has built. Also, as a result of some new strategic thinking, his team has accelerated a major technology purchase that  had been tabled for several quarters.

Joe Moriarty is VP Global Sales & Marketing at Content Raven, which provides security and deep analytics on documents you share.

“People are in the office,” Moriarty says, “but they’re doing less since the decision-makers are less available to give them approvals. That can actually be an opportunity to really capture attention.” Moriarty’s team is using this as an opportunity to test edgier collateral to more aggressively capture attention. That ranges from trying different messages in reps’ talk tracks to actual A/B/C testing of messaging on their site.

I did get some push-back on my premise that July is the time to try and test new tactics.

Emily Green, CEO and Chief Lunch Lady at Smart Lunches, reminded me that many businesses have seasonality, and so the summer months aren’t always the slow time of year. Also, she pushed the perspective that companies should be allocating resources for testing at all times.

“Vibrant learning businesses are always trying things,” Green says. “Fail Fast is the startup mantra — but why isn’t that the motto for every business that wants to grow?”

Andrew Burton, CEO at Logentries, echoed this perspective.  “I’d argue that every month is a great month to do experiments, and often we’re running multiple experiments at one time.”

Burton says it’s easy to empathize with sales leaders who are under pressure and feel they don’t have time for testing. They effectively say, “Our approach may be imperfect but it’s predictable.”

But, says Burton, every organization is resource-constrained — that’s no excuse for sticking with approaches that can be improved on.

“Depending on stage of the company or the area of the business that’s being developed,” says Burton, “I put a percentage of time and effort on execution/scale, and a percentage of time and effort on experiment/build. Striking the right balance is key, but too much of one without the other, and you’re doing an incredible disservice to individuals, the team and the company.”

Conclusion

Test and learn, whether you’re slow or busy. That’s what these leaders say is the recipe for growth. If you can do it year-round, that’s great. But at a minimum, you should be trying new products during your downtimes to help you capture maximum growth during the busier months.

Filed under Dave McLaughlin dave blogs vsnap influencers july sales testing sales tips

0 notes &

New Pricing for Vsnap’s September Release

By Dave McLaughlin, CEO at Vsnap
image

(New Vsnap logo created by our designer Kate Lindsay!)

We announced last week that Vsnap will be launching a new product on September 1st and that we will be discontinuing our free service. We’ve been getting a lot of questions around the new product, so we’ve pulled together some of the frequently asked questions around pricing.

Why change your current pricing? 
We did not include pricing information in that announcement because we thought that without seeing the new product, any pricing information would feel more or less arbitrary. But we are happy to share more info.

Our new pricing is based on the fact that teams that have committed to learning how to use Vsnap and to measuring their usage are capturing major value, including big revenue increases. For those teams, Vsnap will pay for itself very quickly. And we will be actively investing in the product to increase that ROI even more.

So we’re re-setting the price points to reflect the impact to revenue that our most active clients are capturing by using Vsnap. For example, one of our clients recently shared with us that they closed 34% more of their sales-qualified leads when they used Vsnap to follow up on their inside sales phone calls. For them, that represents $3M in new annual revenue. (See the bottom of this post for more detail on this case study.)

What’s the new pricing exactly?

As of September, we will have just two products, called Team and Enterprise. These will be available as annual subscriptions only. We will not offer a month-to-month subscription.

Team Accounts

The Team account will cost $299 per user per year. It will have from one to 25 users. The features include the following:

  • Management oversight features so that leaders can support their team members and measure their activity

  • Provide a branded experience, richer than in the current product, for the customers watching your vsnaps. Your brand, not Vsnap’s

  • Real-time view notifications when your customer watches that vsnap you sent

  • Dashboards for each account member and for the team as a whole

  • Ability to send as many vsnaps as you want, which we will store and host for 12 months

Enterprise Accounts

An Enterprise Account will be any account that has more than 25 members, or that adds on features that are not included in the Team account. Examples of additional features include our Send As feature, our Salesforce.com integration (more info coming soon), and our APIs that give you greater customization and integration capabilities. Here’s a link to our Viewer API, and we’ll be adding another important API with the new product release.

Enterprise pricing is specific to a given customer. It will start with the $299 Team price as a base, then increases according to the additional features you feel you need.

Tell me more about the trial that everyone will be auto-enrolled in as of September 1st.
All new signups will be given a 14-day free trial so they can try out Vsnap for themselves. No credit card will be required for the trial. All existing Free Vsnap account holders will be transferred into a free 14-day trial when the new product launches, unless you ask us to shut down your account prior to that.

Can we get a sneak preview of the site?
We’ll be sharing more details on the new site as the launch day gets closer. Stay tuned to the blog for some sneak peeks of what it’ll look like and other features.

Where can I read more about the company that used Vsnap to close 34% more of its sales-qualified leads?
There’s a good description of the use case in this free e-book, Tools & Tactics to Close More SQLs. For August, we’ll be providing a more detailed write-up with a broader summary of the benefits that company captured.  

If you have any other questions about the new pricing or want to share some feedback, please feel free to contact us at support@vsnap.com and one of the team will get back to you ASAP. We’ll also be sending a few more updates in the coming months, so stay tuned to your email as well.

Filed under dave blogs new vsnap new vsnap logo pricing video messaging vsnap

0 notes &

First Family Dinner At The New Vsnap HQ

By Dave McLaughlin, CEO & Co-Founder at Vsnap

On July 1, 2011 the Vsnap team consisted of myself and Employee #1, Trish Fontanilla, and we ran our first payroll. That makes this week our third birthday. The team has grown a lot since then. Of course, being Vsnappers, we wanted to celebrate in a way that’s focused on warmth and conversation. So we planned a family dinner party here at HQ for the team and some of the super significant people in our lives. It was awesome to meet the husbands and wives and boyfriends and girlfriends and friends and kids that we hear about day to day, but hadn’t had the pleasure of hanging out with prior to now. I mean, really awesome. Here are some pictures from the night. 

Filed under dave blogs vsnap birthday vsnap startuplife

0 notes &

Three Big Benefits of Vsnap’s New Viewer API

By Dave McLaughlin, CEO & Co-Founder at Vsnap

image

How we feel determines what we do. This is true in our personal lives. And it’s true in business.

Customer emotion accelerates sales velocity, and it inspires evangelism. It’s what lies behind every single referral and retweet you’ve ever received. 

Vsnap’s new Viewer API is an entirely new tool for people in Sales and Support who want to engage their customers emotionally. There’s a quick overview below. But first, for the newcomers…

What is Vsnap?

If you’re in a customer-facing role but you don’t have any face-to-face interaction with your customer, then you use Vsnap to send that person a quick, one-to-one video message.

It’s the easiest and most efficient way to establish a personal connection with a remote customer as a context for doing business together. Now, our new Viewer API makes all this better. It provides three big benefits…

Benefit #1 = Full Branding Customization

Prior to now, when you vsnap a customer, she watches that message at a vsnap.com URL, in the context of Vsnap’s logo, etc. In short, vsnapping has been a Vsnap experience, not a YourCompany experience.

But our new Viewer API lets you completely tailor your customer’s experience. Your customer will receive a customized notification from your email address that brings her to a page on your website, and we’ll dynamically stream the vsnap you’ve made for her right into this view page. 

There’s nothing else like this. A personal video speaking directly to a single customer — talk about making someone feel important! — watchable at the customer’s convenience, in the context of your brand assets.

Here’s an example of a vsnap being sent without our API, and here’s the same vsnap when the sender has implemented the API.

Benefit #2 = Action Focus

In the example above, notice that Nineteenth Amendment’s developer has chosen to make the video larger. Also, notice that they’ve removed the reply functionality. Those simple details illustrate an important point — that everything on the view page is now in your control.

With the Viewer API, you are free to use or not use any of the current Vsnap elements. The title, the attachments, the description, the sentiment buttons, the reply and forward buttons, etc.

And you are free to introduce whatever calls to action you want that customer to take. Remember, Vsnap drives customer action 41% more than email outreach. Now you can choose what actions you want them to take when they finish watching your vsnap.

Here are examples of how some clients are using this flexibility.

  • Inside Sales team - Looking to drive demo calls, putting a “Schedule Demo” button right next to each vsnap.

  • Consumer Apparel company - Sending vsnaps to engage influencers, presenting two clear calls to action: “Purchase” and “Promote”.  

  • Online Education - Using Vsnap to increase enrollment by as much as 70%, presenting vsnap recipients a “Register Now” button.

  • Net Promoter - An online services company sends a vsnap to each client to ask them to complete the Net Promoter question, pairing the video with the ability for the customer to replay 1 to 10 right in the same interface.

  • Increase EngagementAn insurance company vsnaps clients on their birthdays, gives them a “Schedule a Call” button — using this “surprise & delight” tactic to uncover upsell opportunities.

Benefit #3 = Measure What You Want How You Want

Because it’s your view page, you can define any events that you deem important. And you can track them in whatever analytics tool or CRM you’re already using. So now you can run reports on the impact of your vsnapping — and you can connect those events to other items in your workflow.

Excited?!

We love businesses that believe making customers feel loved is the fastest path to growth, and that are brand-sensitive and measurement-obsessed. That’s who we built this new Viewer API for.

Prior to the launch of our new site later this summer, the only way to get your hands on this API is by contacting us — just email me at info@vsnap.com. If you have questions, feel free to email them, or post them in the comments below! 

 

Filed under dave blogs vsnap api vsnap Video Messaging sales support

1 note &

Bill Harris Joins Vsnap as VP Sales

By Dave McLaughlin, CEO & Co-Founder of Vsnap

image

Yesterday was a great day because Bill Harris joined Vsnap as our VP of Sales. Bill has been serving as an advisor for me on sales for over a year now, and it’s just fantastic to have him on the team full-time.

Vsnap’s clients are in Sales and Support. They’re customer-facing, and they need easy, measurable tools to make sure those customers feel cared for. Bill’s mission is to help them understand how to use one-to-one video messages to bring warmth into the customer interaction – and measurably grow business.

If you read our blog regularly, you know we have a set of six simple beliefs that guide everything we do. One of them says: “Only help. Never just add noise.” That mandate is essential to our vision of customer engagement. Only help. That’s what you get from Trish Fontanilla and from me. And that’s what you can expect from Bill. 

By way of background, Bill has helped lead sales teams at several great companies, most recently at NetProspex and OneSource. If you want to reach Bill, you can email (or vsnap him) at bill@vsnap.com

And while we’re talking hiring, we are about to post a new position for another full-stack developer. If you want to solve hard problems as part of our quest to bring the human layer back into business, we want to hear from you. You can find me on Twitter (@davemacboston) or you can email me.

Editor’s note: We were just so excited about Bill joining the team, we started eating the pie (key lime) before we took the picture. 

Filed under dave blogs new hires vsnap sales bill harris