What started with 64 SaaS companies ended with one distinct champion: DiscoverOrg. The sales intelligence software, which has made Inc.’s 5000 fastest-growing companies list six times, had never participated in March SaaSness before but mobilized their advocates and came out on top.
The NCAA Tournament-style bracket to determine users’ favorite software as a service product ran for three weeks and over 310,000 votes were submitted. In the end the March SaaSness rookie received the most votes, knocking out companies such as Greenhouse, Constant Contact, Datanyze, Engagio, Zendesk and, finally, Loopio to take the title.
How did the DiscoverOrg team pull off their win? We talked to them about their strategy for the tournament, but more important is what they revealed about their long-term tactics to engage advocates and internalize user feedback to continually improve their product. DiscoverOrg wasn’t just in it for the tournament–they’re committed to soliciting feedback from their community, keeping lines of communication open and evolving their product in line with the needs of their users.
G2 Crowd: How did you engage your customers (and keep the momentum going) to win March SaaSness 2017?
DiscoverOrg: Over the last year, we added Influitive to our tech stack to create an amazing customer engagement and advocacy program we’ve dubbed “Delta by DiscoverOrg.” Through gamification, we utilize the platform to create challenges, share sales and marketing best practices and encourage networking for our customers.
Many of these activities have points which can be redeemed for a variety of awards. For March SaaSness, we created several challenges encouraging our customers to vote and spread their DiscoverOrg love on social media. We also engaged with our wide network of partners and rallied the entire team to engage in social advocacy.
G2 Crowd: How do you leverage your customer advocates in your sales and marketing efforts?
We always say that we want our best salespeople to be our own customers – we truly believe that’s a primary reason why we’ve grown as fast we have. DiscoverOrg
DiscoverOrg: Our prospects are sophisticated buyers who rely heavily on the insights and advice of their peers. We pride ourselves on achieving high numbers of positive reviews on trusted platforms like G2 Crowd, and in both our sales and marketing efforts we encourage prospects to validate us by reading our reviews and talking to our customers.
We have a customer marketing team focused on building out customer testimonials, videos and case studies that can be used in our sales efforts as well. We always say that we want our best salespeople to be our own customers – we truly believe that’s a primary reason why we’ve grown as fast we have.
G2 Crowd: Out of your 616 reviews on G2 Crowd, only 11 of them are negative (1-star reviews and 2-star reviews). What do you do with those negative reviews and how do you interact with those unhappy customers?
DiscoverOrg: Our business depends on happy, engaged customers who fully realize the value of great sales and marketing intelligence to grow their business. So, addressing negative reviews is a priority for us. When a negative review appears, our goal is to acknowledge and address it immediately. If the customer writing the review is known to us, we immediately engage our Customer Success and Product teams. When the author of a negative review is unknown to us, we try to open a dialogue with the individual to gather additional details and begin a constructive conversation using the comments section in the review.
It’s very important to listen and acknowledge the person’s bad experience at this point, before we try to address it. Our team prefers to call them over emailing them for this because it’s more personal and humanizes both sides. Once we understand the problem, we’ll look at our roadmap to see whether a proposed solution exists and, if not, we’ll add one to our product idea backlog.
G2 Crowd: How does having a strong and active customer advocacy base help you build a great product?
DiscoverOrg: We are always looking for ways to improve our product and ensure that we are meeting the needs of our customers and the fast-paced and ever-changing market of the sales and marketing technology landscape. Through forums like regular checkpoints and quarterly business reviews with our Customer Success Managers, onsite visits, G2 Crowd, Influitive, user groups and other avenues, we also get to know our customers better and understand how they really use the platform, which then helps inform the product and content we produce as a business. Plus, while our product is a B2B technology, we are really in the human-to-human (H2H) business of revolutionizing the way sales and marketers more effectively connect with their potential buyers.
G2 Crowd: What advice do you have for other companies to keep the customer advocacy momentum going on G2 Crowd?
DiscoverOrg: Our reviews on G2 Crowd are a source of pride for us, a highly valuable mechanism for potential buyers to learn more about us and also an opportunity to create a feedback loop with our customers that often leads to product or process improvements. Organizations should embrace this feedback and acknowledge that reviews, good or bad, serve a purpose. At DiscoverOrg, we have been able to consistently tie new business and retention revenue directly to our presence on G2 Crowd.
It’s clear that DiscoverOrg’s users are responding well to their human-to-human approach, as evidenced by their reviews on G2 Crowd, fast growth and most recently this win.
As 2017 March SaaSness Tournament Champion, DiscoverOrg will receive:
- A stadium-sized March SaaSness Championship Banner
- A to-be-revealed reward from Qualtrics, G2 Crowd and Ambition.
- The eternal awe and respect of the SaaS world.