- Challenge: How can an innovative startup focus their efforts on the people their product can best serve?
- Solution: Create a typeform that identifies the people who are a good fit for their product now, and helps prioritize future product updates based on customer feedback.
- Result: Thousands of highly valued customers receiving a personalized onboarding experience—and a more focused customer profile.
Everyone’s looking at you, waiting for your presentation. Your colleagues, your team, your investors. Are you prepared to convince them?
It’s all in the pitch. And that means both what you say, and how you say it. What your audience doesn’t see: all the work that goes into making that presentation shine.
Enter Pitch, a presentation tool built for highly collaborative teams. And with $52 million in funding in the past two years, it seems they’re on to something.
The problem: they had a lot of interest in their product, but no way to easily determine best-fit candidates for their beta program. They needed a better way to understand people’s current tools, major pain points, and reasons for creating presentations.
That’s when Kate Donahue, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, stepped in with an idea to help identify teams best suited to benefit from Pitch’s product.
Pitching a better customer onboarding flow
When Kate joined Pitch, here’s what she saw:
A signup field that required visitors to leave their email address
A follow-up thank you page where people could fill out an optional survey
The frictionless signup process brought in lots of email addresses from interested people. But it didn’t help the Pitch team understand which of these people they could serve with their current product, and which would be better served as the product matured.
Kate knew they needed something different. So she and her team set out to create a better flow to identify the beta teams that Pitch should prioritize.
They started by digging into the latest trends used by hyper-growth SaaS products and other innovative companies, like Superhuman’s unique onboarding approach.
Another big inspiration was Journal. A signup CTA on their homepage opens up an embedded Typeform widget that smoothly slides open from the right side of the screen.
As Kate put it:
Kate had used Typeform on other occasions, so she knew the easy-to-use interface would strike a positive note for Pitch’s prospective customers.
And they also made another important discovery: the importance of saying no.
Saying no is hard, but increasingly important
At the end of 2019, Pitch was ready to welcome its very first beta users. Focusing on the right people was key—people who were enthusiastic about what Pitch was building, comfortable with using a beta product, and happy to provide feedback.
Based on the number of waitlist signups since October 2018, it was clear that people were excited about what Pitch was building. They also realized that people would be willing to share a bit more info for a chance at early product access. Who wouldn’t for a product that promised to help them create better-looking presentations with their team?
Kate and the team saw that their signup flow was an opportunity to hone in on the people they could serve best. Rather than grabbing email addresses and then sending people an optional survey, they built the new onboarding survey right into the signup flow. Click 'Start' to preview it here:
They asked questions about the person's existing tools, primary use case, how often they create presentations, and the importance of collaboration. This, in turn, helped Pitch identify their early beta users and start each conversation with a deep understanding of each team's goals and pain points.
For people whose needs match what Pitch has to offer, Pitch is able to create a personalized onboarding experience that speaks directly to their customer’s needs. As Kate put it:
What about people who don't make presentations often? Or companies using only one tool for presentations? These companies are put on hold and included later in their beta.
This filtering process helps them refine their product in the short term while learning about their ideal customer profiles—essential steps on the road to finding product-market fit.
The approach also acts as a pressure test before the product goes to market. Working with a very tight customer profile helps them see usage patterns, discover friction points, refine their marketing activities, and understand how to better support users.
All of this saves time both for customers and Pitch. So what happens next?
Thousands of sign-ups require automation
After completing the typeform, people are filtered into specific cohorts:
People Pitch can serve well now
People who may not yet receive much value from Pitch's current product
But there’s a twist. At each phase of their beta, Pitch has accepted a small number of people who don’t quite fit their definition of an ideal customer profile (ICP)—maybe their industry, company size, or current tool set doesn’t quite match what Pitch assumes is ideal. By comparing the behavior of this group with their ideal cohort, Pitch is able to validate and tweak their ICP definition.
It’s a process that they continue to fine-tune at each phase of their beta. And the insights they’ve gleaned have also led to an impressive flow of valuable product updates.
To keep things smooth, the team at Pitch uses Zapier and Mailchimp to automatically add people to the appropriate email flows in Mailchimp.
Another key for efficiency: a streamlined process where other team members could collaborate. To address this, Kate set up a Typeform workspace with multiple team members. This made it easy for anyone to export essential data points to be analyzed quickly, reducing the risk of bottlenecked tasks.
The Typeform workspace also helps groups to export results for analysis, like learning more about the people that have signed up to their waitlist. The full team’s access to a shared workspace has empowered the team and saved them a lot of time.
Rolling out their red carpet onboarding flow
The new onboarding flow kicked off in October 2019. Since then, tens of thousands of people have completed the survey, and more than 300 teams have gone through Pitch’s personalized onboarding flow.
By validating who their ideal customer profiles are, Pitch was able to switch to a fully self-service onboarding process, and is now able to open up their product to others on their waiting list before their global launch.
And to top it off, they now have a more focused customer profile, and a better understanding of key pain points and features to prioritize. It also means they can adapt to the ever-changing market much faster with credible data on which value propositions resonate the most with their audience.
After all, isn’t really knowing your audience the best way to nail the perfect pitch?
So where do you go from here?