TRIGGER WARNING: THE POMPOUS NATURE OF THIS BLOG POST IS SUPPOSED TO BE IRONIC. OTHERWISE, WE ARE QUITE HUMBLE AND BALANCED. SO, BE KIND.
This blog post is dedicated to everyone who thought Zipy was just a debugging tool. That includes us, yes! We couldn’t have been more wrong.
This is the story of how Zipy turned out to be our most used tool while creating our go-to-market strategy. It has ups. It has downs. It has scares. It has surprises. It even has some distinctly average moments. So, buckle up. You’re in for a wild ride.
What is GTM?
Every story has its origins somewhere. Sometimes you get to know about it later in the story. However, in most cases, that’s where the story starts. Right at the beginning.
We’ve told the story of Zipy’s beginnings thousands of times. We’ve talked about it over hundreds of customer calls, hundreds of content posts on LinkedIn and other social media etc. So, instead of an origin story, I will share with you the definition of Go-To-Market strategy (GTM) and an explanation of how the launch team that I was part of went about the product launch.
A GTM strategy is an action plan. It’s a step-by-step process required to ensure the success of your offering to the market. In other words, it’s a blueprint for getting your product to the end user while achieving a high level of sales and awareness. It is often said, ‘strategy is the art of closing doors’. The doors that do not lead to maximum bang for the buck. A great GTM helps give companies a direction and control during the hullabaloo leading up to the launch of their products or services. Our GTM also did the same for us. It gave us a clear direction for the successful launch of our product. Not only did it give a direction to the launch team, it also gave a comprehensive understanding of the market to our sales and product teams.
Several technology products have failed in the past because of inadequate GTM strategies. For example, this HubSpot article illustrates how Apple’s Lisa computer failed, even after having the best of attributes.
So, the point that I am trying to drive is, if Apple can fail, so can we!
Our approach to GTM
Are we ready? This was the question that we asked ourselves before we started conceptualising our GTM strategy. Panic set in. Zipy has been a platform that the whole team has been working on diligently for the last two years. The team hustled to make our dream a reality. Hence, the butterflies in our stomach was justified!
Guess what? We made it. And we smashed it out of the park by becoming the #1 Product of the day on Product Hunt.
The Eureka Moment
Now, the interesting part is, our own product that was supposed to be launched, helped us in planning the GTM.
The date of product launch was fixed. There was a visible nervousness in the team. By then we had a basic understanding of our target group. We also developed an understanding of what worked for us during our beta launch. In fact, we also we understood some of the messaging that worked for us and resonated with our customers who decided to try our beta. However, we needed more information of our buyers and users. We needed a tool that could tell us exactly what our customers cared about and what were their pain points.
Keeping this in view, we started making a list of questions. Unfortunately, we had a lot of them. Quite relevant ones, but still a lot! I mean.. we could’ve done with fewer Curious Georges in the team.
In the interest of the readers, I will limit the number of questions:
- Who is buying Zipy? What is the user persona? Who would be the major beneficiaries of the product that we have built?
- What is the value that we are providing to the businesses that use Zipy? How can we contribute to the success of these businesses?
- What is our sales strategy?
To answer these questions, we needed a tool that could give us some pertinent insights. While we were deliberating on going about this, we realised that we were actually sitting on a metaphorical gold mine. As part of the product augmentation process, the development team had integrated Zipy into our own platform – Zipy. This integration turned out to be a huge boon for the launch team and the Marketing and Sales teams. Here’s how:
1. Figuring out the right buyer and user personas
We already had a good number of customers using Zipy because of our closed beta strategy. This was really helpful because we were able to analyse the user behavior and figure out what is making our user to come back to us and what is not.
The data revealed something that made us really happy. We were always under the impression that developers would be our primary audience. However, the insights of Zipy, revealed that the product was being used by folks from Customer Support, Quality Assurance and Product Management teams.
This drove us to understand what made the other teams to use Zipy. That, in fact, brings us to the next question:
2. Figuring out the value we provide
Now that we had the knowledge of the fact that we were more than just a developer-focused tool, it was important for us to not get lost in the way we wanted ourselves to be perceived publicly.
The messaging had to be clear and concise. We had to make sure that each of these personas knew exactly what they could achieve from using Zipy. So, what did we do? We went back to Zipy. Easy.
The team got together and went through a bunch of user sessions from different customers using the tool. This showed us exactly what mattered to them the most. We took notes on what features they kept going back to, we understood where we fit into their daily habits and how often they come back to the platform over a period of time.
This gave us all the critical information we needed to put out content that resonated with these customer personas. We had different use cases for different personas and Zipy was our primary tool for understanding what they were. We built case studies for these different roles and put them on our website so that no matter who you are, you’d know exactly how Zipy can be of assistance as soon as you visit the website. Our content across our socials also was geared towards educating customers on different use cases and sharing case studies.
A great example of the kind of content and messaging I’m talking about would be this blog post. If you are a Marketing or Sales person reading this, you now know exactly how Zipy can be a valuable tool in planning your GTM strategy.
Yes, I acknowledge that I am shamelessly selling my product to you as you’re reading this.
3. Figuring out the sales strategy
Consequent to the informed decisions that we made after using Zipy, our product became ‘Product of the Day’ on Product Hunt. But what use would it be if we don’t capitalise on it to get our company some business?
Since we had managed to make an impact on the day we went live, we saw significant interest from customers across the globe. This was a welcome surprise.
As the resident sales guy of the company, I was tasked with reaching out to folks who showed interest in using Zipy. I was supposed to initiate conversations with these folks about the problems and challenges they faced and how Zipy could help them in attaining their business goals.
I think you already know where this is headed. Exactly! I logged into my Zipy account and checked out what they had been checking out on the platform since they signed up. This made it really easy for me to personalise my messaging around them. So, along with my list of already incredible resources like LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Apollo, Freshsales etc. (LINKS) that helped me identify my customer, understand them intricately and talk to them in a way that spoke to them, Zipy got added.
Funnily enough, Zipy also acted as a buyer intent tool that helped me understand which of our free customers were considering a paid plan. How? Well, I straight up asked them whenever I saw any sessions, where they’ve been to the pricing page or hovered over it. I mean, if their cursor was there, they were probably thinking about it, right? So, I emailed them saying - “Hey dear customer, you’re thinking right. So, just do it!”
So what do you get from this? Easy. Zipy is awesome. It’s the best SaaS tool ever!
Just kidding. I am sure we will get there soon.
What I wanted to cover in this post is how Zipy can be a powerful weapon in your arsenal as you head into probably the most important phase for an early-stage startup - the launch of the product to the masses. It is a powerful that can help you in making informed business decisions.