How to add $337K+ ARR in 90 Days With a UI/UX Upgrade - UserActive

How to add $337K+ ARR in 90 Days With a UI/UX Upgrade

In this live workshop, we took a look at how we dramatically boosted ARR for a CRM SaaS. We reviewed how you can apply the same principles to access untapped potential in your product. Towards the end of the workshop, we looked at three products: Founders’ Book, Funnelll, and Dear Lucy. Participants joined the workshop from across the globe, and left with actionable advice and insight. This is the first workshop sharing how to add $337K+ ARR in 90 days with a UI/UX upgrade.

[00:00:04] – Peter 

So, welcome everybody. Just to start off with some intros, I want to introduce myself briefly. I’m Peter Loving from user active we’re a product designer, an agency. We specialise in SaaS. So we run Design Sprints and partner with SaaS companies to basically provide their product team or their product design division. And also, if they already have one, to just assist with overflow and consulting. To get started, can we all just do a brief intro in the chat? If you can just let us know where you’re dialling in from on the call today… Okay, so Jim Tyrell from Boulder, USA, we’ve got from Vietnam, India.

[00:01:42] – Peter 

Belgium. Columbia, Finland. Taylor from Dear. Lucy from Finland. I think we’ve even met before. Barris. Good to see you, Barris. Thanks for joining us. Barris is in Porto, Portugal, UK and Spain. Egypt. Germany. Stockholm, Sweden Bootstrapping assassin. Great. We love to see Bootstrappers joining us. We’ve got a few more people actually joining the session now. Warsaw, Poland, Australia, Canada. Okay, great. What a diverse group we are today. This is awesome. Pretty good session. So let’s also just look at first of all, if you can just put in the comments also what your SaaS is and what it does.

So name of your product and what that product does. Idea of the different types of stats we have here. So Hayan has mentioned in the group that you can rename, so apologies again for that. If your name is showing up as Sarah Stratton, I think you can, through the settings rename, change the name. So while we’re doing that, I’m going to launch into a few points that are common friction areas for SaaS. Okay. For SaaS products specifically. Now when you’re working on your product, it can be really hard to know what to prioritise.

[00:03:17] – Peter 

It can be really difficult to know what will move the needle, what will make an impact on your product. And generally it can be hard to know where to start. Okay, so one of the first issues you come up with is competing priorities. Does anybody have experience with this, running your SaaS business? Obviously you’re not just working on a product and design, but you have a million on one thing. So you’re working in development, your marketing, you’re trying to find product market fit. Once you have that, you’re trying to scale, you’ve got customer support and service. You’re often trying to make your product more self service. There’s just a million and one things to do.

So if you have any issues around that, please let us know in the comments. Besides having a million and one different areas to work on when it comes to focusing on your product, specifically, it’s pretty hard to know what lever you can pull to make an impact, right? So there are so many different aspects to a product, so many different attributes and areas or touch points that users have with your product. It can be difficult to know what to affect, to actually improve and make an impact, specifically when it comes down to revenue.

[00:04:40] – Peter 

And that’s what we’re looking at today, how to impact areas in your product that drive revenue. Then there’s also this other area, and I see this a lot. This has been mentioned to me recently quite a bit with founders, people might struggle with the knowledge or skill gap. So you might not have a technical founder in your team, you might not have a product expert in your founding team or even in your team itself. It’s quite common for early stage tasks to just start building. We see this a lot that start building a product, and it’s usually coming from a technical engineering skill set and not necessarily a product design skill set. So you can often come up against a knowledge and skill gap.

One of the things I’d like to help with, if I can, is to share a bit of insight into product thinking and how you can use that. And hopefully that gives you a bit of insight to go off and start thinking about making an impact on your product, even if you’re not a product designer or a product manager or somebody working in product yourself. Okay, so I’m just going to come back to the chat because we’ve had some really nice comments in here and I just want to share the type of companies that we have here.

[00:06:02] – Peter 

So we have optimised, the Cargo Risk Management platform, voiced VoIP provider voice over interactive protocol. I think that is for telecommunications dear Lucy, which is a powerful sales dashboard that works with salesforce HubSpot and pipe drive. Sounds great. Linked to jet LinkedIn automation software. Vignette Pro to provide video feedback. We’ve got a Founders’ Book here, the number one platform for first time founders and early stage start up. So that sounds pretty interesting for people who are early stage founders.

Founders’ Book.co Draught IO, a collaborative board for visual management and workshops. Field Service Management Solutions Funnelll, Builders Shuffle Dev, which is a website builder for busy developers. So we’ve got tonnes of really cool sounding products in here. Somebody’s mentioned the raising the knowledge skill gap and they’ve referenced the Founders’ Book. So, yeah, do take a look at that if that sounds interesting for you. So I just wanted to ask for everybody here that’s with us now on this call. Can you put your biggest product problem that you’re currently facing into the chat and let’s see what kind of issues you’re currently dealing with and if we can maybe touch on those during this session.

[00:07:29] – Peter 

So let’s see what’s your biggest product issue? What are you struggling with within your product at the moment? Okay, churn. That’s obviously a good one. That’s a big one. I think most people have figured out how to change their names, so appreciate that. If you figured it out, maybe you can mention it in the chat with the others. Okay, so Churn adoption, marketing, off page optimization, optimization, and PR product stickiness. I like that low adoption rate. So that’s a few people with adoption issues, not enough flexibility using no code tools. Okay, that’s an interesting one.

One thing that I see time and time again is that with no code tools, they’re really great for building out MVPs and early stage products, validating your product and getting users. But it can get quite tricky as you customise and build a custom platform or custom SaaS as you scale that, no code tool can become difficult. So what I’ve seen other fans doing is that they get to a point where they start to decide upon what their tech stack is and they start building a beta version of their product using a more flexible custom tech stack like React, something like that.

[00:08:50] – Peter 

So other challenges here are getting non technical customers to activate then conversions from charter subscriptions. Okay, this is classic. That’s Sherry from Funnel. Simplifying the offer. We have almost 1000 different products all with their own configuration options. Okay, that sounds challenging. Fantastic. Okay, so John Swan mentioned retention, which goes hand in hand with Churn. Lizbeth has mentioned longer term adoption and user engagement to boost stickiness. Okay, so these are great. Thank you for sharing your issues and your product challenges. It’s really good to see what they are and it’s good to see there are quite a few common issues here. Really common challenges here.

So the next question I’m going to ask you how to think about how to frame this is where do you think the biggest opportunity for revenue growth currently lies within your product? So if you’ve put in a challenge like Churn or increasing conversion rate from free to premium plans, then we can easily see a direct association with revenue increase. It’s easier to attribute product improvements when you have clear metrics to follow. Sometimes it gets a little bit trickier to quantify these things. If you’re working on product stickiness, for example, or adoption, it can be harder to quantify what has actually impacted and how your work impacts revenue growth.

[00:10:33] – Peter 

So I just asked you to ask yourself this hypothetical question. What really within your product would represent the biggest opportunity for revenue growth? And sometimes when you think this way, it can produce a slightly different response to the biggest problem in your product right now. So we just reframe it out that way. So with working on product and working on design, it comes sometimes a process that can be difficult to quantify, impact that’s difficult to quantify, and results that aren’t always tangible and easy to measure.

One thing that served me really well is this outline of the creative process. So in this creative process, I want to help try to demonstrate to you that the results and outcomes that we get for this work actually comes from a process that we sometimes do it without even noticing. This can be a subconsciously performed process. And if you work on creative processes a lot, you might have been doing some of these steps, but you might not be aware of the process. So we have this model for creativity called ICEDIP. Let’s go and take a look at what ICEDIP actually is. So this was developed by a guy called Jeff Petty.

[00:12:09] – Peter 

Now he’s a creative expert and a thought leader in teaching. And we were taught this back in as product designers when I was studying product design. And it’s always stuck with me even working across SaaS or other products on the web. This process is really the same. So what we find is that we work through these six stages. So we have inspiration, clarification, evaluation, distillation, incubation, and perspiration. And it kind of helps when you’re in the middle of a difficult process, a design process, or working on your product to reference this, because it often helps you to see where you are in that process and it can be reassuring, right?

So in the beginning we’re getting some inspiration. We’re thinking about, okay, what can we do to impact our fast product, what things can we change, what can we improve, what levers can we pull? And then as you move into the next step, you’re kind of refining that idea. You’re clarifying for yourself, okay, we’re going to start working on this call, or we want to improve conversion rates here, or we’re trying to increase revenue, and we think we’re going to be able to do this by focusing on this.

[00:13:26] – Peter 

And you start to weed out anything which you think is not going to be the biggest impact activity for you. So that process is clarification. It’s almost like reducing your ideas and getting down to the ones that are going to be the most effective. Then we move into evaluation. So now you’re evaluating of your best ideas. You’re evaluating which ones have the best potential to move our product forward. There are different tools you can use in this process. So one of the tools you can use in evaluation is a prioritisation matrix or a decision matrix where you put some set criteria against your different ideas and you score them. And this helps you to assess or come up with an idea of what product work will make the biggest impact for you. The next step is distillation. Again, this is a little bit like the clarification process, but you’re getting much more granular, much more detailed, and you’re getting a single clear vision of what you’re going to work on and how you’re going to do it to achieve the results that you’re looking for. It’s really important that you get to this step because this is the thing that you’re going to come back on and measure to see if the investment in time and effort and cost in the work that you’re doing in your product is actually going to make an impact.

[00:14:50] – Peter 

Now, as you get into the actual work and working on product design, one of the things that makes a huge impact is the ability for the subconscious to work. So whenever we encounter a problem, we get to work on it. We get really busy. But have you ever had this experience where you are working on something and you can’t solve the problem and then you sleep on it? It might be one night or it might be a couple of days, and then the idea comes to you at some point out of the blue when you’re not necessarily thinking about it. And it’s because your subconscious has been working on this problem. And this is exactly this step in the ICEDIP model. It’s the incubation model. So this often really helps us in product thinking and in design processes. And finally perspiration. This is just really putting in the hard work because it is hard work designing for the product and actually implementing through development and then shipping those updates into your product. Pretty hard work. So you want to make sure that you have all of these five steps really clear and you’ve done the sufficient prep.

[00:16:05] – Peter 

And then when you get to the hard work, you’re very clear about and intentional about what you’re doing. So let us know in the comments if that sounds like a process model that you’ve used before, if any of that is really familiar to you. And we’ll see. So that said, we’ve looked at some product issues. We’ve also talked about problems that you are currently experiencing in your product and a process for how to approach creative work in a product designer. And now I’m going to share a case study that we actually did recently with a client of ours. I’m going to show you how we were able to add $337,000 in ARR sign-ups90-day in just 90 days. This was a 90 day design strategy and product design process. So let’s jump right in. So here’s what we did. We worked with a company called Prospect CRM. And Prospect have a CRM for wholesale and distribution. Their product is very targeted towards this niche, towards this sector. And it really serves people who are manufacturing or distributing and selling wholesale products. So this could be coffee suppliers, it could be stationary for offices, it could be people selling into cafes or offices, but they’re selling products, usually on subscription, and they usually have a warehouse and a distribution channel.

[00:17:44] – Peter 

So what we actually did is that we designed three new product dashboards. Now, by product dashboards, I mean the welcome screen. When you first log into a software, this is the first screen that people see when they log in. It’s essentially operating an account overview. Once we did this, it doubled the free trial. This is kind of a separate benefit. The Prospect CRM doubled their free trial sign ups per month. So when we rolled out these changes, they actually put in some more marketing activity, but they also used all of the new designs and the new interface in this activity, and it helped them double their free trial sign ups. We experienced a 46% increase in paid conversions, and this in turn added to the revenue in arr. So let’s take a look at what we did before we do that. This is a quote from other CEO of Prospect. This is Andrew’s quote. He said, “Since we launched the new dashboard, our free trial to paid customer conversion rate climbed from 18% to 25.5%. A 25.5% conversion rate is pretty astounding in the world of SaaS, especially in the middle of a worldwide pandemic.

[00:19:09] – Peter 

So we were really proud of this change, this impact. I’m really grateful for the opportunity to work on it. So here were the results. Oh, yes, Andy, thanks for the comment. Andy is actually here. He’s joined the case study. He says, hi everyone. Just so you know, Andy is here, and this is all true. So if anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask us, and I’m sure Andy will be happy to contribute or clarify anything or add to anything that I have to suggest here. So in 2019, the new dashboards were released, and you can see the increase in free trial to paid conversions that happened over that period. Twelve month period following this is the conversion rate percentage how that increased. So it was sitting at around 18% in 2019. And then after we release these new dashboards, it increased to 25.5% throughout 2020 and 2021. Okay. And he has mentioned he has to leave at 12:30, but if anyone wants to ask something, you certainly can slightly biassed representation here. Yeah, thanks, Hayan. I’m not sure if I’m pronouncing your name correctly, but I honestly have no idea that Andy was joining.

[00:20:51]- Peter 

But we’ve been marketing this session and had no idea that Andy was joining. But I do really appreciate him being here. Okay, so how did we do it? Oh, the graphs. Okay. Biassed representation. Not sure what you mean by that. The stats and the ratio in the graphs are accurate. Okay, well, try to make it reflect the actual numbers, how we did it. So here is Prospect’s previous dashboard. Okay, I understand. Thank you for that. The first step on the graph was 10%, and then it incrementally goes up yeah, good point, good point. I wanted to show the granularity of getting the 18% in, but yeah, that is true. Might excuse things a bit. Okay, so this is how the dashboard was previously. So I want to talk through some of the main issues with this. Now, I think this is one of the first attempts or first implementations that prospect CRM made on this dashboard. If you think of this as these are companies that are selling wholesale products and they want to see when they land on, here an overview of everything that’s happening in their account. If this is the first screen they land on, they’re getting some good stats here.

[00:22:34] – Peter 

They’re able to see some revenue, but there are some problems. Some of the information might not be high priority information. That’s the first step. The second step is that doesn’t necessarily seem to be a hierarchy of information. So what’s the most important thing here? And how are we drawing the user’s eye to that on this screen? Another issue here is that we identified three clear user personas for prospect CRM, three user profiles. So these were sales reps, account managers, and sales managers. Now, as we know, each of these have different jobs to perform. So if you’re thinking about the jobs to be done model, we could see quite quickly that this dashboard doesn’t necessarily serve everyone to the best effect. So since they all need different jobs, we decided that, hey, maybe we should provide them with a unique experience, a contextual dashboard that really serves each user profile for the job that they’re doing. The other thing was that we thought we could lift visually. We thought we could lift this dashboard because whilst we have some metrics here, we don’t have any graphical visual representation of data. So it makes it a little harder to get a snapshot of a visual reference when it’s text heavy or just metric heavy.

[00:24:08] – Peter 

So we wanted to introduce some charts and some stats. Those were our key issues. We’re theorising about what could be the potential issues that a new user has here and what can we do to improve this? I’m just going to add one more. Finally, we wanted to make sure that the dashboard provided a good starting point for the user journeys. So whenever a sales rep logs in and they land on their dashboard, we want them to have the ability to go and perform the task that they want to perform right away, immediately from the dashboard. So what is it that they want to do? Do they want to follow up immediately with a lead or do they want to actually go and review some metrics? Do they want to see where they are performing against their sales target? So it’s things like this that we want them to be able to quickly see. So this was the state of the dashboard before and then afterwards. Here’s what we designed. We weren’t able to change the design of the task bar at the top or the navigation bar on the left, but everything on the inside we were able to redesign.

[00:25:25] – Peter 

So the main things we did were introduced notifications and updates, we introduced charting. We’ve now got charts and stats, and we introduced a series of widgets, each of these widgets pertaining to specific scenarios or requirements that the user might have. So here we’re looking at the sales manager dashboard. This dashboard is all geared up around giving them an overview of their entire customer base and how the sales team are performing against targets, what the pipelines look like, how many close deals have been made recently, are there any lost opportunities, and what sales problems we’re having? So that’s how we targeted it for the sales manager. Then we took a look at the account manager. We basically wanted them to have an overview of customer health so they can work on any customer relationships or sales processes that they have, just making sure that they can serve customers on an ongoing basis in the best way possible. And then we introduced the sales rep dashboard. So this gears the sales rep up with all of the tools they need to perform, measure themselves against their targets, forecast their sales, and also to get a real good overview of all of their activity and where they are in that process.

[00:27:05] – Peter 

So they have everything about their sales activity at their fingertips here. And this can really be the basis for all of their user journeys. From here, they can start any task they need to within the product, so it really becomes central hub of their activity. So let’s just look at the metrics for this. 100 free trials per month. That was the standard that prospects CRM were doing. The average contract value is £3000 per year. So previously the conversion rate was 18% free trial to premium plans. This means that there was £54,000 in arr gained monthly. Once the dashboards were released, the conversion rate increased. Okay, so one of the things that can be difficult to identify is what impacted this. So we speculated on what was wrong with the engagement, what was wrong with the product experience in the dashboard, and we wanted to surface as much value as possible. So we believe that once we introduced the dashboards, users were able to identify value much more quickly and get a much better overview of their activity. And therefore it encouraged them to identify the software as the right fit for them and upgrade. So once this conversion rate increased, it was £76.5 thousand of ARRUS-based gained monthly, and over the course of the year, that’s £270,000 in ARR.

[00:28:53] – Peter 

So we just converted this to dollars. We have many US based companies that we work with, so we did the conversion for USD, and I just include this for metrics in case anyone was interested or questioned the metrics for this project. Andrew also mentioned we’ve also doubled the number of free trials each month since the start of the year. So the dashboard has definitely contributed to that as well as we featured them and the insights they give in some of the campaigns that we ran. This is almost a knock on effect or a kind of side benefit was that working in the product and identifying key areas to make product improvements means that it also equips you to do better at product marketing or to run a campaign to communicate the extra value that you’ve released into your product. And that can be a really powerful way to help at the beginning of the funnel, at the conversion side of the funnel. Does anybody have any questions about that case study or anything we did there or how we did it or how that might apply to your own SaaS products? If you do, please drop a comment into the chat.

[00:30:13] – Peter 

I also just wanted to give a quick insight into some of the early stage work, the creative work. So whilst we’re speculating or coming up with ideas on how to improve this dashboard, we do sketching and wireframe, but that’s just a background to show you how that process looks and how we get to a finished design. Okay, there’s no questions on that case. What I want to talk about now is how you can identify opportunities for product growth for your sass. Let’s take a look at how we can apply what we’ve just looked at for your own products. So a good place to start is the user lifecycle. So I like to think of this when we’re looking at your product. A good way to think of this is in these three stages. So you have the adoption stage, you have utilisation, and you have expansion. So adoption is where you are trying to build habits in your new users. You’re presenting them with as much of value as you can, you’re surfacing the value in your product, you’re communicating that value. And one of the trickiest parts of this is getting your users to experience that value, to actually feel that value.

[00:31:35] – Peter 

And that’s the challenge of adoption. Once you have them converted and they’re now a user, we want to maximise their utilisation of your software. Okay, so what can you do to help your user makes for deeper habits around your product, implement their product into their workflow? This is a daily workflow. It could be ideal. I know not all SaaS is designed to be used as daily workflows, but the more you can get them logging in, the longer their sessions are, the more work they can do within your product. Obviously, the better. That increases their loyalty, that increases retention, and you start to develop user habits for a loyal, satisfied customer. One of the metrics that you might use for this is using some feedback, getting some feedback from your usability and just asking your user to provide ratings and satisfaction. You can take metrics within your product for this very simple one, and then expansion. Okay. The third stage of the user lifecycle, if everything’s going well, if they’re experiencing value, the next natural thing to do is to either increase their usage of the product, invite more users, add extra seats, or refer your software to other people that will also benefit from it.

[00:33:19] – Peter 

So this is the stage where your users have become advocates for your product. Okay, so let me just have a look at John swan. Thanks for your question here. Did you do any changes to onboarding email sequence based on user role? I think you’re referring back to the prospect dashboard. We didn’t at that stage. I think prospect CRM implemented some of their own onboarding improvements and some email changes. We personally didn’t. But later on, after we released the dashboard, we then went back and redesigned the onboarding flow. And sometimes it’s great to do onboarding after you’ve made some real good product improvements because you have a clear idea of the value in your product and how to communicate that, because you’ve obviously spent a lot of time distilling that volume design into your software. So we’re thinking about these three stages in the life cycle and then what we want to think about. Okay, what are the problems that you have within your SaaS along here? So common lifecycle problems, and I think some of you have mentioned this earlier on in the chat. So in adoption, you’ve got things like a confusing UI. Lack of onboarding value is not apparent.

[00:34:45] – Peter 

The user needs to think a lot to understand how to learn your product cognitive. Load activation is weak. You’re not demonstrating the power of your features, and they’re not clear where they are. In general, overall user experience design may not be good. We like to categorise some of these problems into stages of the life cycle so that we can then know where we’re focusing, where we’re focusing our design efforts. And it also gives us an ability to start to prioritise which of these might make the most impact. So if you have a problem with churn, for instance, you’re not going to go back to working on act, you’re not going to go back into the early stage of your lifecycle and work on maybe your conversion rate. You’d be working within your utilisation and expansion areas potentially. Right? So looking at this lifecycle, can you put into the chat where you have your biggest issue? Which stage of the life cycle? If anybody wants me to help them to talk through this now, I think we can bring you onto chat and we can just talk through where we’d focus on your product. As an example, maybe we can spend a few minutes, two to five minutes with someone’s product.

[00:36:21] – Peter 

Does anybody want us to want to be used as a kind of example that we. Can run through this with, just let us know in the chat. Now, so I’ve mentioned the problems and the lifecycle. Now oftentimes we’re designing solutions for these things, right? So we’re designing common product flows, user flows, and to give you an idea, here are some of the things that you design to solve these problems in the life cycle. So, if you notice users are not necessarily upgrading, one of the things that you might be able to improve is your upgrade flow. It might not be clear how to upgrade, there might not be a user journey designed to guide them through that process. And the upgrade flow can often be more than just a pricing page, right? What we want to do is create an understanding of the value in the product. We want to give a really good understanding of where the premium features are, and maybe we’d use Paywalls to highlight features that require an upgrade. And then as you go through that flow, we want to indicate the different plans, help the user choose, make payment completely frictionless, and then celebrate the upgrade once they’ve done it to reaffirm for your user, that okay, this was the right move.

[00:38:02] – Peter 

Now you have access to all of these features and now we want to celebrate that with you, but also make sure that you’re able to adopt them well. So the upgrade flow can be a really nice thing to focus on. So there’s many different product attributes that you might focus on to get the improvements that you’re looking for. Your conversion model might not be the best fit for your customers. So whether you’re working on free trials or freemium or you run demos, there might be some gaps in presenting value or there might be a lot of friction in adoption. So we’d look at things like this on how to do it. Okay, so there’s nobody who has mentioned a particular issue in their product that they’d like us to diagnose and run through and say, okay, where might we focus to improve revenue? But I did see at the beginning there are a lot of product problems. So if somebody wants me to address one of your issues, churn or something like that, let me know and we’ll just run through it. You can do mine. Founders’ Book. Okay, so if your name is coming up as Sarah Stratton, could you just let me know your actual name when you come because I’m not sure if it’s the same person or different people.

[00:39:29] – Peter 

Okay, so foundersbook.co somebody said churn? Yes, please. I’m not sure if this is the same person. It’s for activation rate. So this is good. Now Founders’ Book number one platform with tools and resources supporting first time found us an early stage. Okay, I’ll try to get to and here I’ll try to get founders booking and dear Lucy as well. Okay, so I understand this is a platform of resources for first time founders in early stage startups. It sounds pretty clear. The name initially confused me because I was expecting a book landing page. Looks good. Okay, so whoever is running famous, can you drop your name in and tell me what your issue is with Founders’ Book and we’ll see if we can have a look at that. I’m going to log in. I didn’t even need to do this. Perhaps I do. Let me just see if I can I want to quickly log in so that we can actually see the product and see if there’s something we can do to help here. I’m

[00:41:32] – Peter 

the most classic password that you shouldn’t use in the world.

[00:41:43] – Speaker 2

Can you confirm your email in the second one? I think it should confirm your email.

[00:42:00] – Peter 

Sorry?

[00:42:00] – Speaker 2

That should be your email, I think, sir.

[00:42:02] – Peter 

Oh, yeah, that’s right. Strange to confirm email and not password. Right. I would switch that funny. You often come up against little usability issues that you might not think users have, but that was a really classic one. People just don’t always read the field. Okay, so can you tell us a bit about your challenge with Founders’ Book? What you’re dealing with here?

[00:42:35] – Speaker 2

We’ve got a lot of people signing up to the free plan, but we’re seeing less than 10% inactivation date to the paid plan right now. It’s around 10%.

[00:42:47] – Peter 

Okay. 10% of your new sign ups upgrade onto a paid plan. Yes. Okay.

[00:42:55] – Speaker 2

You can click on the blue button there. Scroll down. You can click on the blue button that takes it inside the product.

[00:43:06] – Peter 

Interesting. Why are we not landing straight in immediately? Because that already is a strange first experience. Okay.

[00:43:28] – Speaker 2

Flexibility with no code tools. The platform is completely based on no, it doesn’t allow 100% flexibility.

[00:43:37] – Peter 

Okay, so conversion from free to paid. Okay. Guides upgrade. I don’t really see I’m just going to talk to you not about trying to solve your problem because there’s loads of ideas that jump out immediately about how to solve this problem, but it’s more about the process and how to help you think about this. Right. If your users are landing on this page, you want them to get value as quickly as possible and solve their problem and understand where all of that value is. So you’re here at the adoption cycle. I would suggest there’s some things occurring here which is confusing UI, quite a lot of information quite quickly happening. And I know I’ve picked a free plan, but now I don’t really have a reference about that. I’m also seeing startup credits, which even that terminology is confusing to me because if we want your users to think about paid plans and then you’re referring to paid plans, but then here there’s startup credit. I understand you might have some things that are kind of marketing orientated about how you name things. So there’s some confusion. I think potentially there could be an issue with onboarding here because there’s a lot of information for me to scroll through right on this screen.

[00:45:21] – Peter 

There’s loads of stuff but I haven’t been on boarded yet. It’s kind of like your user is being put into a place where you’re asking them to digest a lot of information. I understand that could be an issue and that means that I know there’s going to be a lot of value in what you have. You have a lot of resources here. It looks like it’s packed with staff. So there’s value. But the issue might be here that the value is not apparent. Okay. It’s not really clear immediately where the value is. So the first thing you’ve got here is a guide to upgrade. But really what we want is the first thing here is deliver value right on the deliver value but make the value really appropriate. One way you might be able to do that is say, oh, what are you looking for help with right now? And they click in and they straight into a place for resources. It might be a way to just think of a flow of navigating someone to the value that they need. So I mentioned cognitive load. Okay? So this is a good example of this.

[00:46:36] – Peter 

Quite a bit of cognitive load going on here. It means your users having to think, they’re having to read a lot, they’re having to decipher for themselves where they might go and what they might do here. And activation. So I noticed here you have canvases worksheets templates, you have checklists. So activation for you would be getting your users to start using some of these resources, having a look at them and interacting with them. Now it’s kind of nice that they’re here, but it looks like they’ve been all listed in a long navigation menu. And there just might be a nicer way to present this categories of information. Maybe some tiles or a grid layout. Think about the way people digest information, how they navigate to find information that’s suitable for them. It’s not always the best way to read through all the list. So these are little design issues. The other thing about upgrading is that there might be something around usage. Now I don’t know about this yet because this is something that will be a challenge for you to explore as you’re building your platform and your business. Are people willing to pay?

[00:48:07] – Peter 

Okay, let’s define it this way. What are people willing to pay for on a subscription basis and how can you deliver that to them in the most effective way? So if you find that there are any canvases or worksheets or checklists or assets here that are really valuable, how do we highlight those, how do we make those jump out really premium features and how can we identify that these are the ones that are driving the subscription value?

[00:48:40] – Speaker 2

Yeah, the content and the first two like the startup price and credits because startups is notion template and credit is something where they get access to up to $500,000 from over 180 different stats.

[00:48:53] – Peter 

Right, okay. Startup credits and deals. Yeah. Okay. That terminology could be confusing because your user might think that these are credits for your platform. Okay. Startup credits to use your platform. Right. That is what it seems more likely that it might be that than its deals. So these are benefits of being on your platform. Right. There’s a lot of software deals.

[00:49:32] – Speaker 2

I’ll definitely work on the terminals too.

[00:49:34] – Peter 

Yeah. Little things like that. And did you mention that this is a notion template, the startup OS?

[00:49:41] – Speaker 2

So if you click on that, that’s the notion template. If it’s down.

[00:49:46] – Peter 

It looks to me like you’ve been inspired by notion with the design of the whole design of this.

[00:49:53] – Speaker 2

Well, the whole thing is built on notion, right?

[00:49:56] – Peter 

Yeah, it looks really familiar. It looks like it has been. So it’s like the former factor for notion. It’s good, but there might be ways to improve this for navigating for what you’re doing. Right, cool. Okay. So those are the things that I’d focus on for you. And so you get to kind of develop an idea of a scope or project that you could work on and how that might impact your platform and your product. That’s how we do that for you. It’s working on this adoption phase, and it’s definitely onboarding surfacing value and making sure that you’re not asking your user to think too much or confusing them, just distilling the value and presenting it in a concise way. Okay, so I’m just going to jump back to comments here. John had to go. His battery died. So thank you. They’ll be a recording, so I’d be happy to share it if we have the time. Can we take a sabbath? Okay, sheriff, I hope I’m saying your name quickly, sheriff. Let’s take a quick look, see if I can find it. And we’ll do. Dear Lucy, I’m going to go really quickly through these two marketing campaigns that work.

[00:51:27] – Peter 

Okay. So to me decision, I would like to get a quick idea of what it is. Link analytics and ad accounts. No code tracking to pass from your marketing stack how to optimise your marketing campaigns. Okay. So, sharif, do you want to tell us a little bit more here? Okay, so the challenge is in getting non technical users to onboard and set up their tracking. Okay. This is a good challenge.

[00:52:03] – Speaker 3

Sorry, Peter, can you switch to sandbox funnel.com because it has our new there we go interface?

[00:52:11] – Peter 

Okay. There’s some nice familiar names here. Okay, let’s jump in. I’m just going to register using Facebook business quick. Okay. What you have, Sharif, is also something in the adoption phase. You have a friction moment, which is tricky to deal with the case. So your users have some friction, and we want to remove that. Hey, I love seeing this. So this is what we’re talking about with onboarding. There’s one focused message here. We’re going straight into the main issue, setting up the account. That’s good. Okay. So just coming back to this, there’s not a confusing UI. There’s definitely not a lack of Onboarding because it’s straight into it value. I’m sure we’re going to see that after this. But we’ve reduced cognitive load because we’re not presenting them with lots of tasks, lots of info. We’re presenting them with one thing to do. We might have week activation, but let’s see. So I’m going to just skip the video. Okay. So basically what you have to do, Sharif, to get this optimised as possible is basically observe how your users are doing this, how they struggle with it. Get them on a session, record the screen, ask them to go through the process.

[00:53:36] – Peter 

Don’t help them when they get stuck. Ask them what they’re thinking and what they’re not sure about and what they expect. And it might give you some insight. So what I do then is draw a user flow of how they can of their ideal process for this and all the points that are friction orientated for them that they’re struggling with. The things that are good here, you could elaborate on. This is improve the messaging, make it clear you’re asking for a URL here. You’ve got a progress bar. So we might make a little more feature out of the progress, let them know how many more steps they’ve got. So say, I’m going to actually put in my URL here. Does it let me do it without the perfect yeah, it does. And I like this. Tell us a bit more about users. My website is for fantastic. Okay. So far. I like this. Onboarding. We’ve got some good services. Let’s get rid of it. Okay, now this is why I can’t do it. I can’t go in truth. Do you want to tell us just what your understanding of what they’re struggling with at this point is?

[00:55:01] – Speaker 3

Yeah, so in a lot of cases so basically what we’re trying to do with Funnel is we’re trying to offer the business users a marketing tool. So we’re trying to get something that is very technical and make it accessible to nontechnical users. But you still need to do some things like you need to link your Google Analytics account. Some users, when they get to this stage, maybe they don’t have like a Google Analytics account, but we do lose like about 30% during the step of the activation. Then for the next step, they will installation again. We try to make it as simple as possible. It is usually a line of code that they add to the website. And we basically detect what kind of technology they’re using and give them the instructions. So this is actually part of our new Onboarding, which has worked quite well. But after this, it becomes a little bit more challenging for them because now they need to decide what is their customer journey looks like and then they can track it.

[00:55:57] 

Right.

[00:55:58] – Speaker 3

The tracking itself is visual, but what we found is a lot of nontechnical users, they have no clear idea what their customer journey looks like.

[00:56:07] 

Right.

[00:56:08] – Speaker 3

So it becomes really hard for them to actually map it out correctly. And once they get past this stage, then I guess we have a problem similar to the one that you showed earlier with the CRM. I guess our landing page does not give them value right away. In some cases, maybe the dashboards are a little bit complicated for them, I guess. So all those things kind of aggregate to the extent that when we have a non market tier, which is our main targeted traffic, we have an activation rate that is less than 10%. If we have marketers, then the activation rate can go up to 60 or 70%.

[00:56:49] – Peter 

Okay, so a few things to stand out to me on this. You know that there’s a potential issue coming up for some of your visitors here. So one thing you could do is frame the problem, frame the issue upfront. You had the video before this step and I’m not sure, there may be a possibility that you do address it in that video. But if you did update the video, maybe you could do it there or you could also do it here. Hey, there’s going to be some integration coming up in this flow. You might need this, this and this. If you need help with that, reach out to us here or invite somebody. So one thing that we’ve done successfully with integrations in the past is when one of your prospects get here and they don’t know how to proceed, there could be two things. One, they might not be the ICP for you and your product, which obviously that happens and there’s not much you can do about that. People will sign up, but they’re not going to be the best fit always. The other thing you can do is maybe there’s somebody on their team.

[00:58:01] – Peter 

If they are the right fit for this product and can get value from it, then can you onboard them to invite someone on their team, a technical person, a marketer who works on their analytics platform. So we put it right here in this step. We’d say, not sure what to do, please invite your marketer or your technical person who runs your analytics account. We put the email in and they submit it. Design an email for that person that they receive. They click, they come in and then they have a welcome screen that’s targeted for them and helps them finish this flow.

[00:58:41] – Speaker 3

That’s really nice.

[00:58:42] – Peter 

Yeah, that’s a really nice approach. That often helps. The other thing you can do is have a request for consulting support in here. And if it’s a small task for you and you can do it and it makes sense based on your lifetime value and customer acquisition cost. And you can provide that as a service to help some element of concierge on boarding. If you can’t do that, then it could just be a paid consulting fee to help them get set up, which is not uncommon in software, particularly when there’s some complex integrations or technical things to do. So you might not just present it as a cost at first. You might say book a support call, and that support call could explain the issue and then actually propose or pitch a paid consulting integration support, which could be a low cost, but he gets them up and running. So there’s a few ideas for you to optimise this onboarding, and it looks like you’re working on it. And one of the things that always happens is that it’s an iterative process, right? So you’ve already made some improvements this time around, and if you iterate, you’re going to keep improving bit by bit and getting that conversion rate from 30%, then if you see 30% that fail here, 30% that go through, but you’ll basically be able to improve that rate.

[01:00:16] – Peter 

Great, thank you. You’re most welcome. Okay, so I promised we’d look at dear Lucy, so let’s quickly do that. If somebody from dear Lucy wants to jump into the chat or come on speaker and talk us through, potentially.

[01:00:36] – Speaker 4

Very good, very interesting. We actually have three members of our team in this call. We have CTO and customer success director here. Also, I’m seeing what kind of we think works pretty nicely is setting up the dashboard. You start a free trial and then you connect the CRM, and within 1 minute it creates your example dashboards for weekly sales, one to one and board management. So you get very powerful sales dashboards instantly. What we lack a bit is the MRR stuff, so they’re looking for MRR. Metrics and you need to customise them a bit. So I think we know what to do there next. But then, well, they like the dashboards. The system actually calculates the price for the dashboard based on the data they have in the tool. So it calculates the sales team size and then shows, okay, this costs you $300 per month and so forth.

[01:01:42] 

Okay?

[01:01:42] – Speaker 4

And when we then do the implementation for them, we actually tweak their dashboards, like use the custom data from their CRM and build them like very powerful dashboards to match their really serious reporting needs and forecasting needs. And after that we might get turned. So they love the product and they actually invite the sales team and management, and maybe if it’s an order company, they might even invite the VCs to use it directly. But then for some reason, it doesn’t fly for all the customers. So some just integrated to their processes or habits, like weekly sales meetings, they go through that with the dashboard. They use it in management meetings they might embed it inside their CRM, and they might have it on TV screens, but for some reason, not all.

[01:02:43] – Peter 

Okay, I see. So we’re dealing with utilisation challenges here. So could it be the product is unsticky? Obviously, if that’s the case, there can be a number of reasons why. So it’s identifying what that is. I think your differentiation, my impression of it, first off, looks quite good because you have actually targeted this for salespeople. And I’m not sure I know I’ve seen the Lucy before, and I’m not sure you started off targeting sales, so maybe you’ve owned your niche, right. Your ICP. So it sounds like there’s some nice habits forming the boardroom meetings and they’re coming back and checking and they’re using the dashboards. Maybe user needs a map, but maybe we’ve need something in the area of making the product more sticky and developing more habits. This is also a big one, demonstrating ROI. So it can be that you’re delivering ROI, but the user is not understanding or appreciating it, they’re not quantifying it for themselves. Or it could be that there’s ROI, but not enough to maintain a long term subscription. Okay, so what we might look out for an unsticky product would be is it the features that are currently there?

[01:04:20] – Peter 

Have they been designed in a way that are difficult to use, that don’t keep somebody coming back? Does the platform need more features now? Do we need to enrich the product with greater value, with deeper value? Okay. And the way to get to the bottom of that is getting much deeper into the ICP of these salespeople. What type of sales people are using this, how are they using it? What else do they need associated with this platform that they’re not getting? Are there any other features that would just build upon that stickiness and have it forming.

[01:05:01] – Speaker 4

The dashboard? You can find from the website, there’s a demo link. So now it’s empty because you haven’t edited it.

[01:05:09] – Peter 

Okay, let’s see the demo link.

[01:05:13] – Speaker 4

It’s on the top. They said demo.

[01:05:17] – Peter 

Oh, there we go.

[01:05:19] – Speaker 4

Your email address. You’ll get access to example dashboards.

[01:05:23] – Peter 

Great. Yeah, they look really nice from the UI designs on the website homepage, so that’s a great thing. Okay. Yeah. So really great looking dashboard, nicely designed, good charting, nice tool tips overlays with information. I wonder if it’s a case of building more value into the product and understanding the ICP and going deeper in what they need. In the business context, this looks like the kind of dashboard they could just have on all the time in the boardroom or in an office, and it gives them a good overview. And I wonder what more you can add to the platform. I’m sure there is more. I don’t want to make an assumption about all of the features that you have. I’m sure there is more value there too, but I think that’s part of the product development, process reporting, forecasting, goal tracking. They sound like great features. So perhaps there’s more that you can do to elaborate on the feature set. That would be where I’d explore with this. Making the product sticky and making it more habit forming. The user needs might be met, but to meet them in a greater, more fundamental way by getting to know them deeper and understanding them more, does that help?

[01:07:18] – Peter 

It’s often the case of speculation, but what you’re doing here looks great. And I love the design and the demo of those dashboards. That demo, wasn’t it depends how you prioritise things. I think we get a demos. Obviously you’re booking calls, so that’s nice. And you want to convert those visit demo. Yeah, maybe we can call that live demo or just highlight that. Highlight. That’s tricky because you’ve already got a couple of calls to action, so we don’t really want another one, but yeah, I just wondered if they ever missed this live. There you go. That’s a good one for it. Yeah, I think that looks good. Good. Okay, well, good luck with that and with identifying how to make the product more sticky by understanding the ICP and the users a bit in a bit bodies. Have you been interviewing them?

[01:08:24] – Speaker 4

I think we could do better on that. We have done interviews, but not lately.

[01:08:30] – Peter 

Yeah, that would be my route. It’s like a deep dive into their needs, how they’re using it and what else they wish.

[01:08:41] – Speaker 4

Thank you, Peter.

[01:08:42] – Peter 

You’re welcome. Okay, so I wanted to see if anybody has any questions. If you do, please let me know. You’re always welcome to follow up with me via email. It’s [email protected] If you have any questions, feel free to follow up with me there. And also, if you would like to book a call if you need some help, one on one, happy to do that as well. So here’s a link to if you visit useractive IO, there’s a button to find this link. So, yeah, feel free to do that. But I hope this has been helpful and I hope that you’ve got value from it. I think the main thing I wanted people to come away with is how to think about making product improvements and also appreciating that some product work doesn’t always show great results in revenue and metric growth, but there are things when you prioritise them that can make a huge impact. And you’re always iterating on product development and design and it’s about getting a deeper insight of what are the things that will move the needle specifically for your users. Okay, so thanks for joining us, everybody, and we’ll see you around.

[01:10:07] – Peter 

Take care.

Final Words

Check back here regularly to find more workshops like “How to add $337k ARR in 90 days with a UI/UX upgrade”. If you want to upgrade your UI/UX, book a call to get free advice from a product design specialist.

Sarah Stratton

Sarah manages the social media at UserActive as well as other marketing activities. She also writes blog content for UserActive.

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