Integrating SaaS Application
with CRM & Marketing Automation Systems
I hired Daniel as our acting CMO. He jumped right in and fit exceptionally well with the team. He helped hone our positioning, manage our events and kick start our marketing automation. He worked with my team on creating an automated upgrade program and PR launch – both of which were great successes. Daniel has a strong strategic mind coupled with a bias for action. He has added a lot of value to Loggly, has a great understanding of SaaS and has been a pleasure to work with.
Charlie Oppenheimer, CEO
This SaaS company’s pricing model was based on storage space used. Customers would pay for a certain level of storage and often “set it and forget it”, even if they needed more storage space down the line. There was no easy way for a customer to be notified that they should upgrade their service level. Revenue was being lost on happy customers.
Other customers were not using the service at all. As such, they were at great risk of churning. If the company could see who was failing to log into the application and use it regularly, they could have their Account Managers and Support teams provide special assistance to help customers overcome any issues. The problem was this usage information was locked away in the SaaS systems database, accessible only to engineers.
CMO-ToGo integrated the company’s SaaS application with their CRM and marketing automation systems. Critical product usage and customer data is now continuously extracted from the SaaS system’s database and synchronized with Salesforce and Marketo. Fields such as “logins”, “features used” and “contact information for new users” are brought over daily.
This information is now used to drive upsells, reduce churn, and provide insights into feature usage for the Product Development team. For instance, if a customer’s usage drops below a specified threshold, then alerts are sent to Account Managers to follow-up with the customer. This early warning sign is a leading indicator of customer churn. If a customer isn’t using the application, they will most likely not renew.
In addition to capturing general usage data, the company also captured feature usage data. Once aggregated, the company was able to see which features customers did and did not use. Those features used most heavily, were actively promoted on the website. Features that went untouched, were deprioritized, deprecated, or earmarked for training.
Most importantly, this integration drove upsells. The SaaS company’s pricing model was based on storage space used. If a customer tried to use more storage space than they purchased, however, their data would be lost. Before the integration, there was no easy way for a customer to determine if they were exceeding their storage limits. After the integration, every customer that was at risk of losing data received an automated email with a button to upgrade their storage plan. Immediately after deployment of this solution, 36% of the companies’ customers upgraded their plan leading to an immediate increase of 19% in revenues.
The Implementation Process
1) Strategy & Requirements: Working with the client, CMO-ToGo defined project objectives and authored detailed requirements, highlighting key fields for integration and required data transformations. Upon client approval,development commenced.
Data Mapping Between Source & Target Systems
Flowchart showing business logic and transformation rules
2) Development: CMO-ToGo authored functional specifications based on the agreed upon requirements. After determining required tools and system environment, a quick proof of concept was conducted to surface any end-to-end issues. At this point CMO-ToGo wrote the required integration code, including audit trail, versioning, backup, alert system & exception error logging. Once all developer tests were successfully completed,QA testing commenced.
3) Testing & QA: Following code review and developer unit testing, the original requirements were converted into a test plan. A test environment was created to replicate the target system environment and bulk data testing commenced. With successful completion of bulk testing, CMO-ToGo commenced manual data testing, simulating client UAT (User Acceptance Testing). Once completed, we were ready for deployment.
Detailed Test Plan
4) Production & Client Hand-off: CMO-ToGo provided the client with step-by-step testing instructions along with a testing template. Upon client approval, the system was ready to move into production. The client was provided with final documentation (requirements, flow charts, code, deployment instructions, etc.). Upon approval, the new system was deployed into production.