Dogfooding is a term in the tech startup world for using your own product in real life situations as testimonial advertising to convey confidence in your own work.
Alpo originated this concept in the seventies when their television ads showed the company founder feeding the kibble to his own pets. Although the urban myth is that another dog food company had a president who, at the annual shareholder meetings, would literally eat a can of his own dog food. Delicious.
Digital products are a bit different than kibble. Certainly less messy, thankfully. And in the years FranFunnel has been making waves in the text messaging space, we’ve found numerous ways to use our own product to become a more valuable company. And we’re excited to share them with you.
As you read these examples, a few things for you to think about…
You’ve probably heard the marketing cliche, this product is so good, it sells itself. Probably on one of those late night infomercials. I remember the classic Miracle Blade. The announcer said it had world class design, with perfectly balanced handles and flash forged technology so you could have the right knife for every job. Only three easy payments of $19.99? Take my money.
We take this principle of “it sells itself” to heart, especially when it comes to our initial sales outreach to prospective FranFunnel customers. Businesses interested in buying our software will not get just some automated email (or dropped into a CRM), they are automatically, instantly, funneled into my FranFunnel.
From there FranFunnel does what it does for every client; it starts the conversation via texting.
This is instant, and, critically, effortless. Even at FranFunnel, FranFunnel works our leads for us. By the time we know that a new lead has even come in, we have a call scheduled with that person!
(DOG) FOOD FOR THOUGHT: What are the various places where you’re collecting contact information? Are all of those places hooked into FranFunnel? You know how important the first few seconds are after lead submission. What’s falling through the cracks?
Anthony Spagnola, our Director of Sales, spends a large portion of his time on video calls with salespeople, educating them about how to have more and better conversations with leads. But what makes his product demos unlike any other software out there is that the software itself becomes the digital infrastructure of that educational effort.
“When I’m doing a screen share, I have the viewer pretend they are the franchise candidate and fill out a lead form,” Anthony explained. “Once they submit their contact details, boom! They get a text message and an email right away. Then I have them respond to the text and show them how it pops up on my screen and my phone, as the salesperson.”
That person sees, in real time, how that outreach message shows up on their cell phone. Usually it says something like:
“Hi (their first name), this is Anthony from FranFunnel! That was fast wasn’t it? Your leads can easily get this treatment. When can we show you how it works?”
If that wasn’t already enough of a wow factor, then he shows them how quick and easy it is to respond to the text and shoot them a calendar invite with just a few clicks in the FranFunnel app.
(DOG) FOOD FOR THOUGHT:: What’s a part of your sales demos? Is there some way you can show prospects how excellent your products and services are during the calls? It’s quite a powerful persuasion tactic, and a surefire method to engage prospects during demos, phone calls and other interactions that might otherwise be ineffective or boring.
Another way we take our own advice at FranFunnel is by using texting for account management purposes. We wrote a comprehensive post about this recently, but here’s the gist of it.
The very moment FranFunnel gets a new user (woo hoo!) our sales team immediately fills out a basic lead form that consists of new customer’s information. Once submitted to our internal system, that data routes to the Onboarding FranFunnel Account.
To this: And through a few lines of code, that new customer automatically gets a text message and an email with next steps to get started. We’ve officially FranFunnelled ourselves once again.
(DOG) FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Could your company leverage FranFunnel to save time and make onboarding more pleasant for future users? What other parts of your business would be well-served by implementing text messaging? If your company excels in client service, perhaps there are lessons and even code to be repurposed in other departments for greater leverage.
When your favorite tool is a hammer, every problem begins to look like a nail. We’re lucky that our favorite tool is FranFunnel, and FranFunnel, with some gentle bending, can do at least as much as your favorite hammer.
One of our support teams’ least favorite tasks used to be chasing down customers whose credit cards had expired. Originally, whenever this happened, the team would have to manually log in to their email account, and type up an email to the offending party. But automation is what we do, so one savvy support specialist cooked up a solution using, you guessed it, FranFunnel.
Now, whenever FranFunnel’s billing software sees that a credit card is declined, it sends an email to the support team. These emails are automatically forwarded to the support team’s FranFunnel account, which triggers a webhook, which, in turn, initiates a Parabola “flow.”
The original Credit Card Declined email only includes the customer’s name, but the Parabola flow has a database of FranFunnel customers that it cross references the name against. Using that automatic reference, Parabola is able to match the customer’s email address, and other relevant information. Finally, an email is automatically sent to the correct user, letting them know that it’s time to update their Credit Card. The support team, as we like to say, never even needs to wake up.
(DOG) FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Automation is incredibly powerful. It doesn’t only have to be used for the tasks that are repetitive but also those that can be difficult and/or demotivating. What are the various things people on your team have to do that they complain about consistently? Could you use automation to alleviate that burden?