Things are going well here at dapulse: we currently have 11,000 paying teams and counting, and we’re doubling in size every six months. We just raised $25 million for our series B round of funding. We’re hiring in a frenzy.
The really crazy part? We’ve made it this far without a sales team.
It wasn’t part of our plan from the start, but it’s something that evolved with our business over time. In this post, we’ll tell you how we did it.
Step 1: Create an absolutely delightful product
Many seemingly business decisions we’ve made have actually been product decisions. (See: our product vision.)
In the earliest days of building dapulse, co-founders Eran and Roy realized that if they could create a tool that really taps into what makes people tick at work—what motivates them, what bores them, and what they need to be successful—it could make a huge difference in people’s lives.
Our vision for dapulse is to create a product that teams will love to use at work. Of course it provides a myriad of tangible benefits—with dapulse, you can meet all your deadlines, skyrocket your productivity, reduce meetings, improve communication, manage all your tasks and projects with ease—but none of these things matter unless it’s a tool people are happy to use.
We designed dapulse to be so simple, intuitive, and flexible, your fingers are itching to drag and drop columns and change statuses to green the second you log in. dapulse is fun and satisfying and addictive on an emotional experience, not a rational one. People want to use it, and because they want to, they get better results.
When you focus on creating a delightful product—one that’s intuitive, non-imposing, and fast— a profoundly interesting thing happens to your entire business model:
You can start marketing your B2B product like a B2C.
By definition, of course, we’re a B2B. And yes, dapulse benefits teams in ways that are very real. People say that dapulse helped them increase their revenue by $1.5 million, use it to reach a new level of organization, or even have become better teachers thanks to dapulse.
But that’s not why people love dapulse. And we don’t mean love as in mild, friendly affection. We mean true passion.
Here are some real things people have said about us recently:
I want to hug the people that created this.
—Emma J. Coulson
The most life-changing software you’ll ever encounter!
My heart belongs to dapulse.
Amazing. Absolutely amazing.
The best thing since sliced bread.
I’ll break your kneecaps if you go away.
That’s not the kind of thing that people say about a B2B tool. People connect with our tool on a deeply emotional level, and we believe it’s for two very simple reasons:
- People are dying for their work tools to be as fun and simple as their personal tools
- We’re solving issues that make a huge difference in people’s quality of life
Step 2: Make the purchase a single point decision
Eran and Roy have a deep consumer web background and are addicted to measuring instant results. (See what we do with our BI tool Big Brain to get a sense of what we’re talking about.)
They’re also obsessed with maintaining a direct line of communication with our customers, and to this day, discuss feature requests openly with customers in dapulse Addicts.
When two people or more need to make a decision to adopt a product, it’s a difficult sale. They’re guided by feature comparison charts, whitepapers, and a reasonable amount of fear. This is classic B2B, and content marketing with a long nurture funnel usually helps people make a “rational” decision.
But when you turn the decision into a one-person decision, the B2C magic can start to happen. You can have a direct response funnel (from ad to landing page to signup to trial to paying), all without a sales team. With an intuitive and simple product, it basically sells itself.
This allows you to speak to people’s desires and emotions. As a B2B tool, we could say that dapulse creates transparency in your work environment, solving huge management issues—and this is true. But instead we speak to a single human, with messaging such as:
“You deserve to look at a beautiful product all day.”
This statement is hardly white-paper material, and you can’t do it when several people are joining together to make a decision and need to rationalize it. The justification, “But this tool is sleeker” carries almost no weight.
It makes sense to make it a single-person decision, so we adjusted the pricing accordingly. We joke and say that dapulse can be adopted by anyone, even the CEO. Even top management finds it super hard to implement changes organization-wide, but it’s far more doable to implement changes among your immediate team.
Step 3: Tap into a huge market
dapulse is for anyone on the planet who has a computer and works with a team. Practically everyone needs to manage things better, improve operations, and streamline their business. Companies large and small, in all business verticals, struggle with similar issues. That means that our market is basically…infinite.
This isn’t something we knew at first. We initially started by targeting tech companies like ourselves who needed help with their product development flow.
And then to our surprise, we saw that churches were signing up and having great success managing their fundraising efforts with it. Breweries used dapulse to streamline their manufacturing process. Marketing agencies loved the way dapulse simplified their communication with clients.
Our customer-base now spans over 200 different industry verticals, 70% of which are not tech. We see hotels, construction companies, universities, and government agencies all have tremendous success with dapulse in ways we never expected.
This speaks to the versatility of our product, but it also reflects the brilliance and creativity of our customers. They amaze us every day with the new and inventive ways they use dapulse. Without them, in order to scale, we would have had to move to a B2B funnel, bring in sales people, and increase our pricing. We’re glad that didn’t happen.
Step 4: Focus on providing an amazing customer support experience
Instead of building a sales team, we’ve invested a ton of resources into building a robust Customer Success team. We prioritize whatever needs to be done to keep teams using dapulse happy, no matter what. Our average response time is 7 minutes, which is nuts considering that the industry average is 18.2 hours!
As we scale towards our ambitious new goals, we are now building a “sales” team, but our focus is totally different from how you think of traditional sales. Our salespeople don’t earn commission. Instead, they’re totally focused on building a relationship with our customers and helping them get the most of dapulse. They’re experts on our product and are dedicated to creating solutions for our customers. Of course, this helps us successfully expand current accounts and prevent turnover, which is good for our bottom line, but our roots will always be in Customer Success, not sales.
In the future, we’ll share more about the different innovative ways we’ve marketed dapulse as a B2C product… stay tuned!