How We Approached Building the New Sales Pipeline Feature in AgencyBloc
You may have heard that we recently launched the new Sales Pipeline feature. We thought we’d share how client feedback, including a Beta Team, shaped the feature and the way we built it.
Product development at AgencyBloc is enabled by many factors, but three sit at the top of our list:
- Staying customer-centric by listening to and exploring customer insights
- Our beliefs about developing the product to make it straightforward and put the power in the hands of our clients
- The guiding framework we use to enhance the product, which is shaped by our company’s culture of trust and a determination to understand our clients’ needs
Through this methodology, we created the Sales Pipeline.
How We Started the Process
Anything we do starts with client feedback.
When clients tell us they want something, we make note of it. Then, every time we hear another client mention it, we add them to the list. Pretty soon, we have a strong signal of the specific tools our clients need.
Then, we start the interview process.
We identify clients to help us discover what problems they’re trying to solve for their business and where the opportunity lies, finding out why this matters to them, and what frustrates them today. For the Sales Pipeline, we asked about:
- Their current sales process
- What data they’d like to see or track in the system
- How the sales process connects to the servicing process
We wanted to know what a sales process is to them and what exactly they want to achieve. While many CRMs have sales tools, we wanted to tailor our process, like we do everything else, to continue providing our clients with the industry-specific solutions they need. To test our early ideas, we’d reach out to those we were interviewing to share our thoughts on possible solutions.
Once we identified the key components of the sales process for our clients, we started to see what that could look like in AgencyBloc.
Some things are familiar, like:
- Automated Workflows built specifically for Opportunities
- Sales-specific data in Dashboard Analytics
- Lists to search for Opportunities and Leads
Other parts required something brand new, like a board to visualize your pipeline and a way to audit all interactions through an event timeline.
We wanted to build on the tools our clients already have in AgencyBloc to put the building blocks together within the system. However, we knew that new pieces would be crucial to help provide the information they needed visually while also creating an intuitive structure they could more easily learn.
How We Leveraged the Beta Team to Find Success
Since this is such a large feature, we used a Beta Team to test drive what we had built. The Sales Pipeline will be incredibly impactful for our clients, so we wanted to hear from them directly to make sure we were on the right track. We conducted some usability testing sessions to make sure what we built made sense and users could navigate through it the first time they saw it, as well as additional interviews to find out if the Sales Pipeline was meeting their expectations.
We broke up the full feature into multiple releases to help the Beta Team learn as they went. We started with the foundation of leads, opportunities (opps), and pipelines. Then, we got a bit more advanced by tying in Automated Workflows and providing a way to connect sales to servicing by associating opps to the resulting policies.
Lastly, to get into strategy, we provided bird’s eye views of the data with sales-specific Dashboard Analytics. Now, clients can assess their teams, make sure leads are being contacted, and ensure their pipelines are healthy.
Throughout this, we sought feedback from the Beta Team: what did we miss, what’s not working like you think it should? We set up a feedback portal where the Beta Team could submit questions, suggestions, and report problems they saw as they were using the Sales Pipeline. Using this method, we created a hub for our Beta Team to share ideas, expand on feedback, and “plus one” the enhancements other users suggested.
How We Stayed Client-Centric Throughout Development
With a large feature such as the Sales Pipeline that can encompass many different teams and processes, we wanted to keep our development centered on what would best serve our clients. It’s easy to get an idea and then just run with it. If you get too far down the track, you may realize that you made a wrong turn somewhere or have gradually veered off course. By bringing what we’ve developed back to the Beta Team incrementally, we made sure that we could make course corrections that would ensure the Sales Pipeline was valuable for our clients.
AgencyBloc is client-centric. We care about what our clients say and want to ensure the enhancements and features we create solve problems for them. Part of our culture reads: We solve problems for our customers, we give them amazing tools, we educate them, we help them be successful, and we’re happy when they’re happy.
Involving our Beta Team in the entire Sales Pipeline release experience allows our clients to explore and provide essential feedback that makes our tools better and helps us stay aligned with our clients’ industry-specific needs.
Want to learn more about Sales Pipeline or all of AgencyBloc’s health and life insurance-specific tools? See a quick overview video!