Slack has changed the game when it comes to enterprise tools – proving that they can not only be useful, but as addictive as any consumer app. Mathilde Collin is the CEO of Front, a multichannel customer support tool which is part of the post-Slack generation. So how do she sell a habit-changing B2B tool?
“We have a product where we can give numbers – we reduce response time – but I think the main reason why people love the product is not for those numbers,” says Collin. “It’s really about the transparency that Front brings to organizations. And I can’t give any numbers on that.”
So Collin never pitches Front as a tool that’s going to make your company more transparent. “I will say use Front because instead of your customers, waiting two hours to get a reply, they will just wait thirty-three minutes.”
ROI metrics can help convince a manager to buy the product, but they can’t convince an end-user to actually use the product, and that’s where the long-term value lies. “They can’t know before they’ve experienced it how important it is to have a transparent company,” says Collin.
That’s where a delightful user experience comes in. “Slack has proved that having a delightful experience when doing a B2B product can drastically change the way your product is used,” says Collins. “So we’ve been changing the design to have a really, really delightful experience.”
The biggest obstacle Collin faces is a sale is persuading decisions makers to switch to a new tool, and therefore a new process. Then there’s changing the habits of the current users.
“When you want people to change their habits, it’s always better if it comes from someone outside your company rather than inside,” says Collin. “Our champions often will ask us to do this because they know people will better adopt if it’s coming from us.”
So Collin tries to bring all the people who will use the product into a room and explain the differences between their old customer support tool and Front and why people will enjoy using it more. “It’s been working really well, but of course, it implies salespeople to spend time doing this,” says Collin.