At Logi, we constantly tout the importance of keeping users in your application. But I never realized how important this one simple idea is until I started vetting and selecting some new business applications.
I recently needed to search for a couple new business applications to solve some problems for Logi’s marketing department. After looking at dozens of solutions and sitting through countless calls and demos, I decided on two tools: Circulate.it to encourage social sharing and Sendoso to facilitate sending physical marketing materials. It turns out, the ability to stay within the context of the application ended up being the single selling point on both tools.
First up is Circulate.it. This platform allows a team or individual to share content throughout their company via email. Through that email, recipients can quickly share content to their social media platforms of choice. Basically, it facilitates team content sharing.
When I first tried out the Circulate.it platform, I found it pretty simple to use. But I needed to make sure it would fit naturally into my social-posting workflow. I typically spend anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes each day scheduling posts through a tool called Hootsuite to Logi’s Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts. I didn’t want to have to toggle over to a separate tab and set up the post again in Circulate.it—basically doubling my work.
Luckily, after doing a bit of research on the platform, I found a Circulate.it plugin for Hootsuite! So now when I do my scheduling in Hootsuite, I can also set up the Circulate.it posts without having to continually switch browser tabs. This simple plugin prevented the inevitable application-toggling fatigue that would have eventually led me to abandon the Circulate.it platform.
I saw the importance of staying in a single application again when searching for a tool to help us send marketing materials via mail. Sendoso is a B2B engagement platform that facilitates sending eGifts and customized direct mail pieces to customers and prospects.
Prior to Sendoso, whenever someone at Logi wanted to send out direct mail, they had to:
- Go to the direct mail website (I won’t name the solution here, since we were clearly unhappy enough to switch platforms!)
- Log into your account
- Add items to your cart
- Proceed to checkout
- Type in billing address
- Type in shipping address
- Place order
If you’ve ever purchased something online, you know these steps aren’t difficult. But they do take time. And this process in particular was more time consuming than it needed to be: In order to fill in a shipping address, the sender had to open Salesforce, find the contact record, scroll down to the address, and copy/paste each line. Switching back and forth from the direct mail website to Salesforce a handful of times to copy, paste, and double-check that all the information is correct took two to three times longer than we wanted.
Enter Sendoso. Since Sendoso is fully integrated with Salesforce (as well as a handful of other sales tools), our teams never have to leave Salesforce—or even copy an address over—in order to send items. This feature is what ultimately sold me on the platform. Switching to Sendoso reduced the seven-step process to just four steps.
What does this mean for product managers and application teams? If your application makes end users jump out to do anything else—copy/paste a value from another application, send a note to a colleague, find or analyze business data—it’s time to consider embedding those functions within your product.
If you’ve only skimmed this post and are looking for the TLDR version, here it is: Give your users the ability to find and do everything they need within the context of your application. If your application is doing its job, they shouldn’t have to leave it.