Recently, I had a pleasure to talk to Matt from picksaas.com, an online company focused on finding useful cloud apps for businesses. He asked me about growing Woodpecker to +1000 customers, and about what cloud applications help us grow. Read the interview below.
Last week, with our picksaas.com team, we had a chance to visit the HQ of Woodpecker —a mid-size enterprise selling its online cold mailing tool to the companies worldwide.
With Cathy, Woodpecker’s CMO who has been building the company since its early days, we had a chance to speak about critical success factors that have led the company to the current leading position of cold mailing solutions globally, with over 1,000 satisfied customers paying for the tool’s features.
Building a cloud product using cloud products
“Developing our company has been no different than any other business, it’s been full of ups and downs, hard work and constant change. It’s always been a great adventure but also a major challenge to arrive at where we are right now, with still a lot of work ahead of us. A big part of this journey was driven by cloud tools, which have helped us improve and speed up many processes within our organization. Today, it’s hard to imagine our company without tools like Trello, Pipedrive or MailChimp.”
Woodpecker’s cold mailing tool is not the first one of this type on the market. The company has its competitors like SalesHandy, Mailshake or Quickmail.
“There are many companies on the market providing similar cold mailing solutions but our focus is to do the one very best product based on customer needs.”
The company started creating the tool while working on the other project which was supposed to be the application helping fitness trainers manage their communication with their clients.
“We wanted to send personalized emails to our potential prospects base so we created the tool for ourselves to automate the process.”
After the company decided to use the very early-stage beta as a basis for building the more advanced product, one of the first tools to use was Basecamp which seems to have been the very basic element of company’s growth and scaling process.
“We’ve been using Basecamp in the very early days of starting the company, it helped us structure the projects and divide tasks among our marketing and product teams. It is still a basic element of our organization today when we have a larger group of motivated people and a few organized teams.”
But the tool, which is probably one of the most important in the company’s development today, is HelpScout — a ticketing system which enables Woodpecker to provide support to its clients and build the product based on customer’s needs and problems.
“With HelpScout, we can really do our best to support our customers, which is particularly important in a solution like Woodpecker. We can give the right answers quickly, then use the analytical engine to see how well we performed in supporting our customers, and finally, use all the gathered data to improve our product.”
Cloud tools do wonders but only if used correctly. Woodpecker team uses more than 20 different cloud tools every day. That is a lot to handle with different processes being managed by different tools.
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How to implement new solutions
We were curious how the company manages to monitor the way of implementing new solutions and new employees’ onboarding with so many different solutions in place.
“Before you implement any cloud tool, you need to structure the process manually. With cloud tools, you can definitely increase the efficiency of many actions and boost transparency, but they won’t create anything for you.”
This is exactly how Woodpecker implemented Pipedrive — a CRM system helping the company manage their leads every day.
Firstly, they set up internal rules which type of potential customers should be contacted directly and what type of messages they should receive. After the users’ base started to grow, they found it very useful to implement a supporting tool and can now manage their process of nurturing clients on a simple pipeline.
“Pipedrive helps us be way more effective in our contact with potential customers and promotes transparency among our sales team, each of us knows what prospects we are in contact with right now and we have eliminated the risk of duplicate messages. We have also connected Woodpecker with Pipedrive through API so that the data is uploaded automatically into Pipedrive when we have a new lead. This saves us a lot of time.”
Right now, the company manages dozens of potential sales prospects a day with Pipedrive and targets each and every customer in a very individual way, which seems to be pretty much one of the major success factors.
Over 20 cloud products supporting organization’s growth implemented within 2 years, Woodpecker right now is a dynamically growing organization with well-structured processes and is probably one of the heavy users of online tools.
With over 20 cloud software implemented, it becomes quite a challenge to manage them all as different teams use different products.
“In marketing, we use MailChimp to automate our mailing campaigns, Buffer to post on social media, Trello to manage our content marketing process, Mixpanel to analyze our users and VWO for A/B testing. On the other hand, our IT department uses Basecamp for project management and Confluence for product management. We’re not afraid to add and learn new products, but we always think twice before we start paying for something to make sure it has a positive impact on our organization.”
Tips for using cloud tools
After years of experience using SaaS software there are many interesting pieces of advice the company can give to other enterprises facing the growth phase and implementing new cloud solutions.
“There are 3 major pieces of advice we can give to the potential cloud tool users:
1. Implement new tools as soon as you have structured a particular process.
2. Don’t be afraid to switch to better, more scalable solutions as you grow.
3. Research the tool before you start using, picksaas.com is one of the good ways to do this.”
Right now, Woodpecker has over 1,000 paying customers and prepares for a dynamic growth during the next coming years.
What do you think about the interview? What are the cloud tools you can’t live without in your business? Share in the comments below.