Avoid Getting Locked Into Any Product’s Ecosystem And Create the Best Customer Acquisition System With Pluggable Economics

Published by Nilangan Ray on

This post is part of a series called Handbook for Marketers

If you have an iPhone, you might want to use an Airpod since it makes for a seamless experience. You might have liked another set of headphones better, but the convenience of being in a hassle-free ecosystem precedes your will for a better pair of headphones. And why would it not? You open the case and your headphones connect. It’s that convenient!


When we choose products, we always choose convenience over functionality unless there is an absolute deal-breaker. Sometimes when we get a tool that is better than the existing tool we use, we prefer to keep the existing tool just because it is a hassle to switch.


Of course, the live chat software provided by your CRM will seamlessly work with your CRM but does your business need Intercom or Drift? And again, the form provided by your CRM provider still works and seamlessly transfers data to your CRM. But, does your business need custom forms or many different types of forms? You could use an integration but there are limitations and it is not always convenient. Having different tools dedicated to different tasks and tracking inbound leads from every single acquisition channel can be challenging.


Your CRM does best what it’s supposed to do best: be a CRM. But, there is no reason for you to be limited to its ecosystem and settle for less. I am not saying that your CRM provides an inferior add-on. I am simply saying that you need the freedom to be able to use the set of tools you actually want without it being inconvenient.


From the very beginning, our aim with Salespanel has been to create a very pluggable solution that fits into any workflow. The goal is to capture and track leads from any form on your website, any customer messaging platform, and any email marketing software in real-time without any integrations or complex setups. Whether it’s your sign up form or a demo booking form or a single trial field, Salespanel captures your lead. Whether it’s Intercom or Crisp or any other live chat software, Salespanel will capture your lead. This gives you the freedom to use the tools that work the best for your business instead of getting limited by any ecosystem.



People don’t buy products, they buy better version of themselves

Originally written by UserOnboard, this quote has become immortalized by product marketers. And, this applies to you too. You want to buy and use the best tools that help you generate better results. You want to have the best of everything. And by best, we don’t mean the market leader. The best tools that fit your business. So, you need the best CRM, the best lead magnet tool, the best customer messaging software, the best newsletter software, and so on.


The pluggable system economy emphasizes the need to have an ideal tool for a particular task that sends you in the future and makes you better.



Your central marketing software or CRM will try to do everything

Let’s take an example and say that you are an appointment scheduling software company. Your initial goal when launching was to provide a very simple and effective demo scheduling software. When your product gets substantial footing and a strong customer base, you realize that most of your customers are using your tool to schedule appointments and are using another product to conduct these meetings. What would be the next logical step for you to expand if you already have a sizable customer base? Have a video conferencing feature that directly connects with the scheduler and helps your customers conduct the calls within your app itself?


This is a very common ‘whole product’ strategy. A company builds a core product and then slowly builds towards other functionalities that customers use along with the product. Products like MailChimp, Pipedrive, Clearbit, etc. have all done this. MailChimp started as an email marketing software and turned into an all-round marketing platform after becoming a market leader in the segment. Pipedrive started as a simple CRM that helped salespeople take their leads through a very simple sales pipeline and close the deals. Over time, it has continued to add features that their customers also look for. If you look at a CRM’s most popular apps/integrations, you can get some idea of what features are coming next.
This is great for many users but if your CRM software provides a newsletter software, will it be as powerful as MailChimp? If they provided a customer communication software, would it be as powerful as Intercom? It can be. But that’s not the point.


The point is that you need to choose what’s best for you and you need the freedom to do so. You use Slack for your team communications and yet you use Zoom/Google Meet to talk with teammates while Slack natively offers video calling feature. Why is that the case? Simply because you like Zoom/Google Meet more and it does not cause you any inconvenience to use another tool for video chat.


Now, let’s take another example. You use ConvertKit for your drip campaigns. ConvertKit is fantastic for drip campaigns. However, you also want to send newsletters and you find that it is not that great when it comes to newsletters. Now, ConvertKit still has the newsletter feature and you can still settle for it but you want to use something that is better for designed newsletters like MailChimp. Even ConvertKit says this themselves.


But here’s the thing. If you keep one tool for drips and one tool for newsletters, you have the hassle of migrating subscribers, keeping lists updated on both ends and also continuously updating subscribes and unsubscribes, etc. You definitely do not want to accidentally send a campaign to someone with tool B while he has already unsubscribed from tool A. To mitigate this, either you face this inconvenience or you settle for something less.


Alright, enough of the stream of thoughts. You get the point. Now, back to business!



Salespanel Tracking v2.0: Do not settle for less

Zapier has been able to somewhat solve this problem with their marketing automation platform and their plug-in economics. But, what about joining the dots for your lead acquisition process?


If you use different tools for different acquisition systems, there are essentially two problems:
– Tracking leads FROM multiple platforms
– Tracking the same leads ON multiple platforms


Let’s start with the first problem, and it’s pretty straightforward. If you settle, you would have one form from your CRM provider that directly syncs to your CRM and your CRM provider might provide live chat as well. Or, you are not tracking live chat and you manually enter the leads to your CRM without any tracking process.


If you do not settle and choose the best services for you, you might end up with one tool for your live chat and custom setups for your demo scheduling, ‘contact us’, and sign-up forms. You may also be using a landing page tool where you can cook up fast lead magnets without relying on the web development team. That’s fantastic but how are you going to capture leads from all these different acquisition tools and bring them together for a consolidated workspace?


With Salespanel, you can use any live chat tool, any javascript form, any email marketing software, any pop-up software, any landing page software. Salespanel will track the leads for you.


And the best part? No integration or configuration is required for forms, live chat, and pop-ups. It just works.


Salespanel will capture and track leads from any acquisition framework and provide you the complete activity history of the prospect before and after the acquisition. Which pages they viewed, which forms they clicked, which media they viewed, etc. These leads enter your marketing framework and from this point, you can sync this data to anywhere else (like your CRM), qualify the leads, or run marketing automation and move them further in the sales process. You will have full control.


Now, coming to the second problem that is tracking the same leads on multiple platforms. Let’s say you have a proper lead capture process and you are able to immediately capture when leads fill out the form and send the lead to your CRM. Are you also able to join the dot when that same lead fills out another form or when that lead messages you on live chat or visits from your newsletter? A visitor has messaged you on live chat. Are you able to know when this lead ends up signing up or subscribing to your newsletter?


Many live chat tools provide website tracking. You will be able to see which pages your leads visited but you won’t know when they sign up or when they interact with something specific. Similarly, your web form tool may also provide you website tracking but it won’t track when these leads also ping you on live chat or subscribe to your newsletter. With Salespanel, you can track interactions on different mediums and tools under one single activity log for each individual and leverage that information to run qualification and automation systems.


Use Any Tool – No Integration Required

Any form, any page, any customer messaging software, any lead magnet software, any advertising platform, any email marketing software – Salespanel tracks your leads on all platforms.


You can also sync data in real-time and connect with the most commonly used marketing, sales, customer support, and CRM platforms. Integrations required for these, however. 😀


The goal has been the same from the very beginning. First, we were able to capture leads from any forms without any integrations or setups. We were also able to track leads from any newsletter software and any advertising and demand generation platform by using tracking codes. Now we are able to capture leads from different live chat tools like Intercom and Crisp without any integrations and setups. We will continue to expand on this ideology.


Retain the freedom to use tools that help you do your job better without settling for mediocre and getting locked into any product’s ecosystem just for convenience. Your CRM will always try to do everything but you need to choose what’s best for you.

Sell more, understand your customers’ journey for free!

Sales and Marketing teams spend millions of dollars to bring visitors to your website. But do you track your customer’s journey? Do you know who buys and why?

Around 8% of your website traffic will sign up on your lead forms. What happens to the other 92% of your traffic? Can you identify your visiting accounts? Can you engage and retarget your qualified visitors even if they are not identified?

Start using Salespanel for FREE today

This post is part of a series: Handbook for Marketers. Check other articles in this series.

Nilangan Ray

Nilangan runs marketing operations for Salespanel. Join him on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nilanganray