Today, we reached a milestone of on-boarding 3 trial customers, who all use CapsuleCRM as their CRM system. To reach this juncture, we built 29 Single Page Apps (SPAs) connecting 15 data sources.
It’s worth taking a moment to recapture the past..
Having incorporated the company just before Christmas 2014, we started work in Jan 2015 but lost the momentum when Accusoft approached me to acquire edocr.com, my other tech company at the time. We progressed slowly in Jan and Feb and then lost resources due to due diligence and post acquisition secondment. We regrouped in Jul 2015 bringing onboard our second software engineer. Whilst the team was building the product with heavy non-coding involvement from me, I continued to meet with prospective customers to understand the problem we thought we could solve.
During this tenure, I spoke to as many potential customers as possible, both small and large. We submitted bids worth close to £120,000. Unfortunately, all these opportunities disappeared as soon as the new year arrived. Then we took a hard look at the opportunities and decided to focus on Small to Medium Businesses (SMBs) market, which use a particular cluster of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions.
In Feb 2015, we narrowed our focus further to solve a specific problem, i.e. Customer 360º View: Unifying customer records from sales, marketing, finance and support on one intuitive User Interface (UI) to increase customer LifeTime Value (LTV).
Working towards Problem/Solution fit..
Our goal over the next six months is to reach the first stage of commercialisation, i.e. problem/solution fit. Do we understand the problem enough? Do we have an effective solution that solves the identified problem? Are there enough prospects out there who suffer from the same problem? Once we achieve this stage, we can begin to focus on Product/Market fit.
With hindsight, I should have worked harder to know what I know now, 6+ months ago. Its easy to listen to advice, but you need to validate what you hear with your target market. For a whilst I focused on large customers. Then I shifted my focus to professional services companies based on two rationales. Today, I have ditched everything and focusing on on-boarding customers who can use the product as it is. It might not deliver significant value, but as long as it can deliver some (hopefully quantifiable) value and those who come onboard as early adopters buy into our road map and vision, I believe things will turn out to be ok.
The roll out plan..
We plan to roll out to few more customers of CapsuleCRM before on-boarding Salesforce and SugarCRM customers. If you like to be considered, please get in touch with us. As a CapsuleCRM customer, you can use UnifiedVU for following workflows:
Managing your pipelines from sale to recruitment and fund raising..
Customer and supplier engagement..
Single customer view..
Your favourite news channels in one place..
We also devised a process and methodology for on-boarding as well as how to measure engagement. I will share these through another post in near future.