On 8/26/14, we held a user experience workshop for the Zilliant website. The following people were in attendance:
- Lindsay Duran, Zilliant
- Doug, Zilliant
- Javier, Zilliant
- Barrett, Zilliant
- Tina Schweiger, Edelman (YF)
- Meghan Murphy, Edelman (YF)
- Nathan Procknow, Edelman (YF)
- Sarah Hoffman, Edelman
We completed the following workshops:
- Stakeholder Mapping
Storyboarding image gallery
We worked as a team to identify all of the stakeholders relevant to the website. They are divided between internal and external stakeholders. For each stakeholder, we discussed perceptions and goals. The following list represents stakeholders identified.
• Lindsay: people should be wowed by the website. Key goal is to have a clear way for stakeholders to find the information that they need. When people come to the website, there needs to be a clear additional action we would like them to take...more than just land and leave.
• Marketing team: it's important that the website is flexible enough to add, edit and adjust content quickly to support integrated marketing programs.
Overall website positioning for marketing team: The Zilliant website should provide a flexible, scalable platform that is simple to administer and allows the team to create and manage content that supports a broad set of marketing initiatives.
• Greg: should look professional and engaging.
• Eric: attention should be given to the overall design and how it positively impacts lead generation and conversion of opportunities to sales.
• Pete: website should clearly articulate what our products do and how they help customers.
• John: clear about what we offer when it comes to ongoing support.
Overall website positioning for executive team: The Zilliant website should be a professional and aesthetically pleasing platform that clearly conveys the Zilliant value proposition to our potential and existing customers.
• Doug: the website should consistently and clearly validate the message that sales it taking to prospects and existing customers.
• Barrett: allow users to self validate with stories and content relevant to their sales experience; content should be easy to find and consistently and clearly validate the message sales is taking to prospects and existing customers. Right now the website doesn't support the argument that competitors make that Zilliant is not really a viable option for the customer. Website should show strength and easily negate this argument presented by the competitor. Competitors should be impressed, and perhaps a little afraid.
• Javier: it's not just about price optimization, it's about solving sales challenges.
• Phil (Europe): needs language specific content to help support sales across the pond.
• This website shows what I do...and I'm proud of it!
• Zilliant makes big impacts
• Decision science is at the core of Zilliant. It is a science company, helping humans make actionable decisions.
• 17 scientists – PHd's – working constantly on pricing decision science. This is the Zilliant intellectual property that competitors can't replicate.
• Culture is about "no drama" making employees accountable in an adult culture.
Media / Blog Partners
• Clint (WSJ) - The website should validate and expand upon what I'm hearing from Zilliant marketing folks.
• Dirk – how will participating in the Zilliant blog help position me as a thought leader?
• Cindy – how will participating in the Zilliant blog help drive traffic to me?
• Trade – Zilliant has a valid and powerful challenging POV in the industry.
• Current investors (J. Thornton – Austin Ventures) – I want Zilliant to grow so the investors can cash out.
• Potential acquisition companies (IBM/Salesforce) – website should show big customer base and manufacturing, distribution expertise. For someone like Salesforce, the pricing module might be appealing – adds to their current product offerings.
• Consulting firms (e.g., Julie at Deloitte) – is telling potential customers that they're not ready for Zilliant yet...they have to do a lot of work (billable hours for Deloitte) to plan before they could use a pricing module like Zilliant offers.
• Vendavo (industry competitor) – is telling potential customers that Zilliant just does science...it's not really what they need. Don't see Zilliant as real competition.
• Pros (industry competitor) – is telling potential customers that Zilliant is too small / too weak to provide the right solution. Zilliant site needs to show them that this is not true – show full breadth of expertise.
• What kind of resources does Zilliant have for me to enhance my knowledge of pricing best practices?
• What does Zilliant do?
• How can Zilliant help me increase sales?
• I hope this doesn't replace me...
• What kind of content on the site will help me identify with a challenge similar to mine?
• How do I find information specific to my industry?
• Can I trust Zilliant's data and insights?
• What is decision science?
• I do have a fear of making any pricing adjustments because I could just mess things up more.
• If this pricing module thing doesn't work...I'm going to get fired. I have fear!
• I wonder what the successful sales folks are doing that can be shared across the team?
• I'm not sure I trust that technology can help me make the right decision.
One insightful thing to call out that we encountered during the workshop:
Main potential customer fears: Can I trust Zilliant's data and insights? I'm not sure I trust that technology can help me make the right decision, and If this pricing module thing doesn't work...I'm going to get fired. I have fear!
The fact that counters that fear:
What's the potential customer's challenge that would bring them to the Zilliant website? Why are these individuals looking for a pricing solution?
• Required to hit certain sales numbers, but how to grow profitably is a challenge.
• Unsure that technology can solve the problem, but afraid to start making adjustments on their own since that could make things worse.
• Need to feel that they can trust the decisions that would come out of a technology solution.
• Fear that they are going to get fired if they don't hit numbers...but fear if they trust a technology solution to tell them the answers, they'll get fired if it doesn't work.
• Concern that technology might be trying to replace the tribal knowledge and gut feel that has historically driven sales teams.
• Fear that industry shifts such as acquisitions make it more difficult for them to stay competitive (e.g., Sysco and US Foods)– how do you stay competitive when already large companies are merging and practically taking over the market? This is an example with Barrie, a full time pricing manager with Reinhart Foods.
• Some are perhaps open to technology solutions and want validation that this will make them successful internally (look what great thing I did for sales!)
• Unsure how to coach sales team to success. How do you help sales team define who their targets should be?
• How can the new CEO "fixer" (e.g., Jim, CEO with Rollins (sp?) Foods). They've been brought in to quickly grow the company in a profitable way and they need the tools to do it.
Potential Customer Persona
Alberto, CEO Nexeo
• Alberto worries about losing his customers.
• His challenge is how to growth target of 20% annually in a profitable way when customers are leaving every year.
• He has a team of folks working on the issue – IT, Sales, Development, that he's checking in with constantly to determine how the issue is being resolved.
Zilliant would approach Alberto with a phone call, typically leaving a voicemail. Alberto also receives at least two automated emails a month, and personal emails from Doug.
The website needs to support what Alberto is hearing from Doug and Zilliant emails.
Right now, if Alberto clicks on the email, he is sent to a page within the site that doesn't clearly define the next step he can take to help solve his problem.