While many of us have spent plenty of time on zoom meetings over the last few years, not all of us have worked to improve the experience of virtual meetings. Warmly is a product that gives you instant insights on people in Zoom. Warmly helps create genuine connections while reducing pre-meeting prep time by up to 90%. Read on to learn about Warmly in Quickcard's Interview Series.
Hi Derek, please feel free to introduce yourself and tell us more about Warmly.
Hi all 👋
Some quick SparkNotes on me:
- Colorado born n’ raised (catch me on the slopes!)
- Diehard Texas Longhorns fan - hook ‘em!
- Chronic startup junky
- Total philosophy and literature nerd. Always down to go deep on Dostoevsky, Ayn Rand, Schopenhauer, or any great mind that makes you wonder: ‘what the hell is this person talking about?’
During the day-to-day, I’m building Warmly’s GTM & Growth function! Warmly, (Techstars ‘20 & YC ‘20) helps Zoom users create deeper relationships with the people who matter most. In real time, Warmly offers instant insights and context on everyone you meet directly inside Zoom. Think: LinkedIn but in Zoom. We’re one of 40 companies to become a Verified Apps Partner with Zoom with the rollout of their new App Marketplace, recently launching to over +400M daily Zoom users.
What makes Warmly different from its competitors?
We’re not just another workflow productivity tool.
What’s really special about Warmly is that our feature sets create value that goes beyond the individual user, meaning we’ve architected our product with organic network effects. Before, during, or after a meeting, our product leverages multiple touchpoints to create value for those who do and do not use Warmly.
For example, a Warmly user schedules a meeting with three other non-Warmly users they’ve never met before. The people info that Warmly generated on the other meeting participants for the Warmly user are auto-populated into the Google calendar description of the meeting event. Before the meeting starts, everyone has a chance to get to know one another (whether a Warmly user or not) with what we call ‘Calendar Signatures.’
This is just one instance where we’re creating residual value that follows each Warmly user, so for those that do not use Warmly, they’re easily exposed to and incentivized to join this network of other professionals wishing to build rapport. What’s more is the fact that we’ve dropped it into where all the meeting efficiency takes place - inside Zoom. That’s a competitive advantage no other company in our space gets to have.
What has been your approach at evaluating sales tools at Warmly?
Our Sales Enablement Lead would be over the moon about this question because Warmly is our go-to sales tool! No but really, Warmly does an immense amount of legwork for us before and during our current and prospective meetings, whether its strategic partnership syncs or enterprise sales demos.
For everything else in our sales tech stack, it’s important for us to use those tools to create truly personalized in-app experiences for our users, while also leveraging an analytics infrastructure to showcase the value we’re creating for those users.
For any tool we want to evaluate, our team takes a virtual ‘field trip’ to the website or demo of that product, then we build out a list of experiments we want to test it against. If we don’t find that they can move the metrics we’re gunning for in a short cycle time, we move on.
What has been the biggest barrior to successful sales tool adoption, overall?
I think the greatest blocker for us in adopting a sales tool is the overlap with our own product offering. Using Gong, Chorus, Zoominfo, LinkedIn Sales Navigator or other sales tools don’t currently meet our use case needs, and they are currently competitors of Warmly. Overall, our use case needs are specific given Warmly’s current stage and growth trajectory, as well as using our own product is more practical from a client acquisition and engineering perspective.
How much of your customer acquisition efforts rely on content marketing? How do you maximize its impact and lifetime value? (amplification, conversions, SEO, etc.)
Content marketing is not a core pillar of our acquisition strategy, but it is certainly becoming a more enticing lever to pull for us.
Part of using Warmly is making users feel like they are joining a powerful network of other business professionals, specifically other founders, CEOs, salespeople, and investors. Our content marketing strategy leans heavily on influencers and PR.
For example, David Cohen (Cofounder & Chairman of Techstars), Scott Leese (6X Sales Leader), Nick Mehta (CEO at Gainsight), Ryan Hoover (Founder of Product Hunt) are all champions of Warmly that we utilize to create content around. We have found it incredibly impactful to create real use case narratives around these people for each of the ICPs we’re targeting.
In addition, our content pieces around workflow productivity, future of work, and others that we’ve collaborated on with Forbes, BusinessWire, Techcrunch, and others have had a lasting impact as a converting channel. For our PR and influencer content pieces, we’re maximizing its impact by targeting specific ICPs to create activated and retained users. This channel is highly converting and significantly impacts retention as it relates to LTV. Of course, the amplification and SEO as you’ve mentioned are part of our playbook that we’ll continue to build out.
Do you personalize your sales content per prospect? If so, how?
In terms of outbound for large sets of potential prospects in our ICP buckets, we might only personalize our content to the extent of their job title, company, industry, and specific value proposition they’d receive from using Warmly. Top-of-funnel acquisition has taken more of a backseat to the channel that has been performing the best: top-down company adoption and network density.
For these prospects, we’ve been building out highly personalized playbooks for leaders at the companies, networks, and communities that we wish to target. For example, as a fellow Techstars, YC, and On Deck portfolio company, we’ve been able to unlock all these communities as users by going after the champions of these communities, like Dovid Cohen (TS), Gustaf Alstromer (YC), and Erik Torenberg (On Deck).
We do this by leveraging our email marketing, demos, and strategic partnership content to include an element of high exclusivity. Before our launch in Zoom, we were given 100 companies to whitelist for the Zoom Apps Beta. Each of those leads were chosen intentionally by crafting each unique invitation to the leaders at these companies, personally onboarding their whole team, and providing on-demand support to them. Since it has proven to be an attractive channel for us, we find the highly-personalized content to be worth the investment.
How has COVID-19 impacted your sales and marketing operations and how have you adapted?
COVID-19 has accelerated our sales and marketing operations because now, everyone takes their meetings on Zoom and a rising remote work culture has become the standard in our industry. Video conferencing (and the future of work as a whole) is shifting to a more dynamic and evolving medium, where Warmly has been a massive beneficiary from those macro forces.
What are some of the key sales tasks and workflows that you have fully automated? How was you sales productivity affected by this?
For us, part of having an early crowd of adopters means we need to radically focus on initial user feedback and insights. Instead of widening our TOFU function and operations, we’ve taken a more intentional approach to sales and customer success.
In order to do this, we need to pull users sets in a given ICP, behaviorally identify what made them activate, and run a series of retargeting campaigns to get users in what we call, the ‘Happy State’ (a set of criteria that we hypothesis will make a user retain). For this function, we’ve been able to fully automate our back-end data insights and retargeting motions with the cooperation of both our growth and engineering teams.
Once we scaled the motions of these workflow tasks, we were able to iterate much more quickly from a product and marketing perspective to understand where our points of strength and weakness lay.
What are some of the biggest bottlenecks you faced when trying to scale sales enablement campaigns? How did you overcome them?
Since we are always iterating on who our ICP type is as a pre-product market fit startup, it’s important for us to do a ton of experimentation across various customer segments. Building our TOFU engine for automation has been challenged, or bottlenecked, by leaning on the confidence factors of our third party data vendors. It takes a considerable amount of tools and input to clean the data we’re parsing through so that our messaging is being targeted at the right people. It’s made scale incredibly difficult. To overcome it, we’ve created a rigorous system for cleaning, verifying, and deploying the data we’re using for outbound. We’ve taken a page out of the playbook of a growth expert I look up to - Jordan Crawford (xZinc.com & xMainstreet). I highly recommend his workshops on this topic!
What are some uniquely creative ways you might have used in the past to overcome objections or to close an important deal?
One playbook I’ve started to build out is by pitching our product to the investors of the portco we are going after. The most common objections we’re facing are around the compliance and enablement logistics of our product because the Zoom Apps store is so new. Our conversations often end with someone from IT or InfoSec blockading the approval of our app for download, keeping our potential users in a state of purgatory. One way we’ve overcome this is to utilize our investor and accelerator networks (YC, Techstars, Sequoia, NFX) to get intro hops to the investors of the portco we’re going after. The CEO of Gainsight once told me that he spent 1 day per week unlocking top down sales using his network via VCs. It helped get 50 deals over the line with his VP of sales. It’s a strategy that’s helped us to drastically overcome objections from internal gatekeepers. It’s powerful because when their investors go to bat for us, those companies listen.
Can you share a sales growth hack or a tactic that you've been recently excited about?
One B2B sales hack that I’ve been searching for an application in my world is from a growth badass named Guillaume "𝑮" Cabane (former VP of Sales @ Segment and Drift). During his time at Segment, he built out a sales demo chatbot that took coffee orders for inbound prospects! Users land on the webpage, a chatbot opens asking how they like their coffee, then a final prompt says: “we’ll order this coffee and deliver it to you in 10 mins, because that’s how long our demo takes to see. Interested?” G hooked up the chatbot with Postmates’ API to make all this happen. I thought it was genius. For him, it’s converted massively to help him grow Segment into a unicorn company. It's a growth tactic that I’ve been thinking a lot about in terms of applying it to Warmly and B2C.
What is next for Warmly?
In 2022, on the product side of things, we’re excited to be heads down on the launch of Zoom’s ‘Layers' API which will allow us to create more immersive experiences within meetings to amplify the value of Warmly. Think: programmatic Business Card name tags for everyone in the meeting. In terms of growth and our GTM strategy, we’ll also be expanding our distribution opportunities as a sales enablement partner with Zoom to become a standard workflow tool for all Zoom employees. This will also slingshot us towards enterprise readiness where we’ll be able to partner with and roll Warmly out to Zoom’s clientele like ServiceNow, Airbnb, and others.
Ps. We’ve got some super exciting news that you should be on the lookout for towards the end of this year :)