Selling to Enterprise – Yammer

I took some notes from a talk given at Yammer on how to do business with enterprises.

Tl;dr: Lean startup for enterprise.

Product Development

  1. Ask customer about his/her problems
  2. Compare customer conversation with external data. Try to find outside sources of information/data that support or contradict it.
  3. Watch how people use the product (usage data) to see if what you thought was right
  4. But keep larger vision in mind.



This image below illustrates the divide between you and your customers interests in a feature.


The typical enterprise software is measured in number of features. But more features != a better product. Sometimes you find you need to remove features, which may raise concerns from a vocal minority.


Details of testing/developing new features (aka The Lean Startup)

  • Release to small percentage of users (20%)
  • Explain to customer the advantages of A/B testing
  • Long dev cycles 6 mo/3 year could lead to big expectations that fail–no one uses it
  • Short dev cycles provide quicker feedback and end up developing better product that people want to use

Dealing with enterprise customer feature wish list

  • Push back or risk developing something the user doesn’t want
  • Ask questions: Understand the essence or goal of what the feature is trying to accomplish
  • Likely just a vocal minority
  • Keep customer informed of changes (without spamming them with email)
  • Try to find data to take the subjective opinions out of the discussion
  • Create online forum–side effect: happy customers help angry customers


Notes about getting new users involved

  • ‘Ask’ feature: a fellow user asks you to complete some task like uploading a profile picture
  • Didn’t find a tooltip help guide useful (but it may work for others)

Analytics & reporting wasn’t useful

  • Only small percentage of users would want it
  • Significant resources (engineering, time, money) that could of gone into building something more important
  • Also, analytics was already going into iterating on the product
  • Side effect, they allow other companies to do the reporting (using API) and customers are surprised how expensive is Analytics & Reporting


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