Zeplin improved sales productivity by prioritizing leads using customer data with Hightouch

Zeplin synced product usage data across the organization, to Sales (Salesforce), Marketing (Intercom), Product (Mixpanel) and Customer Success (Totango)

About Zeplin

Having a stellar user experience in your product is so crucial to retention. Yet why do so many products still suffer from bugs and confusing UIs? A key contributor is poor communication between design teams and the rest of the company. Zeplin is a Design Delivery product that helps teams collaborate on and hand off product designs. Zeplin lets designers communicate to engineers exactly what to build, and gives engineers an organized workspace that connects workflow tools like Jira and Github.

Zeplin follows a freemium model, allowing product teams to get started for free and bring in more coworkers to collaborate. This Product Led Growth has been key to Zeplin's expansion to millions of customers. To fuel their "land and expand" strategy, Zeplin built out their Enterprise Sales team to drive adoption within organizations that already had stakeholders using the product. To help their sales team increase their productivity, Zeplin's Sales Ops team came to Hightouch.

The Challenge: Identifying which leads to target based on product usage

With millions of users across thousands of companies, Zeplin's Sales team needs to focus on users with the highest opportunity and likelihood for expansion within their company. A key barrier for Customer Success Managers and Account Executives to prioritize was not having visibility into how leads were interacting with the product. Understanding key product usage metrics for a lead, such as how many collaborators they have on their Zeplin projects, can help Sales estimate prospect engagement and predict how likely a lead is to convert to premium features.

To get product usage data on a lead, Sales would use separate dashboards in tools like Retool, Intercom, and more. But having to switch between multiple tools just to grab data was cumbersome. They needed the data to be accessible in the tool they were already using everyday: Salesforce.

Zeplin's first attempt at syncing product usage data into Salesforce was a manual process. A data analyst would grab CSV reports from queries in their production database (MongoDB) that took hours to run, and then send that CSV to Sales Ops to import into Salesforce. This took too long and the data would get outdated quickly as users engaged with the product daily.

Solution: Sending Product Qualified Leads (PQLs) and customer product usage data to Salesforce

To prioritize leads, Zeplin created a Product Qualified Lead scoring model that combined key aspects of a lead's product usage (such as the number of collaborators and projects in Zeplin) to decide their priority. Then, they used Hightouch to sync that model into Salesforce every hour and automatically create Leads that reach a certain threshold. Zeplin didn't stop at syncing: they used Hightouch to enable key workflows, such as automatically assigning Account Executives to PQLs with our Salesforce integration.

The Sales Ops team was still experimenting with their optimal definition for their PQL model, and Hightouch enabled non-technical members of the team to make rapid changes without being bottlenecked by development bandwidth.

Outside of PQL scoring, the team also used product data synced through Hightouch to link leads to existing accounts. That way, Sales team can identify if a lead is an expansion opportunity (meaning an additional seat within an existing account) or is a net new account.

Result: Increased productivity and close rate

With key product data at their hands within Salesforce, the Sales team was more productive at prioritizing and closing deals. This data-driven sales process helped Zeplin reach their sales goal and continue their expansion into Enterprise.

Salesforce wasn’t built for product-led growth companies. The key to finding qualified leads across Zeplin’s millions of users is looking at product usage metrics. Without Hightouch, our account team is running blind."

Andrew Yip

Sales Operations at Zeplin

New Use Cases

Beyond Sales Ops, Zeplin has used Hightouch to solve other key issues across the entire company, such as:

  • Sending customer's health alerts to Totango to reduce churn: Zeplin sends key health events, such as customer inactivity or seat contraction to Totango (their customer success tool) to help Customer Success reps proactively identify and reduce churn.
  • Enriching group profiles in Mixpanel to decide pricing strategy: Mixpanel, Zeplin's product analytics tool, had events and reporting for how certain customers were using the product. But it didn't have context into Zeplin specific concepts, such as how many Projects that a given user had. They used Hightouch to enrich group profiles in Mixpanel so that the team could answer questions like "How often do organizations with 5 collaborators login using SSO?". This enriched data helped Zeplin segment their customer base and decide their pricing strategy.
  • Sending lifecycle marketing emails in Intercom: Zeplin sends a weekly email report to customers with stats on how they are using the product, to increase retention. To power the data in this email report, they use Hightouch to send product data to Intercom (their marketing tool). By using Hightouch, they are able to run data driven marketing campaigns without relying on engineering support.