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Why We Invested in Tourial: Your Website's Next CTA

January 12, 2022

SAAS is booming. Funding is at an all-time high and traditional CAC metrics are often thrown out the window to drive insane revenue growth far beyond the traditional triple-triple double-double convention. Correspondingly, many conversations and financial plans this year will show huge investments into the sales teams to drive “Alice to the moon” bookings growth.  

The questions I always have when I see sales targets increasing 3-5x y-o-y is  “what are your assumptions around what you need to invest in and do in order to generate the pipeline that sales needs to hit its number? How much from outbound? How much from inbound? How many SDRs are you hiring? What’s an effective use of inbound demand generations dollars, etc etc etc”.

Unfortunately, as you dig into the details, here is what execution looks like for most every B2B software company:

  • You spend a ton of money (SEM) and/or effort (Content/Community) to drive traffic to your website.
  • You throw up some engaging content that hopefully hooks your visitors to raise their hand to engage.
  • Despite all your effort, website visitors usually decide within 60 seconds whether or not to hard engage - ie hit that contact me, sign up for free, schedule a demo button - you know the buttons that trigger what we all call hot leads and are instant MQLs.
  • If you are clever, you try to make the process even easier / better by making the meeting easier to set up, or having some level of IP matching serve up more compelling content.
  • You even invest in conversational chat to try and get the visitor to engage with a human before they bounce off your site.

And because you are a superstar, you don’t just rely on inbound. You have a terrific outbound team, often focused on larger clients, that use Outreach or SalesLoft along with an amazing prospect data source to cold email potential buyers, with sequences of cascading, clever, and engaging messages.

You know this is true - because it is exactly what I have been doing or guiding companies to do for the last 25 years.

We continue to do this even though:

  • There are 25+ vendors in every category in 2022 trying to explain their nuanced differences, all flush with cash like never before, to buy up keywords and hire armies of SDRs to pound your target’s inboxes.
  • Buyers are busier than ever and have far less time to spend in this dance. In fact, many of them have done much of their research and internal framing before they talk to a live human at a software company.
  • The emergence of product-led has reset the buyer’s expectations around how early in their consideration process they should see your product and not be subjected to the bad Benny Hill skit, that moves from a lead form fill to an SDR qual call, to the appointment with the AE who does more qual and then finally to a demo from an SE.

Therefore,  as you think through all of your inbound / website optimization and outbound / SDR optimization and the new reality of how software buyers consider and buy software - consider strongly these two questions:

  1. What level of “leaning in” are you asking of a prospect to respond to a cold email and/or click your core CTA  button?
  2. To lean in like that, how much “context” do you think they need around WTF your product actually does (the What) and the underlying value (the Why)?

My belief is that 1&2 are inextricably linked.  If a prospect can quickly grok 2, they are likely to lean in a lot more and whatever conversion rates you use to measure performance (email response, meetings set, MQLs, trial conversions, etc) will sky-rocket - except in the case where your product and value proposition sucks - I can’t help you there.

Furthermore, for companies that have freemium or free trial sign-ups, you will have better success as 1) you won’t have the 80% of lookie-loos who sign up to just see what the product does and 2) you can design better freemium experiences because no longer are you torn between the “does the trial / free product have to show them what it does first” model versus “can we assume they will start using it from sign up” product experience paradox.

It is Time for Product Led Storytelling

Given these beliefs, we were “in” from the first call when we met with Jason and Andy from Tourial - a call that we had been introduced to from our portfolio company Atrium who had seen their outbound email engagement skyrocket when they included a “tourial” in their copy and email footer…

Andy & Jason started Tourial with one simple belief around the missing gap in modern demand gen - that it was just too damn hard to explain what your product actually does in an easily digestible manner across all your demand generation interactions with as yet-engaged buyers.  

When they looked at the alternatives in the market to meet the specific needs of marketers who wanted to generate pipeline, they were unimpressed. Product videos were too expensive, passive, and quickly became outdated. App Cloner products required too much technical expertise, took forever to deploy, and would often confuse visitors as it wasn’t clear if they were in the product or not.  Recorded demos were just that - recorded demos.  None of these options allowed for the right level of product storytelling that would hook visitors at the top of the funnel - ones that quickly nailed the What and the Why.

So, they started Tourial, and set out to build the perfect solution that would:

  • Make it easy for visitors, or for that matter, anyone to easily understand what your product does
  • Make it easy and quick for marketers to create and update these compelling experiences with no coding or technical resources required
  • Make it easy to embed these tourials across your demand gen coal-faces and track real-time performance metrics around engagement and lead conversion

They called the company Tourial because it takes the best part of

a tour (noun: a journey for business, pleasure, or education often involving a series of stops and ending at the starting point)

and the best part of

a tutorial (noun: a method of transferring knowledge and may be used as a part of a learning process)

to create the perfect experience that uninformed visitors need to easily convince them to take an action.

Our investment evaluation process was not a long one as we, beyond appreciating their determined yet humble personalities, loved that

  • They have such a powerful concept that was simple to understand and want. In fact, all of the Bonfire founders that we introduced them to, said immediately, “great idea, we need one of these”.  Exactly, I can’t think of a single software company that would not benefit from a tourial.
  • Even though the company was still very early in its lifespan, they had already signed up a who’s who of software companies (DataRobot, Salesloft, Sprinklr, Atrium, TopHat, etc) - all who enthusiastically spoke to us about Tourial. Many of them mentioned Tourial as their first forays into product-led marketing and a key asset for their growth teams that they could deploy in days and not weeks or months. Check out their tours here and g2 feedback here.
  • With effectively one sales rep, and admittedly an early product (it’s a tiny company folks - but not for long), they had already surpassed $30K in MRR without burning much capital. This just reconfirmed us for the home-run potential for the company given how needed their product is by every software marketer.

Read the press of their launch today as well as the founders personal story - compelling stuff. More importantly,  get a move-on, connect with the company, and tell your product story and generate more demand - before your competitors do. Tell em Uncle Brett sent ya and ask for the double-secret handshake discount:)

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