By Scott Rafferty @Scott_Rafferty
These days product integrations are one of those buzz terms you hear about on an almost-annoying frequency. Well, there’s a good reason for that – product integrations are a great way for you improve your product offering, increase the value of your solution, and open up new customer markets. In short, product integrations are a great thing, and we’ll tell you why.
What is a product integration?
Product integrations are a way for your product to communicate and share data with another product. For our example, we’ll use Hubspot and our good friends at Qzzr. Qzzr makes awesome marketing quizzes that collect great lead data on quiz takers, and that data could be really useful to their customers if they could use it in their content marketing campaigns through Hubspot. Through Hubspot, customers could measure click-throughs, conversions, and engagement on a Qzzr pushed out through Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, etc. So Qzzr, being the nice fellas they are, want to provide that value to their customers, so they integrate with Hubspot so customers can get better marketing campaign effectiveness data.
So with that goal Qzzr creates an API, which is a code set that allows Qzzr to connect to other product API’s and communicate and share data back and forth. With an API, they can share just about any data they want. In return, Hubspot’s API allows for certain data to be shared back into Qzzr, so their customers can better formulate their Qzzr strategy in their marketing campaign.
Why you should look into doing product integrations
Fit Your Product with What’s Already Being Done
There are a lot of reasons you would want to integrate with any number of systems. The first is that you want your product to fit within the systems and flow of what your customers are already doing. One of the biggest stumbling blocks in SaaS sales is the thought that inevitably enters into a prospect’s head, “Another tool for us to use and manage? My team is going to mutiny.” With tight integrations, you can reduce the drag that happens when a customer implements a new product into their existing processes.
Enhance the Utility of Your Product
A second reason is to enhance the utility of your product. When building software, it’s usually a long, difficult, and expensive process to develop new features. And oftentimes, the impact or utility of those new initiatives aren’t completely known until you push them out to customers. Product integrations, on the other hand, are quicker and easier ways to immediately increase the utility and value of your product, simply because it is now working with software systems your customers are already using. It’s an efficient and easy way to get quick hits and add a lot of value to your customers.
Increase Your Revenues
Finally, it can be great for your revenues. There are two key areas in which this can happen – ecosystem effects and pricing models. There is a positive ecosystem effect that can happen when you keep good company. You’ve heard the phrase “a rising tide floats all boats.” Well, when you tie yourself to other systems, as they grow, you grow. Think about what happened when Salesforce skyrocketed into what it is today. Those early integration partners enjoyed the ride on Salesforce’s coattails and enjoyed some level of success. With pricing models, the more your offering grows, the better you can segment out and create pricing levels that reflect the amount of features and value your product provides. Most software companies charge more integration packages with their product, and this is a powerful way in which you can increase your recurring deal size.
We think all tech companies should look into integrating with products and partners when it makes sense. There’s a lot of value that is created for your customers, partners, and bottom line.
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