Lots of good stuff to talk about today. Let’s dive right in.
First up is our newest integration: Hubspot. While they may not be the biggest CRM in the market, I would venture to guess that 90 percent of our customers are using Hubspot over Salesforce. That made it a natural and highly-requested integration. The goal of this initial integration was to:
- Make it easy to ingest account and contact properties from Hubspot into Variance. By making these properties available it means that a) you can access them from anywhere you access Variance data, including Slack, and b) they can be used to help build lists and follow specific accounts.
- Sync account and contact owners. We know that Hubspot is the source of truth for territories, so it was natural that we wanted to pull in that info about who owns what into Variance. By having that data available we have now made it much easier to build streams and filter lists based on just the accounts and contacts you care most about.
One interesting part of the approach to building this feature is how we utilized existing information to help figure out what to build. The nice thing about having a system that’s open is that people can build integrations before you make it official. For us this meant looking into what customers were doing with Zapier to connect Variance to Hubspot and helping to turn some of those workflows into first-class citizens. It was gratifying to get a message yesterday from a customer who was in the process of shutting down a bunch of Zaps that were now redundant because of the integration.
If you want to see more of what we’re doing with Hubspot be sure to check out the docs and also watch this video we made introducing the feature:
In some ways, this goes hand-in-hand with the Hubspot feature, but it also has some much bigger implications. My Accounts and My Contacts introduces a new concept in Variance called Smart Tags. Unlike regular tags where you have to manually add accounts and contacts, Smart Tags can build a list of accounts dynamically based on any criteria you set. My Accounts is our first Smart Tag (more coming soon, we promise) and it maintains a list of accounts and contacts for every Variance user based on ownership. Ownership data comes from either a Hubspot sync, by manually setting an owner in Variance, or by programmatically adding an email address on the `owner` trait.
The My Accounts and My Contacts Smart Tag works just like any other tag in Variance and can be used to easily manage the list of accounts and contacts in a stream. One workflow we’re particularly excited about with this new functionality is being able to easily work round robin leads. Lots of customers have a process for assigning new leads to different team members in Hubspot, and now that we can keep those synced with accounts in Variance it’s easy to create a dynamic stream of leads to monitor.
Onboarding & Stream Setup
Another big area of work for us lately has been onboarding. We added a custom onboarding flow that uses existing components to walk admins through what needs to be done to set up a Variance account properly.
One interesting part of this decision was whether to build it ourselves or go with one of the many services that support user onboarding. Ultimately we decided to build it ourselves for two reasons:
- Because of the way we’ve designed the system in panels, it was relatively easy to introduce a new onboarding list view without doing a ton of additional or overlapping work with the settings that already exist.
- Because most of the solutions out there focus on onboarding at the user level, not the account level. This is fine for B2C apps and even basic user-level onboarding, but when you have admin-level functionality that can be done by any number of users (such as connecting an integration), user-level onboarding breaks down.
As part of our new onboarding, we released the ability to set up streams for your teammates. That is especially powerful when combined with the new My Accounts tag, as you can give someone a useful stream with just their accounts from the moment they sign into Variance. Here’s a video introducing the feature:
- We now always show suggested tags instead of removing them once a tag has been added.
- We overhauled our stream creation dialog box to give much more options from the start.
- Added Intercom.
- Property filters that include a date now have a date picker.
- Added Variance user profiles (more on this one soon).
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