Welcome back to the AppSumo Case Study Series, where we highlight noteworthy partners that embody successful collaboration and growth. You’ll get to see behind-the-scenes rundown of their AppSumo launch, learn tips from the folks who have already succeeded there, and find out how they handled reaching a new global audience.
Today we’re chatting with Saurabh Srivastava, Vice President of Deskera. Deskera is an award-winning unified platform that lets you manage accounting, payroll, invoicing, email campaigns, and CRM. For all our Plus and Briefcase members, you can get yearly access to Deskera for just $149 during Last Call.
Let’s get into the history of Deskera. What’s your origin story?
Customers have different needs now. They want more integrations and they want to do everything on the phone and we had to enable that.
Deskera has been around for 12 years now. We started off in 2008. Shashank wanted to start a new business, and he realized that there was a big market for small and medium business software. But SMEs aren’t looking for specific software: they’re looking for solutions. They need solutions for everything they do.
That’s where we started off. The first few customers we got helped us build the software. And then we kept adding on more features, more modules, more applications, more, more more. We grew very organically. We kept acquiring customers and kept adding more features because the customers needed them.
Around 2018 and 2019, we realized there’s been a shift in how people are doing business. They’re moving to mobile. They’re no longer satisfied with applications that were built in 2008 or even 2010. Customers have different needs now. They want more integrations and they want to do everything on the phone and we had to enable that. That’s why we decided to launch the new revamped version of Deskera.
Why did you pick AppSumo over any other launch platform (e.g. ProductHunt or Indiehackers)? What did you want to get out of your AppSumo launch?
It’s an ideal early adopter community. The folks who are a part of the AppSumo community, Sumo-lings—they’re business owners, entrepreneurs, hustlers. And no one’s making them this kind of software.
AppSumo has a very strong community. I’ve purchased deals from AppSumo, which is to say that we’ve known about AppSumo. We’ve seen so many product launches and we’ve seen how the community engages. It’s an ideal early adopter community. The folks who are a part of the AppSumo community, Sumo-lings—they’re business owners, entrepreneurs, hustlers. And no one’s making them this kind of software.
Not only is it the ideal early adopter community, but most Sumo-lings also function as affiliates. They even have the potential to be evangelists. Best of all, they give a lot of feedback. We’ve seen that in previous launches, how the question-and-answer forums are completely full. We saw that in our launch as well. To be able to reach out to so many people at once and get good feedback at an early stage of the product launch was important to us. And AppSumo was the ideal place for that.
Let’s talk about your launch. How did you prepare your team and what did AppSumo do for you? Which marketing initiatives did you benefit from?
I was blown away by the responsiveness of the AppSumo team. That supportiveness was great pre-launch, and it continued even after the launch.
A big part of our success goes to the AppSumo team and how you all supported us. You guys walked us through every single step. Whenever we had a question, there was somebody around to answer us. Talking from a prelaunch perspective, just because we were so familiar with AppSumo doesn’t mean we knew how to launch a deal on AppSumo.
There were so many things to account for. Writing the deal copy, doing the demo video, so many long discussions on the deal value, figuring out what should be included. The AppSumo team did so much and we needed that because you understand Sumo-lings better than we do.
It was definitely a cooperative effort, and that helped us prepare all the building blocks for our launch. I really appreciate how we got all the feedback in that stage. I could see folks logging into the system and testing out the entire flow, step after step after step. And then they gave us feedback about changes that needed to be made, things we could adjust to give Sumo-lings a better experience. The quality of feedback really helped us prepare for the launch. In fact, there were some things that needed last-minute changes, to reflect our product, and I was blown away by the responsiveness of the AppSumo team. That supportiveness was great pre-launch, and it continued even after the launch.
Did you have an influx of support tickets? How did you handle the spike?
So after our launch, we were told to expect a lot of questions, a lot of answers. We thought we could handle it, but after that first day, we realized we had to do more. It was like realizing that we needed a bigger lifeboat. The number of questions that came in those first few days and various kinds of questions that came in– it was overwhelming. And we realized we needed more people on chat support. And then we did that. It was very hectic initially. Ultimately, we had a great response from the AppSumo community. It was encouraging to see how everyone was so interested in our deal.
Did you receive valuable feedback from the AppSumo community? What was it and how did it impact your product roadmap?
The most valuable thing we got from the launch was the feedback from Sumo-lings. Like the feedback on the various integrations that people are looking for. For example, we had built an integration with Zapier that we thought would be useful, but then we realized: no one is really using Zapier. And that makes sense, Zapier is expensive. So that really made us realize, hey, we need to make our integrations more accessible. We’re designing software for these people, and we don’t want them to be bogged down by additional fees from other systems as well. It’s not fair. And so, we went ahead and made changes to our road map to accommodate for that.
Were your expectations met? How has your business changed since the launch?
If you were to look at our road map today versus what it was when we first showed AppSumo, there’s a huge difference. And that’s really because of the great feedback we got from the AppSumo team and also from Sumo-lings.
There are multiple compliances. Our road map is chockablock—it’s pretty much full until the end of 2021. There are so many new features and part of that is definitely because of the AppSumo community. We got so many new users from AppSumo, and so there were obviously more requests for more use cases that people shared with us. And we definitely want to provide them. We don’t want people to have to use, like, 10 different programs. Our goal has always been that we should be the one system that you use, your go-to software. So, there’s really a lot going on and a lot to look forward to. If you were to look at our road map today versus what it was when we first showed AppSumo, there’s a huge difference. And that’s really because of the great feedback we got from the AppSumo team and also from Sumo-lings.
Was it worth it? Would you do it again? What is one piece of advice you would offer to a prospective partner considering a launch with AppSumo?
Well, my advice to prospective partners basically comes down to two things.
- If you think you need X number of people for support, then you should have 2X the number of people ready.
- Be really transparent about your deals. Don’t try to hide anything because the AppSumo community is very smart. If you try to give them a bad deal, it’ll be common knowledge very quickly. That really doesn’t benefit your business model.
That’s the scoop from Deskera!
We’re so glad we got to catch up with Saurabh and hear about how launching with AppSumo has helped the Deskera team expand their business road map.
Wish you could try Deskera for yourself? Right now, AppSumo Plus and Briefcase members get exclusive Last Call dibs on Deskera: yearly access for just $149.
Got more questions for Saurabh? Sound off in the comments below!