When we started Kiite, we had an important goal: to make every front-line sales rep an expert by giving them access to information and tribal knowledge.
After all, those reps have an important job to do. Not only do they drive revenue within a business, but they’re also the first touchpoint in a customer’s journey. They should be well equipped to do their best. And we knew they weren’t.
A year ago, in the Definitive Guide to America’s Most Broken Processes, 39% of survey respondents said broken document management and sales processes were challenges in their organizations. Of those, 49% said they struggle to locate documents and 33% were worried they weren’t working with the most up-to-date information.
When we introduced Playbooks™ a year ago, we were excited to help solve those problems by continuing our mission in bigger and better ways – and our numbers show we’re well on our way. So let’s hit “rewind” and reflect on that journey together.
The Path To Playbooks
Before Playbooks, there was Kiite’s intelligent AI-powered sales assistant. And before that, there was another company where two of our founders, Joseph Fung and Derek Hall, were part of the founding team.
That company was called TribeHR, and it was all about making employees’ lives better in a world where knowledge work was getting harder and more competitive. Their platform allowed HR managers and administrative departments to give their workforce the autonomy they needed to operate in an agile way.
“Our mission was always to make employees’ lives better by building tools that empower and increase their autonomy in the workplace, so they’re better equipped to handle that pressure.”
– Donna Litt, COO and co-founder of Kiite
But there was one piece missing: front-line staff, and especially revenue teams. They had the greatest need and the least support. So, the founders went back to the drawing board. They wanted to continue giving employees autonomy, and this time they wanted to put the front line front-and-centre.
In 2017, Kiite was born, and we unveiled our intelligent sales assistant. It lived in a team’s chat channel (think Slack, for instance) and answered reps’ questions in real-time. Type in “What’s the hex code for the blue on our company logo?” and it would pull the correct information from chat and company resources without skipping a beat.
For 18 months, we worked alongside our customers to understand their needs and improve the assistant. Spending time with those customers taught us that we could be doing, even more, to make their lives easier.
Sales reps wanted access to more concise customer stories. They wanted the language to help handle objections. They wanted to cut through the clutter in their tech stack. If being able to answer questions was good, eliminating the need to ask those questions in the first place was great.
“For Kiite, the inspiration was really coming back to the basics. How do we make work better for front-line employees and front-line managers? That’s what got us into building an assistant to help make people more productive, more autonomous, and create a safe environment for them to learn.”
– Joseph Fung, CEO and co-founder of Kiite
That was the inspiration for our second product, Playbooks, a web extension of our chat application. Launched one year ago, it’s a central access point for shared knowledge, split into short, easy-to-search and easy-to-digest nuggets.
“Shared” is a key word there. We wanted to help reps find the most effective and relevant information quickly, which meant we needed a better way to not only share official playbook content, but also capture the undocumented knowledge that reps “just know.” After all, if you want to tap into the best tips and tricks that live in your reps’ heads, you need to give reps a place to put them.
Since then, hundreds of customers have created over 6,500 sales-specific playbooks on Kiite, with a total of 120,676 cards. Our users have logged 39,567 universal searches. Those are numbers we’re proud of – each one brings us closer to our goal.
Kiite – The Japanese Word For “Listen”
If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last three years, it’s this: listen to your customers.
On day two of our journey with Playbooks, the Kiite experience was very different. Over the past 364 days, we’ve made big UX and UI improvements, all thanks to input from our customers.
What kind of improvements? Let’s take a walk through one of our early code sprints where we got our start (because code sprints are where all great tech products start).
Today, we’ve moved past those barren and rigid playbooks. Talking with our customers and listening to their feedback directly enabled us to make incredible progress, here are some examples of what customer collaboration can do:
- An improved login experience, with secure sign-on.
- A dynamic home screen dashboard that shows featured playbooks in your workspace, along with newly added cards, most popular cards, and recent activity on cards
- Live notifications across the workspace for auto-updating content
- Enhanced discoverability of playbooks, with new functionality around categories and tags
- Video embedding capabilities that allow you to insert and watch videos directly in a card
- A copy/paste clipboard allowing for script and email templates in specific playbooks
- At-a-glance workspace and team-level insights to see how content is being consumed
- In-card document sharing via attachment or URL
Customer feedback is at the core of some major features we’ve rolled out, too. Published playbooks allow you to share information broadly with people outside your organization, like prospects and customers. We’ve even opened playbooks up for integrations with other tools like Salesforce and Vidyard to give reps a seamless experience in one platform.
“At Kiite, we know sharing is important. It’s the core of what Playbooks are all about – organizations sharing knowledge with their workforce, and that workforce sharing knowledge with each other. So when our customers share their feedback with us, we listen.”
– Derek Hall, VP Engineering and co-founder of Kiite
We didn’t stop at Playbooks, either. We kept listening when customers told us about their struggles closing skills gaps that company knowledge alone couldn’t fix. That’s why, in January, we introduced a 12-week tech sales bootcamp called Uvaro, designed to develop top-performing tech sales professionals and connect them with businesses looking for qualified and hungry talent while scaling their revenue teams.
Today, we offer 100% online training that covers everything from the fundamentals of sales to the most effective methodologies being used today, while giving recruits hands-on experience with an internship selling real software to real prospects. With our first cohort approaching, we can’t wait to see the great things they accomplish… and what great ideas our customers share next.
Our goal started out as a simple one: make employees knowledgeable by helping them share knowledge. And it’s just as important to us today as it was three years ago.
We’ve seen astounding results in the past year. Every day, we hear stories from customers like ClozeLoop, who saw a 5x reduction in the amount of time it takes to roll out a sales playbook and a 300% boost in playbook adoption.
But we’re also excited about how we can help businesses become more agile and respond to changes around them.
“Kiite promotes autonomy. Employees get to see the breadth of the knowledge that we have right now, and they can soak it all in and approach it at their own pace. Being able to create their own Playbooks with the best content is a gamechanger.”
– Max Materne, Revenue Enablement Manager – Fiix Software
Even during COVID-19, Playbooks are making a difference. Teams around the world are using Playbooks to help keep remote workers on track with their goals and share important information with customers and prospects. Just look at the jump in the number of playbooks that contain “work from home” or “COVID” and the 30% increase we’ve seen in the total amount of content added last month compared to the average during 2019:
Business agility will become an increasingly popular term. We see buyer patterns and behaviors changing every day. We see sales teams shifting more toward remote work. We see sales cycles moving entirely online, from first contact to contract. Sales teams need to keep up with a lot, and if they aren’t well equipped, they’ll fall behind. So let’s make sure they’re well equipped.
We don’t know what’s coming in the future, but we’re excited to continue supporting front-line staff and revenue teams with the tools they need to navigate it – from playbooks to training and beyond.