I’m back in San Diego after a full week in Phoenix for Infusionsoft’s annual Partner Conference, PartnerCon. In case you aren’t familiar, it’s a conference where hundreds of Infusionsoft partners descend on Phoenix from all over the globe to learn about the direction Infusionsoft is going, to get advice and wisdom from keynote speakers and one another through breakout sessions and networking.
It was an awesome week overall. If I’m being completely honest, I was caught off guard by how emotional it was for me. I’ll save the personal stuff for a later blog post, because right now I’m just too geeked up by the product updates that are coming. And, I feel like that’s probably the stuff you’re most excited about too, eh?
Okay, so a big part of PartnerCon is updating the partner community on what is coming for Infusionsoft, the software as well as the company. You know, so the partners are up to speed, and we can decide how and where it may affect our businesses. But here’s the thing, there’s an issue right now in the Infusionsoft ecosystem.
Infusionsoft has lost a lot of trust with not only their users, but also with many of their partners.
I was an Infusionsoft employee until May of this year. And I was easily one of the most customer facing employees in the building. I traveled around delivering Infusionsoft University to groups of 30-70 attendees (In fact, that’s where I met many of you). And one of the worst parts about being in this role was that I was intimately aware of all of the intricacies, quirks, and shortcomings in the software. Not only because I’m an expert on the app, but also because they frequently came up in the course of interacting with attendees.
This dynamic made me somewhat of a lightning rod for issues. When something was affecting our user base, I would shout about it. Sometimes I felt like I was heard, and I made a difference; and other times I was frustrated that the issue just wasn’t able to be prioritized.
One of the common complaints I fielded was that users had been told something was coming, and then it didn’t come. Whether it was more features for the mobile app, new integrations, a new email builder, or localized time zones for the campaign builder. I can’t speak to every single issue that was raised, but I can say that the general sense I got was that a lot of trust had been lost. Things had been promised, and some of those things hadn’t been delivered.
Well, it’s for this reason specifically that this week was so important for me. Infusionsoft addressed this trust issue head on. They introduced their new Chief Product Office Terry Hicks, and he acknowledged that they have a lot of work to do, and then also (and more importantly) said that talking about it won’t do anyone any good. And that the only real way to earn this trust back is by taking action. By showing their users and their partners that they can do what they say they’ll do (which is one of the core values), and that when they commit to deadlines, that we can hold them to it.
So, without further ado, I’d like to share with you what I can about the bright future of the product. Some of what we were shown was done so under explicit instructions that it shouldn’t be shared outside of PartnerCon, and I want to make sure that I’m respectful of that, but rest assured, the things I can share are still very exciting.
Here’s what is coming in the near to short term future, and why it matters to you:
Feature: The quick add form will now support internal forms.
Why it matters: The plus sign in the corner of your application is the quickest way to add a contact to Infusionsoft, but until now you’ve been unable to attach any actions to that form. Moving forward you’ll be able to select an internal form as you add a contact there, and if it’s tied to a campaign, you can trigger automation right then and there.
Feature: Cloning Order Forms
Why it matters: Right now you can create an order form, and add products to it, and create a thank you page and start using it. But if you want to create something similar, the only way to do it is by starting from scratch. No more. Now you’ll be able to click “Clone” and duplicate the order form on the spot.
Feature: Functional Inventory
Why it matters: The Infusionsoft inventory function is a point of pain for the businesses who need it. In fact, it’s so incomplete that many of you may not even know it’s there. Here’s why – it doesn’t prevent someone from buying a product when the inventory hits zero. It allows you to set up a notification email to yourself when inventory hits a certain number, but that’s it. Well, not anymore sports fans. Now when inventory hits zero it’ll actually prevent sales by displaying a sold out message on order forms and in the shopping cart.
Feature: Mobile Responsive Order Forms
Why it matters: Right now the native order form themes in Infusionsoft aren’t very sexy, but they’re also not mobile responsive. With an increasing amount of traffic coming from and happening on mobile, this is a bigger and bigger deal. If someone can’t easily checkout, then the chance they they’ll lose interest and disappear is magnified. Well, um, yeah, not anymore. In the very short term (Dec 2015) future they’ll be introducing mobile order form themes. Hooray!
I hate to do this to you, but this post is starting to get a little long, and I’ve still got plenty more to cover. So I’m going to split this into a multi-part post. The short version is that I saw all sorts of positive indicators this week, both in terms of the direction of the product, but also in terms of improved transparency and communication.
Stay tuned for the rest of the product updates, and also the personal perspective I promised to share.