Payroll company that helps SME organizations streamline onboarding, benefits, payroll, PTO, and more with a simpler, more intuitive platform.
Challenge: Providing customers with user-friendly, easy-to-access analytics to help them make sense of their complex environments and measure their progress
Results: Seamless analytics within the core solution that create customer value, drive interest and engagement, and provide strategic insights
A People Ops platform and payroll company serving SME organizations makes it easy for customers to manage HR, payroll, and benefits, all in one place—and to better serve its customers at small and medium-sized businesses and differentiate itself from competitors, it wanted to bring people analytics insights to its platform.
Customers’ environments were becoming more complex, said the company’s Vice President of Product, and it wanted to add more value to its solution by helping them manage in this new world of work. “Our mantra is about leveling the playing field in the SME space,” he said.
To bring this vision to life, the payroll company partnered with Visier for its best-in-class analytics and user-friendly approach, which would allow its customers to manage their HR needs and access insights in the same solution.
What had been tried before, and how the pandemic changed customer demands
Like many SaaS solutions, the VP said, the payroll company tried to build analytics itself, and it had some success. But with the self-service model of its solution, customers needed more support to draw insights from the data than it was able to provide. “We had the software; we had a really compelling story and were doing well. But we didn't necessarily have a blueprint for customers to follow.”
To help customers better navigate its environment, the company went on to write a guide that detailed how users could best make use of its solution, but there still wasn’t a way for customers to see if the work they were doing was effective. “There was no way for them—just from BI and reporting—to be able to be strategic about the workforce and what's really happening, and help them make better business decisions,” said the VP.
When the pandemic hit, customers’ needs changed swiftly, and the demand for accessible analytics intensified. “All of a sudden, all of our customers and their employees were all over the place, and it was even more important,” said the VP. “We started getting requests, what about analytics, what about reporting? I want you to be able to tell me, where are my people?”
The payroll company had to decide how to spend its limited resources, and it realized that it wouldn’t be able to build the valuable insights that customers needed within a reasonable amount of time. “When we started to see what Visier was doing with data, it's clear that there was a subject matter expertise there,” said the VP. “To be able to bring this insight and differentiate ourselves [from] other SaaS platforms in the SME space, it was a no-brainer.”
Visier could help customers get the insights that they desperately needed and provide a mechanism for them to track their progress and get the most from the payroll company’s core solution. “This is a true way to be able to help customers measure as they go. We could say, ‘Hey, buy into what we're selling here,’ but also we have a tool embedded in that's going to help them understand the value that they're getting out of it, down the road,” said the VP.
Prioritizing a seamless customer experience
Keeping things simple and accessible for customers was a top priority for the payroll company; customers don’t need to know what’s happening behind the scenes to surface the analytics. “For our customers, it needs to be a natural flow of execution,” said the VP.
The payroll company wanted customers to have access to people analytics all within one platform, without having to dig for it or enlist experts to make sense of it. “They don't have time to figure out through some fancy menu system or have UX designers make it perfect for them. It all needs to be in one place,” the VP said.
Visier was able to provide that, with people analytics served right alongside the payroll company’s core solution, and the VP is pleased with what his team has been able to create for their customers. “To be able to bring [these analytics] to a company who's trying to survive, competing with the big guy down the street and they've got 50 employees—being able to offer that up to those small and medium-sized businesses is something that we're all really proud of,” he said.
The pricing strategy: deciding to bundle analytics with the solution
The payroll company takes a strategic approach to its packaging and pricing, the VP said, and deciding how to offer the new analytics was a careful process of balancing customer cost and value.
“We spent a lot of time on pricing and packaging and elasticity of pricing, understanding how we can make it easy for the customer to see clear value for what they're buying,” said the VP.
It settled on three tiers of pricing because it believed that customers are tired of constantly paying extra for new features. “This is so important, so strategic to what we believe in our heart that we should be able to offer [it] to customers as part of our standard offer,” said the VP. The first pricing tier offers a customized set of more simple analytics to “whet their appetite,” with increasing tiers offering heavier-duty analytics for more serious users.
The process required a bit of balancing to keep the cost and value for both customers and the payroll company in check, and as the company hoped, heavier users of analytics do opt to pay more for the highest tier.
Partnering with Visier for a helping hand to unlock the value
Unlike in other partnership experiences in his career, the VP felt like Visier had a vision and was prepared to execute it, without the payroll company having to drive everything. “We didn't have to push [Visier] to do things, [Visier was] more pushing us, which is right where we wanted to be,” the VP said.
With Visier helping the payroll company prepare for the rollout, from sales and marketing to engineering and operations, the organization and execution was such that it was able to begin pre-selling and land every sale. “That's how we decided this is just the beginning; there's a lot more coming,” said the VP.
And the frequent updates from Visier keep the analytics fresh and engaging for customers. The VP said that when Visier rolls out new releases to the solution, the payroll company sees a “huge spike in interest.”
“As soon as anybody hears ‘people analytics,’ they jump right up. You don't have to talk people into it for it to be important,” said the VP. “We'll continue to use that as leverage and draw attention to activity and help customers be more strategic.”
The payroll company’s VP of Product has been down the path of trying to build everything yourself, and he’s seen partner integrations fail. His advice?
“Be open to the fact that innovation is growing [more] than we think,” he said. Just because building yourself feels like the safe path, doesn’t mean that it is; there’s real risk to these kinds of projects and integrations.
And when choosing a partner, be clear about your strategy—from engineering and operations to go-to-market—and look for a partner that aligns with it. “It’s a journey to find out what’s possible in the short term, as well as what’s possible in the long term,” he said. “Be open to the fact that there's a lot to learn out there.”
Analytics seamlessly bundled as part of standard offering
People analytics served alongside the core payroll solution
Analytics surfaced insights customers desperately needed