Make better products with your team’s input: using NPS-style internal polls ft. Notion Data (@UseNotion)

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazdesky).

You already know the value of net promoter scores (NPS) and feedback forms from customers. Their opinions drive the direction of your company, determine your product, and validate your product experiments (sometimes signaling the need for a change in direction).

And you undoubtedly also understand the vital importance of building a culture of innovation so that new ideas and solutions can come from anyone on the team. You’ve created this environment to capture the benefits reaped from so carefully selecting the brilliant people who make up your workforce.

Then, why don’t you tap into the resource of validating product experiments and company direction with internal NPS and team polls?

Your team knows more about the product than anyone else. They know more about the challenges, concerns, potential issues, and greatest achievements of the product and process — because they’re on the front lines. Not tapping into their insights leaves you vulnerable to mistakes and missed opportunities.

Which is crazy — since tapping into those insights is so easy.

Let’s look at some ways you can leverage those collective insights with team polls to make your company stronger, and help ensure it’s headed in the best of all possible directions. Regularly tracking your team’s sentiments over time can also give context to your business metrics and help you understand the success or obstacles of your company.

Product & Dev

Your team thinks about your product every day. So, wouldn’t you like to know how confident they are about the release? How’s their morale doing? How would you like to take their insights and use them to make your next sprint a home run?

These are just two of the questions you could ask, but don’t bombard your employees with questions. No one likes a long poll. Rather, choose a few key metrics to track over a number of sprints and see if you can drive those numbers up.

Some other questions you could ask:

  • How well did your team communicate on this sprint?
  • How excited are you about the product roadmap?
  • How excited are you about what’s coming next on the roadmap?
  • How likely are you to recommend this company as a great place to work? (Yes, it’s essentially the NPS question!)

Not only do the answers to these questions give you a window into how much faith your employees have in your product, they also give you a look at engagement. Excited employees are engaged employees. And engaged employees are ones you retain (retention isn’t just for customers either).

But employees who aren’t thrilled about where you’re headed may have good points to consider, and good reasons for being less than enthusiastic. You’d do well to find out what those reasons are — before your customers tell you.

Customer Success

Your Customer Success team’s job is to track how well you’re serving your customers, how much success your customers are having, and how delighted (and likely to refer you) those customers are. But who’s tracking the trackers? Whose job is it to make sure that the Customer Success team has what they need to succeed?

These questions can help alert you to success gaps within your CS department.

  • How would you rate the level of customer excitement, from 1–10?
  • [Qualitative] What is your most memorable customer WOW moment?
  • How willing are customers to persevere in achieving success when they hit a snag?
  • How confident are you in your ability to help customers achieve success? 1–10?
  • How comfortable are you suggesting changes or improvements to other departments, like Product Dev, Marketing, or Sales? 1–10?

Most of all, you’ll want to make sure that the brightest minds in your Customer Success department feel encouraged to share their innovative ideas, with every team in every department. A KPI tool like Notion helps you compare your quantitative customer success metrics, like Churn, with your customer NPS and your internal team responses.

Sales & Marketing

Sales and marketing may be two separate departments within your company, but if your company culture can start treating them like extensions of one another, you’ll do better. It’s more like they’re on the same side of a relay race. Marketers do their best to hand off the very best leads to Sales, and Sales has to bring them to the finish line.

Some people call the alignment of sales and marketing “smarketing” — but let’s leave jargon at the door. We don’t need it here. What we do need is for these two entities to work together, which can start with a few good questions.

Questions for Sales (give the responses to marketing):

  • How is your lead quality on a scale of 1–10?
  • What qualities make a great lead — and a bad lead? (You may already have lead scoring in place, which is great quantitative feedback, but also ask for qualitative feedback from sales reps on what they think makes an especially strong, or weak, lead.)
  • What early actions, questions, or behaviors do leads show that indicate they’ll be successful with the product?
  • Are there specific marketing offers that send especially strong, or weak, leads to you?
  • Do leads come to you with the right expectations about what they’ll get?
  • What is the top reason a lead doesn’t close?

Questions for Marketing

  • What is the quality of your marketing content on a scale of 1–10?
  • What is the quality of the leads you see coming in, on a scale of 1–10?
  • How confident are you in the leads you hand over to sales? (1–10)
  • Do you have the resources you need to do your best work? (1–10)

When you look at the answers of these two sets of questions, powerful themes can emerge to tell you whether your salespeople and marketers have what they need to succeed.

Asking questions like these may seem like you’re asking for trouble — after all, isn’t everyone a critic? But what you’re really doing is giving your employee a safe, anonymous forum in which to alert you if something is wrong, or not as good as it should be. Your employees want to succeed. They want you to succeed. They want your customers to succeed. And listening to them is the first step in achieving all of that success.

This article was originally published on Notion — Get your product team on the same page.

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