Brett Schuenemann - Senior Director of Product Management
Uses Tray Embedded to enable Copper platform to rapidly provide deep, API-level integrations for customer requests
Relieves Copper of the burden of building and maintaining countless integrations for 12,000 customers worldwide
Empowers Copper’s product and engineering teams to turn their focus toward developing product enhancements, rather than building and maintaining integrations
Copper’s platform liberates its customers from manual busywork by centralizing crucial business records for leads, accounts, and deals into a single, beautiful, and easy-to-use solution.
Copper’s powerful features for productivity, collaboration, and analytics are the key to building relationships and winning more deals for more than 12,000 companies worldwide. However, all this success can lead to new challenges.
The CRM is a central component of any sales tech stack, since it acts as a centralized system of record, an account data repository, and an important strategic sales tool for pipeline management and forecasting, among other things. That’s why it’s crucial for companies to have their CRM deeply integrated with the rest of their technology stack, so they can flow sales, leads, and account data between their CRM and their customer support applications for onboarding, their accounting/ERP applications to set up billing and payment processing, and to other apps across operations, marketing, and IT.
With a customer base as diverse as Copper’s, the company found itself constantly fielding requests for new integrations between its CRM and any number of different finance, marketing, sales, service, and operations apps, as well as to homegrown, internal solutions. With each customer running a different combination of applications that required integration, Copper quickly realized it needed a solution that would enable its product team and company to ultimately scale.
“We have a variety of customers, including small-business and mid-market accounts. They use many different software-as-a-service (SaaS) products, some esoteric, and they expect a seamless, integrated experience between all of those apps and Copper,” explains Senior Director of Product Management Brett Schuenemann. “It’d take my engineering team three years of building integrations to do what we’ve done with Tray Embedded in a much shorter time...and that’s in addition to everything else we provide as a CRM.”
“Speaking frankly, another challenge we face is that engineering resources are limited and valuable,” says Schuenemann. “We needed any possible strategy or way to leverage other systems, technology, or vendors, to allow our own engineering team to focus on our core product innovation. Though I’m sure that’s not unique to our company.”
To address the many integration requests from Copper’s customer base - and to enable the company’s engineering team to focus on building enhancements to its core product - Schuenemann and his team looked for an alternative to committing years’ worth of engineering resources he just didn’t have.
While his team had previously worked with external vendors for customers that requested custom integrations, they never seemed like a long-term solution. “We would’ve had to have some kind of combined SKU where you’d buy a Copper license and get an external integration as part of the deal. Aside from being a huge hassle for us, it would’ve been a nasty and confusing situation for customers,” says Schuenemann.
Copper had already been a partner of Tray.io for years, and had built significant trust in powering integrations for customers and automation for Copper’s internal processes. So it was a natural fit for Schuenemann’s team to look to Tray Embedded, a complete cloud integration product that lets users embed a powerful, flexible integration and automation platform directly and transparently within their own product. Tray Embedded deeply and directly connects to other cloud applications at the API level, and lets users directly integrate any cloud app with their own company’s software, without any confusing third-party UIs or logins. “It’s always a great experience to work with the Tray team - they are super-supportive, collaborative, and responsive. We’re a CRM company, so we’re in the relationship business, and our relationship with Tray was a huge factor in our decision,” explains Schuenemann. “Also, we’re a world-class company when it comes to building a CRM. But building bi-directional syncs for integrations? Well, that’s something we could do. Still, from the perspective of not having to commit the resources to building, of time-to-value for our customers, of how long it takes to maintain and fix for customers? We looked to Tray Embedded to cut out all of those problems."
Schuenemann’s team worked closely with Tray.io’s team to build out an instance of Embedded within the Copper client to ensure the two platforms worked together in harmony. Tray Embedded is built on lightweight, serverless architecture that seamlessly fits within other applications without any extruding code or user interface.
To maximize the speed of implementation and ease of use, Tray Embedded offers easy-to-use integration templates. These templates effectively let Copper’s customer team enable accounts with custom integrations on demand. Meanwhile, the product team worked hand-in-hand with the Tray.io team providing full implementation support to efficiently guide Copper to ensure success.
“Previously, when we were asked by prospects, ‘Do you integrate with X,’ the answer was always ‘Yes, but…’ since we couldn’t always immediately offer native integrations,” says Schuenemann. “Now, it’s just ‘yes.’ You go to our integration page, click ‘Install,’ and now you have a bi-directional sync.”
Schuenemann explains that Embedded has been a difference-maker, not just in the way his team answers questions, but in the way it does business. “With Tray Embedded, we can not only say ‘Yes’ to any integration-related question, but more importantly, our average deal size has also grown while cutting churn rates and speeding up our go-to-market (GTM). We’re now seeing many more integrations and huge momentum upmarket with lots of other, bigger players.”
Schuenemann points out that Tray Embedded’s ability to rapidly deploy new integrations has not only sped up the company’s ability to deploy customer requests and rescue at-risk accounts, but it has also provided value for future accounts. “We have a laser focus on reducing net churn. Tray Embedded lets us quickly launch integrations to rescue at-risk accounts. This not only saves a strategic account from churning, but these new integrations can also be used by other customers, as well as to sell to future prospects.
Perhaps best of all, Tray Embedded forever removes the endless burden of continually having to write and maintain integrations, as the thousands of apps that Copper’s customers use get updated and require new architectural fixes so the connectivity continues to function.
Going forward, Copper plans to continue its investment in and adoption of new features in Tray Embedded to help the company continue to field integration requests and continue to grow its TAM to include higher-value accounts. Says Schuenemann, “Tray Embedded has removed the pain of customer integration requests and opened the door to Copper’s next stage of growth as we move up-market.”