LeadGenius is a Y Combinator company backed by top-tier Silicon Valley investors that builds products to help businesses rapidly scale sales by replacing in-office sales development reps with a network of pre-qualified crowd workers that utilize proprietary data extraction and email prospecting software to deliver the highest quality sales leads for LeadGenius clients.
I joined LeadGenius in the Fall of 2014 to head up product design efforts. I primarily focused on user experience, interaction, and visual design of new web-based products our team has built for LeadGenius clients and crowd workers. I also worked closely with engineering to create a live style guide, which became a reference for front-end devs as they implemented the UI components for all of the products. Additionally, I collaborated with the marketing team to design LeadGenius brand guidelines, marketing site, and email newsletters. In the sections below you may find the highlights of my work at LeadGenius, subdivided into three core products: MailGenius, OverDrive, and Dashboard. The last section showcases several examples of communications design work that we’ve completed in the past year together with the marketing team.
One of the core services at LeadGenius is Outreach. LeadGenius creates and manages automated outbound email campaigns on behalf of its clients that are closely monitored by pre-qualified crowd workers. A year ago there were no internal tools for LeadGenius crowd workers to create, send, and monitor outbound email campaigns; the company simply used third-party software. Today LeadGenius crowd workers are using MailGenius, a full-featured tool that allows users to select recipients from a prospect list, create custom email templates, set up outbound email scheduling, and monitor campaign results through integrated stats panel that also surfaces crucial data to LeadGenius clients via a client-facing dashboard.
We collected valuable insights from the crowd workers and learned how they used third-party tools to provide outreach services to LeadGenius clients. All of the insights were carefully distilled by a user experience researcher on my team, and, as a result, we had a clear understanding of what we needed to build. Some of the early product wireframes and user flows that I designed helped communicate the proposed user experience to the crowd workers in order to solicit better feedback. Our iterative approach, driven by constant feedback from users, helped us build a compelling product, which ultimately eliminated the need to use any third-party software and helped crowd workers deliver more value to LeadGenius clients with greater efficiency.
Another core product designed for the crowd workers is OverDrive, a platform for sourcing, organizing, verifying, and delivering high-quality sales leads to LeadGenius clients. Prior to launching OverDrive, LeadGenius crowd workers utilized Google Spreadsheets to manage all of their lead generation activities. Upon receiving instructions from a client, crowd workers scoured the Internet for leads that fit specific criteria and added them to a spreadsheet that was then verified by QA workers and sent to clients. Today LeadGenius crowd workers rely on OverDrive in conjunction with LeadCloud to source and manage sales leads across the Internet and receive automated recommendations from the internal data source. OverDrive adds efficiency not only to sourcing of leads internally and externally, but also to processes around QA and final delivery of lead data to clients.
In order to build a product that addressed strategic objectives, we had to learn how crowd workers used Google Spreadsheets to manage lead generation activities since we were essentially building a replacement tool with custom features. Our user researcher shadowed crowd workers during their day-to-day activities to learn about their process. I created detailed user flows for OverDrive based on initial assumptions right after we’ve come to understand the basic processes around lead generation activities. Detailed product wireframes followed to ramp up engineering efforts and gather user feedback around usability issues. We ended up hitting some roadblocks and re-working a few features along the way. One of the main challenges midway through the process was integrating a search functionality for the newly developed LeadCloud to help crowd workers find qualified leads from an internal data source. Ultimately, this functionality significantly added to crowd worker efficiency, but proved to be a difficult feature to implement technically, plus it required a multitude of design iterations because we received mixed feedback from the first users of OverDrive.
LeadGenius client-facing dashboard allows its users to interact with the lead data, access lead generation and outreach stats, and request more sales leads by way of creating new lists. Dashboard is seamlessly integrated with MailGenius and OverDrive; it serves as a central hub for monitoring outreach and lead generation activities. LeadGenius clients use the dashboard to download newly sourced sales leads, provide lead-level comments, and update their instructions for the crowd workers. LeadGenius product team is currently working on integrating its product suite with Salesforce to automate transfer of data and synchronize key activities across the two platforms.
Building a solid client-facing product required user research and direct contact with existing clients. After identifying key building blocks of the dashboard, I created simple wireframes and presented a set of task flows to the engineering team to discuss potential roadblocks. Following a sprit-based development process, we sub-divided dashboard features into sprints and decided to get more feedback about specific components that comprised the dashboard. As engineering ramped up on building out the foundational component, my team collected additional user feedback, and I started flushing out the UX and working on visual UI components.
Even though LeadGenius outsourced some of the marketing design work, I led the design efforts on several key projects. I worked closely with our marketing team to produce a new marketing site for LeadGenius. I also designed all of the brand guidelines and helped promote the adoption of these guidelines across the organization. Some of the other projects in communications design arena included the design of templates for email newsletters and various case studies directed at attracting new clients.