About, oh, 9 years ago now, now-LinkedIn Influencer Richard King contacted me about hosting his companies events on Tito. Having added his events, he soon hit me with a new requirement: Salesforce Integration.
Having not read Zach Holman’s post about Saying No to Sales, I dived right in and began building the Salesforce integration.
"We can write it and then sell it to other customers"
9 years later, and the integration still exists, it's super reliable, and it's being used by precisely one customer: Richard King.
Rich is a good customer. I'd hazard that he is a great customer: nearly 10 years and counting, we hardly hear from him, the platform just works for him, and he even invested some of his own money in the company.
Last week I wrapped up his latest setup of the Tito Salesforce Integration for Rich’s latest gig: The Product Marketing Alliance. Here's what the integration looks like:
The integration receives a webhook payload every time an order is placed or a ticket is updated in Tito. Then the JSON is passed along to a series of steps that map the JSON payload to Salesforce objects. It's gnarly, but it works!
It's a bit like Zapier, but where Zapier is intentionally broad, this integration is highly specific.
In all, I'd say that even though we've yet to ship it as a self-serve product, I'm a lot happier that this integration exists than not. Like many things with Tito, if I were to go back in time, I would probably attempt to start with a smaller scope and really polish that, getting it to more customers earlier, which is basically the lesson that Zach is warning in the post above. I would sum it up as follows:
If you're consulting, the client defines the work and you build it.
If you're building a product, you define the work and the customer buys it. Sell what you have.
I still need to remind myself of that every day. If you do end up saying "yes" to sales, well, the worst case is that you'll have something to win back the same person in a different company years later, as I did!