Invoice2go is a mobile and web application that provides a simple invoicing, expense-tracking, and reporting tool to small business owners, freelancers, consultants, and contractors across the globe. With over 220,000 users relying on Invoice2go to help streamline their administrative needs, the company plays an important role in enabling and empowering its customers.
A customer-centric approach — along with four rounds of investment over the past decade — has fueled the company’s strategic growth since its founding in 2002.
As the pandemic spread in 2020, however, their pursuit of growth became more complex. Many small business customers were struggling to succeed, presenting Invoice2go with both a challenge and an opportunity: how could they add value for their loyal customers during a difficult time? The answer started with building an aligned product team to listen intently to customers and fully understand how to enable them to thrive.
Mandar Karlekar, co-founder and principal consultant of Product Rocket, worked with Invoice2go to help them determine the best way forward. Having consulted at a number of companies from startups to large organizations, he has been an advocate of Productboard for years.
Karlekar proposed that Invoice2go use Productboard as a tool to complement good product processes. From strengthening a growing product team to offering a single source of truth to streamlining processes, Productboard helped Invoice2go to arrive at the right answers for strategic growth.
Invoice2go hired a number of new product managers with the desire, skills and experience to succeed. In cooperation with other new hires — data-driven individuals as well as research and design enthusiasts — the enlarged team was full of talent. However, in Karlekar’s opinion, they lacked the necessary tools to react to the new market challenges and enable them to achieve what they were already capable of.
Bringing in Productboard provided the team with a platform to align, communicate and prioritize the customers’ most important needs. From the leadership down, the understanding that a solid platform like Productboard was needed to facilitate a product-oriented organisation was critical.
Using Productboard, the product team found the intersections between business objectives and customer objectives. They saw that the future of the company would be about stepping out of boundaries and ensuring that growth remains at the forefront of strategy.
Most importantly, the team realized that the Invoice2go name, value prop, target segment, and product positioning were limited. They needed to break out from their position focusing primarily on its role as an invoicing app. Instead, they needed to take a broad-spectrum look at opportunities across the entire customer journey. Ultimately, they needed to become a platform that wasn’t just about invoicing, but a well-rounded small business suite.
Before Productboard, product managers were seeking and documenting information in multiple locations: Slack, Jira, Trello, Confluence, Google Docs, meeting notes, in-person conversations, and various other tools and logs. Product teams found it difficult to align tools and processes.
Additionally, Product Managers were siloed, with very little big-picture visibility of both others’ work and their own. They had no effective way of linking to supporting data and it was difficult to visualise which stage of the research and discovery process the initiatives were.
Productboard provided Invoice2go with a single source of truth, making it easier for cross-functional teammates to contribute insights and track the product team’s progress toward it’s newly clear, big picture objectives. Market insights mostly came into Productboard from the customer success, product and design teams, as well as senior leadership — but everyone in the company was encouraged to share insights related to the product backlog.
That visibility and access gave the product team more confidence in what they were building, allowing them to go back to customers for additional discovery. It also made the broader cross-functional teams know that they have an important voice, as they could see how feedback they submit contributed to the product strategy.
Using Productboard as a single source of truth and a backlog of items in pre-development phases also allowed the delivery platforms that Invoice2go uses, such as Jira, to stay tidy, amplifying its impact.
For Invoice2go, one of the most useful Productboard features has been its ability to link customer feedback to individual features. Each insight can be linked to a feature or initiative on Productboard, continuing to add value over time. No matter when, where or how much feedback comes in, it’s associated with a feature and tracked.
Productboard also gave the company the ability to identify trends. Checking out feedback and seeing topic groups emerging and shifting in importance allowed Invoice2go to continuously monitor and reflect on the most important customer needs.
Additionally, through processes like RICE prioritisation and customer feedback triage, Productboard supported and offered a template for a standardized approach to preparing and structuring initiatives through prioritization frameworks. This helped managers make decisions on what matters most. It also allowed everyone from the top down to communicate the “what” as well as the “why” and stay aligned on product processes.
Productboard’s roadmap has also been a critically important tool to staying focused from beginning to end. Prior to using Productboard, work was siloed and individual teams managed their own to-do lists across a variety of platforms such as Trello, Confluence, spreadsheets and post-its. This was chaotic, caused misalignment and confusion and uncertainty as to what the collective was doing to achieve intended outcomes and quarterly business objectives. The Productboard roadmap — easy to set up, share, and manage — enabled Invoice2go to tackle those problems and take an outcome-driven, agile approach.
As a result of having Productboard, the Invoice2go team is focused, ultra-collaborative, and motivated to deliver value. Everyone from UX researchers to designers to Product Managers are involved with and benefitting from talking to customers, finding insights, and conducting or planning for further research. Productboard ensures that they’re synthesising their insights into the overall product strategy, which is critical to the success of the products.
“Mindset, process, tools – Productboard was the enabler at Invoice2go for an experienced team to focus, prioritise and accelerate the business towards further growth” says Karlekar
As a result, they continue to add to their already strong product suite with products and features that solve real problems and provide for the needs and wants of their customers.