Case study: CloudBank

 CloudBank sells cloud-based financial planning software on a monthly or annual subscription. Primarily aimed at startups, the SAAS product has also been sold to solo entrepreneurs and freelancers, and a small number of larger corporates.

CloudBank has a team of 30 people, made up of different disciplines:

  • customer service (who manage all queries from clients and customers).

  • technical (who maintain the software and build new features).

  • marketing (who promote the company and product).

  • sales (who bring in new customers).

New customers can come to the product directly through the website and sign up with a credit card, although larger clients usually need a longer sales conversation and bespoke setup of the software.

The core set of product features work well, and they have thousands of users each day. There is a list of other features they could build, but they’re not sure about how to prioritise them.

CloudBank want to expand their business, and they’ve brought you in as consultants to help. They’ve already brainstormed a few ideas to grow:

  • Focusing on larger corporate clients rather than startups.

  • Expanding the sales team to onboard startup clients more quickly.

  • Adding the ability to handle cryptocurrency (eg. Bitcoin).

  • Automating filing of expenses (currently a manual process).

  • Giving new users a one month free trial.

  • Creating new language versions of the product (eg. Spanish).

They don’t know if any of those will actually work, and they’re definitely open to other ideas.

Don’t scroll down to the next section until we get to that exercise!


Scenario #1

CloudBank has an email newsletter that it sends out to a large group of existing and potential customers. It’s intended for content marketing – it mainly links to blog posts about managing finances as a startup.

The head of sales wants to send more emails that are straight sales pitches – that describe the product and its features, and encourage people to sign up. The head of marketing is concerned that this will actually put people off the brand.

 Scenario #2 

The analytics team has noticed that users who connect CloudBank to their online banking within the first month of subscribing tend to use the product every day. Users who never connect their online banking tend to just log in every couple of weeks.

 The head of UX wants to invest in features that will encourage users to connec their online banking as early as possible. The sales team is arguing this doesn’t matter – if the customers are paying every month, why do we care how often they’re using it?