3 Reasons Why Intercom Customers Are Switching to Inflection to Accelerate Product-led Growth in 2023
The newly-appointed Intercom CEO Eoghan McCabe recently told Forbes that he intends to focus Intercom's efforts on customer support as well as pick a fight with Zendesk:
As per his statement, it is clear that the 12-year-old solution is moving towards the customer support arena and showing increased interest towards service. Since Intercom is pivoting to focus on customer support use cases, they will inevitably not be focusing on product adoption, engagement, expansion, and product-led growth use cases.
We’ve been receiving a lot of interest from Intercom’s existing and potential customers to try out Inflection for their growth stack given this shift. Most of these are B2B product-led companies looking for product activity-based growth campaigns.
Here’re the three major reasons why they’re taking a look at us, from their perspective:
1) To see what you get when you build a solution for B2B companies
Intercom is a mile wide and an inch deep. It's a great all-around solution if you are a small SMB and need everything in one spot and don't need particularly advanced features. When you build for SMBs, you need to make sure you have a large market, so you cater to different types of companies, like B2B, B2C, ecommerce, etc, and also cater to multiple use cases at those companies, like marketing/growth, support, website chat, etc.
Companies come to Inflection to see what it’s like when a company builds specifically for B2B product-led growth companies.
But first, Inflection already handles a lot of the core use cases. Easily bring in product data. Build communication journeys to customers. Personalize communications based on product usage or Salesforce data, etc.
So what’s different?
Robust Salesforce integration. Inflection, like other marketing automation solutions, goes very deep into building world-class Salesforce integration and workflows. CRMs are the backbone of SaaS companies and being able to build audiences off Salesforce data, report lists and data back into Salesforce, and tie campaign performance to Salesforce Campaigns to show value from customer marketing efforts is absolutely critical.
Insanely awesome personalization capabilities. Inflection was built to deliver highly personalized emails to customers and we’ve built an excel-like token editor to make it happen. Display dynamic content, do field replacements, summarize product data in recap emails to customers, and more.
Deliverability and more in-depth reporting. Since many Inflection users are in full-time roles relating to their work, such as growth teams, lifecycle marketing, and customer marketing, and given the importance of customer expansions at product-led companies, having world-class deliverability and the capabilities to optimize the campaigns at depth is critical. Inflection goes deep here, including providing more campaign performance results, insights to improve deliverability/inboxing, and even which specific customers are clicking what links, bouncing, or opening.
Since Inflection is built for B2B companies, Inflection can handle contacts with multiple accounts, workspaces, and users within the platform. This is very important for PLG companies like Slack, Notion, etc, as they will have customers with the same email address logged in to different company workspaces.
And soon, Inflection will be unveiling lead scoring based on both lead scoring and product activity data, to let our customers serve up customers that are ready-to-engage for expansions.
2) To evaluate something that has more transparent and more friendly pricing at scale
Intercom typically locks customers up in big contracts with feature-based pricing, seat-based pricing, and contacts-based pricing. It’s difficult to estimate the exact cost for Intercom’s plans from their pricing page. However, what ends up happening is that when you have seat AND scale based pricing like Intercom has, it gets very expensive for larger customers. We’ve seen many companies paying Intercom more than $80,000/yr, which is in some cases more than they are paying for marketing automation. Is it really worth that much more? No.
Additionally, because of the way the pricing works, the plans have different add-ons and limitations that are tough to understand without actually talking to their sales team. For example, you might not realize that you need to purchase additional seats in order to customize messages to come from that person.
Inflection on the other hand is very transparent with its pricing and doesn’t charge add-ons for seats. You just pay for the number of people you email each month. Do you have 200 CSMs and want to have the welcome email come from the assigned CSM? Great! That is easy to set up in Inflection and there’s no additional charge.
3) To shape a product for years to come
Intercom is a 12-year-old product that went in a lot of different directions over that time. The chances of Intercom doubling down on B2B growth use cases were always thin, but essentially non-existent with the shit to focus more on support.
Inflection has been around for 2 years and already built enough functionality to move customers off Intercom. This was possible by being very focused on B2B product-led companies and their needs.
Companies are starting to ask themselves: Do I want to keep using a 12-year-old product that doesn’t work super well for me, or do I want to go partner with a new startup that’s building for my use cases? If Inflection is already able to deliver on the core use cases after just 2 years, where will they be in a few years from now?
I’ve worked with a lot of vendors in my marketing career and it’s almost always better to bet and invest in those that are growing, where you are the core customer/use cases, and that are open to your feedback to build a better product.
If you’ve been using Intercom and looking for a better solution, check out Inflection here.