What does it mean to be a "best of breed” tool ?
One definition is: It means that your tool is narrowly focused on solving a few tasks, and solving them really, really well.
At CV Partner we made a decision to be a narrow, focused tool since inception. That is the reason our tool is solely a CV and Case Study management tool, and we have not added features for CRM, HRM, Scheduling, CMS or similar features. We decided that this space is already well served by others in the industry, so we have kept our focus on being the very best at what we do.
It is easy to go down the “wrong” path in the beginning. You might meet potential customers who encourage you to develop and support a specific feature for a niche use-case of theirs. Later, when you get paying customers using that part of the tool which is not core, it can become burdensome to maintain and improve upon. EOL’ing or removing a feature which is not used enough also takes up a lot of time and effort and by not ever developing these tools in the first place we avoid this.
What does it take to be best of breed?
To be best of breed, you need to say “no” - a lot. “No” to certain new features, and even no to some clients who have a particular use case which is not matching with your target market or core feature. Saying “no” to this is quite difficult when your biggest clients ask for a feature and you know you can make it for them. In order to focus you need to turn down a lot of questions and feature requests, so it is good to get used to this early. This might be difficult but you are not doing anyone a favour if you are solving the problem only half way.
«Best of breed» is in the CV Partner DNA
Being best of breed is both in our strategy, but also in our name and tagline. ”CV Partner” might not mean much does it? Well, we are a close partner for our clients helping them with CVs (and case studies) therefore; "CV Partner". The name would have been too long if we would add "CV and Case Study Partner". Also, our tagline "The new way to manage your CVs and Case Studies" limits us in both our marketing as well as our strategy. We repeatedly ask ourselves when prioritising what to improve, does this align with our name and tagline?
Following the best of breed philosophy from day one might make your clients recognise and appreciate it
CV Partner has kept the “best of breed” philosophy from day one. Therefore it is very cool when CV Partner is mentioned as a best of breed tool independently at a conference in Copenhagen early 2019 when Trude Hole, Director of Communication at Bouvet used the term in this presentation. CV Partner was mentioned as one of the best of breed tools used in creating the Bouvet intranet. We are very excited that our tool is recognised as best of breed by experienced consultants and designers.
Similar to when Bouvet is using CV Partner and the Sesam.io integration platform service to create their intranet using the API, you can do this too with other best of breed tools. Creating integrations has never been easier. In fact, if a SaaS tool does not have an API you can integrate with, you can argue that it is not a best of breed tool. If you want the best tools available for your business, having best of breed tools for each problem and then linking them together as needed is often the best choice.
Best of breed systems have to be agile and adaptable
Being a best of breed SaaS for professional services firms requires being on top of changes in the industry as they happen, as well as being able to quickly navigate and adopt based on client needs. Often our clients have short deadlines and do not appreciate waiting for the new feature or system to update. Therefore, we have designed feature toggles and customizable templates allowing us to quickly adapt to our market needs. We are also offering in-app support chat for all users where we gather important market intelligence from our users.
Due to the CV Partner feature toggles and customisable templates, you will find both consultants, engineers, lawyers, accountants, architects and designers in the CV Partner client list. Also, the CV Partner experienced Customer Success Team have experience in tailoring the use of CV Partner to each client, regardless of their segment, market or vertical. This way the CV Partner tool works for (almost) any professional services firm, regardless of location and industry.
At CV Partner, we use best of breed tools ourselves
We are true to our own words. At CV Partner we only use best of breed tools internally. The tools are then linked as needed based on either in-house API integrations we have made ourselves, or third-party integrations. Some of the day-to-day tools the sales, support, customer success and management teams use include:
Best of breed tools we use
Clubhouse (Kanban task management tool)
Retrium (Team retrospectives)
Notion (CV Partners intranet)
Upsales (CRM system)
CV Partner (CV and Case Study management tool)
Oneflow (e-signature tool)
Productboard (product planning and tracking of feature requests)
Tripletex (Finance and accounting)
Calendly (Calendar booking tool)
Slack (Internal communication)
MountainDuck (Secure file sharing using S3)
The above list does not include the tools our development team uses, which we might cover in another more technical blog post.
If you are interested in learning more, sign up for a demo and we will share some best practices when using CV Partner as a best of breed CV and Case Study management tool.