For this case study, we spoke to three members of the PandaDoc UXR team:

Dmitry Bortnitski
Dmitry Bortnitski
Head of UXR
Max Vasyliev
Max Vasyliev
UX Researcher
Eugene Lazovsky
Eugene Lazovsky
UX Researcher
Anastasia Perelaiko
Anastasia Perelaiko
Junior UX Researcher

The PandaDoc UXR team was spending too much time following painful manual processes with unnecessary steps and using tools/systems that didn’t play nicely. They had to share tools with AEs, SDRs and CSMs, making outreach and tracking especially difficult.

Ultimately, they lacked a tool “built for our purpose as a research team,” said Max Vasyliev, UX Researcher at PandaDoc.

What they needed was a User Research CRM. Luckily, they found Rally.

Before Rally

Too many tools, no tracking, & an un-streamlined process

“We didn’t have much structure when it came to conducting research,” said Eugene Lazovsky, Product Researcher at PandaDoc.

If a UXR at PandaDoc wanted to conduct research, they would have to go through a time-consuming amount of manual steps that required multiple tools. “We were spending more time on basic tasks that should have taken a matter of minutes,” said Max.

One task in particular that was clunky and ineffective was incentives. “Handling gift cards was a PAIN,” said Max. Once a week, a designated team member would use a Google Sheet to send out incentives — from her own personal Amazon account. Participants sometimes had to wait 1-5 days to receive their gift card, and it was difficult to keep track of who received their incentive.

Since incentives were being sent out via a personal Amazon account, if the person handling them was out of office, incentives that were ready to send were delayed and no one else could fill in for her.

PandaDoc’s time-consuming process before Rally:

Outreach was especially difficult for the PandaDoc team. “There was no streamlined process around outreach and there was no visibility into what other teams were doing,” said Max. For outreach, the team was using Salesloft, an email automation tool for sales teams, to recruit and communicate with participants. “Salesloft was very slow, not convenient to use, and was always lacking,” said Eugene.


Since Salesloft was managed by the sales team and under their budget, it was challenging to expand and provide more access for research. “We couldn’t get more licenses, which created a bottleneck if we wanted to scale,” said Max.

The team was also limited in the number of emails they could send out in a day. “One PM sent out 10,000+ emails and the sales team was unable to send anything for a couple of days,” said Max. And when the UXR team would send out emails, they could not include unsubscribe links. “I personally received a couple of angry emails asking to never be contacted again,” said Max.

Without a streamlined process, visibility, or a tool meant for researchers, it was difficult to track who was reaching out to who, increasing the risk of over-contacting or letting people fall through the cracks.

“We decided to use Rally because it would replace multiple tools, streamline our process, and allow us to be in control of our process,” said Max.

After Rally

“It’s much easier when you have a single place for Research Operations specifically designed for User Research,” said Eugene. As a UXR team of four with a lot on their plate, having that single source of truth helped alleviate the pain they were experiencing. “Rally has saved us an enormous amount of time,” said Max.

Now to conduct a study, the team doesn’t need to jump back and forth between 6 different tools. Rally unlocked hours of time the team can spend on more research.
Let’s dive into what Rally enabled for PandaDoc’s UXR team:

💥 set up a study in less than 5 minutes (before it would take 45+)

Before Rally, it would take the team 45+ minutes to set up a study. “We had to juggle multiple tools,” said Max. Now to conduct a study, the team doesn’t need to create a form in Google Forms, send a bunch of emails from Salesloft, or send gift cards through Amazon — they can do it all in Rally.

The team can share links to their studies, auto-qualify participants with screeners, seamlessly schedule interviews, and automate incentives. Here’s how:

{{ features }}

👏 Conduct more studies

“Our team is quite small and sometimes we have too many projects,” said Eugene. “We would end up spending too much time on the operations around research.” Research projects would often take over a month to complete, but with Rally they were able to reduce that time to under two weeks. “Things happen much quicker in Rally, and now I can quickly finish one project and start on another,” he said.

Part of how Rally makes conducting research more fast and efficient is that it is the source of truth for all participant management and recruitment tasks. “We have everything in Rally. We know where to go, and can do more research with less effort,” said Max.

Rally greatly reduced the stress of juggling multiple projects at once as a small UXR team with no ReOps support. Now, PandaDoc’s team is able to dedicate more effort toward complex research projects they weren’t able to tackle before.

🙋 Recruit the right users

Before using Rally, the PandaDoc had a hard time finding the right users for their studies. Using Rally’s screener feature, the team can now easily identify the perfect audience for their studies and waste less time recruiting and talking to people who aren’t the right fit.

Anastasia Perelaiko, UX Researcher at PandaDoc, said now that she uses Rally, she’s more effective at populating studies with the right users. She also said that after identifying the right users, she’s able to easily track their engagement and participation throughout the lifecycle of the study.

“Compared to all the software that is out there in the market, Rally definitely stands out and offers the best solution for recruiting our user base,” she said.

🤝  Democratize research

“With Rally, everything became more structured,” said Eugene. And with structure comes the opportunity to democratize. Research became more of a team activity as the PandaDoc researchers began to hand off research tasks to PMs. “Rally made it easier to set up research for those who don’t personally conduct research,” said Eugene.

Before Rally, the team was not in the position to involve non-researchers in research in a way that was sustainable and safe. They’ve been able to also serve more stakeholders and bring more awareness to research within their org.

“Rally has been a breath of fresh air for our team,” said Eugene. “It’s been a really great tool for us and the greatest of all the tools we tried in the last year.”


What’s next for PandaDoc?

The PandaDoc team is preparing to train a team of 20+ PMs to conduct self-serve research using Rally. This will free up the UXR team’s time to focus on more strategic initiatives and projects. Here’s how Rally is helping:

🧑⚖️  Governance

  • audit and track user contact status and history
  • blocklist to enforce a “do not contact” list
  • syncing opt outs across their customer data sources
  • securely store and manage sensitive participant data/PII
  • set up user permissions to have oversight over new researchers

📝  Templates

  • create reusable study, screener, landing page, consent forms, and email templates to make it easier to get started
  • insert branded assets into templates to ensure participants receive a consistent experience no matter who is doing research

🔂  Recruitment Automation

  • automate outreach, scheduling, incentives, and consent forms
  • schedule calls with multiple team members where availability dynamically updates
  • automatically send incentives that are simple to claim
  • send screeners with skip logic and auto-qualification

“Rally helped us shorten the recruiting time and optimize our recruiting processes,” said Dmitry. “It’s easy to use and ultimately the perfect fit in helping us access existing users.”

Spend more time researching with Rally

Rally’s User Research CRM enables you to do better research in less time. Find out how you can use Rally to allow non-researchers and important cross-functional partners to responsibly take part in User Research. Explore Rally now by setting up a demo.