Are you selling your products/services to enterprise customers? Do you struggle to generate leads and close them into Customers.
You will discover the seven steps to use to Systematize and Scale your Entire Sales Process!
OWEN: My guest today is Anil Jwalanna and he is the CEO and founder of Witty Parrot. Anil, welcome to the show.
ANIL: Thank you Owen, I’m very excited to have this show. I love your show.
OWEN: Just to give the listeners a brief intro as to what this call is going to be about. If you are listening and you have a product where you want to sell your product or service to enterprise customers then that’s what this interview is going to be about. But let’s give them a quick intro as to what they’ll be learning from here. So what exactly would the listener be learning during this interview?
ANIL: Yeah. At this stage we have established the product market fit and we are trying to scale with the parent platform to selling to the B2B customers. And I would be talking mostly in this interview about the lead generation process, how we systemize the whole process all the way from lead generation to driving the prospects through the sales pipeline, and eventually making them as a successful customer. So I would talk more about how the processes is important in terms of scaling the company, and how it can be replicated or cloned across organizations as we hired more and more people to scale.
OWEN: Awesome. So basically, in summary the listeners are going to be learning a systematized way to generate leads and being able to sell to enterprise level customers. So you generate leads through the system and you also close the leads through a system. And particularly the customers are enterprise level customers. Let’s jump right in, what are some mind-blowing results that you now experience as a result of systemizing the process for acquiring enterprise level customers?
ANIL: Yes. The biggest accomplishment which I’m really very proud of is that we are getting Fortune 500 companies as our customers in the last 4 to 5 months. We’re able to acquire as many as 6 to 8 big name customers such Vmware, Oracle, Kaiser Permanente, etc., which health industry even figure out where is the process. And also once we understood and realize that the process, what works. Then we started reproducing the same thing, which is building better and better research going forward. So those are the mind-blowing results that I’m very proud of.
OWEN: So you mentioned during the pre-interview that you guys are now getting Fortune 500 companies as customers, and you also figured out an email marketing campaign that helps you guys generate this enterprise level customers, so that’s awesome. And we’ll be talking about that during this interview. So let’s dive right into the first step. You said step 1 is decide what customers to serve. Either you’re serving an enterprise professional or a consumer type customer. But in this case we are focusing on enterprise. So let’s talk about that.
ANIL: Yeah. The decision to go with the enterprise customer or a consumer profile customers is one of the key factors. Especially, a lot of it depends on what kind of product you’re building. And most of the time, especially in our case, the product that we have built was resonating very well both as a consumer app as well as it had a lot of potential for enterprises as well. When we launched the company at launch conference about 2 years ago we got really loud and clear feedback from a panel of judges. We really have a good opportunity to position the product as a B2B business product. So that helped us to focus more and more on thinking about what is the right direction because these decisions are so critical it kind of changes the direction of the company itself. As entrepreneurs we have to really be careful in terms of thinking through what route we have to take, and a lot of factors. Like in our case I come with an enterprise background. I know exactly enterprises work. That was a huge factor which influenced me apart from the panel of judges’ comments to decide to move towards enterprise market.
OWEN: Yeah, they’re also thinking like from that standpoint of deciding what customer or who to serve, if you decide right from the get-go that your customer is enterprise then it keeps you from moving into several other directions. “How can we create these apps so that it serves the regular B2C consumers and stuff like that. It keeps you focused on what your product needs to be. I think that’s why this is a very important step. Another thing is step number 2. You said figure out what your value proposition is. So now the listener has decided they’re going to focus on enterprise, or they’re already focusing on enterprise. But talk about why this step is important and is this about?
ANIL: When built the product, we think that we know everything and we hypothesize the whole use case scenarios and then build a product platform with certain capabilities. But in a lot of these things what we assume things are not necessarily true in most cases. First of all, the product that we build, we were mainly focusing on selling this to sales and implement market. All of a sudden it gave us an opportunity to open up the market in the calendar position space, which is completely. out of the blue it just came as a big opportunity. The second thing is the product that we had even for sales and [Unintelligible 00:05:22] when we started getting initial field customers. And we started demoing the product and they gave them the free trials so that they can have a hands-on trial. Probably the product features that we had was really meeting the 20% to 30% of the needs. But some of those initial customers are so critical that they really helped us to shape the product as well as the company itself in terms of positioning as well as how to sell. And also being a reference customer who can advocate for future customers that we acquire. So it is very, very important to understand the day in the life of the target user that we are selling the platform too. It’s so important. And also at the end of the day if the end user doesn’t realize the value in using the platform they’re never going to use the product, and then whatever we build will be a total waste. So this is where companies have to really spend enough time to understand what market are we serving, what problem are we solving, is this really a problem that end user has, and does this help the end user to improve productivity, or do their job better. That should be some kind of an incentive and the stickiness associated with the product capabilities that make the end user go back and use the product again and again, which establishes a sustainable business model.
OWEN: What I get from this too is when you guys started out you initially thought that your product will be focused on helping sales enablement. But then, as you guys started having more and more enterprise-level customers, you finally found a use case that even made more sense which is the talent acquisition use case. And then as you continue to work with these customers, they ended up influencing the direction of where the product was going, and even help you guys get potential new customers. I like that. Step number three is you said, experiment and refine the capabilities that drive adoption. Can you explain what that means?
ANIL: Definitely. This is one of the biggest happenings in this company for me is that at the end of the day… I’ll take the example of WittyParrot. Our platform is a content product [Unintelligible 00:07:39] solution platform, primarily like I said, start with sales and evaluation, and then find out the opportunity to sell to talent acquisition use case. And also for customer support. These are the use case areas where we’re heavily focused on. Initially when we started building the platform and position the platform we were more positioning this as a consistency play for the organization were the brand production is critical. Everyone speak with one voice, that was our tag line. We have different stakeholders in the company at the end user. All the way from a manager who makes the decision, to content authors who has to create content and then review, upload, etc. And eventually the end user, or sales people, or support rep, or recruiter who eventually have to use the product day in and day out. We have to make sure that the capabilities that we have enable all the stakeholders. We can’t place all the stakeholders, we got to pick one stakeholder or one end user who really makes the difference to establish the eruption of the company. It took some time for us to figure out but we immediately figured out that the end use for us is the real one user we felt we want to focus. It’s going to be the end user which is a recruiter, a sales person, or a customer support the person [Unintelligible 00:08:59]. Think of all these representatives, the end of the day for them they don’t care about the consistency. Of course they do care as a company but they’re more focused on tactical, operational, how many leads did they contact, how many of them I converted into a customer, how many candidates I’m able to reach out to, and then how many of them I pushed through the pipeline to become employees. This is what’s on their mind because they’re measured and compensated with those metrics in mind. So unless we have capabilities where they see this tool helps them as a painkiller on a daily basis, the adoption is not going to happen. That is where we have to be really be careful in terms of picking the right end user who would make a difference in terms of adoption, and identifying the right capabilities that really helps the end use to come back to the product and establish the [Unintelligible 00:09:54]
OWEN: I guess this very step is really where you’re doing some real research, and in terms of that doing experiments to find what are the right features that will help drive adoption. You said in the pre-interview is you guys did some experimentations throughout 2014 that helped you guys determine that. Can you share some of those experiments that you did with the listener?
ANIL: Sure. We did with the experimentation in multiple areas. So all the way from the lead generation… I’m sorry, are you asking about specifically around adoption?
OWEN: Yes. You said step number 3 is experiment so that you can refine the capabilities that you drive adoption. To me that means basically experiment with the potential end user so you can figure out what are the best features that will give them value. That’s what that sounds like to, so I’m wondering if you guys did experiments towards that goal?
ANIL: Sure, definitely. There are plenty of examples that I can give. For example Vmware as a customer for us. They are primarily using WittyParrot for talent acquisition where they created a bunch of content and they want to make sure that all the recruiters leverage the content either from promoting in their social media, why candidates should work for Vmware to soliciting candidates, hiring etc. Like I said, in order to establish the adoption for end user like recruiter, the consistency was helpful. Finding the right information to answer the question the candidate was very helpful. But one feature, if I explain is that the social media, we have the capability to post into social media our individual recruiters, why one should work with Vmware. Or there may be a job opening that they want to promote in the social media. The next step of experimentation and iteration was that the customer came back and said, “Hey, you know what. This is great work you have but I don’t want my recruiters to spend time on clicking on buttons to post on social media because the entire content for posting is managed, and created, and maintained by somebody centrally a single person in the company. So they suggested in a hollow board you create a scheduling capability and delegation capability where a recruiter can delegate on behalf of them to another central person who can automatically schedule the posting, whatever the frequency, time, and the day of the time they want. That is a classic example of how we refine the capabilities. And allows me to say that the customer contribution, this where we have to really understand what real customer problems are. Once you listen to them automatically the solution that will come up is something that, definitely use it because it’s coming from them and they have the real pain with them.
OWEN: And step number 4 is adoption. Let me just compare that. Now, step number 3 you spent that time with the end user really figuring out what are best features that will actually be useful for them to use. But then adoption is a totally different thing where now you’ve created that feature. How do you get them to actually use it. Let’s talk about this whole adoption topic.
ANIL: Right. In every step of the process in building a company there are unique challenges that we have to deal with. Everytime I cross one challenge one of the challenge I would think, “Oh my god, this is the most difficult one.” But everything is a difficult challenge by itself. The last step in the entire challenging process is the adoption. Because somehow we build a product and figure out the value proposition. And somehow this acquire a few customers initially. Now, how do you make sure that these customers are really successful. Successful meaning that end-users have to really start using the product.
OWEN: And that’s a good keyword, is successful with your app. I like that.
ANIL: Yeah. Because the definition varies so much, but at the end of the day for us to establish as a company, we have to have the customers which are end users, start using the product on an ongoing basis so that we can have a reputable revenue coming from that customer. This is where we have to spend a lot of effort and energy beyond just coming up with a value proposition capabilities, but also helping them, nurturing them, training them on an ongoing basis. Continuously taking to them, getting the feedback to make sure that they feel comfortable in using the platform is very important in order to successfully establish the adoption of the product itself.
OWEN: Regarding adoption too, you mentioned earlier that even though you’re serving the customer which is the company, in this case now Vmware, that was the company. But the customer itself they have this goal. But in that vein too there’s multiple personas or different stakeholders within the company that will end up getting value from it. I’m thinking when you’re talking about adoption, you’re figuring out how your product will apply to those different stakeholders, right? Talk about that.
ANIL: Yeah. Especially when we’re selling the product first time. We mostly start talking to the decision makers such as managers or directors. We can definitely have a compelling value proposition. In our case we have consistency, brand protection, and analytics in terms of which content is more effective, which sales person using what collateral type of thing. That was very interesting and useful. But again, it doesn’t end there. In order for the end user to start using the [Unintelligible 00:15:40] is take an example of Vmware recruiter. For the recruiter to start using WittyParrot there should be enough content available in the product so that they can start using the product. Then which means that another stakeholder is the content author or creator who goes and grabs the content from multiple places, whether it is marketing department, hiring manager, benefits department, HR. There’s so many places they have to go and aggregate the content so the product has to cater to the needs of these power users who are the content creators, authors, who manage the content on an ongoing basis. And once the content is in the platform then it becomes more powerful and attractive for end users to start using that product. In every step of the way we have to make sure each one of the stakeholders are satisfied with the product capabilities. Because a lot of these people…
OWEN: Is that like saying that each stakeholder has to have an incentive to use the product?
ANIL: You’re right on.
OWEN: You also mentioned something about making sure that the product… vitamin versus painkiller, talk about that, and how that drives adoption.
ANIL: Yes. Like I said, when we position the company initially it was more like the consistency of message, speed, control, and the [Unintelligible 00:17:00]. This resonates very well at the management level. Like I said, in our case the end user is like a sales person. They need to see that what is in it for me, which like [Unintelligible 00:17:12], I have a headache now. Don’t give me a vitamin because I want my headache to go away right now so that then I can live happily. That’s what we mean by keeping clear. In our case we come up with solutions like email marketing campaign where a micro email is like a sales person has a hundred users where he wants to send a mass email only for those one hundred users. That is something that to that day you’ll use it in usual emails sending would cause a lot of time, and that’s where they see immediately, “Oh my god, I can use this product.” The second thing is they can immediately personalize a content just before sending out. They can templatize the content that are stored in WittyParrot and we have dynamic variables where they can just enter the values, they would automatically substitute and all they have to do is just drag and drop into an email or a word document for a proposal and it just goes out. Today they are doing the work in a more painful way or more with workarounds in a time consuming fashion. And if anything that helps them to improve their quality of life for… They can process more leads, process more customers, they would like that area. Because at the end of the day it helps them to achieve their goals and [Unintelligible 00:18:20] are the compensation, whatever it is. We have to identify those paid killer type of solution that not only drives adoption but it also increases the stickiness so that we’ll have a reputable business.
OWEN: So just to summarize that point. Basically, after coming up with a list of core features then you now have to figure out the core personas in that company that are going to use it. And then give them an incentive to use the product. But that incentive that used to stick them to the product has to be something that really is solving a real problem that that stakeholder has, like vitamin versus painkiller. The next thing that you said during the pre-interview regarding driving adoption is one thing to get the right features and functions in your product. But you also have to have user guides and how-to videos, collateral that helps them understand how to use the software. Talk about that.
ANIL: Yeah. That’s a very important point you brought up because obviously, we have to provide every possible help for the end user to adopt the product. And one of the key things are the training. Training is something that you can give. Like in the product you can build guided tools, or they can create how-to videos. And these videos are becoming really effective, where we have created for every feature like 15-30 second videos. It’s very short in duration but easy to consume. It tells them exactly how to do certain things, which are very powerful. But even providing a lot of these trainings, user guides and all the materials, still we were not seeing the level of adoption that we wanted. And then we realized that we need to do something different. And that is where started a hand holding the end user during the training process. What we’re doing is that we tell them how to do a particular function, how to use a particular capability in the product. And we will tell them, “Now, you please do it hands-on yourself.” We will repeat this process for each and every capability so that they have a hands-on experience of actually using the product, which they will never forget going forward. If you see that according to the research, the user tend to remember 90% of work we say and do with the hands-on workshops.
OWEN: Let me see if I can that correctly, because on one hand you’re creating the knowledge base, the user guides, user videos, and all that. But I’m wondering regarding this hands-on training, is it a situation where maybe one of the support staff in your company has office hours where any of the customers or trial users can sign-up for hands on demo, right? When they get to that demo session, the goal of the demo is not just to have the customers support person just demo the software and how it works. But the goal would be to have them talk about the specific use case or challenger they’re trying to solve, and then guide them on how to do it themselves using your software.
ANIL: Exactly. I ask them to do it in front of us so that we can watch it, we can guide them if they make mistakes, and we can help them if they don’t know how to use it. So that when they start doing everything themselves by clicking the mouse, dragging, dropping, creating content, saving. Then they will know that which icon there, what function it does, and how to do it. So it sticks in their head forever.
OWEN: Yeah. Step number 5 you mentioned, determine how to meet the needs of the customer. I’m wondering, how is this different from determining the value proposition which we did earlier?
ANIL: The customer at the end of the day, it’s a holistic thing. in our case we have three different stakeholders, a management who makes a decision, who are more interested in consistency and analytics. Whereas a content [Unintelligible 00:22:25] is more interested in helping with the capabilities, which helps them in content creation. The end user is more interested in how they can improve their productivity, or sale time, or acquire more leads, candidates, etc. If you really see the expectations and the value propositions are different for different stakeholders. So value proposition, whatever we focus is particularly persona, or a stakeholder role. But as a customer it’s a combination of all the three. It’s not just one thing like other things. If we have to be successful with a customer it means that we have to make sure that all the stakeholders we have are absolutely pleased an satisfied with the product capabilities. So that’s what I mean for a customer to renew the business then there should be a support or influence by all the stakeholders and say, “Hey, this is a great product. I cannot live with without this product. Please don’t take it away from me.”
OWEN: Is this like saying… When you try to determine the value proposition you’re kind of looking at it from the end user standpoint. The core features that we need to get in there so that that end user most likely would start getting value from it. But in this case when you’re saying determine the needs you’re looking at it from a holistic standpoint, like the entire company making sure at this very stage you’re looking at every stakeholder. And making sure for the product itself, it meets the need of the company and all the stakeholders involved as well.
ANIL: Yes, absolutely.
OWEN: You also mentioned during the pre-interview that you guys keep talking to the enterprise leads. And then you start being able to bucket them together depending on size and the expectations. Talk about that.
ANIL: Yeah. Even though we have one product platform which kind of caters. We are more like a horizontal platform. And we have heavily focused on these three major use cases like talent acquisition, service, environment, and customer support. So now, think about the sales and the environment. We sell this platform to large enterprises, to even small-medium business with 20-30 years. So the range varies anywhere between a customer of 20 users to 5,000 users. So the sale cycle is not exactly the same from customer to customer. This is where it is very critical to bucket the size of the companies like [Unintelligible 00:24:51] of a billion plus revenue, which we assume that a thousand plus sales people, then the sale cycle is much longer. It could be 3-6 months depending on the type of the company. And even the [Unintelligible 00:25:03] pharmaceutical takes much longer than a technology company in the same industry size. And we also sell to connect customer use case whether the [Unintelligible 00:25:15] for me is like probably 2 or 3 weeks. We have to start figuring it out from the process point of view. How to break on the size… Because the key factor for… We need to figure out what is the sales cycle in words for a particular size of the company or industry vertical. The second thing is then how many cycles of iterations I have to do in terms of where that creating standard demos, how many standard demos, and then how do we create customer demos, what kind of customer demos we have to do. The expectations in terms of the capabilities. Like for example large enterprises invariably look for single sign-on, encryption, integration with other infrastructure. So when we pictured the solution to large companies we will be more focused on these kinds of capabilities, bells and whistles, what more, but allowing specific to large companies. When we go to a small or medium sized company they don’t care as much about the single tenant kind of thing. So they’re more interested at, “Hey, what is that value here? How does this help me to save money or acquire more customers faster. They’re more looking at value proposition, and their decision-making is way faster than a large enterprise. Large enterprises there are a lot of consensus, too many departments are involved. [Unintelligible 00:26:36] has to bless the solution before it gets into the company. So this is where we have to segment the customers in terms of their size and in terms of industry vertical. We have to have different proven process for each one of those segments.
OWEN: What I get from this step, maybe I can summarize what I’m understand is that by talking to many of these leads regardless of the company or the different enterprise leads, you guys are now able to buck them and put them into specific category based on the size of the company as well some expectations that they have. As a result of doing that you are now also able to establish a pattern of… Depending on this type of company and this kind of size, these are the types of expectations that they have and what they’re looking for in our product. Because the size of the company this is the type of sales process that we have to go through in order to close them as a customer. Meaning that the bigger, larger companies will have a much longer sales cycle but then the companies that are small to medium sized, or maybe even in their early stages of being an enterprise, their own sales cycle is different. So basically you’re able to establish this pattern. Based on the type of customer you’re talking to you now apply the right sales cycle or sales strategy too, right?
ANIL: That’s correct. It’s an evolutionary process. Like you said, it’s a learning process for us and we do some kind of trial and error, and testing. We know which worked which didn’t work. But like you said, the pattern being established by doing the same thing again and again, you can start refining the process. And you get these days where you know this is exactly what happened in order to take them to the next steps.
OWEN: Awesome. Step number 6, you say systematize the lead generation, let’s talk about that.
ANIL: Yeah. One of the biggest things, and once you have a proven beta customers and happy customers, now the question is how you can acquire 10 customers of similar size or type, or 100 customers, 1,000 customers. Then you need to start thinking about how do you start sourcing these leads. Because it’s a funnel. You have to have maximum top of the funnel in order to get certain kind of motion at the bottom as customers. So this is where we have to figure out what are the different ways which really and effectively works for us in terms of generating the leads so that we can have a higher conversion rate as customers. That’s what I mean by systematizing the generation of leads.
OWEN: Yeah. And you also mentioned in this stage now not only are you creating a systematized way to get the leads then. But also you’re working on making sure that you’re creating videos, white papers, and resources for specific use cases. Talk about that.
ANIL: Yeah. Once we generate the leads the very next step is… And also we have as we talked about earlier that we segment the customer. So once we know what segment we are targeting and we have the leads in that space then we have a process of [Unintelligible 00:29:45] use cases, or how many user-based they have, and what’s the real pain point that they have. Accordingly we start pitching them… Promoting them about how we’re able to compare it can help them to really solve the problems. We start creating, based on the successful initial bid the customers that we have. We have produced a bunch of white papers as well as specific use cases, case studies, where we can clearly articulate the valuable position that we have. And what are the tangible benefits this [Unintelligible 00:30:22] are acquired by using WittyParrot. This is the real illustrations that we leverage during the demo stage or exploratory stage to…
OWEN: You’re about to talk about how email marketing is working for you guys for this step 6 spot where we say systematize lead generation. So talk about how email marketing is helping with that.
ANIL: We tried various ways of generating the leads. I think the winner for us so far is email marketing. We come up with specific targeted messages which more look like a general email that we send out. We engage with several email-marketing companies and we send out thousands of emails in a campaign specifically targeted to certain industry size, or verticals, or particular use cases. We get almost 100-120 responses in terms of, “Hey, I’m interested. I want to see the demo, etc.” Being able to figure out through generate over 100-120 leaders per campaign and drive them through, eventually become 3-4 customers. That’s the mechanism that we are using today to generate the leads and acquire the customers. So I think for B2B, whatever is said and done email is still the best way in a non-pervasive way, reach out to the right executive who are at their leisure can quickly look at it. And if it’s something interesting and have a need for them in terms of the budget or the business requirements then immediately they will reach out to us. That’s exactly how we acquired Fortune 500 companies as customers. We did not handle any contacts in those companies but email was the one which made introductions to these executives and we’re successfully we’re able to acquire them.
OWEN: I know that based on the size of the company and their need, as we talked about earlier are the sales process will differ a little bit. Let’s assume now you have these emails that you’ve sent out. Typically, how does the flow usually work after they’ve received the email?
ANIL: Typically, we send out the emails and we get some responses from the leads. The [Unintelligible 00:32:37] “Hey, this is interesting. Tell me more. I want to learn more. Can we talk about your solution…” So the immediate next step that we do is we send them out like a 5-6 minute video specifically targeted of their use case which is kind of a teaser video which gives them an idea about what we do and what kind of use case problem we solve, etc. So then some customers say, “This is interesting. I don’t have any right now but we’ll talk about it 3 months down the line.” But there are some customers who would say, “Hey this is really interesting and I really have this problem. Can we set-up sometime to see the product demo in action.” So then that is a step where we’ll say, sure. Then we’ll set-up a 15-20 minute call, which we call it as an exploratory phase where we talk to customers and prospects, and then understand really what problem they have. And what is the solution they’re looking for and how WittyParrot can really fit to solve that problem. Once we have an exploratory then we set-up a follow-up call, during which we will schedule a demo. Demo, typically we start with the standard demo, which is specific to that use case. But when the months faded we always tag along with the information we gathered during the exploratory phase and start reinforcing and painting a picture how WittyParrot can really help solve the problem that we understood in the exploratory phase.
ANIL: Once we pass the standard demo process, I’m referring to a large organization where the sales actually is longer. The next step we do is we tell them, “Hey, why don’t you give us some content…” and we create a bunch of regional platform and organize them in proper folders with proper tagging, etc. And then we demonstrate to you almost like a light protection system, how this would look like in your situation when you implement it. That is the most effective demonstration that I’ve seen invariably when we present to the prospects or buyer, with the content, for their use case and show them how their current problem can be solved, they isolate and then say, “Oh my god, this is exactly what I was looking for.” Time and again it’s proven for me the custom the most is becoming more and more effective, but we need to figure out how we can systematized and then scale this custom demo process, but I think that’s the most effective one that helped us to acquire a lot of customers.
OWEN: That brings us to step number 7 where you say scale. Let’s talk about what you mean when you say scale.
ANIL: Scale means for us particularly, we have established product market [Unintelligible 00:35:15] then acquired a few customers, and we know what value proposition we have. We know the entire process of all the different lead generation to making the customer successful. Now, the question is how can we exponentially grow by acquiring 10x, 20x customers. This is what I mean by scaling. It’s like initially we have few people. Typically, if one [Unintelligible 00:35:42] in the sales process and like I said we want to do more and more custom demos. We go out of the way to initially please the customers. One of those [Unintelligible 00:35:53] in terms of acquiring more and more customers then you end up hiring more and more people whether it’s sales people, support people. And how do they make sure that the process that we’ve figured out, that was established successfully from the lead generation to convert, customer conversion. We have to make sure that every new person, whether it is in-house or outsourced, follow the process so that they can get exactly the same results that we have produced. So then they can help to get 10x, 20x customers. So this is where the processes are so important that would help us to replicate the methodology, that work before and make sure that every hire follows the same thing. So that everyone can be successful.
OWEN: What I get this from this too, this point of scaling is when it comes to scaling, from Standpoint of view, have leads coming in. The way you guys have is that you’re using demos that are personalized to get these leads and transform them into a customer. Obviously, you have to scale back the amount the demos you do. But looking at it from across the entire life cycle of that customer, they come in as anonymous to check out your content or whatever, right? Then they become a lead. And then you guys use email marketing and transformed them into demos, and from demos into customers. And even when there are customers you want to make sure they’re successful with your app, hence the adoption. I’m looking at the scale that, and correct me if I’m wrong, that the scaling of the system applies to every part of that life cycle, right?
ANIL: One hundred percent, no doubt about it.
OWEN: And how does that work with you guys? You’re applying scaling to all the different parts of the life cycle?
ANIL: We are trying to document the whole process and we’ve also established some guided challenges, those type of things. Like I said, we identify a mechanism to generate the lead. And we double down under, because we’ve seen that it works. So that works great for email campaign. Now the process of driving the leads to become a customer, this is a more intensive process where the pre-sales engineers and sales people are involved. As I’m going more people start evolving then we have to continuously train these users. And also implement the rules and the processes inside the product, where it is CRM systems or within the WittyParrot so that every salesperson follows those steps as a guided selling processes. A lot of this is training, education, and actual experience. I’m doing the job hands-on all the time. That’s the only way that we can scale this. And bring more and more people with exactly the same knowledge that has worked for us before.
OWEN: So for those aspects of the life cycle that you can automate, you automate those. And for those aspects that will require a human being to actually do it then you have to make sure that you have a well written out procedure or process on how that person who’s going to do the work has to do the work in order to deliver the results that you guys expect. That’s kind of how…
ANIL: That’s correct.
OWEN: Okay. I just want to make sure. Now that we’re coming to the end of the interview, I’m wondering, how can the listener us this process that we’ve gone through over so far to start acquiring new enterprise customers.
ANIL: Yeah. Earlier like I said, we tried so many materials of generating the leads. The most successful… I’ll just give you the four materials that have really helped us. The number one by far is the email marketing campaign. Hands down that is the best material which is the most cost-effective as well as most effective in terms of generating the results itself. Immediately following that, content marketing is very effective. In fact, we are getting a couple of really big customers through the [Unintelligible 00:39:57] that came to our website and then filled up the form. Because we are heavily focusing on content marketing as well. We produce really high quality eBooks. We continuously blog as thought leaders. In fact, we even leverage the industry thought leaders to write articles in our eBooks and blogs so that way we promote the thought leadership and educational content for our support people or recruiters, which kind of raise the traffic to website. This content marketing, one has to have patience. You don’t get the leads immediately, you don’t get the lead and each one becomes a customer. They take 3, 6, 9, 12 months but it helps not only in acquiring customers over a period of time, but it helps to improve the brand awareness and the market. It acts like a public relations, and also helps improve the SU, etc., when people try to set you apart I’ll be automatically, organically come to mind in the top of the list. The third that really helped us or we follow heavily is outbound sales call, which means we have lists of contacts and we have inside sales people who sit down and dial the calls. It’s a more laborious task but we are getting good results when the cost of customer acquisition is well within the range that we have placed on ourselves. It’s working so far. The fourth method is obviously the Rolodex of contacting. We have so many years of experience and we would’ve acquired many of the contacts wherein decision-making positions at different places. So we reach out to our own network or our investor’s networks to get a contact. We build that relationship with them and then we show the product and value proposition, then we acquire to the customers. So this are the four matters that I would strongly advise. But then it changes from company to company and the solution that they have and who they’re selling. But I think email marketing definitely is very well proven across industries for B2B marketing.
OWEN: How has your company now been transformed as a result of implementing this process for getting enterprise customers?
ANIL: Now we’re at a stage like I said before, we are trying to scale the company. And with a few original people that we all had we are able to train them up with the process that we’ve established, and it’s working great. Because everything is written down as a step-by-step process and a document, and how proper collect available as a guide, selling tool in the process. And once you establish a mechanism of lead generation using various techniques that work best for us then everything is coming together for us and it’s kind of taking off. But we still have to make sure that the scaling is well established and the customer’s satisfied, which actually as we speak in midst of it. But we have seen really good results so far by implementing the process for field and so far. And after this stage of acquiring the customers.
OWEN: That’s awesome. What’s the very next step for someone who is listening to the entire interview? What’s the next they should take in order to get started with implementing this process for acquiring enterprise customers?
ANIL: If I just recap the previous conversation from the beginning, first establish the product market, that’s the most important thing. Once it is there then you need to figure out whether you want to go enterprise [Unintelligible 00:43:30] or you want to sell this platform to consumers. It also depends on what product… A lot of entrepreneurs build the product right from the beginning, target it for a particular market. Then once you have, you know which product you’re selling and you know what market segment you’re selling then the next thing is identifying the real value propositions that really resonates very well with the end users, where that option has to happen. And the stickiness has to be established. I think that’s the most critical step where figuring it out, what is the pain point that the end user has. And do you have something that incentivizes the end user to start using your product. The very next step is scaling the company itself. You know that you have a acquired for your beta customers, you establish value proposition, you kind of seen the success of adoption, then how can you reproduce the same thing with 5, 10, 100 customers. That becomes most critical at the end.
OWEN: What’s the best way for the listener to connect with you and thank you for doing the interview?
ANIL: They can always reach out to me on my email, email@example.com. We have our WebPages where they can reach out to me through the contact form. We have the WittyParrot app, and Twitter as well as on Facebook. There are many little ways they can reach out. I also have… My profile is under LinkedIn. Anyone can send the request as well.
OWEN: I’m curious, are there any questions that you feel I should’ve asked you that would help to round out this interview based on what we’re talking about that I didn’t ask you yet? If so, post the question and the answers.
ANIL: Probably one good question would be if I have to redo this whole thing. The WittyParrot is almost 3 years old now. If I redo this what would I do different?
OWEN: Yeah, what would you do different?
ANIL: Right. Like I said in the earlier example, we build the product for 1 1/2 years thinking that this is exactly what the end customer wants. But eventually when acquired the customers and they start using the product we realized, “Oh my god, what we thought was a full product doesn’t even meet 20%, 30% of the real end users’ needs. So that means that it’s a big gap of 60%, 70% of the capabilities which was have to start building over and over again. Now, if I have to redo it I rather focus on really spending time. Pick your target market, pick the end user where you think he or she’s the one who has to use your product to make it successful. Spend a lot of time in their life. What works, what doesn’t work, what tools they use, what kind of inefficiencies they have? What are they looking for to make their lives better or achieve their matrix of goals much better than what they’re doing today. And then build the background, then worry about generating the leads, or scaling the company. But spend enough time to figure out the value proposition that you have, who is your end user, how do you incentivize the end users to use your product. That would significantly cut down the effort that you have to waste in the subsequent phase after acquiring the customers.
OWEN: I like that you shared that. Now, I’m speaking to you the listener. If you’ve enjoyed this interview I want you to do us a favor. I want you to give us your feedback, your ratings and do that on iTunes by going to sweetprocess.com/iTunes. And if you’re using an Android phone you can do that by going to sweetprocess.com/Stitcher. Anil, thanks for doing the interview.
ANIL: Owen, thank you so much. I really appreciate you giving us an opportunity.