Jorge: Why don’t you tell me a little bit about your background and how you got into sales. What inspired you to get into startups?
Steve: My background is a little bit unique for sales. I went to business school and got an MBA out of Stanford and I was the only person in my class that went into an outside sales role that had a quota, you’re carrying a bag over your shoulder that sort of thing. It was a strange thing to do at the time, but it was such a good fit for me and I really felt like I would learn a lot and it was the right career move. And even though it raised some eyebrows, it was definitely the direction I wanted to go and the right one for me.
I went into technology sales at IBM and they have a year long training program and so I did that. After that I went to Autonomy and sold software for them for about a year. And then I went to Google and sold their different enterprise products for about 4 years.
My last gig, and this gets into the second question, why did I make the leap, my last gig at Google I was running their Maps sales for the western US for their Google Maps API. And a bunch of customers were coming to me asking for me to have Google solve this problem. The problem being that they have sales guys who are in the field and covering 100-500 customers and they’re supposed to have meetings with them and sell them as much stuff as they can. You know, maximize the revenue coming out of the territory and that’s inherently a geographic problem so they wanted a geographic solution. Enough of the right kind of people were asking me for it, so I saw there was a real opportunity here.
It wasn’t the kind of thing that Google would solve because they don’t tend to do things of this nature, but I saw it as a real opportunity. So I left Google and started the company and we spent the last 2 years building out the product and it’s worked out really well.
Jorge: And you mentioned the Alchemist incubator, what was your experience and how did they help you?
Steve: The Alchemist Incubator was valuable. It’s an incubator program just focused on SaaS companies and companies that sell to enterprises and those companies really do have some unique problems compared to other people. So being able to focus on those problems, main problems being it’s really hard as a Saas company to get revenue. You have to get everybody to pay you for it.
It’s very different from the consumer model; you actually have a sales problem right off the bat because generally before you raise money, you have to prove some real traction with customers, even if it’s just trials and getting people to say yea I’d sign a dotted line of a trial agreement saying yes if you were able to build this, I would be interested in thinking about buying it. You can raise money on that, but you still have done a sales effort to get to that point with the customer.
The Alchemist was really tightly focused on helping these sort of companies cross that chasm basically. From having an idea and a product, to having something that you’re bringing in enough money on to actually raise money, and become a company that’s starting to scale. I didn’t mention, but it’s worth mentioning. We also did StartX which is Stanford’s accelerator and that was also extremely valuable. They have a ton of resources and a ton of really great programs as well. So both of those two accelerators, one after another, were very valuable in very different ways.
Jorge: We were discussing little bit earlier about the type of sales you guys focus on versus you look at some of the other sales tools out there. There’s a heavy emphasis on prospecting or inside sales. How would you categorize the type of sales that you guys are empowering today? The very specific use cases.
Steve: We’re really pretty unique. Most of the tools for salespeople are focused on helping inside sales people as opposed to outside. And what I mean by that is people that are closing their deals over the phone as opposed to people that go out and walk the streets with a bag over their shoulders, going to meet customers face to face. Driving around in a car, staying in hotels all the time, like your true road warrior. The difference between a road warrior and an inside salesperson. And for a lot reasons, a lot of tools have been focused on Inside Sales people.
I suspect because, so here’s part of the theory– there was a platform revolution that moved from traditional computing to the cloud, accessing through a browser, that was really conducive for inside sales people to get great tools built for them. Because they’re sitting at a computer interfacing with their browser so you can deliver great tools for those guys. Until mobile has gotten as good as it has today, it was really hard to really reach these outside sales guys.You know the ones that are really out in the field; they’re inherently the most mobile people around. So they were the first adopters of the laptops, high end mobile phones, PDAs.
The sales guys, these early adopter group of all the mobility stuff because they’re the most mobile people around. Our product is really focused on companies that go to market with that outside sales model as opposed to an inside sales model.
Jorge: What are some verticals or spaces that would be using your tool?
Steve: Most common are things like med device, pharmaceutical, places like people that sell stuff to restaurants, people that sell stuff to dentists, but really a lot of companies go to market with this model. It’s a very common model. It’s not as common here in the Valley, where we live, because you know a lot of software companies, startups especially, go to market with an inside sales model, but that doesn’t mean it’s always the best model for them to go.
That’s the direction they do go. Whereas when you talk to a mature company that sells tires to tire stores, they have an outside sales team.
Jorge: Maybe you can speak to some of the functionality that you’re enabling today.
Steve: Sure, at its core, we’re hooking into people’s CRM systems and helping them get value from that data. We’re taking all that data and putting it on a map for them and giving them the ability to interact with that data. Giving the actual rep while he’s on the road on his mobile device, so he can basically say things like, well first of all he can see all of his customers on a map, which is valuable because he can see who is close to who because he’s trying to design his day. If he knows he’s going out to this area, What other customers that are important are in this area?, Who’s he going to pass on his way to his next appointment?
Who’s he going to pass on his way home? So it gives him the ability to get a lot more done within a day in terms of meeting with more customers. It’s using the filtering and ability to focus on the right customers tools, he’s able to zoom in on the right customers he really wants to focus on the most.
A rep might say “Show me on the map all my customers that spend more than $5k a month with me and I also want this customer type and I also want them if they’ve not been seen by me in the last 30 days. Just show me these on the map because those are the ones that I really want to focus on this week. Okay they’re 10 of them, on Tuesday I’ll see this one and this one.” And then they can say, “Who else? If I’m going out there to see this guy, and then cutting across to see this guy and then going home, what else should I be doing on that day when I go to do that?” So they can release the filters and hit the lesser more important customers, but kind of fill out their day that way.
Jorge: I love that dude. I really love that. I completely get it because I’ve done that type of selling, door-to-door and direct selling. I can visualize it now, we used to have to literally write out areas and streets on paper.
Steve: And Everyone has to do it right now. A sales rep in the 1930s would’ve done this. He just would’ve done it with a paper map and he would’ve done it with a pen and a piece of paper and a list of customers and they would’ve sat there and thought about who was where, with little marks in his map.
And 15 years ago, he would’ve been using MapPoint, and now that’s being sunsetted by Microsoft, and then today with the customers we’re talking to, a lot of the times they’ve got a data dump in their CRM or they’re running reports in their CRM and then they take that and try to cross walk over to a Google Map, and then they cross copy the address out of CRM and paste it into Google Maps and they see where that is, and maybe they pull some more and maybe see where they are. And then I haven’t talked about this part, but a calendar integration is the third piece. They also have a calendar problem, so it’s a time and a space problem.
The calendar is the time; the map is the space. We integrate with the calendar in this regard, so you’re able to say “Okay these are the 8 people I want to see, this is the amount of time I want to see each one for. This guy’s for 45 minutes, this guy’s for 15, this guy’s for an hour.” And then we’ll give you the best route through all those, this is the shortest route through all those and then manipulate that and say, “But I’ve got to see this guy at 11, so I’ve got to drive a little bit out of my way and backtrack a little to make sure I get to that guy,” but you end up with an optimized day that you then push to your calendar. And then when we push it to your calendar, we’re taking each one of those individual events that we’ve now optimized and creating a calendar invite for them and we’re spacing each one of them apart in the amount of time that it takes to get from one to the next and that all writes to your calendar because on your mobile device, we also have access to all of your calendars.
Jorge: What CRMs are you currently integrated in?
Steve: We can work with any CRM actually. There are a handful that we work with right out of the box, including Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, but really CRMs for us, we enable all of them in a very similar way. We’re putting a partnership in place with Oracle right now, and they have 3 different CRM products, from their online one to Siebel, but really we help all of these CRMs because we increase the adoption when the reps are using Badger in the field, when we’re integrated with their CRM. If they change a phone number, that gets pushed back to their CRM. If they do a check-in with a customer, and the company gets to choose what do you want to be included in this check in, what questions do you want to ask the rep when they have seen a customer.
They do those drop-downs and take those notes, and it pushes it back to the CRM, which is a huge pain point for reps and the companies because the companies need the data from the reps so they can make things like marketing decisions, like oh where did this lead come from. And if they don’t have a good way to get that from the reps, they don’t know if they should spend money on this marketing program or that marketing program.
And this is a pain point that every outside sales organization has, gathering data from reps, because they don’t want to sit down at a computer every night for an hour and, after they’ve VPNed in from their computer, after they sit down at night, type in all their notes from the day. They often have a cleaner way of taking notes, usually it tends to be double work. So once they’ve done the integration, they just do it in Badger and we just push it into the CRM.
Jorge: Who’s the buyer within these organizations that are buying Badger?
Steve: That’s a good question and one we’ve seen some patterns to, but not a lot of patterns. The interesting thing is anyone who cares about how much the organization is selling or the efficiency of the sales force can be interested in Badger. So a lot of times that’s the VP of Sales, a lot of times that’s the Sales Operations group. A lot of times we get into an organization because an individual salesperson will start using us, just go to the website and upload a spreadsheet or connect their CRM and start using it. And then the next thing you know, his manager finds out about it, then his peers find out about it, then the VP of Sales finds out about it.
A Fortune 500 company is using Badger for their whole field sales team now. They started out that way, it was one really smart guy, Matt. He found us, he started using us, and then it spread around the organization from there. And he kind of took a leadership position, actually, within the organization pushing it down the line, so he ended up being a real hero.
Jorge: That’s awesome, a bottom’s up approach.
Steve: Yea it was a classic bottom’s up, and the CEO of the organization loves it too now. But it’s harder to sell to a CEO or a VP Sales whereas the actual sales rep in the field knows he has this pain point. They search us on Google with things like “sales map app” or “mapping software for salespeople.” They find us and start using us because they’re the ones with the pain point.
Jorge: What devices and operating systems is it available on today?
Steve: It’s available on iPhones, iPads, Androids. So all three of those have a native app, either on the Apple Store or the Google Play Store and it also works through a browser so Chrome, Firefox, and IE.
Jorge: Awesome, anything else you want to share with the audience about signing up to the service, contacting you if they want to purchase the product, etc?
Steve: Yes, they can sign up on our website, it’s really easy. We have a free trial so they can upload a spreadsheet, or connect it to their CRM and see how much it helps them. We try to make that process really easy and we help them with it too if they have questions, but a lot of people just go to our website and sign up and start using it.
Jorge: Thanks man, I appreciate it.
Badger Maps Planner Demo
Full Badger Maps Demo