Interviewee: Michael FitzGerald, Founder and CEO at Dublin-based OnePage CRM. I had heard a lot of positive things about Michael’s product, checked it out, and decided to reach out for a conversation. I was super impressed by his perspective on product design and the mission behind OnePage CRM.
Follow on Twitter: @onepagecrm @micfitzgerald
Check out our conversation below:
Jorge: What was the motivation behind building OnePageCRM and what’s the long term vision for the product?
Michael: I needed a CRM for my increasingly busy business – but to my surprise all the CRMs I looked at were “dead databases” that just stored information. Nothing built-in to help me sell more and more effectively.They were trying to be attractive by having fancy funnel charts and graphs. This is fine for viewing results but not for getting results.
Being a GTD person, I came up with the idea to apply the principles of GTD to sales. And the result was OnePageCRM. A system focused on the Next Action of each prospect, to get them over the line.
Jorge: What is OnePageCRM and what’s it’s unique position in the market?
Michael: OnePageCRM is a mix of Twitter and GTD (Getting things done) where your prospects float to the top of what we call your Action Stream (like your Twitter feed). Each contact or organization (floating to the top) displays prominently the Next Action needed to move the sale forward.
After the action is completed, the user is pushed to think what is the Next Action and when. It then moves down the stream and floats to the top over time – ultimately trapping your prospects in a perpetual loop of actions until the sale is achieved.
Nothing compares to this approach in closing more deals.
Jorge: Is OnePageCRM focused on the SMB market or are you serving the enterprise market as well?
Michael: The SMB market. Even though we have some enterprises using it for Lead Qualification.
Jorge: What do you believe is the future of CRM?
Michael: On tablets. More intelligence-based automation. And fully integrated with other business processes.
Jorge: What is your opinion on Salesforce.com buying RelateIQ and how will this effect the market?
Michael: Not all Salesforce acquisitions are a perfect marriage. Look at Radian6. Because of “market position and product bloat” Salesforce will become the database. Which is not a bad position for them either, but a sticky and expensive one for customers.
Jorge: What 3 tips would you give an entrepreneur when planning on launching a b2b startup?
Michael: Get into the hands of the customer as soon as you can, and iterate (MVP) Be prepared to upset some (early) customers, to gain more in the long run (Pivot) Eat customer service books like Zappos Delivering Happiness and Crowning the Customer
Jorge: How is the Irish start-up market today and what are your favorite Irish startups (aside of OnePageCRM)?
Michael: I think we have a healthy scene. The funding/advisor ecosystem could be better, but we have a really good government agency called Enterprise Ireland that fills this void until the flywheel turns n its own. I’m involved in startupgalway.org. Favourite start-ups are Exordo, Clouddock, Zartis, Intercom and Element Wave.
Jorge: How did you get into startups and what were you doing before launching OnePageCRM?
Michael: I was running a successful client services business building apps and eComm systems for our customers.
Jorge: Anything else you’d like to share with our readers about OnePageCRM?
Michael: Yes, we’d love to show you what we built!