Interview: Evan Liang of LeanData

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Evan Liang is the CEO and co-founder of LeanData. Prior to LeanData, Evan was the GM and VP Products at Caring.com, where he grew a small acquisition into the company’s main business, generating over 50% of the company’s revenue over 2 years. Before Caring.com, Evan worked at Shasta Ventures, a leading venture capital firm focused on end-user-driven businesses. Prior to Shasta, Evan worked in product management at eBay with a focus on buyer experience and, before that, in business development at Microsoft, where he helped launch the Xbox 360. Evan started his career at Battery Ventures, where he specialized in software and e-commerce investments.

Evan holds an MBA from Kellogg and a BS in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University.

Jason: What was it that sparked the idea behind LeanData?
Even: At my last company I started implementing Marketo on top of Salesforce when I realize what a mess my data issues became. I’ve basically lived through the data pain myself and had to fix it. When I looked around I realize this was only going to get worse with content driven marketing and marketing automation so I decided to start a company to address this critical pain point.

Jason: What does LeadData do and how can sales organizations leverage it?
Evan: LeanData simplifies the B2B sales process by automating the manual work of matching leads against existing accounts or other leads in Salesforce. Up to 75% of leads match existing companies in the database and there is a much more effective way to manage this process.

Jason: What are some of the preliminary results you’re starting to see your current customers have?
Evan:
10% reduction in junk/duplicate leads
50% match rate of leads to existing accounts
20% reduction in manual work for SDRs
50% increase in close time on target accounts

Jason: Who is your ideal customer profile and why?
Evan: Companies with B2B sales teams that are going after target accounts and have established a inside sales team for lead qualification.

Jason: What impact are your customers seeing around sales and marketing alignment?
Evan: Sales are following up on more marketing leads because they now know which leads are aligned with their target accounts and most likely to lead to closing deals.

Jason: You come from a product background, what’s some advice you can give startup founders that don’t have a sales background about getting their product out into customers hands?
Evan: Don’t worry about a big splashy launch in B2B, just get the product into customers as quickly as you can and iterate on your product. Many of the features we developed were directly the result of working with our first few customers and gaining insight into their pain points. As a founder you will always be the best salesperson so don’t be afraid to go out and close those first few deals.

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