We recently interviewed Guy Rubin, CEO and Founder of London-based Ebsta and was SUPER impressed by his startup savvy, knowledge of sales, and thoughtfulness around product development. We covered a few topics including the startup scene in London. Check out our conversation below.
Jorge: What is your professional background and what inspired you to build Ebsta?
Guy: I spent my career helping sales organizations implement sales and marketing systems. Over the years I learnt changing user behavior, especially that of sales people, is almost impossible. Sales people are like electricity, they always look for the quickest route from A to B. Referencing and updating CRM records isn’t a natural process for them because they’re out hunting prospects in tools like LinkedIn – it takes too long to continually log into Salesforce, run a search, find a record, read the notes, update and save.
Ebsta was built to speed up this process without changing user behavior.
Jorge: What is the London startup scene like these days and how do you think it will evolve moving forward?
Guy: London is a fantastic place to base a start-up. Not only does London attract some of the most talented and motivated young people, it also hosts the head offices (and decision makers!) of some of the largest companies in the world within a square mile.
I have had days where I have met C level executives at 4 or 5 different publicly listed companies on the same day and walked from one office to the next.
Jorge: What is your take on the state of sales CRM systems today and how do you believe they will evolve in the future?
Guy: I recently chaired a discussion called ‘the importance of a CRM in a LinkedIn world’. The conclusion was that in a world full of data, knowledge is more important than ever. The real challenge is getting sales people to consistently engage with the CRM, amidst the distraction of so many other data sources.
Jorge: What is Ebsta and what does it do really well for sales teams?
Guy: Ebsta is a Salesforce Chrome extension that alerts Salesforce users to existing records as they view profiles on websites like LinkedIn, Data.com and ZoomInfo. In one click users can view, edit and update Salesforce without leaving the web page they’re viewing.
Ebsta boosts sales productivity by streaming administrative CRM tasks and helping sales people better understand customers. Clients benefit from increased customer knowledge, higher CRM adoption and a happier, more productive sales team.
Jorge: What is the ideal customer for Ebsta?
Jorge: What advice would you give a U.S based startup founder about expanding to the UK?
Guy: If you are going to do it, do it properly – I’ve seen a lot of US companies launch in the UK without committing to it.
The successful companies invest in sales and marketing, and spend the time required to ensure their product is fit for purpose for the UK market. Things like product speed (if hosted in America) or speed to respond to support queries (if support team is in America) are a big deal. Smaller things like addressing how the date is presented, or recording transactions in the correct currency can also make the difference between rapid adoption and a failed UK launch.
Jorge: What advice would you give an entrepreneur looking to build a sales focused b2b startup? What should they focus on early days?
Guy: Make the product addictive, and the rest will follow.
Side-note: [I purposely bolded this and highlighted it red due to it’s level of awesomeness]
Jorge: Anything else you’d like to share with our readers about the Ebsta product and/or yourselves?
Guy: Ebsta’s free LinkedIn Connector for Salesforce takes less than 30 seconds to get set-up and the ‘read only’ version is free for all Salesforce.com users. We’d welcome your reader’s feedback so please give it a try!