Thomas Oriol is Founder/CEO of Dublin, Ireland-based Nimble Apps, makers of SalesClic, a CRM tool they call a “Next-generation sales pipeline management application”. I spoke to him about his company and a few other startup related topics; check it out:
Jorge: How is the Irish startup community today? Do you find it consists of more engineering or business focused founders?
Thomas: I would say it is both. There are good technical universities in Ireland, and the European HQs of US tech giants employ a lot of people with great sales and marketing experience.
Jorge: What was the motivation behind launching SalesClic and what is the longer term vision for the product?
Thomas: We wanted to bring recent advances in data visualization and algorithmic modeling to B2B sales management. Long-term, we would like SalesClic to let sales reps and managers optimize the risk/return profile of their sales pipelines just like asset managers optimize the risk/return profile of their financial portfolios.
Jorge: What does Salesclic do and how can sales teams get the most value from using it?
Thomas: SalesClic integrates with the company’s CRM database (typically Salesforce) and leverages the historical data it contains to do three main things:
(i) Measure key sales pipeline metrics and update them in real time
(ii) Identify at-risk opportunities based on their behavior in the sales pipeline
(iii) Generate data-based sales forecasts
This helps sales teams increase CRM data quality and sales performance. Just identifying the priority opportunities usually reduces sales cycle length significantly.
Jorge: How do you see CRM changing in the coming years?
Thomas: Mobile is definitely a big trend. The other is integration, meaning that traditional CRM tasks will be informed by data and analyses coming from an increasing number of sources: email, social networks, other business systems…
Jorge: How do you see profession of “selling” evolving moving forward? Do you think we will continue to move towards an inside sales model or will we see mobile or other technologies make outside sales more efficient?
Thomas: Inside sales is here to stay. The call > demo > trial model is so efficient when done right! I think mid-term evolutions will focus on perfecting that model.
Jorge: What are 3 tips you would give a b2b founder when just launching their new startup?
1. Start selling as soon as possible. You should even start earlier than your Minimum Viable Product, by selling the corresponding features as a manual service.
2. Don’t take on fixed costs (like office space) before you have a few paying clients.
3. Don’t rely on partnerships. Partners will come to you when they see you are successful. Until then, it’s just you and your market opportunity.
Jorge: What is your professional background and when did you fall in love with sales?
Thomas: I was an M&A banker for eight years. Bankers do some selling of their own but it was mainly working with clients that I realized the difference that an efficient sales process could make for a company and its shareholders.
Jorge: What does “sales” mean to you?
Thomas: Discovering client needs and finding the right fit between these and your offering.
Jorge: Anything else that you’d like to share with our readers regarding yourself, Irish startups, or SalesClic?
Thomas: Make sure you have given careful thought to your personal situation and preferences before starting your own company. But if the circumstances are right it is a fantastic learning experience!