Pat was named named Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” for both ACT! and SalesLogix. After ACT! was acquired by Symantec in 1995, Pat founded SalesLogix. He eventually took SalesLogix public and served as its CEO for 7 years.
Take a look at our interview below:
Jorge: You have been in technology for a long time and created amazing products like ACT!. What would you say are the common mistakes that you see early stage entrepreneurs commit when building B2B companies?
Pat: I talk a lot about that in my e-book, 10 Keys To Entrepreneurial Success From A Two-Time Entrepreneur Of The Year, but I think one area where a lot of entrepreneurs consistently run into trouble is with positioning.
I’ve said many times that having a clear and simple statement describing the ONE thing that separated my companies from all of my competition has played a huge role in the success of companies like ACT! and SalesLogix, and I believe it will be the same with Contatta.
The fact is, without clear positioning, I don’t know how you survive. I also have a chapter on my 90-Day Rule, the idea that most of your critical mistakes are usually made in the first 90 days. I mention a list of some other specific pitfalls there. Your readers can get a free copy of the e-book here if they’d like to read more.
Jorge: What is the vision for Contatta and what does collaborative email mean to you?
Pat: Our vision at Contatta is driven by the fact that the way we work and communicate has evolved dramatically over the last 20 years, but email has remained virtually unchanged. As a result, we spend too much of our workday forcing email to do things it was never meant to do. Built for the way we work today, Contatta brings group collaboration, contact management and task management right into your inbox. What does collaborative email mean to me? Less email, fewer meetings and more collaboration.
Jorge: How has sales evolved from when you first created ACT! to today?
Pat: As you know, I’ve been a salesman since long before ACT!, so for me selling will always be selling. What has changed is where and how we connect and communicate with leads, prospects and customers. To that end, I really believe collaborative email is going to be a game changer for sales teams in the same way ACT! was.
Jorge: Will Contatta integrate with 3rd party CRMs and if so, which ones?
Pat: Yes it will. We’ve built a Zap in Zapier that will allow anyone or any business to easily connect Contatta to all of the popular 3rd party CRMs. You can find the list of CRMs supported at zapier.com.
Jorge: Contatta looks like it merges all the tools a salesperson uses and layers email on top of it. Very cool! How do you drive adoption and what’s your target market?
Pat: We really believe Contatta is for any of the nearly one billion business email users, but for now our target is small business teams, sales teams, and executive teams.
Through our free trial, $10 a month price point, and the fact that you can invite an unlimited number of guests into an unlimited number of workrooms for free, should drive adoption.
Jorge: Anything else we should share with readers about Contatta?
Pat: With Contatta, we’ve eliminated what I call “reply all hell” from our inboxes, we’ve reduced the size of our inboxes by over 60 percent, and we never find ourselves marking emails as “unread” to remind us to do something.
Contatta is for everyone who wants to email less, attend fewer meetings and spend more time collaborating on the things that actually move their business forward.