Demystifying AppExchange: 5 Insider Tips for Success (Video + Transcript)

If you’re a SaaS CEO and/or founder, you know what the AppExchange is and how important it is for certain companies to be on it. But it’s not enough to simply get your application on Salesforce’s business app marketplace and hope you make a bunch of sales.

Ian Dunckel, Senior Product VP at Salesforce, leads this session with Gadi Shamia, COO at Talkdesk; Amanda Kahlow, Founder and CEO of 6Sense; and Ray Hein, Founder and CEO at Propel, to discuss how to ensure a successful partnership with Salesforce AppExchange.

How can you get those early customer reviews on the AppExchange and build off that? What effect does integrating into the AppExchange have on salespeople and their workflow? Watch until the end to discover how the panelists look to the future about how they’ll invest in the platform further to get the most out of it down the road.

And if you haven’t heard: SaaStr Annual will be back in 2018, bigger and better than ever! Join 10,000 fellow founders, investors and execs for 3 days of unparalleled networking and epic learnings from SaaS legends like Jon MillerDavid SteinbergJennifer Tejada, and Eoghan McCabe. If you don’t have tickets, there’s still time to grab yours today and bring your team from just $999! (Hurry before they’re all gone!) Get tickets here

 

 

TRANSCRIPT

Announcer:  Please welcome Ian Dunckel, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Salesforce to the stage.

Ian Dunckel:  Hey, how’s it going? Thanks for stopping by. Really excited for the session we have planned for you today. We have a few of our panelists which I just want to welcome.

We’ve got Gadi Shamia from Talkdesk. Come on up. Come on up, yeah.

[applause]

Ian:  How’s it going? Amanda Kahlow from 6Sense.

[applause]

Ian:  Ray Hein from Propel.

[applause]

Ray Hein:  Thanks.

Ian:  Good to see you.

[crosstalk]

Gadi Shamia:  I guess we’ve got permission to take a seat.

Ian:  Yeah. I hate to do this to you, but I am also going to…We have a great panel here but I also am going to take you through a few slides because I know that not everybody may be familiar with what the AppExchange is. Just want to level set everybody and give you a really short history, and then it’s about our wonderful panel we have here today.

Also, quick reminder, that Salesforce is a publicly traded company, so we may be making some forward looking statements. Please make all your decisions based on what’s available today. I have to say that.

First of all, when I talked about AppExchange, what do we mean by that? What you’ll usually hear is it’s the number one business app marketplace, but it’s really more than that. It’s the digital embodiment of our entire ecosystem, which includes our customers, our partners, and even our employees.

It’s a place where everyone goes to make their business better with the ultimate mission of making their customers really more successful. What many people don’t realize is that it’s actually been around for 10 years. Launched in 2006, it actually predates the App Store.

Benioff was really thinking about how we could open up our platform, build this ecosystem of applications that really can enhance or extend Salesforce to ultimately make our customers more successful.

I always like to show this slide because over time, the ecosystem has grown quite a bit. With that, Salesforce customers now start to look at the AppExchange as a place where they can go to solve certain problems. It’s their first stop to see if there’s something that’s already pre-integrated with Salesforce.

If we look at the chart here, over the first five years, we hit a major milestone, which was our first millionth install, which was really exciting. That growth continued. Over the next five years, that figure actually tripled. We had three million installs, bring our total to four million.

We expect that growth rate to really continue at that same rate going forward. The important part to realize about this is that an install isn’t a single user. An install is actually into a Salesforce org, which could have anywhere from 5 to over 10,000 users.

You can see with this type of scale, there’s a lot of folks that are actually really benefiting from the apps that we have on AppExchange. This is also why our partners love AppExchange, because this is a way for them to plug in, to really participate, and be a part of the ecosystem.

There are some really amazing stats that can come out of that when we’re talking about this install growth, but really it’s one install every minute, is another way to think about it.

The stat that I think is the one that I’m most proud of is 83 percent of Salesforce customers have at least one app from the AppExchange. That’s really showing they’re coming to the AppExchange. They’re engaging with our partners. They’re actually installing applications.

This doesn’t mean that they’re just small businesses, large enterprises, or American companies. It’s really across the globe and across all different sizes. Companies are benefiting from the AppExchange.

With this type of opportunity and volume, what we’re really here to talk about at SaaStr is there’s a great opportunity for any business out there who wants to plug into the ecosystem. If you’re out there and you’re enhancing, you’re extending, or using Salesforce data, you should go and evaluate if AppExchange would be a right strategy for you and for your business to plug into this ecosystem.

Which brings me to my first tip, which is, how do you get started? A lot of people will ask this question. It’s a really simple answer. Start off looking at what you have already. Do you have an app that you like? If you do, start to integrate. Even if you don’t want to get on AppExchange, you should also look at what it would take to integrate, because your customers are going to ask for it.

I know a lot of the attendees I’ve talked to today have been taking advantage of one of the things we have downstairs on the second floor, which is our Growth Grove. We have some technical evangelists that we brought here for all three days, where you can sit down and talk about what that actually means to integrate. I highly recommend you check that out.

Also, if you’re still at the idea stage or maybe you’ve built a prototype, you could also look at building on the Salesforce platform. We’ve opened up the platform for everybody to build applications on it. It’s the same platform we build all of our apps on.

Customers are used to it. We know it can scale internationally, and it’s actually a piece for customers that build on it find that it’s easier to gain customer trust through that process.

Like I said, it’s not about the slides. It’s about really talking to our panel here, and the experience they’ve had with the AppExchange. Why don’t we actually start by going down the line? Tell us a little bit about yourself, the company, and what you do.

Gadi:  Hey, good morning, really quick question, am I only the one that find it weird that the Deep Dive theater is on the fourth floor?

[laughter]

Gadi:  Is it really me? OK, I thought so. My name is Gadi Shamia. I’m the COO of Talkdesk. We are a five years old company building a cloud based contact center solution with thousands of customers.

We have been a Salesforce partner officially for a little less than a year. Before that, we were the partners Salesforce didn’t know they had. I’ll talk more about in a minute or two.

Amanda Kahlow:  My name’s Amanda Kahlow. I’m the CEO and Founder of 6Sense. We are a predictive intelligence company. Very simply, we predict for time. When somebody is in market and they have a pain for what you’re trying to solve and what your product does. Salesforce is an investor in 6Sense. We’re really proud to now be on the AppExchange.

Ray:  I’m Ray Hein. I’m the CEO of PropelPLM. We’re a company that’s just slightly less than two years old. We partner with Salesforce all through that whole cycle. It’s my third time around with being involved in the AppExchange. One with an integration. One with another company that was 100 percent native as well.

We provide product lifecycle management for hardware, software type companies. Anywhere there’s a product company that’s trying to develop, launch, and introduce products. It’s the product information, and then the launch into the customer, and then there’s relationships between the customer and the product.

Ian:  Awesome. I talked a little bit about just getting started with an integration. I’m also curious to hear. Amanda, I’ll start with you on this one. I’m just curious. How did you find the AppExchange? I know that you recently listed. How does that fit into your role on strategy and what made you decide to join?

Amanda:  The first tip I have is, we probably waited too long. We should have integrated a long time ago. We’re about four years in as a company. It’s really simple. All of our customers pretty much are Salesforce customers.

When we think about our target market and our addressable market who we’re going after, and where do they go to design their workflows for sales and marketing. That’s what we’re integrating into because we’re helping them find buyers when they have a need. We should have had our app a lot longer in the process and in the ecosystem.

I will say, though, as you’re building into the AppExchange, you really think about owning your own destiny in terms of you outsourcing that development, or doing it yourself, or integrating in.

We’re processing about 90 billion rows of data a day for our customers. We couldn’t build on the AppExchange. We’re an integration partner on the AppExchange. It’s really transformed and given us the ability to grow our revenue streams.

We think about the big customers working with Cisco, Dell, Lenovo. All these big enterprise companies that we’re helping them buy in buyers and in their sales process. If we’re not in their Salesforce helping them with that workflow when a sales rep is picking up the phone and trying to know who the next person to talk to, we’re missing a huge opportunity.

For us, that’s a chance for us to charge a lot more money per user per install base when people are actually using it in the Exchange.

Ian:  Fantastic. Gadi, you also have an interesting story about how you got started. Why don’t you share that?

Gadi:  Yes. We had a Salesforce integration for years. It was one of almost 40 integrations we had for various CRMs and e-commerce systems. It was pretty deep. It was deeper than many other integrations but was not unique. It was not different than Zendesk integration or our Desk integration or many others.

About a year ago, we decided to go all in and get this partner that has many mutual customers with Salesforce, but Salesforce didn’t know about us, to become a formal partner. We build the match package using our technology and we listed on the AppExchange in June last year.

The results were actually pretty great. Obviously, not everything is because of the AppExchange. I will talk about it, too. It’s there’s no magic. It’s like launching a website. You’re not just going in the AppExchange and the world would start buying your stuff and there’s no tomorrow. There’s a lot of work.

Amanda:  It did for us.

[laughter]

Gadi:  Great. Maybe we’re doing something wrong, so tell us what you do.

There’s a lot work involved. What really happens is two fold. One is the product is much better. Salesforce has a really robust platform. When we demo Talkdesk for Salesforce, people like it more than when we demo Talkdesk for other products. It just looks better. There’s integrated reporting. There’s single sign on for users.

There’s more we could do to deepen the integration, make the experience seamless. We had some interesting side effects because of that. For example, we are very focused on service and most of our customers are in customer service.

All of a sudden, sales teams came to us, said, “This is actually much better than the typical sales contact center/call center solutions we use,” despite the fact we never build for this use case.

All of a sudden, we have sales team come to us. Some of our biggest deals with Salesforce last year were actually from sales teams, which was unintended consequences of this integration.

I want to leave some of the others. I would like to go back and talk a little bit about the idea of working hard and not only just listing your app.

Ian:  I do think that’s an important point to notice that it really is a partnership too. It’s not something like I set it and forget it. Some people will go on and just put up their listing and expect it to start rolling. That’s definitely not how it works. It’s really like I said the face of the ecosystem getting started.

Ray, you’ve been in ecosystem a couple times now. Tell us a little about how you got started with Propel, and also how you’re getting noticed and building some momentum early on.

Ray: It’s great. Again, enterprise product lifecycle management is a category much like CRM and HCM for human capital management. It’s a full enterprise category, not a feature that you see. Some of the AppExchange type bolt ons or add ons or helper apps are more of that to Sales Cloud and the like.

We decided to look at the movement where PLM was going from on prem. It’s still largely on prem, much like where PeopleSoft was 8, 10 years ago and Workday came and has replaced that. We’re doing that now in the cloud. We analyze the cloud platform opportunities with IBM, Amazon, Microsoft, anybody that we could leverage from a technology stack.

Our vision was that it wasn’t just engineering and R&D and product information at the front end, that we also wanted to link it to the customer’s side. The AppExchange and Salesforce’s app cloud platform just made sense, number one.

I had also had experience of seeing the power of the full AppExchange, the partner program when you get the flywheel working. My prior company I worked at was a company called Apttus. Configure, Price, Quote. One of the darling companies that’s really grown. If you go to Dreamforce, you see them. Every year is one of the very large companies that’s there.

I realize that it’s not just about design, development, and the technology. If you really understand how to leverage the full power of the AppExchange platform in go to market, understanding the partner ecosystem, working with other partners and solutions, you can really get that force multiplier that you don’t get if you just build it on another technology stack.

I’ll just bring up one more point and let others talk too, is that building on Gadi’s, once you post it to the AppExchange and you release it, you go through the security review, we were one of the…

You guys said that we were one of the fastest from idea to app through the security review the six months on our 1.0 minimum viable purchasable product that we had in three customers in nine months in an enterprise business class application, which I don’t think you can do on many other platforms. It’s really how do you feed the AppExchange and nurture it.

We have an amazing marketing team. One of my people is here as well. We knew how to leverage that, getting AppExchange reviews, making sure you have live happy referenceable customers that are willing to talk about it, and then knowing that you get the benefits of things like a Channel Order App and license management.

All the technology that actually helps you launch, build provision software, and make sure your customers are live.

You get those components as being part of the ecosystem and leveraging the AppExchange, which there aren’t many other if any that are out there that can even state that.

Ian:  You started off really focusing on getting some of those customer reviews through AppExchange. Was there anything that you focused on in particular to get those customers to start engaging with you?

Ray:  Yeah. We started early on in and made sure we had early product market fit with customers, prototyping early on. The fact that before we even had our security review completed, we had three or four customers that had already been playing with the product in a development environment with us, really understood it.

They helped us build that product out for their use cases, but we knew what we were doing for a general market fit because it was, as I said moving, from on prem to in the cloud, so we knew that aspect. Getting early feedback and bringing them in made a lot of sense.

We also were able to go to Dreamforce in the very first year and nine months of being founded as a company and show up in the Salesforce for startups area, and a couple hours to demo our product. Folks were already starting a little bit of buzz. We had three leads that came out.

We were literally less than a dozen people and it had three leads come out of a Dreamforce event being less than six months old. It was pretty impressive.

Amanda:  You closed those leads?

Ray:  We closed two out of the three.

[laughter]

Ray:  One of them we’re still working.

Ian:  That’s a good conversion rate. [laughs]

Ray:  Good question.

[laughter]

Ian:  Overall, how has it been, Amanda, when you’re talking about integrating? Have you had any customers come back, given you any specific feedback to their overall experience?

Amanda:  Yeah. I’m just going to take half a step back and just share what we do and how we integrate in, and then I can share the feedback they’ve had.

When we’re making the predictions, we’re taking all kinds of behavioral data across our customer’s channels, so their website, their marketing automation, their CRM data, search data blogs, communities, forums, and we’re finding buyer behavior.

We’re saying this company has a need for networking solutions now for Cisco and then we push that data into Salesforce. We have it in our app and in 6Sense.com. We did it in our own environment. Like many of you, maybe when we’re earlier on, we thought we wanted to own that experience.

We had this big vision and this big dream that we can transform how sales and marketing is actually done. Instead of looking at static data and creating target lists, we’re actually going to change it. We’re going to know when someone has a need, you’re going to pick up the phone, you’re going to have the right message the right time.

The salesperson, the only thing they really care about is time. They’re really optimizing for…they want to go and do the things that they do offline. No offense, some of my sales team that’s here.

[laughter]

Amanda:  There are sales folks that are just, “Every day when I pick up that phone and I have a conversation, I want to know I’m talking to somebody that actually has a project and has a need and are likely to move forward.”

When we started, we thought we could get everybody to come into 6Sense and do everything natively in 6Sense and transform marketing and sales in our world. What we realized two or three years down the line is that we’re not going to change those workflows. The workflows are there.

All of you will talk about sticky and trying to get people into your own environment. Unless you get big enough, you’re not going to have that impact, no matter how good your results are. We have to integrate into Salesforce and into their marketing automation, and into their ABM platforms to make all of their existing sales and marketing workflow smarter.

Once we took that shift and perspective and as a company to say, we’re no longer going to be about getting people to come to 6Sense and come to our native app. We’re going to actually push out into all these systems, we saw a huge transformation and that’s when we…Right now, we integrate our predictions into Salesforce and into the app and we say this company is in market.

In the future, it’s understanding why they’re in market, what should I say to somebody? There’s a different data set that says, now is the time to talk to them and then the other data set is, what do they care about? It’s not the same thing. The data that predicts somebody has a need is not the data you’re going to pick up the phone and talk to somebody about.

Those insights to really understand how to make it actionable and useful for the salesperson is the next step, and to engage your sales team that are actually having those conversations, and engage your customers early in the process which maybe we probably were a half step behind.

I think that’s one of our biggest learnings, is that, get into the sales process early, understand where they are in their buying cycle, and getting the data into their existing workflows rather than trying to control their experience.

Gadi:  One quick follow up comment on this. In enterprise, if you come from consumer, UI centricity is really important. You want people to use your UI, and daily active users, and how many screens people went through, and maybe you want to sell ads. Whatever the metric is in consumer, you want to own the UI.

In enterprise, think of a product like Talkdesk, people will still call. Will still send us the message and we’ll still do everything we support. We don’t certainly need to focus so much on owning the UI. It’s opened up a great opportunity for us to stay within the workflow of the service reps or the sales reps or the supervisors.

Think of the confusing world of a sales rep today. They used to work with, if anybody is old enough to remember, GoldMine from 20 years ago.

[laughter]

Gadi:  Some people do. They had this one very simple rolodex like UI and this is what they worked with. Now if they need to send a document with DocuSign, to answer this with Talkdesk, they need to work with so many different systems. Give them an option to work within one screen, sometimes, it could be the make or break of the success.

When we talk with customers, they actually mention how…maybe take a step back. There’s two things we actually try to do for our customers. Improve people productivity    in this case, either agent or salespeople and increase CSAT. These are the two levers we’re playing with. How do you do that if you’re able to keep an agent in the one system they use, in this case, Salesforce?

When a customer calls, you give them all the relevant information about the caller. The call doesn’t start with, “How do you spell your name? Let me put you on a brief hold and I’ll research your situation. Spell your name again? Is it this phone number?”

If you can snap directly to, “Hi, Mr. Shamia. Thank you for calling. I see you have an open case from yesterday. Are you calling about this case?”

Whole different experience and the agent is much more focused. Think of how hard it is to alt tab between or move between tabs and speak on the phone with an angry customer at the same time. Keeping the agent focused allows them to really engage with the customer, have shorter calls, and drive higher CSATs.

We win on both sides without losing anything because people still use us eight hours in the day when they’re in the office. If you’re really focused on UIs, it might not be the thing for you, but if you’re really focused on usage and your product lends itself to people, users as part of the workflow, integrating deeply into Salesforce is the right thing to do for you.

Ray:  To build on that, again, we live in this enterprise space as well. A lot of our customers have Microsoft, IBM, SAP or Oracle throughout their system, Oracle or SAP on the backend for their ARP and financials. We have to integrate deeply there.

It’s really easy with some of the technologies for us to come back and say, “There are amazing partners like MuleSoft and Jitterbit and Informatica that already do that.” They’re pre built integrations. What would take your IT team months to do, you can do in days or weeks because it’s already pre integrated, you guys have gone through that process.

You get, again, that power of two or three or four on that. The other piece to add to Gadi’s is that I think the technology and the platform and the fact that the UIs may look different as you go from app to app, but still being able to switch and be able to provision quickly makes a huge, huge impact.

One of our competitors is Oracle, big company. They’re moving to the cloud now. For them to provision our competitor’s version of their product, which is called Agile Software Enterprise PLM, takes them five weeks. They stand up a server set. They have to go through a whole provisioning system. They have to put them in the human capital management systems.

It takes five, seven weeks. We say, “Guys, if you want to buy it, as soon as we get your purchase order, we’ll go through the channel order app, it’ll be provision in your, you’ll have it up in less than half a day.” You can’t compete with that, to get your customers live, moving.

That’s one of the biggest thing from sale to starting the implementation and engagement is very, very different with Salesforce than any other enterprise business company that you can work with.

Ian:  Absolutely. When we start thinking about that, obviously, it sounds like you’ve been able to spin up customers a little bit faster, and it sounds like you’ve been working with other people within the ecosystem. Can you tell us a little bit more about what your process has been when you’re going into market to engage the broader ecosystem?

Ray:  We look at it from both a partner system from the systems integrators, there’s a rich partner system there. They help integrate in, like your typical SIs.

When you look at the AppExchange, again, some of the folks we’ve done work with have been people like Conga Merge or GoFormz or, again, the EAI partners like Jitterbit, Boomi, some other folks, Workato, that I think is going to be showing later today, one of your newer partners.

It allows us to play nicely very easily because we all know what our targets are as far as the integration from a technical perspective. I think we also have the same common business language, meaning that if you’re in the AppExchange and you’re working as a partner, you already have similar expectations of how you should partner and work together.

That makes it easier when you’re having to go to market and bring other solutions together, that everyone knows what their roles are and the playing field is a little more level.

Ian:  Gadi, you mentioned before, but coming to the table of working as a true partnership, you mentioned that there was something else you wanted to say there.

Gadi:  Yeah. I’m going to demystify Salesforce for you, so focus now.

[laughter]

Gadi:  It’s important point. Focus. Here is what you’re buying into when you become a Salesforce partner. You buy an opportunity to get access to the Salesforce ecosystem. I want to explain it in integrated details. First, opportunity. Underscore this word. You’re not buying access, you’re buying opportunity to access.

The rest is up to you and up to your product. What does that mean? I’m going to talk about what does that mean to have access to the ecosystem. The opportunity means that you are getting inroads into a specific thing. A simple one is you’re going to be listed on the AppExchange, it’s the first step.

You might get an opportunity to speak with salespeople, I want to talk about salespeople a little bit, too, as well, with the Salesforce salespeople and get access to them and pitch your product to them. You might be able to buy opportunity to be in Dreamforce. You have to pay for it, but you might be able to buy the opportunity to be there and get access to Salesforce customers.

Really what you do is you buy the opportunity to access the ecosystem, and now you have to work. None of it will happen on its own. I think I used the metaphor of launching a website. You can go to Squarespace and launch a website and nothing will happen. Really, nothing will happen. Maybe your mother will say, “Nice! Good looking website!” but nothing else will happen.

What do you do in order to get there? First is, figure out, what’s the value prop for every one of the pieces of this ecosystem? Most important one is sales. You have salespeople that sells Salesforce. Lucky them. They have 17 clouds to sell right now, because every year, there’s a new cloud. They have to figure out all these different clouds and how they sell them and position them.

They have, what, how many partners you said you have? You have seven bazillion partners?

Ian:  Yeah.

Gadi:  There’s seven bazillion partners. I rounded it down. All of them want access. Yes, some of them are high tier, some of them are low tier, but those partners want access. You have to first figure out why your product matters to a Salesforce salesperson. Different than why it matters to your customer.

Does it shorten the sales cycle? Does it add more seats? Does it create a bigger opportunity? Is it expensive enough for people to even want to sell it and position it with their customers? Once you’ve done this, at least you have a story. Now you have to actually go in and work and get access and speak with them and pitch this product 100 times.

Just like customers, you’re not going to say, “Hey, here’s Talkdesk. It’s the best contact center out there.” It is, but it doesn’t matter. You have to repeat this message time and again. They say, “Oh, we just closed this customer. We just closed this customer.” Keep reading the message until they understand.

Ian:  Gadi, what are some of the things that you’re working on this year over the next 12 months to help pitch that?

Gadi:  Craig is sitting here and he’s driving this program. He can spit out all the things we do and don’t do. We actually try to get access to every place that we can interact with Salesforce people. For example, we’re going to be a pretty substantial sponsor in Dreamforce. We definitely would like to have the presence there and be able to see the customers.

We’re going to be in many of the world tours and in sales kickoff meetings and so on. We actually are going to do a lot of informal stuff. Go do lunch and learns, buy drinks for salespeople and so on, so we get to know them. They understand the value of our products, so they can position it back and remember us and position it back to their customers.

Ian:  Nice. I think that’s really interesting, too. There’s different levels of engaging within the ecosystem. Like you said, you can have a listing where you can go promote it on your own, but there’s other ways that people can build that value and build awareness within the ecosystem. Another question for Amanda and Ray, feel free to jump in as well.

What are some of the other ways that you’re planning to invest in the ecosystem going forward?

Amanda:  I think it’s really important, when I think about the Salesforce ecosystem and everything that we’re doing, that we have the integrations into wherever those customers are, we have a lighter product we’re coming to market with right now called Search Sense.

Essentially, it’s really simple. Our deep product is get all your data, all this data across the Internet, across all of your different channels. When you think about Salesforce, you’ve got your per dot, your marketing automation and your CRM. You have every different piece, the web data that’s coming through and looking at all those different channels of data.

Our Search Sense product and our full product looks at all of that and then predicts and pulls our data in. Our lighter product basically just says, “Who’s out there doing research on your competitor’s products right now? Who is looking at Oracle for HCM? Let me tell you those companies and let me make it really easy to integrate that in.”

I think the next step for us in our partnership with Salesforce in this AppExchange ecosystem is to have Salesforce and have those reps, like you’re saying, going out there and showing, now, if I could actually see that and you could see the companies.

Salesforce is great at workflow and pushing your system through and seeing, “OK, how many opportunities did you open and doing pipeline generation?” It’s great for managers, but it’s not great for finding that opportunity and knowing where to spend your time.

As a small company, if I can help you spend your time wisely on those accounts that are most likely to convert and you can actually go out to the reps right now at Salesforce, and they can say to their customers, “This is how you’re going to get the most out of Salesforce, because you’re going to be more efficient with your time,” I think that’s the future of where we’re going with this.

We’re not there right now. We are in there and talking to, like you’re saying, utilizing all the reps and all the opportunities. There’re so much there that we hadn’t even begun to tap in on across everything you can do with Salesforce.

Ray:  For us, where we fit in this space of a whole life cycle is early ideation to the design make. Salesforce, obviously, has market sell service. We’re in an area and a space that’s foreign to the typical Salesforce sales rep. That said, as Salesforce tries to grow and verticalize, they have the health cloud and the wealth cloud and the like and retail is becoming big, we fit very heavily in an industry play.

For us, a big investment is to really know the industry overlays, the people that are selling into our target customers, educate them. Back to Gadi’s point, you have to spend a lot of time evangelizing. You have the opportunity to do that, but you have to invest in that.

For us, our marketing team becomes a sales engine, marketing our message internally to Salesforce so that the awareness is there and people can actually find us and know that we’re a great Salesforce partner. There are other campaigns, things that we can do to buy space and be higher in the AppExchange for at least being web page view or presented.

We’re taking advantage of some of those things, but it really is about more evangelism and awareness, because we’re still less than two years old in market.

Making sure that everywhere where there is a sales team that’s thinking about manufacturing, people that are building products that they know that Propel is the one and only partner that can help them compete against Oracle, SAP, Microsoft and IBM when they’re in those areas and that we bring a great power to them. It’s mostly evangelism and awareness.

The last piece, to build on Gadi’s, is it is really two sales efforts. You’re selling to your customer, but you’re always selling to Salesforce. If you don’t plan for that and resource correctly, you’re screwing yourself out of a lot of the opportunity or missed opportunity if you don’t invest in that way.

Ian:  Fantastic. We’re running short on time, so I just have to wrap it up. Thank you so much for participating on the panel today. I think you’ve had some really awesome insights of when it’s time to invest in Salesforce, and some of the tips hopefully that people here can take away and how they can really accelerate that growth.

Everyone, please give them a round of applause. Thank you very much.

[applause]

Gadi:  You’re welcome.

Published on January 15, 2018

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This