Erica Silva, Negosentro | Salesmate.io has designed an interview series to provide actionable insight about the inherent challenges faced by the majority of startup businesses.
The interview series is curated to inspire and motivate new entrepreneurs to enhance the scalability of their businesses. Fellow business owners share their corporate journey along with the hurdles they overcame to position themselves as market leaders.
Name: Piyush Patel and Dhruv Patel
Designation: Co-Founder & CEO
Company: Saleshandy FAQ
1) Can you describe your startup in 3 words?
A productivity tool providing engagement analytics [A little more than 3 words!].
2) How big is your addressable market and how did you determine that?
We help customers improve their productivity with email communication. We also enable them to make informed decisions with the help of data-backed insights.
Our target users are individuals and businesses that rely on email as their preferred communication channel.
Worldwide Email Accounts and User Forecast (M), 2015–2019
Our tool integrates smoothly with a user’s existing workflow. We have plugins for Chrome, Gmail and Outlook.
We’re highly driven to help businesses grow with engagement analytics generated by the tool.
Our tool is the best match for both GSuite and Office 365 customers. As per the recent public numbers, both email powerhouses have approximately:
- Gsuite — ~ 3M customers
- Office365 — ~ 60M customers
We’re into Sales Engagement Analytics. It’s a new category that emerged when Gmail opened their APIs to developers. This category is different from a CRM Software, however our tool complements a CRM Software. It sends insights to a CRM software so users can take advantage of the data.
3) You have come a long way. What do you think are the 5 most important aspects of successful sales and conversions for a startup?
- Freemium — we give away this version of the software to users to try for free and its a very important part of our product and growth strategy. If they need to use advanced features, they subscribe to the upgraded version.
- Product Demo — our goal has always been to talk to customers to understand their needs and workflow. We then guide them on how our tool can help them achieve their goals. Anyone can schedule a 20 min quick product demo with us. We try to strike amazing conversations with customers during demos and are mostly able to convert them.
- We track how users are interacting with our app during the free trial. We keep track of the number of campaigns users started; how many team members were invited, etc. Data like this will help you find user engagement levels and gauge how many of these are likely to convert after trial. Those who aren’t engaging with the tool the way they should need our attention.
- We set up auto messages based on user behavior and activities. For example, we send auto messages to trial users who’ve exhausted their limit of 3 campaigns and encourage them to upgrade their plan.
- Email Campaigns: Not all trial signups end up converting. The key is to reach out to them periodically with feature release updates. We’ve seen many users convert this way from leads we thought were dead. Moral of the story — customers are always looking for better tools that solve their problems.
- Exceptional customer service: Undeniably, this is the key to success for any business. Our customer success team lives by this motto. You can read our reviews on the chrome store and G2crowd to learn how our team helps customers.
4) What marketing tactic/campaign was most beneficial for your startup?
Everything in marketing is trial and error, and we only know the things we’ve tried. After employing several campaigns, affiliate marketing and content marketing became our main sources of lead generation.
5) What’s the worst marketing move you regret making the most?
Our worst move [but not specifically marketing-related] was that we did not pay attention to website security. Because of which 6 months into the startup, a hacker was able to ruin all of our hard work. That was the worst experience ever. Not securing your website with SSL or TLS is a big mistake.
6) While working on endorsing your brand, did you (or do you still) incorporate online marketing and sales tools. Can you name 5 of your favorite ones?
This is what our marketing kit looks like; Ahrefs for SEO and Competitor analysis, SalesHandy for Outreach, Growsumo for Affiliate Management, Grammarly and Google Docs for Content Marketing and SERPLAB for SEO Rank Tracking. Some other tools that we love include; Intercom, GrooveHQ, Google Analytics, Checkmylinks and NoFollow.
7) Any advice for new startup owners?
- Start with your basic idea and keep evolving and tweaking it based on user feedback. We started with 10 features and ended up with only 3 — don’t build too many things. Instead, make one feature that’s outstanding.
- Thrive to achieve growth in all aspects — marketing, revenue and product. Having a growth mindset has always helped us achieve astonishing results. As Paul Graham said — in technology, companies that grow slowly tend not to grow that much.
- Start selling early — if some random person on earth is paying you $5 for your product, it means you are solving their problem. The biggest mistake we made was adding the pricing page after 6months of building the MVP.
- Hire the right people – a good team is one of the most important factors for startup success. It’s hard to find people with passion and the right skills when you need them most. Therefore its important to continuously interview people and build a database. Constantly meeting the brightest people has helped us learn many aspects of marketing, engineering and sales.
Thank you, Piyush and Dhruv, for sharing your valuable insight with our readers.
If you have questions or would like to impart further beneficial advice for new startup business owners, please drop a comment below!
ABOUT Erica Silva
Erica Silva is a blogger who loves to discover and explore the world around her. She writes on everything from marketing to technology, science and brain health. She enjoys sharing her discoveries and experiences with readers and believes her blogs can make the world a better place.
Find her on Twitter: @ericadsilva1