– Welcome to the Sales Acceleration Show. I’ve always been a very
strong believer in channels and partners and indirect malls. I’ve been looking for a guest that’s really an expert in this, and I found him. This is Frie. I’m gonna actually let you
explain exactly what you do. – Well, thanks for inviting me, Michael. This is great being here. So, yeah, I’m actually
working on HowAboutSales. And HowAboutSales is collaboration tool, and we call it a BRM software. – So it’s not a CRM. – It is not a CRM system,
’cause we truly believe– – [Michael] So you’ve
invented a new category. – We invented a new category, no, it’s true actually. Because we believe there
is so many CRM systems on the market and we
noticed that sales guys are not using CRM, the data in the CRM. And especially within
indirect sales channels, and that’s what I would
love to talk about. – So, when I think
indirect sales channels, I used to run a company
with lots of partners, and I had some issues there, so I want to start with the issues because probably people come
to you and you’re gonna say this is the problem. So one of the biggest issues is, how do you convince these
partners to join you, that was a big one.
– Yeah. – What’s the value you have and then he always goes about margins, and then I always got into
this endless discussion of I need to give you 30, 40 percent, but why would I give you all that money? And then the third thing that happened, is they took me hostage sometimes. – Yeah. – I didn’t like that.
– Yeah. – And then you have this friction mulls. I’m really wondering, so maybe go back to the first point then. – Yeah, well, first of all, so we are building a product
today mainly in the market of financial services and
construction building. So there might some of the modules that are not really relevant to the– – [Michael] I’m thinking
reporting full cost, by plans– – [Friedrich] That’s less
relevant in the first stage. – [Michael] Yeah. – We really focus on
the basis of partnership with your indirect sales channel. And it all starts with having
a clear overview on where the biggest potential is,
– Yep. of your market. And once you get there, it’s
about really establishing a true relationship in the long-term way. – So how do you do that? – Well, it all starts with
shifting your approach towards the market because,
actually, as you all know, market has been changing
the last years, before– – Dramatically. – Yeah, dramatically, I mean
consumers are buying online now and… – And they’re cutting out the middle man. – They are cutting out the middle man and that’s actually what happened, what we saw the last years was
financial service providers were really panicking, ‘Oh
my god, what is our role? What will be the role
of our intermediaries?’ – Yeah, but then on the other hand, if I look at finance, they
all want to get rid of the officers and so I think,
actually, intermediaries become even more relevant for them because it’s the cost of acquisition, of finding new customers is lower. I mean there is a lot
of value in doing it. – Exactly, exactly. So, in the first years. Let’s say four, five years ago, there was a lot of emotion,
‘Oh, what are you going to do?’ and they didn’t dare to
talk about exchanging role with their intermediaries. And now all this emotion
is out of the market and they all know that they
will be still needing each other for the coming ten years. So that’s the first observation, and you see that, indeed,
financial service providers are cutting out a lot of their middle men but, at the same time,
they confirm how important the best of them will
still be the coming years and that’s actually where
you start really looking at where the best ones and
where are the intermediaries that are together with us
in this digital journey? Leads will be coming in from online and well we might be
triggered by the principal, but also with the intermediaries. So it will be a collaboration, and that’s exactly where we
saw there was a huge gap. CRM systems, today, are not
built within the context of having a two-way relationship. – Exactly, I exactly wanted to ask you, because, typically, they would ask me, ‘How can I control these guys’? – Exactly.
– And it’s not about control. I don’t believe in that control. – Exactly. And that’s where we saw
that there was a huge gap and that’s why we consider
CRM systems as our partners, because there are two main topics, gaps that we saw in the market. First of all, there was
no digital connection between both parties, right?
– Yep. – And, secondly– – So, it’s like a joint
feeding mechanism actually. – Exactly. – Very intriguing. – And yeah they were only pushing, like you said, they were
only pushing data or products through the partner. – Here are leads, follow them up, you haven’t followed them up, why not? – Exactly. So, and this is the second point, where we saw there was a huge gap. It was about the operational
role and relationship that existed between both parties, and this is really getting more strategic, and, at least, we believe
that the winning companies of the future are these companies, that are able to connect
with their partners in a more strategic way. They become strategic coaches
instead of firefighters. – Yep. So do you also set up partner programs, are you a big advocate of that, or are you saying, ‘It’s
too generic, don’t do that’. How would you tackle that whole debate? – Yeah, so we position clearly as a BRM, like a business relationship management, where we make it possible for both parties to share their long-term
business plans into one platform. And they’re able to collaborate
on these strategic topics and to follow-up on each other, to really create commitment, because this is really
the key word; commitment. – Commitment. – If you ask the– – In both directions. – In both directions and this is– – Fully agree. – When you ask principles, headquarters, ‘What is missing today
at your sales partners?’ ‘Commitment’, they will say.
– Yep. – So it’s– – And sense of urgency, always. – Of course, every time. But, at the same time,
so this is really key. And we are positioning in this BRM complex and establishing relationship. Regarding your question about the partner material, marketing material, this is where you consider
more the PRM systems, like the partner relationships systems. – Management.
– Yeah, indeed. And this is for companies who are not really lacking financial services, companies, manufacturing companies. It’s more in the context
where you have your products, the need to explain the
products is more complex. – One of the things there is that, when I start with the channel, then, at a certain stage, CEO says, ‘We need more channel partners because we want to increase revenues’, so you get a KPI target
of getting more partners. And I see Hubspot, for instance, they approached me very recently and said, ‘Michael, we think you
would be good partner fit, please become a partner.’ And then I’m looking, what’s the value? They just have another sign-up form and I have to sign up. ‘Yeah, but we give you all this training.’ It doesn’t work this way, right? – Imagine these guys
would have come to you, and would start to ask you questions about where you’re heading with your company in coming years.
– Yep. – How would that change? – It would be very different. – Exactly. – And if they then would be
able to add some revenue, say, ‘Hey Michael,
we’ve thought about this but here are two contact.’ Man, I truly believe that only
operational efficiency cost is not going to do the trick. I believe that. Revenue and value, mixing
those, that’s gonna be much– – Exactly, what are your main
challenges the coming years? What way are you doing with the business? And that’s where we believe
it’s not rocket science. It has been existing for years. And this is what is not
in the market today. It’s establishing, you know, we are all connected on Facebook, right?
– Yep. – Within companies, people are connected on Slack and whatever. But companies that are
doing business together are not connected in a digital way, and that’s exactly where we
believe there’s a category that we believe needs to be created which is business relationship
management category. – You really like the word? – I really like the word. – He’s saying it like five, six times. We will put it in big letters on the– – Perfect, perfect. But it’s also to say that, I mean we believe that it
should be partnering with CRM because there’s another
aspect that’s really important and it doesn’t, I’m not
saying that it is one type of business relationship management. No, it’s the idea, the vision behind it. If you look at CRM today, sales guys are not using it. Now what we believe, if you would be able to provide only 20% of
the most relevant data on a one-pager, and you provide it to the account manager, and it’s a one-pager about
the data of the partner, we believe that you can
achieve 80% of the impact. – Yep. – And, therefore, you need the partner–
– If you have the right– I agree, I agree. – With the CRM system. – But you see that trend is
some very large sales companies where they start using SalesForce, like the database and then
they start plugging in a lot of other systems, so I believe in this, I don’t
think the one-shot tool, it’s like the big mega ones like SAPR, I don’t believe in– – Exactly. – I believe in the mix. – Exactly. And also BI tools.
– Yeah, yeah, yeah. – Same thing. – And then you get into
predictive analytics and that’s coming, right?
– Exactly. – That’s the next phase. – If companies are not
ready to consider tools as not one set of one tool with everything is in it,
– Yep. – Now they know user
experience for sales guys is super important, so they need to think
about other ways of getting the data out of it and only
provide the relevant data, and make it possible. And the same thing
counts towards a partner. – Yep. – So that’s why we believe
it’s important to make the difference between strategic
user-experience tooling and data-gathering, CRM, BI tooling. – It’s perfect, you should check it out. HowAboutSales.com? – HowAboutSales.com. – There you go. I truly believe that
partners can actually scale your business and you
can grow a lot faster and you can actually lower
your cost of acquisitions, so I love this episode. If you wanna see more,
subscribe to the channel and if you liked it,
give it a big thumbs up. Frie? – Thanks for inviting, man. Cheers.
– Cheers.