Decoding Buying Patterns to Predict Your Next Customer

February 13th, 2019 / Published in: Interviews

Deepak Anchala is the Founder and CEO of Slintel, a deep prospecting platform to boost conversion rates. Deepak affirms that sales and marketing teams today are inundated with company and contact lists and that many teams launch campaigns based on their target criteria and end up getting extremely low conversion rates (Industry average is < 2% on cold mails; <.5% on cold calls). This spray and pray approach has frustrated the buyer community (most buyers are drowned in seller spam), and also has led to the sales teams eroding their target clientele over time.

He thinks that the most important question sales and marketing teams need to be asking themselves is:

Who is most likely to buy my product or service, today?

That is all they need to launch the perfect campaign. Slintel seeks out to solve this problem.

Podcast

Transcript

Kim: Hello everyone good afternoon and thank you for joining us once on DojoLive! Today wednesday the 13th of February 2019 it’s already like what is that, a six that we finished almost this year, amazing. My name is Kim Lantis we’re broadcasting live from nearsoft offices in Hermosillo Sonora joining me is one of my teammate is Carlos Ponce, it’s good to be here I have not hosted in a while.

Carlos: Yeah it’s been a while Kim.

Kim: Kim: And of course today we’ll be discussing how to decode the buying patterns of your next customer here to tell us how he is helping companies do just that is the founder and CEO of Slintel Deepak Anchala, I hope i got that right, and welcome to DojoLive! Deepak.

Deepak: Thank you so much Kim, hi everyone thanks to much for having me.

Carlos: It’s a pleasure.

Kim: Yes it is our pleasure so to go ahead and get this started Deepak, why don’t you please tell us a bit more about yourself and your background.

Deepak: Sure, so hi everyone i’m Deepak Anchala also quick background about myself so I did my engineering way back in the day did my MBA straight after that, both in three different continents and made my was to US seven years ago so predominantly i´ve been working in the sales and marketing space and in my last role I was leading sales for a company called traction in the United States and during the course of this journey basically noticed a pain point that most salespeople feel and decided to solve that pain point myself being in the valley you know I can recognize transition for me, so that’s how I ended up stuck in Slintel.

Kim: Very good so let’s talk a little about Slintel and that pain point what your product is and the problem you’re solving.

Deepak: Sure, so what we’re doing at Slintel is rebuilding a personalized sales recommendation engine our goal is to improve the productivity of every sales rep, and what we mean by that is if you talk to salespeople today you would notice that almost 80% of their time is spent of research and less than 20% is actually spent on meeting people in closing views and you wanna [INAUDIBLE] right, so there has to be a better way of doing it and when we asked ourselves the question you know what will really improve their conversion rates right, and we figured out that the one question that they need to answer is who is going to buy my product or service today, not tomorrow not day after but who’s gonna buy my product today right, and that’s a very difficult question to answer so the main solving that as we said, you know, there’s a lot of data out there online nowadays right so we said can we run some big data algorithms look at all of the data out there in trying to infer patterns on what buyers are buying today and based on that can be derived some differences on who’s gonna buy your product, and then we started overlaying that with internal campaign data as well to give recommendations.

Kim: Wait, there’s a terminology that you had come up with I think this is actually on the upcoming of our the like background of who are you on our DojoLive Website and it’s this terminology this spray and pray approach which actually I thought was really funny, really witty, did you come up with that or did, so the it is to get away from that right, so what is the spray and pray and then how are you transitioning from there what if it’s this is have not only for companies but for everyone.

Deepak: Absolutely, so if you look at the nature of enterprise sales today right, I think the spray on face is it’s a very commonly used term, I probably used it for the sales context here what a lot of people do in this space is, you know, there’s millions of decision makers, thousands of companies so on any given day a sales rep comes into office and then it picks and chooses right these are the hundred people i’m going to reach out to today based on my ideal customer profile right, and then he sprays and freeze so he basically send out colds emails cold calls then hoping it’s a numbers game, so hoping that one out of 100 will give him a response but at the same time you know, it backfires a lot of times so what happens is if you’re not reaching out to the right set of people who are ready for your product, you are essentially building bridges just between them right, they could potentially have been a good customer three months down the [INAUDIBLE] but because of your frequent interaction three months prior you may have like one that bridge already, gets annoying not having done the research before reaching out to them so I think [INAUDIBLE]

Kim: So you mentioned something you said there were ideal client profile what’s the definition of this or what’s your definition of this.

Deepak: Sure, so traditionally I think what the definition of ICP has been for companies is they look at a target segment that it most likely to buy their product or service right, so it could be a certain geography, a certain credit feel, a certain size of the company and then they decide that my product resonates best with this audience and it should be my ideal customers, I think I would like to add to that, I think the way you should look at ideal customer profile is not just look at you know, who you think is a good fit for you, but also look at what the data says so when you your own campaigns going out so you know where you are getting responses where you’re getting dem orphan conversions so I think the ideal customer profiles has to map to your vision of who’s ICP versus what is data telling you and club those together to come up with the idea of set of recommendations.

Kim: So I think there’s this idea to me there’s this perhaps this potential conflict of who I want to work with right, who I but not only who I think my ideal customer or client profile is but who I want that to be, i’m looking for these specific people or whatever reasons versus who’s actually most likely to buy my product, is there conflict there like how do we break that cycle which one should have the most weight or how do we kind of deal with that crash.

Deepak: Yeah, it’s a good question, I think the question on who is most like to buy my product or so this, those are like quick wins right there’s a low hanging because if you know they’re most likely to buy, buy not sell to them right, versus where you want to be like whom do you really want to sell it to so I think that is a bit of a tougher sell but it should be in your body they may not be ready to buy today but they mean in some education some awareness of your product it might be entirely new industry that you are in right so I would definitely say staar with the low hanging fruit right if their eif you, know that there are people who have a higher propensity to buy and then beyond that and see is there anyone else but when you go beyond that also I think you will find some trade offs you’ll will know that even within that segment out there, there are some people who [INAUDIBLE] than the others, so I think that what you need to find out.

Kim: Ok, and this is different than getting the people you want to buy.

Deepak: I would say getting the people you want to buy should be broken down into the competence right, of those people who do you think has a propensity to buy, i’m not saying that they are going to buy your product but who has a propensity to buy like for example, it’s like an example here so there might be people who might be researching similar products like yours right, they might googling them or they might have bought similar products, or your analysis would be primarily based on their size and their you know, the consumption data that they are a good fit for you so even that segment I think can be broken down into people who have a propensity to buy it who don’t have a [INAUDIBLE]

Kim: Ok, very good, so can we talk about the data a little bit like for me I’m not a developer, it’s not what I do this idea of kind of big data’s for me it’s kind of elusive like but I imagine that a product like yours uses right immense amounts of data so how do you guys get a handle of this, like what types of tools might you use, or for example the developer who might be watching today’s episode, what my recommendations that you have for them if there also working with products that use big data.

Deepak: Sure, absolutely, yeah, so firstly be used we consume a lot of data, so because you look at around 100 billion data points on a monthly basis.

Kim: Can you repeat that number?

Deepak: Hundred billion data points on a monthly basis.

Carlos: Billion, one hundred billion data points.

Deepak: On monthly basis, yes, so what we do is we [INAUDIBLE] companies out there and we map them to ten thousand differents products that they’re using roday, so we identify which company which set of products and we track that over time so we know like if company was using technology at three months ago when did they move the technology and you star deriving influences based on that we started predicting, because they move like three months ago or one month ago, maybe the contract is coming up for the newer years from them, so we started deriving influences on the set of data we have so, yeah, si we cibsyne large amounts of data and so when you have such vast amounts of data you know storing the data processing it, you know you need to know the best way to kind of do all of that so basically we have we explored like our thought process was initially so we went in the tools that you know people said it’s good usually that how all on the plus card but then overtime we just it was a balancing act between as a startup you can’t spend too much money so it was a balancing act between what are the tools that you know, star off with and as you start scaling your data so what else can you ingest into your workflow so it was [INAUDIBLE] support.

Kim: Alright so how about yourself as a company right, so you’re a company who identifies or helps people identify that question of who’s going to buy your product today, so what does your data tell you about yourself, how have you as a company Slintel use your own product.

Deepak: Sure, great question, so for us right if you were to look at our ICP based on our own data stats right, so we are in the marketing intelligence space and what we can identify using our own tools is what other companies out there are using similar marketing intelligence products and if you know a company is using a similar product then we also know that pain point because if you know your competitor landscape you know there to that, and you know that they are not that good at right, [INAUDIBLE] landscape, you can go and capped off the company saying, hey I know you’re using product X and they’re getting ahead this particular thing like, and that what we really would like [INAUDIBLE] isl like three product companies like ours we integrate with a number of other products like for example a salesforce integration, so identifying customers of salesforce and reaching out to them has a much higher closure rate than trying to find out which CRM some piece of you, so yeah, we use [INAUDIBLE] competitive Slintel use it for customers partners, we also like to derive other influences so typically like if we are the their or fourth tool a company would buy into their sales process so we look at companies that have exactly two dunes in their sales process right, you can derive those kind of inferences, you can look at contract renewal data reach out to them two months before the contracting you, can use and say, hey I know your renewals coming up do you want to have a chat, a lot [INAUDIBLE]

Kim: That’s really interesting, I also looking here you had mentioned a statistic say the industry average is less than 2% on cold mails like emails I’m assuming and less than 0.5% and cold calls, what types of what’s the averages maybe for your clients or yourself what kind of increase if you don’t mind sharing.

Deepak: Sure, sure, so we do a lot email reach outs and we do a lot of LinkedIn reach outs as well and there’s a lot of bones that come towards to SEO and AdWords today right so we have a different response rates on different channels so on cold mails typically if you like, if you read book likes predictable than when you buy a [INAUDIBLE] right, typically like a five percent response rate is considered to be a really good response rate company is a get a 5% response rate and we are closer to that number right now, using all the strategies that we have been doing one on the emails on LinkedIn reach outs we have a much higher response rate that’s because you know, we initially connect with our decision makers first and then we shared on social a lot of our interesting blog posts so there’s a nurture process before you actually ask for this deal so we have actually beneath this so we don’t directly go for the sale in a lot of pieces we nurture our leads through different marketing campaigns through every trial sign up through by giving them a lot of content in behavior and they eventually when they’re ready.

Carlos: Kim I have a question for Deepak, if I’m a step in, you just mentioned Deepack something that definitely pulled my attention, you mentioned Aaron Ross and predictable revenue right, in a reason why pull my attention is because once we worked with him, we hired him for some training internally at nearsoft, and of course you know we’re talking about his approach is you know, predictable, it’s about you know being predictable in software as a services the sales but you’re we’re talking about software products you know, which is basically b2b lest put it that way right, what would you say in the case of b2b for example in terms of intelligence marketing, and analytics or you know, whatever tools are out there what would you say is that is in from your standpoint greatest challenge to better serve these markets you know these b2b companies that are there are in dire need of really good marketing intelligence tools, how would you like to approach them what would you tell them or what sort of our jets adjustment can you make to your product in order to bes cater to their needs if applicable, what is your take on this.

Deepak: Sure, absolutely, great question, so companies selling to other businesses b2b right, for them I think most companies this cough by hiring salespeople right and that’s not necessary bad thing to do, but a lot of times just cold email without linking out your campaign with our marketing tends to have like overall low response rates so what most companies tend to do is they hire salespeople they get a CRM then they say, hey figure it out right, going and it becomes pretty challenging because you know on one hand the CRM is more like the engine of the car right, you need fuel in the car to actually move it so the fuel is basically pipeline right, how is it putting into the CRM so this is a process in which they need to get initial leads into the pipeline and I think that becomes very important so even if they don’t use a marketing tool even if they just use like startup when they start they generally don’t have a marketing process at that time, so even if it’s just a sales funnel you really want to be sure that what you’re putting on the top of the funnel is really going to convert to the bottom right, so that’s why the ICP and the predictability like who is most likely to buy my product becomes so important, even ahead like if you can do that at the marketing layer itself right, you can predict with a fair degree of accuracy who is more likely to buy your product and then nurture them through marketing campaigns and then put them through the sales follow, do you wanna go tremendously high response rates compared to your previous staff, that’s what like we are like buttes, I would strongly encourage companies to do is get like so sales should not be looked at as a standalone entity it should always be in conjunction with marketing and you should always try to get through the top of the funnel great.

Carlos: Thank you so much Deepal, and one more and then I’lls pass on the mic to Kim, you’re talking about helping us in this conversation you are helping us and our of course our viewers you’re helping us to decode you know by patterns that’s essentially the topic that we chose for today so in that sense and i’ve interest is a kind of an opened question, what is it what exactly are we to expect next five years for any of us who wish to buy you know solver products of any kind so what are they gonna be the trends what are gonna be where is the industry lining us towards in terms of what’s going to be happening in the next 5-10 years from now are we talking about I don’t know artificial intelligence are we talking about what’s is it’s going to be there, that we need to be on the lookout for inter in order to predict, what our next customer is gonna be.

Deepak: Sure, great question, so I think if you looking to selling of enterprise products today right, I think there’s a big divide, their are companies helping employers like partners at Forrester right, or [INAUDIBLE] helping buyers discover what products to buy and their companies helping sellers then right, so like discovery platforms but it is a big divide and the divide basically makes it difficult because the buyers are still struggling identifying what to buy and the sellers are also still strugglin whom beside to fight so I think you guys go to convert the two together right so [INAUDIBLE] too much data can be mined appropriately and used correctly so I thin that divide between them is going to redo and I might be what where I see is eventually in the end there could be an enterprise marketplace here just like you know you have Amazon on the consumer side which is any bling buyer and seller transactions pretty seamlessly so I think data is going to play a major role in building transparency between buyers and sellers and showing exactly buyers what to buy and seller whom decided to, to the point that at some point you’re honestly like an enterprise marketplace and transactions at the enterprise level being done by a formal platform.

Carlos: Thank you so much, yeah, absolutely thank you so much Deepak I appreciate your insight so Kim back to you and then yeah, back to you, seems like we’re approaching to the final segment of the conversation as I mentioned , time flies when we’re having fun so Kim, back to you please.

Kim: Sure, thank you Carlos, Deepak I’m kind of interested in you as an individual as an entrepreneur so Slintel is how old?

Deepak: It’s two years and four months.

Kim: Two years and four months, ok, very good, so in this time what has been one of you perhaps biggest mistakes that you’ve made, what did you learn from it.

Deepak: Sure.

Carlos: Words of wisdom, words of wisdom.

Deepak: I think [INAUDIBLE] failures and mistakes right, I think i’m just trying to think which is the biggest one so.

Kim: Think of one just have to be [INAUDIBLE]

Deepak: So I think probably so what we started doing initially was we went ot the market first even before we had a product and a lot of people say that thre right way to do it right, but I would have you know if I were to do it again you know I would have had the product build at the same time we will go into market primarily because know they’re not like two and SOPC right, you have to like get some customers build some product get some customers build some products so I think there was a bit of a time lag for us maybe ended up getting customers customers who are waiting for product feature to be built and the product build took a bit of a time but yeah, I would, my advice to all entrepreneurs doing that is to bot family I know entrepreneurs to focus only on product and go to sales much later or vice versa but both of them have it’s a difficult thing to do but it has to be done at the same time time.

Kim: Ok, that’s very wise, thank you, and how about what is one of the things that make you makes you most proud like what did you do right.

Deepak: Sure, so I think we bootstrapped away from nothing right with just an idea so convincing the first person to on that idea to join you then hiring an entire team, convincing investor so the whole journey is itself like an accomplishment in itself, I think the biggest if I were to pick one thing it could be just the resourcefulness of everything right, so when you start off with an idea you have nothing, you’re on a clean slate right, so you have to find the resources to put your idea to work, you have to find resources to links, sell your idea out you have to read books, you have to proper pounders, you have to run surveys, you have to talk to investors to get some feedback but the resourceful as all of this is what makes it on up in a entrepreneur so I think that would be my biggest accomplishment.

Kim: Congratulations, and what was it that this is always one of my biggest questions, because I don’t know, I guess I don’t consider myself to be that brave, what was it in your life that made you decide to kind of make take that plunge like to go for it.

Deepak: Sure, I think the [INAUDIBLE] the progression is wasnt all of a sudden that I decided you know, I’ll take the plunge it was more so in the years that have been working in the same space so I noticed a paint point and the idea grew on me for like a few years, and then I saw a couple of trends in the space right, so you know that when the timing is right when you see a been that you’re riding in the space so we saw the big data and we personalized recommendations hitting all kinds of products right and then club that’d be the painopint that you’re seeing I think that prompted me and I would say like being in the Silicon Valley you’re always thinking about starting something right, so if you go to a coffee shop here, if you go to a [INAUDIBLE] if you go to a building, so it’s not just expedite your consistent.

Kim: Very good, congratulations, I’m very much interested is there else is we’re wrapping up I think we’ve got about four or five more minutes left of our call, any final words of wisdom anything that you’d like to share or talk about that we haven’t yet talked about today.

Deepak: Sure, so just some advice for everyone who’s trying to be a budding entrepreneur like was fine do something on their own is and this is the best advice I got from another entrepreneur is just do it, right, it’s not as it seems I think the only difference between entrepreneurs and non entrepreneurs that is risk taking ability right.

Kim: Is a what I’m sorry?

Deepak: It’s just the risk taking ability.

Kim: Great, like I said i’m not [LAUGHS].

Deepak: And in today’s world I think there’s resources for everything right, you just need to have an idea, you will find freelancers who will code and help you build that idea, you will find people who will send that idea, you’ll find a lot of books and you’ll find you know, there’s hundreds of differents ways to say that will help you achieve the goal that you want to achieve, so I would just say you know it just takes a little bit of guts to do what you’re going and started and even if it doesn’t work out I mean the learning you get in that one to two years is probably what you would get in like ten years of work life so you have nothing to lose that my advice.

Kim: I like that, tomorrow i will come, I need based off of what you just mentioned, I kind of like this idea of surrounding yourself with I don’t want to say like minded because I think in that sense you get into this idea of like groupthink and my tunnel vision or whatever it might be but the idea of getting people like minded in the sense of risk takers to be on board to have this element of willingness is that something that you kind of sought out like intentionally or is that something that just happens organically.

Deepak: So you mean when you’re hiding like may the people in your team.

Kim: Yeah like when you’re constructing this idea when you actually go into the building phase like you had mentioned the idea of getting freelancers on board and you know investors, etc, like how much of that in your experience was intentional like and how much of that just happened to happen.

Deepak: Great question, and I get this question all the time because a lot of people who have an idea of is it very difficult to find people like minded people right, who rescue on the same idea and who you can on what is the co founder because it’s very important people with those relationships right but people will join you when you have something to prove right an idea is not enough in today’s world so but there are resources that you can use to build a prototype get the product out there get your first customer get some traction and then you will find people coming and buying your idea more easily so I think like mindedness also comes from traction right even as a solo entrepreneur you can gain significant amount of traction using freelancers and the resource out there, that could be my advice, like don’t spend too much time looking for co founders if you can’t find them go ahead and do it anyway you will find them eventually.

Kim: And so from the sounds of it you adhere to the fail mindsight.

Deepak: Yes I am a strong believer in that, so I think you know so especially in this in SAS businesses the nation of SAS businesses you know you can’t build a like spin business it’s very difficult to build the lifespan business here right, because tomorrow it somebody raises more money they build product features faster, they can take your entire customer base away then it’s most of SAS businesses are in a monthly subscription right, so I think in today’s world like you have to move very very fast to survive and it’s not just influences in this to survive so like I’m a strong believer in real fast, real fast.

Kim: Ok, thank you, thank you very much, well that I can’t believe our half an hour has passed already.

Carlos: I told you.

Kim: I know it just pass like this, Deepak if anyone is interested in to know gets ahold to be able to get ahold of you or to know more about Slintel how might they do that.

Deepak: Sure, so our website Slintel.com, Slintel.com, and my email is Deepak my first name @slintel.com you to rock me on email, you’ll also find a contact form on our website if you’re interested in joining us, if you’re interested in buying a car as you know [INAUDIBLE] out.

Carlos: And also I’d like to remind the audience that if you’re watching this or will be in the near end in the followings days all Deepak’s contact info is going to be right there on the land on the page of the DojoLive website so just go there DojoLive.com there you’re ready you know the drill you know, ando just look for the recent interview, a conversation that we have with Deepak and all his information is going to be right there, ok, so Kim before we go I like to make a quick announcement if I may and this is about next week’s congress, next week’s interview and it’s conversation and that’s gonna happen on the same day as this week which is Wednesday at same time one pacific and we’re gonna be having a conversation with Mr. Tom Powers the founder and CEO of Find It which is a travel software platform to find alternative search options for vacation rentals so that’s going to be about travel tech so I think there’s gonna be part of our travel edition but again it’s Tom Powers find it I mean that’s the name of the company, Findit.com yeah exactly and so we’re in the topic is emerging search and content sharing platforms so just keep an eye on that and make a note of it folks next week same time same day, back to you Kim.

Kim: That’s it, thank you very much Deepak on behalf of Carlos, myself Nearsoft and DojoLive I thank you for time today I wish you the greatest success and your endeavors and we look forward to seeing how you company and your tools can help people find their ideal clients and sell better fasters.

Carlos: Absolutely, so ok, absolutely Deepak we’re going off the air now so stick around for a minute with us.

Deepak: Ok.

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