Sramana: When you prospect by telesales, what lists do you have them work on?
Steve Millard: Lists are generally awful and cost a lot of money. The folks we have, combined with expertise in the company, has given us a very deep Rolodex. We talk to VCs we know or customers we have done business with in the past. We are selective about the shows we attend, and we follow up on any results we get from those shows.
Sramana: The shows still work off a list. It seems there is a finite list of companies that fall within your sweet spot, right?
Steve Millard: Not necessarily. I think our sweet spot has an expanding number of companies in it. Teradata and IBM have a finite number of companies that can afford their product. The market for us is expanding almost faster than we can address it. That is by design. We get invited to the dance with the Fortune companies all the time now, which is new, but to be honest I would rather take five of these young startups and grow with them instead of getting one Fortune 10 company as a client. I think it’s a more exciting place to be and a better use of our resources. I challenge our sales team and our inside sales team to address this area more almost every day.
Sramana: You have me partially convinced. There is truly a small number of companies that can afford $500,000 over three years.
Steve Millard: We can do something that is tailor-made for any customer. There is an online travel service which has a deal like that. They have a three-year subscription that provides them analytics about their travelers and what they are doing. Their deal was under $200,000. We are willing to go as low as we need to go in order to grow with these companies. I am not going to lose money on a deal, but at the end of the day I am more excited about getting into a partnership with a young, fast-growing mobile company that might not be able to afford our target price today but will be able to make up for it down the road.
Sramana: Now that you are selling largely to Silicon Valley and high-end data analytics [companies], do you see any takers for your product outside of the U.S.?
Steve Millard: We are a company that nobody in the U.S. had heard of until last year. As we start closing deals with smaller companies in the U.S., the doors start opening to the Fortune 1,000 companies. That is happening now. The landscape is opening. As we become hot in the U.S., we are going to get invited to dance with other companies around the world. Things are going well. It is not going as fast as I want it to, but it is going as planned.
Sramana: All startups and small businesses will have the complaint about time. Your company behaves like a startup.
Steve Millard: Even though we are a 25-year-old company I want us to act and operate like a startup. That is exactly what I am trying to get across here. I am going to run people fast and hard. Along with that comes a 25-year history of rock-solid technology. Most startups do not have that combination. It is an unbelievably powerful story. If I can continue that momentum and keep people acting like it is a startup, we will get the results we need.