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Bootstrapping a Cloud Startup with Services on Force.com from London: Alex Fuller, Co-Founder and CTO of CloudSense (Part 5)

Posted on Sunday, Aug 31st 2014

Sramana: Did the AppExchange or Salesforce teams generate leads for you even if you had to do the selling?

Alex Fuller: We definitely had some leads coming off of the AppExchange. Our own direct selling efforts accounted for the vast majority of our leads and closed deals. I include the leg work of staying in front of the Salesforce sales teams in the region into that bucket. We kept meeting with them and explaining product capabilities so when they ran into a customer who had requirements that could be met by our product, they would be willing to refer them our way.

Sramana: Did you focus on selling in the UK or throughout Europe?

Alex Fuller: Our territory was Europe although we did have a primary focus on the UK. Our territory is now global. That is one of the great things about the AppExchange and Salesforce in general, it is very easy to expand operations. Initially, we were a small company and we felt that it would make sense to have a European focus first.

In 2011, I spent some time in Barcelona doing workshops with some customers. There were plenty of opportunities to do regional engagements around Europe. We took those opportunities strategically but primarily for financial reasons we limited ourselves to the UK in our early years.

Sramana: To summarize, your lead efforts were a result of your own direct selling efforts and a result of the time you spent with the UK Salesforce field reps. Is that correct?

Alex Fuller: Yes, those were the main sources.

Sramana: Was there a vertical or domain that you were targeting?

Alex Fuller: Absolutely. Telecommunications and media have historically been strong for us to the extent that we customize our product into a telecom and media platform. We capitalize on the success that we have had in those industries by producing customized features for those verticals. Verticalization of product has been a key aspect to our growth.

Sramana: When you talk about telecom, are you talking about very large telecom?

Alex Fuller: Absolutely. We have large telecoms such as Telefonica, Vodafone, and Tata Communications.

Sramana: What size of deals can you get from these larger players? What is your business model?

Alex Fuller: We have been successful in larger enterprise accounts. Our deals are fewer and larger rather than numerous smaller deals. We have a high number of seat licenses and the deals tend to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Sramana: It sounds like you have a business model that supports direct sales teams.

Alex Fuller: Absolutely. We have a direct sales team established and we generate our own leads via our direct sales team. We are actively hunting down our deals.

Sramana: What is the geographical scope of your business today?

Alex Fuller: We are headquartered in London and we have an office in New York as well. We also have an office in Croatia, which is more of a delivery center covering R&D, technical, and business consultancy. We also have a team in India.

This segment is part 5 in the series : Bootstrapping a Cloud Startup with Services on Force.com from London: Alex Fuller, Co-Founder and CTO of CloudSense
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