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Salesforce.com’s Incubator: René Bonvanie (Part 8)

Posted on Wednesday, Jun 13th 2007

Here we finally see how the Incubator does indeed assist companies with obtaining their original customer base, and they do so in a very effective manner.

SM: There is nothing wrong in that motivation to try to expand the pie. It is absolutely the right motivation to have. RB: I think the most difficult skill for a company to acquire is finding the customers. If I just give them the list, then I don’t think that I do justice to my vision of making them just like us.

SM: My point is that finding the first five customers is incredibly difficult. If you allow me, I have been an entrepreneur many times over, so from an entrepreneur’s point of view, if you really want to help these people then you help them get their first five customers. You would be surprised just how many thousands of customers they can get on their own after that. RB: Let me tell you how that works. I don’t give them lists that they can just go call on, but I totally subscribe to the idea of those first five customers. We do offer formal introductions of what these partners do through our sales force with existing customers. Our sales reps will bring their partners, let’s say a contract management partner, and will effectively introduce that partner to opportunities where there is a desire for contract management. That endorsement puts a partner in a very unique position. The partners see the value there.

SM: That is fantastic. That is a great opportunity for a small company. RB: That scales well, because I can do that on a one-up basis.

SM: Exactly, you can be selective. RB: Don’t get me wrong, we want the partners to bootstrap, but we will make those introductions. I will not just give them a list and tell them to knock themselves out.

[To be continued]

[Part 7]
[Part 6]
[Part 5]
[Part 4]
[Part 3]
[Part 2]
[Part 1]

This segment is part 8 in the series : Salesforce.com’s Incubator: René Bonvanie
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[…] [Part 8] [Part 7] [Part 6] [Part 5] [Part 4] [Part 3] [Part 2] [Part 1] […]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » Salesforce.com's Incubator: René Bonvanie (Part 9) Thursday, June 14, 2007 at 6:08 AM PT