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Building a Global Software Company from France: BonitaSoft CEO Miguel Valdés-Faura (Part 6)

Posted on Saturday, Jul 20th 2013

Sramana: What is the profile of a good inside sales rep for selling your product?

Miguel Valdés-Faura: We have had good luck with recent MBA graduates and we have some good relationships with some MBA schools. Typically we are hiring people into their first or second job. These are typically young, smart people who have a real desire to start their careers.

Sramana: Where is your inside sales operations based?

Miguel Valdés-Faura: With the exception of the US, where we have our inside sales people based in San Francisco, we base our operations in France. From there they are selling into 59 other countries. We are not only hiring MBA graduates, but we also hire people who have the right local culture. The guy selling to Germany is from Germany. The guy calling Costa Rica is from Costa Rica. MBA schools are good options for us because they bring students in from all over the world.

Sramana: What MBA school gives you that diversity of school and nationality?

Miguel Valdés-Faura: I would rather not divulge that because that is a big part of our secret recipe. Most of our guys are based in France, so we hire from business schools in France as well as other countries. We also hire from non-MBA programs. We just have some nice context from MBA schools in France.

Sramana: What is the extent of your US operations? To date, all of your VC money has come from French venture capitalists.

Miguel Valdés-Faura: We have taken funds from four different French VC firms. In our last round we did have some discussions with some of the US. VC firms, but for us the timing was still better to use French VCs.

Sramana: Why are you living in San Francisco? What is the US strategy and how are you steering that?

Miguel Valdés-Faura: When I pitched BonitaSoft in 2009, part of my pitch was the need to come to the US as soon as possible. It is difficult to build a global company from France. First adoption can happen from anywhere, but at some point you need to establish a presence in the US to have the right technical partners. In terms of the commitment, I felt that it was best for me to move to the US. I want to be attributed to being a US software company. That has had a good impact in Europe. It has increased our credibility in Europe and in Latin America.

The US market is a huge market. We felt that we could start selling remotely to the US from France but that we would have better luck with a solid establishment here. We feel that our biggest growth will be from the US. We now have a dedicated sales and marketing team here in the US and it is already our second-largest country in terms of sales. We expect a lot more here as well.

This segment is part 6 in the series : Building a Global Software Company from France: BonitaSoft CEO Miguel Valdés-Faura
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