Sramana Mitra: How did you solve it precisely?
Mack Sundaram: That’s the company I started in 2015. Sales people talk to prospects every time. Back in the day, people would just believe that. Now we verify every deal with the prospects. We actually ask the prospects, “Do you feel that this is the right solution for you?”
Then we triangulate that with what the rep says. Then we have a much better way of finding out the truth of whether a specific deal is going to close or not. The nuts and bolts of it is prospect verification. Trust the sales rep, but verify the data.
Sramana Mitra: Why do you think that people are going to answer those questions? Who are you asking these questions as?
Mack Sundaram: It’s an anonymous system that asks the questions. It’s asking the customer to respond. One of the things we talk about in sales is that sales is about relationships, which is true. How do you make that art of sales into a science? That’s what we’re solving here. The relationship aspect is translated into the intimacy that you feel with the customer’s company. How good are you for creating a buying vision for them? That’s the whole principle of sales.
If your relationship is good with the customer and they’re really interested, you can just say, “Would you mind answering a two-question survey?” If they don’t respond, then you have the sense that maybe they never were that interested.
Sramana Mitra: I understand what you’re saying, but I’m not convinced that I’m going to fill out somebody sending me a survey.
Mack Sundaram: The rep will tell them about the survey. They will actually request them to answer that.
Sramana Mitra: The person requesting that they fill out the survey is the rep.
Mack Sundaram: That’s right.
Sramana Mitra: Why is that interesting for them to respond to versus talking to the rep? What is the psychology? Obviously you’re doing something that has a psychology behind it that you’re banking on. What is the psychological premise of the hypothesis?
Mack Sundaram: That’s a good question. The truth of that is, for any customer, when you purchase anything, you want to be happy with that purchase. If your expectation of what you would get does not meet the actual value, you will be very dissatisfied. The psychological angle is their expectation and actual match. Everybody wants that. They don’t want to overpay.
Through these surveys, we can figure that out. We can communicate that to the company that’s selling this. Imagine the power of knowing that the customer could actually pay you more, but you’re underpriced.
Sramana Mitra: I would like to get very specific on how you built this company. When did you start this company?
Mack Sundaram: Yes, late 2014.