Sramana Mitra: How did you get this off the ground?
Mack Sundaram: Being in a sales role, I had the privilege of having worked with companies. I personally have to find ways to solve this problem of blackbox sales. I used to experiment with different techniques. I hit upon something that started working for me. I went and talked to the people that I worked with.
I said, “I have a way where you, yourself, can solve your sales problems.” There were different kinds of responses. At the same time, I realized that people might not fully believe me because I was just one guy and connecting to them randomly. As I worked through a lot of these situations, I sharpened this process to make it even better.
A secret recipe was forming in my mind. I wrote everything down and I used to check with people. What I was focusing on was to figure out what are the successful sales people doing that the others aren’t doing. There was something about their attitude and something about their training. I took all of this and tried to build it into a technology product. Finally, somebody said, “We have this big problem with renewals. We have great renewal rates. We’d like to increase revenue renewal.” That’s how it started.
The journey of going through customers was very painful. At that time, I was mature enough. I realized it was my passion. I jumped right into it and had nothing else. Eventually, I found somebody. They tried it out. They liked it.
Sramana Mitra: How much did you charge that first customer?
Mack Sundaram: I can’t tell you that unfortunately.
Sramana Mitra: Give me a range. Are we talking $10,000? Are we talking $100,000?
Mack Sundaram: It’s a six-figure number for the entire organization of 250 sales people.
Sramana Mitra: That gave you validation that you have something that people are interested in.
Mack Sundaram: We had actual proof point that they would pay for it.
Sramana Mitra: This happened in 2015?
Mack Sundaram: Yes. Using that as the practice pad, I would then replay that with new people I would talk to and talk about how I could help. Soon I found the second and third person. Then I had enough to differentiate our product really well and build lighter versions of it so we could go with and align with each customer’s willingness to pay.
The product is a technology that makes sales produce in a predictable way. It’s converting sales from art to a science. Everybody is interested in increasing their sales. To increase their sales, they have to do something. They have a technology now supporting and driving that day in and day out. Its only job is to increase your sales.
Sramana Mitra: Is it direct sales that you’re doing?
Mack Sundaram: When we started out, it was only direct sales.
Sramana Mitra: How much of this is productized versus things that have to be done manually?
Mack Sundaram: Almost everything is productized.