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Building a VC-Funded B2C CRM Company From Virginia: Zaius Founder and CTO Spencer Pingry (Part 4)

Posted on Thursday, Oct 18th 2018

Spencer Pingry: In early 2016, we decided to launch a freemium product. We offered our entire product for free primarily to get as many interactions with as many customers as possible in the shortest time possible. For about five to six months, we hired some new go-to market people. We did a ton of SEM and spent a ton to really figure out which set of people we can get through the door.

We probably did 250 to 300 integrations in that short period of time.

We took all customers and did everything we could to bring people on board. What we found was that there was this underserved market. These were customers who were on the verge of saying, “Do I need to build a customer database internally?”. They could also be frustrated with their internal systems and knew there had to be something better.

We weren’t focused or running into the people that were in the enterprise who were solving their data silo problem. We were finding people that knew this was a problem and would switch to using our system within a month. It was through that process that we really found that we weren’t focused on the largest scale enterprises. We were focused on these mid-market companies.

Sramana Mitra: How do you define mid-market? By revenue, what are we talking?

Spencer Pingry: In general, $10 million to a billion mark. It’s probably more in the $10 million to $500 million mark.

Sramana Mitra: What’s the next major strategic move in your business?

Spencer Pingry: We started to make that repeatable and scalable from a go-to-market standpoint. We knew we can make it repeatable. Then we had to figure out if we could scale it. As we started adding more people on the go-to market side ensuring that we could keep filling the funnel, the next part was figuring out how to make people successful. Get them on the platform, make them successful, and figure out a way to repeat.

At that time, the most interesting part of our story was that we had no customer success team but we had some very hungry engineers for customer involvement. Our engineering team became our customer success team at that time, which was great at first. They could get on the phone and walk people through onboarding and then get off the phone and fix any bugs or issues.

That was great for a period of time until all they were doing was being on the phone. We had the highest-paid CS team that ever existed at that time interacting with customers. We got to the point of saying, “We’ve got to scale.”

Sramana Mitra: All this while, you were doing this out in Virginia?

Spencer Pingry: No. Once we closed the round with Matrix, we opened an office in Boston.

 

This segment is part 4 in the series : Building a VC-Funded B2C CRM Company From Virginia: Zaius Founder and CTO Spencer Pingry
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