Proximate is Looking to Make Sales Intelligence as a Service (SIaaS) Commonplace Among Startups
Sales teams in growing companies may have an expansive collection of tools or not enough to help provide them a look into how the process is going. Proximate is a recently-formed startup that is looking to not only give a closer insight to how the sales are going, but also analyze sales leads.
Founder and CEO Ross Andrews sat down to speak with us about his own experiences helped give him an “a-ha!” moment to start a sales-oriented startup. Andrews also went into detail about a Meetup group he has formed with other startups called Boston Sales Tech.
CB: I’m a big fan of the phrase “origin story.” What are the origins behind Proximate?
RA: Well, it is the typical “I need a better tool to do my job” startup story. I was working at another startup and one of my roles there was sales. So, I
started selling, and I quickly wanted to bang my head off of the wall because there weren’t any tools out there to help me do my job better/more efficiently. CRM tools are great for tracking my customer interactions, but they did nothing in the way of helping me realize what leads were hot, which ones were cold and how my actions impacted them.
I sat down and looked at the CRM/Sales Tech ecosystem and realized that companies are sitting on mountains of sales data and that there wasn’t an easy to use tool that could take that data, interpret it and then provide insight, guidance, and recommendations to sales professionals. So I began putting the idea for Proximate together, I then shared the idea with my family, and my step-father introduced me to my future Co-Founder, Thomas Boles, who was the Lead Developer and Salesforce Admin for their corporate team building company. His experience managing CRMs first hand for a B2B organization led him to the same conclusion. He agreed that the features offered by CRM’s in regards to Sales Intelligence just aren't cutting it and we got to work!
CB: How does Proximate work?
RA: Proximate is a SaaS product that syncs seamlessly with your current CRM sales cloud and provides real-time sales intelligence based on your existing and future CRM sales data. Lead/Opportunity scoring and qualifying, sales guidance, and opportunity management all designed to help sales professionals more completely understand all of the sales data that is in front of them. It also learns and evolves. Our system learns from each sales interactions and adapts over time to help keep you ahead of changes in your industry.
Our goal is to create a new tier of SaaS product that is designed to make Sales Intelligence, simple, powerful and affordable for any company. We have branded it Sales Intelligence as a Service (SIaaS). Our system is designed to be layered on top of your existing CRM sales cloud infrastructure and provide real-time Sales Intelligence to the entire sales team with just a few clicks. Instant feedback after each sales interaction to help sales professionals better understand how their actions have impacted a lead, which leads are high quality, which is lower quality, and how to most effectively allocate their time and resources to close the most deals, most efficiently for their organization.
CB: Who are the target customers for Proximate’s software?
RA: Our target customers are any B2B organizations that have a sales team and an existing CRM sales cloud in place. Even large organizations with complex sets of product and service offerings, our system can detect the unique sales life cycles between product lines, and service offerings, and adapts the scoring and recommendation system for each sales team member respectively.
CB: How big is the team?
RA: We currently are a fantastic team of four! Thomas Boles (Founder & CTO), Yashwant Jankay (Chief Data Officer), Tanya Tandon (Chief Innovation Officer) and myself (Founder & CEO).
CB: Since we’ve initially spoken, you’ve assembled a group called Boston Sales Tech. Tell me a little more about that and how it plays into Proximate’s mission?
RA: Boston Sales Tech is a small but growing group of sales technology companies based in the Boston area. Its goal is tied to the reason I started Proximate and to a famous quote I’m sure many of us have heard, “Nothing happens until somebody sells something.”
While it is up for debate who first coined the phrase, the quote has a truthful yet straightforward message to it, companies need to sell! At Proximate we love what happens when you combine the human spirit and ingenuity, it’s the basis for how the majority, if not all of the top companies that exist today got started. The goal of Proximate is to make a tool that helps those companies succeed, especially from a sales standpoint. The Boston Sales Tech group is formed out of the same idea, bring together some of the most promising up and coming with some of the more established “Sales Tech” companies in Boston so that we can collaborate, share, and enhance one another so that our products can make sales the most natural part of running your business. At both Proximate and as part of the Boston Sales Tech group, we know that you and your team have worked hard to build amazing products and services. We want to make bringing them to the right people at the right time as simple and straightforward as possible.
CB: Finally...what is the worst sales pitch you’ve ever heard?
RA: I can’t say I’ve heard one that was so poor it sticks out in my memory. But from talking to dozens of CEOs, Presidents, Sales Leaders, and Business Owners that one thing they all seem to repeat is that many of their sales people are “yes” men and women. What do I mean by this? Whenever they check in on them about a lead, it’s always “Yes! Things are going great, should close any day now.”. We all love the confidence, but we also all know that even the top salespeople aren't going to close every single deal they get, and even more, there is no way that all of them “appear” to be headed in the right direction. Sales Leaders and Business Owners are dying for a tool that will help their salespeople move away from those bad leads, freeing up time to develop stronger relationships with the more promising leads and even unlocking previously lost revenue opportunity.
Images courtesy of Proximate