Background & Overview
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In 2011, Tiago Paiva & Cristina Fonseca identified that the call center platform was extremely outdated. Before Talkdesk, Paiva was a developer at P&G, where he learned many of the app development skills. Located and headquartered in San Francisco, CA it primarily focuses on the US domestic market, however they have offices in Porto and Lisbon, Portugal. These offices have been primarily used as hardware/programing locations, but Talkdesk has recently pivoted to Portugal as a home base to head up their international expansion in Europe.
Call Center Integration
I tried to highlight this in my presentation, but Talkdesk doesn’t have nearly the value it does without its integration with CRM (Customer Resource Management) software like Salesforce, Zendesk, Slack, or Google. This means that information that is collected on a customer is not lost or kept in a single platform. By having the platforms work together, the quality of service is multiplied exponentially. By allowing them to work together, that means the information only needs to be entered once, reducing time per call.
If you are like me and the cloud still seems a little abstract, I will try and explain it simply. Through internet access, you are able to access information stored on other computers. Talkdesk is a SaaS company, and they deliver their application to customers via the cloud. This means that companies do not have to invest in infrastructure (Servers), which is costly and time consuming. By only paying for the cloud servers they need, and not having to maintain the servers, companies save millions in overhead costs.
Talkdesk’s platform keeps all of a clients details in one place, in an easy to reference place.
Because Talkdesk and the CRM connect automatically, and the lack of the need for hardware, agents can make calls from anywhere in the world. Because its cloud based, the only thing an agent needs is an internet access (not even a phone!). Many talkdesk companies love this feature, because physical location is no longer a barrier to productivity. If you have an agent stuck in the airport, or wanting to work remotely, it is easy and with the call quality recording they can be evaluated just like they were in the office. By hiring agents who don’t live in direct proximity to their offices, many companies have been able to save money without the negative effects of totally outsourcing the call center.
Pros/Cons of selling enterprise software B2B
When Talkdesk is trying to lure in new customers, it can sometimes be difficult to land more established companies. These companies have very narrow windows between their existing contracts, or sometimes operate on old legacy software and outdated hardware. However, because of the costs perceived by switching, many are hesitant to move to a new platform. Companies sometimes want to do it entirely in-house, however it is usually not practical for smaller companies.
Just a few of the companies that use Talkdesk to combine with their CRM platforms
This market of small to mid-sized companies is one of the reasons Talkdesk has been so successful. Startups like Pillow, Anki, Edmunds.com, and others don’t have to invest in expensive hardware and IT professionals that were traditionally needed, while still having access to a top of the line customer service platform.
Talkdesk for Sales
Talkdesk has become more than just a CRM tool. It is starting to provide for all of the different needs that a company has in the process of Identifying/creating/managing relationships with customers. By making sales smarter by connecting it to information and other departments in the company, they allow the sales people to seem very intelligent. By analyzing what is being talked about in the conversation, the platform will search the database of information to reference. Sales notoriously gets a bad rep for only focusing on themselves, and being disconnected from the other aspects of the company. However, Talkdesk’s sales platform integrates them and allows them to avoid disconnects that lead to the “ummm…Ill get back to you on that”
By increasing the sales conversion rate by having that information and knowing who to call, along with decreasing the time an agent spends filling in information about the customer or searching for answers, Talkdesk is able to increase the time spent talking to clients by 300%.
Talkdesk has recently (April 2017) announced that it will be launching AppConnect, which will be a platform that allows users to download software that is adjacent to Talkdesk’s. After realizing they were only meeting a small portion of their customers many enterprise needs, Talkdesk decided to launch a store to better service them. It was very important that the platform remained easy to use, so with a few clicks and in a matter of minutes, the new software can be set up. They also provide free 30 day trials and a pay-as-you-go method to incentivize companies to try which products would be best for them. Their customers have really appreciated the new opportunity, and it will be interesting to see how this platform develops over time.
BC @ Talkdesk
Both of these guys I have talked with in preparing this, and they are incredible people. If you are interested in the space or want to learn more about Talkdesk, they are of great help. I hope we get to meet them!
Kevin Lee – BC ‘13 @kevinchilee
Kevin is an Account Executive at Talkdesk who joined in March of 2017. He originally worked at Oracle. His current tasks are developing and following leads to recruit more mid to large sized businesses to use Talkdesk. He was a Finance and Info Systems major at BC.
Spencer Wiedeman – BC ‘13 @SpencerWiedeman
Spencer is the head of EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) Sales and is currently located in Lisbon, Portugal. He joined the Talkdesk team in 2014 and has been in sales for most of his time there. Before Talkdesk, Spencer worked at Zillow in Product Marketing. He was a Finance, Info Systems, and Strategic Management triple major and was involved in BCVC when he was at BC.
Questions for Talkdesk
- How do you plan to reach large/established companies when they are on legacy systems?
- What new features are you planning on rolling out to expand sales capabilities for companies? How do you see the AppConnect platform growing?
- You have an office in Lisbon, Portugal; how do you plan to expand Talkdesk abroad? What difficulties do you expect?
- As an enterprise software, how is it different selling B2B, and what are the types of clients you have to pitch?