Sales, SaaS & Indian Customer Conversations

June 10, 2013

We are in the business of selling telephony solutions right? So our market base extends from across sectors (SME, MSME’s in India) and we get an opportunity to talk to a lot of businesses, owners, technology consultants and many more when helping them setup Exotel as their Cloud Telephony solution and some of our interactions have been worth not only a laugh, but also worth the customer behaviour change we all SaaS companies in India must and should do. After-all, Chacha Chaudry’s brain also worked faster than a computers 😉

Chacha_Chaudhary_sales and computers

Some interesting conversations we have had with some customers:

1. Customer asks in Hindi “API kya hota hai?” (in English: What is API?) and then our team mate Ajay Bhise answers – “API woh hai jisse aapka software aur humara software baat karte hain” (in English: API is that feature which helps your and our software talk to each other)

2. We called up a customer who was interested in the product, and in the middle of the conversation after listening and clarifying his questions he says the following “Call me tomorrow, I am in Jail right now” , this got a lot of rolling over the floor, because Shubham luckily did not have to hear, come now to this Jail and discuss there 🙂

3. A customer asked me how do I try your product, can someone come and meet me, and we don’t have a policy of visiting customers with a small 13-15 member team, so I told him to do it online. He was pretty taken aback and would say, but How? I convinced him to try installing Skype or Team-Viewer, these are softwares which helps in screen sharing and he went ahead and did it.

After a late-night demo with my team-mate, he called me in the morning and said “Bahut pasand aaya product or software”, (I really enjoyed the product and software), so then I said, “Great, why don’t you try it for a few days and make some calls.”, So his response was “arre nahi, I liked Skype a lot, kaafi maza aaya” (No, I meant I liked Skype a lot). 🙂

I was baffled, but it was interesting, after a few days he did decide to buy Exotel and mentioned how he wants someone to pick up the cheque from his office.

So, I suggested why not try online, and he was not sure of the process, so we educated him again with a carrot that if he learnt this net-banking, he could buy his wife or children products via Flipkart too!

The Flipkart Carrot

The Flipkart Carrot

He actually did go ahead, and buy the product (Exotel) online, and eventually called me to tell me he bought some stuff for his wife and children online from Flipkart too.

All in all I think it is a delightful experience selling SaaS in India, and the rate at which internet is penetrating with the advancement of net banking, movie ticketing, e-commerce, it has helped open the mind-set of the Indian businessman who is also an Indian consumer 🙂

With all of us SaaS companies trying to help our bit, I think it is important we educate and spend more time in helping these prospective customers understand the value of being online as well. Help them use the products in a DIY (Do-it-yourself) model, which benefits everyone, including the customer (who is now less dependent on someone else to use his/her software, and is also now more confident of himself because he can handle a new software).

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