Startup Spotlight: Former Microsoft employees reunite, launch to cover back-end work so sales reps can sell more

Fullcast team photo, from left to right: Bala Balabaskaran, co-founder and chief technology officer; Dharmesh Singh, co-founder and CEO; Christie Diedrick, operations manager; Roger Shanafelt, vice president of sales; Shannon Bruce, vice president of customer success; and Tyler Simons, sales operations business partner. Team members not pictured: Bryan Goodson and Shaun Fulmer. (Fullcast Photo)

The co-founders of knew they wanted to create something together, but they had to wait until the timing was right.

Dharmesh Singh and Bala Balabaskaran met more than a decade ago while Microsoft employees. They both left for other jobs, then were colleagues again starting a few years ago at Salesforce, the software juggernaut that helps big and small companies organize their sales efforts. It was there that they saw an opportunity for a startup of their own. But Singh was working in San Francisco while Balabaskaran was in Seattle. That meant waiting another two years until both were back in Seattle.

Finally in November 2015, Singh and Balabaskaran launched, a company that is building software to do all of the back-end work done by sales reps that’s not directly related to sales. That includes setting sales quotas, defining and assigning sales territories, the process for bringing on new customers, tracking company contacts, compiling data about sales and more. Their goal, in brief, is to do for sales operations what Turbo Tax did for calculating taxes.

It’s automating “all of that non-sexy, back-end stuff that keeps a sales team running,” Singh said.

The Bellevue-based company has eight employees. They signed their first paying customer in January 2017 and are on track to lineup $500,000 in booked revenue for the quarter that spanned February-April. Singh is’s CEO and Balabaskaran is the chief technology officer.

While this is Singh’s first real startup, he’s been a mentor for the startup accelerator 9Mile Labs. But he admits that’s not the same launching your own enterprise.

“It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and coach people,” he said. “It’s very different when you have to do it yourself.”

The two main competitors for are both in California: Anaplan and OpsPanda. Singh said his business is different in that Anaplan targets larger companies, offers Excel-like services on the web and requires companies to still build their own sales models. OpsPanda is focused on sales planning software, Singh said, but his company additionally offers support for sales operations.

While the work is hard, neither of …read more

Source:: GeekWire

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