Interview with Frie Pétré, founder and CEO at Qollabi
Implementing a CRM for SaaS companies helped Qollabi — a Business Relationship Management Software — boost their productivity and efficiency, speed up their sales cycle and win otherwise lost leads.
Frie Pétré, the founder and CEO at Qollabi, started the company a few years ago. “The idea with Qollabi started with my previous company — a management consultancy firm,” he says, “We were helping customers with launching new products with a commercial and distribution strategy. At that moment, we saw that commercial teams that were selling or helping indirect sales partners to sell their products were using old fashioned methods.”
1Frie Pétré, the founder and CEO at Qollabi
Frie clarifies that teams were using Excel and PowerPoint to discuss business plans with their resellers.
“We didn’t have any dynamic tool platform that could help them digitize their business plans, and this was the starting point of Qollabi,” he explains.
? Qollabi is a user-friendly Business Relationship Management software. It helps companies that sell through indirect channels to manage and improve their relationships, sales plans and strategy. Find out more about Qollabi >
At a certain point, Frie asked his customers if they would find it more useful to use platforms that are digitized. “They were super excited about it,” he says.
After Frie sold his management consultancy firm to Ernst & Young and in 2017, his team started building a prototype that they tested with a couple of customers from the previous company across three industries:
Financial services, including banks and insurance companies
I.T. and software, including hardware
Manufacturing, such as building and constructing
According to Frie, 75% of world trade happens indirectly. And since almost every industry is concerned with indirect sales, testing it in the aforementioned three industries was reasonable.
Originating from the word collaboration, Frie created Qollabi — a new category of software, known as business relationship management. He explains, “We focus on the business plans that are made with big sellers and channel partners.”
“We focus on the business plans that are made with big sellers and channel partners.”
He further identifies the three building blocks of the product:
First, it’s making sure that companies stop using Excel and PowerPoint to make a business plan. Frie asserts that these tools are static: “They are made for a presentation, but they’re not a working document. You can, of course, share your PowerPoint or Excel with your partner, but they can’t add any context to it or ask questions. They’re just not dynamic tools.” For this reason, Frie emphasizes, “Our first mission of the product is making sure that business plans are finally made via a digital platform that is easy to use.”
“Our first mission of the product is making sure that business plans are finally made via a digital platform that is easy to use.”
The second building block is related to being able to collaborate with your partner by sharing the status of a business plan, sending updates regarding where one is standing with their key objectives and the activities that were agreed upon.
Finally, Frie explains that Qollabi is fueled with data coming from other data sources. He says, “What we’ve seen when working with channel managers is: If they wanted to update their business plans, they always needed to look at different Excel Sheets, open their CRM and then file everything into a new PowerPoint, which is time consuming.” Qollabi, on the other hand, integrates with existing data services like a CRM. Frie adds, “You just open your Qollabi, you see your business partner plan which is entirely up to date with the data that normally you would be looking for in other places.”
The Qollabi team
To put it simply, Frie says, “The three building blocks of Qollabi are Plan, Collaborate and Measure.”
“The three building blocks of Qollabi are Plan, Collaborate and Measure.”
It’s worth mentioning that before it became Qollabi, it was a CRM software development company. Coming from a development background, Frie adds, “We have learned a lot. Our lessons led us to create a scalable and very user-friendly software.”
“We have learned a lot. Our lessons led us to create a scalable and very user-friendly software.”
In search of a CRM for SaaS Companies
Having experience with other CRM software in the past, such as Close CRM, the team was still focused on finding a better CRM for SaaS companies. They wanted a solution that could help them in the core processes of building a pipeline in the first year of a startup. “My team and I needed to learn how to sell SaaS. We were searching for the right tool that could be customized to the process that we wanted to implement,” Frie says.
“My team and I needed to learn how to sell SaaS. We were searching for the right tool that could be customized to the process that we wanted to implement.”
The first criteria was to find a solution that had a flexible pipeline process flow. The second criteria was closing the gap between sales and marketing. Frie says, “We wanted a solution that was linking marketing initiatives with sales processes.”
“We wanted a solution that was linking marketing initiatives with sales processes.”
When Frie stumbled on Kommo, what caught his attention immediately was the ability to connect and automate marketing flows into a sales process. Frie adds, “When I started using Kommo, I was pretty amazed by the idea called customization by configuration — everything was more or less possible to connect or to make it your way of selling.”
“When I started using Kommo, I was pretty amazed by the idea called customization by configuration — everything was more or less possible to connect or to make it your way of selling.”
Boosting efficiency by 30% & productivity by 20% with Kommo
#1 Connecting Aircall
To provide a personalized customer service experience and to save time when making or receiving calls, Qollabi integrated Aircall — an easy to use cloud phone solution with real time analytics.
📞 Aircall is natively integrated to Kommo, making it easy for sales reps to make and receive calls. It prevents teams from switching between apps and helps them focus on closing deals. Find out more about Aircall
At Qollabi, Sales Development Representatives and Customer Success make calls straight from the client’s profile — directly in Kommo. This tool is straightforward to use and keeps communication with clients in tip-top shape.
#2 Connecting Intercom & Autopilot
The second integration that Qollabi added is Intercom. Frie explains that since all their users are synced with Kommo over Intercom — the #1 website messenger — all their users are contacts within Kommo. And all contacts in Kommo are synced with Autopilot — marketing automation software that captures new leads from websites.
Due to Intercom and Autopilot integration, Frie and his team manage to do a couple of things:
Call their users with Aircall within Kommo and ask for NPS
Send automated mail flows to users from Autopilot based on their login behavior.
With a Zapier integration, update daily a field in Kommo called 'Quote of the day' — this triggers a daily mail in Autopilot.
Create new leads based upon the NPS user status in Kommo (for instance, ambassadors can be contacted by sales for referrals)
#3 The importance of PieSync
Frie highlights that for Qollabi “Kommo, Autopilot and PieSync is a very crucial triangle. The leads aren’t directly populated from Facebook: They go through two platforms first and then into Kommo.”
“Kommo, Autopilot and PieSync is a very crucial triangle.”
🔗 PieSync is an easy and fast way to sync data between two apps. It ensures your contacts are always synced across all your apps in real time. Find out more about PieSync
As mentioned earlier, the company uses Autopilot in Kommo to send automatic emails to customers based on their usage behavior in Qollabi. Frie illustrates an example, “If a user has not logged in for 30 days, then we send them an automatic email based on this behavior.” He adds, “Without PieSync, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do in Kommo.”
“Without PieSync, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do in Kommo.”
With regards to results that Qollabi has achieved by using Kommo — a CRM for SaaS companies, Frie explains, “I can definitely tell you that we sped up our sales cycle.” He clarifies that this is because they knew how long a certain lead was in a stage of the pipeline. Moreover, he adds that with Kommo, he was able, as a manager, to coach the team members and help them find the right ways to get a lead to the next stage.
“I can definitely tell you that we sped up our sales cycle.”
Another achievement is managing to boost efficiency by 20-30% in efficiency and productivity by 20%. Frie concludes, “Kommo allowed us to win leads that were kind of lost leads one or two years ago.”
“Kommo allowed us to win leads that were kind of lost leads one or two years ago.”
🚀 Make a personal sale with Kommo
✅Kommo is a pioneering Messenger Based Sales CRM software that helps businesses achieve more sales and create long-lasting relationships with their customers. It is a tool that enables companies to reach better results and increase their profits.