Located: San Mateo, California
Market: Marketing Automation
Key Customers: Aruba Networks, BT, Intuit, Jigsaw, Miller Heiman, PivotLink, WebEx Cisco
I asked David Satterwhite, an EVP at Genius a few questions about his business and his view of the SaaS market in 2009.
Did you start out as a Software-as-a-Service company?
Founders David Thompson, Genius.com’s CEO and Scott Mercy, both came out of WebEx and really understand the SaaS business model. They started the company because they had a better way of managing sales and marketing collaboration. So they started the company based on what they had learned at WebEx and built a native SaaS platform. Just like Salesforce.com, it scales and can handle large volumes of email. So the company can definitely leverage a ‘land and expand’ type of SaaS business strategy.
Our CTO and co-founder, Robert Seidl, founded PageMill, the visual website editor, and he really understands how to make the complex, really simple. The Genius.com platform quickly determines who are the best and most qualified opportunities and delivers them to the appropriate sales rep, quickly. Our user interface is really easy to use and very inviting. We have some new capabilities that we are patenting related to being able to track leads and activities at various social media sites, which is exciting.
Why do your customers buy from Genius.com?
I used to be a satisified Genius.com customer and liked the product so much, I actually was one of their customer spokespersons, and now have come to work here. The power of Genius is the importance the product puts on time, and how quickly it gets qualified leads into the hands of the right sales rep. Time really matters because the faster you can capture a lead while it is hot and deliver it to a ready sales person, it dramatically increases your chances to make a sale.
This alignment of marketing and sales is critical because both of these organizations need to work together and not just be silos. As John Neeson, the CEO at Sirius Solutions states, marketing needs to enable a sales result from all the prospect conversations they are generating. In fact, the entire organization needs to be selling and should to be aligned around revenue results, not just the number of inquiries that are generated.
Our main differentiators for our customers are that we provide deep sales domain expertise, the product’s ease of use, the incredible time-to-value because you can get the product up and running in just a day, as well as our Salesforce.com integration.
What do you see as the key trend emerging in the SaaS industry?
We think that social networking and media are the next big trend in SaaS. Marketing is under pressure to track and manage all types of social media. Because these conversations are affecting every company’s brand and you need be able to tie these conversations back to a potential sales events. We are currently working on a new product that will allow us to generate real leads from social media such as Twitter by tracing URL’s in real time. There are a lot of conversations being had outside of marketing’s view and Genius.com will soon be able to better manage this Tweet-to-Deal process.
What is your outlook for 2009?
With so many companies struggling and ‘flat’ being the new up, Genius.com is still experiencing strong growth and hitting our numbers. Our pipeline continues to grow and we are having really solid customer wins, so the balance of 2009 looks great for us.
Thank you to David Satterwhite and Parker Trewin for contributing to this profile.