SalesTechStar Interview with Meetul Shah, Founder & CEO at DemandMatrix
Meetul Shah, a serial tech entrepreneur and Founder / CEO of DemandMatrix, an AI-powered Technographics and Intent Data provider that helps B2B marketing and sales teams identify and target the right accounts based on their propensity to buy-into a particular technology joins us in this conversation to share his biggest entrepreneurial learnings and sales takeaways from his journey so far.
Excerpts from the interview:
Hi Meetul, tell us a little about yourself!
It feels a little bit weird for me to be on the other side and to talk about myself, but here goes- I’m Meetul, I’m the Founder and CEO of DemandMatrix. I’m a serial entrepreneur, DemandMatrix being my third venture. In the past, I’ve worked for companies like Microsoft (for the longest time actually!). But yeah, in general, I like to build companies that solve my own problem. I’m very passionate about doing that, that’s basically how the idea behind DemandMatrix came about.
And, you know, we are on a pretty interesting journey with DemandMatrix, trying to solve some of the daily challenges that sales and marketing teams tend to have. So we’re super excited about that!
What are some of the biggest entrepreneurial tips you’d swear by?
There are so many, I don’t think we are going to have enough time to cover all of them! But I’ll leave you with some, especially some of the things that I wish somebody would have told me when I first started! It might sound a bit cliche, but, you know, you don’t understand it till you actually go through it!
So here goes,
- First, always hire people who are smarter than you! It’s really, really important to do that.
- You are going to make mistakes, it’s inevitable. But every mistake is not a mistake as long as you learn from it and as long as you don’t do it twice!
We’d love to know a little more about your time at Microsoft. Could you talk about your biggest learnings from your experience there?
I grew up in Microsoft, that was my first job! So I have an emotional relationship with the company!
At Microsoft, I was on the engineering side. The biggest thing that I learned while I was there is that – As long as you really understand your customers properly and become a consultant for them while trying to solve their core problem, you’ve won half the battle!
In general, in sales, it helps to create that relationship with your customer or prospect, and be their consultant, confidant and friend!
- Try to understand your customers pain and the problem.
- Then give them an honest solution.
What were some of your biggest challenges while forming a new tech startup?
When it comes to sales and marketing, five years ago, there weren’t enough tools. And now there is no dearth of tools. Previously, there was enough information, now we have way too much information!
Now the thing is, many Marketers are still spraying and praying. While Sales is still after all those dollars.
But here’s a secret-> companies are already giving you signals that they would be in- market for a particular product or technology.
Figuring out a match, getting the buyers connected to the right sellers based on a buyer’s interest in investing into a particular technology can essentially solve alot of problems for tech marketing and sales team, right?
It’s a challenge for a new company or an emerging company to create that captivating impact basis the above. Educating people about something new is another interesting challenge that we’re kind of going through!
Could you sum up in a couple of points what you hope to modify in B2B tech sales with the product you are working on right now?
Well, marketing should know which accounts they should be going after. And that’s what the whole notion of ABM is. Then, you want sales to have an intelligent conversation so they can sell what they are selling a lot better. Our product helps them understand a range of buying intentions, including which of their offerings should be positioned in front of which prospects and how much money would potentially be on the table for them, if they crack the sale!
What are some of your smartest productivity hacks?
Well, I think I’m going to disagree with your question here. Because, according to me, I don’t think that you need a hack! If you had enough belief and discipline, you don’t need much else.
We’d love to know about the SalesTech / MarTech Stack you’re using to enable your goals and efforts at DemandMatrix.
I’m a firm believer that the name of the game is to make sure that you have a consistent place that all your sales and marketing intelligent lives. Remember, you’re only going to be as good as the data. We follow a saying at DemandMatrix – ”In God we trust, all others must bring data!”
When it comes to our salestech stack, we have predominantly consolidated all this intelligence into HubSpot. So our marketing automation or sales automation, our customer service automation or support automation, everything is within one ecosystem -HubSpot.
We do have certain tools and technology on top of that, like Zoom for video conferencing.
What are your Predictions for the SalesTech / MarTech segment?
In line over the last five years, there’s been a huge surge in martech/salestech, which is fantastic. But my prediction is that in general, there will be a lot more consolidation in this market.
Tell us about some Sales / Marketing thought-leaders from the industry you’ve worked with and whose answers to these questions you’d love to read!
Some leaders I admire:
Ketan Patel of Google and Makoto Ishizaka from Microsoft is another marketing leader I admire and with whom I have had the pleasure of working with.
Can you tell us about some of the events you’ll be participating in 2020? And of course, also your future plans for DemandMatrix?
We have this unique opportunity to be part of a growing industry and we truly have an opportunity to help sales and marketing teams to be really successful by giving them strategic intelligence based on who is in-market for a particular tech product or service, what an account’s technology adoption behavior currently looks like, how much potential revenue a target account can bring in…there are various facets to these insights.
Our vision is to continue to innovate in this field, to bring in the most relevant business intelligence and insights to B2B sales and marketing teams.
We wish you all the best Meetul. Thanks for a lovely conversation!
DemandMatrix is an AI-powered Technographics and Intent Data provider that helps B2B marketing and sales teams identify and target the right accounts based on their propensity to buy-into a particular technology.
Meetul Shah is the Founder & CEO of DemandMatrix and a former Director of the Partner Alliance Team (BI &ECM) at Microsoft.