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How the pandemic led a Nordic startup to India | Q&A with Maria Sundström, founder of LiiD

Written by Avanish Tiwary Published on     4 mins read

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LiiD will focus on the edtech industry, one of the fastest growing sectors in India this year.

Earlier this year, Finland-based SaaS company LiiD saw a 300% spike in searches for “call tracking software” in India.

Sensing massive demand from the country, the six-year-old startup started testing its new product, Salestrail, which allows companies to track the call performance of their sales team. This feature was particularly useful during the pandemic, as many companies had work from home arrangements and it was difficult to monitor their progress, Maria Sundström, founder of LiiD, told KrASIA.

Salestrail can analyze all kinds of sales activities and offer insights such as the best time to call your clients and the ideal call duration, Sundström said. “The app saves salespeople 30–60 minutes every day, as 100% of their sales activities get auto-logged without any mistake, while the managers can monitor their team in real time, even remotely.”

Some unique features that are on LiiD’s product roadmap are speech-to-text notes, custom workflows (to fit each team’s sales process), and reminders for optimally timed follow-ups.

The following interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

KrASIA (Kr): How does LiiD help a company track their sales team and sales targets?

Maria Sundström (MS): Our solution Salestrail comprises two parts. First is a mobile call tracking app that automatically captures call details, such as the timestamp, duration, inbound/ outbound, and answered/unanswered calls.

The second part is an online, real-time dashboard to analyze and visualize call performance and analytics data. It tracks parameters like optimal days and time to call, how much time should be spent on a particular customer, conversion rate, best sales representative by connection rate, and the number of leads reached per sales person, among others.

For a company to use Salestrail, all they need is to invite their sales team to join and download the app. Then they can track all the above-mentioned call activity and data points from the dashboard. So, it doesn’t take any technical implementation or any changes in the way the team works. A company can literally start using it within a few minutes.

There are various ways that our current clients extract the most value out of our solution. For clients in the edtech industry, data accuracy and time-saving have been the most interesting elements. With a heavy lead system and fast-growing sales teams, they need a scalable, smart way to manage and replicate their best sales reps. Insights such as connection rate, the best time to call, and the ideal number of contacts have been said to be extremely useful in scaling teams’ efforts.

For others, the fact that they can monitor their call activity in real time has helped boost the teams’ spirits while everyone is working remotely. Also, by closely following the amount of outreach your team is doing, sales leaders can spot early warning signs of missing sales targets and course-correct.

As users will be able to customize and create their own dashboard with metrics that are most meaningful to them, we expect Salestrail’s use cases will vary more and more.

Maria Sundström, founder of LiiD. Photo courtesy of LiiD.

Kr: Which is your biggest market? How have the operations been in Finland?

MS: Even though our office is based in Finland, we serve a global clientele, from the Middle East to APAC countries. The US was our biggest market until this year, when India has grown like crazy. The US and India are followed by other English-speaking countries such as Australia and Canada. Our clients also vary in size, from multinationals like Kone to fast-growing tech companies.

Kr: When did you launch in India? Why did you enter the Indian market?

MS: Our first launch in the Indian market was earlier this year, when we were testing the product concept, so we already had some very happy customers in India. When the novel coronavirus pandemic hit, we saw a dramatic increase in the need for a remote call tracking solution in India. After doing some market research, we’ve realized India is a highly potential market that we can cater to, due to its fast pace and reliance on telesales.

Kr: How is the competition in the country in this space?

MS: There is still a lot to be seen regarding the competition in sales call tracking around the world—and also in India. However, Salestrail stands out in terms of its ease of implementation and use, as well as the data analytics that we provide, which cover unique insights for salespeople and managers. The solution is designed to give multi-layered sales organizations real-life, powerful call analytics tools, such as custom charts, custom dashboards, API, and others.

Kr: What are LiiD’s plans for India?

MS: From our in-depth market research and constant communication with our Indian customers and partners, we’re planning our product roadmap based on their requests. For example, we may add an option to do VoIP calls on top of normal SIM calls and WhatsApp calls. In addition to that, call recording and auto-transcribing would empower sales leaders with more sales call data that is directly related to business cases.

We also plan to create more opportunities for partnerships with Indian businesses and professionals.

At present, we have about 25 clients in India, with the biggest one having over 3,700 users. For the next year, we’re aiming to reach around 150 clients in the Indian market.

Kr: What are the challenges Indian companies face when it comes to tracking the growth of their sales teams?

MS: Since pan-India companies can’t use VoIP calls, when calling within India, there are not a lot of options for tracking calls. International companies in India will often use another telephony solution on top of their SIM card carrier bills, as VoIP is cheaper. We aim to track both SIM and VoIP calls. In addition to this, implementing a telephony solution makes no sense for fast-paced companies, since it takes up too much time and resources.

Kr: Are you targeting a specific sector in India?

MS: We’ve received great feedback from the edtech industry in the Indian market, so that will be one of our main target sectors and focus areas.

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