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January 12, 2015 Issue

The Most Powerful Name In Corporate News and Information

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Real-Time Actionable Sales and Marketing Intelligence Solutions

 

 

Sanjay Gala
Founder & CEO

 

SMARTe Inc

www.smarteinc.com

  

Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – January 12, 2015

 

CEOCFO: Mr. Gala, what is the idea behind SMARTe?

Mr. Gala: The vision behind SMARTe is to provide real-time actionable intelligence. First application we have built in Sales and Marketing Intelligence. We ensure that our clients Sales & Marketing functions work in collaboration, marketing executes successful programs and nurturing qualified leads into the pipeline with their sales team hitting with the right value propositions at the right time, thus putting more efforts in closing deals rather than pondering whom to target. From contact discovery to prospect prioritization, from enriching and appending existing CRM database to managing audience development and circulation control, impact of our solutions is evident from the success stories of our customers.

 

CEOCFO: What is your approach?

Mr. Gala: Our approach constitutes of mining information from a variety of data sources from World Wide Web through our focused web crawler, publications, and social media sites and so on. We aggregate this information, cleanse, normalize and categorize it. In addition, we extract intelligence from these articles. Through our exquisite web and phone research, we authenticate this information for its accuracy. The secret sauce of our approach is assembling this information from anywhere on the World Wide Web across 196 different countries.

 

CEOCFO: What are the challenges in doing each step in a way that is successful?

Mr. Gala: There are many challenges around unstructured data, be it crawling, classifying or extracting, and each of the challenges are different. In terms of crawling the information because of the numerous sources, languages or countries, content has been exploding in terms of its growth, and keeping up with the precise content and sources is a big challenge in itself. In the data classification, categorizing news like a company merger or management changes; interpreting this text and organizing it into the appropriate category is another challenge in itself. Extracting the relevant attributes from an article is one of the most difficult step of the three because, here we do natural language processing, extracting the name, the job title, email address, phone number and context of an article.

 

CEOCFO: How are you able to evaluate a blog entry?

Mr. Gala: We look carefully at the blog article itself to source the contacts or extract context, instead of simply interpreting the blog comments or the message boards discussions.

 

CEOCFO: Tell us about the last step with phone. How do you work that into the process?

Mr. Gala: Let me share an example with you, on one of our solutions. In our contact discovery solution, we provide detailed company and contact level information of decision makers as per our client requirements. While we are using a blend of technology for identifying this information, we follow a phone-based authentication process. For this, we have a specialized team of verification experts who can call and verify the collected information. Let us assume we are sourcing data on behalf of our client for CEOCFO Magazine and similar magazines. Here we would need to verify Lynn Fosse and her phone number, email address and job location etc. One of our experts will reach you on your company number, speak to you or your operator or PA OR department assistant, and verify your complete contact information. This information is then stored in our extensive database repository.

 

CEOCFO: High-end executives tend to move around frequently. How do you keep up to date?

Mr. Gala: This is where our web crawling technology comes into play, because it is constantly monitoring variety of data sources and figures out whether a high-end executive is still working in the company. When the crawler visits the management page, the middle management executive is not listed on the executive management page but they may have been quoted in a blog or speaking at a conference, press announcements or sourced through social media sites like Twitter and LinkedIn. These profiles help us in identifying executive movement. The full validation process takes care of any deformities that happened through the software. Given my 15 years’ experience in data, I am aware of the ever-changing data and its validation and hence we have deployed this process of human validation at the end to ensure the data accuracy.

 

CEOCFO: Who is using your services?

Mr. Gala: As a company mission focused, to facilitate Sales & Marketing Effectiveness, our Solutions are ‘Industry Agonist’; having already serving customers from 70+ industries. However, from our years of experience in Databases Marketing and extracting Actionable Intelligence; we have built-up domain expertise in a number of dynamic industries like Software, Networking, Business Services, Telecomm and Financial Services, IT Services, Industrial Manufacturing, Life Sciences, Medical Devices etc to name a few. Some startups to large high-tech, software networking giants such as SAP, TIBCO, Juniper, Telstra, Genesys, and Dassault as well as some Fortune 500 companies such as Emerson, ABB, Schneider, etc. use SMARTe’s solutions.

 

CEOCFO: How does it work?

Mr. Gala: Earlier we had a traditional way to handle a project on case-to-case basis, but recently we have launched “Bespoke Contacts” (https://bespokecontacts.smarteinc.com), which is world’s first cloud based SaaS platform, that allows customized contact discovery with 100% data accuracy across the globe. Now, our clients are able to put in their requirement through this portal and are able to download the project briefs of their data. Now they can manage their projects, collaborate with peers and teams, fill in the communication gaps, automate transactional activities and harness analytics on marketing data under one login. Once they input their project requirement, our web crawler mines the data. Our research experts authenticate and validate it and then data is uploaded into the system. When the data is ready, our clients can download it from their login and use it for their marketing campaigns.

 

CEOCFO: When you are speaking with a prospective customer, do they understand the difference immediately?

Mr. Gala: While there exist myriad of alternatives but due to highly distinctive technologies and processes, truly global coverage and SLA based guarantees majority of SMARTe prospects understand true benefits of SMARTe.

 

CEOCFO: Is your background important in getting a foot in the door and people listening to you, or is it more what the product can do?

Mr. Gala: I would say when our sales teams approach the prospects, they just emphasize on our products/offerings and distinctive competitive advantages, which in itself is most important. However, if I am hoping on a call for strategic account, with my sales team, I make sure to give a short prelude of my background and 15 years’ experience with Data challenges and consultative approach and recommend strategies to tackle them.

 

CEOCFO: When you are working with clients or potential clients globally, is it different?

Mr. Gala:  Except North America, there are significant challenges around finding relevant and updated data across the globe especially MEA, Europe, APAC and LATAM.

 

CEOCFO: How are you rolling out your new service and how are you rolling out the company in general?

Mr. Gala: We are continuously trying to reach prospective clients primarily through our targeted marketing campaigns, web and social media marketing and our stellar sales team. We have recently begun participating in targeted events, and we have not focused on any sponsorship benefits yet. Nevertheless, we have started attending several key industry events to expand our presence.

 

CEOCFO: You certainly have recognizable names as clients, so clearly people are understanding. What is next, and what might be different a year from now at SMARTe?

Mr. Gala: Thanks a lot.

 

We are planning many things to make the next year – revolution for SMARTe.

 

As of now, leveraging power of Big Data we are working on a couple of products relevant contacts and prospectsgenie, which we will be launching towards end of the next year. This will transform SMARTe’s perception across the globe. Subsequently, I am hoping to raise a large venture funding to help us grow in all dimensions be it investors, customers or an employees.  

 

CEOCFO: What surprised you since you started the company? What have you learned along the way that makes the offering different and better today?

Mr. Gala: A big surprise was in 2009 codifying financial markets. The products that we are launching now and next year are the ones, which we aimed at the start of SMARTe’s venture. In 2009 the market meltdown, made me change my business model and strategy around contact discovery and competitive install base intelligence as an offering. To my surprise it took off very well as I was working on the problem statement that exists in the market, which allowed us to build a good clientele, and never look back for additional capital, which was good. After going through the roller coaster ride and making SMARTe profitable, I was able to re-invest that money back into the technology and throughout the product. Overall, it has been a great journey.

 

CEOCFO: Put it all together for our readers. Why SMARTe?

Mr. Gala: In our initial days, our vision was to build products and services around real-time actionable intelligence starting from sales and marketing to financial intelligence. We are a global leading provider of Sales and Marketing intelligence solutions with a deep focus around the four C’s of the data quality – Completeness, Correctness, Customization, and Currentness of the data. Therefore, I would say from a data perspective, business intelligence for different domains, various industries with highest quality data across the globe makes us stand out as a unique player that leverages next generation technologies and proprietary processes and methodologies.



 

“We are a global leading provider of Sales and Marketing intelligence solutions with a deep focus around the four C’s of the data quality – Completeness, Correctness, Customization, and Currentness of the data.”- Sanjay Gala


 

SMARTe Inc

www.smarteinc.com

 

Contact:

Sanjay Gala

+1 (408) 834 8842

sanjay.gala@smarteinc.com



 

 



 

 


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