First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Alexandra Roată: Thank you for the question, all are good. We are making the best out of this situation and trying to imagine a new way to live our lives, be happy, and focus on our objectives.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Softlead.
Alexandra Roată: I have a digital background as a marketing specialist, passionate about technology and digital transformation. I firmly believe that this mix of skills can help any business model or entrepreneur develop a path to organic growth. And this is what I have applied on Softlead since the first version of our MVP.
I am the Co-Founder of Softlead, an integrated B2B software marketplace, 100% focused on helping companies to choose and implement the right software solution for their businesses. Our story started when we realized that digitalization through software solutions means trust, the possibility to compare and to choose the best option. Enterprise software has the largest share of the overall software market, with worldwide revenues amounting to over 200 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, according to the Statista Technology Market Outlook. So, among all these values and benefits, a company needs prediction and access to a matching algorithm in order to find the right software solutions. This is what we promise to our clients.
How does Softlead innovate?
Alexandra Roată: We are predicting the software market before it happens. As we have access to an important database of software needs, we are able to set up scenarios about trends in software acquisition.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Alexandra Roată: As a software marketplace, we have been part of our first demo of what we can call a market break. A couple of months, we felt that a lot of companies paused their software acquisition flow and processes, watched the trends, and reconsidered their business strategies. It was a normal step in unpredictable and challenging times.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Alexandra Roată: Even if we are entrepreneurs, employees, salespeople, brand managers, creative or developers, we all have to make difficult choices at some point. Probably, 2020 was the year when I encountered the most difficulties since ever. Managing people, having to redesign strategies, and moving fast, trying to predict the new way of doing business, is part of a new kind of entrepreneurial roller coaster.
I believe that difficult choices make the business stronger and founders more creative, passionate, and involved. In fact, there is no other option. You have to fight and to transform obstacles into opportunities. This is what we do at Softlead day by day: we collect companies’ problems, and we resolve it by indicating the right software solution for them.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Alexandra Roată: Choosing to adapt and integrate all these situations in my life quickly, focusing on our team, our platform, new strategies, or partnerships is, probably, the best way to deal with stress nowadays. It looks like a real challenge, but we all need to keep in mind that we have to support each other and become more collaborative, kind, and open to scenarios that one year ago could sound like science fiction.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Alexandra Roată: Our main competitors are software marketplaces which promote and sell software solutions and generate leads for the IT companies listed, but they offer just a part of our integrated services and flow. We do differently because we transform leads into qualified opportunities, which means that we have access to enterprises’ needs, problems, objectives, technical features, or software custom integrations, which become the main pillars for the recommended software solutions.
Moreover, our business idea includes a pay per lead model, so we do not sell promises. We sell useful data so every software vendor listed on the platform can grow his sales pipeline and portfolio.
Your final thoughts?
Alexandra Roată: In the end, thank Startup Info team for interviewing me and for the opportunity to be part of your storytelling project. As an entrepreneur, I find that pandemic managed to teach us a few lessons. As a human being, I have to say that everything was fast, disruptive in a new manner that we haven’t experienced before.
Let’s speak software and see the positive side of the global scene, where we are planning to put Softlead!