First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Dimitri Akhrin: We are doing well. Thank you for asking. Everyone is safe and healthy, and we are sending our thoughts to everyone affected by the pandemic over this tumultuous year.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded CRMDialer.
Dimitri Akhrin: I’m the President of CRMDialer and IRIS CRM. IRIS is a company that I started roughly 10 years ago as my second venture. I started my career in the payment processing industry, first as a cold caller and eventually as an independent sales rep.
By the time I started college, I had decided it was time to create my own payment processing organization. Back then, it was my four close friends making calls from my couch and me. Eventually, we started seeing a lot of success, and this turned into what is today known as BAMS. BAMS is a national merchant services provider, and to summarize our value prop. We help businesses get paid faster than the competition.
Over two years, our team developed the software that became IRIS CRM as a way to accelerate growth at BAMS. Others in the industry began to notice the software when I was at industry trade shows, and then I had the idea to turn this into a product itself – and that’s how IRIS CRM was born. After IRIS began to take off, I decided to develop a new product targeted at empowering salespeople in all sorts of industries; this became CRMDialer.
CRMDialer takes a lot of the valuable software that we built for IRIS and expands it with additional features tailored to help salespeople spend less time on menial tasks and more time doing what they do best – selling! It’s an advanced sales platform and power dialer that enables sales teams to work more effectively than ever before. As we say, it’s a “CRM for people that live for the thrill of sales.”
How does CRMDialer innovate?
Dimitri Akhrin: Our company is constantly innovating by offering the top solutions, and we are smaller and more nimble than our larger CRM competitors. Our team is communicative and motivated, so we are constantly improving and innovating our solutions to provide the best possible product to the marketplace. We’re also not trying to be everything. CRMDialer is focused on creating solutions that help salespeople accelerate their sales processes using a CRM that is built around communication. CRMDialer provides a call center solution consisting of an integrated dialer, SMS, and email integrations with Outlook and Gmail.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Dimitri Akhrin: We’ve benefited from the push for many companies being forced to go remote. Since our main value proposition at CRMDialer is to allow calling through a computer with an internet connection, the ability to provide our services has expanded. Internally speaking, our team was 70% remote before the pandemic and is 100% remote now, and so this has not been a major adjustment that we had to cope with.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Dimitri Akhrin: We hired more than 10 full-time employees since the pandemic began. Our company is in growth mode, and we could not let the pandemic stop us. We, and our recruiter partners, had to learn how to source, interview, hire, and train new employees completely remotely. To this day, I have not met some of the great people that we hired in 2020, but we talk daily through Slack, and it feels like I know them forever.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and CRMDialer in the future?
Dimitri Akhrin: One of the best things to help with stress and anxiety has been to become ultra-organized. I set up weekly and/or bi-weekly meetings with every department team or department leader. These calls began at the beginning of the pandemic and have continued throughout. These scheduling meetings regularly have been the lifeblood of information transfers throughout the entire organization and the customer journey. One of the other things that has always been a stress and anxiety reducer is to finish the day with zero unread and unresponded emails. Procrastination is the creator of stress. Dealing with all of the issues at hand daily and not delaying things has been a personal coping mechanism for many years. Any emails that are left unread serve as open to-dos, which must be completed ASAP.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Dimitri Akhrin: CRMDialer offers a solution tailored to solve the day-to-day challenges that salespeople face. There are many competitors in the CRM marketplace, but we’re agile, targeted as specific solutions, and not trying to do everything that the bigger players do. This is software that helps salespeople work smarter, not harder. We’re working every day to develop solutions that simplify the process for salespeople so they can focus on selling, not the variety of menial tasks involved in the sales process. By automating sales busywork, CRMDialer enables fast revenue growth no matter what industry you’re in or what product you’re selling.
Your final thoughts?
Dimitri Akhrin: We’re excited to continue our growth through this challenging time and are confident that CRMDialer will provide more and more sales teams with automated, effective solutions into the future. Now more than ever, it’s important to provide solutions that enable growth, and we’re proud that CRMDialer enables businesses small and large to empower their sales teams and drive exceptional results.