We talked to Jake Soffer of Rollio on how a business can capture accurate CRM Data faster than ever and this is what he had to say.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Jake Soffer: It’s challenging, of course, but we are “grind it out” types of people, so all we can do is make the best of a challenging situation and focus on the light at the end of the tunnel.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Rollio.
Jake Soffer: I founded Rollio in 2014/2015 when as an intern at Acceleprise Ventures, I used Salesforce.com and felt the pain. It’s such a powerful tool and CRM, it’s a ‘need to have’ for businesses, but it’s a burden on the actual users. Just staring at Salesforce, a lightbulb went off. While studying AI/Computer Engineering at RPI (where I went to play NCAA D1 Hockey), I decided the validate the idea: I locked myself in my dorm room and had friends in Sales text/email me, and I updated Salesforce for them…they loved it! They were more productive, having more time to focus on sales, and their CRM data was more accurate than ever, feeding high-quality reporting. So we built Rollio, won a hackathon, and met Carsten Thoma. Carsten saw what we were doing and opened our eyes to a much bigger vision: Conversational Data Entry. The rest is just hard work and sweat getting customers like Macquarie Financial, Western & Southern Life, and more.
How does Rollio innovate?
Jake Soffer: We talk to customers, and most importantly, we listen. We listen to their problems and then internally discuss how to use AI to get from point A (problem) to point B (process complete) shortly and efficiently.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Jake Soffer: In the beginning, there was a sudden stop, but now with the market being bullish and a vaccine nearing, companies are looking to innovate. They’re going to have to play catch up once life is back to normal, so efficient sales and service teams and impeccable data in their CRM to feed reporting and dashboards will be more critical than ever, so now we are getting back into a sprint from a jog.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Jake Soffer: All the time: fail fast and even better, plan on contingency plans.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Rollio in the future?
Jake Soffer: Meditation has helped as well as staying physically active. The hardest part about going for that run or mediating is just starting. Once you get over that hump, you’re good to go. We see ourselves continuing to grow despite this situation. We’re not more risk-averse or scared. If anything, we’re going harder to make up for tough times.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Jake Soffer: The CRM automation space is full of competitors, but the important thing is that we’re solving such a critical and expensive problem that many just thought to be unsolvable and a necessary burden for so many years. The more we innovate, the more value we bring, so that’s what keeps customers excited. We don’t build features and functions that are ‘cool.’ We build things that solve real business process problems and stay focused on that unique idea. Reporting, Dashboards, data enrichment tools are all so great, but they can’t be useful if you feed them insufficient or wrong data, so that’s where we fit in.
Your final thoughts?
Jake Soffer: CRM transformations are becoming more and more critical. As companies begin to value customer data and intelligence increasingly, that data has to come from somewhere. The burden of updating it is put on the users, sales, and service people who should be spending their time selling and servicing. By turning hours of data entry into minutes, we’ve created a tool that users crave. By ensuring that CRMs are adopted and kept up-to-date with accurate data, we make a solution companies love.
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