SellWell Ltd. is a 100-employee company based in the heart of Silicon Valley and with an engineering team abroad. They made a name for themselves by providing data enrichment and task automation to near as many customer sales teams throughout North America. The company zeroed in on sales team pain points, such as the manual data entry and clean-up work that keeps reps from focusing on relationship-based selling.
For example, a typical sales rep needs to find the physical address of the company of each contact they speak to and enter it in their CRM. However, a sales rep using SellWell doesn’t have to, because SellWell uses artificial intelligence to look up that address then auto-populate the field. SellWell takes data enrichment a step further by pulling in information for custom fields such as the contact’s company’s revenue and known customers. And when the sales rep needs to sort out duplicate records and merge contacts, SellWell recommends the most active account to consolidate to.
To provide the intel described above, SellWell needed access to an ongoing feed of activity in the sales team’s CRM. So they tasked their engineering team with integrating to the most popular CRM, Salesforce, with a mind to add integrations to Oracle Sales Cloud and SugarCRM in the future.
Unfortunately, with a growing customer-base came growing integration complexity. Different customers had different tolerance levels for how quickly they needed data refreshed. When a new customer insisted on near-real-time syncing, which further burdens the server, the engineering team customized the product for them by increasing their initial product’s polling frequency and reexamining the efficiency of their webhooks.
One customer asked for the employee size field to auto-populate, but their next customer overlooked this and asked for physical mailing address to auto-populate. Customer two had not yet grown large enough to consider selling by geo, and thus prioritized different intel needs. Since SellWell’s engineers lacked expertise in the native Salesforce API, they scrambled to find the information they needed in a format that aligned to these disparate customer requests.
Next and not least of their worries, with each additional customer came the request to connect to another CRM with its own API specifications. SellWell engineers saw themselves transforming into integration amateurs rather than the sales product experts they aspired to be. The core concepts of Accounts, Contacts, Leads, Opportunities, and Tasks span most CRM systems used today. However, application behavior, API endpoints, data format, and workflows vary among systems.
These API spec hoops forced SellWell engineers to integrate with each CRM one at a time by slowly investigating the formats returned by Oracle, Sugar etc respectively. As a result of the delay, SellWell began to lose more deals to their competitors who had connections to the additional CRMs.
In researching a way to scale their CRM integrations, SellWell discovered Kloudless. The unified CRM API simplified their task by providing a single abstraction layer for most of the CRM functionality their integration needed.
With Kloudless, SellWell could perform CRUD operations to any object in a user’s CRM account, taking advantage of several standardized data models for common objects such as Accounts and Leads. Kloudless also supplied a unified query language that abstracted away the specifics of other query languages such as SOQL and Dynamics’. Furthermore, Kloudless tracked changes in the user’s account, including new, updated, and deleted objects, to provide unified sync capabilities between the application and any user’s CRM account.
And since SellWell engineers embedded the Kloudless API within their app, the end-users stayed within their branded product environment while they performed tasks. Eventually, SellWell took on customer companies who demanded increased data security measures. So SellWell deployed Kloudless on-premises where they could maintain maximum control and continue near-real-time data refresh.
As a result of using Kloudless’ unified APIs, SellWell’s engineering team returned their focus to their product roadmap. They enjoyed freedom from the headache of learning new API specs and writing new integration code.
Once SellWell connected to several cloud storage services, they noticed they integrated additional services 12 times faster than they had prior to leveraging a unified API. To ice the cake, Kloudless took care of the maintenance of the storage and CRM APIs they connected to, decreasing SellWell’s maintenance overhead by a factor of four.
On a macro-level and more importantly, SellWell’s seamless integrations further solidified their leadership in the sales enablement space. Given that Salesforce owns just over 20% of the CRM market, SellWell began capturing more customers who used Oracle and Microsoft, increasing SellWell’s total addressable market by several percentage points, and within a year, their overall revenue from deals they would have otherwise lost.
With the murkiness of integration work removed from their view, the future of SellWell looks brighter than ever. For more information about the Kloudless Unified CRM API, click here.