In the saturated landscape of sales productivity tools, companies that seamlessly integrate with sales team’s myriad systems stand a chance of rising above the rest. One such company, Bigtincan, successfully leveraged Kloudless to add connectivity to their list of differentiators. Read on to discover how they did it.
Bigtincan 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 Bigtincan doesn’t have to, because Bigtincan uses artificial intelligence to look up that address then auto-populate the field. Bigtincan 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, Bigtincan recommends the most active account to consolidate to.
To provide the intel described above, Bigtincan 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 Bigtincan’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. Bigtincan 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 Bigtincan 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, Bigtincan began to lose more deals to their competitors who had connections to the additional CRMs.