How Folloze disrupts the sales industry with Microsoft Azure
By Microsoft in Business Team on April 28, 2017
Filed under Microsoft in Business
|Focus on: Engage customers, Transform products, Empower employees|
Traditionally, Sales and Marketing don’t always play nicely together. In fact, in companies that sell to large accounts, marketing typically sources only up to 10% of the sales pipeline. Folloze is changing that paradigm with disruptive technology that has the potential to transform the industry. Its unique platform empowers salespeople to use marketing techniques, and allows Marketing and Sales to work hand-in-hand to deliver account-specific experiences, run content campaigns, act on behavioral alerts, and build sustainable customer engagements. It’s a model that has proven to have significant impact on increasing win rates and building sustainable relationships with customers.
Folloze is an Account Based Marketing (ABM) sales platform with headquarters in Palo Alto and a development center in Tel Aviv. As a young, dynamic company, the Folloze team continually looks for new tools that will keep them on the cutting-edge of technology.
Digital transformation is a movement that is creating unprecedented opportunities for organizations of all shapes and sizes to reinvent themselves as digital-first enterprises. Folloze co-founder and CEO Etai Beck and Customer Success Manager Jon Heintschel believe that being a digital-first enterprise offers countless benefits. The company has worked to ensure it has the right tools in place as it grows, which allows Folloze to transform products, engage customers, and empower employees.
Driving Deeper Engagements through Customized ContentThe Folloze sales platform allows sellers to leverage Folloze boards that organize content by customer need or interest. These Folloze boards look just like a content-based microsite without requiring any technical skills to be put together. Once a board is created, sellers can add compelling content that supports the board’s message and then connect that content to their specific customer conversation.
When Folloze was founded in 2013, it used Google products, but soon after, migrated to Microsoft Office 365. “It just became necessary as we grew,” Jon explains.
Through a customer insight study, Folloze learned that sellers were spending a great deal of their time sending emails and communicating with customers via Outlook. Based on this research, Folloze created an Outlook add-in that allows users to send boards via email, text or image with hyperlink to their customers, so that they are can quickly share relevant, targeted, and timely content.
Once it’s delivered, board creators can return to the Folloze board within Outlook to see how their prospects are engaging with the content. When they are ready to dive into other analytics, they can also see how their content is performing via notifications in real time. Those detailed analytics can now be exported through excel and sent via email in seconds for cleaner presenting. Armed with this information, sellers can better customize messaging and move the deal forward.
Fully integrating Office 365 has simplified sales and marketing for not only the Folloze team but for their customers. And because Microsoft is a familiar platform, onboarding is simplified as well. “It’s an industry standard.” Jon says. “We’ve seen tremendous success and adoption using the Outlook add-in.” Getting new team members up to speed quickly saves time and resources. “With our entire team using the Outlook add-in, it just makes more sense for us all to be on Office 365,” Jon says.
Building Trust with AzureSeveral months ago, while Folloze was still hosted with a competitor cloud service, the cloud platform went through a hacker attack and Folloze was one of the systems that was affected by several hours of down time. The Folloze team looked for a more secure platform that could provide the maximum uptime. Their relationship with Microsoft, the cost benefits, and the high level of support and security Microsoft offered led them to Azure.
Folloze provides hosting of assets and communication for its customers. “The trust that’s required is critical to our business so security is of the utmost concern,” Jon explains. With Azure, they can take advantage of all of Microsoft’s security layers.
The fact that Azure is compliant in every country in which it does business is another plus. Folloze supports multi-national enterprises with offices in the EU, Latin America, APAC, and North America. Because of the company’s reach, Jon says, “It was imperative that our cloud provider have a global aspect.”
Folloze boards are hosted on Azure and the company is working towards a complete Azure migration. “Board activity changes frequently, and Azure gives us the availability to scale additional data quickly as needed.” Jon explains. And with an uptime of 99.95%, he and his team can be confident that their business won’t be negatively affected by down time. “So far, the transition has been seamless,” Jon says. “Which is another reason we’re expanding with Azure.”
The Power of ConvenienceAs a small, agile company, Folloze recently provided every member of its sales team with a Surface Book. The device effectively transforms from a full-size computer into a small tablet, making it ideal for remote working and traveling. “I love everything about this device!” Jon says. When it comes to presenting to clients and potential customers, Jon loves the Surface Book’s wireless display mechanism, which allows him to present from across the table or across the room. “I’m not tied to an HDMI cable, so I don’t have to worry about the environment I’m walking into,” Jon explains. “I’m confident that I can present from anywhere.”
He also loves the flexibility when traveling. “When you travel as much as I do, you have to shut down your large devices at some point. But because I can go to just tablet mode without the keyboard, I never have to stop working. And you never really know how long you’ll be stuck taxiing on the runway!” That time is not lost any longer. And because the Surface Book is classified as a tablet, the hassle of pulling it out for security or having to drag it out of a packed carry-on once on board is removed. “It’s just a very convenient way to work,” he adds. “I can collaborate with coworkers just by using my touchscreen.”
The team has a standing call three mornings a week to talk about products, enhancements and other company updates. “I conduct a lot of meetings with our team in Israel,” Jon says. “The vast majority of both my internal and external meetings take place via Skype.”
Looking to the FutureFolloze plans to continue pioneering down the Account-Based Marketing (ABM) path– both in regard to internal and external expansion. The team plans to migrate fully to Azure in the near future and to continue monitoring its customers needs, looking for new ways to save them time and effort, increase win rates, and build sustainable relationships with their customers.