25 Jun 2021 . 5 min read
Why I Joined Pronto
Why I Joined Pronto
I am Scott Shepard. I recently joined Pronto as the Director of Sales. I view my role as being an evangelist for our product and a champion of our customers. Ultimately, I want to help Partnerships and Alliances executives be recognized for the rockstars they are. Here’s the story of why I joined Pronto.
In the Spring of 2020, I was managing an enterprise sales team. In order to better serve current and prospective enterprise customers, my company announced a marquee partnership with a leading SaaS Management Platform. This partnership would allow us to layer that company’s controls on top of the our product, thereby giving IT administrators the additional levels of security controls they required. We called this solution Advanced Team and Content Controls or “ATCC”.
This partnership, while incredibly exciting for us, was our outbound sales teams’ first attempt at taking a joint solution to market with another ISV, and as such presented us with myriad challenges.
Challenge 1: Identifying new business opportunities
As a manager, my core mission was to enable my team to hit their goals (which now included an ATCC revenue number!). So when my team was struggling to generate pipeline and identify valid new business opportunities for ATCC, I got to work trying to understand why. A core challenge for us was our ability to collaborate and share information with our partner. Both sides had existing customers and deals in process. And many of those likely could have benefitted from the addition of the full ATCC solution. However, we never could get aligned on that information.
In the past I had undergone a few failed attempts at mapping accounts & leads with one of our reseller partners. The process was manual and painful — I would send the partner an excel spread sheet of my top target accounts (sometimes hundreds long). The partner sales director would then compare those against her teams’ top accounts. Once we even got on a call and for 30 minutes went down the list one by one without finding a single relevant match.
Challenge 2: Reporting the News
As a sales leader, you always have to walk a balance between the amount of time you spend making the news vs. reporting the news (e.g., driving deals towards closed/won vs. reporting on pipeline). I soon found as we embarked upon this new partnership, that I was spending significantly more time “reporting the news”. Revenue and Partnership executives at both my company and our partner requested constant updates on the ATCC pipeline and status of deals. However, I had no visibility into what my partners were doing. And I was spending significant amounts of time creating and manually formatting new reports (and taking time out of my sales team’s day to help me fill in relevant context).
Introduction to Pronto: The Solution to My Challenges
Given these challenges, I began to ask myself, how could our companies better work together? How could we securely share information and keep each other on the same page? As a SaaS evangelist, I knew that there must be a tool or platform out there to help solve our problems. And just my luck I was introduced to Swaroop and Manoj, the visionaries behind Pronto, who were building a new product category to help solve just these issues.
Immediately upon meeting the Pronto team, I was struck by their vision for the direction the world of partnership was heading. Ecosystems were become increasingly vital for companies’ success. Different types of partnership relationships and different types of engagements would become the norm. All of this rang true to me. At the same time that I was struggling to be successful with the first partnership, my company was also entering into other other new partnerships with other ISVs to help expand the value of our product. If success with one partner was this hard - how would we manage to be successful with 2? 3? 10? The Pronto team truly understood our pain –Swaroop Kolli (Pronto’s founder/CEO) had spent the better part of a decade building large scale enterprise partnerships and so he knew how challenging embarking on these relationships could be.
After a few days of using Pronto, I became an evangelist for the product and the problems that it is solving for modern day sales and partnerships organizations.
The Pronto Team: Culture & Ethos
Equally important in my decision to join Pronto, was the team’s ethos — thoughtful, authentic, and empathetic. These traits all shined through in just my first interaction with the Pronto team. And over time working with Pronto more deeply, I began to realize how much they were truly ingrained into the corporate culture. The Pronto team treated their clients (e.g. me at the time) and one another as true thought partners in everything that they did. They were brutally honest when they needed to be, but always did so from a place of understanding and respect.
In January of 2021, Swaroop reached out and asked me if I would be interested in joining the Pronto team and helping him build something truly great. Based on everything I knew about their product, their vision, and their team, it was ultimately a no-brainer for me to join the team.