Shampa Bagchi is the Founder and CEO of ConvergeHub (https://www.convergehub.com/), a powerful Customer Relationship Management software that powers business growth and has been recognized as one of the top 10 CRMs in the world by ZDNet (https://www.zdnet.com/article/best-crm/). ConvergeHub is a unified CRM platform with Sales, Marketing, Support and Billing that manages all customer data and activities and puts your business growth on autopilot. It helps you look at your customer and prospects as a whole person by giving you a complete 360 degree view throughout every stage the customer lifecycle.
Shampa lives in that intersection between technology, business and people, and is passionate about helping businesses grow quickly by utilizing technology to solve complex challenges and take ideas from concept to reality. Recognized as a leader in the small business community, Shampa counsels businesses on how to use technology to accelerate their business growth. She is also the co-founder of Corelynx (https://www.corelynx.com/), a boutique software development and technology strategy agency providing innovative business solutions to growing organizations. Shampa is the founder of the Business Growth Community on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12112856/) to help entrepreneurs and business leaders succeed by using technology as a catalyst in their business.
[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]
Umar Hameed 0:01
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone! My name is Umar Hameed, I'm your host on the No Limits Selling Podcast where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how you can become better, stronger, faster. Just before we get started, I've got a question for you, do you have a negative voice inside your head? We all do, right? I'm gonna help you remove that voice and under 30 days guaranteed, not only remove it, but transform it. So instead of the voice that sabotages you, there's one that propels you to much higher levels of performance and success. There's a link in the show notes, click on it to find out more. All right! Let's get started.
Umar Hameed 0:41
Hello everyone to another episode of the No Limits Selling Podcast . And today I have Shampa Bagchi with me today. She's the founder of ConvergeHub and Corelynx. Welcome to the program.
Shampa Bagchi 0:52
Thank you, Umar, happy to be here. Looking forward to a chat.
Umar Hameed 0:55
Me too. What was kind of interesting was, you know, especially on the ConvergeHub, you're really looking to find the intersection between business, technology and people. And oftentimes, you're in the business people just concerned about business, the technology people is like, don't worry about the user interface or those weird bags of water, we don't care about them, then you got the human thing, which is ultimately what it's all about. So how do you bridge that gap between those three worlds? Because ultimately, it's only one world and the people back can actually navigate that true sense get the best results?
Shampa Bagchi 1:27
Yes, yes. Oh, no, I have always been in technology like that with a background of computer science. And I found the tech companies live in the Silicon Valley. But to me, it's never been just about technology. It's not because it's in or it's cool but really what it is about how that technology will help people, you know, how does it help businesses and ultimately, you know, help the people so that intersection between technology and people and businesses is what always and I'm always passionate about that little area. So we converge how what we aim to do is that we look, we help you look at people, at your customers, as, as real people, you know, not so much as you know, depending on what department you are working on in our business, it's so easy to look at customers like you know, and email address, or a phone number to cold call or order to fulfill or, I don't know, and mailing address to send your invoice to, so it is so easy to do that. But what ConvergeHub aims to do is it gives you a complete 360 degree view of your customers, which helps you look at the customer in a holistic way. And when you do that, you know, when you look at a customer as a person, rather than as a phone number, or what have you, exchange completely. Things change in the sense even within your team, you know, when support person kind of knows about, you know, the kind of things that he has purchased, or a salesperson knows if this person has if this customer has had any issues, customer service issues, basically, when you're looking at the entire data, rather than just a subset of what you are supposed to look at. How you interact and what kind of conversations you have with your customer, how you follow up, everything changes completely. So that's what we have businesses do
Umar Hameed 3:32
So how is this different than, you know, some of your competitors? Because certainly they have a lot of that information too. How do you position in such a way that the salesperson or the support person can transcend the interface and get to know the person? How's it different than other CRMs?
Shampa Bagchi 3:48
Yeah, what we do is we let you look at everything and one, one specific screen, if you say if you might.
Umar Hameed 4:00
Shampa Bagchi 4:00
You can, you can look at it as even whether you are a support person, you are still looking at the sales number, you don't necessarily have to be able to change things, you don't necessarily you know, have to be able to have even a say at how no sales should work. I mean, you can but really what you are doing is you are looking at all the data, all the maybe the marketing emails that he has, you know, looked at or the timeline, the entire history of how he has gone, you know, through his lifecycle as a customer and look at everything together in one page and you know, have some insight, some additional insights that we give you, which helps you to look at the customer as a person rather than the whole, you know, a little subset of data.
Umar Hameed 4:48
Excellent. So you have a sales team, how many people in your sales team?
Shampa Bagchi 4:51
Sales team? I don't have a lot. Sales team and basically we just do work on words of mouth but it's me plus two other people.
Umar Hameed 4:59
Nice. So how do you manage the other two people like, you're going to be growing this department as you go, you reach a threshold, and then it takes off. So how are you currently managing your team and how you prototyping that leadership, so when you do expand, you've got a framework in place?
Shampa Bagchi 5:15
Sure. So what we are, again, you know, we are big on looking at things in a holistic way. So one of the main things that we do, even if it's salespeople, we let you know, we have a fairly big an engineering team, and we have been along with it, a little bit of marketing and sales and support. So what we try to do is have a very open interaction between all of these teams, so that sales knows exactly you know, what's going on in engineering, what challenges engineering is facing, and there is like a two way of back and forth sharing of knowledge, if you will, say, similarly, even with support, they have regular meetings with sales, and with the engineering team, so they are all kind of, you know, bouncing ideas off each other, which really, you know, helped them not just by selling, but it's not just the sales team that benefits for him. But even engineering and support, you know, just from this interaction, they, they know, exactly know what the customers are looking for, they're able to keep their pulse, the finger on the pulse, and they are able to focus more on the customer.
Umar Hameed 6:25
So do you use betas to kind of test out new additions before it goes live?
Shampa Bagchi 6:31
Oh, absolutely. Yes. You know, we, yeah, we do that.
Umar Hameed 6:34
Nice. So where are you heading now? Like, what's the next thing for ConvergeHub, like, what's the next plateau you're going towards?
Shampa Bagchi 6:43
Oh, yeah, ConvergeHub, there are big things in the pipeline. So we are in the process of building an entirely new ConvergeHub. So that's going to be out next year, so we really, really excited about that. And so again, you know, we have this fundamental thing about, you know, looking at a 360 degree view of looking at our customer as a person, and we're really going to enhance that part of it. So right, starting from the time when a customer is really cold, maybe, you know, it's not your customer, it's a need, you can't even say it's a lead, it's probably a cold email on your list. No, from that time, until that person, you know, guiding them in through the entire lifecycle of sales until the customer is you're not just a paying customer, but a happy paying customer. You know, yeah, the so your advocate even. So that entire lifecycle is already managed within ConvergeHub, but we are going to focus on that lifecycle, and specifically, we are going to focus on how are you going to identify that person, that single person throughout that journey? And that really, even if, you know, it's seems an easy thing to do in technology, it isn't just because when you're coming in, how do you track a person who is not on your website, maybe, you know, made a couple of visits. Two, how do you track that person when you know, he's actually you know, buying from you and the revenue that you have generated. So tracking him in through the entire process of sales is something that we aim to do in an even better way in in the new ConvergeHub, then we have like, conversations kind of tab where we are going to track every single thing that is done by this person. So whether that's a website visit whether that's a form that he has filled up, whether that's a tweet that he has sent. So any kind of interaction with between that person and your company is something that's going to be tracked in a very different manner. And you know, we are going to use all these new technology that has come up AI, you know, to give you insights. So yeah, there are very, very, very, very exciting things coming up.
Umar Hameed 9:00
Brilliant, some of your competitors have a lot of marketing function built into the CRM so it's basically becomes a one stop shop.
Shampa Bagchi 9:08
Umar Hameed 9:08
So do you have that as well in your solution?
Shampa Bagchi 9:11
Yes, we do know, we already have marketing, you know, we do a lot of email marketing, even social media marketing currently. And again, that's going to be even more enhanced in the new version, we are going to focus a lot on the marketing side of things. And because one thing currently we don't focus on so much is your website. We do have website forms that you can build and we do track it but you know, there are many other functions out there which you know, we are going to focus more and more in this next version, and that's coming out next year.
Umar Hameed 9:40
Brilliant. So as a leader, you've got engineering, you've got support, you've got sales, how do you A, manage everyone? And do you have direct reports or are you like a very flat organization?
Shampa Bagchi 9:53
I do have direct reports. I have some new team leads that I primarily have daily meetings with but at the same time, we are also a very flat organization, so everybody knows if they really want to talk to me they have having any kind of issues, they are welcome to come and, you know, talk to me. And there's one thing that I keep telling them, because I think about when you are working, when you're working, especially with a very tiered organization, is that the team members, especially the ones who are more junior, tend to lose sight of the big picture. And especially, you have to make sure that the big picture is communicated them in order for them to know that big picture and how they just tend to focus on their piece of code, or, you know, those know, maybe, you know, five or 10 customer calls that I have to make or those support tickets I have to answer, but they don't really look at that big picture. So one, you know, to even make them understand that in a one, one, I have a favorite story that I keep telling them and so I could, no, go ahead and...
Umar Hameed 11:01
Shampa Bagchi 11:03
...permission. So yeah, what I keep telling them is, you know, there was this construction site where there was this three new construction workers working and one person passing. By notices these three construction workers working building something and it's a very hot day. So he stops by he decides to stop by and talk to them. So he goes and talks to the first construction workers and ask them, "What do you do?" So his answer is "You know, can't you say no, I'm just, you know, laying bricks and building this foundation and I'm laying one brick on top of the other." So he then goes on to the next person, and he asks, "What are you doing?" and he's doing the exact same thing. And he says that, "I'm building this wall. So looks like this is some kind of a building, and I just have to build this wall. So that's what I'm doing." He goes to the third person and ask the same question, "What are you doing?" So he says, "You know, I am building this, this church. And you know, the thing that I'm working on right now is actually going to be that altar where people are going to come to worship." So everyone's doing the exact same thing, though, what changes here is the perspective of you know, how you are looking at what it is that you're doing.
Umar Hameed 12:15
Shampa Bagchi 12:16
And just by changing that perspective, how you are doing your work, and how you're approaching your work changes completely. So that that's my favorite story that I keep telling my employees.
Umar Hameed 12:26
Nice. So one things that, you know, companies struggle with, here's a typical kind of things. Number one, people don't know what other people do, roles and responsibilities.
Shampa Bagchi 12:36
Umar Hameed 12:37
You think it'd be very fundamental, but oftentimes, it is not.
Shampa Bagchi 12:40
Umar Hameed 12:40
The second thing is, who are we what are we trying to achieve? Which is like, dumbfounding to leaders, because like, we're communicating that all the time, but not as effectively as they could
Shampa Bagchi 12:52
Umar Hameed 12:52
So how do you ensure that you know, you keep your company on track, and that they're actually getting what you're trying to communicate?
Shampa Bagchi 13:01
Yes. What we try to do here is, one we already talked about, we have a meeting between teams all the time. So they're between departments, so they are all communicating with each other. Because what really matters on the end of the day, you know, between your team is how you're supporting your customer, right? How you are really, you know, adding value to your customers,
Umar Hameed 13:24
Shampa Bagchi 13:24
So, and even with the more junior team members, even if they are not directly, you know, talking to the customers, we do have, many of them sit on on those calls, and whether they are support calls, or whether they are even in development, or no testing kind of calls, we have them sit on in there, so they don't lose sight of what's important. Number one, and then of course, it's a matter of just being there for them being able to highlight what it is that we are doing, you know, being able to talk to them having daily regular meetings with them. And it's, I think it just boils down to communication, and just just talking to them about what it is that we are going to do.
Umar Hameed 14:08
So how do you know you're being effective? Because oftentimes, we think we're communicating, so I'm looking for, you know, other CEOs could go, "Oh, we need to do that to make sure that is not just a communication is effective communication," how do you ensure is effective? Is it just repetition or what are you using to make sure everyone's on the same page?
Shampa Bagchi 14:27
Well, a lot of it is just like you said, it is repetition. Number one, because it is so important, I mean, we would think that to be given a one, one set of maybe instructions or maybe even no talking to them about what's important and you will think that's enough, but it never is. So it's a matter of continuously repeating yourself. And also, technology helps too you know having a one place or one archive where everybody can go to certain things, to find certain things. It's no one place where they can see, you know, what's the next thing coming up? And you know, we do that we absolutely use technology for it. And again, you know these things, it's never perfect. So you're always striving towards that goal.
Umar Hameed 15:19
Shampa Bagchi 15:19
So that's where you're at, you know, we keep we keep improving, and we keep improving. But are we at 100% now, but, yeah, but it's just a matter of, I think, making sure you just communicate and making sure that information is available whenever it's needed.
Umar Hameed 15:33
Absolutely. I think that third thing that really needs to add in there is are people understanding, and oftentimes, one of the things that some leaders do is at every meeting is like, "Alright, John, you get to kick this off.
Shampa Bagchi 15:45
Umar Hameed 15:46
Who are we? What are we doing, and it just keeps people on their toes. And if there's any kind of miscommunications that can be picked up right away, because you've probably worked in a lot of companies," and that's one of the weak links ends up being communications. Here's the other one that I want to figure out how you do is oftentimes, people tend to be selfish, tend to be defensive, but to get highly efficient teams, "It can't be about me, it's got to be about us."
Shampa Bagchi 16:15
Umar Hameed 16:16
So how do you get people to, to leave that human nature of, "You know, my departments the best? And we're fantastic, too. It's not about us, it's about how do we serve our customers in a way that our organization wins," so how do you manage the culture?
Shampa Bagchi 16:30
Oh, yeah, that's, that's something that we have to work on on a daily basis, because we do see it all the time, especially in the kind of meetings that I'm talking about, and interdepartmental meetings where everybody's trying to kind of, especially when things go wrong, you know, everybody's trying to make sure...
Umar Hameed 16:48
Shampa Bagchi 16:48
...their department doesn't...
Umar Hameed 16:49
Looks good. Yeah.
Shampa Bagchi 16:50
...get the blame happens all the time. But then again, it's a matter of just making sure and I have to verbally repeat it and say that it's really not about finding a scapegoat. This meeting is not about finding a scapegoat, you know, this meeting is not about, you know, finding out who did it right, or who did it wrong. It's mostly about ensuring, you know, how do we make sure if a mistake has been done, it doesn't happen again. And if if there's something we can do better, it's about identifying what are the things that we need to get right next time. And usually, it's really not so much about one person's fault. Sometimes it is, but that's really very rare.
Umar Hameed 17:26
Shampa Bagchi 17:27
Usually, it's about how maybe somebody misinterpreted something or somebody didn't communicate, but it didn't really come out the way you were expecting. So it's, it's really fuzzy so you really cannot blame it on a person. And that's not what we're looking to do. It's really about how do we make sure if there is a communication issue? How are we going to do it better next time? You know, what is it that we have to? Is there any documentation we need to put in place? Even you know, is there any software we need to build? You know, what is it that we need to do? So we just have to make it clear that there is no scapegoat here.
Umar Hameed 18:06
Absolutely. I think that's a really good word. Because oftentimes, that's what companies look for is who to blame, and very much getting people to realize that we need to figure out what the mistakes being made quickly, and focus on how do we fix it, as opposed to how do we assign blame for it?
Shampa Bagchi 18:22
Umar Hameed 18:22
And also to get people to have courage because oftentimes in organizations, if there's a mistake being made, oftentimes people will hide it.
Shampa Bagchi 18:30
Umar Hameed 18:31
And so how do we build a culture where people go, "I got an issue," and then we can all discuss it. Like one of the things that drives me crazy is management teams meet, and when I think of the expense of a meeting of managers, let's say in a midsize organization, if everybody was a consultant, all the VPS would consultants, it all be charging $1,000 an hour, yo, probably more, and that meeting just costs the company $30,000.
Shampa Bagchi 18:56
Umar Hameed 18:56
And what we did was just do a check in how we're doing and what it should be is, what's the problem we can solve in this hour where get the smartest people in the room, doing something strategic for the company.
Shampa Bagchi 19:07
Umar Hameed 19:07
And then that becomes a balancing act for CEOs of how do you get people to focus on what's most important, and how do you get to make sure the culture stays strong? And then also, you know, get your job done?
Shampa Bagchi 19:21
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. It's, yeah, what is it is so absolutely right. And there is a balancing act right there. Because when the we are all in a meeting, we are really not doing that in a work that that pile of work is not getting smaller. But and we all know how much that meeting is costing us. But at the same time, if we don't do that meeting, it's probably going to cost us more. So that's, you know, one way of looking at things is, it's maybe we have it's costing us but what if we didn't have the meeting and then you know, those challenges that we resolved in the meeting, so those challenges really I've never really showed up in real life, which would have showed up if we did not have this meeting. So that's for me, you know, one way to keep perspective. And, and yep, so it's it's just making sure that those didn't probably that one or one and a half hours we are spending, we are spending in a correct way. And by correct way, I don't really mean it's always official, you know, sometimes in those meetings we have, we have just having a personal talk, we are just exchanging news about something that happened, you know, maybe you know, a family member, something about a family member. And, you know, as a CEO, you're always keeping track of that, you know, that, that time, but at that same time, that's what culture is made up off,
Shampa Bagchi 20:41
that's the glue that holds.
Shampa Bagchi 20:43
Exactly, exactly, there is no, you cannot assign dollar sign to it, you know, there is no dollar figure on that, you know, that's, that's what you build, when you're having these meetings, sometimes letting just the conversation flow. I mean, I mean, you can look at it both sides, sometimes if it gets too much, maybe, you know, you rein it back a little bit. But if you don't let that happen, then there is not going to be that bad bonding. And when something goes wrong, then people are not going to be able to lean on each other are not going to be able to trust each other enough to be able to say, "Here, you know, I made a mistake, maybe I goofed up," or, you know, maybe you did that one little thing you did, you know, maybe you know, that was not the right thing to do, because people will just be defensive and making sure they don't get the same.
Umar Hameed 21:25
Absolutely, I was working with a company out in Silicon Valley, where they hired me to come into work with the sales team, and it was like, we talked about selling on value, but our salespeople keep on selling on price and the discount helped us with this. And when we started looking at it, it turned out that it wasn't a Sales Department issue primarily, it was the sales department did not trust the engineering department, because the engineering department had said, "Hey, this new release is coming out on January 1st, this new product, go ahead, start selling it." And then we're in August, it still isn't out,
Shampa Bagchi 21:56
Umar Hameed 21:57
and then engineering is like we were talking to the marketing people, and they said this is what's going to be required two years from now start building this and that. And so there was a distrust between the departments. And when we solve that issue, the salespeople started selling, because they could trust that the customer is going to be looked after. So oftentimes, trust is such a critical element of what we do if we've got that foundation, we can be nimble, we can be quick, we can make mistakes, we can rebound very quickly. And so that's part of the job of the CEO is to how do you get people to put the team before self?
Shampa Bagchi 22:30
Umar Hameed 22:32
So before we park company, I've got three questions for you. Number one, what's the lesson you've learned in the last few years that you would go, "Yeah, let me share with you, this is what I learned, this how I learned it and this is like, really, really useful for me."
Shampa Bagchi 22:46
Yeah, um, yeah, there have been many lessons.
Umar Hameed 22:52
Shampa Bagchi 22:54
Yeah, so being a CEO being trying to manage people, you know, there are so many lessons. But yeah, there's something that I would like to know probably share with you as an entrepreneur, I learned my lesson as an entrepreneur in a, you know, slightly, you know, in a way, that's little difficulty when. So I have part of my team and I are working from India, especially the engineering team is working out by our office in India. And when I just had started off, we had this very one person whom I probably trusted more than I should have, and there was a lot of money that was stolen. And this was very early days of the company.
Umar Hameed 23:36
Shampa Bagchi 23:37
So I kind of in a lost faith, and I was that day, I was really upset with the fact that I was blaming myself, I was, of course, blaming that person, and I should not have trusted with that person with the money. So, and what happens is, when something like this happen, you tend to kind of lose sight of being able to even trust people.
Umar Hameed 23:56
Shampa Bagchi 23:56
And that very day, somehow I was even thinking of, maybe shut down that office and move over everything to more closer home here in the US, and all kinds of things were going on in my mind. And that very day, I will had to pick up somebody from a railway station in India, and so I was there. And I saw this person who was, you know, selling some trinkets, you know, probably has some 12 or 15, some trinket some toys kind of thing that he was selling. He really looked like, you know, he needed the money, he really looked like and his clothes were in tatters. He looked like he needed he hadn't eaten. So I just stole him that asked him how much that entire thing, the entire set cost, he gave me a number, I just gave it to him. And he started counting everything and handing me those making sure I got the exact number of that whatever he was selling. And I really didn't need those, so I didn't have any place for them in my house. I said., "I really don't need this, you know, you can keep that and sell it to another person." I was really trying to help that person but what he said, "No if you don't take this and I don't need the money, no, I'm an entrepreneur." So to me that that whole thing changed my perspective about what it means to be an entrepreneur, it is really not about that money you're making or losing, it is you know, that pride you have in when, however, you're helping your customer in whatever it is that you're selling your product or your service, how you're adding value to this world. So that person really opened my mind just by refusing to be anything more than a businessman or an entrepreneur.
Umar Hameed 25:27
Thank you so much for sharing that story. May I tell that story to others?
Shampa Bagchi 25:30
Oh, yeah, absolutely. Yes.
Umar Hameed 25:32
So it's kind of interesting oftentimes, we're so busy worrying about ourselves, and whatever mess we've gotten ourselves into.
Shampa Bagchi 25:40
Umar Hameed 25:40
We don't realize the universe or God or whatever you want to call it sends down messengers, which are other human beings,
Shampa Bagchi 25:40
Umar Hameed 25:47
just at the right time and way too many people miss that message.
Shampa Bagchi 25:52
Umar Hameed 25:52
And so paying attention and being present is really important.
Shampa Bagchi 25:56
Oh, absolutely. So this person, I really at that point of time, it was universe or gods or whoever was way of telling me that all is really not lost with the word. I mean, you have all kinds of different people, you know, having to have on one hand, you have people who will steal from you. On the other hand, you have such honest people know, who will kind of you know, have that be an entrepreneur, even if it means you're forgoing some, you know, money you really need, you could really use.
Umar Hameed 26:21
So Marcus Aurelius, Emperor of Rome, have written a book, and the book was about, you know, one chapter about family, politics, business. And it's like, you know, if your business associates and think turns badly, and is horrible, just consider this, "at least you're not dead."
Shampa Bagchi 26:39
Umar Hameed 26:39
The family chapter was the same the way it ended, "at least you're not dead."
Shampa Bagchi 26:42
Umar Hameed 26:42
And money will come and go,
Shampa Bagchi 26:44
Umar Hameed 26:45
and there's more than enough money out there.
Shampa Bagchi 26:47
Umar Hameed 26:47
Oftentimes, not in my hand, which is really upsetting. But if you do some, as long as you learned the lesson from it, we're not dead, we're going to go on, and that's what it means to be an entrepreneur.
Shampa Bagchi 26:57
Umar Hameed 26:58
And I heard something the other day somebody was mentioning, it's not making a ton of money, and then lying on a beach or whatever you want to do. Because then you're like, "Now what?"
Shampa Bagchi 27:09
Umar Hameed 27:09
It's the journey.
Shampa Bagchi 27:10
Umar Hameed 27:11
It's the entrepreneurial journey is the juice that keeps you going?
Shampa Bagchi 27:14
Umar Hameed 27:14
And if you're a composer is composing keeps you going, if you stop composing, you will die.
Shampa Bagchi 27:20
Umar Hameed 27:21
Not literally but the light in your soul is going to be diminished.
Shampa Bagchi 27:25
Absolutely. So it's...
Umar Hameed 27:28
Please go on.
Shampa Bagchi 27:28
It's never about the money that you get, It's never about what you're getting. It's about what, I believe it's about what you're being the person that you're being while you are working on your business. The person that you are the whatever you're learning, and the person you will be as a result of learning that those lessons that you are learning, you know, this is the journey that you have chosen to take, and is going to take you somewhere and it's all about that. Not so. So yeah, I totally agree with you.
Umar Hameed 27:57
Brilliant. This was such a delightful conversation. I can't wait for our next. Thank you so much for being a guest on the show.
Shampa Bagchi 28:04
Thank you so much, Umar. Thank you for having me.
Umar Hameed 28:11
If you enjoyed this episode, please go to iTunes and leave a five-star rating. And if you're looking for more tools, go to my website at nolimitsselling.com. I've got a free mind training course there, that's going to teach you some insights from the world of neuro-linguistic programming and that is the fastest way to get better results.