SalesTechStar Interview with Guillaume Laporte, Co-Founder & CEO at Mindsay
The most crucial skill that today’s marketer or salesperson needs is the ability to learn and adapt to new tools and technologies given that the technological landscape is evolving rapidly and no one can stick to the status quo for more than a year, catch more from this SalesTechStar interview where Guillaume Laporte, Co-founder and CEO at Mindsay shares his thoughts and insights:
Can you tell us a little about yourself, Guillaume? How did the idea of Mindsay come about?
I’m both a travel and technology enthusiast. I studied hospitality management rather than technology because I wanted to learn more about people. While working for Ritz Carlton and Expedia, I discovered the many customer experience pain points that still needed solving and saw how difficult it was for large companies to build and find technology to tackle these pain points.
I met my co-founders, Ilias (currently COO) and Pierre (currently CTO), while doing my Masters at HEC. Our “aha” moment came during Facebook’s F8 conference in 2016. Mark Zuckerberg announced the release of the Messenger App and the start of the bot era. Ilias, Pierre, and I quickly combined our experiences to start Mindsay and help companies solve their customer support problems through smart conversational chatbots.
How have you seen Marketing and Sales evolve in the B2B/Tech marketplace over the years? What are some of the most crucial skills that today’s marketer or salesperson needs more of, given their exposure to martech/salestech and the need to use these tools wisely?
There has been an explosion of martech/salestech tools, particularly related to CRM. The most crucial skill that today’s marketer or salesperson needs is the ability to learn and adapt to new tools and technologies. The technological landscape is changing very quickly, and it is impossible to accept the status quo for more than a year if you want your company to stay competitive.
Have you seen (can you share examples) leading brands successfully use and implement conversational AI / AI chatbots to help enable better customer experiences?
Absolutely! A lot of brands are seeing huge success. Oui.SNCF, the major rail company in France, has used conversational AI in many clever ways. Iberia, the leading airline in Spain, applies conversational AI on many channels, websites, mobile apps, social, and voice to improve passenger experience. In the US, Whole Foods has built a brilliant experience on Facebook Messenger to serve fans innovative, personalized recipes.
For a team that is set to implement Conversation AI platforms for the first time, what would your top tips for them be?
The most important thing is to analyze your Customer Service data, identify the pain points that should be automated, and build a business case with clear ROI. Once a company has identified the top 10 use cases and the corresponding ROI, it is easier to find the provider with the right capabilities to ensure automation and ROI. Mindsay has focused on automation for travel companies because their pain points are clearly identified. We allow companies to measure the results before any implementation has been performed.
How according to you will new innovations in technology sales/salestech (innovations like chatbots and other customer experience platforms) change the way sales functions in the future?
With all of the sales automation tools available, we’ll see a big change in peoples’ expertise as they strive to stay relevant and add value in a rapidly evolving ecosystem. In Sales and Marketing, chatbots have a big impact on lead qualification. Customers can learn about a product or a service without the help of a Sales rep. Therefore, a Sales rep’s expertise needs to be sharper than ever so that they can add value to the customer journey.
What according to you are the top 5 common mistakes you would tell teams to ensure they avoid when implementing/setting up their first chatbot flow/platform?
- Focus on the tech rather than the business
- Use a platform that is designed for IT / developers (not scalable)
- Use a provider that isn’t’ suited for the type of company (Enterprise vs Mid Market vs Freemium)
- Build a product for 3+ months before releasing it to users/consumers
- Use only informational rather than transactional use cases
As CEO, what are some of the top 5 best practices you follow to drive your team towards continued growth/success?
- Make sure you accomplish 3 things everyday. It gives a great sense of achievement and momentum.
- Regularly share and connect with your teammates as well as people from other organizations with similar roles
- Share and receive feedback with care. It’s the best way to learn.
- For any project, always think about how you can take an extra step. It feels good to improve and constantly add value!
- Take a step back and rethink your work and routines. It’s good to reflect and make adjustments.
We’d love to know a little about your future plans!
We are focused on helping the travel industry recover from the ROI crisis. Stay tuned!
Mindsay helps companies provide one-to-one care at scale with automated customer support and conversational marketing. Mindsay’s conversational AI solution allows companies to reduce costs by automating recurring requests, enhance customer experience by providing timely assistance, and boost sales by promoting ancillary services at the right time. Mindsay was founded in 2016 and is headquartered in Paris, France with offices in New York.
Guillaume Laporte is CEO & Co-founder at Mindsay.