SalesTech Star

SalesTechStar Interview with Pouyan Salehi, CEO and Co-Founder of Scratchpad

Fewer salestech tools that help target most of your sales operations and sales tasks are always a better choice than implementing too many sales technologies to help drive sales efforts! Pouyan Salehi, CEO and Co-Founder of Scratchpad chats about the Scratchpad platform and a few thoughts on the evolving salestech market in this QnA:


Hi Pouyan, we’d love to hear about your journey… tell us about the Scratchpad platform as well..!

I am very passionate about creating delightful user experiences and meaningful products that provide value to customers. Before Scratchpad, my co-founder (Cyrus Karbassiyoon) and I had participated in YCombinator, which resulted in us founding another startup in the sales engagement space called PersistIQ. Through that experience, we learned that while top of the funnel sales tools are important to sales professionals, there is a ton of work in the mid-to-later stage funnel that’s still being done outside of Salesforce. 

We founded Scratchpad in 2019 as the first workspace for revenue teams after observing the challenges salespeople were experiencing in their day-to-day workflows. In less than 30 seconds, sales professionals can sign up and use Scratchpad either as a web app or a Chrome plug-in. Scratchpad instantly connects to Salesforce and gives sales reps the fastest experience to access and update Salesforce, their pipeline, sales notes and to-dos. Salesforce still serves as the database of record while the Scratchpad workspace is where sales professionals work. Scratchpad is a modern tool that fits naturally into an account executive’s workflow and actually helps them sell.

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Can you talk about Scratchpad’s latest tool that’s been launched for revenue teams? What are some of its core benefits? What other innovations from Scratchpad can users look forward to over the next year?

We’re really excited about the latest feature we’ve launched called Scratchpad Command. Scratchpad Command enables sales pros with the ability to bring Salesforce, tasks, contacts, notes, and to-do lists anywhere they need to be through any web app. Instead of having to open multiple tabs for a variety of software applications, we thought it would be a better experience to bring Scratchpad where account executives need to be. So, with a simple keystroke (Command+J for Mac users or Ctrl+J for Windows users) reps can make incredibly fast updates to any Salesforce object or record anything they need to at the speed of thought. 

In one click, users can create a new contact, account, opportunity, task, or activity and make updates to any custom field or object in Salesforce. Account executives can develop, update, and sync important deal notes from anywhere, eliminating the need to ever log into Salesforce directly, bounce between other sales tools, or be burdened with time-consuming copying and pasting from one application to another. Additionally, sales leaders benefit from instant access to updated Salesforce data while working within their favorite forecasting tools and BI systems, or custom-built internal reporting dashboards. 

As we look forward over the next year, we’ll continue to deliver product innovation rooted in speed, simplicity, and productivity. With tabs, clicks, fields and slow load times as a manifestation of the inefficiencies in CRMs, getting rid of these pain points in the sales cycle is just the beginning of how we see the future of Scratchpad and the future of sales.

Can you talk about some of the other sales technologies from around the world that are changing the game for sales and revenue teams in different capacities?

We’re seeing a lot of new tech and startups coming out that are really focused on changing the way sales professionals and revenue teams work. One company that we’re hearing a lot of good things about, both internally and externally, is Sonar, which is an early-stage startup on the operations side of the house. While we’re doing fundamentally very different things, we’re solving a similar problem. Sonar allows teams to visualize how all their data is connected and used across related systems, and automatically document every change to your data. 

We’re also seeing innovation in the demo space. Instead of relying on Zoom, companies are creating a better presentation experience specifically tailored to the sales demo experience. 

What do you think the future of salestech is set to look like? A few predictions for the salestech landscape for the rest of 2021?

We expect to see a strong emphasis on companies that are building technology and building experiences that empower account executives, account managers, and sales engineers to do their best work. I believe that Scratchpad is leading the charge on that. If you look at everything from our onboarding experience (which takes less than 30 seconds), to ease of use and the actual amount of time sales reps are saving on a daily basis, the entire Scratchpad experience is built for the end user. Up until now, there’s been a lot of promise, but the delivery has always fallen short.

Another trend will be around collaboration. Due to all the changes we’ve seen over the last year and with more and more companies staying remote, we’re going to see the sales cycle getting more complex. There are more people involved in the deal making process and the handoff process, so how can sales professionals successfully collaborate while being in a remote work setting? The end goal of these technologies should focus on how we make life easier for sales professionals, so they can get back to their job, which is selling and creating revenue for their respective companies.

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How according to you will the typical salesperson of the future need to evolve in order to tie more efforts to sales automation (what skills and processes will need to change to adhere to this trend)?

I’d actually take a counter opinion to this. Over the last few years, we’ve seen sales professionals have to adapt to automation and there’s a thought that maybe we’ve overdone it. If a tool is truly automated, it should be intuitive and simple, and essentially running in the background. At Scratchpad, we believe sales professionals should be spending as much of their time as possible talking to prospects and customers, building connections, understanding the opportunities and challenges that potential customers have and then helping bring solutions to them. Every tool, system and automation should support that role. Instead of the sales executive needing to evolve, tools and technologies need to evolve to make it easier for sales professionals to do their job so that they can spend more time working on the activities that are going to deliver the most results and help them be at their best.

A few thoughts on what you feel today’s sales leaders need to do to motivate, train and uplift their teams to optimize business and sales performance.

I would say that this really depends on the certain role within the sales life cycle. However, one thing that we are really committed to within our own sales team at Scratchpad is recognizing that while process matters, it’s important to understand that everyone has a slightly different way of getting their job done. The focus should be on individuals and giving them enough freedom and flexibility to be able to take the process that’s been defined at the company and adapt it to how they work best. That might mean that I just have a slightly different approach in the way I talk about something compared to another member on my sales team, but the core information remains the same and the deal will still close. As a sales leader, it’s important to recognize those nuances, that people might operate differently, but ensure that you create space for that to happen.

And the sales technologies you feel sales teams should have more of (implementation / better training) to drive goals?

In terms of the technologies that sales teams should have more of, I’d actually take a counter approach to this as well, and say that there should actually be less. There is a very real sales tool fatigue that exists. We’ve given sales professionals so many tools and have put so much focus on utilizing those tools versus the actual sales performance. This is why what we’re doing at Scratchpad is so important. The concept of the workspace matters because it simplifies the entire process and reduces the number of tools and hoops that salespeople have to jump through in order to get their work done.

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Scratchpad helps sales temas update Salesforce, take sales notes, and stay on top of to-dos. The platforms is specially designed for AEs.

Pouyan Salehi is the CEO and Co-founder at Scratchpad

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