Keeping up with the theme of Indian SaaS companies building global products, today we’ve JustCall. A company that started just three years back and has already reached $5million ARR. What’s even more impressive about the contact center company is the fact that it’s completely bootstrapped. We talk about the company’s inception, its evolution in such a short span, what gives it an edge, and more with the company’s International Business Manager, Sandeep Gaur.
PS: the interview has been edited for brevity.
1) Before we begin talking about JustCall, our readers would love to know your journey into the world of SaaS?
He replied “I am a mechanical engineering graduate. Sales and SaaS were really new to me when I graduated, and it was something that I had never heard of as well. However, I started my career with a SaaS + service industry, and there I got an idea of this industry. Then I got into SaaS Labs, the parent company of JustCall, and it’s here that I understood the space completely. Prior to this, my personal understanding was that they made it easier for buyers to get products at a cheaper price, and only upgrade if they wanted to. If you compare it to, let’s go a decade back, and even to get a decent antivirus for your computer, you had to purchase licenses.“
“And that has taken a shift. Now you get the products you need, and use them until the time you don’t. So I’d say that SaaS has also changed the buyer persona. It’s given people more options. That has also led to the growth of the SaaS industry,” he added.
2) What insights led you to the launch of JustCall?
Mr Sandeep Sharma stated “the major focus that we had in mind with Justcall was to build a robust product when it came to automation, integrations, and the user interface. I’d say that it’s a sales tool first, and then a SaaS product. UI is very important because if you consider a typical salesperson, he or she doesn’t enjoy technology that much. So, our goal was primarily to figure out the best and the cleanest UI we can offer. Then, we started working on integrations, and if you see the directory of integrations that we have right now, I’d say that it’s more than any other tool that’s out there in the market. I mean, we integrate with enterprise CRM as well as with small size offerings as well. More importantly, all our integrations are native and built in house. We’ve always believed in end-to-end deployment. So, these were the two things that we had figured out from the loopholes of the industry.“
Adding further, he said “the third was, if you look at any VoIP calling solution, the biggest loophole you’ll find is customer service. And there’s a reason behind it. It’s because the ticket size varies so much that customer service can be very difficult to provide support to everyone. But if we look at JustCall, the reviews that we’ve had, we’ve always been praised for our customer service. The reason for that is that we’ve never prioritized based on ticket size, and we’ve always given preference to our user experience, and ensure that the person who comes to us always gets the solution. If not, we always try and find the answer to help them out.”
3) Can you share the evolution of JustCall over the years?
He told us that “when I joined JustCall in 2017, we had a team of just 15 people. Today we’ve about 100 team members who’re working from across the world. In terms of the revenue, the first year, we had an ARR of close to $1million. And this financial year, we’re already close to $5.5million dollars. So, it’s been a great journey, and I’d say it’s the result of the combined effort by the team.“
“Another evolution that I’ve seen has been in terms of how our customers have evolved as well. When I had joined, there was a lot of conversation about the competition about how we can be better. And we’ve just highlighted that we’re a better solution. Now, after three years, I don’t have to really do that. Another change is that we move towards consultative selling. What that means is that companies ask us how JustCall can help them with their work, and we always have given how we can set it up, how we can build everything from scratch for their needs without taking more than 30 to 45 minutes,” he added.
4) What’s the current userbase of JustCall and what kind of industries are the biggest customers? Which are the biggest markets for you?
He commented that “we’ve always been focused on three major industries. The first has been real estate. Uh, the second has been the finance industry, and the third has been, uh, the medical industry. If you divide our user base in terms of demographics, 80 percent of our customers are from the US. Then about 15 percent of them are from Europe and the remaining are from the other parts of the world.“
While Mr Sandeep couldn’t divulge the exact numbers, he mentioned “the last time we checked the number of accounts connected to our service, we have around 9,000 or 10,000 of them.“
5) When we talk about contact center operations software, there are a lot of companies – both big and small. How does JustCall stand out amidst the competition?
He replied “As I mentioned earlier, the edge is our customer service. After that, I should say that our engineering is robust. There have been so many times that we’ve needed minor tweaks and our engineers have been able to push it in time. So those two pillars have been the most important aspect of our selling processes.“
“The third is consultative selling. As we’ve heard time and again that it should never be about projecting what you have, but nailing what the other person needs, I believe we’ve been able to succeed so far by focusing on the same,” he highlighted again.
6) What’s your go-to marketing strategy to reach out to potential users?
He said “we’ve both the traditional marketing channels as well as the new-age ones. The first and foremost is our CRM partnerships as they give us a lot of visibility. Then there are things like Adwords. We’ve also been building our own audience with webinars and podcasts, where we’re bringing customer interviews. So, there are a lot of channels for us now. If you’d have asked me about one and a half years back, it was more word of mouth, and now it’s the entire spectrum of things.“
“Another thing that I should highlight is that we focus on consultative selling, and we ensure that our communication reaches to potential customers. We also do rigorous follow-ups. You might have heard of the fact that 70 percent of the sales close on the seventh call, and we ensure that we stick to the same. We’ve continued to optimize this strategy over the years. And of course, there is a point of time when we give up the chase as well. We see these things as the benchmark of what we have to do,” he highlighted.
7) Could you share your biggest learnings of selling a product globally out of India?
“Honestly, I think there has been a big shift in customer perception. I had seen this because when I joined JustCall, there was a negative view of India, and we had to take a bit of the backseat in their mind. And today, when people ask me where you are from, I can proudly tell them that I’m from India. The reason behind that is I think because of the country’s involvement with the SaaS industry. There are a lot of good names in the space from India and each of these companies are competitive too, in their respective segments. So that has changed the buyer persona towards us as well.”
8) How has ongoing pandemic affected JustCall?
Mr Sharma told that “when COVID struck, nobody knew what was happening. And we were taken by a surprise, as the US was the biggest market for us, and it was also the one that got hit the worse. So, the initial two months were quite uncertain, but after that we had to switch gears. Instead of focusing on selling, we focused on awareness. We started doing a lot of webinars and built audiences. In fact, if you consider our first and second webinar, we got business worth of $1,100 and $1,500 MRR, respectively through the companies who attended them. That gave us confidence that JustCall is a product that’s ideal for the remote working I mean, of course, we’ve always been about people who are working remotely, but during the pandemic, we started emphasizing those aspects.“
9) What are your favourite SaaS products out there?
He answered “I’m a big fan of Zapier. We use it daily at JustCall, and I’ve been playing with it over the past three years. Then there’s HubSpot in terms of what it does with the marketing automation, and I also admire Asana. I also like Intercom for their business promotions and how they reach out to users.“