[00:00:03] Adil Saleh:
Hey, greetings everybody. This is Adil from Hyperengage Podcast. We spoke about email marketing, we spoke about engagement intelligence, we spoke about market intelligence, mobile app intelligence. In past two years, we had so many founders coming up sharing up their stories of their products and teams and how they're getting diverse and how they're getting impacted by generative AI. The new transition that we have today, we have Jenper He's, the co founder at Flowla. That's a European platform. Primarily it's more of a European platform, but they're trying to tap into the North American market and it's more towards email engagements, email marketing, how to get over the email experience and have them smarter workflows, have smarter engagements and touch points. So thank you very much, Yelp, for taking the time today and we have so much to explore with you at Flow.
[00:01:12] Alper Yurder:
Thank you. Adil, thanks for having me. My pleasure.
[00:01:16] Adil Saleh:
Love that, love that. So, looking at your background, Alper, the first question that I had, I was kind of curious when I looked at your platform, you ignited more towards enterprise segment. You serve more as an enterprise, someone that serves enterprise experiences, enterprise motion, that's more high touch, that's not so much of self serve models and shit. So based on your experience and your background, how do you see it fits more into building a product like Flowla over the years? Like, how did that experience transition you to be a co founder at Flowla?
[00:01:59] Alper Yurder:
Yeah, that's a good question. I think it's a combination of a few things really. It's three things. One that brought my experience of being an enterprise sales complex. Sales I saw a lot of times. First of all, as a sales rep, I had this challenge that sales is a very complex process. 50 emails, 100 stakeholders, 2000 documents, all shared all the time and then lost. And it's very painful for everybody. So I was always dreaming like, can we have just one single link or one single platform to exchange all this and to close deals faster, smoother. Then as I start investigating the space, I realize that buyers are actually even more, are feeling the pain even more than us sellers because they're on the receiving end of lots of information. Oftentimes they will get information they didn't ask for and then they will be chasing sellers for the information they're actually asking for. And there's definitely this paradigm shift around how buyers want to buy, especially after COVID, how we're becoming all very independent and self. We want to be self empowered and autonomous and we want to make our decisions on our own time in an async way. I think that paradigm shift has definitely accelerated our idea of building flawless as well.
[00:03:21] Adil Saleh:
Very interesting, talking about optimizing buyer experience, we've had so many products coming up with retail industry, they are more towards ecommerce, they're working with suppliers and providers that with tiny little margins and they're trying to bring in the best experiences for best digital buying experiences for them. So how do you see flola can be different? Of course, you just started a few years back, just more than a year. So how do you see it transition out to a broader industry, mostly in the North America? You talk about the tech in North America. There are so many gaps when it comes to buyer experiences, when it comes to making sure you have data analytics, you have intelligence to analyze the buyer experience, to have it streamlined for different vendors. So how do you tap into this technology initially? And of course it is tied to the pain. There's going to be 150 different platforms serving that one pain. How do you see yourself standing out at Flora and how do you think that you are serving this problem in a slightly different capacity than the rest of the market?
[00:04:46] Alper Yurder:
So, first of all, I think when I so it's been almost a year that we started building, as you say, and in this time span, I probably have spoken to maybe over thousands of founders and sales leaders and CROs and starting with ex colleagues, and then just tapping into markets that I've never spoken with. From Singapore to the US. And et cetera. There's some common emerging pain points, some common things that everybody is struggling with and trying to solve for. So one of them, for example, is a lot of sellers salespeople are left in the dark about the buying process of their buyers. They don't really know how the buyer led to how buyer's journey ended up in their product. Even if they're asking those questions, maybe sometimes they don't get the direct answer. So they're a little bit in the dark about how the buyer will continue their journey with the product. Fola definitely sheds a light on from the moment of that first contact with your content, with your salesperson, with whatever you're sharing. An interaction between the buyer and the seller starts and is captured in the platform, which then gives an idea of, okay, now we have the champion in. But as they share that link with other people in the organization, you have your other stakeholders, which normally you'd been left in the dark and you'd have no idea if they're actually being exposed to your material or not. That gives you obviously not just information, but the ability to follow up in a more timely and reasonable way than just endless chasing and I'm being ghosted and then everybody's upset. So from that very simple data point to getting deal insights about how are people engaging with your content, at what step they're spending the most time, at which step they're inviting new stakeholders, which comments, which conversations are happening within the platform, or through email, which we pull inside to the platform. So those are very specific deal insights that eventually help accelerate the sales process. We have users like remote deal user guiding with whom we do case studies around 30% to 40% accelerated sales cycles simply because they just send everything in one link and no longer have to be lost in those 50 emails and things getting lost and things getting buried, three weeks waiting for somebody to come back from the office, et cetera. It's all in one link. Transparent, visible and collaborative for everyone.
[00:07:12] Adil Saleh:
Very interesting. Before I jump into your post sales journey for your customers, all the segments that you have over the past one year, I just wanted to ask one question like you have been compared with platforms more in the outreach side, more in the pipeline management side. So how do you see we came across flows, we came across pipedrive, we came across I would not say CRM because you have an integration with CRMs which is most of the sales and revenue teams they of course live inside. So how Flola enables these revenue teams to ensure success and forecasting the journey for their buyers and prospects when it comes to sales and talking about account executives and kind of sales that are having visibilities across the team and organization they're more concerned about how they're converting their prospects into the customers. So how does that all journey enables a leader into the rebel team inside Flowla?
[00:08:25] Alper Yurder:
I think the first and foremost thing to say here is that buyers love it. And when buyers love it then as salespeople you have to just follow the lead. Like every day we get messages from people sending a float to their prospect, to their buyer and they receive a link and it's all there. They can consume at their own time. It's a great UX experience. It's a bit like watching Instagram stories when they have questions to ask, they can address it directly there, it's just all in one place and everybody's sick and tired of emails and being buried under. So at that very 1st second you capture the buyer's attention which is exactly what you're looking for. And because the buyer engages with the flow more than an email and they are going into your space and your product has better chances of actually being seen and therefore being sold. Right? And as each time the buyer interacts with that then you as a seller you get to see the insights like how are they interacting, et cetera, et cetera. So all of that then makes it kind of like a no brainer. Generally our power users, they'll send their first flow from the first week and throughout that week they'll send others and they just get hooked up because in the words of one sales head it's like 20 seat organization or so which is quite significant for a one year old seed stage SaaS product like us. For him it was like even if for nothing else the fact that I differentiate the way I sell with Flola, it's just an amazing experience for the buyer. But even more importantly, it signals that we're sexy, we're new, we're cutting edge, we know our shit, we know what we're because you get to see a mutual action plan with every step. You mentioned the CRM. The CRM is the point of truth, the source of truth for the seller, but the buyer doesn't have that. The buyer, although you believe you tell them everything in that first call and you leave a call thinking it was a great call, this is definitely going to close, you end up being ghosted two weeks down the line. It appears like they had no idea what you were talking about, et cetera, et cetera. So all of those misalignments, we give you the chance to remove those and we help you convert Vinable deals. So if the deal is winnable, so if the product is sellable, we'll help you convert it.
[00:10:38] Adil Saleh:
That can have an amazing impact when you talk about the small to mid size market. So starting off last year, how you thought of targeting and positioning your product in terms of starting with startups or maybe small to mid sized businesses and then going up market as a co founder, how you see the potential into your existing user base, install base, how many customers you have right now, active users. I do see you have a free plan. So that is of course always changing a paid plan. So you're trying to align your efforts, tech stack and strategies go to market strategies towards converting those premium to paid customers. So how does that workflow works amongst your leadership, you being a co founder?
[00:11:29] Alper Yurder:
I think the funny thing is I'm a first time founder, I've been a fresh founder for one year. My whole career has been consulting and sales over a decade. The first thing you'll realize is how quickly things change when you're trying to build something from the ground. And we started this from a real pain, which is great because sometimes I see founders just find a pain somewhere and they haven't really been through it so it really helps. But still we fine tune our ICP, we fine tune who actually becomes a power user for us quickly, et cetera, et cetera, all of that. Long story short, at the moment where we see the best traction is probably startups as SMBs. Because if there are founders or organizations where, for example, we do have quite a few seed stage or series a stage type companies who use us frequently because those people are trying to a differentiate the way they sell. While their buyers stand out from the crowd, make sure that their product is being sold in a way that doesn't leave any space to, or at least minimum space to human error. So as I say, if the deal is winnable, let's win it. And generally those people don't have hours, thousands of dollars to spend on hefty sales processes. In the words of sales consultant he mentioned. Really nicely. You help build a lightweight sales process for those guys, which is enough for that moment. Right? So generally we get up to anywhere up to 500 employees. That's still, by the way, where there is pulse if anybody is listening and looking for ideas about where to grow. I think any organization above 500, like, there's budget free talk, there is new stakeholders coming in, which is why I think our product is very timely. The CFO suddenly gets involved in the smallest decision where they wouldn't appear. So that's where we have the best traction, I think.
[00:13:23] Adil Saleh:
Cool. Wonderful. So when it comes to your post sales journey in the first year, you focus more towards creating best onboarding experiences, making sure all of your customers are pretty much adopting to the platform and you're not so focused on expanding them, but retaining them, making sure that they are actively using the platform. What kind of efforts and strategies you have put in place to ensure that any technologies you're using. And also, we also wanted to ask and jump into how many active customers that you guys are dealing with right now.
[00:14:01] Alper Yurder:
To answer the last question first, I don't have off the top of my head, but I don't even know if I can disclose that number because just.
[00:14:09] Adil Saleh:
Give a rough idea.
[00:14:10] Alper Yurder:
[00:14:12] Adil Saleh:
Just give a rough idea. We're not talking about the paid customers, we're talking about active users.
[00:14:16] Alper Yurder:
[00:14:17] Adil Saleh:
It can be one user that would.
[00:14:20] Alper Yurder:
Be in the thousands for sure.
[00:14:22] Adil Saleh:
[00:14:22] Alper Yurder:
And in terms of paying customers and et cetera, that's a topic that I think every competitor is trying to reach out to at the moment. So I won't disclose it here and make their job that easy.
[00:14:34] Adil Saleh:
That's fair enough.
[00:14:36] Alper Yurder:
What was the onboarding experience? That's a very cool and interesting one because I'm a first time product builder as well, and sometimes I wear my product head way too much that I'm being told of. Like, you've given up your sales head, which is very true because they're very different things. Onboarding wise, I think great. UX. Definitely from first day we've come a long way. Like, it's easy, breezy, single sign on, like the no brainer things. I'm not going to mention all these product managers and engineers listening will be like, whatever. But I think one thing that is really crucial, if you look at the growth of Notion, for me, the moment Notion cracked it, I was hesitant to use Notion for three years and being grilled by yeah, when did you start adapting to Notion?
[00:15:19] Adil Saleh:
I started adapting back in 2020. It's almost like three years.
[00:15:24] Alper Yurder:
And what was the one?
[00:15:26] Adil Saleh:
Now I have four team spaces. I have four different billings with Notion and how they evolve apart from the UI changes, the way they have integrated AI, the way they have integrated pages into it, tables into it, they're trying to replace. It was just a documentation platform back in the years, but now it's more of a product management, project management and account management. You can absolutely use it. Like, I have a business that does digital marketing curative work for B, two B tech companies out in North America. So they're using Notion for the onboarding, for project management, for reporting, all of that. So it has evolved in quick succession and it's all product led growth.
[00:16:21] Alper Yurder:
I think with Notion, what really changed the game for them was when they discovered making great templates, which is the same for us. When a user joins Flowla, the first thing we ask is actually Flowla AI does this for you. They will pull your company information. They will say, Why are you going to use a flows for? You can say I'm going to sell to an SMB. I'll use it for business development, closing onboarding, whatever the use case. And then the AI will just spit out like an initial flow for you, which is kind of a best practice thing. Or we have a pool of a library of best practices like our users who are very happy to share their flows with us because it's sort of community building for them, it gives more exposure to their product, et cetera. So all those variety stuff, definitely. But I think where it makes most sense in terms of onboarding is when you crack, the cost benefits equilibrium when you make it. So no brainer that the cost of creating a flow is almost negligible. It's like you can create it in 1 minute, better than writing an email. But then the benefit is it will actually lead to a deal versus your email will be lost and it will kill your deal.
[00:17:36] Adil Saleh:
[00:17:37] Alper Yurder:
So I think that cost benefit equilibrium is working much better now than a year ago.
[00:17:42] Adil Saleh:
You do AI. Like generative AI. I'm so glad to hear that you're training your internal data model as well by taking feedback from the existing customers, taking their best practices, you're recording all of that and you're trying to learn those patterns, exceptional behaviors to create a best experience. So how far are you? I know that there are so many platforms leveraging Generative AI on a baseline, like taking their data, their language models, and building something similar or on an advanced level, just like HubSpot. They have their internal database that they're training their own data models, and they're giving exceptional experiences, and they're giving customized experiences, overlapping the data points with CAD, CBT. So how far you are towards that? Because today, in this day and age, we are about eight, nine months, about a year into transition of Chat GBT and all that stuff. But now users, they are well familiar with it. They have their own paid Chat GBT account. They can use it, absolutely, but they're more interested in customized experiences that are more relevant to them. So, since you mentioned that you're recording or taking feedback or templates from existing users, you're absolutely recording those experiences. How? As a platform, Lola is trying to make efforts towards bringing machine learning into play, data science into play. For the existing data models.
[00:19:23] Alper Yurder:
I think there's two questions there. One, I'll answer the insights bit, and then in terms of sharing, the best practice, the first bit about insights is, as a sales leader, you get to see your CRM and you get to hear what your salesperson tells you. And now, of course, you can just listen to their calls. And if you have all that time and something is analyzed, et cetera, but the actual interaction between the buyer and the seller, what are they sharing? At what point, how are the Q A's going? If something is happening via WhatsApp, et cetera, you don't have access to that data. So when you go into flola the deal, insights that you'll get are about how your content is being consumed. Bit like Instagram again, so it's quite consumer based. And the data that you'll get is quite different from the CRM because it actually shows you at what step the deal stagnates, at what step or stage people spend the most time. When you look at a mutual action plan, you can see how fast or slowly something is being executed. When a champion joins the conversation, do they invite their other stakeholders promptly or not? And you can just intervene just on time. So what we do is very much that's the paradigm shift, I think, that I'm talking about, which is from a seller based view. We're going into a buyer based view because the buyer actually dictates the buying process as much as the seller are thinking you're selling something, right? So that's the one thing, the difference.
[00:20:50] Alper Yurder:
The next question was, yeah, best practice sharing. The way we see our product vision is this we want to create a sales companion for the sales rep who is closing deals, and we want to create a sales companion for the leader who's trying to improve their team's performance. But the way we do that is less than policing on things, but more giving people best practice. So what do I mean by that? If a certain content is working really well for sales reps flows, why not share that content with others so they can put it to their flow as well? If a mid performer is creating certain activities and following up in different intervals versus a high performer, why not share those best practices and actually improve the team performance? So when a sales leader goes into the flow of the platform, they see two things. One, how does the deal move? Does it move? And what kind of activities the rep has to do for the deal to move right from a buyer's standpoint? And two, a general overview of the pulse of all your different deals. Which one is on fire? Which one is dead? Where do you focus your energy and those are the two main questions. Generally you have as a sales reader. Like the second one especially like, where are my people spending their time on? Yes. Are they multithreading? Are they making sure they're speaking to the right champion? Does this deal have only one person who joins the flow? Therefore, it has very little chance of closing. So on your one on one, you can say like these five deals that I see, they have only one person who looked at it like two weeks ago. What are we doing with those? So all those insights are in Flow.
[00:22:27] Adil Saleh:
Love that. Love that. That you're bringing in cool, intelligent insights into the platform and it can act as an augmented tool for account executives and SDRs VDRs that are augmented.
[00:22:46] Alper Yurder:
That's what I do. I'll steal words when people play words back to me. I love it.
[00:22:52] Adil Saleh:
Yeah. Because I get to hear a lot that these folks like salespeople. They're sitting most in salesforce and they are dealing through complicated data stacks, complicated data points that they don't understand. They cannot take action on it's not for them. They don't care.
[00:23:10] Alper Yurder:
Like a sales rep for them generally let's be political here, but salesforce generally is something they have to deal with. But Flowla is something that helps them to close a deal. So that's, I guess, one of the differences.
[00:23:25] Adil Saleh:
Absolutely. So now one last question about this Flowla. Now, are you using any B, two B platform? Like, any platform that can help you stay on top of your posts journeys, like onboarding adoption, customer expansion, seeking opportunities, indicating risks. Are you using any kind of data analytics platform on top of your product usage? I know that you've shared that you have loads of active users. So how you're ensuring success for sales?
[00:24:00] Alper Yurder:
Absolutely. One tool that I didn't know of and I think we all love at the moment is Intercom. Yeah. And it's not a space that I'm very familiar with because, as you know, I'm not a product guy, but I love using Intercom that gives like aggregate level idea of how your users are interacting with your product. Helps us figure out our ICP, et cetera. That's really cool, to be honest. Flow provides a similar approach. Like, for example, when you send the product flow to a startup and you start it's circulating from one person to twelve people and then eventually to the decision maker, that kind of serves the purpose from a different angle. Not many intelligence platforms because we're not very complex, but of course I know the likes of Clary or Gong, which are quite cutting edge. I know Epstein, the UK is a good one. Not really our cup of tea just because of where we are and size. I do use an outreach tool. I've used a couple of them. Yeah, I think our tool stack is quite clean at the moment and we like to keep it that way. Honestly, we try to eat our own dog food. For example, I know you like notion and I do too, but notion I'll only use for internal. For me it's always like a good organizational product. Internal knowledge sharing. Internal knowledge capturing, not even sharing. Capturing I think is the right word. But for example, I know a lot of people used to use notion pages as salespeople to follow up. Just something you scroll for 2 seconds, static, nothing like the flow experience, which is very personable, et cetera. But yeah, we do use some other tools.
[00:25:48] Adil Saleh:
Interesting. So thank you very much, we are pretty much on the time. Thank you very much for your time today.
[00:25:55] Adil Saleh:
One last question before I set you free. That is how you guys are planning on heading towards marketing traction. You got good market positioning, there's a bit of competition that you're trying to find a unique proposition, mainly in North America. I know that you've got so many regulations out in Europe. So how you're trying to move as a business model? I'm sure you are a user based model and you must have loads of free users that you're trying to convert and setting systems in place and trying to make sure you have the best product market fit in one and a half, two years. So are you looking for any funding opportunities, any accelerator that you're trying to join? What is your biggest go to market strategy for the next two years?
[00:26:49] Alper Yurder:
Oh wow, that's a lot of questions. Let's start with our guiding start. Our no start is I think the user like who uses us and why? Why should they even care about flow? What's it going to help them with? So that's something that probably I try to iterate every day. That's the most important thing. Like why are you relevant? Because I see so many products which become like fads and people use it for a while and then retention, even the biggest intelligence platform, you see how much value they're losing. So I think that's the North Star in terms of the growth plan. We have closed our funding round and we do have a very significant runway. I think these are times where you have to be careful and to be honest, yes, it is a competitive space, but it's a very new space as well. I think Buyer Enablement, which is our hashtag generally for our category hashtag Buyer enablement, is still quite young, fresh. So I see some of our competitors who've been maybe a year or so ahead of us making some way with their marketing effort and then people will try them and come to us and they'll feel it's better, so they stick with us. So I thank our competitors for that, for educating the market. But I don't think we'll be going like super aggressive until we have that perfect PMF which you mentioned. I think in this time and space it doesn't make sense. And for us what's key and what we love is now not growth, horizontal growth, but it's more like vertical growth. Like when we go into an organization, do we become viral, do people start using us? Do we add new seats? And when we see signs of that and actually all our effort is on that now, and I would suggest anybody to do the same, I think that's what VCs are also looking for. Are you expanding within an existing organization or is it just like one, two seat, got you good to have kind of thing.
[00:28:47] Adil Saleh:
Yeah, because just last thing I want to mention in the first two years, it's always trying to drive your efforts as founders more towards educating people, towards having must to have platform, to nice to have platform. So I believe every platform in a B two B space, in the B, two B SaaS space can be a must to have platform if packed with the right marketing, right education, right awareness, right systems, right experiences, and right leadership at the back. So if you make the best decisions on the top line, the bottom line will follow. So it's just about making sure you have, let's say, 50 to 100 customers that are actively using the platform and they are feeling it like every day. And you're thinking that it's making an impact every single day. That's a huge success. Some companies take three to five years in the first place. Yeah. So I really appreciate, Alper, for your time.
[00:29:57] Alper Yurder:
[00:29:58] Adil Saleh:
Definitely hit up. We'll definitely hit up since you're in Turkey, so probably in the next ten years, this is the only time I'll be in Turkey, so let's see if we can catch up if we can catch up later in the month and we sit down and talk.
[00:30:16] Alper Yurder:
Yeah, absolutely. My pleasure. Thanks for having me.
[00:30:20] Adil Saleh:
It's my pleasure. Only my pleasure. Have a good rest of the day, Alper.
[00:30:24] Alper Yurder:
Thank you you. Bye bye.
[00:30:26] Adil Saleh:
Thank you. Bye bye.