SMBs ditch your spreadsheets, ClinchPad.com has a simple CRM for youAbhash Kumar
This story is a part of ”Startup Spotlight’ series where we discover inspiring early stage startup stories which have been powered by the .com/.net domains. This is a series sponsored by Verisign. YourStory exercises full editorial control over these posts.
As operator of the infrastructure for .com and .net, Verisign enables the world to connect online with reliability and confidence, anytime, anywhere.
Small businesses get into the hassle of investing significant time and money into setting up a traditional CRM once they outgrow spreadsheets for tracking their business leads. But for most parts, a traditional CRM setup is not required unless the business has a 100+ sales staff. Currently, about 66% of small businesses don’t use a CRM and ClinchPad wants to change that.
ClinchPad is a modern CRM application, which unlike traditional CRMs, focuses on deals rather than contacts. Its main focus is on managing a business’ sales pipeline through a visual interface. It is targeted at small teams who need something simple to manage their business leads.“We are trying to bring a paradigm shift in the mindset of spreadsheet users by convincing them that ClinchPad is as simple and intuitive to use as spreadsheets, yet offers them a lot of benefits by taking a structured and a collaborative approach. To make this transition frictionless, we intend to keep our application very simple,” explains Cheenu Madan, Founder of ClinchPad.com.
Cheenu was working in New York City in a comfortable job building SaaS products for Bloomberg. “Despite this I was getting restless at my job as I always wanted to start something of my own. I finally quit my job and moved back to India where I started experimenting with various ideas,” he says.
The idea for ClinchPad came when the team was tracking business leads for another product. “We struggled to track leads using spreadsheets since they aren't really designed for it and we could not find any application catering to the needs of business owners with small teams as all the CRMs in the market are targeted at enterprises,” says Cheenu.
Getting to ClinchPad.com
Cheenu explains what went behind naming their website.
“We knew we had to get a .com domain name since our target audience is small businesses using spreadsheets. For many of them, it is the first time they're using a CRM or even any paid cloud-based service. So the barrier to adoption had to be super low, which meant that any non.com domain names or fancy names with letters dropped were out of the question.
We wanted to have a part of the name representative of what the software actually does so we used Clinch from the phrase ‘clinch a deal’ and started looking at words we could combine it with. It was surprising to see how many combinations of words were already taken. But in the end, we were happy with ClinchPad.com and I jokingly remarked on Facebook that the hardest part about running a startup is coming up with a name for your product.”
The small team at ClinchPad
Gaurav and Abhinav are the code warriors working across the entire stack from the backend operations to the mobile applications.
Madhav is the chief growth guy and champions all causes related to business development and fights for the users.
Mohan is the product evangelist and can be found driving ClinchPad's content initiatives across multiple platforms and blogging at the ClinchPad blog.
The user base at ClinchPad is growing by 10% every week and the team hopes to sustain this growth rate going forward. “We still focus a lot on getting feedback from our active users to improve the product,” says Cheenu.
The biggest challenge for Cheenu was to build a passionate team which shared a common outlook of building a great product company.
“Majority of the talent in India is averse to working with startups as the startup culture isn’t as advanced as it is in the west. Most of them want to be associated with big brands without realizing the immense knowledge and growth opportunities that a startup offers.”
They looked beyond the traditional recruitment portals and started interacting with talent at networking and startup events. The team also targeted students from premier institutes during campus drives in order to find the best talent. Working at ClinchPad comes with incentives like flexible working hours, work-from-home option, and no hierarchy etc.
“After an initial struggle, we now have an incredible team which is the core reason for the success of the product,” adds Cheenu.
“The riskiest thing I have ever done is to have left a comfortable job. I guess that’s the answer that every entrepreneur would give. In real life, I’m not too much of a risk taking guy. I won’t ever bungee jump, for example,” Cheenu signs off with a dose of honesty.