Kevin Price, Host of the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed Eric Winquist . Here’s that interview
About the interviewee
I am Eric Winquist, CEO of Jama Software. I founded the company in 2007 after witnessing first-hand the common frustrations companies face in delivering products to market. I have 20 years of experience in product development and entrepreneurship and I am passionate about reinventing product delivery in the enterprise by bringing people into the process. My background in the psychology of work and motivation helped to inform many of the innovations in Jama’s collaboration software.
Tell me about your firm (number of employees, location, type of companies you work with, etc.).
Jama Software is based in Portland, Oregon. The company has 125 employees and we’ve hired almost half of them in the past year! Jama Software was founded with the vision of transforming and modernizing product delivery at the world’s most innovative companies. We are one of the fastest-growing enterprise software companies in the United States. In addition, Jama has been repeatedly recognized as a model of growth and innovation, having recently been named to Forbes Most Promising Companies in America list twice and Inc. 5000 lists three years in a row.
What type and size of companies do you have as clients?
Jama Software primary serves enterprise companies that are focused on building incredibly complex products and software such automobiles, medical devices, semiconductors and consumer electronics, to name a few. Today, Jama has more than 600 customers including 24 of the Fortune 100 companies on their client list, in addition to 17 or the top 25 government contractors. Customers include Deliotte, SpaceX, Boeing, Comcast, Philips, Time Warner, GE, Merck, and Citrix, to name a few.
What comes to mind when you see this topic?
When it comes to sales, it’s really about knowing your customer and understanding their experiences and challenges. Today’s large, global companies are incredibly complex – they are very matrixed with overlapping reporting structures, teams are spread across multiple time zones with a growing reliance on outsourcing, understanding culture differences / barriers, etc. In addition, the products these companies are creating are equally complicated. For example, cars not only have more sophisticated individual components, but they also now have millions of lines of software code built into the system. So, when selling to enterprise customers, it is essential that you understand this complexity and that you provide a solution to can help them to better manage it, while still maintaining a focus on innovation.
What are the best practices when it comes to this issue?
At Jama Software, our marketing efforts have helped us to walk a mile in our customers’ shoes. For example, we defined a set of industry segments and the ‘personas’ to help us understand the type of culture and prevailing attitudes at large enterprises typical of our customer base. This helps guide our conversations with prospects. In addition, most enterprises are interested in solutions that can scale over time. While they may begin with a departmental or team solution, they generally want to understand that a provider can scale over time to meet the growing demands of their business, often across the globe. As a vendor, we need to demonstrate we can meet their business demands, not just today, but also into the future.