Interview with Daniel Araújo
Nowadays there are many different CRM tools that sales teams can choose to track their activities with leads. In order to close great deals sales teams have to gather all relevant information regarding their prospects but usually is hard to keep track of everything.
Daniel Araùjo, founder and CEO of Attentive.us may have the right solution for that. In fact, the company's motto is ‘We are attentive, so you don’t have to be’. The company provides a business tool that gives teams real-time insights about their leads, clients and competitors, like when they get investment, launch a new product or announced a key hire. Attentive can monitor all the contacts on Salesforce and Hubspot and contact sales reps proactively with any relevant update
Prior to Attentive, Daniel worked for 5 years at Google in Dublin and London.
Check out our exclusive Q&A session with Daniel:
What could the United States learn from the Portuguese start-up scene?
The startup ecosystem in Portugal is still very inicial, so we have more to learn from the US and they also have to learn from us. Let me give you a couple of clues of what I think is already working in Portugal. The first thing is the access to talent: there are many really good universities in Portugal, they have a big focus on not only the computer science degrees but they are also in English, so usually it’s easy to have an international team setup based here, which is a key factor.
Although I think that the network it’s small, on the other hand it’s very dense, so you can get to other founders super fast, it doesn’t matter if they are in other cities, as well as if want to have access to the big corporate partners - they all realize that it’s very important to keep developing this network. I think that these two things are really making a difference right now and have a lot of interest lately from international companies that want to move here too. So, all those combined are positive signs that the startup scene is really growing here in Portugal.
You studied in Porto, Paris and in Berkeley. Which place sparked your entrepreneurial spirit the most?
Porto is where I graduated and I remember that even in my freshman year I was 100% sure I wanted to have an entrepreneurial career for the rest of my life. They gave me the right tools to be able to accomplish that. In Berkeley, on the other hand, they gave me the right ambition to think globally instead of just thinking in a Portuguese or even European scale. I learned a lot there and I really felt I should use my skills in business and technology to have a global ambition for whatever I want to build.
Attentive helps sales teams to boost their performance. How so?
The first thing that Attentive does to boost the sales teams’ performance is to remove the part that they hate doing - which is data entry. They usually spend a third of their time just filling out forms, saying ‘I created a lead yesterday’, ‘I talked to this customer’, ‘I've had a longer call’. They hate doing that, and for a good reason They are sales people, they want to talk to customers, they want to add value, they want to nurture relationships, and not just fill out forms. The first thing that Attentive will do is to remove that bit, so they can focus on what they do best. With that information, we can start making intelligent predictions saying “these are the numbers of the deal you have that will probably close this month and this is how much revenue you are going to bring in” and even start making smart suggestions to each individual rep saying “you have very successful with this type of company before” or this type works better with this type of interaction with customers so this is a very important deal for you or “here there are ten other deals that are similar to the one that you pull successfully in the past. We have this coach like approach to sales removing the stuff that they hate doing and that’s the way that Attentive can really help sales teams to boost their performance.
At the beginning of this year, Attentive moved to Boulder, Colorado. Why exactly did you move?
Last year we were living in Portugal, where we are originally from and we decided we wanted to make the shift to the United States. We talked to a lot of partners, other founders, trying to get their feedback on how should we make that shit and what would be the best way to do it. The feedback was to do it with an acceleration program that fade?? Our company sculpture. After talking with many of them, we really pit Ted or tex stars as the main partner to do it. Even with tex starts they have several programs across the world, but .. we just kept hearing about the incredible culture in Boulder, super supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem and we wanted to be part of it, so that’s why we picked it as our first choice.
Before founding Attentive, you used to work at Google for five years. What can you tell us about your time there?
I worked at Google for 5 years and doing essentially two different jobs: the first one was working with free products, especially Google Chrome and Google Maps and then the second part I was a sales analyst, I was crunching all the numbers on the sales team for a couple of years and that's really where the idea of Attentive came out. In terms of the Google culture it's really all that you can expect it the company that really transform me as a professional. I learnt a lot from the way the Google hires the way Google assesses performance.
What is your longterm vision for Attentive?
We think about the way that people will consume information in the next ten or twenty years. The way that we think it will happen is that we will request less information but we will have access to more information, so to achieve that we will need to have a tool that it’s much more proactive in the way that it shares information with us. It should be much more contextual and know “I need this information right now”. It doesn’t matter if you work in sales or if you wanna consume information form the news, what is relevant is that instead of you saying
You need to use a lot of different signals to figure out what information people need before they need that. That’s what we are doing with Attentive - we are starting in sales. Sales teams require a lot of information to do their job properly and in our view it’s not really the best way to do sales if you shoot ten thousand emails in a day to see which one sticks, that’s not how we approach. We are thinking much more about a consultative approach in sales where you really try to add value to each customer and for that you need the right information. Attentive is going to provide it as step one. Step two: to use the exact same concept and apply it to other areas of business and make a big difference in every job that we can affect. This is why our tagline says:” We are Attentive, so you don’t have to be”.