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InfoQ Homepage News The CRM Landscape as Viewed by Teamleader

The CRM Landscape as Viewed by Teamleader

Last month, Teamleader won the HenQ award of the Boost competition at The Next Web Europe 2015 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Shortly after that, Teamleader announced a 2.8 million dollars investment round. Teamleader's CEO Jeroen De Wit discusses about the present and future of CRM systems.

Congrats for winning the henQ award at The Next Web last week in Amsterdam. Could you introduce your product to our readers and outline the next steps for Teamleader?

Teamleader is an online platform to manage business administration in service-based SMB’s. CRM, invoicing and project planning in one tool.

You can manage your customer data, follow up on leads, create and send quotations, create and send invoices and manage your projects. There’s a certain flow in Teamleader: You add a contact to Teamleader. You plan calls and meetings in your agenda to follow up on him. You call him thanks to the Voice over IP integration using in-browser call functionality. You create and send a quotation. When the quotation is accepted, you can convert the quote in an invoice in just a single click, or start a project with milestones and connected tasks and invoice the timetracking on that project later on.


Can you explain the competitive landscape in the CRM space and how you fare against it?

Most SaaS tools provide a solution for a niche market. Either they make a solution for one specific sector, or they make a tool to manage one part of your administration, like invoicing or project planning.

Teamleader covers all core needs of the SMB. You only need one tool, which makes managing your administration much less complex and cheaper. Teamleader also integrates with a variety of tools, like accounting apps, google apps, iCloud, mailing tools and many more. We try to integrate with local applications in every country and provide free support in the local language to adapt to the culture of every country. is the undeniable king of CRM's for the enterprise, how can you compete with that for the SMB needs?

Salesforce is indeed the best known CRM player for enterprises. We don’t try to compete with Salesforce, as that would be an impossible task. Instead, we try to complement them by targeting an audience that isn’t fit for the Salesforce CRM. Teamleader is the better tool for SMB’s as it’s simpler and much cheaper. Teamleader has a lot of the same features which Salesforce has, just less complex and less in depth, but that’s exactly what the SMB’s are looking for. We like to consider us as the Salesforce for the SMB.


Where is the CRM industry headed and how is Teamleader positioning itself for the future? 

It’s hard to say which direction we’re going, as our plans and ideas are changing as fast as technology does. A few things are clear, though. Mobile becomes more and more important and we cannot deny that. Our mobile application will become as good as the web app. People will be able to completely manage their customer database, send invoices and plan projects, on the go. We’re thinking of next-level mobile integrations, like push notifications when a client signs a deal or settles an invoice.

A second development is that we’re not going to expand our product with new modules, but we will make all the necessary integrations with 3th party applications. This way, we’ll always be connected with the most up-to-date technology and the client can always choose which integration fits best to his needs.


Your solution is geared towards the European market. How is it different? Can targeting the European market be a significant advantage for some startups?

Europe is much more divided than the US. If a US SaaS company came to Europe with the same strategy they use in America, they would probably fail miserably. We adapt our product in every European country. In every country, we offer different local integrations with third party applications. For example, an integration with the local post office, so you can let invoices be printed by the post office and they will send it to your customer.

Specialization in the European market is certainly an opportunity for a lot of startups, but the market is a lot smaller. Every country has a different culture, different laws and a different language. That’s a lot of natural barriers to conquer and it’s also the reason why so many companies choose to operate in the US. However, it leaves opportunities for those who are prepared to work for it.


Can you explain your technology stack to our readers?

We use Apache, MySQL and PHP (LAMP). Teamleader is hosted in the Amazon cloud which has great uptime and low latency. We’re proud of the speed of our application and we’ll always try to keep it fast and simple.


How is the tech and startup scene in Brussels ? How do you think Europe is positioned to compete with Silicon Valley?

In the last 3 years, the startup scene is booming. The economy is catching on again and it’s striking to see the startups over here sprout like mushrooms. The biggest part of the startups in Belgium are tech B2B companies and most of them are maintaining a healthy grow.

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