Reflecting on the Path Taken

Written by on June 4, 2016

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Today, we are celebrating a milestone — Freshdesk was the only company added to the 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant for CRM Customer Engagement Center. While the ultimate accolades for our efforts will always be the feedback we hear from happy customers, we are certainly celebrating our inclusion in this prestigious report.

We look at our appearance on the quadrant as validation of our leadership in the SaaS space. It reminds us that there is a broad, deep, and growing demand for the kind of customer service approach that helps companies engage everywhere their customers leave a digital footprint.

It also reminds us that we built our companysuccessfullywith a pioneering business model.

Celebrating the Non-Traditional Route

Like so many leaps represented by the syncopated evolution of business, SaaS architecture and an online customer acquisition model have enabled a nontraditional path forward for midmarket and enterprise businesses. The new kids on the block — next generation SaaS innovators — are fast gaining on legacy systems, including older generation cloud-based software products. Today’s SaaS products present a “consumer-out” experience and emphasizes versatility, affordability, and speed — without expensive customization and setup, or bloated complexity.

Our business model, like many of the new breed of SaaS companies, is high-velocity — a departure from the old days. I remember when the time to proof-of-concept was measured in years. Now it’s measured in weeks, if not days.

From Sales to Customer Success

Maybe because Freshdesk grew up with SMB customers, we think about the concept of customer success differently. One important lesson: If SaaS sales models of next generation cloud companies are high-velocity, so is adoption of products by business users in the enterprise — vastly different from the legacy models when software licences were contracted for the entire organization with little input and validation from business users  There’s a newfound focus on what customer success looks like, including complex rollout of systems in the enterprise.

Customer Success has longer and deeper implications because it’s a shift away from the traditional sales process. It must be proactive, not reactive. Take adoption: It’s one thing to set up the system, but another to make sure that the company truly understands how the product works, and the business value it holds for them. That’s the reason we are very careful about how we release products — and how we communicate and educate our customers.

At Freshdesk, as we scale this approach, we’re doing things differently. We’re focused on Teams, not company size. We’re dedicated to working with customers more intimately, with all the stakeholders across the organization. Why? Because success is dependent upon adoption. Our peers in the arena know that enterprise software adoption has fundamentally changed. This is a disruptive culture shift — a 180-degree difference from the way brands engaged with their customers even a few years ago

End of an Era: A Sea Change

My perspective comes from having worked in the old model of enterprise software, and now the new. Over a decade ago, as a product manager at Siebel Systems, I worked within the old establishment strictures. Our narrative and engagement tactics were different. Today, instead of thinking about long-cycle wins (it could take years to see a product come to life), we are sharing time-to-value proof-points and talking about how our software is working for customers NOW. The model of enterprise adoption is closer to truth, a more transparent process, and a (refreshingly) more honest one. SaaS has fundamentally changed the way you reveal your offering, and company.

We’ve inexorably moved to something better. Now, it’s a given that your customers are immediately up and running on the latest version of your softwareeven in the trial, pre-contract sales cycle. It’s a systemic shift, and no agile organization is using frameworks built for the old world. Suffice it to say, the future belongs to those willing to seize the opportunity. SaaS is proving to have efficacy in the enterprise.

As we take stock of how far we’ve come, we hope that we’re forging a path that emerging SaaS  companies can follow. You can execute. You can be noticed. You have the opportunity to play on the same field as large, established players. The world is changing. Let Freshdesk’s remarkable journey be your inspiration.

Being recognized on a Gartner Magic Quadrant is a milestone and a benchmark for us. Gartner is the premier information technology research and advisory company in the world, and a valued partner. We pause to reflect and celebrate this moment. But then we’ll return immediately to the tasks that will bring our vision to the future of global business.

Please lift a glass with us.

Note: If you would like to know more about this year’s Magic Quadrant vendors, and about the current issues and trends relevant to customer engagement, we invite you to download a complimentary copy of the report and read our press release.

Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center, Michael Maoz, Brian Manusama, May 4, 2016. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

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