On the 16th episode of Enterprise Software Innovators, hosts Evan Reiser (Abnormal Security) and Saam Motamedi (Greylock Partners) talk with Sigal Zarmi, former International CIO & Head of Transformation at Morgan Stanley. Sigal is a seasoned technology executive, having spent time at some of the world’s leading companies including Morgan Stanley, PwC, and General Electric. Currently, she’s on the board at a number of innovative startups including HashiCorp, DataRobot, and more. On today’s episode, Sigal shares how data in the cloud is enhancing customer experiences, her perspective on building a culture of innovation, and the best frameworks for partnerships with startups.
Quick hits from Sigal:
On GE creating algorithms to help franchisors through a standalone app: “A unit of GE Capital was financing franchisors when they were opening new stores. Our app could help a franchise figure out where the best place would be to open based on location, cost of living, and car traffic data. We knew how many cars and people were moving through the area, where the hospitals, schools, and city government offices in the area were. Based on that data, we created an algorithm that recommended a place for franchisors to open.”
On common misconceptions startups have when attempting to sell to enterprise customers: “I've talked to so many companies that think that just their technology should sell itself. ‘It's obvious what our technology does.’ That never happens. Technology does not sell itself.”
On what to remember when selling to enterprise companies: “First, it takes a long time to sell to large complex organizations. Second, focus on security up front and make sure you know how to answer any questions around security. Third, make sure that your product fully answers customer needs. Sometimes products just answer a feature that is solving a specific problem. I wouldn't buy something that only solves a feature because that might be acquired or developed by a competitor. So think about the platform you're building rather than just a feature.”
Recent Book Recommendation:
The Psychology of Executive Coaching by Bruce Peltier
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Enterprise Software Innovators is a show where top tech executives share how they innovate at scale. Each episode covers unique insights and stories that will help you succeed as a technology leader. Find more great lessons from tech leaders and enterprise software experts at https://www.enterprisesoftware.blog
Enterprise Software Innovators is produced by Luke Reiser and Josh Meer