How SMEs can simplify work - exclusive interview with Marc Zinnemers

Tuesday 21 May 2019 09:23 CET | Interview

Marc Zinnemers, Teamleader: Our software provides small businesses with the overview and insights they need, and takes away the burden of repetitive administration and sales follow-up

Can you share with our readers the story behind Teamleader and its journey since the inception?

Powered by a strong entrepreneurial spirit, CEO and founder Jeroen De Wit started his own web design agency during college together with co-founders Willem Delbare and Mathias De Loore. A customer’s request for project management components prompted the idea to build a standalone software application from the ground up.

Eventually, they switched their entire focus to supporting and developing their new CRM software. In this context, Teamleader was founded in July 2012 and grew organically following a customer-centric philosophy. The CRM module, the beating heart of the tool, was built from scratch, based mainly on customer feedback.

Teamleader is in constant flux. Once it began to take shape, funding was raised through three consecutive funding rounds: a Seed Round of EUR 1 million in May 2014, a Series A of EUR 2.5 million in May 2015, a Series B of EUR 10 million in November 2016, and a Series C of EUR 18.5 million in July 2018, all used to further fuel the company’s growth.

With all these investments, we’re excited about what the future holds.

Over the course of two years, Teamleader gained a foothold in various European countries, including the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, France, and Italy. The company now counts 170 employees and it is still growing.

Every day, our team works to improve our product, in our mission to help SMEs simplify their work. We see businesses struggle to generate and manage leads. Time management is an important factor as well. Teamleader allows you to create certain triggers in invoices, create payment reminders, and so on. We help manage the entire cycle from lead to cash, helping users generate more leads and collect cash all the same.

Teamleader has a strong position in the Benelux SME market. What new growth markets does the company want to explore in the future?

Teamleader has grown to 10,000 customers by having a direct sales model. New international markets demand different sales models and go-to-market models. Germany is an example of a country where indirect sales with local partners are essential.

The company has customers in France, Italy, Germany, and Spain, and will continue to operate in these countries while building out an international distribution and partner network. The key growth markets for Teamleader are France and Germany. To that end, we are launching the channel/indirect – reseller model in Q2 2019.

The market in these five countries is already very well developed, but if we take a closer look, many businesses still don’t use CRM software. Over time, though, they’ll understand how much of a necessity it is. On the other hand, there are companies that are using an on-premise CRM tool, which is not hosted in the cloud. We aim to increase CRM adoption and cloud CRM adoption in particular.

One of our most important segments is small consultancy agencies, as we can truly help those businesses shine. We might consider opening up to new markets, however, right now, our focus is the five countries in which we currently operate.

What are the challenges in terms of product, pricing, and support Teamleader faces in its growth phase?

Initially, Teamleader was very successful with a horizontal offering. But as we grew to over 10,000 customers, this horizontal approach held us back in terms of focus and priorities. Now, we’ll focus mainly on specific segments like agencies and building contractors, which require specific features.

We have a marketplace, a platform that offers over 260 integrations that complement our solution, which has specific modules – CRM, project management, and invoicing – and can be labelled around simplifying the companies’ work. We’re talking about integrations with Google Calendar, Microsoft calendar, integrations for ecommerce activities, to web shop activities, integrations for those that want to generate more leads, for recurring payments enablement, synchronising invoices and much, much more.

Could you elaborate a bit on customer retention ratios at Teamleader and the company’s strategies to maximise retention?

Customer retention is measured by churn, the actual net lost customer rate, which gives a stronger focus on driving customer success vs focusing on retention rates. Teamleader’s churn rate has been declining from close to 2% to below 1.3%, and the key growth market is close to 1%. Earlier in 2018, we started mapping the customer journey and identified key touch points to drive customer success and, hence, higher retention rates. In addition, we started mapping NPS scores per go-to-market segment, to gain a deeper understanding of our successes and challenges in each segment.

What is on the future roadmap of Teamleader?

The SME CRM market is huge, and Teamleader will use a segmented strategy to conquer it. With the Marketplace, launched in 2017, we will continue to extend the offering for our customers by having local integrations and addressing any daily challenges SMEs face in their process from lead to cash.

SMEs struggle with the manual work involved in their day-to-day jobs, from tracking time, to using disparate Excel sheets and sending invoices. That’s where we come in: we simplify day-to-day work for European SMEs and ensure they can focus on driving their business forward.

This interview was first published in the Monetisation of Digital Business Models 2019 – Insights into Billing and Recurring Payments Report. The Report presents the key trends and developments in monetisation of business models, subscription economy, and billing and recurring payments.

About Marc Zinnemers

Marc Zinnemers is a seasoned financial expert with over 20 years of experience in finance and operations. As CFO at Teamleader, Marc oversees Teamleader’s Finance, HR and Legal department.



About Teamleader

Teamleader develops intuitive cloud software that simplifies work. Built with small businesses in mind, it makes the process from lead to cash more efficient. Teamleader combines CRM, projects, invoicing and customer support in one simple software tool, and integrates seamlessly with other tools.

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Keywords: Marc Zinnemers, Teamleader, SME, management, CRM, invoices, payments , cash, consultancy, customer retention, mapping, invoicing
Countries: World