orderForm.noItems is a sales tool that is both widely recognized and widely used – help- ing reps track activity, helping sales managers improve coaching, and helping sales leaders allocate resources, set strategies, and create forecasts. But, because it was designed chiefly for ease of interpretation by managers, the app can be time-consuming for reps.

Even salespeople who use their own spreadsheets and note-taking apps to meticulously record and keep all the data Salesforce requires must spend hours each week re- entering the same data in Salesforce. This is not what reps would call hassle free. That means wasting time that could better be used for

selling – perhaps losing one deal per month or quarter. It means important data is delayed, so managers never see their pipelines in real time. Finally, it may mean some reps never enter all the data, or any data at all – defeating the whole purpose of Salesforce and leaving managers in the dark about what is going on with opportunities and deals. At least that’s the way things look to IT entrepreneur Pouyan Salehi. Salehi studied mechanical engineering at the University of Minnesota, worked as an engineer for several years, and then got an MBA from Harvard Business School. He managed iPhone units at Apple for three years and then began to do what is expected of Harvard MBAs: start new businesses. He co-founded StackMob, which provides technology for mobile and was acquired by PayPal. Next, he launched Lera Labs, a company that built several B2B SaaS products.

The now-experienced business builder then got in- volved in sales tech – specifically, sales engagement. “The problem was how to start a conversation with someone you didn’t know,” Salehi explains. Raising capital to solve the problem was hard, as most venture capitalists had never heard of sales engagement at the time. “Now, the field is crowded with lots of vendors.”

It was while Salehi was working on his sales-engagement start-up, PersistIQ, that problems with Salesforce hit him. “I was not out to start another company,” he remembers. “But I had a lot of empathy with sales reps, there were a bunch of small problems, and we connected the dots.” Salehi was shadowing account execs and saw them having difficulty and being inefficient in working with Salesforce. “They were always switching browser tabs and double-clicking to take all the actions they needed to do anything.” Though not looking to start another company just yet, “The problem stuck with me.” The basic problem was the original design priority of Salesforce. “It was built for managers,” Salehi stresses. Salesforce execs themselves were aware of chal- lenges reps encountered with the application. Salesforce launched its Lightning Platform so developers could build apps to connect better. And Salesforce partner Quip also

offered tools to assist collaboration across sales teams. Fortunately, Salesforce likes partners who can make its software more useful. Salehi estimates the “partner eco- system” surrounding Salesforce is now two to three times the size of the core software. Salesforce offers open APIs so others can build and con- nect entirely new apps with the market-leading CRM system. In October 2019, Salehi and Cyrus Karbassiyoon decided to do just that. They launched Scratchpad, the first work- space designed specifically to help sales reps record and store their notes and update pipeline data at the speed of thought. And this particular workspace automatically and immediately enters all this critical data into Salesforce. “We studied how reps work,” Salehi says. “Salesforce’s

failure is adoption by reps. So we wanted to build a product that would match reps’ existing behavior.” He explains his approach this way: “Chefs have kitchens, artists have studios, and woodworkers have shops. But what do salespeople have? They were forced to hack together various apps that are all disconnected from each other and from Salesforce.” Scratchpad’s aim is to combine spreadsheets, notes, tasks, Kanban boards (if reps use these), searches, and collaboration with other revenue team members – all while adhering to the company’s sales process – in a much more rep-friendly app. And, if reps find the Scratchpad work- space much easier to use, managers will inevitably get more accurate data from Salesforce, faster. For example, reps mostly use their own spreadsheets to track and update opportunities. “They are doing the work already; they aren’t lazy,” Salehi observes. But, when it’s time to update Salesforce data before forecast review, reps must usually go to Salesforce’s Opportunities page, where they can’t actually update the fields. Instead, reps must click on each opportunity, wait for each page to load, hunt for the field to update, double-click, then make the update. Or, some reps using Salesforce Lightning may go to a

List View page, where they may update some (but not all) fields for his or her opportunities. For example, the Sales Notes field is not editable in Lightning, so reps must return to the click-wait-hunt-update method on the specific op- portunity’s page. And, if the rep is working with classic Salesforce, the

options are even more limited. Here, Next Steps and Close Dates are really the only editable fields. Plus, the Next Steps field is severely limited in space, which can be frustrating if advancing an opportunity requires detailed or complicated steps. The contrast with Scratchpad is stark. Scratchpad’s Oppor-

tunities tab looks like a spreadsheet, where all relevant data can be entered, updated, and edited immediately during or after a sales call or contact with any opportunity. There’s no flipping between screens, scrolling to find the right entry box, or constantly hunting for each opportunity page, as in Sales- force. Just enter the latest data once for any field Salesforce tracks, and it is automatically entered in Salesforce. This workspace can be customized in a variety of ways to suit each rep – creating different views of Opportunities that suit the needs of the moment. For example, the Op-


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