Q&A with Cloapp CEO Alex Lewerentz
When Cloapp launched their Personal Relationship Management app Closr, it helped transform the way people look at CRM-tools today.
As most of the traditional CRM-tools centers around the need to get an overview of the sales force and visualizing sales pipelines, Closr brings something new to the table. It’s a CRM-tool created for the end users, based on the users’ already existing personal networks. And it’s app only. That’s why they are calling it a PRM-tool. They want their users to focus on constantly improving the relations with the people they meet, and by doing that - close more deals. Closr taps in to the phone’s contacts, calendar, calling and e-mail so you really don’t have to add anything yourself, except your own personal notes. Whether it’s text, voice, photos or locations, Closr got it covered and then reminds you about it in a new and innovative way exactly when you need it the most.
With the likes of Salesforce, LinkedIn and Facebook all moving towards this space but from different angles, Cloapp CEO Alex Lewerentz is preparing for war in 2016 with a brand new version of Closr (3.0) just about to launch next month. Here’s a short Q&A we did about growth, new features and how the transformation of CRM as we know it will continue. We also asked the question about who he thinks is the world’s biggest closer.
Mobile CRM really started to take off in 2015, and now we see the big companies like LinkedIn and also Facebook making a bigger push into the space. How is Closr going to differentiate itself?
The CRM-landscape is dramatically changing, I think we all can agree on that. But we try not to get distracted by the other companies already in, or entering this space because we know that it’s inevitable. The best and only thing we can do is to stay true to our own vision about focusing on always improving people’s relations. And by doing that we think we are innovating and moving the space forward in our own direction.
How has the first six months been, and how is your current growth for Closr?
Before Closr was released we had a very successful Early Access Program fueled by the massive press we got during last summer. Which meant we really hit the ground running from day one. But since the public launch in September we haven’t really told that many people that we exist. We’ve just been focusing on the product, building a tool people want to use and listening very careful to the existing user base. It is that core of early adopters that actually came up with the networking feature MINGL that is now fully integrated in the latest version.
What are your growth expectations for Closr in 2016?
Growth is our theme for 2016. But like I said, we're still at a point where we mainly focus on building an app that people love to use. What new features do we think would create a great user experience? How do users want to take notes? How and when would they like to get reminded about important information? We think that as long as we do that good, the product will grow by itself. Because people in sales, marketing and networking generally wants to get closer to the people they meet, and need help remembering the most important things about them. Something as simple as remembering where you last met and who else was there could actually help close a deal.
What's new in Closr 3.0? What other new features can we expect in 2016?
First of all it's a brand new UI based on our new, green graphical identity. We completely re-designed the user experience in the app to center around one contact list that now also includes MINGL and new connections. It was actually Nami from Truecaller that put us on the right track there. We have also added a lot of automation which means the app does a lot of work for you in the background pulling information from calendar, contacts and interactions. For example automatically putting people you meet on top of your list for easy finding and adding of information and also the use of location based triggers. And that's just the start of it. Last but not least, the profile is completely redesigned and it now contains a timeline and a few key metrics to follow up on. Later in 2016 we are planning to launch the Android version and then we will focus on the release of Closr for Business.
What can you tell us about Closr for Business?
Closr for Business will be the world’s first true relationship management tool for mobile teams. Basically we’re building a seamless collaboration and sharing functionality around contacts, information and locations. Since Closr is app only compared to many other traditional tools, we are really focusing on the benefits of geo location and to build smart reminders. We are also working really hard on predictiveness and machine learning. This tool is something the employees will love to use, and it comes with built-in addiction to get to know your contacts better. Just face it, CRM tools are obsolete. The best tool for handling relations with the people you meet is the one that the members of your team are already using. Remember that I said that.
Finally, who is the world’s biggest closer, and does he/she use the app?
Fredrik Eklund, the New York-based Swedish real estate broker in the TV show ”Million Dollar Listing New York” is definitely the world’s biggest closer! If he is using our app? Probably!
Frida Mattsson Wallin
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Cloapp is a tech Startup from Uppsala, Sweden developing apps that help people connect, improve their relations and close more deals. Winner of “Best Startup Pitch” at tech event Uppstart and selected as one of 150 Startups from all over the world to participate in TNW BOOST - a program dedicated to accelerating the growth of early-stage Startups.