Practo’s secret weapon Epicenter (CMS/CRM) integrated with Exotel
Practo - one of India's fastest growing SaaS companies has a secret weapon at the back of its fantastic growth. It is their in built CRM and they call it the Epicenter. Practo has integrated Exotel with Epicenter to deliver a great experience to their end customers over Voice and Telephone.Practo is a company which has multiple products in the healthcare domain providing a great SaaS product to help doctors manage their clinics with a software tailor made for them. They are backed by Sequoia Capital and the Morpheus.
Shashank ND, CEO & Co-Founder, who is still 25 and has scaled Practo from college days to now a 100+ member team speaks with us about what is the real secret ingredient behind Practo's success and how they have scaled the company by building tools like Practo Epicenter (their in-house CRM/CMS) and integrating other tools they use such as Exotel via API and making the process seamless for the teams internally to have only 1 platform to perform all their tasks on!
Why did you decide to build your own CRM when there were already a lot of applications available?
We were engineers and we wanted a scientific way of selling to our doctors. There had robe science behind whether a particular lead/doctor would convert or not. Around 2008 when we started there were not too many SaaS applications available and since Practo Ray was a subscription based billing, we needed a system to manage the Subscription. When the trial period would be on, depending upon usage by the doctor based on our own metrics, we would calculate which doctor/clinic should we spend more time on closing and it became an easier game for us engineers to sell with. It Evolved: Since it was built in house and linked to our products, it started becoming our central hub to control all around us. It was ours and configurable for our requirements. The next setup was to integrate payments and from there we never looked back. Epicenter is now everything - the tool for Sales, Support, Up-selling, Billing, CRM and is the ERP for Practo. We have some awesome plans around it and plan to keep improving it constantly.Think about it - the best scaled companies like Amazon built AWS, and have great internal tools and that's where their focus is. Flipkart is not an eCommerce website which has scaled it, it is a company that was built due to great internal tools to scale their supply chain processes. Epicenter is going to be that tool for Practo as we scale.
How did Exotel fit in and how does it solve some of your problems today?
Exotel introduced Cloud Telephony to us in 2011 and we did not know until then we could possibly play around with telephony the way Exotel showed us how it can be done. We are fanatical about having complete control of the experience our customer gets from any mode and today the entire Sales, Support, Marketing, Accounts team use Exotel to interact with the customer. It is integrated with the Epicenter and every time we speak with a customer we have the call records, time, date of the entire conversation with complete context and control of the situation. When a sales person who is on the ground calls up the doctor/clinic - we want to know what is happening at that time, so now with Exotel even of the sales team is on the ground, they make a call via the Exotel-Epicenter integration and everything is logged for future references.
What do you like most about Exotel having used it for more than 1.5 years now?
We have worked across cloud telephony players and with other vendors, but the fact is Exotel is dependable. We like the conversations with the team, the pro-activeness to reduce our costs whenever possible without us asking for it and that when we raise a ticket, it gets resolved with reason and meaning. It's fun working with people at Exotel, and hope to continue this for a long time.
Practo is leading the way of how SaaS companies should be built in India, and what is great to see that they are ready to share the knowledge behind their most successful projects, and the Epicenter story is worth spreading. Exotel would like to thank them for their time and willingness to share the story. A lot of fast scaling companies are now using open source CRM/CMS systems like SugarCRM, Zoho, Salesforce, Magento, V-Tiger and many more software's, and most have API available to integrate with other vendors. Use Exotel API to integrate your existing CRM/CMS software and make it one powerful cohesive tool today!