#206 - Adam Spiro, CEO of Spiro AI on embracing a customer first mindset

A story about being on a mission to kill CRM

This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to relieve salespeople from having to use CRM, so they can focus on what they’re best at: In the moment selling. My guest is Adam Honig, CEO of Spiro AI

adam honig

Adam has worked my entire career in the technology industry. His specialty is building companies and organizations that sell and deliver enterprise software and solutions in the B2B space.

All of the companies that he helped found were focused on dramatically improving their operations. Two of these companies went public, and two of them were successfully sold at favorable valuations.

Although much has changed in the technology business since he started his career he believes a few things always remain the same: it’s all about the business outcomes and not the technology itself. And you can never go wrong telling the truth. It’s never worth it working with a jerk. And being the category king should always be your goal.

After watching the movie ‘Her’ which shares a vision of artificial intelligence, played by the voice of Scarlett Johansson guiding sales reps to larger commission checks, he knew it was time to transform CRM and deliver the outcomes the world had been waiting for.

Today he’s the CEO of Spiro, a proactive relationship management platform. Spiro is on a mission to end an era where companies waste millions of dollars on CRM. How? By creating a platform that works for Salespeople, instead of the other way around.

And this inspired me, and hence I invited Adam to my podcast. We explore what’s broken in CRM and how the things CRM demands its users to do is fundamentally flawed. Adam shares why the problem won’t be solved by making existing solutions look nicer, but that the solution is in doing things completely differently.

We dig into the journey Spiro has been through to get traction and how it overcame the tough battle to get people to adopt new technologies. He also shares the big lessons learned in deeply understanding the real outcomes customers want to solve and what it requires to build a software business that stands out in a dense market.

Here are some of his quotes:

Really good salespeople are really good ‘in the moment’. Having the conversation really listening well, understanding what’s happening. They’re not the same people who are good at then typing all of that up. It’s just it’s a different skill. And so the things that CRM asks them to do are the things that they’re bad at. It’s structurally flawed. And so, the salespeople who are really good at updating the CRM are the really bad salespeople. I had one sales VP telling me when he takes over a new job as a VP of sales, he looks to see who does the best job at CRM, and he fires those salespeople. Crazy.

During this interview, you will learn four things:

  1. Why we have to stop creating solutions that demand users to do things they’re not good at and principally despise. Focus on what they need to be successful instead.
  2. That often the only way to deliver remarkable impact is doing the hard things first.
  3. Why we should do away with the preconceived notion we know our domain like no one else – it can seriously get you stuck in sales
  4. Why it’s key to set your ego aside as a CEO and invest time listening to your customers. Not leadership, but actual users. Not once, but weekly.

For more information about the guest from this week:


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