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“Salesforce exceeded our initial expectations. It became the centre of our commercial tech stack” : Interview with Penneo (Sponsored)

The Salesforce “Small and Medium Business Trends” report identified four key trends that are currently defining SMB’s. 

Focusing on areas such as local community support, how SMBs are deepening trust, the role of technology, and what the future looks like after these rollercoaster years of the pandemic, the report shares a snapshot of entrepreneurial vision and inspiration. 

Alongside communities and governments offering more support and increased importance on engaging with employees and customers, SMBs’ are increasingly embracing digital-first approaches, and it seems that the long term changes brought about by the pandemic are here to stay

We talked to Penneo, a Copenhagen-based startup helping organizations automate and digitize business processes and document workflows. Founded in 2014, Penneo enables customers to reduce the time spent on administrative tasks and operational costs, whilst also positively impacting the environment. Penneo’s solution embeds security and compliance into its solution, giving trust that data and documents are stored safely. Penneo has been using Salesforce to manage their CRM – a crucial part of managing their operations. They told us more about their experience with the global company.

Can you give an overview of Penneo’s background and mission? 

Penneo is a RegTech company that was founded in 2014 with the ambition of reducing the hassle of getting documents signed by delivering a digital signature platform. Since then, Penneo has evolved into a set of solutions for automating workflows related to client onboarding (KYC), signing, and document management.

Our solutions help organizations in regulated industries to meet compliance requirements in an efficient and secure way. With Penneo, companies reduce time spent on administrative tasks and operational costs, while improving productivity and the end-user experience.

What is the long term vision for Penneo?

Our vision is of a world where being accountable for the way you do business is a matter of course.

At Penneo, we see security and compliance as a strong business and competitive advantage, and we’re working towards building solutions that make it easy and beneficial for companies to meet regulatory compliance requirements.

Our current focus is European expansion, where the goal is to penetrate the European market with our digital signing and KYC solutions through our strategic collaboration with audit and accounting companies. 

How has the pandemic impacted growth?

During the pandemic, many companies found themselves having to identify new ways of handling many of their daily processes. Take document signing & management – all of a sudden, companies weren’t able to invite partners or clients to their office to sign agreements or sit physically together for board meetings.

We’ve seen an increased need for our solutions during the pandemic and helped many businesses manage their operations in a suddenly remote world. And what we’ve noticed is that it has transformed the way some of our customers work entirely. It’s not just about signing documents digitally – it’s about automating repetitive processes and getting rid of the manual work. So even when our customers can meet with their board or clients again – the time together can be spent on creating value, not signing or scanning documents. Penneo takes care of all of that for them. 

Can you tell us about your experience with Salesforce?

We implemented Salesforce during the last three months of 2020, but we rolled it out to users in the beginning of 2021. Of course, we went through a change period where we instructed users into our new commercial processes and to the system itself. After that initial period, our Salesforce instance just kept growing, incorporating more and more processes, and connecting with more applications.

When we were looking for a new CRM we were searching for a solid system and at the same time for a very customizable one. We were looking for a CRM that allowed us to shape our processes and standardize them in order to support our growth as a scale up. That being said, Salesforce exceeded our initial expectations. It became the centre of our commercial tech stack and allowed us to give our sales reps, customer support, and marketing agents a full overview of what is really going on with our leads and customers. It allowed us to correctly reflect our processes’ data structure and output, and we are really happy with our decision.

How does Salesforce help your business grow?

Salesforce helped by providing us with an ecosystem where we can customize our commercial processes and enforce them across the organization. It could be troublesome to create scalable processes across applications, given the limitations of the integrations in such an infrastructure. Having a full Salesforce stack removed those limitations, and allowed us to increase the efficiency of our internal processes. This really helped us to serve our customers and potential customers faster and in a better way.

Are there any specific pain points that Salesforce helps you overcome?

There are many. The internal access to the necessary data is something that Salesforce helped a lot with. Sales reps and customer support agents’ data visibility was troublesome. As I mentioned, before implementing Salesforce, our operations were somewhat fragmented across applications. This limited the users of one application to access the information of another one. The unification of the operations under one application allowed us to grant relevant access to data internally. 

Another pain point was the automation of processes. After moving our business logic to Salesforce, we were in the position of triggering automated processes within Salesforce or across applications in a precise manner. The flexibility and customization level helped us to interconnect automated business processes across departments. In the past, those processes operated with limitations.

What would be your advice to other SMB leaders?

Being a fast-growing SaaS company means that processes standardization and process automation make a real difference. So does data access and connectivity. I would say that Salesforce is a great tool to overcome these challenges. Additionally, once you get the hang of it, you really see the potential and you start thinking about the commercial processes in a very different way. You realize how easy it is to just keep on including new processes, and you start seeing opportunities everywhere.

Salesforce is the world’s #1 CRM, powering SMB across the world to grow sustainability. Don’t hesitate to get in touch to see how its software and businesses insights can help your business flourish and thrive. To get you started, download their CRM handbook where you’ll find practical advice on how to get started with building your CRM strategy.


Patricia Allen
Patricia Allen
is the Head of Content at EU-Startups. With a background in politics, Patricia has a real passion for how shared ideas across communities and cultures can bring new initiatives and innovations for the future. She spends her time bringing you the latest news and updates of startups across Europe, and curating our social media.

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