How To Start A Salesforce ISV Company (Trails Podcast Episode #2 With Evgenii Pavlov)

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How To Start A Salesforce ISV Company (Trails Podcast Episode #2 With Evgenii Pavlov)
Table of contents

Episode Two: ​​Evgenii Pavlov, Founder Of

This podcast episode is all about starting a Salesforce ISV company. Evgenii Pavlov, who founded a successful Salesforce ISV organization, details how a few small acts made a big difference within the HR and Salesforce space.

Follow along as we go through his story, insights, and tips to help you start and grow your Salesforce ISV company.

Introduce Yourself, And Tell Us A Little Bit About Your Company –

I’m based in Munich, and is a native package for Salesforce. We offer HR and recruiting features in a complete, all-in-one solution. From candidates to employees, the whole employee journey is available on the AppExchange.

How Did You Get Started With Salesforce?

Before starting, I didn't know much about Salesforce. I knew that Salesforce is a great CRM and is quite popular. I didn't know that it provides many platform features or that you can build many apps on top of it.

Friends who were doing Salesforce consultancy told me that it is possible to build tools on top of Salesforce. And this is when I was interested in how this works.

During the first couple of months starting, that’s when I learned even more about Salesforce.

So, You Already Had An Idea For When You Learned About Salesforce, And You Picked It As The Platform To Build On?

Yeah, we had an idea to build an HR and recruiting solution, and Salesforce was one of the options. And then, after talking to people and looking at all of the advantages, we decided to go with Salesforce.

A helpful reminder: Before starting your ISV company, you need to identify a gap in the Salesforce ecosystem. Find a problem that needs to be solved or a feature that is missing in the market.

What Is Your Experience Building A Product On The Salesforce Platform? is not a typical case for Salesforce because our team comes from a web development background. So, we all had experience building sales products. Usually, apps on Salesforce are for consultancies and Salesforce developers.

We took a different approach. We used all our knowledge about building web apps and transferred it directly to Salesforce. ​​There is no general difference between developing web apps and Salesforce apps.

It’s quite similar to building a mobile app, as you need to package them. But in terms of our partnership with Salesforce, everything is streamlined, and all the information is available.

Also, from the technical side, you have Trailblazers who use Trailhead to learn more about building on Salesforce.

In 2019, it took two to three months to create a product. This was when we decided to create a recruiting app. We then created our first package for the AppExchange.

Apps on the AppExchange have to be high quality and accurate. Our first version was available at the beginning of July in 2019. At the same time, we submitted our business plans and other documents, which one of our managers assisted with.

In August of 2019, we submitted our package for Salesforce’s security review – it took six to eight weeks for us to get the confirmation from Salesforce that we passed.

Keep in mind that, on average, the time it takes to build and launch an ISV solution on the AppExchange is 6-12 months.

The process was pretty straightforward, and we encountered very little issues. But what helped us a lot is that we didn't create a huge package initially (it was a small one), and we did the work to make sure our package would be quality in the eyes of Salesforce.

One Of The Benefits And Pros Of Being An ISV Partner Is That You Are Listed On Salesforce AppExchange. How Has This Affected Your Go-To-Market And Leads?

It is different for other companies who are building PDF generations or accounting systems. But, for us, it has been a huge benefit for

You are on a really popular platform, and if someone is looking for a Salesforce org, they can already find us. The AppExchange also provides additional features to promote your app, such as sponsoring your listing, doing additional search results, and creating advertisements.

Did you know that the average ISV on the AppExchange generates $1.21 for every $1 spent on the Salesforce platform?

You can also make use of the Salesforce AppExchange Marketing Programme (AMP). Salesforce can help people who sell the platform and want to open the door to ISV solutions, like

As is a packaged solution, it is not just about sales and service. It caters to insurance, HR, and financial services. This is more attractive to end customers when you have bundled features.

In fact, Sales Cloud is now in second place in terms of popularity in the U.S. market. What is more popular is Service Cloud. So, you already see that there is a shift for more packaged solutions.

In Your Experience Running, What Are Some Learnings You Would Like To Share?

You have to look at your app from both the technical and GTM perspectives. On Salesforce, you should be ‘friends’ with them. So, you need to attend Salesforce events to help you build your app and be aware of all the new features Salesforce has.

From a technical point of view, there can be a lot of challenges when building an app on Salesforce. If you want to build an app, sometimes, you need to think twice before you release something, as it isn't easy to duplicate some metadata inside your package.

Salesforce has guidelines for ISVs to ensure that the solutions they develop are secure, scalable, and integrate well with the Salesforce platform. So, be sure to follow them.

Our process is to review things before we release them. We try to, in turn, always develop a better approach each time.

What’s Next For In Terms Of Product Development, Company Growth, And Go-To-Market?

We have a huge backlog, and we are moving to have more enterprise features. This will be great news for companies with more than 1K employees. They can better manage their employees, conduct forecasting, and execute financial planning.

This will likely happen towards the end of this year or next year.

For other companies, we are also bringing in a lot of collaboration features for sharing – like video sharing – especially for asynchronous and hybrid teams.

Being on Salesforce does help, as you can connect your different solutions and build different reports on top of it.

Are You Motivated To Start And Grow Your Salesforce ISV Company?

Thank you for tuning into this episode of Hutte’s Trails Podcast, where we explored:

  • How to start a Salesforce ISV
  • The benefits of having the exposure from the AppExchange
  • What learnings you should be mindful of before embarking on becoming an ISV.
In the coming episodes, we’ll continue to speak with Salesforce enthusiasts and experts. So, grab your gear, pack your bags, and be ready to hit the trails of Salesforce with Hutte.