In the #13 episode of “The B2B Outbound Marketing & Sales Automation Series”, Dancho spoke with the Co-founder and CEO of Captain Data, Guillaume Odier.
“If you want to scale your business, you’ll need processes. Many people come to Captain Data telling us “I want more leads” or “I want to map my TAM.” Generating more leads is not always the answer.”, says Guillaume.
Captain Data is a no-code platform that extracts, aggregates, and integrates data. More than 1,000 businesses rely on Captain Data to manage and automate their data workflows.
So, what are Captain Data solutions?
- Growth. Turn growth experiments into a powerful lead generation machine.
- Sales Ops. Get the web data that’ll help your sales team close deals.
- Revenue Ops. Revenue operations software for ambitious teams.
They offer three pricing plans:
1. 14 day free trial;
2. Growth – $399 a month, billed annualy and
3. Enterprise – $2500 a month, billed annualy.
Start your free trial!
STAY TUNED for more success stories, tips&tricks, and awesome tools in the B2B Outbound world!
[00:00:07.470] – Dancho – Bonjour tout le monde, yeah, I don’t know French if you think that I know. But welcome to another episode of B2B album marketing and sales automation. My name is Dancho, and you should know by now, I’m the host. But for today, we actually have a really nice software coming from France. And I would like to use the opportunity to introduce you to Guillaume Odier. I hope I really pronounce the name right, Guillaume, but he is the founder and CEO of Captain data. And this podcast will be all about him and his solution. Stay with us because I really think you’ll find it fascinating. So Guillaume, welcome to the show.
[00:00:46.900] – Guillaume – Hey Dancho, thanks for having me. It’s a great honor.
[00:00:50.580] – Dancho – Yeah, well, it was a pleasure also having you. But first question, did I pronounce your name right or I made a mistake?
[00:00:56.180] – Guillaume – Yeah, definitely. I mean, it’s Guillaume, so no worries. Generally speaking, when we are speaking English, I say you can call me G. It’s much easier.
[00:01:04.180] – Dancho – G. So, G, I think that we should start the interview by giving some background on who you are and what you do and actually give us your origin story. How did you actually end up in the world of automation?
[00:01:20.000] – Guillaume – Yeah, it’s a good question. Everything started back like seven years ago. It was my first internship, so I didn’t even know that I was doing web scraping. Web scraping is basically extracting data automatically with basically code. It started like this and an idea popped in my mind and I thought, yeah, this is an interesting industry. Then I did engineering studies, mostly, again, code. Then I did the bi diploma in finance, something I’m not really choosing right now. And eventually, I decided to create my own company. Given the fact that most of my experience was regarding extracting data, then this was something very easy for me to start with. This is how we started with my two co founders doing mostly web data extraction. Then the idea grew and I totally become Captain data.
[00:02:22.130] – Dancho – Nice. There are three people, co founders of Captain data. I was curious about your background, G. I’m using your short name now because you know some people were in sales and then they moved into the software. Some people were in data and then they moved into the software world. That was… I was curious from which background are you coming because you’re bringing different value on the table. I’m curious, how are you divided with the other two co-founders? You’re the tech guy, the other is probably marketing and sales, I assume?
[00:02:54.810] – Guillaume – That’s the beauty of the team because we free our engineers, so we all come from data. When we started off, it was really complicated because we had to sell things. And you know that engineers are not really the best person to sell things. We like to solve problems, but that’s all. And the thing is that eventually we actually learn how to sell things and to actually sell before doing, which is something very important in our industry. So we come from data. This is what we know how to do. When we created Captain data, we didn’t know what we were doing. We created Captain data as a data agency. It was more or less everything from putting data apps to extracting data and stuff. We had this idea that we needed and wanted to do data extraction at scale and on the SaaS, but it wasn’t always as easy as today through the way.
[00:03:57.340] – Dancho – True. But data scraping is not an old industry. I’m reflecting seven years ago when we were doing outreach, I come from the sales background.
[00:04:06.241] – Guillaume – Yeah.
[00:04:06.520] – Dancho – There were not that many automation tools or scrapers for the time, so we had to do manually everything, like go on LinkedIn, click, copy, spreadsheet paste, copy, spreadsheet paste, go to the next guy. It was quite manual labor. I wish at that time that these tools were available. But now that we have the Captain data here, maybe you can tell me a bit, how the automation is actually positioned on the market because, yeah nowadays there are so many scrollers, scrapers, chrome extensions, outreach automation tools. Where is Captain data positioned in this world?
[00:04:45.790] – Guillaume – You’re absolutely right. There are so many players around the market. The idea with Captain Data is first to be a little bit more premium in a way. Second one is to be 100 % focused on operations. So if you take the example of ETLs, extract, transform, and load products, you could think about Captain data as an ETL for operations teams. So you would be able to extract data from web sources, for example, on LinkedIn, Google Maps, Yellow Pages and stuff. You’d be able to transform it or more precisely to aggregate it with third party providers, data providers such as Clearbit, Apollo, eMail Finder, pretty much anything that you want, and then to load it inside the tools that you use on a daily basis, databases, warehouse, if you have the maturity, your audit team to do it, your CRM, your outreach tool, pretty much anything on the market. So this is really important for us because you see things shifting on the market. We are talking about revenue operations, we are talking about operations this, operations that, and this is what we do. This is where Captain data is really, where you could take the most out of Captain data.
[00:06:04.750] – Dancho – I see. And G, you’re looking from operational perspective, but I’m actually looking just what you said, from a sales perspective, just being able to extract a lot of leads from different sources, as you said, LinkedIn or Google Maps, and then being able to enrich it with a lot of additional information like social media, team buildings, whatever you actually need in order to find on the data, and then integrate it to a prospecting or outreach tool is actually solving the complete operations of a sales team. I understand that you’re talking it from an operation perspective because the same thing can be applied beyond sales. You can use the same automation in marketing, for example, or you can even do the same operations in HR. You have people applying, you can get some enrichment and then integrate it into a different system. But I’m really more genuinely interested into the marketing and sales because that’s the goal of this podcast. I was curious also, the specialization that you’re saying, we were discussing that there are other platform, but who is your target audience? Where is this software more focused on?
[00:07:08.980] – Guillaume – That’s a good question. I was going to say that mostly we target companies from 50 to 500 employees because at some point, if you… Captain data is very useful when you need to scale. When you need to scale, you need to have a team and so on and so on. For example, you have five sales reps, 10, 20, and so on, sales reps, you need to have a clear process on how you’re actually going to extract the data, to standardize it, to enrich it, to make sure that your pipeline is predictable, and so on and so on. This is where Captain data is very interesting because if you’re looking at Captain data from a single founder perspective that is going to do his or her outreach, then the tool is a bit of an over kill in a way because you have to set up where it flows. I got to be honest, at some point.
[00:08:02.670] – Dancho – Yeah, Yeah, no I completely understand you. It’s like you have advanced features and functionalities. So someone to completely utilize the Captain data, they need a bunch of salespeople using different stuff at different time, at the same time, and then you actually maximize the utilization of Captain data.
[00:08:21.620] – Guillaume – That’s it. That’s absolutely right.
[00:08:24.070] – Dancho – Nice. Well, G, would it be a problem if you actually share your screen and show our audience how actually users can come and use the software?
[00:08:36.220] – Guillaume – Sure. All right. So the first thing that you see on Captain data when you try the product is mostly the template view. Obviously, we have hundreds of automations and we have hundreds of workflows, premade workflows because at some point we know what’s working, we know what’s not working, and so on. If there is something that you need, we can always build the CMI, I’d say, custom things for you. Let’s say that’s something it’s like bread and butter. We are doing this a lot. So automating things with HubSpot, for example, and Sales Navigator, which a lot of you are using. We will have templates, for example, that… This one. So being able to find leads with the email from just the Salesforce Navigator search and to push everything back into Hubspot. So you have the detail of the workflow here. So again, I’m talking workflow because it’s important to understand what the workflow is going to do. The first step is you’re going to automate the search. Then you’re going to visit the profile because it enables you to use filters. Then you’re going to…
[00:09:54.550] – Dancho – To interrupt you. So you can just tell which applications you have and immediately give you all the templates available based on those two or three, two application that you’ve selected?
[00:10:06.290] – Guillaume – Yeah, absolutely. Here I didn’t research. I had this combination of apps, but you could also search between our use cases. The main use cases are here. You can build these databases, you can enrich those feeds, you can build companies database and enrich those companies, and you can get sheets.
[00:10:26.110] – Dancho – Nice. God bless you that you’ve created all these templates because these templates are for lazy people. It’s like, do I need to create a workflow or automation from scratch? Well, no, we actually have seen what people are using. So with the template, it’s like pre-set workflows and automations.
[00:10:43.790] – Guillaume – Yeah, that’s the idea. I mean, and you can think of it like a skeleton. If this skeleton is fine for you, then perfect. Just use this one and that’s a go. If you need, I don’t know, to use Salesforce instead of HubSpot, you can do it too. If you need to add a step between the email finding tool to verify the email and then to push inside HubSpot, this is also something that you can do. The beauty of it is that it’s absolutely matched what you want to do as a process. I’m always talking process because at the end of the day, the tool is not really going to be the answer. Of course, it’s going to do the job. But if you didn’t have a clear process in mind, then it’s going to be quite tricky to do.
[00:11:29.130] – Dancho – But you said it right, it’s a tool and it can be used as a tool to help you achieve your goal, not to figure out your goal on your behalf.
[00:11:36.420] – Guillaume – Yeah, that’s right. We are always obviously here to give advice and stuff. Obviously, we do enterprise business. At some point, you’re going to want to talk to us, to, again, maximize the platform utilization. Of course, we know what we do.
[00:11:53.780] – Dancho – Nice, nice. Okay, I interrupted you because I was curious to understand, but now I’m looking at the workflow. Can you walk us through the steps just how this particular workflow works, for example?
[00:12:07.320] – Guillaume – Yeah. So for this workflow, I’m going to take the configuration here. So here, again, you’ve got the steps. We try to show you very precisely how to configure this workflow. On the right, you always have a guide. The first section is actually how to perform a search on sales navigator. There are many ways to do it. I’m going to be lazy just for the sake of the demo, just to copy paste this URL here on the guide. Everything is going to tell you, okay, it’s fine, it’s okay. If I’m making a mistake, like I didn’t write properly the search, it’s going to tell you that there is an error. The search should not be written like this. Then you’re going to have to configure accounts. The beauty of Captain data is that if it’s an API key, if it’s cookies, if it’s 002, we are compatible with any types of integrations. Here on LinkedIn, you have to use our Chrome extension. To connect an account, it’s very easy. You just have to click on Connect, select the user that you want to synchronize with, click Configure, that’s it. My account is already synchronized. It will recognize me. I can just use it. Then this account here is going to be loaded inside each step here in the LinkedIn steps. I can also…
[00:13:37.230] – Dancho – Sorry. Step one is defining who is the target audience based on the filters. Step two…
[00:13:41.029] – Guillaume – Yeah.
[00:13:41.780] – Dancho – Is from which profile are you going to do the outreach.
[00:13:45.690] – Guillaume – Exactly. Then you always… I mean, not always, but generally speaking, you also have parameters. For example, here, let’s say that I just want 10 minutes from this search just for the demo, then I can also set this up. Now, I’m not going to cover everything here because everything has been already configured because normally what you would have to do if you want to do this by yourself is first code each and every integration, then map out the data because here the mapping is automatically done. I’m sorry for my English but during the first configuration, the integrations is already linked because I linked my account previously and so on and so on. Basically, everything is done for you. The only thing that you have to do is click the accounts that you want to use. That’s pretty much it. It’s really at the end of the day just clicking buttons. Just want to make sure here that everything is fine. Again, I’m not going to cover everything because I think the idea is just to launch the workflow.
[00:14:59.570] – Dancho – Yeah. At this stage, you have the filter, you have the profile, you’re collecting the people, and you’re adding to the HubSpot CRM, right?
[00:15:07.990] – Guillaume – Yeah, and it’s actually live because if you click on what I… We call this a job. No, a job because this would be the job that you’d have to do manually. And the beauty of it is that you’ve got everything live. And this…You have to imagine that this is going to automate something that you’d have done manually otherwise. So we are talking about 10 results on the search, then 10 visits on the profile, 10 visits on the company that create the leads inside the HubSpot, and so on, and so on. And here everything is automated. So it’s really, if we again talk about scale, because people obviously are not going to do it on a 10 line basis.
[00:15:54.040] – Dancho – Yeah.
[00:15:54.040] – Guillaume – They are going to automate hundreds or thousands of lines. If you have sales reps, then it’s going to be multiplied and then the number of sales reps that you want or the countries that you’re targeting, and so on, and so on. That’s also where we are really powerful in terms of platform. So the first step live is already done. I mean, 10 is pretty low.
[00:16:18.700] – Guillaume – But the time it has taken, it’s like virtually nothing. We are probably one of the fastest automation platform on the market at the moment. So it’s really… At the end of the day, it’s really a breeze to use. And so the workflow is going to continue working its own life. We also have a set of limits because automating stuff on the web can be a little bit tricky. You have to take it into account the limits for each platform. For example, on sales navigator, we will have a 500 profile visits per day per account, which you have here. So again, everything is packaged, so you don’t have to think about how you’re going to do it in terms of operations. You just have to think about the process and the targets, exactly what you want to do, what’s your outcome.
[00:17:11.880] – Dancho – Got it. And G, so if you have multiple LinkedIn profiles, you can add them so it can continue with the first profile, then continue to the second one.
[00:17:20.180] – Guillaume – Yeah, absolutely. You could choose the first one to do this and then the second one to do that. Ideally, that is not always what we recommend. If you have you want to do this, it means that you have real knowledge about this or you have a strategy about this. But generally speaking, you don’t really have to do it. You’d have to focus at, say, one campaign, one extraction per rep and then it’s a bit more focused in qualitative. You’re going to want quality, not quantity. I’m talking quantity, but it’s always better to start an extraction or a campaign with an intent. Trying to open a conversation saying, hey, you have two or a years like me, it’s not going to work. You have to say something a bit more elaborate.
[00:18:15.360] – Dancho – We’re in the sales world. And G as much as you want, automation, as we said, it’s a tool that helps you. But if you put spammy content inside the automation…
[00:18:23.980] – Guillaume – Yes.
[00:18:23.980] – Dancho – You’re going to get a lot of spam. If you put some quality content into the tool, the tool will just help you do it faster and more efficient at the end of the day.
[00:18:34.370] – Guillaume – Yeah, it’s not going to solve all the problems in the world, definitely.
[00:18:37.760] – Dancho – Of course.
[00:18:38.980] – Dancho – I found it quite interesting. I just had one additional follow up, and then you have into the workforce where you can even also do the outreach or you’re finishing by adding everything to the CRM?
[00:18:51.260] – Guillaume – Well, again, it entirely depends on what you want to do. If we talk about best practice, what you want to do is push it inside either your CRM or in a warehouse. Then you’re going to select the account and push this inside the campaign. We could also have added next step that is going to push inside a specific campaign. For example, our list has loved outreach pretty much and if you guys… You could do this. You could absolutely do that. That’s fine. If you don’t have the time, if you don’t have the tools, the resources and stuff, definitely. There is no limitations regarding this. Again, the process is in your hands.
[00:19:34.200] – Dancho – Nice. You really got it from the process like a job. If you have a job to send emails, well, you can automate. If you have a job to collect prospects, well, you can automate it. It’s funny. Imagine you’re an SDR working in a corporation and you just have the Captain data plugged in and you just do nothing because you’re expected eight hours to collect data. You click a button and you’re like, What I’m supposed to do the rest of the day?
[00:20:00.420] – Guillaume – That’s where it’s interesting because then you have the real possibility to focus on your real job. As an SDR, your job is not to send emails, find crafty ways to open conversations. You want to have those conversations. You want to explore your code as because you have more quality conversations, more openers. That’s your real job for me.
[00:20:25.100] – Dancho – Focus on the relationship building rather than the tech and the data part..
[00:20:31.060] – Guillaume – Yeah, absolutely.
[00:20:33.590] – Dancho – Nice. G, I’m also looking that our target audience are high ticket service providers. And you said that enterprise companies can really benefit not just from sales because you’re more oriented on operational level. But I was also curious that your partnership opportunities, are there any affiliate or reseller or managed service partnership that you’re open to?
[00:20:59.500] – Guillaume – Yeah. The the beauty of Captain data is that we are in a unique position where we can sell to you, you can buy, we can integrate you, you can integrate us. At the end of the day, it really depends on your strategy. If you want us to be a white label platform because you want to enhance the capabilities that you have on your platform, then it’s fine. If you want us to work on a co-marketing, co-branding thing because you think that we can bring value to our agents, if it’s the same audience, then it’s fine. Really, we have many partnerships offers on the table. Again, it really depends on your targets.
[00:21:44.700] – Dancho – Nice. I saw your API and that’s why I thought that since you have an open API partnership that people can build on top of your solution, or as you said, even white labeling or other part. But that’s quite interesting, G. But I’m even more curious because now it’s November and I assume that the podcast will be live November, December. 2023 is around the corner. I was curious, what are the future plans on the Captain data? Is it going to become, I don’t know, the sailor pronunciation in the hierarchy starts with the captain. Is there a higher level that you can evolve to? And would it be more data or you’re going to go more toward the automation? What’s the future?
[00:22:31.190] – Guillaume – The last part of the question is very interesting actually, because we will slowly transition more and more towards the data. But what you’ve seen, the few things I’ve shown is mostly related to jobs, a list of jobs that you’ve did. What we want to do, because this is the long term position of Captain data, is first extracting data to create databases and the second one would be to aggregate those database. We have already the technology that we use internally, but we want to give the opportunity to our customers to really build databases on the fly. Really, it should be a breeze to do this. At the moment, it’s very complicated. You need engineering knowledge, you need operations and stuff. With the technology that we will be offering in around March 2023, it’s going to be like, again, just click a button, aggregate and you’ve got the data. Really, it’s what we will be focusing on much more in terms of data.
[00:23:39.700] – Dancho – Yeah, If you ask me, G, it’s on the right track because there is more and more data available in the 21st century now and the no code platforms are really catching up. Previously, if you want to create a simple picture, you need Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator. Now you have Canva, drag and drop, and there you go. You have a picture. Or if you needed some website, you needed some tech knowledge in order of WordPress or I don’t know, HTML. Now you have ClickFunnels, you have templates, you have drag and drop website builders. I saw now also with the jobs that you have, it’s no longer, yeah, I need to quote everything and orchestrate, but it’s more like just connecting, integrating. Non developers like me can actually utilize the tool rather than figuring out or hiring developers in order to do it for me.
[00:24:32.300] – Guillaume – The extra thing is you mentioned we have an API. Basically, our job is to build APIs and to sell APIs because we know there is a limit to no code. Our best customers, they use small fractions, they work with but they integrate also the APIs inside their own product or internal products. That’s also the beauty of it because at some point, if you really want to build strong stuff, you need more control of first the data and then the process. This is also why we do have so many APIs and that everything is an API. Anything, these are… You can add users, you can delete users, you can synchronize accounts, delete accounts, you can launch workflows, create workflows. Anything is possible with the API.
[00:25:27.750] – Dancho – That’s really nice, G. Well, I think we are going…We’re approaching the end of this interview. And, G, where people can actually find this solution? I know that there is a free trial, so if anybody is interested, they can come. But I wanted you to tell us where we can find, how we can learn more about the solution and give it a spin, give it a try to see what kind of magic it does.
[00:25:54.420] – Guillaume – Yeah, definitely. You can head over to captaindata.co I strongly suggest you to ask us for a demo. Again, we know there is a learning curve. Obviously, we know the product by heart. I could draft the workflow in 30 seconds, probably where you would take a bit more time, which is absolutely normal. Again, if you need help on process, this is things that we know. We’ve been advising the best and the fastest scaleups internationally, so we absolutely know what you should do depending on your maturity and stuff. Definitely, we have many people, automation experts ready to answer any questions that you’d have.
[00:26:41.560] – Dancho – Nice. Well, G, I wanted to thank you for joining our B2B album marketing and sales automation series. And for everybody out there who’s actually interested to try the Captain data, there should be a link around somewhere. I still have no idea, probably below the video. But give it a try. I’m sure that it could help your businesses. And of course, if you have struggles, there is a button Ask for a Demo. I’m sure that G and his team will give you a perfect explanation on how this specific automation can be used in your business. So G, thank you very much. Thank you again for coming on the show.
[00:27:20.760] – Guillaume – Thank you, Dancho. It was a pleasure.
[00:27:24.260] – Dancho – Likewise. Okay, so we’re closing this podcast and for everybody, we stay and Connect and I’m happy to continue searching for the best automation tools and bringing on this show. Greetings and bye bye.