#31: Driving Customer Success with Gabe Perez VP APAC at Coupa Software

Driving Customer Success with Gabe Perez VP APAC at Coupa Software Featured Image

Gabe Perez is one of the first 30 Coupa employees and has worn multiple hats in various roles which include Presales, Implementations, Sales Management, and Marketing to name a few. Has been a key player in Coupa’s IPO team that helped make Coupa be a hit through increasing their share value by almost 10X ongoing.

As the Vice President of Asia Pacific, he has led the team in growing the Asia business by 300%.

Coupa Sofware a leader in cloud-based spend management, recently announced that its customers have connected and done business with more than five million unique suppliers through Coupa’s Open Business Network™. Coupa continues to have one of the largest business networks in the world, which encompasses customers and suppliers doing business in more than 100 countries.

Listen to the full discussion here:

  • Stream by clicking here.
  • Download as an MP3 here.



Connect with the Guest:

Gabe Perez: Linkedin

Some of the highlights from the podcast:

  • How Coupa provides a real-time control tower of all of your spending, risks, contracts, invoicing, and more.
  • Coupa’s motto: “We don’t really care about customer satisfaction. We only care about customer success.”
  • Why some customers had their results mentioned by CFOs on earnings calls.
  • PWC survey of 450 CFOs – the number one thing that was top of mind – implementing cost containment.
  • How one of the clients – an airport – cut out a million dollars in funding that allowed them to keep the business stable.
  • An auto manufacturer ran $2 billion of direct spend through Coupa sourcing optimization had $200 million savings in the first three months.
  •  The best piece of advice: “Never be satisfied!”

Show notes:

  • [01:23] Can you share with us a little background on how sports led you to your current position?
  • [02:43] Tell us about your journey with Coupa, you’ve been part of the 51st people team and then part of the IPO and the last few years in APEC leading the team here right?
  • [03:53] I was reading somewhere that Coupa has more than 500 customers in 100 countries using your solution. I was wondering from your personal experience, what excites you the most about Coupa and the solution?
  • [05:45] The solution is driving a huge impact driving a lot of value for customers. And it’s actually lagged by everybody who uses it, which very few software providers can say. 
  • [06:06] How would you make a clear distinction between Coupa and everything else on the market?
  • [06:14] Our biggest competitor is ourselves because this is about how we execute because we’re going places that people haven’t gone before in the business and management space. 
  • [07:38] I’d say the number one way that we’re different is the number of referenceable customers who are not only referenceable saying they like the solution but can stand up and say, I saved $60 million or can stand up and say I’ve cut my processing time by 80%.
  • [09:01] Have you seen any trends that are impacted by the crisis in the mindset of your customers and in the way they approach their business strategy connected to spending and procurement?
  • [09:58] What we’ve seen since the last recession is a lot of companies have been focused on top-line growth and they really haven’t look at their bottom line, but what COVID has done is force businesses to quickly change their focus on the bottom line, to ensure that the businesses will be resilient.
  • [13:29] Are there specific examples that you could share before and after the implementation of Coupa so that we can see the return on investments? Is there an example we could talk about?
  • [17:19] I imagine that the number of requests and reaching out to your solution are high. How do you manage this kind of funnel during this period?
  • [18:11] Because we were born in the cloud and because we’re so outcome-focused and because the tool is really a great platform, Coupa’s BSM platform is really configurable, easy to use,  and easier to implement than most tools, we are able to do things quickly without the same kind of overhead.
  • [20:05] If somebody is not outcome-focused and all they care about is features and functions and price, we’re probably not the best partner for them. 
  • [21:26] I hear this a lot, if you don’t have a strong partner ecosystem or a channel focus and you go to market in APAC, people will be reluctant to trust you or to accept your way of doing things or the change management they have to do. Do you see this in your interactions or experience in APAC so far? And if so, what are some ways to overcome this?
  • [23:54] Where I’ve found success is one, trying to understand the people I was dealing with and why they were coming out of the way they were coming at it and two, hiring.
  • [24:30] If your software is good and your service is good and it drives results, you will start winning business. 
  • [24:58] What were some of the lessons you had when hiring and how do you identify the best fit? 
  • [27:33] One of the reasons a lot of people ended up buying from us is that yes, we have a really good product, but they want to do business with us because their success and their results come first and we will do whatever it takes and we will always do the right thing to go from there.
  • [28:06] What is next for Coupa? What are the big audacious goals that you have for the organization?
  • [29:22] From a growth perspective, the growth is going to stay the same, but our focus will be on execution. If we execute, we’re going to help more customers and we’re going to continue to grow.
  • [32:14] What is the best piece of advice that you’ve have been given or you could give to somebody, either at the beginning of their career or at a crossroads where they want to change their career?
  • [33:06] The reason I came to Coupa was not that they paid me more money to come to Coupa, it was because they offered me more opportunity than the company that was offering me more money where I was at was giving me.
  • [35:22] When you’re younger, title and money are important, but they’re not everything because those things will come if you’re a successful person, but really it’s about that opportunity to grow.

About the Host:

The host, Andrei Palamariu is the founder of Supplify where he and his team works on building a platform to connect the supply chain tech ecosystem. His most interesting discussions with the clients are focused on implementing the best technology, digital transformation, company growth and expansion, turnarounds, and product and business development.

Alcott Global connects and upgrades the supply chain ecosystem by finding the right talent through executive search, developing talent through learning solutions, and meeting supply chain technology needs through a comprehensive crunch base marketplace.

The supply chain executive search has been our focus since the very beginning, offering recruitment services for top-tier supply chain roles at every level of the end-to-end supply chain: plan, source / procure, make, and deliver. Our consultants have years of experience in placing top talent, in North America, LATAM, Europe, the Middle East & Africa, and APAC, and besides speed, one of our biggest strengths is our network within the supply chain industry, and we capitalize on it to find the best solutions.

Through the years, we have grown as an organization and our offerings with it. One of our initiatives, the learning solutions- training and supply chain academy, is focused on transforming leadership- self-leadership, executive presence, influence capital, and business acumen. Through Supplify, we aim to match corporations with the top technology companies to solve their supply chain and logistics challenges with a focus on innovation and digital transformation.

We are in constant touch with the leaders in supply chain, inviting them to inspire the supply chain professionals in thought-provoking podcast episodes and events, and showcasing what is possible at the yearly Leaders in Supply Chain Awards.

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