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In episode #14, Anna Nadeina talks with Veronika, CEO & Co-Founder at Demodesk, one of the leading platforms for virtual sales.

From Consultant to Startup Founder

Veronika Wax, the CEO and co-founder of Demodesk, shares her inspiring story of founding one of the leading platforms for virtual sales. Starting as a consultant, Veronika’s entrepreneurial spirit led her to co-found Demodesk over five years ago with her co-founder, Alex.

The idea for Demodesk stemmed from the initial vision to find a better approach to screen sharing. Instead of recording the local desktop screen, the content would be hosted in the cloud, making the process faster and easier. Recognizing the growing trend of virtual meetings, especially in sales, Veronika and Alex saw an opportunity to develop a sales-focused platform that would enable anyone to be a great seller with the help of technology.


Navigating the Challenges of the Early Days

As a first-time founder, Veronika faced numerous challenges in the early days of building Demodesk. Securing a sustainable salary was one of the initial hurdles, which they overcame by securing a government scholarship that provided a basic income for the first year. Veronika also recalls the struggles of having a product that was constantly breaking, with crashes and bugs occurring on a weekly basis. However, she emphasizes the importance of building strong relationships with early customers, maintaining a positive and optimistic attitude, and being willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Veronika’s experience with the Y Combinator program and their first funding round in 2019 were also significant milestones in Demodesk’s journey. She shares the importance of having a solid product and customer base before applying to accelerator programs, as well as the challenges of navigating the funding process as a first-time founder.


The Role of AI in Supercharging Sales Teams

One of the key focus areas for Demodesk has been the integration of AI technology to enhance the sales process. Veronika explains that while the initial vision was to enable anyone to be a great seller with technology, the early days of the company relied more on structured playbooks and talk tracks than advanced AI capabilities.

However, the launch of GPT-3.5 marked a turning point, allowing Demodesk to leverage AI models to analyze sales conversations, provide real-time coaching, and generate valuable insights for sales teams. Veronika discusses the challenges of finding the right pricing model for their AI-powered coaching feature, balancing the needs of individual users and larger enterprise customers.


Supporting Remote Sales Teams and Preventing Churn

Demodesk has been a remote-first company since its inception, and Veronika shares her insights on effectively managing and motivating remote sales teams. She emphasizes the importance of regular stand-ups, over-communication, and fostering a strong sense of community, even in a distributed work environment.

Regarding customer retention, Veronika explains Demodesk’s approach of segmenting their customer base and providing varying levels of proactive customer success support. By tracking user activity and calculating customer health scores, the team is able to identify potential churn risks and intervene early to prevent customer turnover.


Lessons Learned and Sales Hacks

Throughout her journey, Veronika has encountered both significant wins and failures. She highlights the pride she felt when Demodesk reached the $1 million ARR milestone, as well as the challenges of hiring the wrong people in key leadership roles. Veronika also shares a few sales hacks that have worked well for Demodesk, such as leveraging customer referrals and optimizing their Product Hunt launch strategy.


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