In the next installment of our ongoing blog series, Faces of FPX, we hear from Alex Boike, a Sales Engineer.
How did you get your start at FPX?
I started at FPX part-time during my senior year of college in the Services department as a Business Data Analyst and began doing work for a number of clients. The rest is history. I’m coming up on eight years now with the company.
What’s kept you with FPX for your entire career?
I’d say having the opportunity to grow into new positions. I was on the Services side of the business for five years and then moved over to Sales Engineering – where I am now – three years ago.
I’d also say what’s kept me here are the people that we work with. We’ve really got a good group of people. When you have an issue, getting help from other people is very easy to do. No matter the department, people are approachable and everyone is willing to offer ideas for how to solve different problems.
Tell us a little bit about your role in Sales Engineering.
One of the most interesting things about being in this position, and actually working for the company as a whole, is getting to work with and do implementations for a variety of different types of companies. We talk to a lot of companies and prospects that vary all the way from airplane manufacturers to insurance providers. There are many differences between our customers and their business processes; it really keeps the job interesting.
What changes have you seen in the company as we’ve been growing?
First off, I think it’s very evident that the people we’re hiring are the right people. That goes across the board – Sales, Marketing, Product Development and Services. That’s the main thing. Our new office locations are really nice too. When we bring clients into our office in Minneapolis, we give off a good vibe and send the right message.
What sets FPX apart from other vendors in the market?
I would say our product for sure. Our product is awesome. A lot of times you hear the proof is in what you show and I think we do that very well. Our product is very mature and we work with a lot of people that have been with the company for years. So you have all that industry background that’s reflected in the product and allows us to really mold our product into what our customers need.
The CPQ market is constantly changing. In what ways do you think FPX has responded to these changes?
Right now we’re seeing deals fly in from customers looking for ecommerce-focused CPQ that caters to the end buyer, and that’s really been a big shift from traditional, sales-focused CPQ that plugs into CRM. We’ve really made big strides in our commerce capabilities.
A few years ago, we were mostly focused on traditional B2B sales transactions. Now, by injecting ourselves into the commerce market, we’re opening a whole new avenue for sales. We’re taking that commerce experience, that Amazon type of experience, and molding it to fit the B2B experience. We’ve been able to capitalize on our product maturity to be able to plug into companies’ commerce solutions.
Where do you see the CPQ space headed?
First and foremost, I think ecommerce is going to be big as vendors start to blur those lines between direct-to-customer and traditional B2B sales. I think tying analytics into CPQ solutions will be big as well – being able to make on-the-fly recommendations and machine learning capabilities.
We already have an engine in place that ties into our product. Say a customer or manufacturer needs to find a specific part. What we have in place now sends users through lists of rule-based questions to guide them to the specific part they need. But we’re refining our process by leveraging predictive analytics to, based on how the user answers, make recommendations such as: “95% of people that experience the same type of problem have this part as their common solution”. The potential for commerce is really exciting.
What would you tell someone who’s thinking about working at FPX?
I’d say the biggest perk is working with different prospects and clients all the time. When you work at other companies, you’re focused on one thing, day in and day out. Here you could be working with a client that manufactures helicopters one week, and switching over to something completely different the next. It’s constantly changing and offers new challenges every day.
That’s definitely the most interesting part of the job – when you have to do the deep dive into a customer’s industry and business. It’s what makes it challenging as well – you have to become an expert in their specific business and solution in a short amount of time. What’s really nice about FPX is we have people that have been with the company for so long and have seen so many different areas; I would imagine other software companies don’t have that.
FPX is more than CPQ. FPX is a community.
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