This week, the Bowery Capital team hosted Aman Narang, President and Co-Founder at Toast, to discuss “Hybrid Selling Models: Building Successful Hardware & Software Sales Efforts.” Toast is a mobile point-of-sale application for restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs, and other businesses in the food service and hospitality space. Toast provides a comprehensive, fully-featured business management solution.
Aman Narang is President and co-founder of Toast. Prior to Toast, he worked on innovation initiatives at Endeca, now Oracle. Aman spearheaded the development of Endeca’s business intelligence platform as well as their mobile commerce platform, each of which became major business units. He holds BS and MS degrees in Computer Science from MIT and currently leads innovation and business development initiatives at Toast.
As Aman is a Co-Founder at Toast, he built out the early sales machine at the business. We first dug in around the mixture of hardware versus software and how you specifically think about what you are going to lead with. Aman gave the listeners some great understanding about iOS versus Android from both the hardware and software side and how they thought about the form factor and custom hardware and software when launching Toast. Aman then discussed product pricing and considerations around hardware versus software. We close on this component of the discussion by talking through selling models and how a founder should consider local selling of their hardware and software with either an inside or outside sales model. Aman talked a lot about the specific profiles of people that he hired early on: ex-software sales people (obvious) or ex-restauranteurs (non-obvious). He spoke about competing with legacy vendors and how to win when thinking about the hardware or the software as the primary drivers. In the hospitality space, there is one glaring 800 pound gorilla in Micros Systems. Aman and I spoke about how they really built out a different market segment and really focused on a “harder” to win customer that Micros Systems was not even really competing in. He talked a lot about product pricing at scale and where they stand today on the blend of hardware and software pricing. Aman wrapped up the podcast with some high level thinking and tips and tricks that they learned in the first few years of business life.
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