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The Welcome Challenge of Scaling Up: Q&A With ProspX CEO Todd Young

Every small vendor — no matter the industry — dreams of landing at least one big name Fortune 500 client. Such a client, of course, would lend it the necessary street cred — not to mention revenue — that all smaller companies need. It also might open the door to new product development and distribution possibilities.

That has been the case with ProspX, a company that has developed a CRM application for the commercial insurance space — and built a strong relationship with Assurex Global Partners.

The ProspX application, as CEO Todd Young describes it, delivers sexy Web 2.0 collaboration and search tools to the commercial insurance industry.

Then there is Assurex, which Young said is the company’s largest client by far. In February, ProspX began to roll out Assurex Global XpertConnect in more than 80 countries. It leverages ProspX’s collaboration platform to give brokers better access to internal resources.

Young spoke exclusively with CRM Buyer about the company’s trajectory and what it hopes to accomplish this year.

CRM Buyer: How is ProspX weathering the economic downturn?

Todd Young:

We are weathering it very well. We have come up with a solution that our clients have been waiting for, and we have been able to work with terrific partners such as Assurex Global Partners. So, right now, our focus is to scale to meet the needs of our clients.

CRM Buyer: What are some of the cost-cutting measures you’ve taken?

Young:

We haven’t taken any cost-cutting measures, actually. Right now, we are focused on scaling our organization to meet our clients’ needs.

CRM Buyer: How can your products help your customers’ bottom lines in the near term?

Young:

This technology is next-generation CRM for the insurance industry. It is specifically designed to help with complex multiparty collaboration, streamlining communication internally across an insurance brokerage or agency — all for better intelligence on the client. It boosts productivity, and it helps sales by giving the sales team the intelligence they need.

CRM Buyer: What are some of the bright spots for your company right now?

Young:

Very recently, we hired a seasoned veteran of the commercial insurance industry — Dennis Chookaszian — as chairman of the board. He is the former chairman of the board and CEO of Chicago-based CNA. He will be a big assist for us as we scale our product. Assurex Global XpertConnect is also a bright spot for us.

CRM Buyer: How will your company look a year from now?

Young:

We want to be the top solution for the commercial insurance industry for collaboration and automation. There isn’t any other insurance application out there that has our combination of features and components to help people in the commercial insurance industry connect to relevant resources and technology. Our focus for the next year will be scaling out to grow our customer base.

CRM Buyer: When you say you want to scale out the customer base, can you elaborate? Are you reaching out to other segments of the insurance industry, for instance?

Young:

Yes, a big component of our system is to help streamline information to the insurance carrier network — so we are working on those companies as well.

CRM Buyer: What is your main challenge right now?

Young:

Again, scaling — our biggest goal too. We are focusing on getting the right people, growing our team, scaling the customer base — and each of those goals comes with a challenge in doing it right, finding the right people and contacts.

CRM Buyer: You are hiring people right now?

Young:

Yes. We plan to have brought on an additional 20 people by the end of this year.

CRM Buyer: In what areas?

Young:

Account executives, tech engineers and customer service.

CRM Buyer: Since this is such a specialized space — collaboration and CRM for the commercial insurance industry — I was wondering if you have sized this market. How big do you think it is?

Young:

Yes, we have sized it. It is a $500 billion industry — a very large market.

CRM Buyer? That is measured by … ?

Young:

Commercial insurance premiums.

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