Satish Patil: Mitibase Technologies’ CEO, discusses AI’s effect on B2B sales

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Successful entrepreneur Dr Satish Patil has more than a decade of experience in developing and delivering products and solutions based on AI and ML to clients all over the world. Satish holds a B.Tech degree from the University of Mumbai and is a PhD holder from the University of Minnesota in the United States.

Crysagi Systems, a provider of data science services, was founded and led by Satish until it was acquired by CoreView Systems. When Satish was at Crysagi, he advised on data strategy and algorithmic capabilities to companies across industries, including those in global pharma, e-commerce, industrial, healthcare, Fintech, and startups.

Satish is currently the Founder & CEO of Mitibase, an international product startup specialising in knowledge graph and people intelligence. At Mitibase, he leads the company’s strategic direction and assists a group of dedicated engineers working on an all-encompassing human knowledge database.

Startups, entrepreneurs, and investment ecosystems regularly seek out Satish for guidance and mentorship.

A small introduction about Satish Patil

I’m Satish Patil, Founder & CEO – Mitibase Technologies. I did my PhD at the UMN Minneapolis, almost a decade ago. I came back to India, started my first consulting and Services Company based out of Pune for six-seven years, and recently exited. So that’s my first exit as an entrepreneur and Mitibase Technologies is my second venture which we started almost three years ago. I’m happily married with two kids. That’s all about me.

What is MitiBase Technologies?

Mitibase Technologies is a sales intelligence platform, we help b2b sales and revenue professionals for outbound sales that generate qualified leads, as well as give a lot of revenue and GTM intelligence to win more deals faster.

What were the plan and the process for launching?

So, as a first-generation entrepreneur, when I came back from the U.S. to start my entrepreneurial journey, and during my first company, when I was building the company, I realized how difficult it is to enter the B2B world of sales, as a first-generation entrepreneur. And then slowly, what we have realized is in the B2B world view, when you do sales, you need to have some unfair advantage. Because today there is no more long-term competitive advantage for many products and services companies. So, we thought about what could be the secret sauce, for B2B companies, which they can leverage, harness and have more advantages- that is your network. So, if you mind your relationships at the organisational level that can be an unfair advantage. So, Mitibase Technologies helps B2B companies with their relationship network at the organizational level. And your relationship is your unfair advantage because nobody can copy-paste that from you. So the whole idea is, there is one secret sauce that is helping B2B salespeople, which is the relationship network. So Mitibase’s entire thesis is based on that, a concept that will leverage your network and you find your next customer in your network because that’s the best part to close more deals.

What are the current challenges in B2B sales in 2023?

So, what happens is, if you realize any b2b organization, let it be an enterprise product company or IT services consulting company, there is a limit to which there’s growth, so a lot of organization builder GTM or the functions or outbound sales team, they want to scale their growth in terms of more revenue. But as I mentioned above, what we have realized is all companies do the same thing. They purchase the database, they do cold calling, email marketing, content writing, everybody posts on LinkedIn, and everybody does the cold calling. So in this case, in these kinds of scenarios, where everyone has access to the same database, the same tools, same approaches. What is that unfair advantage?

Today, the b2b sales team struggles to get the qualified pipeline or qualified lead, because everybody’s doing the same thing. So their main pain point is a predictable pipeline generation, they call it a top-of-the-funnel. Lead Gen is everyone’s problem. Second thing is, they don’t have enough intelligence, right for outreach. So when I do any outbound email campaign, an outbound sales, everybody wants the people who respond to me, they gave no time to me, they should come to meetings, should, allow us to schedule a demo. But the cold calling, cold email, the response rate is extremely poor.

So, how can the b2b team today struggle to get positive responses, like qualified pipeline lead generation? What is the intent data? So if I read reaching out to few customers, few prospects, do they have a need? Do they have the intent to purchase my product or my services? Third is, what is the buying journey? Because in 2023, a lot of things have changed, So today, a lot of companies struggle to understand the individual buyer journeys. Do they research? Do they ask referral? Do they decide based on a LinkedIn review? Or do they look at their website? Do they look at your case studies? So these are the top but what we have realized is the predictable pipeline generation is the major pain point for the b2b sales team in today’s time, especially in 2023.

How much impact artificial intelligence will have on B2B sales? And how can organizations be ready to embrace and leverage AI in sales in the coming few years?

What if you realize in past, people are subscribing to hundreds and 10s of SAS tools? People use CRM, people use marketing automation platforms, people use, product billing, people use a product analytics tools, people have ERPs people have, billing and accounting software. So if you look at an organization, we use a lot of tools to, articulate the customer journey, marketing tools for marketing, sales for customer relationship management, the billings for billing product analytics to see how customers are using our platform operations data, Customer Success tools, because of that there is a lot of data getting generated at the organization level.

The challenge is, because those data reside in silos, companies are struggling to make sense of all those disconnected data. And that’s where artificial intelligence is coming into the picture. So today, there are a lot of advanced AI capabilities, where companies can leverage their technologies to make sense of this disconnected data. So that marketing teams, Sales teams, Customer teams, and executive teams can work, in a very cohesive fashion, and make very effective decisions. And all this is only possible because of AI. So AI machine learning, with the help of these we can achieve some of the insights and discoveries within our data, which typically was not possible five years ago.

Because AI also brings a lot of automation into the picture, Sales people also become more efficient/ more productive. So in the net, AI definitely is having and will continue to have a profound effect on how organizations do sales marketing and customer success.

To answer the second part of your question, organizations should invest in 3 areas. First is definitely tools and technologies, there are a lot of AI-powered machines and technologies including Mitibase. So, organizations should also invest in data engineers, data scientists, and data analysts, which can leverage those tools, for sales and marketing purposes.

And the third, and most important part is the processes and workflows, just purchasing tools will not help, and just hiring more people will not help. So, if an organization really wanted to leverage AI then there are three components, tools and technologies, people and processes. So those who have not done, I think 2023 Or in the next two-three years, definitely you will see a lot of adoption of these AI tools, more data, people will get hired.

How was the overall experience as a founder?

Interesting question. It’s been a roller coaster journey.  This is my second venture, earlier I used to, run and build a services company. A lot of learnings I got during my journey and because of the market shift, we have seen, pre Corona, Corona and post-Corona, we see a lot of change in the market dynamics, a lot of expectation change from the customers, people have been becoming more frugal, more cost-sensitive, with the recession in the Western world, product companies like us, have a really challenging time. It’s exciting, as well as challenging, but it’s a rollercoaster journey. Some days are good, and some days are bad. But you know, I’m enjoying it.

What things you learned

What I’ve learned, as an entrepreneur, after building two companies, exited from one company building. The second one is, the focus is the key. So what I really, ‘ve realized is, the key to learning is you have to become very focused, whenever you build a company in the beginning, you are Bootstrap, you don’t have resources. So focus brings you a lot of success. It avoids a lot of errors, or it can save a lot of time, effort, and energy money. So what I’ve learned is, that focus is the key to success. And the second is building an effective team. So two things, focus and team are the crucial aspect of any venture. That’s my learning, from the last two companies.

One piece of advice from your side to the future entrepreneurs

One is “Focus”. So as I say, I made a lot of mistakes as an entrepreneur. Hence, I strongly advise all future entrepreneurs don’t do 10 different things. Don’t spread too thin. Focus on one thing consistently. And the most important piece of advice is “Compounding brings you value”. Keep doing that one thing again and again, talk to customers and get feedback, but compounding brings value, don’t just give it up. Focus and compounding will definitely bring you success. So that’s my advice for all future entrepreneurs.

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