A 5x SaaS entrepreneur, Godard Abel is CEO of G2, the world’s largest and most trusted software marketplace, which he co-founded in 2012. He is also Executive Chairman of ThreeKit, a leading 3D visualization technology company, and Logik.io, a next generation configuration technology.
Previously, Godard served as CEO of SteelBrick which was acquired by Salesforce in 2016. Prior to SteelBrick, Godard co-founded BigMachines, where he served as CEO and built it into a leading SaaS provider which was acquired by Oracle in 2013. He also served as a GM at Niku prior to its IPO in 2000 (and subsequent acquisition by CA).
Before entering the technology industry, Godard consulted for McKinsey & Company and advised leading manufacturers in the U.S. and Germany on strategy development and business process improvement. Godard was a Finalist for EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019, named to the Tech 50 list by Crain’s Business Chicago in September 2014, and to the Chicago Entrepreneur Hall of Fame in 2011. He earned an MBA from Stanford University and both a B.S. and M.S. in engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
As you can tell by our conversation, Godard is not only an innovator and leader in the tech world, but he is also very skilled at sharing a lot of information in few words.
M.R. Rangaswami: How is software buying changing?
Godard Abel: B2B buyers now expect consumer-like shopping experiences, where they can conduct research and make purchases quickly, conveniently, and on their own terms. This means expensive software solutions can be bought with a credit card, and the buyer conducts research on review sites and other peer communities. In fact, G2 research finds that 67% of global B2B software buyers usually engage a salesperson once they have already made a purchasing decision.
M.R.: How does AI impact this shift in software buying behavior?
AI will only accelerate the ongoing shift to self-serve software research and buying, delivering modern digital buyer experiences. The ability of AI to provide immediate, data-driven insights is a key driver of this shift. With this in mind, software vendors have an opportunity to lean into AI to meet buyers’ preferences for speed, eliminating friction in the software buying journey.
M.R.: What role does G2 play in this evolving software landscape?
Godard: G2 has over 2.4 million verified reviews on 150,000+ products and services. All 1 billion knowledge workers around the world need software and they’re coming to G2 to research it. With our massive dataset on B2B software and the most traffic from software buyers, G2 is uniquely positioned to power software buying and selling in the age of AI.
Earlier this year, we introduced Monty, the first-ever AI-powered software business assistant built on OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Previously, a buyer would visit G2.com and search for the type of software they were looking for – CRM, for example. However, not every buyer knows exactly what they need.
With Monty, you can now describe the business challenge you’re looking to solve and have a conversation. Powered by G2’s extensive dataset, Monty can recommend the best software solutions for your particular need – making the process of research software faster, easier, and more effective.
M.R. Rangaswami is the Co-Founder of Sandhill.com