Is there a way to grow and scale your business from being worth one million to a hundred million in just a few years? While it may be the case that there is no shortcut to business success, it can often be sped up.
In our Spotlight on Revenue Leadership event last August, four revenue leaders in SaaS joined us for a panel discussion: Jayme Smithers, CRO at ThoughtExchange; Kevin Knieriem, CRO at Clari; Bill Schmitt, CRO at Tempo Automation; and Stuart Barnes, VP of sales at Vimeo. Their session tackled the key areas business should focus on to scale: hiring and onboarding; organizational structure; and systems automation.
Stepping Up with Hiring & Onboarding
A real challenge businesses have encountered since the pandemic started is the so-called The Great Resignation. In fact, the ratio of unemployed people to job openings peaked at 5.0 in April 2020, as compared to the 0.8 ratio during January-February of the same year. High turnover rates have significantly impacted scaling efforts; as employees reevaluate their career choices, companies have struggled to attract and retain talent.
“Our retention strategy hasn’t changed much; if anything, it’s amplified in this environment,” shares Bill when asked about his take on the great reshuffling. Their strategy at Tempo Automation emphasizes cross-trainings, providing ample opportunities for career growth, and seeking alignment with employees’ individual goals and objectives.
As for Jayme Smithers, he feels listening is important when determining who you are as an organization and building it as a place where people want to work. It’s about creating opportunities to really hear from people, helping to drive their career, and promote cross-training. Furthermore, the ThoughtExchange CRO says that a diverse, inclusive workforce will allow companies to scale and grow. “We’ve been really intentional about our diversity and our diversity inclusion effort,” notes Jayme. “What are the conversations we’re bringing into the organization? We’re looking at the language and how that’s built up.”
Rethinking Your Organizational Design
In surviving these tumultuous times, companies have needed to pivot quickly and restructure their organization on short notice. The experts shared some valuable advice on how to build a more synergistic organizational structure:
- Let data drive and don’t just build a structure borne out of theory.
- Put the customer at the center of everything your teams do.
- Have a dedicated account management team and a customer success team — aligning these teams on customer outcomes (along with the product management team) can increase your profits by as much as 95%.
- Boost sales enablement — teams must be able to engage MQLs using accurate data and insights, conversion rates, and amped-up lead scoring for increased funnel efficiency.
When asked about the tools they use for restructuring their organization, Kevin cited Clari’s Revenue Academy as an example. The sales enablement program uses conversational intelligence to close the experience gap between their sales teams and customers. “That’s how we use training tools to get the reps the things they need to be successful, and they’re all measured.”
Automation is about creating solutions and utilizing suitable technology to gain a full view of everything that’s happening within the business. At Clari, Kevin shares how they leverage automation to gain visibility on the direction they’re headed so that they can adjust their operating plan in real time.
But with the myriad tools and technology available, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer number of options available. Additionally, there is often a disconnect between marketing and sales funnels that Bill says should be bridged through meaningful ways. One of these ways is to create a single end-to-end funnel and automate that along the way. “These tools really help us just track our activity much more effectively. When you track activity and give salespeople feedback, they crave for more progress.”
Stuart likened scaling a business to “changing the engine while the car is still running.” A company won’t see success until it has gone through growing pains one way or another, and the massive shift caused by the pandemic further amplifies that fact. But despite the never-ending challenges, it’s never too late for companies to regroup as an organization, rethink customer success strategies, and increase willingness to innovate.
Hear more from Jayme, Kevin, Bill, and Stuart by watching their full session recording below:
Photography by Brooke Cagle via Unsplash.