Here at Elastic, we are often asked about how we manage to consistently outperform our client’s internal sales teams month after month. People want to know what our secret sauce is. How do our sales teams maintain such high performance while scaling so quickly?
Since our business is sales, we need to make our team as effective as possible. We realized early on that the amount of time a salesperson spends communicating with customers is directly correlated with the revenue she/he brings in. It makes perfect sense. Yet, if you look at the day of the average sales person, they spend over 50% of their time not talking to customers. Instead, they spend this time researching leads, dialing numbers, listening to voicemails, and logging every call, email, opportunity and activity into a CRM.
Using technology to automate and eliminate all of this activity, our sales force can focus on what they do best - Selling. What emerged is Close.io, a powerful sales communication platform that automates the workflow of a sales person to make them as efficient as possible. Here are some of the highlights:
Work Flow Efficiencies: Close.io allows a sales person to make calls, send emails, and manage responses/appointments within a single application, eliminating the need to switch back and forth between multiple programs. In addition, we added efficiencies for high volume communication, eliminating the need for time-wasting tasks such as dialing numbers, listening to voicemails, or typing out emails that can be templated.
Lead Generation: The lead generation team has created a powerful platform that combines machine learning techniques with human computation, allowing crowd workers to quality check our data. This results in low cost, high quality leads, without forcing our sales people to do mind-numbing lead generation research.
Reporting: Sales people loath data entry. Our application logs all the activity they perform in a day so they don’t have to spend any time on redundant data entry. This keeps our data accurate and our sales managers happy.
In all, we found that salespeople are able to spend twice as much time communicating with customers with our technology than without it. This makes them twice as effective.
Finding best practices: We have worked with many different companies and many diverse products. When we launch with a client, our initial goal is to identify the most effective sales process for their product. Our process begins by spending the first 4 weeks in our sales lab exploring every different type of process imaginable. We pay close attention to conversion numbers at each stage of the funnel and iterate rapidly to discover the ideal sales process that is both scalable and profitable.
Scaling: We have put in a great deal of effort in figuring out the best way to scale quickly. We create specialized teams for consulting, qualifying, and closing – making certain that they are tightly integrated together for peak performance. We apply system dynamics and supply chain principles to effectively reduce and manage complexity in our system, while ensuring that we can scale quickly. We also love playing the beer game.
The biggest secret in our “secret” sauce is without reservation our people. We are continually searching far and wide to find the best hustlers in the business that possess a strong entrepreneurial mindset. Everyone here at Elastic, regardless of their role, has either been a founder in the past, or has founding aspirations in the future. Our team is bright, smart, hungry, willing to take risks, and hustles day in and day out. Coupled with the right tools, and the most effective processes, they are able to consistently produce results that match or surpass even the most seasoned internal sales team.
So there you have it: with effective tools, scalable processes, and entrepreneurial people, our sales teams can and will outperform yours.