Following last week’s press release, in which InsightSquared announced 20x growth in the past year, we received a lot of questions from customers and partners about how we did it. In this post, I’ll share some of the crucial steps we took to achieve such rapid growth.
First, we started with lead generation
When it comes to smart growth, it all starts with lead generation – and data-driven marketing is your best bet for producing high-quality leads.
Our marketing team grew from 1 person to 10 people in the past year (and we’re still hiring). In addition to team growth, we used our own product to evaluate which marketing campaigns lead to actual pipeline growth and to sales, not merely to leads alone. When we found which campaigns produced significant results and yielded high ROI, we focused most of our investments there. Here is the growth in our leads over time:
These leads + our prospecting team helped us grow our pipeline quickly
Our board and CEO set very high goals (sometimes seemingly impossible) for each month and quarter – and it has taken more than just hard work to hit them. Since pipeline is one of the top most important things in sales, we set aggressive objectives to grow it.
Below is a chart showing our Pipeline Growth in dollar volume. This was a result of our lead generation efforts plus our outbound prospecting team’s effort. It required a lot of careful planning, precise execution, and a great deal of teamwork between marketing and sales to get our growth up and to the right.
We do everything by the numbers
Everything. We are all about analytics here at InsightSquared, and we are avid proponents of experimentation. After all, if you aren’t experimenting, you aren’t innovating quickly enough. But when we do run experiments, we don’t just “wing it” – we track and measure them against baseline metrics in great detail. Then, we fuel the stuff that works.
Our analytics allow us to track metrics like our best lead generation campaigns. We don’t just look at how many leads each campaign creates, but we link each campaign to the opportunities and closed-won deals it influenced. Sometimes it seems that a campaign may be successful because it produced a lot of leads, but we don’t fall for that – we only fund the campaigns that result in direct impact on sales. We also have a tight sales process that’s trackable and measurable at every stage, and we have a formula for everything so we can constantly improve.
All of this analysis would not be so easily accessible without our product. Which takes me to my next point…
We live and breathe our product
The secret sauce is in our product. Our product shows metrics and analytics for every facet of our business, from bookings trajectory and expected monthly revenue to exactly how many calls, connects, meetings, and deals every sales rep in our company has made in any time period.
Everyone in our company, from C-level to entry-level, uses our product all day long to check in on personal and company progress, make data-driven decisions, and drive business objectives.
How can each rep improve their win rate? How can they shorten their sales cycles? We have a deep understanding of each sales rep’s metrics so they can figure out exactly where in their sales cycle they need to improve conversion rates, how they can grow their average deal size, and so on.
Our reps have ownership over all of their metrics so they are engaged, accountable, and see how their performance directly impacts the entire team’s and company’s goals. Other companies find this extremely difficult to do because all the analysis is often solely in the hands of sales managers and VPs.
We hired the best people in Boston
It’s all about hiring the smartest people that want to take ownership of their performance. We have successfully attracted and hired some of Boston’s best engineers, product developers, marketers, customer happiness professionals, and salespeople. (And, again, we’re still hiring!) Every member of our team was carefully selected because they are extremely intelligent and competent, passionate, analytical, and constantly looking to innovate. We have the most data-driven team members I’ve ever worked with.
And how did we recruit all these talented people?
We cultivated an amazing work culture
It started with our founders, who understand the value of building a great work culture that is not just the cherry on top of an amazing product, but a powerful tool that drives success and makes our company a place where our employees want to spend time.
With our “west coast-style” culture comes all the usual suspects: a casual dress code, work-life balance, beer on tap, and a ping pong table. But kegerators don’t create great company cultures all by themselves. Our company values include radical transparency that inspires a bond of trust across all levels, an emphasis on coaching and professional development, and employee evaluation based on data and results instead of hours worked or “perceived effort.”
As they say, culture is often shaped by a company’s leaders – and ours plug in the griddlers and make pancakes, bacon and eggs for the whole company when we exceed our bookings quota for the quarter:
Co-founder/Chief of Product & Marketing Sam Clemens (left) and co-founder/CEO Fred Shilmover (right) celebrate a record-breaking Q1 by cooking up a delicious breakfast spread for the InsightSquared team.
Here’s to the next 12 months of continued success and growth of a smart, driven, and amazing team!