Insidesales, last valued at roughly $US1.5 billion, is a startup that makes software for salespeople. It dissects billions of sales-related data to predict the best time and person to contact when selling something.
The company’s been making a lot of headlines for its growth and predictive technology, but it’s also known for its recent hiring spree — particularly for bringing in a bunch of executives who were once a major part of Salesforce, the $US50 billion cloud software maker.
In the past year alone, Insidesales has hired six former Salesforce executives, including:
- Jim Steele: former chief customer officer at Salesforce; now president of worldwide sales at Insidesales
- Dave Rudnitsky: former executive VP for enterprise sales at Salesforce; now SVP of enterprise sales at Insidesales (also best known for the famous “Rudnistky Sales Playbook“)
- Lindsey Armstrong: former SVP of international strategy at Salesforce; now SVP of international strategy at Insidesales
- Dean Robison: former SVP of M&A integration at Salesforce; now SVP of customer success at Insidesales
- Avanish Sahai: former global VP of ISV and channel alliances at Salesforce; now SVP of channels and alliances at Insidesales
- Martin Moran: former head of platform sales EMEA at Salesforce; general manager & SVP of EMEA at Insidesales
The arrival of these ex-Salesforce execs seems to have brought huge changes to the company’s sales culture, resulting in explosive revenue growth, according to Insidesales CEO Dave Elkington.
“It’s changed the entire DNA of who we are,” Elkington told us. “It’s the relationships, sales culture, sales discipline, the experience … they just know how to do deals.”
Elkington said his company is now closing seven-figure deals every month and is working on its first-ever eight-figure deal as well. It has over 80 enterprise deals in total, with more than 20 seven-figure deals in the works, he said.
The biggest change, however, is the company’s focus on not just building revenue, but putting more emphasis on helping the customers actually benefit from its software, Elkington said. That focus on the customer’s success has translated to higher retention rates, making its existing users to renew contracts and often upgrade their packages as well.
For example, Elkington said Zenefits, the HR software maker worth around $US4.5 billion, upgraded its deal from a “low six figure deal” to a “mutli-seven figure deal, running over multi-years” within 30 days of engaging with his new sales team.
“These are the kinds of things that weren’t happening before,” Elkington said.
More than anything, Elkington said it’s a testament to the effectiveness of his predictive solution. He noted that ADP, the HR and payroll provider, is seeing a 32% increase in the deals closed after using Insidesales, and an 86% jump in sales proposals accepted.
All this success leaves you wondering what Salesforce thinks about Insidesales taking away its own executives. According to Steele, who spent over 12 years at Salesforce before jumping ship late last year, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff jokingly told Elkington, “Don’t poach any more people from Salesforce.”
Obviously, that didn’t stop him from hiring more ex-Salesforce executives, but Elkington says his company still has a very good relationship with Benioff (in fact, Salesforce is one of the biggest investors in Insidesales).
“Marc (Benioff) was classy about it,” Elkington said.