As part of our jobs in Sales, we get to work with really incredible
startups and witness their development at every stage. Some of those
starts are trying to scale as they grow and others are just trying to
find the shortest path to being successful. That said, almost every
startup struggles with growth on some level, and it can be a painful
journey without the right business tools.
We’ve identified three areas - and created an infographic
- that most successful startups should master: operational visibility,
scalability, and an effective sales and service process.
Click on the image to see the full infographic
Whether it’s forecasting or reporting, startup growth is a numbers
game and every leader will be challenged to provide data-driven
insights. Prospective investors need forward-looking reports, and
sometimes startups need enough information to make a decision, quickly.
Unlike enterprises, startups and small businesses do not have an army
of dedicated staff that can target every attractive market. With a
heavier reliance on short-term cash flow, agile startups must identify
and focus on activities that drive results.
A good reporting tool will point to which products and regions to
focus on, which selling activities are producing, and when to start
hiring. When you don’t have many resources, you need to use what you
It comes down to being organized and having the ability to operate
effectively. To do that you need data and you usually need it
quickly. When it comes to fundraising the game isn’t much different -
Startups are 2.5 times more likely to raise money when they’re using a
70% of startups struggle with scalability, so equipping your business
with a scalable platform is crucial to the growth of a startup.
Whether you’re investing in a web platform or front-office application
suite, the risk associated with system breakage is huge and the costs of
switching can be very high.
Factors to consider in the decision-making include: a history of stability, mobile support, and ease of management.
We’ve witnessed small business startups that have had to accommodate millions of new users on Heroku
and Sales teams that need to accommodate an expansion from one founder to hundreds of sales reps.
Moreover, as functional teams are added, individual applications
suited for those functions need to be added as well. Getting these apps
to talk becomes a necessity, but few startups have the time or money to
build custom integrations.
A central hub for sales, service, marketing, and operations allows
you to build a single customer profile. Salesforce customers like Spotify
started small with this in mind.
Startups with amazing products can find themselves exasperated with
the pressures of developing processes from scratch. Resources are
limited and early-stage companies need to focus on what they do best –
developing a world-class product.
Building a sales and support operation is one of the most difficult
problems any business startup has to deal with in their growth stage.
We often see teams that are small businesses relying on a combination
of spreadsheets, sticky notes, and simple databases to track their
customer engagements. “Duct tape and Bubble Gum” is what we call it.
This piecemeal approach results in leads falling through the cracks,
poor customer on-boarding and sales deals being mismanaged. It’s money
out the window.
Platforms like Salesforce were engineered to help you sell more and
service better. Sales reps have a proven process to follow, leading to
shorter sales cycles, losing fewer deals, and increasing the amount of
larger opportunities, while Customer Service Agents have a complete view of the customer
, ensuring nothing gets lost in translation.
Moreover, closing the feedback loop keeps product development engaged
with your market. You can customize the application to suit your unique
processes, building on the best practices that millions of Salesforce
Is your startup "ready" to grow?
Once a startup itself, Salesforce recognizes the importance of
supporting the startup community. We are founder-led with we are still
managing over 30% yearly growth, so while the scale has changed we still
deal with much the same things day to day as many of you.
We have partnered with programs like Y-Combinator
and events like NY Tech Day
of this and have developed an emerging business segment to identify
with the unique challenges that growing startups face.
You've invested heavily into building a world class product and
getting it in to customer’s hands. We hope these insights help to
prepare you for your startup growth; to make smart, longer-term
decisions so that you have right tools for growth as you are become more
If we can help in any way, or are interested in digging in on what
this means for your startup - please comment below or reach out to us –
your feedback is always appreciated. Want to learn more how startups,
, use Salesforce? Feel free to watch this video