Our Journey On How We Based A Gross sales Gamification SaaS And Scaled It

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Hi there! Who’re you and what enterprise did you begin?

I’m Sindre Haaland, a Norwegian Viking splitting my time between New York Metropolis and Norway. I based SalesScreen again in 2011 with a few of my shut buddies from college and have served because the CEO ever since.

I’m proud to state that we’re the world’s main gross sales gamification SaaS, with 1000’s of gross sales groups counting on SalesScreen to inspire their staff to targets daily all throughout the globe.

The tighter the ICP and the larger the ache, the better every thing will get from promoting, to advertising and marketing, implementing, and retaining clients.

A typical SalesScreen buyer is a enterprise with a excessive gross sales velocity movement, like an insurance coverage firm, software program BDR staff, recruitment, telco, actual property, banking, mortgage, or pure name middle kind of enterprise trying to increase their gross sales efficiency by making on a regular basis duties extra enjoyable and thrilling for his or her groups.

Immediately, we’re closing in on $10,000,000 in recurring income and are rising quick.

salesscreen

What’s your backstory and the way did you provide you with the concept?

I grew up with a curious thoughts, at all times eager to be taught, particularly something inside the laptop science discipline. Already as a thirteen-year-old, I used to be a fluent coder in C, had mastered assembly-level coding, and had been despatched to the principal to elucidate how I used to be in a position to entry college programs with out login… Evidently, I used to be and nonetheless am a proud geek.

As soon as I hit sixteen years previous, I began my first enterprise on the aspect. I rented a location, stacked it with computer systems, and wrote some code to let people “hire” a pc in my warehouse and determine what providers they needed to run on it. No extra renting a counter-strike server and internet hosting server individually, merely hire a field with me and host a number of providers on the identical machine – whereas load-balancing web connection and computing energy to the providers you deemed most important.

Immediately that is fully redundant, as the entire cloud motion is mainly what I got down to do. This enterprise by no means took off, as my household urged me to take an training first. And so I did.

It was once I was finding out as a pc science main on the Norwegian College of Science and Know-how that I met my two co-founders Marius Ekerholt and Øystein Heimark. All of us took the identical programs and ended up working collectively in a colloquium. I couldn’t shake the need of getting began with my very own enterprise and determined to get going whereas I had entry to a lot uncooked expertise throughout me.

On the time, I knew I needed to begin a SaaS enterprise, however had no good concept in thoughts. I knew it might value cash and that it might take a while to get sufficient recurring income to pay first rate salaries, so I as an alternative opted to begin as a consultancy firm doing cellular app initiatives and web site improvement for shoppers to get money into the enterprise and fund the ideation and improvement of software program as a service.

This was again in 2011, and on the time, not many startups in Norway have been doing Software program as a Service. This meant that we would have liked to determine every thing by ourselves.

After a number of iterations, we did all of the errors you can think about as first-time founders. One of many largest errors we made was spending greater than a 12 months creating a SaaS to switch textual content messages for corporates. This was based mostly on a brand new cool expertise referred to as push notification.

The identical week the SaaS was slotted to go stay, the textual content message turned freed from cost and our enterprise mannequin went bust. Fortunately, we discovered an commercial gross sales firm that despatched tons of textual content messages internally for a really particular motive – to inspire their inside- and discipline gross sales groups by creating buzz and consciousness that any person simply closed a deal! The collaboration with this buyer, and our willingness to pivot on this route, was the underlying concept of SalesScreen.

Sindre being interviewed back in 2014

Take us by the method of constructing the primary model of your product.

Our first SaaS software was meant to switch the textual content message for corporates, however fortunately we listened to our first clients’ wants and regularly launched options that pivoted our platform into turning into extra of a gross sales reporting device with motivational parts. The “aha” second first got here once we constructed our second SaaS, an infoscreen answer that made it simple to have stay content material rotate up on huge TV screens in workplaces.

With all of the gross sales knowledge we now had, our shoppers requested to see them offered outdoors the automated message that everybody obtained when a brand new deal closed – they needed to see it up on TV screens within the workplace house, represented by leaderboards and large charts exhibiting progress to objective for the groups. We built-in the 2 platforms to allow this and launched a key function that we shortly recognized because the “aha” second not just for us but in addition for our clients.

I nonetheless vividly bear in mind experiencing the “aha” second for the primary time. It was when my co-founder Marius and I have been in a consumer’s workplace mounting TV screens for them and putting in the brand new real-time visualization of their gross sales knowledge. Little did they know what was about to occur.

One in all our buddies labored within the name middle, and he knew what was coming, so he had saved up a giant deal for this second. He checked out us and requested if every thing was up and operating, and we nodded sure again. He took his telephone out and went triumphantly into the center of the bull pen, demanding everyone’s consideration.

As soon as individuals checked out him, he took up his cellular software and used our software to file a brand new sale. Immediately, all TVs lit up with Eye of the Tiger taking part in at full steam, broadcasting his huge deal win.

Everybody went loopy! They jumped up and down and we had by no means skilled such power earlier than, however we knew what it meant for us as a enterprise. We determined then and there that we’d shut down the opposite functions, begin throughout, and construct the world’s first and finest gross sales motivation platform.

I consider that each gross sales staff ought to have expertise made for his or her staff to maintain them engaged, motivated, and desirous to get their work in daily constantly.

Within the course of, one of many builders heard about this new idea referred to as Gamification (making use of game-like parts to a non-gaming setting to create pleasure, and enjoyable, and unlock enterprise outcomes). This was the right match for what we have been constructing, and we then realized that we have been constructing the primary gross sales gamification platform on this planet, the place motivating people to get to their targets was the result and worth that the platform delivered.

This time round, we additionally skilled first-hand the significance of placing the consumer’s needs and wishes within the middle, so every thing we developed from there on was based mostly on their requests and wishes.

First version of SalesScreen

Describe the method of launching the enterprise.

I knew it might value cash to construct a SaaS, and time to get to some extent the place we might pay first rate salaries to ourselves from the income generated from the SaaS. As such, I made a decision to begin out as a consultancy agency creating cellular functions and web sites for shoppers. This consultancy arm allowed us to finance the event of SalesScreen, and we rotated builders between product work and marketing consultant initiatives, as everybody most well-liked to work on the product.

The consultancy enterprise additionally gave us entry to attention-grabbing clients and issues out there, so we gained lots of inspiration and did a number of MVPs and merchandise.

After iterating and failing on many concepts and merchandise earlier than getting it “proper” with SalesScreen, we determined to ensure we made our roadmap and each function based mostly on what shoppers needed and wanted. We made them in cost, and the final word precedence take a look at was additionally permitting clients to pay for “prioritized” improvement.

This not solely made it attainable to bootstrap the creation of SalesScreen but in addition made certain that what we developed have been options that our shoppers liked and wanted.

We have been then in a position to dismantle all the consultancy arm of the enterprise in late 2015 and stay out of the recurring income generated from SalesScreen.

Since launch, what has labored to draw and retain clients?

The celebration that got here with each sale up on TV screens within the workplace house successfully labored as a viral loop for us. Gross sales reps liked it a lot that they went to their new managers when switching jobs demanding they appear into it and purchase it for the staff.

People who go to workplaces with SalesScreen would see the vivid visuals, and real-time competitions, hear the music taking part in, and be curious sufficient to ask what it was – after which look it up immediately. This made it attainable to scale previous the primary million {dollars} with none advertising and marketing funds.

As we scaled and matured the enterprise, introducing advertising and marketing, buyer success, and gross sales improvement representatives was very important to maintain on attracting new enterprise, educating the market about our answer, and retaining clients. Each instruments and processes have improved dramatically over time, accelerated by bringing in management expertise that had prior expertise from SaaS and finished it earlier than.

How are you doing in the present day and what does the long run seem like?

After elevating cash for the primary time in 2018, SalesScreen has expanded to a number of new international locations and leaned into the USA as a key market, along with Europe. We have now lots of of consumers and tens of 1000’s of gross sales reps in additional than 26 international locations actively utilizing SalesScreen daily.

As every thing is constructed in-house, we now have a improbable gross margin above 90% together with the price of items and providers like assist and buyer success. Prospects carry on renewing, making again our buyer acquisition value tenfold. We’re additionally lucky sufficient to be worthwhile as a enterprise, that means we’re in no rush to boost extra capital to maintain on rising.

The long run for SalesScreen is shiny. I consider that each gross sales staff ought to have expertise made for his or her staff to maintain them engaged, motivated, and desirous to get their work in daily constantly. Not many instruments on the market leverage behavioral psychology like us to focus on human emotion and unlock the subsequent stage of productiveness whereas combating attrition, however I’m sure that each enterprise will as soon as they notice the advantages.

By way of beginning the enterprise, have you ever realized something notably useful or advantageous?

It’s unimaginable to summarize all that I’ve realized as a first-time founder over the previous 11 years. What I can say is that every thing is simpler if you’re fixing a really painful downside in a hyper-focused area of interest. The tighter the ICP and the larger the ache, the better every thing will get from promoting, to advertising and marketing, implementing, and retaining clients.

What platform/instruments do you utilize for your online business?

My favourite platform is candidly SalesScreen.com! It provides me the heartbeat of the gross sales ground within the palm of my hand, I can see if we’re monitoring towards a objective, and what wins are taking place in real-time – permitting me to present reward and suggestions whereas it’s nonetheless related for the people attending to the objective.

Apart from SalesScreen, I’ve reluctantly discovered myself having fun with the pliability of each Salesforceand PowerBIto dig deeper into the underlying developments of my enterprise, and Notionto trace progress in initiatives and discover inner info.

What have been essentially the most influential books, podcasts, or different sources?

I’m a giant podcast man, and I like the work Jason Lemkin has finished with SaaStr.com. It’s a terrific group, and so many good minds have shared their secrets and techniques on how one can succeed. You will get lots of inspiration and concepts when following podcasts like this one or which can be near your perform. I additionally comply with different podcasts which can be both scoped down geographically or about management in B2B SaaS.

Recommendation for different entrepreneurs who need to get began or are simply beginning out?

Be sure to construct a enterprise round a real demand out there, not one thing you assume the market will want. Take a look at the concept as a lot as attainable earlier than devoting too many sources to creating it a actuality.

Don’t make the traditional mistake of considering that income will come as quickly because the product is “completed”, discover a option to make cash from day one to scale back the required funding and burn off the corporate.

When you get began, focus! Too many founders I discuss to have the identical key studying when wanting again; they’d not dialed of their supreme buyer profile and forged too vast of a web from the beginning.

Are you trying to rent for sure positions proper now?

We’re at all times looking out for excellent expertise! Check out our careers web page for extra details about present openings and open positions.

The place can we go to be taught extra?

Observe us on LinkedIn for details about SalesScreen, gamification, and SaaS, and join with me immediately.

When you’ve got any questions or feedback, drop a remark under!


 

Sindre Haaland,
Founding father of SalesScreen

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