“Not unlike any other startup, we raised funding, but actually had a shortage of internal resources to deploy that capital. That’s where OpenView’s Expansion team came in,” says Scott Fowle, SmashFly’s Chief Sales Officer.
From the outset, SmashFly planned to deploy the $9 million in Series A funding to build out the company’s fledgling sales team. And that build out would start by aggressively hiring and training business development representatives – or, opportunity consultants, as they’re known at SmashFly.
Having made the decision to put a portion of the newly raised capital into funding a BDR build out, Fowle and the SmashFly leadership team evaluated the best way to proceed. “We couldn’t spend all of our waking hours on hiring OCs. We had bookings continuing to roll in and we were trying to hire and train salespeople,” Fowle notes.
So the team looked to OpenView’s Expansion platform. After closely evaluating the resources provided by OpenView’s team of operators, the value equation crystallized for Fowle and Michael Hennessy, SmashFly’s founder and CEO.
The first real breakthrough came early on when SmashFly discovered their definition of a BDR diverged sharply from the model OpenView had come to rely on for guaranteed success.
“Their version turned out to be right,” says Fowle. Specifically, OpenView encouraged SmashFly to hire ‘fresh outs’ or recent college grads who would come into the role with open minds and raw skills like intelligence and curiosity. OpenView’s training program is so in depth, it’s able to turn new grads into productive and well-trained BDRs in a matter of weeks.
While Fowle, who has worked in the HR software space at companies like HireVue, Taleo and SuccessFactors for nearly two decades, typically hired BDRs with five to eight years of experience, OpenView encouraged SmashFly to look for entry level employees. “These employees,” notes Fowle, “Didn’t possess the preconceived notions I’d often seen career salespeople come in with.”
Had Fowle proceeded with business as usual, SmashFly’s overall opportunity consultant compensation structure would have been 2 times what the program currently costs. As a result, cost savings have enabled the team to hire nearly double the headcount.