Unlocking the Gates to a New Growth Channel

OpenView and Datadog team up to establish a scalable outside sales operation

Datadog is one of the fastest-growing software companies in recent years.

And one hundred percent of this growth has been fueled by inbound opportunities. Despite this rapid growth and ability to generate inbound leads, Datadog realized that such growth was unsustainable. The team came to the conclusion that their inbound lead generation program was acting as a bottleneck when it came to both scaling their sales organization and the rate at which they could acquire customers.

After acknowledging this restraint, Datadog looked around the market to understand how peer players were acquiring customers. Many, it turned out, leveraged an outside sales organization as part of their customer acquisition model. Datadog’s management team decided it was time to test if an outbound sales team could provide additional growth for the company.

Datadog experimented with the process for a couple months and quickly realized that one of the keys to successfully building out an outbound model was developing a sustainable pipeline of high quality leads to support the team, especially if it was going to become a long-term component of their growth strategy. Formulating a reliable, scalable and high quality lead generation process became a key milestone the team had to achieve before scaling out the outbound sales program.

"Before we could begin scaling out our outbound sales program, we had to have a scalable lead generation process in place that was tested and ready to support this organization."

Amit Agarwal

Chief Product Officer, Datadog

Amit Agarwal, Chief Product Officer at Datadog, who was leading the initiative, realized that there were many options for scaling out a lead generation process and knew they needed to bring someone in who had dealt with similar questions to help them build and implement the model. Aware of OpenView’s expertise in this area, Amit reached out to the firm’s Expansion Platform, particularly their Market Insights team, for assistance.

Amit established key criteria for the project including:

  • Cost per MRR
  • Cost per Opportunity
  • Scalability of model to support expected sales team growth over next year 2 years
  • Speed to Market

Building a Scalable Outbound Program

OpenView’s Market Insights team assessed the current Datadog lead generation process and identified a series of hypotheses around how it could be optimized. Given the urgency of the problem, OpenView opted to run a series of experiments to test the impact of each optimization and then built a model to evaluate what worked and what did not in order to continuously fine tune.

The lead generation process was broken into 3 components for testing:

  • Company identification
  • Contact Identification
  • List Enrichment

OpenView tested three or more alternatives for each step in the process based on best practices the team had seen in the market. Then, a model was built to compare each approach based on key metrics including:

  • Cost Per Lead
  • Cost Per Opportunity
  • Cost Per Win
  • Cost Per One Dollar of MRR
  • Scalability


After running ten lead generation experiments, OpenView provided a recommendation to Amit and the Datadog team that would allow them to build and scale the lead generation process. Ultimately, OpenView’s Expansion Platform handed over their research and recommendations in working order so the Datadog team could hit the ground running.

The Results

OpenView tested 10 different approaches to building out a lead generation process measuring lead quality, cost and source scalability. The Expansion Platform identified the best lead sourcing process and helped Datadog implement the model for long-term sustainability. Ultimately, OpenView’s research achieved the following results for Datadog:

  • Expedited the process of developing a sustainable sourcing model so Datadog could step on the gas with the outbound sales program — an avenue critical for future growth.
  • Increased productivity per sales rep, which brought the payback period and other ROI metrics to a point that justified driving forward with the outbound sales model.
  • Saved Datadog’s team hundreds of hours of time and frustration testing different approaches to building an outbound sales model.