By Sramana Mitra and guest author Sudhindra Chada
About Greg Brush
Greg leads the sales and customer success teams for InsideView. He is a proven sales executive and team leader who brings more than 21 years of software sales experience. Prior to joining InsideView, Greg served as vice president of sales at Movaris, where he restored sales growth that contributed to the company’s acquisition. He was the director of sales at Hyperion Solutions (now Oracle) in both national and strategic regional roles and has served in various sales executive and management positions at Siebel Systems. Greg also held senior sales positions with Pure Software, where he was a contributor to the rapid revenue growth that led to a successful IPO in 1995 and subsequent acquisition to Rational Software (now IBM). Greg began his sales career with Oracle Corporation, where he was consistently a top revenue contributor in the Oracle Direct team.
A native Bay Area resident, Greg remains active in many sporting activities including golf, swimming, and chasing after his twins. Greg is an avid reader and received his bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from UC Santa Barbara.
InsideView is a Sales 2.0 leader, bringing intelligence gained from social media and traditional editorial sources to the enterprise to increase sales productivity and velocity. It was founded in 2005 by pioneers of the SaaS, CRM, and content industries to take advantage of the convergence of social media and enterprise applications.
InsideView’s sales intelligence application, InsideView for Sales, continuously aggregates and analyzes relevant, executive, and corporate data from thousands of content sources to uncover new sales opportunities. InsideView for Sales delivers this intelligence natively within CRMs and mobile devices, and it has become the default intelligence application for more than 21,000 users and 2,000 customers worldwide, including Adobe, BMC, Capgemini, and VMWare.
InsideView’s CRM partners include Salesforce.com, SugarCRM, NetSuite, Microsoft, and Oracle. InsideView’s content relationships include Facebook, Twitter, Thomson Reuters, Capital IQ (a Standard & Poor’s company), Cortera, and NetProspex.
InsideView is headquartered in San Francisco, California, with operations in Hyderabad, India. It is privately held and venture-backed by Emergence Capital, Rembrandt Venture Partners, Greenhouse Capital Partners, and investments from leading Silicon Valley executives.
Sramana Mitra: Greg, let’s start by giving readers a bit of context about InsideView in terms of scale, the pace of growth, and revenue level so that as we go into the process of sales 2.0, we start with that context in mind.
Greg Brush: InsideView is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company. We have more than 700 customers. We finished 2010 at under $10 million and we are growing quickly; we had more than 100% growth from 2009 to 2010.
SM: The 700 customers are largely enterprise customers? What is the customer mix?
GB: The majority of those are companies; we also have an e-commerce side to our businesses. But the large part of our customer base are small to medium businesses; the breakdown there is about 50/50 enterprise companies and small and medium businesses (SMBs).
SM: What is the average deal size that you sell?
GB: The average deal size can be anywhere from $10,000 and up on the SMB side, and on the enterprise side it is more like $75,000.
SM: Are you selling entirely by phone, or do you sell directly? What is the channel strategy?
GB: Our business is direct, and we approach businesses a couple of different ways through enterprise-level engagement, but by and large it is an inside telesales model, and we have a developing channel strategy as well. We have made big investments over the past six months to develop the enterprise component of our business, which will largely be a referral model versus a sell free model.
SM: Just to clarify, given the price point and the average deal size of $10,000 to $75,000, I assume you are actually closing deals on the phone, yes?
GB: Yes, we are.
SM: Okay, perfect. All right, so that gives us a good context. Let’s start at the top of the funnel. What is the strategy for lead generation? How do you engage your customers at the very beginning of the sales process?
GB: We look at that through a variety of ways, and we actually have the sourcing as part of our business model and planning assumptions. What I mean by this is depending upon the segment of business, whether it is an SMB or an enterprise, we have different assumptions about where that business gets sourced. There is a percentage of the businesses that get sourced through outbound marketing, which generates leads for our business, and there is a percentage on the enterprise side that we assume also is marketing generated, but it is disproportionately smaller. So, it is typically in the enterprise where the ability to create business is more a function of outbound activity, and on the SMB side, it is more inbound based.
SM: Can you elaborate on both of those? What tactics and techniques do you follow to do inbound and outbound generation?
GB: For inbound generation, we use marketing automation capabilities. Our partner in that is Eloqua. We do a lot demand generation. We use Eloqua’s automation solution to do nurturing, to develop those inquiries into leads; we have team members who are specialized in qualifying inbound opportunities and promoting those to the quota-carrying reps. It is a LeadQual function that focuses on inbound responses.
SM: You are selling through the VP of marketing or VP of sales?
GB: You know, it is actually both. By and large it is sales because they are the ones who appreciate our rich intelligence the most because they have quota-carrying responsibility. So, they like the capabilities of our programs, which are pretty unusual in the market. A lot of times the dollars may exist in marketing, so we really need to work with the marketing people as well.
SM: In terms of your own sourcing, Eloqua is the email marketing tool, but are you using InsideView to do your own lead generation? Is that part of the process?
GB: Absolutely! We are stewards of using best-in-class sales 2.0 technologies, so certainly that would include InsideView.
SM: Once you have figured out which leads need to be qualified, do those leads then go into sales, or do they stay in marketing?
GB: It depends on how that lead scored. If we view it as a high-level lead based on our unique demographics scoring system, the richness of the demographics of that account, then we would score that lead in certain way, and depending upon the score, we would have our LeadQual person follow up on it.