#271 – Bottom-up Sales Motion Skip to main content

#270 – Bottom-up Sales Motion

Looking Up at Enterprise Banner for Friday Ship #271

This week, we celebrated closing 4X the number of Enterprise accounts for the month than usual.

Being agile tool makers, we organize every team’s cadence around testing, learning, and continuous improvement—including sales. We’re unafraid to test ideas that seem counter to industry norms and magnify the ones that seem to be working. Truth be told, users who first adopt freemium Parabol often do not have budgetary discretion to purchase a license. That means that we had to deviate from enterprise SaaS industry norms—selling top-down to decision makers—in order to find a sales playbook that worked and could be scaled.

Here are some of the insights we’ve learned so far:

Don’t set a time limit to fall in love – many SaaS products attempt conversion on a ”free for X days” premise. Often, the road to adopting productivity software is unpredictable, and doubly so for team productivity software where you’ve got to accommodate for the readiness of not one, but a whole group of people. Instead, Parabol bases its free tier on usage limits and only contacts folks when we’re sure they are receiving value from the product.

Be generous when people are generous with you – most of Parabol’s users have no authority to purchase but are vital to the internal selling necessary to close an Enterprise deal. When Parabol’s free tier has been exceeded, we have multiple asks we can make which don’t require paying for a license—product feedback, internal introductions, etc. Sales folks at Parabol are empowered to extended additional time-bound, gratis usage as long as we are being compensated in other ways.

Don’t be afraid to take the product away – sometimes a purchase won’t happen unless an organization learns what life is like without Parabol. Sometimes a party will communicate with us definitively, ”we’ve decided not to purchase Parabol.” More often than not we’ve learned that when we restrict access to Parabol, and return that account to usage parameters within our free tier, it creates the internal momentum necessary for the Enterprise purchase to be made.

There is plenty left for us to optimize and grow, but it’s clear to us that our ability to commercialize our value is developing well.


Metrics for Parabol Friday Ship #271

Good momentum on the top of funnel this week as the top of funnel and MAU numbers climb by percentages greater than recent historical averages. The number of weekly meetings is the only metric leaving a bit to be desired, down slightly over the week before.

This week we…

hit feature complete for our new revision of our GitHub integration, this time supporting Sprint Poker. Developer and co-founder @mattrick recorded a short Loom demoing the functionality:

…updated our Jira integration to fix a breaking change introduced by Atlassian. We should have caught this one sooner; luckily we caught it soon after the breaking change was introduced.

…released v6.29.0 to production. We made solid progress against our upcoming in-line polling feature (shipped behind a feature flag), the above fix to Jira, and an important architectural improvement that improves solving ties when two users try to do the same thing at the same time that will help Parabol scale.

conducted many, many interviews for Parabol’s open positions.

Next week we’ll…

kick off sprint 88. Releasing our GitHub integration & getting close to releasing In-Product Polls will be our two sprint goals.

Have feedback? See something that you like or something you think could be better? Leave a public response here, or write to us.

Jordan Husney

Jordan Husney

Jordan leads Parabol’s business development strategy and engineering practice. He was previously a Director at Undercurrent, where he advised C-Suite teams of Fortune 100 organizations on the future of work. Jordan has an engineering background, holding several patents in distributed systems and wireless technology. Jordan lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

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