Building sales like Calendly
Guest Post

Building sales like Calendly

Account executives have historically been the fundamental unit of SaaS sales. Want to get $10M in net new ARR this year? Well, you probably need 10 AEs with a quota of $1-1.2M each. Want to add $100M? You probably need a 100. The legacy world of SaaS growth was measured in terms of the number of AEs a company could hire and ramp-up. But what if I told you that product-led growth fundamentally changed this dynamic. What if you could get to $100M in ARR with just 10 AEs? No, I’m not talking of the land of hobbits and elves but rather of a very special PLG company from downtown Atlanta - Calendly! Here’s are the three key components of Calendly’s scientific sales engine 🚀


  1. Managing lead flow to sales
  2. Usage of a PQL (product qualified lead) framework to increase conversion rate and stay focussed on the high intent users
  3. Team building


Lead flow

  1. Lead discovery is led by the sales development team
  2. PQL's are passed on to a segmented account executive (AE) team
  3. The principle of land & expand, and an emphasis on continuity further tasks the AE with expansion
  4. Customer success sits at the bottom of the funnel with the core objective of churn reduction and customer delight.
  5. Calendly also invests heavily in product marketing, building customer stories around the tool's multi-industry, multi-scale use-cases!




PQL


The sales team, powered by data and tools now qualify leads based on:

Account information: 
  • Team size
  • Industry / sector
  • Geography, etc.
Usage signals: (at both a user and account level)
  • # meetings created
  • # integrations used
  • Time spent in the system
  • Features used
  • Referrals for teammates, amongst others

"Demand gen looks different than just MQL's and SQL's, it's conversion rates on the website, it's understanding the signups. You know I have a robust database with literally over 10 million users right and, it’s about how I navigate that database and segment" - Patrick Moran on modifying demand gen at Calendly

Team building

This streamlining of processes and a need to accommodate the volume and scale of high-velocity + strategic sales warranted more resources. And boy, has Calendly used their fresh round of funding well! The sales team of 7 that Patrick Moran inherited is now 40+ strong with a strong emphasis on strategy, enablement and Product-led sales aligned distribution of labor.

Sales org at Calendly (as of Sep ‘21)

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If you enjoyed this post, check out Ruchin's substack and Toplyne!

Author

Ruchin Kulkarni

I’m the co-founder of Toplyne.io, a platform for PLG sales teams to identify the hottest product-qualified leads (PQLs) for their AEs to chase. I love long-distance running, watching motorsports, and writing my weekly substack on growth tactics the best PLG companies used to blitzscale!

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