Flock Safety’s Founder and CEO, Garrett Langley, and its VP of Growth, Alex Latraverse, know a bit about sales. Enough to go from 0 to 100 sales reps in about 18 months — and they’re looking to be well beyond 100 by the end of this month.
Flock Safety is a hardware-enabled SaaS company dedicated to stopping crime. It solves 30-40 crimes an hour nationwide. The tech involves cameras and devices that detect evidence, decode it with machine learning, and deliver it into the right hands. But what really makes the company sing is that they know how to sell it to the right people, with the right-sized team. Here are some things to remember when you think about scaling your next big SaaS company.
When do you decide to scale?
The three things that led to ramping up sales at Flock Safety were:
- Achieving product-market fit. Garrett started thinking about expanding his team when he realized he could essentially bet on getting at least $40k ARR per business trip. If your product is selling at such a reliable rate, with consistent growth over multiple quarters, you’re probably at this point.
- Removing the founder effect. The key is to make sure that your sales aren’t entirely dependent on the founder, but that the product and strategy are strong enough for a good sales team to run with themselves. Flock Safety did a test without Garrett in the mix. They found a profile and method that worked from the test, and they discovered they indeed were able to sell their product without him.
- Hiring a VP of Sales. The steps required to scale aren’t natural to most founders, and they just are not going to be able to take fifty sales meetings a week. Hire a VP that knows what they’re doing and then get fully aligned on strategy. Decide together if you are up for the budget that’s needed to dramatically ramp in a flood. If you take a big swing, what do you if you are wrong? That’s their expertise.
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How are you going to scale without messing up?
When Garrett interviewed Alex, his challenge was to hire 30 reps within the first 30 days. Alex’s first question was, how many recruiters do you plan to hire?
#1 – Have a recruiting strategy. Build a profile and pipeline. Pick what the people are going to be like based on the kind of business you have and where it’s at. Do many, many interview rounds. (Flock Safety does 8!) Make a repeatable process that’s consistent. Reevaluate your assumptions and mess with the model as needed. Also, pivot from Garrett’s initial idea and focus on revenue targets, not a specific headcount.
#2 – Get your compensation right. A well-designed comp plan not only puts the business in a financially secure place, but it becomes a better recruiting tool. And the structure can determine performance — build one that rewards consistency. Maybe include bonuses within the OTE. Make what’s important to the business important for the rep. Use accelerators, or MBOs, while ramping. Look to shorter targets, like half-year quotas.
#3 – Invest in your onboarding process. If you’re having a lot of new hires within a month, you’re taking a lot of time away from the people who need to help the new reps get up to speed, and no one hire is going to thrive. Providing quality in onboarding is more important than fitting immediate need. Flock Safety onboards classes, no more than one a month. Finally, make a repeatable, consistent sales process that works for everyone.
#4 – Build a supporting cast. In addition to reps on your team, you need a village to support it. Rev ops, the tech stack, your marketers, etc. are very important to getting everything else to work. Investing in your CRM and database is key. Get what you need for pipe gen and to increase your win rate. This ecosystem is challenging to swallow from a budget perspective, but it’s what gets consistent results.
#5 – Make sure everyone else is in step. When your sales reps are selling more, you’re going to have to deliver more. Every team needs to move down the field at the same pace. Your product and customer success can’t be lagging behind what’s being sold. Deliver on what you’re selling. It’s easy to over-invest in sales and underinvest elsewhere.
To boil it all down in the final takeaways:
- The CEO should be the one to determine when to scale and to set the risk tolerance.
- Hire a VP of Sales that knows what they’re doing and has a track record.
- Get your recruiting right, with an accurate profile…this is your biggest challenge.