Doubling sales productivity with Scratchpad
"Sell me this pen."
Every which way this sentence is uttered out loud, be in on the big screen with Leo DiCaprio towering over someone hunched in a chair, or in unimaginative sales interviews all around the world, the underlying test is that of a skill that remains elusive, mysterious and rare: the art of persuasion.
There's something about great salespeople that make them persuasive beyond just the content of their words. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are about 13 million people in the US blessed with the skills that Malcolm Gladwell describes as "Energy, enthusiasm, charm, likeability. All those things and yet something more."
Out of the 13 million, only around 28,000 of them sell software. Even as the SaaS GTM motion evolved over the years from Sales-Led to Marketing-Led and waved on the Product-Led trailblazers of today, the role of Sales continues to be a crucial piece of the puzzle - a void that takes a specific, unique skillset to fill.
And yet, if you talk to sales organizations today, you will find that their most talented salespeople are spending inordinate amounts of time painstakingly updating records, and not moving deals forward or building customer relationships: two things they are unparalleled at. The detailed notes they have been taking are likely to be scattered across spreadsheets, notes, and task managers - not Salesforce.
The Scratchpad founders decided to do something about this mess.
😇 Making salespeople happy
Serial entrepreneurs Pouyan Salehi and Cyrus Karbassiyon had unfinished business to attend to after selling their sales automation software PersistIQ to Wishpond in 2019. Working in close proximity to sales CRM's and their primary end-users - Account executives, bubbled up a problem that just had to be solved!
"Salespeople weren't happy with their CRM's!" 😣 The value of tracking leads and workflows in a centralized CRM was often eclipsed by the hassles of updating the not-so-friendly database.
Different components of a sales engagement were tracked in silos:
- Notes in Evernote
- Workflows in Google sheets
- Daily Tasks on sticky notes...
Only to be updated on Salesforce on 'Admin day' - Often after 3 emails and a phone call from their boss 😤.
Not only did this kill time and productivity, but it also threatened data and analysis quality.
With Scratchpad, the team is building an easy access revenue workspace that replaces each silo and syncs records almost immediately onto Salesforce. The product is accessible as a chrome extension or alternatively as a web app that can be summoned to any screen of your choice via Scratchpad Command. The 45 member team boasts a customer base of AE's and Revenue leadership from Autodesk, Snowflake, Twilio, Udemy!
The company has raised north of $50M+ from Marquee investors like Craft Ventures (David Sacks) and Accel Partners 🤩
“Nearly every profession has a workspace designed to optimize performance—artists have studios, chefs have kitchens, and scientists have labs, Each dedicated workspace is tailored to the professional's craft. With Scratchpad, salespeople and revenue teams now have their own workspace designed for their craft—to consistently attain quota and master sales performance.” adds Salehi.
🚀 Started from the bottom...
“We knew that the majority of sales tools that existed failed because they just weren’t adopted,” Pouyan says.
Building from the founders' not-great experience of driving end-user adoption at PersistIQ, Scratchpad adopted a bottom-up growth model that lets Account Executives add Scratchpad to their individual workflows with close to zero friction.
User empathy and product-user fit were core tenets in early product development as the team tried to answer: “Does someone care about it enough to say, ‘I would be incredibly upset if this was no longer part of my workflow’?”
Early adoption friction was further reduced by offering free 15-30 min 1-1 onboarding sessions led by a team of Revenue Workflow Specialists (~30% of the workforce). And once the aha moment of syncing your first record on Salesforce was met, by virtue of sheer value recognition the end-users adopt the product for everyday use! 😇
The average DAU/MAU for Scratchpad crests at 40-45% while DAU/WAU crests at ~60% 🤯 ... what does this mean? The average Sratchpad user uses Scratchpad 3 out of 5 working days a week!
"What got us most excited about Scratchpad is its viral spread within sales organizations. Its freemium model lets any sales rep sign up, connect their Salesforce.com account, and start using the product. Once a rep starts using Scratchpad, two things tend to happen: (1) it becomes a daily habit, and (2) they share it with their teammates." - David Sacks, Craft Ventures on Scratchpad's bottom-up spread
Scratchpad's bottom-up growth model was further strengthened when happy users started sharing the secret sauce to skipping Admin day, to their teammates.
The growth playbook was clear - Scratchpad had to channel the great feedback that they were getting and get as many AE's to try their product out. Which is exactly what they did...
👀 Grabbing eyeballs!
With a mouthwatering NPS of 77% 🤤, it was no big deal for Scratchpad to get a few users to say good things about them.
Their seemingly endless ∞ customer love page and social media S/O's drive significant word of mouth and organic traction for the product. This is further fueled by masterfully crafted and entertaining product marketing drops by Kevin Olivieri (PMM) and Nate Odell (VP, Marketing) that hammer down the core USPs of the product while at the same time leaving one LOLing on the floor!
Adding to their content efforts, Scratchpad in a move that will be emulated by many more SaaS B2B companies in 2022 (prediction 🔮) partnered with sales influencers 'The Corporate Bro' (led by Ross Pomerantz) to create the Beyond Quota sales podcast - A 10 episode video podcast series co-hosted by Ross and Pouyan, featuring guests from the sales world.
“There is a frothy cesspool of mediocre sales podcasts that are unentertaining diatribes for how to ‘transform and accelerate’ your career in sales and usually from people who were terrible at sales to begin with,” said Ross Pomerantz (aka Corporate Bro.)
“The dirty secret is, everyone is trying to find their way out of sales and apply their knowledge to doing something different with their career. These are the interesting stories worth telling.”
Another fun demand generation program was the "F*CK Off 2020" raffle in Jan 2021 that gave users and referrers a chance to win a Peloton. 😅
💰 Selling to Salespeople
With a foot in the door thanks to:
- organic marketing and product-led acquisition,
- and further expansion via some AE to AE camaraderie 💪🏻,
the next assignment for the revenue team at Scratchpad is to upsell to organization-level adoption. This was driven by -
The product: Scratchpad not only improves data entry quality across users but via Tiles makes adherence to Sales methodologies like MEDDPIC and KCOM easier. These methodologies are historically plagued by poor data entry and with Scratchpad Sales leaders can drive these larger programs more efficiently.
Enterprise offering allows teams to share templates, review pipelines and is also bundled with premium support that is necessary at big sales organizations.
Outreach: Scratchpad employs a sales team of its own led by Scotland Foss, tasked with servicing inbound leads, assisting self-serve users to sign up larger teams, and running outbound efforts to bring home revenue! The customer experience team works closely with major accounts, ensuring easy adoption and that continuous value is experienced! 🤝
⏩ What's next
Scratchpad continues to expand its footprint across sales organizations, reducing tensions between AE's and Salesforce. Having established itself as an everyday tool in an AE's arsenal, we expect rapid scaling as the team chases more end-user sign-ups, subscription revenue, new logos, and expansion within logos. 💰
The product roadmap is also expected to find space for other leading CRMs like Hubspot and Pipedrive, the addition of which will increase the product's market from the 19.8% CRM market share that Salesforce holds. At Toplyne, we couldn't be more excited for Scratchpad, the 1000's of salespeople who are happier because of them, and the overarching theme of PLG SaaS taking over the world! 🚀😇