At the time the scaleMatters founders all got involved at Salsa Labs back in 2015, it was a 10-year old (~$12M ARR) startup that sold fundraising, advocacy and marketing software to nonprofit organizations.
Growth had stagnated, the customer unit economics were unattractive, and we were running low on cash.
High customer acquisition costs, very low ACV deal sizes, and high touch customer base both pre-sale and post-sale made life especially challenging.
In order to position the company for a strategic sale, we had to turn those fundamentals around and rebuild a capital-efficient customer acquisition engine.
As detailed in the "Data-FIRST Manifesto: Why We Started scaleMatters," we didn't have the systems or people in place to run an engine like that.
What we built internally at that company would today be considered world-class Revenue and Data Operations...but at the time it was our only chance at a successful outcome.
Here's what we did:
- We methodically deconstructed our Go-to-Market processes and built a highly granular metrics model so we could measure every single touch point from the time a prospect hit our website to the time they were booked as a new customer.
- We tore down and rebuilt the tech stack so we could capture all the measurement points in the data model.
- We leveraged the tech stack admin, data analytical, and business analytical skills of our staff so that we could surface the insights needed and manage the company with science-like precision.
The result after 9 months:
- We reduced the cost to acquire customers (CAC) by almost 75%
- We reduced the time to acquire customers (sales cycle) by almost 45%
Even with those great results, we were constrained:
- We were capturing quality data, but the data visualization and business analysis was mostly manual via Salesforce reporting and spreadsheets
- It wasn't obvious to us what was working or what was on track and what wasn't without a lot of digging and analysis
So, after putting Salsa Labs on faster growth path and selling the company to Accel-KKR, we realized we could replicate, enhance, and productize our approach and provide this "Data-FIRST" environment for any early or growth stage B2B company…dramatically improving their odds of success.
And that's how scaleMatters was born...