Sales enablement platform Showpad blends content management tools with training and coaching software to help create better buying experiences. Their leadership’s deliberate approach to building an all-star team, along with their collaborative style of working with cross-functional partners, sets them apart from their peers. Backed by Insight Partners, Dawn Capital, and Hummingbird Ventures, Showpad’s upward momentum was given a boost by a recent $70 million round of Series D funding.
Showpad’s growth team has a decentralized structure with three people currently dedicated to growth, and several cross-functional partners across the organization.
Each member of their growth team comes with a different, differentiated skillset: one has deep, institutional knowledge of Showpad (having worked across several different teams), another comes from revenue operations, while the third has a background in media and data analysis.
Making calculated bets is critical to how Showpad grows. Here’s a high-level look at their process for developing new initiatives.
1. Establish a process for growth campaigns
Growth is often misconstrued as a series of quick wins or “hacks.” But as Marissa Aydlett and Grace Bacon noted, one of the first steps when it comes to implementing a growth strategy is to nail down operations.
Here’s an overview of Showpad’s framework for developing growth experiments and campaigns:
Define what success would look like (e.g. goals and KPIs).
Identify key stakeholders and cross-functional partners.
Execute (e.g. what will it take for this to launch?)
Measure impact (e.g. how are we tracking results?)
2. Make calculated bets
An idea can come from anywhere. But how do we know which ideas are worth pursuing over others? For Showpad, determining which campaigns or experiments to invest their time in comes down to: which projects will help us accelerate revenue? By grounding each “bet” (or campaign idea) with this question, Showpad ensures that they never lose focus from their long-term goals. (It’s far too easy to get caught up in “cool ideas” that don’t move the needle for your business.)
3. Focus on data integrity
Data collection is a given for any company in this day and age. But Marissa Aydlett notes that, just as important as data collection, is data integrity. In her words, “Bad in is bad out,” and working with incorrect or incomplete data can offset entire strategies. Another important consideration when it comes to data is making sure it’s interpreted correctly: from working with data scientists, to encouraging data literacy across teams, or using business visualization tools to extract the right meaning from these customer insights.
Secrets to Success
1. Balancing a short- and long-term strategy
A key facet of Showpad’s growth strategy is balancing “small and large bets.” Smaller bets are the initiatives that have faster time-to-value: campaigns that can be developed in three to six months and have a near-immediate impact on revenue. While larger bets are the long-term initiatives that can change the trajectory of the business (e.g. determining how Showpad’s market position will evolve).
2. Operational excellence
Both Marissa Aydlett and Grace Bacon come from a revenue operations background, and are very much focused on infrastructure development to ensure they’re growing in a scalable and sustainable way.
As Marissa Aydlett said, “Your entire company has the ability to drive growth, and that operations piece is so important because you need everyone with that drumbeat, speaking the same language, and helping you with experiments along the way.”
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