Dealing with and properly addressing change is a substantial aspect of the success or failure of companies. Shifting to the on-demand model without any other examples to follow was visionary, but if implemented incorrectly could have been devastating as well.
SM: How did you change the channel at this point? You shifted to an on-demand model, you would have then had to make changes to the channel as well. SS: The changes were pervasive, and they were not related just to the channel.
First, the entire executive team had to change. If you look at the executive team back then, it was 17 people. At the time Mike Hilton and I were on the team, and all but Mike and I had to be changed out. You had to start thinking, fundamentally, as a services company and not a software company.
The way you built the software was different, the way you dealt with your hosting operations was different, the way you deliver the software was different, and the way you serviced it was different. The whole business model changed, and the whole sales model changed. Instead of sales executives who were used to selling big enterprise software deals, two deals a year and you make your number, we had to change the model to find sales executives who knew how to sell more deals per year to make. We then had to find sales executives out of companies like ADP and Paychex who were used to selling 20-30 deals per year to make their quota. Much more transactional sales.
SM: So you probably moved more towards telesales. SS: Yes, exactly right. We went from a 700 person company to a 300 person company, which then further went down to 250 over the course of the next 8 months and we started rebuilding from there.
SM: At that point you were focused purely as an expense management solution? SS: Yes, but in on-demand expense services.