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Bootstrap First, Raise Money Later: RJ Metrics CEO Robert Moore (Part 7)

Posted on Sunday, Feb 21st 2016

Sramana Mitra: Where are you right now in terms channel, or other strategic pieces that enable you to grow? How do you acquire customer? Is it a direct channel? Is it an online channel?

Robert Moore: We have two main channels through which we acquire customers. One of them is inbound marketing and one of them is outbound sales. On the inbound marketing side, we made a really big effort from day one to be a thought leader in the space of data analysis, business intelligence, and e-commerce. We published very frequently everything from blog posts to white papers, to industry benchmark reports. We hold webinars every couple of weeks. We’re very prolific on the content side when it comes to providing people operating businesses with advise on how to use their data to make smarter decisions.

That content ecosystem is a really helpful source of leads for us because people become aware of us and then they say, “What’s this RJMetrics?” They click through and raise their hands to try the product out. We have a free trial as part of our on-boarding process. Because there’s a very low amount of risk, we’re able to get a lot of people in on the free trial on a monthly basis. As long as we convert a good amount of them, it works well.

The other channel, which is one that we spun out in the last year, is outbound sales. Some people have a call centre of hundreds and hundreds of people. At one point, we had as many as 25 or 30 sales rep. Right now, we have about half a dozen of them. They are heavily technologically-enabled. They’re able to use tools that we’ve built internally to smartly figure out who they’re reaching out to based on things like other technologies being used that you can tell by looking at their website, recent funding rounds or maturity of the business, benchmarking data on traffic to their site, and how that might correlate to what their scale is.

We call them Account Development Representatives (ADR). They come to the table very well-prepared with knowledge of what’s going on at these companies so that they can make very targeted attempts at engaging people in sales conversations. There’s a book called “Predictable Revenue” by Aaron Ross. Depending on who you talk to, it is either the greatest or the most overused strategy for building inside sales organisations. We’re big subscribers to it. Our ADR team follows that model where once one of our ADR generates an opportunity, they pass it off to our Account Executives. The Account Executives are actually the ones who close deals. They also get all the inbound leads. It’s an entirely inside sales-driven model. We don’t go visit prospects in person. The sales cycle is quick. It’s typically 45 days. It’s just a pretty high velocity operation.

Sramana Mitra: Are you selling mostly to the mid-market or are you also selling to large companies?

Robert Moore: It’s mostly mid-market. We have a couple of large companies out there but, by and large, it’s SMBs and mid-market.

Sramana Mitra: Anything else you want to share?

Robert Moore: Good question. For people that are earlier on in their entrepreneurial journey, I guess looking back, I just have no regrets at all about the life decisions I made to pursue this. There were years when I made no money for years in a row. There were years when I thought this business was going to go to zero and quarters where we missed our numbers so badly that I thought nobody was going to give us money again.

At every single one of those steps along the way, I learned something. In the good times, you learn a lot. In the bad times, you learn a lot. It’s just been the most dense possible education that I could have possibly gotten. It’s a career that I’m really excited about. I’m excited about taking RJMetrics as far as we can. I’m excited about the next company. If entrepreneurship is in your blood, I encourage anybody to take that step. You’ll make it through the bad times, and the good times are what make it all worthwhile.

Sramana Mitra: Thank you for sharing your story. Great story! 

This segment is part 7 in the series : Bootstrap First, Raise Money Later: RJ Metrics CEO Robert Moore
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