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Scaling a Fast Growth, Venture-Funded Company: Rafael Sweary, Co-Founder and President of WalkMe (Part 5)

Posted on Friday, Apr 28th 2017

Sramana Mitra: What I’m hearing is that you came to the conclusion that you wanted to cater to large enterprises. Based on what you were describing, that was my first instinct to hear that this needs to be an enterprise sale. I was actually surprised that you were going the route of selling online. It sounds like you got to the conclusion anyway.

Rafael Sweary: Initially, we didn’t have the offering for an enterprise. When we were selling online, enterprise customers came to us. They said, “We love your product, but we can’t use it. It’s not secure.” When we fixed that they came to us, “Your product is secure, but you don’t have a delegated admin.” We built that as well.

Then they said, “You product is great but we have different environments. We have our staging environment. We have our QA environment.” We added systems. Then they said, “The transparency of the analytics you gave is good, but it’s not as good as we would like it to be. We can’t use it.”

In July 2013 when we went to the market targeting the enterprises, it wasn’t just words. The product was enterprise-ready. It was enterprise level. Enterprises have very unique needs. Once we built them, we could have moved into the enterprise play.

Sramana Mitra: What time-frame did the enterprise product become ready to be sold?

Rafael Sweary: In July 2013, we had a product that was enterprise ready. It wasn’t as robust as what we have today, but it could be installed in enterprise-type companies.

Sramana Mitra: By the end of 2013 with that enterprise product, how many enterprise customers were you able to bring in?

Rafael Sweary: I don’t remember but it was a lot. We started growing very significantly as soon as we moved into the enterprise focus.

Sramana Mitra: Here’s a question that’s actually an important question at this juncture. All these people that you had in your pool of light users, were there enterprise users in that pool? My question is, were there leads in the pool of people who had already expressed interest in your product?

Rafael Sweary: I think that there were people, but they couldn’t use it. They wanted to use it.

Sramana Mitra: But there were customers who were interested in this product?

Rafael Sweary: They weren’t customers. They were prospects.

Sramana Mitra: Great. So you had leads in the system?

Rafael Sweary: Yes.

Sramana Mitra: So that explains how you go to a lot of customers from launch in 2013. What is the next move?

Rafael Sweary: Since then, we’ve been doing the same thing. We continued doing marketing. We still generate most of our business online. Our customers find our product and then we have an internal sales team that works with them to demonstrate the product better. Sometimes we offer them a free proof of concept (POC).

Once they see the value, it’s very easy to sell. The good thing about WalkMe is that you do not have to do any changes and you don’t need to do any integration to your existing software or websites. As soon as you implement WalkMe, you immediately see the value. In the POC, the customers experience that and then it’s a very easy decision for them to go ahead and buy the product. I believe that only vendors that really believe in the product are able to do something like this.

Sramana Mitra: You finished all the selling through that internal sales force that is operating through online and phone channels, or do you actually have a direct sales force that goes and does large enterprise deals?

Rafael Sweary: 99% of our sales is done over the phone. We sometimes meet a customer, but only because it’s close to our office. The reason that you don’t have to do direct is because our product is very visual. You also see the value once you implement it very fast. You don’t need to make a lot of changes in order to experience it.

The effect on the bottomline is very significant. More than 20% of the Fortune 500 are already customers of WalkMe. We couldn’t have done it over the phone so quickly without a very powerful product that is easy to understand and that has immediate effect.

This segment is part 5 in the series : Scaling a Fast Growth, Venture-Funded Company: Rafael Sweary, Co-Founder and President of WalkMe
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