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Bootstrapping to $10M+ From Australia: Financial DNA CEO Hugh Massie (Part 5)

Posted on Monday, Jul 3rd 2017

Sramana Mitra: What did you price it at?

Hugh Massie: There are three pricing levels. The bottom one is $1,500 a year. The top one is $3,995 a year depending on what components of the system they buy.

Sramana Mitra: What was the mix of customers? Were you still selling largely to the small individual advisors or were you now selling to the larger financial institutions?

Hugh Massie: In 2011, we were still mainly in the financial services area. We were still selling to the smaller clients.

Sramana Mitra: What about geography?

Hugh Massie: In 2011?

Sramana Mitra: Yes.

Hugh Massie: We were selling in US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand. Today, we know that our products have been used in 125 different countries. We’ve been able to track where they’ve been completed. We even have this in a Russian translation, for example. It’s quite broad but the main selling markets were the ones that I listed.

Sramana Mitra: In 2011, you are about to introduce these new products. Do these new products have anything to do with the financial advisor clientele that you have developed or is this going to a completely different zone?

Hugh Massie: Both. Those two new products were being used by our existing market. It was adding to the product range that they could tap. Some of them who were buying the initial Financial DNA product were now also buying the Communication DNA, Business DNA, or both. Also, we were able to go into new markets. We went into the general business market.

Sramana Mitra: What was the customer acquisition strategy that was working for you? In the beginning, you were doing conferences. Is that still the primary mechanism of customer acquisition in 2011?

Hugh Massie: It was still conferences, word of mouth, and referrals. A little bit later than that is when the sales approach started to change.

Sramana Mitra: What did you learn between 2011 and 2014 that changed your sales approach?

Hugh Massie: What I learned was I started looking at how other corporations turn their organizations into more of a sales business. Until 2011, we have been a little bit more of an R&D organization, a little bit more of a startup. To transform and really grow, we have to become a sales organization.

I was lucky enough to find, through somebody that I was going to hire as a sales manager, a process called Predictable Revenue. Having studied that process, which is also the same process that Salesforce used to transform how they did enterprise sales, I then built our organization based on a similar model. That’s what I did. It was really looking at dividing up all the sales roles.

Sramana Mitra: How did all this play out? These two major changes that you did, what was the impact on the business and how did the business ramp from there on?

Hugh Massie: We were able to accelerate the sales quite a lot further with a lot of smaller advisors. The business more than doubled. As part of our sales, we were training consultants who operated independently and wanted to use our products in their services. We’ve got more than a hundred of those trained today in different parts of the world.

Between those two models, the business is moving nearer to $10 million now. It’s growing. The other part of the growth is that we are getting enterprise clients where we get a very high volume or high number of seats in one organization. They have to implement our approach consistently across every role.

Sramana Mitra: What year did your enterprise business kick in gear?

Hugh Massie: That started kicking into gear in 2014 and 2015. It got more momentum last year.

This segment is part 5 in the series : Bootstrapping to $10M+ From Australia: Financial DNA CEO Hugh Massie
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