Sramana Mitra: Is this an inside sales model? What is the go-to market?
Anthony Ferry: It has turned out to be more of an inside sales type of selling. It’ a hybrid. That was a learning for me. What I was used to was more of an outside sales in a consultative arena. Especially when your product is people, you need to be in front of that customer proving yourself and presenting that talent to them in person.
With PriceSpider, that was a drastic shift. The majority of our identification of potential customers through marketing, solicitation, qualifying, and even initial presentations is all done over the phone. It is only the larger customers or the very unique or specific customers that will warrant on-site visits or face-to-face visits during the sales process.
Post sales is a little different. From an account management standpoint, we have different tiers of customers. Our account management team does look to frequently visit customers, especially those larger customers. We do quarterly visits for our top 10% customers to make sure that they are effectively using our products and are also aware of our new products. They give them a sneak peek into our roadmap.
Sramana Mitra: What is the sales cycle? How long does it take you to close deals?
Anthony Ferry: Sales cycle varies depending on which product it is. I would say, on average, it’s between two and three months. We usually will see an opportunity that is more interesting than the others. We try not to boil the ocean even though they may generically be interested in everything that we’re doing. We haven’t had a great deal of success right off the bat selling a customer everything.
Even when we had that opportunity and that interest, we usually will try to get what we think is the most logical first product or service in place and then grow upon that over the course of anywhere from 6 to 18 months. That grows not just with the addition of new products or services but with the expansion to cover more products and more SKUs.
The complexity of the things that we do for our customers is usually predicated by three things, which is the number of SKUs or individual products that they like to be under management with us, the number of sellers online or brick-and-mortar sellers that they like us to monitor for them, and the number of countries that they like us to do that across. Those three elements really predicate the complexity of any one particular client.
Sramana Mitra: Is there any other strategic element that is interesting in your story? How many people do you have?
Anthony Ferry: PriceSpider is about 80 people. We just cracked 80.
Sramana Mitra: All in one location?
Anthony Ferry: Mostly. Most of our sales force is remote. We have recently opened a new facility in Kansas to extend our reach to the East Coast and to tap into additional talent pool.
Sramana Mitra: This is all in Irvine?
Anthony Ferry: Yes.
Sramana Mitra: No financing right?
Anthony Ferry: Yes, all organically grown from day one. We like that. It’s safe. We like the fact that we’re not writing checks that we can’t cash. We don’t get into trouble with VC money. We also are able to maintain control of the company. The purity of our vision is maintained throughout. That’s not to say that, at some point in the future, outside investment isn’t appropriate. It would come for a very strategic reason as we establish our model and direction.
Sramana Mitra: Terrific. We love bootstrapping entrepreneurs. Thank you for your time.