#52 InVision SVP of Sales Ryan Burke

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This is a podcast episode titled, #52 InVision SVP of Sales Ryan Burke. The summary for this episode is: If you liked this episode, we bet that you’ll love our blog content. blog.drift.com/#subscribe Subscribe to never miss a post & join the 20,000+ other pros committed to getting better every day. --- Ryan Burke is the SVP of Sales at InVision and goes way back with David, so we invited him over for lunch with our team and decided to record the conversation for Seeking Wisdom. We heard your feedback that you wanted more guests and behind the scenes stuff, so here you go! Some quick bullets on InVision: - Their revenue is more than doubling year-over-year in growth. - They have raised about $135 million since starting the company in 2011. - InVision is used by over 2 million people worldwide. - The InVision sales and customer success team today is north of 64 people with account executives, sales development reps, customer success staff, and more stretching from Hawaii to Boston. - They also serve more than 1,500 enterprise customers. Ways to support Seeking Wisdom if you’re a fan of the show: 1. Subscribe. 2. Leave us a five-star review. Here's how: bit.ly/5-Stars-Only. 3. Follow David (twitter.com/dcancel) and Dave (twitter.com/davegerhardt) on Twitter. 4. Learn more about Drift at Drift.com.

Speaker 1: All right. I'm ready if you're ready.

Dave: I'm ready.

Speaker 1: Everything is set up, we're rolling, everything is looking nice.

Dave: All right.

Speaker 1: Let's turn our levels down a little bit because he's jacked up, because his mikes are better.

Dave: Are we back?

Speaker 1: Yeah, we're back.

Dave: Damn, I miss you guys.

Speaker 1: I want you to do the intro because we had another visitor here for lunch at crosstalk.

Dave: We keep bringing the heat, bringing more guests.

Speaker 1: Yeah. People said they love the inside look. They felt like they were hanging out with us, having lunch in the office, which is awesome.

Dave: Now that's the point. That's the whole theme. That's the whole feeling we want for seeking wisdom, feel like you're here with us, hanging with us. And so we're going to do more of these things. Luckily we have some cool friends, some cool people we know that we can now talk into, bringing them in and sharing what they know with you guys. And so we brought in an old friend of mine, Ryan Burke is his name. Just known as Burke. I call him Burke, what's up? Burke and I worked together back at my company, Compete, long, long, long time ago through some dark days until some awesome days back there. So shared a lot of war stories with Burke. He was an enterprise sales leader. I compete, went on to do other things after we required. And then for the last year and a half, maybe two years now he's been working in a company called Envision, which is blowing up.

Speaker 1: Yeah. So he's the SVP of sales at Envision.

Dave: Yep. Awesome, because he joined the company when they were about 35 people. They're like 250, I think, he was saying. And so he's built that whole enterprise sales motion in a product- led company. So this is the new way. This is what we're thinking about all the time, and he's built customer success, enterprise marketing, the whole enterprise sales motion and goes into detail to reveal some of the secrets he's learned there.

Speaker 1: And what you said that was interesting is why you want to have him in other than the fact that you guys are boys. Most companies might start with enterprise and then break into free, right?

Dave: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Speaker 1: Envision has the opposite model, where they had freemium, they built up this huge base of fans and community. And then he came in two years ago to layer on enterprise.

Dave: Yeah. And so we think this is the motion we see happening with kind of the newest type of companies, that's modern businesses we see out there, whether it's Envision or CloudFlare or other companies like that, or Drift of course.

Speaker 1: I mean, that's what we've been doing for the last eight months, is we had that model.

Dave: And so we see a lot of company moving that motion, replacing the old kind of sell first build later with kind of build first, prove, give value, give, give, give, give, give, then ask.

Speaker 1: Yeah. All right. So enjoy it. This is Ryan Burke, SVP of sales at Envision.

Dave: Tell him, what's up, Burke? Okay. This is Ryan Burke, SVP of sales at enterprise sales. Is that what you call it?

Ryan Burke: Sales.

Dave: SVP of sales at Envision. Thanks for coming and joining us today.

Ryan Burke: Yeah, thanks for having me.

Speaker 1: I actually want to start with a question, he mentioned you guys worked together. The most serious thing I think we could ask is what was it like running sales at a DC company back in the early 2000s?

Ryan Burke: That was interesting. Back in 2001, I think we worked together at a company called Compete. Some dark days early on we had to kind of pivot the product a few times and pivot the entire sales team out the door a couple of times in the early days as well. But I kind of stuck through it, and Dave was great. Early on he was kind of the tech guru when we had this unbelievable data asset that we're just trying to figure out how to productize in the market at that time. So we got through it. Compete had a great run. Dave's-

Dave: And we worked together with an advisor to drift Scott Ernst, who's in Japan right now, or else we'd have lots of stories about him.

Speaker 1: We have to get him on to come in.

Ryan Burke: Ask him about the stress ball in the early days.

Speaker 1: All right. So we want to spend a lot of time talking about Envision and what you're doing now and just kind of the business. But I guess before we go into the tactical stuff, can you just give us some overview of how big is your team, how many reps you have, maybe sense of revenue, just kind of some perspective like, we know Envision well, but we probably don't know it well from the business side. We use it for design and stuff, but give us a background on the business side.

Ryan Burke: Yeah. And I'll give you a little bit of a backdrop as well. So I started with Envision just over two years ago. I was employee 35. So we're now up to just about 250, I think around 255, maybe for the overall company. So when I started really small sales team, there were two people that I inherited, and we've since scaled that up to just under 60, and that's sales and customer success and operations and in some BD as well. We introduced that enterprise layer, which was sort of the high- end layer that we stratified just before I started. So that's been around for about two and a half years.

Speaker 1: Yeah. So we want to talk about a lot today, is you basically joined the company. So the company was really 100% non sales- driven company, like products founders had this kind of free funnel and then you came. Did you come on to actually launch an enterprise type of sales team?

Ryan Burke: Yeah, pretty much. So we had enterprise at launch maybe a couple months before I had joined. So I was brought on to build the go- to market, build the sales team, build the strategies, to go more kind of upper funnel on the enterprise. And it was a much more product- driven approach. It was kind of clear from the outside, and it was a little bit of a culture shock. I was used to more of the banging the gongs and high fives in the office, bullpen type of environment.

Speaker 1: Chest- bumps.

Dave: Stress balls.

Ryan Burke: Stress balls, exactly. Screaming at each other, but this was a much cleaner approach, much more product over the approach. And part of it was, did a long stint in Compete, then I did a stint in the social advertising space, which was tough. And it was more of, a lot of bullshit that comes with sales that wasn't product- driven. And Facebook drives everything. Everybody else is reacting, and I didn't want to be in that position anymore. I wanted to be in a place where it was a lot cleaner and it was a lot more around the product.

Speaker 1: And it's, sorry. So you don't have to disclose exact numbers, but what's the split in revenue between enterprise sales and the freemium funnel?

Ryan Burke: Yeah. So when I started, obviously low single digits, but the enterprise has been the fastest growing part of the business. So we're up over 50% of the business now and kind of scaling very quickly. And that's along a lot of parameters of deal sizes, number of customers, and we're just kind of moving aggressively upstream.

Speaker 1: So when you came on, did you immediately hire reps and start building your own pipeline? Or were you able to say, " Oh, we have a million leads from the inbound funnel that we're able to use data and sort through, or was it both?

Ryan Burke: Yeah, it was probably a little more reactive when I first started. We benefit from the fact that we do have a product that drives a lot of inbound lead activity. So early days it was really about hiring a couple of reps that were more operational, they're more startup flavored and they could jack up all trades, type folks that could handle a lot of different things and test a lot of different things. And then as we scaled, we'd sort of test and identify areas to get more revenue streams and then we'd specialize. So now if you think about that 60 person team, it's extremely specialized across top of the funnel, we've got inbound, we've got outbound separate. We've got SMB through strategic and then post- sale, we now have customer success and even expansion. So early, it was kind of just doing everything, figuring it out from that inbound and then testing its crosstalk.

Speaker 1: Do you remember some of the first tests that you ran when you got there?

Ryan Burke: Yeah. I mean, one of them was, the deals were, it's such a high velocity model, but then the sales cycle on some of these bigger deals was so long. You'd close a deal within three days. And the next thing I'd be doing a pipeline and be like, " Man, this deal has been in here for nine months. What is going on? What's the difference?" So we did a lot to sort of one test those more transactional deals. We found early on that 60% of our deals were under a couple thousand and we're all into month sales cycles with our, " Let's get those out of our hands of our top reps." And then we separated, stratified out of that SMB segment that became really successful. But it's still fairly reactive. And then we wanted to isolate and test what we were doing, sort of these bigger deals, what was driving the long sales process, what was it? And it became down legal and security and sort of your typical enterprise stuff.

Speaker 1: So you mentioned expansion team, so your sales reps don't do the expansion?

Ryan Burke: They do, do the expansion as well. So they kind of work in concert with an expansion team, and we're continuing to test and iterate on this. But I mean, let's listen, we're in a little bit of a lucky situation, the fact that our product has an inherent virality built into it, because it's a collaboration platform. So for us, that impacts our sales motion because we know there's a Land and Expand component built into the product. So on the front- end, we just want to remove any friction, get people in the product as quickly as possible. So to your point, we didn't want to punish the salespeople by saying, I could have a salesperson say, " I can close this for five grand tomorrow." Or, " I can have this be a nine month sales process and I'll get 15 grand and I'll have a higher commission." All right, let's get rid of that head trash, just close the deal. If it grows in within a certain time period, we're going to reward you on that as well. So that way you're kind of not skewing the behavior of the sales rep.

Speaker 1: What's going through your head right now? The sales reps always have this hypothesis of just like, " I'll just wait." And that'll be 10 times as big and it's like this crazy deal math.

Ryan Burke: Yeah. I mean, they're good at sort of getting the trials, getting people on, banging open doors, and that plays to their strengths a little bit. I mean, inherently, they don't want to wait. They want to-

Speaker 1: I need to hit this month.

Ryan Burke: They don't need to hit, they need to get paid. So we just want to remove that friction and just allow people to get their hands on the product quickly and then pay the reps right away.

Speaker 1: All right. So I wrote down all the DCS questions because that's part of my job. So I'm going to try to steer you guys. So just a couple of questions on the splits of the model. So number one is on the inbound side, those are not touchless. Even if it's smaller, do you have a threshold of contract value where they can upgrade completely without talking to anybody or a sales still closing all of those inbound funnel deals?

Ryan Burke: Yes. So we have the freemium product. So we've got the inbound motion from freemium where we got a couple thousand a day right now coming in. So we do the whole PQL motion. And then we have the inbound, people coming to the website, going and they're requesting an enterprise trial. There's a touchless part of the consumer plan, so you can buy a plan up to 100 bucks a month for five people, and that's all self- serve.

Speaker 1: Gotcha.

Ryan Burke: Right now anything that's sort of the enterprise flavor, there is the introduction of a sales touch point. We will probably move and cater to more of a self- serve model moving forward as we continue to stratify at the lower- end or the top- end, but right now anything enterprise does have a human touch point.

Speaker 1: That's triggered by a trial or a price point or both or?

Ryan Burke: It can be a little bit of both. So we have different channels, whether it's live chat, enterprise trial, we've got some content leads, events, webinars, things like that. But for us, we just want to get people on trials. I mean, that's our sales team and a little bit dictated by the persona that we sell to.

Speaker 1: So you're freemium, but trial is like ungated version of freemium?

Ryan Burke: It's enterprise trial. It's a trial of the enterprise product.

Speaker 1: Okay. So it has different features?

Ryan Burke: Different features. It's a different positioning. We always wish there were more features, but a lot of it it's just kind of the positioning of using a product like ours at scale for bigger companies and then layering on some of the features that we know big enterprises care about, like administrative control, security and things like that.

Speaker 1: So you have inbound, you have enterprise. Are your enterprise reps also responsible for their own pipeline in addition to what's coming in from demo requests, trial requests?

Ryan Burke: Yeah. So a couple things, one, a little bit of a page at Roberto's book, the reps are always going to be responsible for generating some opportunities. Just keep that motion going. We all know we're going to live in a world that's not going to be purely inbound. So they're always responsible for creating their own opportunities. Then we have the outbound, and the outbound we have OBRs that are paired with our account execs. They're responsible for creating X number of opportunities as well.

Speaker 1: Gotcha. Okay. You mentioned features in a product- driven company, like in closing enterprise deals, how often are you going to the product team and engineering team and saying, " We can close this customer if we build this thing."

Ryan Burke: Yeah. I mean, that's a tough one. In our world, a little bit of a blessing and a curse, our consumer product is so good. It is a full sort of end- to- end solution in a lot of cases. So there's not that one silver bullet that people say, " Oh, if I had this I would pay X percent more and it'd be more enterprise specific." There are those enterprise specific features like security, for instance, like administrative control and management. That's where we play. The hard part sometimes is those enterprise features can be features that might not be interesting to your target persona.

Speaker 1: Yeah, designers.

Ryan Burke: Yeah. We sell the designers, and it's hard in itself. Designers don't like to be sold to, they want to touch and feel a product. If they like it, they'll use it. They'll tell their friends about it. So they also don't really care as much about some of the more administrative enterprise functions that maybe procurement or an IT or somebody or CIO might care about. So you've got to build those use cases into that story early on to get beyond just the target persona to help sell it

Speaker 1: So you have reps that the designer might be the first touch, but then they say, " Okay, we might need security. So I'm going to have to go try to bring this person from your company into the deal."

Ryan Burke: Yeah. Well, and that's where you can use this whole notion of the bottoms- up. We have a great groundswell by selling into this community that the CIO doesn't really care what the sales person is saying about using the product, but they will care if they see that there's 300 people at their company that are already using it. That's much more powerful, and that's where you layer on.

Speaker 1: Yeah. So is that something that comes in, in the PQL model? Is that like a flag, like after X number of people have been invited into this Envision file, you might get a sales call. Do you guys have it down to that much of a science or?

Ryan Burke: No, I wish. There's definitely a science to it and this is an area we're testing a lot and sort of how many people, how many designers are at a company and what sort of your adjustable market and things like that within a company. But we do actively reach out to folks that we know are coming into the freemium funnel from IBM or wherever. And we do have a specific message to them catered to, hey, either A, you're at a big company. These are some of the things that big companies use this for once you hop on a free trial, or B, you know what? There's already an enterprise account existing here, do you want to talk to the person or do you want to be added to that account? And that sort of triggers different motions.

Speaker 1: Interesting. Yeah. And so is there a limit as to the number of people, seat base or something like that in the freemium product?

Ryan Burke: We do have restrictions. So there's restrictions. The team plan goes up to five seats. But then because we are a collaboration platform, there's the ability to sort of share limited basis, like to share links that you can show somebody that can review and comment on that.

Speaker 1: And is that something you guys experimented with, the number five or?

Ryan Burke: Yeah. And we'll continue to iterate on that. I think moving forward to next year, we've got some other ideas about where we should put those limitations. I think that also deals with how do we potentially self- serve a higher base of users?

Speaker 1: And how often are you testing pricing during this process, both in the freemium and in your crosstalk.

Ryan Burke: Yeah, I mean...

Speaker 1: Has it been pretty set?

Ryan Burke: Since I've been there it's been pretty set. We're testing a lot of things right now. We've got a new growth team that we're building and we've got a chief data officer who's running all sorts of data, models and experiments, and we're looking at some competitive data. So we'll iterate, do a lot of testing moving forward. But it's been pretty set.

Speaker 1: Are you guys doing account based stuff to targeted accounts that you're going after?

Ryan Burke: We are a little bit. It's hard. We've got a couple thousand enterprise customers. So the ratio is even from a CSM to the number of accounts is pretty high. So we're trying to figure out what that line is at the top- end as well, to sort of delineate and say, okay, this is going to require more dedicated resources from sales and CS to go and try to blow that open. What is the playbook for that? And we're developing the playbook on that right now, in terms of the types of companies that we want to go after. In our world, we've got this whole notion of high D, low D, little D, big D, however you want to call it. But that D is sort of the design acumen for a better word. So the Twitters, the Uber's of the world, they clearly get designed. They clearly understand the power of the product design.

Speaker 1: You might say drifts.

Ryan Burke: Drift, exactly.

Speaker 1: I know inaudible drift.

Ryan Burke: Yeah. But for us low D is really the opportunity. Our biggest enterprise customers right now are banks and financial services companies, where maybe they historically have not been as designed focused, and they want to be, and they want to flip a switch.

Speaker 1: And you're teaching them.

Ryan Burke: And we're teaching them.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Let's talk about that for a second, because this is something that we feel too. Some of our biggest opportunities are the companies who haven't used messaging yet. But how does that change from a sales perspective? It's easy to go and say, " Hey, you guys are using this shitty tool, come and use this, it's better." Totally different conversation where you're saying, like you're bank, you've never thought about design. How does that change the sales conversation?

Ryan Burke: Yeah, no, it's a good question. I mean, a lot of it is, they care what we say, but they care what the other big companies are doing. So the little D companies want to know what is Uber doing? What is Twitter doing? What are these big D or high D companies doing? And we just have to educate them. Like on my whole mantra with the sales team, as well as we educate, we don't sell. And educate them on how to use the product, but more importantly educate them on what other companies that everybody sort of aspires to be or doing. You're not giving away competitive secrets inaudible that, but we have a whole design education team now. We hired Aaron Walter from MailChimp, is kind of illuminary in the design space, we hired him. And his whole job is just to create content and lessons and understandings of how to do design at scale. And companies are hungry for that.

Speaker 1: Especially you go to a bank and you can use the same design tools that Uber is using, because obviously one champion at that company who's talking to you.

Ryan Burke: Exactly.

Dave: I want the steps to be called illuminary one day.

Speaker 1: Illuminary? We have to work on that. Illuminary. That's amazing. Do you segment your CSMs like you segment your sales team?

Ryan Burke: We do a little bit. So we've got just sort of aligned with the SMB or corporate segment that we have. That's what the CSMs are. And at the top- end, we'll probably move more into a... We've been testing out this strategic layer or the traditional elephant- hunting, and we'll start to align CS resources with that as well.

Speaker 1: Are any of the CS resources quota bearing?

Ryan Burke: They have a number four, they have a baseline number based on their book of business with a growth component built in. So right now we have a little bit of a double count and sort of the growth, but that's fine. Because you need people playing nice, not like the Compete days where the CS salespeople are at war.

Speaker 1: Then what would happen, the customer success people would get comp for upgrading and renewals?

Ryan Burke: Yeah. It was always a question of the account ownership. So people want to be viewed as that main point of contact.

Speaker 1: Sales might come in eight months later and be like, " Hey, let's get you upgraded."

Ryan Burke: Exactly. For us it's a little different, because our motion is so designed around this education, this product- driven approach that even the salespeople are viewed as product experts, product managers. Even at Compete back in the day, the most successful salespeople were the ones that were viewed as not the salesperson, but actually had some content expertise and could add value every time they had a conversation with a rep. It wasn't just chasing down an MSA, it was, " Hey, did you see your competitors doing this?" Or, " Did you know that this client is using the product this way?" And that's what kind of different-

Speaker 1: Where do your reps get resources, just really tactically? Is that coming from customer success or do you have a marketing team that does sales enablement and makes you nice looking things to go then use in deals or?

Ryan Burke: Yeah. It's a little of both. Because we're a bottoms- up approach so much is oriented around kind of catering to this community and that doesn't have to be just through the product. I mean, you guys now have some socks or we give away T- shirts. There's those types of things, but content is such a big part of that. And for us content, our marketing team does an incredible job of both developing really tactical content and sort of how to, but also content in terms of, again, what are these high D companies doing? We have an inside design blog series that's incredibly well- read. We made a movie.

Speaker 1: I was supposed to be in it.

Ryan Burke: You were supposed to be in it. But we made a full feature length movie on sort of the power of design and disrupting industries over time. And it's been this incredibly powerful vehicle to sort of have a voice in this design community and be part of the narrative of the design community. We're doing premiers all over the world. Now, every customer wants us to come in. Actually, we're going to release the movie, but so many people want us to come on site until hundreds of companies have responded for us to come in and do screenings. We've had big companies come in and say, " Can you screen this to our management teams so they will understand the value of design?" So we have this great piece of content that we can sort of weaponize across all of our community.

Speaker 1: I mean, you obviously think it works because they can tell you're just excited. You run sales and you're excited about all these branding type things, but do you feel like that gives you air cover in deals? 99% of people know who you guys are and that helps from a marketing. The marketing and brand air cover helps you guys?

Ryan Burke: Yeah, you're right. I mean, yes, but it is more branding and awareness versus a pure lead gen machine. But there are ways. We do these VIP dinners and events are sort of associated with screenings, and those can become very tactical enterprise lead gen opportunities.

Speaker 1: So would you guys treat those as account- based selling? Like, somebody goes to your team and says, " Hey, we want to run this event in Boston." Do you have a list of 100 target accounts that we should invite? Is that how that works?

Ryan Burke: Yeah. Or we'll find an anchor company. We did a screening at HubSpot, and we'll say, " All right, who in HubSpot's in the movie?" We'll give them the opportunity to sort of deliver this to the Boston community. So they can invite whoever they want, we can invite who we want to that. And we've done it with...

Speaker 1: It's pretty unbelievable. We think you're in HubSpot demoing your product, like telling your story and it's cool, guess who they're going to buy from?

Ryan Burke: Right. Exactly.

Speaker 1: Yeah. What is on your mind? What do we miss? What else should we talk about?

Dave: What is marketing seat in Envision?

Ryan Burke: Yeah. So we've got sort of two flavors of marketing right now. We've got the enterprise side and we've got more of the consumer, which is more of the branding.

Dave: And are those two separated?

Ryan Burke: They're fairly integrated now, but the enterprise team is more responsible for our number of qualified leads. Whereas the branding team has more association alignment with the self- serve traction.

Speaker 1: So just like rough math, if you got 100 qualified sales qualified leads, where did they come from?

Ryan Burke: Yeah. For us right now, our trial, our enterprise trial page.

Speaker 1: Just straight up from the website.

Ryan Burke: Yeah. That's what I'm going to-

Speaker 1: Were they opted it into a separate funnel or they said, "I want a trial?" Versus, " I want the free part?"

Ryan Burke: We are seeing some success without that. And I feel like outbound for us was one of those tests, where being a bottoms- up sales motion predominantly. You sort of think it's more of just a pole motion and PQLs and the dream of that. But the outbound still works. You are able to push into these markets if you have a compelling message with articulation of this high D promise and a pretty non- invasive pitch, which is, do you want a free trial? They're awesome product? Maybe throw on a T- shirt.

Speaker 1: Or some socks.

Ryan Burke: Or some socks.

Speaker 1: So outbound's job is to get trials?

Ryan Burke: Yes.

Speaker 1: Okay.

Ryan Burke: Yep. So-

Dave: Everyone's job is to get trials, right?

Ryan Burke: Yeah. I mean, for us that's the biggest indicator of success. We just want to get people into the product. Because again, we don't want to push people. It's a very-

Speaker 1: How long is the trial?

Ryan Burke: It's two weeks.

Speaker 1: And then, so that's sales, if I'm your sales rep, I am your coach for that two week trial?

Ryan Burke: Yes.

Speaker 1: Okay. Yeah.

Dave: Do you ever sell non trout accounts?

Ryan Burke: We do.

Dave: But that's not the motion.

Ryan Burke: That's not typically the motion. In a lot of cases, people will be on the consumer plan. So they've got a pretty good familiarity of the products and they don't need an enterprise trial, but they know a couple of the key features or something that they want.

Dave: So there might be a case?

Ryan Burke: Exactly.

Dave: That's interesting.

Ryan Burke: Yeah.

Speaker 1: Ree was writing a question. Just give it to me.

Dave: Yeah, how hard was it?

Speaker 4: What happens when the trial ends up and there's no sale? What's the crosstalk.

Speaker 1: Repeat that question for our audience listeners.

Ryan Burke: Now the question is what happens at trial if there's no sale? So a couple things. One, they'll go back and sort of traditional nurture. If they want to go onto the consumer plan, we'll put them back onto the consumer plan. But we want to make the process pretty easy for folks.

Speaker 1: The enterprise stuff, including, I see a modal now when I go to envision.com that says, do you want to trial the enterprise thing? And it's kind of a nice trial process, how hard was it to do that? Because I remember even six months or a year ago, I don't remember seeing the enterprise trial process kind of integrated into the website.

Ryan Burke: Yeah. It's become a lot more overt in the last, probably six months. I think as everybody understands the economics, the trajectory, and kind of the power that we have of catering to these larger organizations and the products, we're continuing to be a lot more enterprise- friendly specifically with things like security that we offer now. So we wanted to push that a lot more.

Speaker 1: Was that a struggle to get that?

Ryan Burke: No. I mean, we're still early stage. If you think about it, I mean, the company has been around since 2011, but really it's still fairly early. So there's always that balance between wanting ubiquity of the product versus immediate monetization right now. I'm a sales guy. I'm like, " Let's go. Let's beef up the enterprise, let's sell." That's not always the right thing. So we want to make sure that for inaudible reasons as well, it's the right product for the right company. So it's been a shift. We'll continue to probably shift more in that direction, but I think everybody's on the same page.

Speaker 1: When you sell enterprise, are those exclusively annual or what's the split?

Ryan Burke: Yeah, right now they're annual.

Speaker 1: Okay.

Ryan Burke: We do annual on the consumer side as well.

Speaker 1: But often.

Ryan Burke: Yeah, exactly.

Speaker 1: And then that was from day one you started that way, only annuals?

Ryan Burke: Yep.

Speaker 1: No pushback, you don't get people asking for monthly on the crosstalk?

Ryan Burke: No, if we do we'll just put them on a longer trial.

Speaker 1: Got it.

Ryan Burke: I'd rather just extend the trial up front and then get them on an enterprise deal than doing a three month or six month pilot. There's revenue implications and all that for those types of deals. So it's easier to do.

Speaker 1: Is there are certain C threshold that you see is a no brain on the enterprise side or is it not really seat- driven, it's feature- driven?

Ryan Burke: For us the biggest predictor is kind of what's the size of the design team? And that's what we're trying to build more of into the front- end of the sales process, because that to us is kind of the biggest quality metric of what makes a good enterprise prospect.

Speaker 1: More than the size of the company.

Ryan Burke: More than the size of the company.

Speaker 1: Got it.

Ryan Burke: Inside the design team is a little bit of an indicator of high D, little low D, where you've got these, because we are getting calls. I mean, we did a call recently with Maersk, the big shipping company, like massive company.

Speaker 1: They design?

Ryan Burke: They do, all team.

Speaker 1: Have you ever seen the wire?

Ryan Burke: What's that?

Speaker 1: Have you ever seen the wire?

Ryan Burke: The show?

Speaker 1: Yeah.

Ryan Burke: Yeah.

Speaker 1: Okay. I was just curious. I don't know where that's going to go.

Ryan Burke: I know the second season and the boxes.

Speaker 1: Yes, second season, it's all about the cans.

Dave: There should be containers.

Ryan Burke: Yes.

Speaker 1: It's the only reason why I know. That's the only show that Dave's watch. Yeah.

Dave: That's true. All I do is work. I don't have any time for shows.

Speaker 1: No worry. That is crazy. What has changed the most in your sales team from Canadian sales team and CS team structure from, let's say a year ago to now?

Ryan Burke: Yeah. I think the specialization has been a big one. So as we've grown, I think that one of the things is, when I first started it was like we were selling the dream of design and selling it. And then we got and we hired a lot of high product documents salespeople, and get really feature heavy. And that kind of approach worked in the trials. But now I think we need to move back a little bit. I think we over- corrected maybe a little bit, and now it's back to selling the dream that your product strategy is your business strategy and design drives product. And that's a C- level message that we need to articulate. So I think probably we're shifting more in that direction. And then the other part of that is you can ask somebody how big the design team is, but for us, it's as important as well as who's involved in the design process? That's more people now. For us, our sales motion this year and sort of beyond from a marketing standpoint as well will be those use cases, those tools, those features for personas beyond the designer while staying true to our core community and foundational design personas.

Speaker 1: Now that you've gone through that change, would you have done that? You think it's right for the time that you're at now, or would you have started two years ago and said, " We should be segmented as a sales team."

Ryan Burke: I think we probably timed it pretty right. I would have accelerated some things like, we know security, especially given the nature of what we do. People are putting prototypes and product prototypes. I mean, there's still some companies that aren't going to work with us until we're on prem, because auto companies are telling us they're designing rear view mirror technology, five years down the road. They don't want to sit in the cloud. I mean, you guys are dealing with customer data. And so that's a very specific enterprise pain point, that I think we're doing a very good job of addressing right now. But in reality, we probably could have moved even quicker than that.

Speaker 1: What do you look for in sales reps now versus other companies, because you've typically done more field sales?

Ryan Burke: Yeah. So it's a little different because the product document is a lot more important now. So part of our interview process is so driven by the demo. And just even making them do the demo of our product, which is not easy. I mean, the product's pretty intuitive, but there's still. We do the whole role- play situation, but that product element is a lot more important. And that product interest even. We have a freemium product, if a salesperson hasn't downloaded the product, you're out, that kills me, just go to the damn website. So that is a different, I would say attribute than I'm probably used to, where historically it was much more of taking companies out to dinner and playing golf and the million dollar deals and telling a joke, that type of stuff, it doesn't matter as much anymore.

Speaker 1: That's it. Ryan was killing.

Ryan Burke: Exactly.

Speaker 1: That's his specialty, tell us a jokes. crosstalk go fishing?

Dave: Are you 100% remote?

Ryan Burke: We are.

Dave: Is that hard from a sales perspective?

Ryan Burke: It is. We work sort of scattered around. So we work here in Boston, we've got three others I think, around the country. Yeah, it's different. And it's different being a 250 person company that is being, when I started at 35. And the hardest part is honestly trying to pull people out of the HubSpot's, the Dropbox's, the world where they're so used to these, ping pong tables and margarita Fridays, all that nonsense, whatever. That was good. I like your ping pong table. And I'll take anybody on.

Speaker 1: That was free from crosstalk house.

Ryan Burke: All right, perfect. After this. But it's hard to pull people out, but once they get a taste of that, once they get a taste of yes, I can go into where we work, I can have that interaction if I want, but I also can work from home or work in Vail for the winter, or whatever, it's sales. So you still can't hide from the numbers. Make your number, hit your calls, be responsive to clients and prospects, be on meetings internally and kind of live wherever you want.

Dave: Have you interviewed somebody recently that hasn't signed up for Envision and played around for an interview?

Speaker 1: Have you hired someone?

Ryan Burke: I don't think we've hired anybody that hasn't played around with it beforehand.

Dave: Yeah. That's interesting. And where do you put that in the sales interview process? Is that like screening, middle, and that kind of demo process?

Ryan Burke: So that's probably right after the screening. The other demo process is, we do sort of the screen then we interview the hiring manager and then we go to the demo process. And preparation, I would put your usage of the freemium product in that preparation category, which to me is really kind of a key tenant of a sales person, because that's also where you can sort of uncover their level of hustle or creativity. How'd you prepare for this? Is a question I'll always ask. They'll say, "I went to your website." Great. Everybody goes to the website. What else did you do? Well, I found out my sister's brother worked at Envision or use this product, tracked him down. I saw some of our prototypes. Tracked down this person at a conference, those are the types of answers that I want to hear. And that's not necessarily a prerequisite, but that creative aspect of the preparation is so critical to me.

Speaker 1: And how do you hire CSMs?

Ryan Burke: Pretty similar. For CSMs, we're sort of evolving that a little bit now because we want people that have been able to develop these relationships, navigate big internal organizations, almost sort of in our case, virtually walked the halls. So that's probably a little bit more important for us, but there is still a sales aspect to see us in our world. So people, and obviously the product aspect. Because they are going to be a lot of times, the first line of defense when somebody has a product question. So that's really important. And we're starting to do a lot more onsite, even though we're virtual. We're starting inherently inside model.

Speaker 1: crosstalk kickoffs and stuff.

Ryan Burke: Yeah, kickoff in these trainings, these education sessions. And we see a lot of power in that, especially for the persona that we sell to, which is the design persona, which hasn't historically been catered to, like a VP of marketing that's getting hit every day and everybody's like, " Oh, can I come onsite and give you a demo?" It's like, " No, we're going to come onsite. We're going to deliver value to you by having somebody come in and do some advanced training and use cases." And to the remote point, actually we're a lot more lenient with who we bring to events to drive that face- to- face interaction, but try to orient it around a customer visit, an event, a prospect meetup or something like that.

Speaker 1: Because it's cheaper to move people around, you don't have to say, " Oh, this deal is only a couple hundred bucks, we're not going to fly to wherever."

Ryan Burke: Yeah.

Speaker 1: What's the typical CS relationship with an enterprise customer? Is it weekly? Because HubSpot, other bigger companies with bigger deals, for example, like I've heard of people having a Friday 20 minute call or once a month check in. What's the relationship in the enterprise?

Ryan Burke: Yeah, I mean, our most successful relationships are obviously the ones where we have more. I mean, we've gotten some really deep relationships where we have slack channels with our customers. And those are just real. I mean, talk about a sticky relationship. I mean, it is pinging our people all the time, the question, and that's great. Sales scalable, but those types of relationships are obviously the most powerful and productive. Other than that, I mean, the product is fairly intuitive. So we're more proactive with education sessions or use cases on how to use the product beyond sort of the design crosstalk.

Dave: Did you paid services yet, like either paid training, paid kickoffs, service plans, anything like that?

Ryan Burke: We haven't. We've talked about it, and especially that was a lot of the background of Compete, right?

Dave: Yeah, for sure.

Ryan Burke: We had that awesome data asset, but ultimately people wanting to be told what to do with it. So we layered on that services component. At some point, maybe we'll get there, especially there's an opportunity for those low D companies. We could do it right now. We could definitely go into these lower D companies and say, " Hey."

Dave: 20 grand kickoff, whatever it is.

Ryan Burke: Exactly. So ultimately, I think we'll probably get there.

Dave: Got it.

Speaker 1: One other CS question. I don't know how often this comes up, but recently we had a churn, for example, because our main contact at this company left. Is that something that you try to move around? And especially in bigger deals, do you try to get as many people involved from a customer's perspective?

Ryan Burke: Yeah. I mean, we could definitely do a better job of that. I think it was the CEO of New Relic. So the two biggest indicators of churn or the onboarding experience and your champion leaving. So for us, a little bit that bottoms- up approach helps you sort of democratize the champions. So we do have a little bit of the benefit of that. We also need to help elevate design as a champion even internally. And that's what sort of design responds well to us because we are doing a good job of helping them expose the process across the organization, but not all the companies have designed with a senior seat at the table. So we're trying to help them cater to that. So we do an okay job with identifying the champions. We have these core champions, but to your point, it's really important to develop more.

Speaker 1: Just like in the past, what is the way that you've done that other than being like, " Hey, can we talk to other people on your team?"

Ryan Burke: Yeah. I mean, for us, it's the use cases beyond just the design persona. So we've got very specific use cases for product teams, for instance. That's what we use as the vehicle to go and try to build a relationship with these product folks, which maybe have more budget, more influence, whatever, internally in some cases. The onsite visits really help. And then there's also opportunities. We do smaller, more targeted events. We do these VIP dinners, and get 12, 15 people in a room, no agenda, a couple of hours, nice dinner. You'd be amazed at the relationships that you can build out of those things, and a lot cheaper than setting up a booth at Salesforce, whatever, change for us.

Dave: Yeah, a lot of cheaper.

Ryan Burke: Yeah.

Speaker 1: That's very good. Anybody got questions? Sorry, Pete, yeah.

Pete: This might be on the inaudible, but as much as you cut through the noise and revive on useful information, how do you see the roles of the PR folks and reps changing? How will it change our lives inaudible?

Ryan Burke: Yeah. So the question was as kind of live chat becomes more prominent, how will that change sort of the BDR, SDR motion? I mean, it's a good question. I mean, obviously response time is just the biggest thing. So we use live chat right now, but it's a smaller percentage of overall SDR, BDR interaction. I think some of the stuff that you guys are doing honestly is very interesting, where you can input a lot more of those data points in the front- end into that chat process, that will change the qualification motion of that SDR, BDR, or it's going to become more of... I think the sales cycle is short and it'll be live chat to demo, live chat in our world, live chat to enterprise trial would be great. And then you'd probably change the dynamic of the SDR, BDR. We probably do more on the outbound side, where you're going to do more of that proactive outreach and qualification.

Pete: Yeah. So we talked a lot about how company vision affects your sales process and your CS process. How do you keep product aligned with the changes that you make at a high level? If you're moving towards enterprise, crosstalk you make sure the inaudible things? Like if you have a large company, you can't have everyone talking to everyone all the time. So what kinds of things do you do to make sure things are moving the right direction?

Ryan Burke: ] Yeah, so in terms of the question is how do we align product communication with the sales team as well or?

Pete: Yeah.

Ryan Burke: Yeah, I mean, the benefit is we've got so many users and we've got such traction with this freemium model and the enterprise. So we're getting a lot of data points. And so for us there's certain things like close loss data reports. So those are just really important for us, those are good.

Speaker 1: Do you share those with the product team.

Ryan Burke: We share those with the product team.

Dave: It's important.

Ryan Burke: The good thing is that for us there's no surprises, which to me signals there's pretty good alignment. There's not a lot of times where we share some close loss data and the product team's like, " Oh man, why weren't we thinking about that?" Or that's not even something we would put on the roadmap. We're pretty well- aligned with what the market's looking for and we release a lot. So we could probably do better job a little bit internally in some of the communication around that, but that's a good problem to have. And we're releasing a lot in reaction to what the bottoms- up community is asking for. So we're trying to do more, and this is part of the remote culture as well. We're trying to do more of longer- term product vision and where we're going, kind of communication across the team, but we're pretty well- aligned with the product team, comes on the sales calls and gives us an update on the roadmap, and we're sharing reports on close loss, and those types of... And then the product team's talking to a lot of customers, which I know you guys are obviously big advocates of, but we've got some great folks in the product team that are always out there talking to customers about what they want, what would they ask for that's not currently in the product.

Pete: One of the things you said before was that when your reps talk to people for the first time, they make a high D promise, can you talk about that?

Ryan Burke: Yeah. So that's along the lines that the question was when our reps are talking to prospects for the first time, this notion, this high D promise. For us, the high D promises, companies want to become more design- centric. All right, so we do that through talking about what some of these other companies are doing, whether it's the Uber and the Netflix of the world. Not from specifics within the product, but what they're doing as a company to sort of change their whole focus. Capital One, they bought two UX firms in the last two years. So there's those types of data points, you want to sell that dream to customers. I want the sales team to be evangelists of the promise of design. And then once the company gets bought in or the prospect gets bought in, then obviously Envision sort of logical response to help do that, facilitate it.

Speaker 5: I was wondering if you'd be able to talk a little bit more about yourself and customer success relationships, does the customer change hands into customer success?

Ryan Burke: Yep. So the question was about the sales CS relationship and sort of the timing of that transition. So another thing we're sort of continuing to evolve and iterate on historically it's been sort of post- sale transitions to the CS person for the kickoff. And then the AE is then re- introduce when upsell opportunities are sort of identified. And then I think we're at 90 days now prior to renewal is when the CS person comes back in and starts to take over. We want to continue to blur those lines intentionally. We want to get more people involved, but again, that's sort of the uniqueness of our sales motion, which is so predominantly Land and Expand, that we want both of these folks in there talking to customers, banging open doors and to new groups internally. You can always do the good cop, bad cop thing, which is important to come renewal time.

Speaker 1: That's awesome. Hey, Ree, you had a question?

Ree: So I think I'm really interested in this whole examine trials panel and what your team internally does to facilitate about two weeks, like really crucial time period of making sure they're getting onboarded and the communication and any type of processes you guys have for yourselves.

Ryan Burke: Yeah. So the question was about the trial motion and what are we doing from a touchpoint perspective. So we use some tools to identify the health of a trial. So then we're proactively communicating with the sales and CS team around what the trial health looks like. For us, we're so focused on getting as many people on to that trial as possible upfront. So we're trying to do a better job of measuring those types of things, but for us, because we want to help companies socialize the design process, we don't want two or three designers kicking the tires of the trial. We want their whole team using it. So we want to put incentives in place, upfront to get as many people on the trial as possible. And that can be incentives on our side, that can be T- shirts for people that are involved, whatever it is, we know that's such a key metric for conversion for us, that we want to just make sure that we're expanding that as much upfront.

Dave: Let's talk more about the T- shirts, because you guys are famous for sending out T- shirts. How do you think about that from a marketing standpoint?

Speaker 1: Don't they have a page or something like that?

Ryan Burke: We have a marketplace, so we've got great T- shirts so I'll bring some. So T- shirts, again, it's a little bit part of the fact that we cater this community. The designers that that's a little bit kind of the tone of the design space. Really cool T- shirts, they have a mantra that says design makes everything possible, which is sort of our core tenant, and we give a lot of way. And we use them strategically as well for trials, for on- sites, all of that. And so then we built this marketplace where again, to be part of this community we said, " All right, we're going to go hire some designers. We want you to make us really cool T- shirts that use our mantra of design, makes everything possible." And similar to kind of whatever Note did, we launched the marketplace. It's interesting, we use it probably mostly on the sales side where, " Hey, for everybody to get in the room, we're going to give you some T- shirts, and then here's a code, pick your own." And that again brings them into the process where instead of just saying, " Hey, here's a T- shirt." Like, " Come to our marketplaces, interact with it. Our brand is obviously..." And that kind of engages them a little bit more upfront.

Dave: T- Shirts, but not the socks. Socks are like crosstalk.

Ryan Burke: Socks are level up, socks are black market.

Speaker 4: Black market only.

Ryan Burke: Yeah. You'll not see those on eBay.

Dave: No, not on eBay.

Speaker 1: That's why I had to give them away because I wasn't going to sell them.

Dave: Elias, give back those socks.

Elias: inaudible.

Dave: That's all she has to say. Cool. Any other questions?

Elias: So you're pushing everyone to trials, are there cases where you'd say these people aren't ready for a trial, lets go back educating one and then inaudible?

Ryan Burke: Yeah. So the question is, do we push everybody towards a trial or are there some prospects that maybe aren't ready for a trial for us? Yeah, I mean, there's probably smaller companies where maybe they want to kick the tires of the enterprise. We're pretty loose. We want no sweat off our back, you want to take the trial and it's not the right fit, no problem. But if it's a small company where we really tell them that the product might not be what they need, because the consumer plan so perfectly fits their needs, we'll be upfront with them about that.

Dave: On your successful enterprise customers, what is the velocity of expansion within the company look like? Is it continuous? Is it something where everyone invites pretty much everyone when they kick off? Or is it something that you look at as it's continually growing in those companies? Like you start with five person, then you go 10, then you go 20, and revenue just along that?

Ryan Burke: Yeah. I mean, it depends a little bit on the vertical and the type of company and the whole sort of D orientation. But it's pretty continual. Agencies are probably a little bit different, agencies tend to be a little bit lumpier because it's so much more project- based or client- based at the time. But on the brand side, it's pretty continual. I wouldn't say the activity is always on a higher trajectory, but the overall number seats is typically on a higher trajectory.

Dave: And you charge for all seats or you charge just for designers versus viewers, how do you charge?

Ryan Burke: Yeah, we've got two flavors of seats within the enterprise product and one of them we charge higher, where you can create and customize things. And then there's another one that's built for people that are sort of reviewers and the process as they come, that can come in and view something, comment on it, but they don't need the full access. And that's where senior management would come in or maybe marketing folks or even some of the developers.

Dave: Is that something the market told you to do, that viewer versus designer?

Ryan Burke: Yeah, a little bit. I mean, we knew that so many people wanted to be part of the design process and we wanted to cater to that need without charging everybody for the VP, or the CEO is not going to build a prototype, but they're going to be very interested in commenting on something maybe before it goes to market. So we wanted to make it easy for that person, keep them within the enterprise ecosystem, where all of those comments and everything are trackable. From a version control standpoint, it's really important. And we didn't want to punish people with a high price.

Dave: Got it. Cool. Well, thank you, Ryan, for coming in. It's been awesome. Thanks for sharing.

Ryan Burke: Thank you. I appreciate it.

Dave: Next time more socks.

Ryan Burke: Yeah.


If you liked this episode, we bet that you’ll love our blog content. blog.drift.com/#subscribe Subscribe to never miss a post & join the 20,000+ other pros committed to getting better every day. --- Ryan Burke is the SVP of Sales at InVision and goes way back with David, so we invited him over for lunch with our team and decided to record the conversation for Seeking Wisdom. We heard your feedback that you wanted more guests and behind the scenes stuff, so here you go! Some quick bullets on InVision: - Their revenue is more than doubling year-over-year in growth. - They have raised about $135 million since starting the company in 2011. - InVision is used by over 2 million people worldwide. - The InVision sales and customer success team today is north of 64 people with account executives, sales development reps, customer success staff, and more stretching from Hawaii to Boston. - They also serve more than 1,500 enterprise customers. Ways to support Seeking Wisdom if you’re a fan of the show: 1. Subscribe. 2. Leave us a five-star review. Here's how: bit.ly/5-Stars-Only. 3. Follow David (twitter.com/dcancel) and Dave (twitter.com/davegerhardt) on Twitter. 4. Learn more about Drift at Drift.com.