Skaled Case Study

Speek Crushes Series A and Makes Profitable Exit After Building a Repeatable Sales Machine

Speek is a simple conference calling application that allows users to create a custom URL as the invitation to join a call, eliminating the need for dial-ins and pin numbers. Participants click on the link to join the call from their phone, web, or mobile browser. On the call, attendees can see who’s joined, who’s talking, share files, and more.

Founded in 2012, Speek had 16 employees when they first began working with Skaled in August 2013. When we met them, they were at a critical transition point that is all-too-often the death of a startup…

Successfully Transitioning from Free to Paid Users

Speek showed excellent initial traction in their early stage growth: as of August 2013 they had 20,000 happy users.

The problem was these users had filtered in via organic, word-of-mouth marketing and were enjoying a freemium business model. Now, with Speek’s newly-launched Premium service – and investor dollars hanging in the balance – they needed to somehow make the switch from free to paying users…fast.

Without a sales team in place, or the sales experience to fuel that type of major transition successfully, Speek was looking at a lot of unknowns. Some of the big questions they had were:

1. How do we move our free users to paying, premium users?

2. Should we focus on finding new, cold leads – and if so, how? Or should we focus on upselling existing customers?

In facing these challenges, Konrad Waliszewski, Speek’s VP of Business, saw the value of partnering with an outside team who could create a successful sales strategy to usher in the next phase of growth.

So instead of hiring two sales reps and throwing them to wolves to navigate a possibly disastrous cycle of trial and error, Konrad joined up with Skaled in favor of securing a replicable, revenue-growing sales strategy.

Repeatable Sales Process? Yes, Please

In the early growth phase, startups often acquire customers by relying on a mix of natural sales ability and intuition. While this works for getting off the ground, it doesn’t ensure a steady stream of revenue, and it certainly doesn’t impress investors.

As your company grows, you need a replicable sales process that incorporates scripts, email templates, cadence plans, and more. Not only does this give you a defined system that can grow with your company; it also empowers hired sales reps to hit the ground running, generating meetings and moving prospects through the pipeline in the first week they walk through your door.

With Speek, we found right away that chasing new markets was not nearly as effective as upselling existing customers. So using strategic testing and knowledge gained from 20+ combined years of sales experience, we crafted a replicable sales strategy focusing on this conversion.

Most important was a comprehensive cadence and messaging strategy, which became the key to Speek’s growth. Using this strategy, Speek was able to:

1. Identify quality power users
2. Convince them to test the upgraded services
3. Drive these users through the sales funnel with demonstrations and support

Repeatable Results with Huge Impact

With a tested and proven strategy in hand, Skaled helped Speek hire and train their first full-time sales rep, who by plugging into our scripted sales process saw immediate success.

Within 2 months, Speek went from generating 0 meetings per person per month to 20 meetings per person per month. This ultimately generated their first steady stream of revenue and instilled confidence in powerful investors —

In March of 2014, after three additional months of proving this model, Speek raised $5.1 Million in Series A funding, even securing investment from actor Edward Norton. In June 2015, Speek was acquired by Jive Communications.

Without proving they could generate sustainable growth and revenue, Speek’s journey to profitable exit could have looked very different – even with a fantastic product and a fantastic team. Moving from freemium to premium business model is no easy feat, and with Skaled’s strategic guidance, Speek was able to navigate that transition with huge success.