Case Study: Spate

Last year, while many companies were spinning their wheels figuring out how to survive, Spate 3x’ed their MRR in 12 weeks.

Spate, a trends startup, approached me in late Q1 last year with a major problem. They were getting a ton of inbound interest — including from household names — but very little was converting to actual sales. The founder pair had garnered a ton of attention through PR, content, and thought leadership, but next to nothing was hitting their bottom line. Recognizable brands said they wanted their product, but traction was minimal. The few deals they were able to land were far too small. The founding team wondered if they were ever going to hit product market fit, as they had been floundering on the sales front for over a year. Their runway was limited. So, they needed to get to ramen profitability before time ran out. One co-founder told me, “We need to make more money…for the survival of the company.” To make matters thornier, the pandemic slammed into us as we started our engagement. Would our customers suffer from budgetary contractions? Would fear play a role in their buying process?

As I stared into their sales funnel, I spotted major leaks. Folks were initially interested in the platform but weren’t jumping on a call with us. They came to the site and signed up for access to the platform, but somehow didn’t want to talk to us. We had little shot at making the sale as things stood. Once prospects did join us on the initial call, most of them didn’t stay in our sales funnel. Free trials were not converting to paying customers. We needed to patch things up. And quickly.

What could we use as a lure for that first call? I wanted something that would compel them to attend. Without much delay, we came up with a consultation session. That first call was not only an introduction to the platform, but also a consultation where the salesperson delivered trends and insights. The prospect left that first meeting not only intrigued but wowed by the understanding they had gotten. They could walk into their next team meeting and flex their newfound industry knowledge, “Did you know that we’re seeing increased demand in [product category]? A 37% increase in North America over the next 2 months, as a matter of fact.”

Before ending our first sales meeting, we promised them even more on our next call: we’d help them answer some of their company’s major strategic questions. This second call was about unveiling the platform tailored to their needs. It was also about us getting them started on their credit card-activated free trial. And setting them up for success for that initial stretch and beyond.

Once changes were in place, our two punctures were plugged and our sales process started humming. All of a sudden, our steady flow of inbound leads now turning into greenbacks, and we were off to the races.

The biggest lesson here is this: we transformed the customer experience. Offering demos to folks that had been curious about our data product wasn’t enough to get leads to convert. No prospect wants to sit through yet another product demo. Delivering personalized, actionable insights on a silver platter was the key to having them make their way down our sales funnel. And ultimately to a closed deal.