Case Study: Epsilon3

Epsilon3 founders went from thinking they had product market fit issues to 50X’ing their ARR in 12 weeks. That included closing the biggest deal in company history with a space company we’ve all heard of.

 

I can still remember it. Our engagement was just a few weeks old. Epsilon3’s founders — Laura and Max — were downtrodden. They were doubting their product. Would the market accept it? They had been selling it for several months but hadn’t gained much traction. They told me, “Maybe we should build something else. Maybe this is a sign that the market wants something different.” The thought of scrapping their entire product had crossed their mind. I responded, “Guys, I think it’s a bit premature. I’d like us to have more market evidence before making such a sharp turn. What we have here could either be a product issue or a sales execution issue, or a combination of the two. I can help you remove the sales execution issue. And we can continue learning about the market’s reaction to the product. We owe ourselves that, before redirecting the ship in a brand new direction.”

Deep down, Laura and Max agreed. After all, they had invested close to a year in product development. They needed to give their baby a fair shake in the market.

I got to work on diagnosing the sales execution issues. A few things were broken. For one, free trials were extended indefinitely. They were rarely time boxed. And a lot of our free trial users weren’t converting to paid customers. We were hoping that folks would like the product enough during a loosey goosey trial period to then decide to pay us. We also had no way to figure out what constituted success in our trials/pilots. It was impossible to paint a picture as to what our trial users might expect during this phase. We desperately needed a way to control the sale.

Laura and Max pulled up their sleeves and implemented a ton in very short order. We installed a 14-day credit card activated free trial. We combined it with an onboarding call, which was a forcing function for our customers to enter in their credit card info. We instituted a sturdy qualification process, which ensured we wouldn’t demo to folks that didn’t match our ICP. We also worked to find out about the buyer journey in great detail early in the process. This enabled us to get in front of the decision makers quickly and therefore shorten our sales cycle. We got better at selling next steps, and booking the next call/meeting on the call we’re currently on. In conjunction with that, we stopped relying on email follow ups to book upcoming calls. Lastly, we figured out what success looked like during our trial and started setting those expectations for our trial customers.

Laura and Max’s efforts paid off quickly. We 4X’d MRR in the first month of working together and we’re on pace to do even better in subsequent months. A sweet culmination came with the closing of a game-changing six figure deal with a space company we all know. When working on the opportunity, I told Laura and Max that if they got it across the line, I’d travel down to LA to take them out to a celebratory dinner. At the time of this writing, I’m packing my bags for a trip to Tinsel Town.