James Carbary

Founder at Sweet Fish Media

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How This Company Increased Sales 300% by Scaling Back

James Carbary

Founder at Sweet Fish Media

Full Profile »

Why would a company with operations in 29 markets decide to scale back? Because of the dreaded plateau. PivotDesk, a company dedicated to helping companies find flexible office space, launched in 29 markets and were hunting for who they could help and where they could go next. They were gaining valuable market data, but their revenue was starting to plateau. It wasn’t dipping, but it wasn’t climbing either. Anybody in sales will tell you that if you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backwards. PivotDesk decided to do something drastic – they scaled back, which eventually led them to a 300% increase in sales.

We sat down with Ginevra Figg, VP of PivotDesk, for the story.

Instead of doing a little business in a lot of places, they thought “Where is the one place we could do the most business?”

They looked at their markets and found that 31% of their web leads were coming from New York City, so they decided to station in the Big Apple.

PivotDesk restructured their sales team to focus exclusively on the NYC market. Instead of having individuals each be responsible for all parts of the sales funnel, they lined up their staff and divided them into 3 distinct teams. This way each team could fully absorb a single part of the sales funnel.

1) Marketing Manager

The first team was made up of marketing managers.

These marketing managers were responsible for qualifying prospects and setting up appointments for the sales reps. Reaching a prospect takes an average of 8 cold call attempts, so this role takes time to be successful.

They also focused on spreading the word and curating an interest in PivotDesk services.

2) SDR (Sales Development Rep)

At this phase, they didn’t have exact communication strategies that reps could use and repeat.

Because of this, one of the main characteristics they looked for in SDRs was creativity. SDRs needed to be able to look at a process, see the holes and inefficiencies, and have a willingness to develop something better.

SDRs were responsible for creating relationships with prospects, learning about their needs, and creating angles that were tailored to each prospect.

3) Account Executive (AE)

Account executives were solely responsible for closing deals. In PivotDesk’s previous 29-market structure, their remote employees were responsible for every part of the sales funnel from top to bottom.

In this new framework, account executives’ close rates shot through the roof when they didn’t have to generate demand, process leads, and close deals. Now they could solely master the art of the close. Account executives were solely responsible for mastering the art of the close.



Did the system work?

Within the first quarter after implementing this structure, sales increased by nearly three hundred percent.

You could say the system was a success.

In the beginning, people were understandably hesitant to the concept of “scaling back.” One of the early proposals was “If we could simply increase our staff, we could be more productive in these 29 areas, and then grow from there.” What they came to realize, however, was that if they couldn’t be effective in 1 market, they were going to waste a huge amount of time and resources in the 29 markets they were already in.

This model may not be for every company, but for PivotDesk, it was a great choice.

This post is based on an interview with Ginevra Figg from PivotDesk. You can find this interview, and many more, by subscribing to the B2B Growth Show on iTunes.