This is how Gravwell became an established company that no longer required investor capital. Straight Talk Consulting enabled them to take back control and grow using a sustainable and repeatable methodology.
Gravwell was put in contact with Straight Talk when previous growth consultants failed to deliver on their promises. The company had used a significant portion of their investor capital and could not afford to make any further mistakes. Read on to see how we made Gravwell profitable and set them on the path to generating $1 million in sales.
Gravwell ingests data for cyber security teams to turn it into actionable knowledge without having to worry about the large costs that come with big data ingestion. When Gravwell signed with Straight Talk in August 2018, they had removed their previous growth consultant due to a lack of results and were unsure of their next steps. They had an excellent product and a very knowledgeable product team. The founders both had over 15 years of industry experience working for the NSA and other organisations.
Due to the wasted capital following work with the previous growth team and given the scope of the product, the two biggest challenges facing us were how to become profitable, and what area of the market we could target to begin increasing sales.
When we signed our contract, Gravwell had a 6-month runway before the investor capital ran out. We knew we could extend the runway by signing new clients.
We also knew that a product like Gravwell typically ingests all the data produced by a cyber security team. This meant that there were no small deals – they would all be at least $150,000+. This added another element of difficulty due to the sales cycle of such deals.
In addition, we found that the maturity of the product meant there was a very high barrier to entry for its usage. The product could offer significantly more value to users than existing solutions on the market but it needed someone with similar knowledge and experience to that of the Gravwell founders in order to realise this value. Unfortunately, we soon discovered that many organisations did not have these people on their team.
With the problem clearly articulated, we had to reduce the burn rate, find our target audience and position ourselves in a way that we could acquire new customers.
We achieved this in the following ways:
- We started by undertaking a full review of the company. This included all staff, staff wages, and tools and software being used. We needed to have a full breakdown of where all of the expenditure was going. We were then able to recommend reductions in key areas to bring spending under control and remove any excess.
- We implemented a structured sales process. Every new prospect passed through a structured methodology in which they would either qualify and be moved through the sales process, or be disqualified. No prospect or lead fell through the gaps.
- We created key dashboards on the common product bottlenecks, such as sign-up. We created clear visuals on how many people signed up, who got through the installation process, who failed to complete sign-up and where they dropped off. The Gravwell team followed up with leads who did not complete sign-up to keep them moving through the process.
- We created secondary dashboards for product use after sign-up. These showed which users had set up data ingestors, who had invited members of their team and who had created a dashboard for their data. Our team could use this to aid customer support and provide key advice at the appropriate time.
- By sitting in on sales calls and looking at existing customer usage we were able to clearly identify different markets that we could target. However, we also realised that this would be of little use because of the product’s high barrier to entry. Most of the people we spoke to simply failed to engage due to lack of knowledge. We were left with two options: 1) We could wait until development had advanced enough to reduce the required knowledge level of the user; 2) We could offer consulting plus product.
- We began offering consulting plus product to all leads. We made this shift as it enabled the Gravwell team to go in and set up the product for customers. This allowed them to see the value of the product while overcoming the high knowledge level needed to use the product. It removed our biggest barrier to success. It also aided our business objectives by producing a highly profitable revenue stream for the company.
- We had the founders appear on niche industry podcasts for product demonstrations and discussions. The Gravwell product is a highly technical solution and we found it was best explained via its implementation in key scenarios. This tactic allowed us to generate leads for the company months after the podcasts went live.
After one year of working with Straight Talk Consulting, Gravwell was a profitable company and was expanding. They had employed an additional developer and a head of customer success by the end of our contract.
Gravwell reached over $700,000 in agreed sales, many of which ran for multiple years. With deals in the pipeline at POC or Contract Negotiation stages, they were on track to clear $1 million in sales.
They were also seeing qualified leads enter the sales pipeline on a monthly basis.
Corey Thuen – Founder
Gravwell is in a much better place today. We have worked closely with Dan & the team at Straight Talk to improve our processes and set us up for success. Things have worked out well and now we’re struggling to keep up with the amount of business we are generating.