How we helped Hivemind kick-start their commercial strategy
“Bringing on SaaSLeads was an easy decision!” – Jon Bratton, Hivemind CCO
Hivemind started life within a renowned investment firm, Winton Group. It soon became clear that the technology’s multiple use cases – including building bespoke data sets, creating data operations and workflows, and machine learning – could deliver huge value to the broader market. Chief Commercial Officer, Jon Bratton, was brought in last year to bring the product to market and drive growth.
When Jon joined Hivemind, it had just one sales person. Dealing single-handedly with inbound, partners, focused outbound, customer renewals and upsells, they were spread incredibly thin. Jon knew lead generation had to be core to his marketing strategy – it would enable sales to do what they do best: develop leads and close business. As a burgeoning startup, Hivemind is marketing to early adopters, and needs to be laser-focused on that audience.
Jon decided to invest his marketing money in business development representatives (BDRs). That way he could give them account lists and help them to go after ideal prospects. So the next question was how he would secure this talent which would play such a fundamental role in Hivemind’s marketing and sales strategy. Business development is a craft. It’s about structure, writing, confidence and likability. For Hivemind, it also takes deep knowledge of a complex technology, platform and value proposition, and an understanding of how these apply to data scientists, senior analysts, product managers, and CEOs. It’s a lot for anyone to take on board, let alone someone only just starting their career. That’s why Jon got in touch with SaaSLeads.
“Our student BDRs were prepared with structure, discipline and routine. They learn to trust the process” – Jon Bratton, CCO
SaaSLeads would find the BDRs and help them hone their craft, while Jon could train them on Hivemind. “Do I hire and train the BDR in everything, or do I use the expertise of SaaSLeads to help? When I looked at it like that,” Jon said, “it was a very easy decision to make.”
Jon spent time understanding which type of people would fit the Hivemind culture, enabling SaaSLeads to shortlist suitable candidates. After a few interviews, two candidates immediately jumped out to the Hivemind team. With those people selected, SaaSLeads kicked off the three-month training programme.
The students worked within SaaSLeads under expert tutorship, while Jon caught up with them daily over Slack and Zoom. “They learnt an incredible amount,” he said. “They learnt the importance of structure, discipline and routine. They learnt to trust the process – because results aren’t instant; there’s a lag between contacting a prospect and booking a meeting.”
“The best part of the Academy is you apply your learnings in the real world so, you learn through actually doing it. I’m thrilled to be part of the Hivemind team” – Thoms Hamilton
Hivemind is a complex product. It was crucial for Jon to integrate that knowledge about value propositions and industry verticals into the process. They regularly used a sales playbook to help with personas and messaging. Members of the Hivemind team also taught the students about customers, product use cases, and who uses it within organisations.
Each BDR started focusing on a particular industry vertical and persona. This was eventually broadened to different use cases across more verticals. Context switching is tricky for any professional, so this focus was key – and paid off in BDR confidence.
The BDRs spent roughly 75% of their time with SaaSLeads and 25% with Hivemind. SaaSLeads hosted morning kickoff calls, check-ins, feedback sessions and hosted speaker slots and afternoon wrap-ups, owning that rhythm and discipline. Hivemind was able to gradually onboard the BDRs while they continued honing their strategy and approach.
As the programme progressed, the BDRs spent more and more time under Hivemind’s coaching and guidance. After a few weeks, they were building their own pipeline. “I remember when they booked their first meetings,” says Jon, “it was quite euphoric”. Their hard work was paying off – meetings were coming in with more frequency.
“We didn’t have to take them on after the programme,” said Jon, “but as the weeks went on, it became clearer and clearer there was no decision to make: we were going to hire them.” As the three-month period came to an end, the BDRs seamlessly transitioned from SaaSleads to Hivemind.
SaaSLeads and Hivemind agreed what would be delivered over the initial three months. Since hiring, Hivemind has ramped up those targets and deliverables.
Target – 30 meetings booked in three months
Delivered – 30 meetings booked in three months and two star hires!
Ready to talk? Get in touch today