There are very few enterprise software companies that actually have the opportunity to transform how their customers operate and compete. They might have an opportunity to sell an application that makes their sales force more effective or they might have the opportunity to sell a tool that helps them organize or access their data more effectively.
That’s not the case at MuleSoft. We have a platform that allows our customers to not only reshape how they think about their technology architecture, but to fundamentally reshape how they think about the architecture of their business.
We work with hundreds of enterprises that have changed the way they operate and have become massively disruptive as a result. Spotify and Netflix are prime examples. There are very few enterprise technology providers that can walk into a customer and help them find a path to a different way of operating that affords them a massive change in their critical business metrics: speed, time-to-market, productivity, cost, revenue, and profitability.
Most enterprise software companies just don’t have a solution that allows them to meaningfully attach to those core value drivers. At MuleSoft, we have the opportunity to do exactly that, and so for me, that makes my job wildly different from any other role I’ve ever had.
How One MuleSoft Customer Created Dramatic — and Fast — Business Change
We work with a major global food and beverage provider. And what they wanted to do to transform the customer experience in the time frame they wanted to do it was almost outlandish. I honestly didn’t think they could pull it off. In June, they told me they wanted to “light up” their first hundred stores in just under five months. One catalyst of this “light up” vision was what’s been demonstrated by players in the industry.
Thanks to geolocation technology, when you get within a hundred yards of a store, it’s possible to already know you’re in the neighborhood, and to begin feeding you personalized promotions, they’re preparing for your arrival, including asking you if you’d like to place your order and showing you the latest promotions. Moreover, they’re pulling data from you which helps them gain critical market intelligence and further optimize their revenue model.
Our customer was interested in making all this a reality.
When they looked at their timelines and looked at what we do, it’s interesting how quickly they dismissed their legacy technology providers, some of whom they had long-standing enterprise agreements with, which would have made using those technologies effectively FREE. It’s also interesting how quickly they dismissed an on-premises deployment as an option and went cloud-first. And they made that choice because they knew the path to their aggressive vision could only take a very short five months. The transformation was not going to happen unless they looked at a very different way of operating, a very different platform and a very different enterprise software company.
We were the platform and we were the different way of thinking that they needed. We brought an operating model that involved cloud, that involved a different way of working with partners, and that involved our Center for Enablement –– a different way of engaging the extended enterprise. They had to get the full community of developers engaged. By working with us, their march from zero to one hundred stores and then to several thousand stores has been exceedingly fast. It’s a story that plays out repeatedly with our clients and it’s what motivates me when I walk in the door every day.
This kind of result underscores that we’re not just selling software. We’re selling high impact business outcomes. When we promise our customers that type of outcome, we are also responsible for delivering on that promise. That means whatever was envisioned and sold during the sales process needs to be honored during the post-sale process, and so customer success, services, account executives, solutions consultants, support, and our partner organization have to come together and leverage all that was done before the sale and turn that into business outcomes after the sale.
When we do this well, it leads not only to a wildly successful customer, who’s expanding dramatically, but leads to many more follow-on sales opportunities for our sales team.
Great outcomes spawn natural opportunities to do more and more with that client, not because they need more seats or more capacity, but because they see more and more that they can do to drive their business with our platform, and more and more initiatives come our way. These deep engagements with our customers mean we have loyal customers; as reported in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2017, we had a 117% dollar-based net retention rate.
Why Sales at MuleSoft is an Adventure
Every other role I’ve been in is about marrying a known business need with an established technology––proving that your solution meets that need as well, if not better, than the other guy’s, and then securing the deal that is often limited by established market pricing for that technology – a completely legitimate and reasonable way to engage and sell.
However, when I can drive outcomes that have an order of magnitude impact on the business, it’s a heck of a lot more fun because I’m able to drive a big outcome for the client, there’s a huge potential to outperform at MuleSoft simply because of the business impact we deliver.
That means that every day is an adventure. Every enterprise I walk into has a different set of challenges and a different set of use cases. And those use cases continue coming at an ever-increasing rate, flooding IT and further limiting their ability to deliver for the business. This dynamic triggers one fundamental question that we consistently hear from our customers, “How do I become more composable? How do I increase my clock speed? How do I become more agile and nimble?”
Every time I work with a customer, I think, “Wow, every single organization has a problem, a major problem that tends to gravitate toward exactly what we do.” So I get a chance to learn about almost every one of the mission critical things going on for almost every enterprise on the face of the planet. It’s fun to learn, it’s fun to be invited into those worlds, and it’s fun to be able to do something about it.
Take part in this adventure. We are hiring Sales Professionals across all roles — take a look at our Careers site to learn more.
Banner Photo Credit: Sanjna Verma