Scale, scale, and scale – how do you efficiently prepare for scale? In this session, Sara Brooks, VP of Sales at Pleo, shared her story from the past three years with the Danish unicorn, and the dos ad don’ts of scaling a company in hyper-growth mode.
Sara’s and Pleo’s goal for 2022 is to triple the revenue and double the headcount. Since Sara joined Pleo in 2019, the company has grown by 600 employees. Most of these hires happened in 2020, so it’s safe to say that Pleo had been a company in a hyper-growth mode for the past couple of years.
Hiring that many people at that pace while at the same time building the business and the revenue model is not an easy feat.
But Sara says in hindsight, scaling successfully comes down to a few fundamental yet simple things:
Building a platform for growth
Preparing for scale is very much about mindset and always thinking ahead. It’s about building the foundation, not for the current situation but for the company’s future state. At that point, you won’t know what the future will look like, so you need to build a flexible platform.
- Define roles and create career paths for the first two to three years
- Identify your ideal candidate profile and build a hiring plan based on it
- Make sure the first ten to fifteen people you hire are culture carriers.
- Invest in enablement and talent teams early
- Prioritize quick and efficient onboarding processes
- Define your business model and sales motions
- Diversify sales and lead generation processes
- Make your sales methodology and sales processes clear and repeatable
- Align on your guiding principles for targets compensation and incentive models
Future proof Your Strategies
To sum things up, Sara concluded that it all boils down to future-proofing your strategies. Not building processes and teams for the company you have today, but for what you want to have in two to three years. Having that vision and that plan is essential. Sometimes it may mean that you’re over-investing in things you don’t need now, but you will need them in six months.