Interview with Steli Efti, Co-Founder and CEO of Close.io
. Steli is also a Co-Founder of ElasticSales
. Steli is @Steli
on Twitter and is the author of The Ultimate Startup Guide to Outbound Sales
In this episode, Steli talks about how he and his co-founders initially were working on a consumer startup, but ended up switching and working on ElasticSales, which is kind of like a scalable AWS for sales instead of servers. To get the first customers for ElasticSales, Steli and his co-founders cold-called startups they found on CrunchBase, and two weeks later they had 7 startups who were interested in becoming customers for ElasticSales. In this episode, one of the many great tactics Steli shares is a formula for effectively cold-calling potential customers. When working on ElasticSales, Steli says that he and his co-founders were dissatisfied with all of the sales software and CRMs on the market. So, Steli and his co-founders decided to build their own sales software for ElasticSales so they could have a competitive advantage in sales and recruiting. After a while, as Steli and his team continued to improve their internal sales software, demand from outside salespeople and teams started to come together asking to buy ElasticSales' internal software. Eventually, a small group of 4 people broke off and began to work on getting ElasticSales' internal sales software ready to be released for use by outside companies, and this team launched the initial version of Close.io. Within the first year of the launch of Close.io, the revenue generated by Close.io eclipsed the revenue generated by ElasticSales. During the time Close.io was growing and getting customers, ElasticSales was receiving 400 to 500 very interested leads per month, but was only accepting 2 to 4 leads per month as customers. After Close.io launched, Steli and the Close.io team started to tell the leads they didn't take on as customers about Close.io and sell the leads on the software. Steli also talks about lots of other tactics and strategies that helped grow Close.io in this episode.