After spending over a decade solely focused on business development, go-to-market strategy, and product-led growth, I could not be more excited for the opportunity to bring my experiences to the Blueprint Advisory team. Having worked with Blueprint as a client for the last two years building and developing Able for Salesforce (acquired by Bullhorn), finally the opportunity and timing to join the team were perfect.
My Experience with Blueprint as a Customer
In early 2020, I was leading the Go-To-Market and Business Development functions. Our aim, like any other startup, was to continue to achieve significant YOY revenue growth and add net new customers in our pursuit of an additional capital raise and future exit. Our current niche market that we had served for years had a finite amount of TAM in the channels and sectors in which we had an established foothold. Our concern with our market drying up was real and the pressure to maintain high growth rates was front of mind….. Enter Salesforce. Over the past few years we had seen a significant digital transformation in our space, but more importantly, a proliferation of customers and prospects moving to Salesforce and investing in it as a platform to build their dream technology stack. This was an entirely untapped market opportunity for us and one that would give us a first mover advantage in our current market (unlocking significant TAM and marquis clients). More importantly, it also provided us the opportunity to enter new markets and expand our serviced verticals.
By making a singular, yet significant development investment in building an application on Salesforce, our organization could not only expand our core segment, but we could pioneer new ones without needing to spin up a myriad of 3rd party integrations. This was a dream scenario for stakeholders, as piloting or entering a new vertical or industry often requires a lot of alliances and integrations to capture market share and build critical mass. We saw Salesforce as the best investment that we could make with what seemed like infinite mileage being created for our product. The only downside? We didn’t have anyone on staff who understood Salesforce development, GTM, or how to navigate the vast waters of that ecosystem. I had touched the Salesforce ecosystem in previous roles, but didn’t know where to start with no in-house subject matter expertise.
Knowing I was going to need outside help to accomplish our Salesforce goals and aspirations, I began my search for a partner. I had been lucky enough to know Greg Symons for quite some time and was aware he had started a Salesforce PDO and Advisory practice. Little did I know that after reaching out and engaging, it would further open our eyes to all that was possible within Salesforce and change the trajectory and direction of our business.
Blueprint Advisory was instrumental in giving us a crash course on SI’s, PDO’s and Consultancy partners within the Salesforce Ecosystem. To quickly overly simplify – an SI’s focus is largely project driven. It’s a one-time thing not built in the vein of repeatability; it’s ad-hoc. A PDO (in this case Blueprint), is a true partner. They guide and serve in all phases of the business (Discovery, development, testing, strategy, GTM, enablement, support, and on and on). This is important if you’re looking for a holistic approach to launching a product on Salesforce. I say product because it’s far more than just data integration. It’s a native Salesforce product, interface, and experience that brings your offering into the core system or heart of a business. It drives greater operational efficiencies and user adoption while reducing swivel chairing and lowering the total cost of ownership. Knowing Able wanted to create a full fledged product on Salesforce that balanced the axis of scalability and configurability, we were hooked and onboard.
Blueprint came alongside as our partner and led us on our Salesforce journey. They helped us ideate and understand how our product translated and mapped into the Salesforce world, how Salesforce and their users could find value, and how leveraging native tools and functionality on the platform would create outcomes and experiences that would take us months or years to create in other channels. They helped us break into and penetrate Salesforce markets and ultimately served as advisors and solution engineers to our customers and prospects. Oh, and they built a pretty slick, one-of-a-kind product too. The partnership continued on for years jointly servicing customers, ideating on product roadmap, and working to move onward and upward in our growth endeavors.
We saw Blueprint as less of a developer and more of a partner.“
Working with Blueprint was a phenomenal experience. They were with us every step of the way and they established deep trust and rapport with all who they engaged with. It wasn’t just an exchange of goods and services; it was a true partnership and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
What My Experience Brings to Blueprint
I have had the opportunity to work within the Software industry my entire career, and I’d consider myself an experienced, pureplay B2B SaaS guy. I remember the struggles of moving my clients off of perpetual software licenses and getting them to embrace this “new thing” called Software as a Service (SaaS) or software subscriptions. I’ve served in many markets and segments like AdTech, MarTech, and HRTech and have largely focused on how to achieve strategic growth and revenue through channels and partnerships. My more recent roles were serving as a founding member of the business development team at Checkr (supporting their growth from $15M to $150M) and the Business Development Executive at Able Software (formerly Employstream), which was just acquired by Bullhorn. Having spent a career solely focused on BD and product development, I know there is a ton that goes into that. Most of my fellows wake up everyday thinking about how to increase TAM, drive incremental revenue, find differentiation and joint value proposition, and how to make 1+1=3.
After going through this process with different companies for many years, I finally wanted to leverage my experiences (both good and bad) to help other organizations answer these questions for themselves. This is exciting for me because I have always focused on a single product, a single company, and been relatively one track minded on a growth and success strategy. By joining Blueprint, I get to work with all different types of companies, at different stages and with different goals. I am eager to stay on the cutting edge of what’s emerging and be a part of the creation of many new ideas and products. I’m looking forward to supporting others and bringing all my scars, learnings, wins, and past experiences to bear for others to leverage and take from. Finally, by combining all of this with the eye opening and successful experiences I’ve had with Blueprint and Salesforce, I am thrilled at the chance to help other companies build their own products and businesses on top of the AppExchange.
Joining a Team of Experts
When I not only think about my experiences with the Blueprint team, but at what Brandon, Kabe, and Greg have accomplished with other companies they’ve led (TalentRover, Place, etc.) it’s exciting and invigorating. This is a world-class team that “gets it,” as they’ve lived it and done it. They know what it is like not just to be the 30,000-foot strategist but also the on-the-ground operator, the person who is in the trenches and who is trying to deliver. Joining a team like that with my own unique experiences coming from the channel and integration world, I think it’s a great marriage of mindsets, skills, and talents that can be really disruptive and effective together.
I am excited to be a part of the Blueprint Team working alongside “A” players to help other organizations build dream products and grow. Here’s to the journey ahead!