Right now, the state of the economy “sucks.”
That’s according to Garrett Wood, who’s watching friends with great business ideas struggle to raise money and launch a new venture in today’s difficult market.
As a friend, Wood empathizes with the struggles of hopeful founders. But as the founder and CEO of GetSales, he cautiously acknowledges that right now isn’t the worst time for his company.
“I don’t want to jinx anything, but the current state of the economy, in many ways, is a boon to GetSales,” Wood said.
GetSales provides end-to-end customer and talent acquisition through a combination of data-driven technology and skilled salespeople and recruiters. Its bread and butter is matching workers with opportunities that can help them earn more money, have a flexible work schedule or a healthier work environment, then giving them the support they need to make the most of that opportunity.
Many of the company’s partners are backed by venture capital investors, and for the last five years, those partners have maintained a grow-at-any-cost mindset. To do that, the companies spend high amounts of money on saturated channels to acquire new customers. That works, but it doesn’t necessarily create a profitable business.
The threat of recession looms as higher interest rates and a decline of economic activity have produced a more conservative capital investing environment. In the second quarter of 2022, VC-backed companies raised $58 billion, down from $77 billion in the first quarter according to EY. Less cash means these companies must shift their approach from growth at any cost to sustainable growth. They must now seek more cost-effective channels and decrease spending on ads, investing instead in partnerships with companies like GetSales.
“We provide customers, not leads. Our competition is great at generating potential interest, but at the end of the day it’s converted customers that drive growing businesses,” Wood said. And GetSales does it cost-efficiently.
GetSales Helps Partners:
- Acquire new customers with their sales-as-a-service team
- Attract, recruit and onboard candidates with their recruiting-as-a-service team
- Garner insights from customer and candidate feedback to streamline the sales and recruiting processes
GetSales uniquely has a venture-free funding history, which has taught Wood and other leaders how to be financially astute.
“We emphasize the ability to discern what’s a cost from what’s an investment,” Wood said. “We build very simple, powerful ROI models for our decisions to tell if we are investing money in something that will allow our team to grow in the future and not spend money on superfluous things.”
That discernment has allowed GetSales to grow quickly and invest in the business, while maintaining healthy cash flow amidst changing macroeconomic conditions. Built In Austin sat down with three GetSales leaders to find out more.
Garrett, what is your vision for GetSales?
Founder and CEO Garrett Wood: Our goal is to be the most cost-effective way to work with partners in three verticals: First, to recruit new workers for businesses that employ hourly and gig workers. Second, to acquire new customers for businesses that are selling to restaurants with under 10 or 15 locations. And third, to acquire new customers for businesses selling to homeowners.
What do we need to focus on to get there? Great sales teams. The difference between an average sales team and a great sales team is 500 percent: We need to be five times more productive with the same number of people. In order for us to become the most cost-effective way to recruit new workers, to acquire new customers or restaurants on your platform, or to sell to homeowners more efficiently, we need top-end systems, powerful analytics, and really f—ing good salespeople.
We have to recruit great people, teach them the fundamentals, empower them with world class operations and then build a culture that allows them to get constant feedback and have a ton of fun.
How does GetSales define what a strong foundation for the business and its employees looks like?
General Manager Michael Garcia: Everything comes back to our people. We spend a lot of time thinking about how we can make our people continue to get better and therefore improve the business.
We focus on a few different things: The first is principles. We don’t coach by saying, “This is exactly how you need to do this thing.” Rather, we highlight what principles to think about when trying to achieve the end result — whether it be a conversion for a salesperson, building a new tool that’'s going to enable the business ops team or creating new back-end functionality for the systems team. It’s less about telling our team how to do it and more about teaching the principles of it.
Another thing we do well, especially in sales, is practice. Repetition leads to great results.
And lastly, we have instilled a culture of giving and receiving feedback throughout the company. We get excited about giving and receiving feedback, and our feedback has no malice or ill intent. Everybody here is trying to get better. Feedback is something we practice day in and day out.
“We get excited about giving and receiving feedback. Everybody here is trying to get better.”
Wood: While sales is at the heart of everything we do, our data culture is just as much a part of our DNA — we’ve been systematic about understanding which attributes predict success for the inside sales and recruiter positions. The number one trait that predicts success above anything else is coachability. The more coachable you are, the better you will do.
How does GetSales invest in and support its employees?
Inside Sales Manager Anna Rabino: We host a monthly lunch-and-learn series where we focus on different skills for employees to learn that will help them day in and day out. A heavy focus on developing these skills is extremely helpful for everybody across the floor.
Wood: We’ve got a saying, “Always be learning, always be teaching.” Following this practice results in a virtuous cycle: As you coach other people, they become better, and as the people around you become better, you receive better feedback from them and things start to spiral in the right direction. What we realized is: When it’s your responsibility to make the people around you great, not only do you improve, but you make your work environment a lot better.
The other thing that we protect and promote is our culture. We’re grateful to be growing quickly, but that means we’re going to run into new challenges and new obstacles. You need to know how to approach problems when you don’t know the answer. A playbook can tell you how to solve a specific, recurring problem. Culture can give you the tools to solve new problems.
“A playbook can tell you how to solve a specific, recurring problem. Culture can give you the tools to solve new problems.”
What has your professional journey at GetSales been like? What kind of resources have you found the most beneficial?
Rabino: When I started, I was an inside sales rep. Six months later, I became a team lead. About two years after that, I became a sales manager. My experience of growth here is about learning and implementing what has been taught to me and then teaching it to other people. You see them grow in their role and help them move into different positions, and that has been awesome.
Garcia: I previously worked at Anheuser-Busch, so moving to an early-stage startup was a pretty big transition. That was also the reason why I made the jump. The ability to truly make an impact on the business and leave my fingerprint was something that I was just not going to get at Anheuser-Busch, and I felt it was truly available to me at GetSales.
What’s most exciting to me about GetSales is that our internal team is constantly learning new things and running into new obstacles that we haven’t hit before. A lot of times we look around in the room and say, “Who knows how to do this?” and sometimes the answer is, “We’ll have to learn.” But we still figure it out. We have a builder’s mentality. It’s an opportunity to continue to learn and develop skills that we didn’t have previously.
“We look around the room and say, ‘Who knows how to do this?’ and sometimes the answer is, ‘We’ll have to learn.’ But we still figure it out. We have a builder’s mentality.”
We’re continuing to get better at developing our internal team and upscaling the skills that they have, but we’re also getting very good at bringing in great talent to make sure we aren’t stretching our internal team too thin as we grow aggressively.
What kind of candidates are you looking for?
Rabino: If you are willing to learn, take what you’ve learned and actually grow from that — and have fun — this is the company that you want to work for. I have never worked for a company in my life where I’ve actually been excited to come to work every single day. I experienced that right away here.
Wood: First, we want people that are passionate about GetSales. Then, the next things we look for are eloquence, articulation and ability to connect with and listen to people. The last thing we look for is potential. Are they going to be coachable? Can they develop as individuals and then, in turn, develop the company?