Every venture-backed B2B SaaS business aspires to fast, organic growth. But if not supported correctly, too much growth can overwhelm a promising enterprise, compromising its ability to win and retain business.
Rippling is an all-in-one employee management platform that provides you with a central place to manage your employees’ payroll, benefits, devices, apps, and more. Business had been growing rapidly since their series A raised in early 2019 and executives were looking to make strategic investments in the company’s ability to scale and meet demand.
To understand how Rippling rose to meet their growth targets, we spoke to Alex Netsch, Director of Revenue Operations at Rippling. He shared with us how selecting the right Salesforce partner was pivotal in extending the leverage of the RevOps team during a period of hypergrowth.
What were some of the challenges you were facing when you first joined Rippling?
I was brought on in early 2020 as the founding member of Rippling’s RevOps team. My team is responsible for all of Rippling’s Go To Market systems, processes and data. At the time, the team consisted of myself and a single analyst supporting around 200 employees.
Our processes back then were very ad hoc and low leverage. Each team we supported had great ideas around how to effectively scale their function, but I constantly found myself pushing back and paring requests down to the bare minimum due to lack of bandwidth.
I could see that this was starting to have a ripple effect throughout the company as teams struggled with poor data and suboptimal workflows, so I made the decision to seek out an external consulting partner to enable my team to become less reactive.
What were you looking for in a consulting partner?
I wanted a consultant who would pick things up quickly, who would be able to use their own business experience to intuit what we wanted, and fill in the gaps of what were often incomplete requirements.
My experience working with other consultants is that you need to be extremely specific in terms of the requirements you give them and, even then, the information you provide may be misinterpreted. Writing up requirements in that kind of detail is time-consuming, and I didn’t have the bandwidth. I needed someone who could provide immediate value with little hand-holding.
We were introduced to Candybox by a mutual connection. I liked the team’s expertise in the B2B SaaS space and the collaborative way they approached their engagements. Working with Candybox gave us access to experienced solutions architects with expertise in our industry, as well as qualified admins and developers who worked not only with Salesforce but with other technologies in our techstack, such as Outreach and Ironclad. The diversity of talent available through Candybox was a big plus point.
What were some of the things you were able to achieve through your partnership with Candybox?
My primary goal for the engagement was to increase the output of my team and the influence we had within the company. In partnership with Candybox, we were able to execute on multiple wide-ranging projects that would not have been possible otherwise.
Among the most impactful was our Milestones platform: a fully-custom sales process that guides sales reps through each stage of the deal cycle, prompting them for the information needed to progress at each step. Sales reps touch this process multiple times every single day. Milestones has allowed us to cut down on the onboarding time for new reps, and has raised the quality and completeness of data gathered through Salesforce. As a knock-on effect, Marketing is able to more effectively nurture prospects, Sales is able to make better decisions with greater trust in the data, and Customer Success is able to seamlessly onboard new customers, since each team is automatically provided with all of the data they need at the right moment directly within Salesforce
Another valuable project was the introduction of automated CSM tasks. The RevOps team had analyzed Rippling’s Salesforce and product data and put together a list of actions that positively impact customer health. We engaged the Candybox team to implement mechanisms to automatically create and manage those proactive touchpoints. We were recently able to fully automate some activities through a custom integration with Outreach. At Rippling, Customer Success Managers are responsible for a relatively large portfolio of accounts, so this was a huge time saver. Our CSMs would not physically have had the time to engage with their accounts in this manner otherwise.
Candybox was also able to help with less attention-grabbing but nevertheless impactful projects, such as data cleansing and consolidation of process builders and flows. While the internal RevOps team was freed up to focus on the day-to-day needs of the business, Candybox put in place infrastructure to support Rippling’s continued growth.
What do you think the past 18 months would have been like without Candybox?
There is so much we would not have been able to achieve without a partner like Candybox.
Since our engagement began, Rippling has more than tripled its employee count and revenue. We expect a similar level of growth to continue for the foreseeable future. The RevOps team itself now consists of a team of six and we will add more headcount before the year is out.
Due to the work Candybox and Rippling have done together, the Go To Market teams that we support are able to work much more efficiently than they used to. The fact that we have been actively listening to their feedback and able to incorporate changes to make their lives easier has led to improved morale, an improved perception of the RevOps team and improved retention and performance in the Go To Market teams. We find ourselves in a very competitive hiring market at the moment, so this is important in order to continue to attract and retain quality talent. It makes a big difference when employees can tell that their company cares enough to invest in the quality and efficiency of the systems in which they spend most of their day.
Without Candybox, we undoubtedly would have had to hire many more people to do the same amount of work and the quality of the output would have been much worse.
What was the overall impact of the partnership?
The impact of the partnership was significant.
Rippling as a platform consists of many interrelated products, each of which need to be supported by experts in that field. Candybox took on the responsibility of turning Salesforce into a platform that makes our employees’ expertise available to everyone working within Salesforce, baking it into each user’s day to day workflows.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that we have been able to multiply the impact of each individual member of the RevOps team 3-4x over the last 18 months. Even with unlimited headcount, we would not have been able to achieve the same results.
Fundamentally, the biggest cost for us as a business is our employees’ time. People are inclined to look at a consultant’s hourly rate and comment on how expensive it is, but that is a drop in the ocean compared to the cost of your employees being unproductive.
What is your advice to someone considering working with a Salesforce consultant?
Consider whether the consultant you’re evaluating really understands your business. A top-tier consulting partner can 3-4x your impact, but a bad one will lead to missed opportunities in the best case scenario and actively harm your company’s morale, efficiency and scalability in the worst case scenario.
We’re working on rolling out CPQ and Service Cloud, as well as an integration with the Rippling product and Salesforce. Oh, and continue the 2x growth, of course.