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Running an employee referral platform to over $5M ARR without code

RolePoint

A story from Makerpad
Quick Stats

Tools used: Parabola, Hubspot, Google Sheets, Salesforce, Apollo, Uberflip, Sigstr, Sendoso, Linkedin

Revenue: $5Million ARR

Running an employee referral platform to over $5M ARR without code

Hi, I'm JP Bertram and I am the Growth Marketing Lead at Parabola. For over six years, I was the Head of Marketing at RolePoint, where we built an industry-leading employee referrals platform for the enterprise. I was tasked with driving all go-to-market strategy and as a result of having a small, but scrappy team, wore a lot of hats throughout the day. I was also Parabola's first paying customer.

With a go-to-market team of just 5 people, RolePoint was able to reach over $5 million ARR, after securing only seed funding throughout its existence, and went on to be acquired by private equity firm K1 in early 2019. During my time at RolePoint, I used a variety of tools to accomplish our goals. Most notably: Salesforce as our point-of-record system, Apollo for email outreach automation and prospecting, Uberflip for content personalize and distribution, Sigstr for email CTAs and account based marketing, Hubspot for marketing automation, Sendoso for offline mailing of handwritten notes and other collateral, LinkedIn for research, Google Apps for collaboration, and Parabola to automate everything in between.

Our biggest issue was around the preparation of our leads for outreach. Our prospect data came from a variety of sources and had varying degrees of accuracy and cleanliness. Before Parabola, we would spend almost an hour every day running massive spreadsheets of lead data through our standardized clean up process: splitting email addresses to group leads by domain name, finding and replacing extraneous company name suffixes (in the correct order as well, so that we would avoid any rogue characters being left behind), and many other menial tasks.

Parabola, initially, simply solved all of our lead management problems and helped us avoid any human error (and trust me, this was a frequent occurrence). What started out as a straightforward automation of my daily workflow quickly grew as I realized that not only did I have more time back in my day, but I had more time to further iterate on our lead preparation process.

Parabola took us from a company that used very basic and widely accessible personalization tokens, like the prospect's name, company name, title, industry, etc. to what we called hyper-personalization. We built flows that would reference coworkers that we were also trying to engaged, in real time. We had dynamic examples of relevant customers based upon data like company size, industry, and HQ location. We curated case studies from similarly titled champions to match with their recipients. We validated mailing addresses and zip codes for mailing of books we wrote. We web-scraped Glassdoor data as social proof our product would be a good fit for our target accounts. We created custom lead scoring without paying for an extra service. In essence, Parabola allowed me to take my role the next level. We were sending the absolutely right message to the right people at the right time, with less effort and better output than our competitors, and is a big reason why we were able to outlast them all, including some big entries, such as LinkedIn.

"No-code is all about empowerment; levelling the playing field, so to speak, for all workers to be able to increase their productivity by building solutions that work for them as individuals and teams, above all else. I believe that this is the future of business"

No-code is all about empowerment; levelling the playing field, so to speak, for all workers to be able to increase their productivity by building solutions that work for them as individuals and teams, above all else. I believe that this is the future of business. It's a whole new way of professional thinking, and that is something that I believe will be the hardest hurdle to overcome as the no-code movement continues to grow. Coding, for many, is an intimidating thought, especially for someone who has never successfully built anything with code. No-code, for better or worse, still references coding as a philosophy, but the application is much different. Guiding knowledge workers to better understand the difference, and the impact no-code can have on their success, will be critical to wider adoption of no-code solutions.

"Coding, for many, is an intimidating thought, especially for someone who has never successfully built anything with code. No-code, for better or worse, still references coding as a philosophy, but the application is much different. Guiding knowledge workers to better understand the difference, and the impact no-code can have on their success, will be critical to wider adoption of no-code solutions."

You can reach out to me on Twitter @jpbertram or on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/jpbertram

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