How Chili Piper Doubled Revenue in 12 months

Mar 3, 2020 4:04:13 AM
Author: Kieran Flanagan

Do you know what the best growth is for most companies, it's developing a product that solves a real problem. That's how Chili Piper, a company that offers a scheduling, calendar and inbox app for revenue teams is managing to double revenue year on year.

We talk to Chili Piper's founder and CEO, Nicolas Vandenberghe.

We talk to Nicolas about:

- Why Nicolas did something different with the early investment Chili Piper received by investing it in R&D.

- How Nicolas managed to secure known brands like Square, Greenhouse after the product had just launched.

- What channels Nicolas feels will offer scalable growth for Chili Piper, and why he decided to build a remote company.

Time Stamped Notes

[5:45] - Nicolas talks us through his latest company, Chili Piper; it offers scheduling, calendar and inbox for revenue teams. The company is 42 people, distributed across 36 cities, and has five million in revenue, on track to do ten million. 

[7:30] - Chili Piper got three million investment as a seed round; they invested most of that into product development. Nicolas's approach is a little different from most startups, in that he allocated near all his investment to R&D.

[9:45] - Nicolas talks us through how he ended up founding Chili Piper. It was a combination of his background as an entrepreneur and experience working as a VP of Sales. 

[13:20] - Nicolas takes us through his strategy for Chili Piper. He wants to build front-end tools for sales reps and to integrate with the most popular CRM providers. 

[16:20] - Nicolas started the Chili Piper by identifying a specific problem other companies wanted to solve within their sales teams. They paid Nicholas $20k upfront to build a solution for that problem. Nicolas sold the first million in revenue for Chili Piper by focusing in on that problem during his sales calls.

[18:30] - Something that helped Chili Piper's growth was getting known companies like Greenhouse as customers. They could leverage that brand recognition to sell into other companies.

[21:15] - Chili Piper does benefit from the end-user adopting the product first, but once the company decides to use the product, the entire team needs to use it, so they need to sell into the team manager.

[23:22] - Chili Piper's scalable growth will be the result of solving a unique problem that companies have in a way that hasn't been done by other competitors in the sales space.

[26:50] - The best scalable growth channel is referrals. It's why Nicolas invested most of their seed capital in R&D.

[28:40] - Nicolas thinks it more important to have key accounts, like Greenhouse, as customers who can refer others, than having a lot of positive reviews on websites like G2 or Capterra.

[32:10] - The biggest growth constraint Nicolas has right now is executing on Chili Piper's brand. He needs to help companies see there is a better way to make sales, and his product will help them do it.

[35:55] - Nicolas is growing Chili Piper as a distributed company. He feels it's a big advantage to widening their talent pool and provides a better lifestyle for his employees.

[38:15] - We talk about the importance of timezone optimization for remote companies, which is considering are people who work in the same functional team in the same timezone as each other.

[39:20] - Nicolas as started another company called GipsyTime that helps you optimize your to-do list.

Nicolas on Twitter / LinkedIn
– Kieran on Twitter / LinkedIn / Medium
– Scott on Twitter / Linked / Medium

Topics: Growth, Podcast, Founder

Join the Newsletter

Get my thoughts on repeatable playbooks for marketing, growth, hiring, and leadership.