Introduction: building a Fintech empire
Even though they’re a brand-new company, Comma is predicting a lot of growth. Their Fintech product promises to help accountants, bookkeepers and business owners manage their bills. But when you’re a one-man band, building a great product while generating traction and interest is a big task.
The founder of Comma came to DigitalGrads and entrusted us with the big task of finding their very first employee: a graduate Business Development Executive.
The challenge: building a sales team from scratch
When you’re trying to build a business on your own you hardly have the time to check your emails, let alone dedicate countless hours to building a great hiring process. So when Comma reached out to us we knew that speed and quality were key.
Almost immediately after advertising the role we were inundated with applications from eager graduates looking to kick-start their sales career, but Comma wasn’t looking for any old salesperson.
They needed an authentic graduate with accounting knowledge to build client relationships from scratch.
“This was Comma’s first-ever hire so it was really important to find the right kind of person. They needed someone techy but good with people, analytically-minded and authentically-spoken.” – Kasia Gibbs, DG Account Manager
Our approach: a hands-on method
Our recruiters quickly whittled down the list of candidates with a task to test their accountancy knowledge. And after the first round of interviews, our Founder and CEO Lucy Smith stepped in to help Comma’s founder conduct final interviews and reach a decision.
In this important interview, the top three shortlisted candidates had to conduct an initial sales meeting with a prospective client, roleplayed by Comma Founder and CEO Tom.
“We were looking to find out how credible and natural these candidates were when presenting. It was really important that we found salespeople that didn’t feel salesy and had a solid understanding of accountancy.
“In normal times the other 2 candidates would have gotten the job, but Laura was incredibly strong. Her sales meeting was one of the strongest me and Tom had ever seen. She was client-ready before even being hired – it was incredible.” – Lucy Smith, DG Founder and CEO
Needless to say, Laura met every requirement: she was exactly what we were looking for.
But as Comma grew ever closer to having a finished product, one talented new salesperson wasn’t enough. They needed to further ramp up their sales, get some traction and generate even more excitement.
Conclusion: growth is critical for Fintechs
6 months after hiring Laura as their first employee and Business Development Executive, Comma returned to do the same thing all over again. Only this time, with an altered job title and a new interviewer in the mix: Laura.
“Tom wanted to bring on another salesperson – with that same genuine nature and accountancy knowledge – to join Laura. As she was doing so well in her role, he was essentially looking to begin building her a team to manage and train.” – Lucy Smith, DG Founder and CEO
In the end the process worked even better than expected. Where the Comma team initially wanted to hire one all-star, they discovered two in the interviews. But where one was a keen graduate, the other was still studying her undergraduate degree and would have to join initially on a part-time basis.
“They’re very early stage, so deciding whether to invest in two hires was a big deal. But the two candidates were so impressive that in the end, the value of finding two great people from one recruitment process and having three salespeople ready for the product launch overwhelmed any worries.” – Lucy Smith, DG Founder and CEO
Comma hired two Sales Development Representatives, Katie and Calum, to work under their first Business Development Executive hire, Laura.
“Laura’s impact has been really significant. She was our first internal hire and she’s been instrumental to bringing on a number of accounting firms. She learned huge amounts within a very short amount of time and she’s now able to close sales within 7 days from first contact to final meeting. I couldn’t be happier.
“The experience of using DigitalGrads has been phenomenal. For any junior role I would go to DigitalGrads first.” – Tom Beckenham, Comma Founder and CEO