· 73 min read

$1,000 To Millions: The Salesflow Growth Story

$1,000 To Millions: The Salesflow Growth Story

In this episode of Learnings at Scale, Max sits down with Besnik Vrellaku, CEO, and Chintan Maisuria, COO, of Salesflow. Salesflow helps B2B companies generate leads and automate quality outreach. By balancing research and testing in both acquisition and retention phases, Besnik and Chintan make prescient decisions. Their well-timed growth strategies turned a scrappy bootstrapped startup with $1000 in the bank into a multimillion-dollar B2B SaaS company.

Featured Chapter: The Future of Growth

Max asks Chintan and Besnik which growth hacking techniques from the last year are still working, which are not, and what’s next. Chintan and Besnik think that the future of growth in B2B SaaS is behavior-based. Distribution mechanisms have become so powerful that getting in front of people is not a challenge anymore. In the future, they will prioritize very precise leads over broad ones.

Click below to check out the featured chapter on YouTube!

Full Episode

Attribution can be deceiving. Finding a co-founder is about as easy as finding a spouse. And the internet is capricious—is it Twitter or X? Facebook or Meta? Founders should bear in mind that beyond validation and acquisition lie fresh problems, like adaptation and retention. In this episode, Besnik and Chintan take the long view on bootstrapping a SaaS startup.

Click below to check out the full episode on YouTube!

Actionable Lessons:

Episode Chapters:

Quotes and Insights:

00:13:45 "Because one thing is to test ideas and concepts, a whole nother thing is to test the growth strategies and the channels that's going to work for what you do." - Besnik

00:26:00 “Because eventually you're not going to be just a startup. You're going to grow as a business and you will have to […] put the cultural roots as well […] for your team and other peers to follow.” – Chintan

01:04:01 "But now I think the challenge is not around the acquisition. Challenge is around the retention. […] Your growth hack is going to be around your product." - Chintan

01:19:47 “it's much easier […] to build a stack strategy […] around the customers who are within your ecosystem.” – Chintan

Full Transcript

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[00:00:00] Besnik: Run Outta money. Had 1000 pounds left. Literally that was, you know, $1,200. And I paid the last paycheck to a sort of a, a young graduate that was working at the time. I was like, well, I've got one more card left to do [00:00:15] to make this work.

[00:00:18] Max: One of my guests today was down to his last thousand dollars when he came up with a genius growth hack just in time to save his company. Today, sales Flow does millions in revenue. In [00:00:30] this episode, I sat down with Besnik Volokou, CEO and founder, and Chintan Mysuria, Chief Operating Officer. They share the story of how that came to be and what they've learned along the way.

[00:00:41] Max: We talk about how they landed their first million dollars in ARR, [00:00:45] how to pick the right co founder, how to execute on winning growth hacks, product validation, building a culture of experimentation, and a whole lot more. But, uh, Beznik and Chintan, thanks so much for joining me. This is awesome to have you here in, here in London.

[00:00:59] Besnik: Welcome and thank [00:01:00] you for having us, you know, uh, so yeah.

[00:01:02] Max: The world tour.

[00:01:04] Besnik: I love it. And thanks. By the way, I don't know if these guys are going to see it, but we've got these cool Transcribed Hats and T shirts, uh, We're going to send you pictures, yeah. Yeah, we're 100 percent going to [00:01:15] tag you and everything.

[00:01:15] Besnik: Yeah, tag you and everything. Maybe by

[00:01:17] Max: the time this episode is up, we'll have the shop swollen shop fast, so people can go see the difference between a good and a bad Shopify store. Yeah, literally, right? But, I was wondering, you know, because I was, as we were doing the research for [00:01:30] this, I was obviously on your LinkedIn.

[00:01:31] Max: Yeah. And there's a lot of different roles. You guys have a lot of slugs on the LinkedIn.

[00:01:38] Besnik: We can't, we, we're, you're not wrong though, because he's got advisor here and advisor there and this and that. [00:01:45]

[00:01:45] Chintan: Probably, uh, maybe, let me tell you, I don't, I don't want to, I don't want to, I don't want to say this, but I'm 40 year old, just to let you know.

[00:01:53] Chintan: I don't look like it. You

[00:01:53] Besnik: turn 40 now. It's coming. I mean, I should know this. 11th.

[00:01:57] Max: If you had said 30,

[00:01:59] Besnik: that's what I'm [00:02:00] saying. You're not that you're going to be okay. I thought I missed your birthday. So,

[00:02:03] Chintan: so no, no, no. So, so yeah, there's a, uh, Nick started very early, uh, in his career. Uh, I started very early in my career career, um, been doing this for one and a [00:02:15] half decade now.

[00:02:16] Chintan: Uh, so a lot of experience. Uh, so that's why you see a lot of,

[00:02:21] Max: was one of your first jobs at. Melia Hotel? Yes. Yes. So how did, that was, that's not tech, or?

[00:02:29] Chintan: No, so I, I, [00:02:30] I, I used to be consultant for them. So I am trained consultant, uh. Doing the exact same thing, uh, helping, uh, businesses with expansion strategy, segmentation strategy, new business, uh, territory.

[00:02:44] Chintan: Uh, so I [00:02:45] did that for two years. Uh, so I was a part of their, uh, new business development team, basically, uh, helping them, uh, expand their UK territory, uh, when you mainly with the new segmentation at that time, millennial, uh, [00:03:00]

[00:03:00] Max: it jumped out at me. Cause I think I'm staying in one of them.

[00:03:03] Chintan: Are you? Yeah. Yeah.

[00:03:04] Chintan: Which one, me?

[00:03:04] Max: Me.

[00:03:05] Chintan: Yeah. Yeah. So me was the, me was the innovation of this, uh, external consultants, uh, who we were basically. So I used to [00:03:15] be part of that one boutique consulting firm. Um, so like, as I said, I'm trained, uh, management consultant. Uh, I come from, uh, engineering background and then, uh, uh, MBA and I did this consulting for two years.[00:03:30]

[00:03:30] Chintan: And then I left and I don't want it to go back. To consulting? I still do consulting but now mainly for tech companies only. And then Nick and I started working from [00:03:45] like one and a half year now. Okay. Yeah, but still the same work. Um, yeah, but not corporate anymore.

[00:03:53] Max: Nice. And Beznic, you, you're You founded, was it London Tech Vibe?

[00:03:57] Max: Is that what Chintun's talking about? Is that your [00:04:00] starting college, or was there something before that?

[00:04:02] Besnik: Haha, but, uh, dude, I had, um, yeah, I mean, it started when I, uh, I was quite a fat kid at school and I really wanted a pizza and I had no money. You know, I came from a [00:04:15] very modest family and I really wanted that pizza.

[00:04:18] Besnik: So I was like, how am I going to pay for that pizza? And so I started selling stuff at school. So that was my journey. And then I was like 15 years old, but before then, yeah, I had a games [00:04:30] website. I had, uh, eight different MVPs before. You know, we had sales flow. So London Tech Vibe was a, was a sort of media kind of company for the tech scene.

[00:04:40] Besnik: Okay. I was heavily involved there. I did a big thesis on the likes of TransferWise ard. [00:04:45] I, I met some of the, you know, the founders, uh, um, from, you know, Estonian co-founders. I interviewed them at the early stages. I, I, I just wish I was Warren Buffet. I would've put money right then and there, you know, I I, because I said to them, they're gonna grow.

[00:04:58] Besnik: I told them, and it [00:05:00] was very interesting. So that's how te London Tech vibe was. When was this? 2011?

[00:05:07] Max: Okay.

[00:05:08] Besnik: Very early, of transfer days. 2011, 12, I almost forgot. I mean, this was ages ago. Um, [00:05:15] so, some time ago.

[00:05:15] Max: And then, you said that you guys, your paths converged like a year and a half ago, did I get that right?

[00:05:22] Chintan: Yeah, yeah,

[00:05:22] Max: yeah, yeah. And so what You were consulting. What were you? So,

[00:05:27] Chintan: so I, I, I started with Nick, [00:05:30] uh, taking care of, uh, growth thing, head of growth. Um, and now, uh, I look after growth product and the strategy piece. So, yeah. At Salesforce. Um, so, but between, between [00:05:45] Melia and, uh, Nick, I had like different, different things that I was working on, like different ventures and, uh, again, the consulting piece, but my consulting was mainly around, uh, validation.

[00:05:56] Chintan: So inception to 10 million in, in, [00:06:00] in revenue, and that's my sweet spot. So majority of the time, uh, I work with business or I work in the business, uh, um, Uh, who is looking for validation of the product, uh, so they can insert the business. Um, [00:06:15] they're looking for product market fit, so they can go from, uh, zero to, I would say 2 million, 3 million.

[00:06:21] Chintan: Uh, and then it's up to 10 million is pretty much like. growth and scale. So kind of like helping them with the diversification of the products, uh, [00:06:30] streamlining, uh, their growth channels, mainly performance marketing, because I come from that, like engineering backgrounds. I'm very good with the numbers models.

[00:06:38] Chintan: I

[00:06:39] Besnik: concur. Because, and, and the reason I say that because I've, I don't think I've [00:06:45] ever, I mean, it's like you have a canvas that, of opportunity and some guy is very good at painting, the other's really good at just, I don't know, laying the foundations perhaps, and, um, I, I don't think I've ever met anyone [00:07:00] knows math the way you do when it comes to valid.

[00:07:03] Besnik: I mean, this guy, yeah, I really, I know. I mean, I've, I've, I've over the last few years, I've worked with a hundred plus people. I'm not even kidding you, you know, ride to different startups, you know, in the past. And then I was like, [00:07:15] he went from just being growth to just now. pretty much lead in the business overall, you know, uh, CEO in a matter of six months.

[00:07:23] Besnik: Um, and then we became close friends as well. And there's a lot of other products, you know, collectively as, as co owners, [00:07:30] we, we, we, we pushing forward beyond what we're doing right now, which is quite exciting as well.

[00:07:35] Max: How did you, so, so Chintan, so then if I get that right, you were a cons, you were consultant, Melia Hotels, then it sounded like from there, [00:07:45] Consulting for a lot of early stage startups.

[00:07:46] Max: Yeah,

[00:07:46] Chintan: that's right. On the

[00:07:47] Max: marketing side focused?

[00:07:50] Chintan: Mainly on the marketing side at that point of times. Uh, but mainly, uh, validating these businesses. So, you know, back in 2012, 2013, there were like floods [00:08:00] of new businesses came in, uh, into the market. Yeah. And at that point, you know, there was this thing, that validation of ideas.

[00:08:07] Chintan: So, I used to provide the data signals. You're like

[00:08:10] Max: the Grim Reaper of ideas. Yeah.

[00:08:12] Chintan: Uh, yeah, so I, that's, that's a very good, [00:08:15]

[00:08:15] Besnik: I just realized this idea. No, he's a grim reaper. No, it's true though. Cause it's the validation point is literally, uh, the gateway to yay or nay.

[00:08:25] Chintan: So I, I, I used to do this for a bunch of startups, uh, [00:08:30] via accelerators, incubators.

[00:08:32] Chintan: Uh, so I used to be the part of those accelerators. Like we, we work labs, tech stars, uh, UK, Lebanon tech hub. Um, and then I got an opportunity to work with a couple of [00:08:45] innovation labs doing exact same thing, uh, but with the corporate labs. So NetWest was one of it. Um, so they used to, and they still, uh, run, uh, uh, innovation lab where they found a bunch of, uh, different [00:09:00] products, which can turn into individual businesses and startups.

[00:09:04] Chintan: Um, so I used to help them with the validation piece, uh, give them a data signals that whether it is worth pursuing or not. And if it is, then they can invest [00:09:15] more money, uh, and build MVP. And then from there go to GTM. So pre hype was one of them. So I used to work as a contractor for them.

[00:09:25] Max: No way. Nicholas was on the podcast two days ago.

[00:09:28] Max: I saw that on your list. [00:09:30] I forgot to tell you. Oh, yeah, that's cool.

[00:09:31] Chintan: And, uh, Koty makeup and beauty brand. So, uh, Yeah. And, um, and, and, and, and I, I, I did that. I worked with like almost a hundred plus businesses. Uh, and that's [00:09:45] why I still do advisory, uh, every now and then. Of course, uh, non monitoring thing. Um, uh, but mainly helping them with the, with the, with the, with the advice on, um, which product to pursue, pursue and, [00:10:00] uh, uh, the growth, uh, mainly, uh, um, the channels, uh, want to, want to focus on how much to reinvest basically.

[00:10:09] Max: There's like a question I want to ask you based on what Besnik said, but you just keep saying interesting stuff. So I'm, [00:10:15] I'm wondering a hundred companies and you were specifically brought in to help, like you said, validate the ideas. Yeah.

[00:10:23] Chintan: Yeah.

[00:10:23] Max: Is there anything that you learned from that experience that jumps out at you as far as commonalities between the [00:10:30] ones that You validated or the ones that then like found product market fit and made it versus the ideas that didn't at the idea stage.

[00:10:36] Max: I mean, that's pretty hard to know before you've kind of gone out there and, and really sold. But maybe that's part of it. So I'm curious your how, what you learned from [00:10:45] that and how, you know, how that influences you today with the stuff you're doing at Sales Flow. And I

[00:10:49] Chintan: think, I think the thing is like, um.

[00:10:52] Chintan: If you, if you look at, if you look at, um, the broader learning, uh, which is, which is more [00:11:00] around the playbooks that I built by working, uh, with this hundred plus businesses. But if you ask me for the learnings, uh, for a specific, like from a specific businesses, it's very difficult because the things that work [00:11:15] probably, uh, in 2015, 16, that's not working now.

[00:11:18] Chintan: Yeah. Uh, yeah. And there is a reason not because of course there is a technology changed or AI came in or anything But because the generation changed as well at that time we [00:11:30] were targeting Millennials and now we are targeting the same group of segment But their behavior is very different. Like for example Gen Z.

[00:11:37] Chintan: They are more conservative content and, uh, uh, they have a lot of gratitude compared to millennials, [00:11:45] uh, at the age of 25, probably. Uh, so, so I, I, what I, what I've learned is I build a playbook that, okay, um, if I do this, then there is a good chance as the probability [00:12:00] that this will happen and data. will never lie at the end of the day.

[00:12:05] Chintan: And that's what we kind of, uh, not only with sales flow, but other products that we will build eventually, uh, in the future. That's what we're putting the [00:12:15] learnings that, okay, how do we validate, uh, the products? Uh, do we want to pursue this or not? Uh, and how do we see the data? Because having the data is just not enough, right?

[00:12:25] Chintan: Uh, to understand the behavior and the trans within the data, [00:12:30] uh, because sometimes data can, it's not going to lie, but you can go into that rabbit hole. Right. So it's a playbooks that, that, that we built that, okay. From zero to, I would say a hundred thousand, you have this one playbook from a hundred thousand to 2 million, you [00:12:45] have another playbook and from 2 million to probably like 5 million, 6 million, another playbook.

[00:12:49] Besnik: Right.

[00:12:50] Chintan: I'm a big fan of, uh, and, and, and Nick would agree with me. And this is something we were discussing literally before this podcast, uh, predictability, right? Uh, [00:13:00] because I think that especially when you are up to 10 million in, in a business, uh, you need to have a predictability in a business because you don't have a cash or capital.

[00:13:11] Chintan: What do you mean by

[00:13:11] Max: that? Just a predictability channel or a channel you've kind of [00:13:15] exactly, exactly. And you can relate to me. Yeah,

[00:13:17] Chintan: you can, you would relate to me. Uh, because, because it's, it's all about like you bringing the business, uh, which is predictable, uh, at, uh, which is like CAC is, you know, the [00:13:30] crack, you know, the churn, you know, the AOE.

[00:13:34] Besnik: It's the unit economics to scale because I always wondered sometimes how, firstly, I would get even back in the days when we sort of make in, you know, just start to make your first 100 K [00:13:45] or, you know, how do people companies get to a million bootstrapped is you ultimately when you when you test out so many channels because one thing is to test ideas and concept.

[00:13:55] Besnik: A whole nother thing is to test that the growth strategies and the channels that's going to [00:14:00] work for what you do. And sometimes, um, you know, where we share a lot of similarities, we validate concepts in a in a very similar way, but in different approaches, and it's and that's how we, you know, why we work so well together is because we have this kind of [00:14:15] mentality where test fast and quickly.

[00:14:18] Besnik: either if it's a fail or a win, but no, because it's a learning, then you know what to exclude and move on to the next, even if it's failed.

[00:14:26] Max: So the similarity is that you guys test fast and learn fast. [00:14:30] What's the difference?

[00:14:30] Besnik: So there's like what you were talking about earlier, about derivatives and the numbers, and then there's the VC approach, the numbers analytics, and then there's the, this kind of less intangible method to experimentation of the market, of the [00:14:45] field, of what words are telling you versus what numbers are telling you, whether that's feedback from people, the market, or, um, I don't know, users, or maybe just where you believe the problem lays.

[00:14:59] Besnik: There's [00:15:00] sometimes you want to really understand how painful the problem is for someone to know how much they're going to pay. From the user

[00:15:05] Max: perspective when you're talking about a product.

[00:15:07] Besnik: Yes. Yeah. And that because obviously you're validating products here versus just validating channels a slightly different, I think, [00:15:15] model.

[00:15:15] Besnik: Um, but for the way I look at it and sort of really experiment, because I had, when you had eight MVPs, like, obviously, I was learning tech, I knew so much about tech, and started to, like yourself, you're speaking with a lot of businesses, like, you are [00:15:30] inherently learning different stories, but firsthand, right?

[00:15:34] Besnik: And it's the same when I was interviewing plenty of people back in the day, when I had a lot of tech vibe, looking back, what a, what a terrible, shitty name, but it's still, you know, it's, it still did [00:15:45] wonders, uh, for me, but I think it's to do with both. You have to, you know, Not just that derivative mindset of investing, but also that intangible side of, okay, is it scalable?

[00:15:55] Besnik: You look at the other metrics as a business model for validation. 'cause sometimes the product can validate you're [00:16:00] gonna, it is gonna go, but is it really gonna be monetized correctly? Can it scale? Like where do you want to go as a, as a individual, like I had all these questions that I asked each time, build those MVPs.

[00:16:12] Besnik: I'm like, where do I want it to go? [00:16:15] And that's how I landed in SaaS was because. This was back in 2015, right? It was still relatively hot or emergent, well, kind of emergent space, but not as much as now where it just became paramount to me that that's going to be the [00:16:30] next thing that I want to focus on.

[00:16:31] Besnik: Because I had OBD ports, kind of software, hardware, and I was like, no, that's not going to work. Like it's not scalable and it's, you need a lot of money for bootstrap to work. And we had a games website or there was, then we, we sort of worked [00:16:45] on, um, a few different, um, other software pieces that were in brick and mortar, for example, now it's tricky.

[00:16:52] Besnik: Um, so then landed in, in, in content flow, for example, at least obviously there's a whole backstory to that [00:17:00] where then, okay, I was like in SAS. I got to focus on this. And it was just, we, we ended up, you know, having over 10, 000 different, um, beta users at the beginning. And then we sort of, um, we had that, we ended up sending it to a competitor at that time.

[00:17:14] Besnik: It was [00:17:15] a big, yeah, yeah. Content flow. You can see where sales flow now came from. I, I really branched out creatively. Then I was, so

[00:17:22] Max: what's the, what's the, what's the backstory there that you're, you're cryptically alluding to?

[00:17:26] Besnik: No, no, I, I, I, it's not, it's just more [00:17:30] to say that. I think you have to be crazy enough to experiment, not just channels, but products, especially if you're bootstrapping,

[00:17:37] Chintan: right?

[00:17:37] Besnik: Because you're going to bootstrap. If you are that kind of, you know, focus on bootstrapping, You've got to make sure this is, this business is going to [00:17:45] work, um, and you've got to quickly understand what isn't, just based on whatever data you have. I mean, at that time, I didn't have an expert or a consultant or an advisor.

[00:17:54] Besnik: You've got to do your validation yourself.

[00:17:56] Max: Right.

[00:17:56] Besnik: Ultimately. And, um, yeah. You have to

[00:17:59] Max: do a lot of things [00:18:00] yourself when you're bootstrapping. Yeah, but, uh,

[00:18:01] Besnik: but when you were doing eight MVPs, and you know, I'm going to, you know, Go and have this mentality each year. I'm going to do one and even I'm going to go with it or not.

[00:18:08] Besnik: That was my that's my my my mindset at the time is is I said to myself, Okay, I want to go and work this business, [00:18:15] build a quick MVP and understand. Okay, what Does it meet a certain level criteria where I want it to be. So I set that criteria myself about the ideal scenario, uh, of a business that I want to focus on.

[00:18:28] Besnik: And if it didn't meet, I don't know, four out [00:18:30] of five, I'm not going to do it. I want to fail it quickly, intentionally, not, um, unintentionally where something's gone wrong and move on to the next thing.

[00:18:38] Max: So these eight MVPs over what period of time was that?

[00:18:41] Besnik: Oh, I'd say seven, 10, seven to 10 years.

[00:18:44] Max: Okay. [00:18:45] And how many of these was, how many of these did you two work together on?

[00:18:48] Besnik: We, we didn't, we met a year and a half ago. Okay. Yeah.

[00:18:51] Max: So

[00:18:52] Besnik: slightly different stories, but

[00:18:54] Max: yeah,

[00:18:54] Besnik: also indirectly sort of relevant in validation 'cause uh,

[00:18:59] Max: and [00:19:00] are you, do you have, uh, any kind of engineering background or do you, do you write, do you write any code? I did, I did.

[00:19:07] Besnik: I did compute in even school.

[00:19:08] Besnik: Right. Okay. Uh, Java at the beginning, but I, I didn't enjoy it. I, I like the commercial piece of, of business, [00:19:15] which is, uh, just more on. anything commercial, really. So I did it, but I didn't enjoy it. So I just offshored a lot of the things that I developed.

[00:19:24] Chintan: Okay.

[00:19:24] Besnik: I developed the first website, and the gaming site that I did, for example, but then I, you know, [00:19:30] I, I, I liked to find growth hacking.

[00:19:32] Besnik: My, my skillset was growth hacking.

[00:19:34] Max: So the first, you said the first one or two, you built the MVP, and then from there, you, you offshored it or figured it out.

[00:19:41] Besnik: Or co founders, other co founders, yeah.

[00:19:43] Max: So how did you, [00:19:45] that, I feel like that's something Interesting, there is, uh, when you're bootstrapping, how do you build an MVP, especially if you're not, you don't want to write the code, or if you, for a lot of people that don't know how to do that, how did you How did you go about that?

[00:19:59] Max: Do you [00:20:00] have any kind of set process there? Or is it different case by case? Or like, what does that, what does that look like, building an MVP and not kind of outsourcing it in that way?

[00:20:09] Besnik: Well, it really depends on your personal circumstances, right? Because everybody will have a different [00:20:15] savings, and different risk appetite.

[00:20:17] Besnik: They might have the ability to meet different co founders or as a CTO or even CFO at the times, right? They could be, um, each case. I think it depends. But I think at the beginning, you just you want [00:20:30] to de risk as much as possible and quickly release something, even if it's not the core product. And very quickly, because most offshore companies have a process to quickly churn out MVPs.

[00:20:41] Besnik: Um, because even if you have a CTO or co founders as [00:20:45] an alternative way, for example, I've had bad experiences with this, where someone's got a full time job, they don't want to risk it. They don't want to leave it. They don't want to, you know, go ahead and take the same risks that you have, for example. And that, then you're better off just going to an offshore [00:21:00] company and spending that money versus waiting two years.

[00:21:02] Chintan: And

[00:21:02] Besnik: by that time, your enthusiasm for taking that to market is diminished. So, I think for a lot of businesses, it just depends on your circumstances. If you're going to find a partner that typically is willing to go all in with you, [00:21:15] That's the ideal scenario, because then you have a team, you're motivated, you've got each other's back.

[00:21:21] Besnik: Um, but if that's not the case, at least have a part time CTO to monitor the offshore guys to get it right. That worked very well for me, for in the past, [00:21:30] where I got a guy to consult and then ultimately some of them after the product was developed, a validation was proven, right? Uh, where money was being generated, then that CVO sort of joined in full time, at least from my experience.

[00:21:42] Max: So how many of these eight [00:21:45] ideas or businesses, how many of them did you do solo versus with a co founder?

[00:21:50] Besnik: I'd say 50 percent roughly. Yeah, around, so at least four, five I did completely by myself and the others were, were split between [00:22:00] two different co founders in the past.

[00:22:02] Max: Okay.

[00:22:02] Besnik: Um, so yeah, that's, that's, that's typically been the case.

[00:22:06] Max: Do you, do you, What did, what did you learn about picking a co founder? I mean, I, you know, like I came out of the same womb as my co founder, so it made the [00:22:15] selection process a little bit easier. Oh, you, you, you have a family? Yeah, my brother and I. Nice, nice. So, you know, we have a, we have a, I say we have a philosophical, I'm in a pretty deep level there from a lot of shared experiences, but assuming not that, how do [00:22:30] you, how do you pick a co founder when it's not someone that you know that, Maybe you know him that deeply, I don't know, or like, how do you do it when

[00:22:36] Besnik: I, uh, it's like saying, uh, how do you, how do you pick your wife?

[00:22:40] Besnik: Like, I, I, I'm not, I'm not joking, right? What, like [00:22:45] There was this app actually called Shapr a long time ago. It was Shapr, it was, it was a network like Tinder, Tinder like, uh, uh, uh, uh, yeah, I know, I know, I know. It was Shapr. Shapr? Yeah, it was called Shapr with an R instead of ER, the end. I don't know where they've gone by the [00:23:00] way, are they still around?

[00:23:01] Besnik: Not sure. Not sure they, but I know, I know, I know that it was a network app. It was a bit like LinkedIn trying to compete against LinkedIn and like, but in a Tinder like format of swiping. Right. Okay.

[00:23:10] Max: So wait for finding co-founders or Yeah, partners businesses.

[00:23:14] Besnik: Okay. Yeah. I'm [00:23:15] not even joking you. It was like, it is like, hi, how you doing

[00:23:19] Besnik: I'm doing good. You wanna make some money? . Back to your question, like, um. I think, you know, at least my view and Chintan and others all have a different view. And ultimately, [00:23:30] it does come down to a variety of skill sets. Like, can you complement each other firstly as a skill set? Like, that's going to matter.

[00:23:36] Besnik: That's the fundamental piece, right? Yeah. That's going to, you know, it's a good foundation to you both working well, because [00:23:45] each of you will now know what your responsibilities are. Right. You know, the second thing I think, like, Like anything else, but what makes it back to a solid girlfriend or wife is it can you actually be friends with them because whilst most people say that is a [00:24:00] transactional, like when you're co founder, I think it's long term, it's not good if you have a transactional well, like in terms of relationship, you know, it's business and that's it, you know, we'll keep aside, but I think it's important for [00:24:15] longevity that you can both get along very well and have a sense of If you read a lot of philosophy, can you reason when shit hits the fan in business?

[00:24:25] Besnik: And I think that's the biggest test. I mean, even if you have a partner, if a problem [00:24:30] in your life happens, like, are you able to, uh, handle these problems accordingly? You know, so it's the same thing. I mean, when we work, when we, we sit down, we have a problem. We, we both have a different perspective because we're still.

[00:24:43] Besnik: Perhaps similar but [00:24:45] different characters. Same is of our journey. So that's very complimentary, for example. So I think that really it's about can you reason? Um, can you respect each other in different ways and skill set ultimately? And then are they bootstrap businesses and [00:25:00] growing business tough? It's hard, you know, let's not, you know, put aside the fact that, that it's, it's, it can become a shit storm.

[00:25:06] Chintan: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:25:07] Besnik: So yeah, that's, that's what I would say. Absolutely. It's vague philoso, but at least that's for my own experience. Um, that's what [00:25:15] I believe.

[00:25:15] Max: If fact running business is tough anyway. . Yeah. What's your view on it? Chi? I'm picking a cofounder. I

[00:25:20] Chintan: know. I think I, uh. Yeah, I agree with Nick. Um, I think skill set.

[00:25:25] Chintan: Yes, definitely. Uh, because that's the whole purpose that everyone comes with a same [00:25:30] skills. Uh, yeah. And, uh, I think for me, um, uh, other than respect, which is super important. Yes. Um, cultural thing as well. I think, uh, cultural, not cultural as in like, more [00:25:45] about the work culture, I would say. Because sometimes what happens is, uh, is, is, if you have a different work culture or if you believe in a different work culture, it's not going to work, right?

[00:25:56] Chintan: It's going to get uncomfortable when you have to start hiring

[00:25:58] Max: employees and setting the values and [00:26:00] setting the culture. Exactly,

[00:26:01] Chintan: exactly. Because eventually you're not going to be just a startup, you're going to grow as a business, and you will have to, uh, put the cultural roots as well, uh, for your team and other peers to follow.

[00:26:13] Chintan: So yes, and then of [00:26:15] course, respect, like as Nick said, and the skill sets which are complementary, uh, with each other. Um,

[00:26:21] Max: So how did your paths converge?

[00:26:25] Besnik: Um, well, I guess, uh, maybe you want to explain on your end, but, uh, [00:26:30] we, we, we just, I think we, we, we met, I think when we were looking for On Shapo. Shapo.

[00:26:37] Besnik: Shapo. We're gonna, we're gonna re launch that Shapo to Shapo, I think. What did you say? Shapo. Shapo. No, but [00:26:45] you're right. It's Shapo. No, it wasn't that. No.

[00:26:47] Chintan: No, we were, um, I can, I can, yeah. So we, uh, Nick, uh, was in a business. It's a sales flow is at a very interesting stage, um, uh, from, from a lot of different things.

[00:26:58] Chintan: And, uh, [00:27:00] um, and I think growth is, uh, is key. playing a vital role at this stage of the business. You mean

[00:27:06] Max: not now, but when you guys met?

[00:27:08] Chintan: Yeah. Yeah. And even now, of course, uh, even now, um, and, uh, and, and, and the most important thing is [00:27:15] like, um, at that point, um, Nick was looking for someone, uh, and that's how we met.

[00:27:21] Chintan: And then we spoke and then we decided, Hey, I can jump in. Uh, I have that skill set, which I can bring in, uh, on the table. Uh, to help [00:27:30] business grow from what it is now to, um, let's say a few, like a different ARR. Uh, and then of course, uh, the product thing, that was something, uh, Nick was, uh, Nick wanted to do, uh, in sales flow, like branching out to [00:27:45] different, uh, products, um, uh, to, to expand.

[00:27:48] Chintan: And that's something where I come in as well, like not only validating those products, but making sure that those products are, uh, MVP ready. [00:28:00] Uh, and then from MVP to GTM ready. Um, so, uh, And at that stage, we thought that, okay, we, we, we kind of can work together very well. I see, I saw at that point sales flow.

[00:28:12] Chintan: And even now I see that it's, it's doing well and [00:28:15] I see the good future. So, and I'm like, okay, you know what? Let's join the forces. Let's do this together. And, uh, yeah.

[00:28:25] Max: So it sounds like then you're on this [00:28:30] Tell me if I get it wrong. Qualitative side, you're trying to like live the customer pain point and figure out what product to build or features to add from there.

[00:28:39] Besnik: You could say that.

[00:28:41] Max: And then Shinton. Is playing Grim [00:28:45] Reaper.

[00:28:45] Besnik: He's a quantitative on qualitative.

[00:28:47] Max: Okay. Quant. The quantitative and the qualitative. And you're bringing, bringing the, the feature idea toten, and you're like, how does it look? And it's just like,

[00:28:55] Besnik: it's, it is, it's overlapping. That's really it. But I, yeah, he's, he loves [00:29:00] numbers.

[00:29:00] Besnik: I mean, I, I know finance and numbers, but he. Really knows it incredibly well and he will he'll be the gatekeeper when it comes to a lot of that side of things as well And uh, yeah, yeah in that in that sense. It's more of commercial complimentary than technically, you know, [00:29:15] so yeah

[00:29:16] Max: and so I mean, i'm always fascinated like how Especially bootstrap businesses How did you get the first?

[00:29:25] Max: 100 customers Or maybe the first 10. I don't know [00:29:30] Uh, we're both first 10 and first 100. I guess it's your favorite

[00:29:32] Besnik: question,

[00:29:33] Max: right?

[00:29:34] Besnik: It is, because I, it's just, because I've done it quite a few times. Yeah.

[00:29:39] Max: Do you have it down to a science now, or is I

[00:29:41] Besnik: do, from a qualitative perspective. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha [00:29:45] ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha You should have came to my live 10 years ago, Jindan, and it would have been a different, we would have had billions by now, so, um, but I, I, I, I think what, quite a few different ones had different, um, Ways we got a few [00:30:00] customers.

[00:30:00] Besnik: It's always through growth hacking is each one had a different story, you know, ultimately to get the first customers, but it's always to do things in an incredibly resourceful way with zero money. What that means is how can you leverage the all the [00:30:15] channels that are out there for content, like even contemplate, for example, this money, but I'll stick to the most sort of last six years is I completely growth at Twitter.

[00:30:25] Besnik: All right,

[00:30:25] Chintan: how

[00:30:26] Besnik: this was just, we just use random tools online that were [00:30:30] a, we used this tool called deliver, for example, to create auto create content based on hashtags. Then we used auto follow, auto tweet, auto retweet, all these particular keywords. For example, this was seven years ago, this shit [00:30:45] would

[00:30:45] Max: not fly today.

[00:30:47] Besnik: Elon Musk. Yeah, he wasn't around, so he would, uh, and it wouldn't fly, but I mean, like, that's the whole point of growth hacking, is finding different ways. You completely bootstrap, you know, you're not going [00:31:00] to spend 10 grand on Twitter ads.

[00:31:02] Max: What was your favorite growth hack then, in the early days? Oh, God.

[00:31:06] Besnik: To be honest, that was my favorite. That worked quite well. The Twitter one? Yeah, because So what

[00:31:10] Max: was, what, auto post content? But this was like, you know, you didn't have chatGBT, so what kind of content were you Actually, that was, that

[00:31:14] Besnik: [00:31:15] was fine. It was more to do with the auto, auto follow, auto like. The engagement was ridiculous.

[00:31:21] Besnik: Because no one was doing it, right? Back then, they didn't even know it existed. So, I think it's about being an early adopter to growth hacks.

[00:31:28] Max: Yeah, I remember I remember this with [00:31:30] Instagram in the early days. You just go follow a bunch of people and you'd have like a 20 percent conversion rate to follow.

[00:31:34] Besnik: The difference is, this is B2B, right? You're not harassing personal people or ex And it's like, you're right there. It might work to a lot of marketing agencies. I don't have done it, but now it's, I wouldn't just say it's saturated. [00:31:45] The thing is, sometimes certain growth hacks are short lived. Right. If you're going to grow, you know, not all of them.

[00:31:51] Besnik: And then you, you, you captured that window of opportunity because no one else is doing it. And all of a sudden it's, it's uncharted territory of God knows what growth you can get.

[00:31:58] Chintan: Yeah.

[00:31:58] Besnik: We got huge amounts of [00:32:00] growth from it, like massive, for example. So that was how we got those 10, 000 plus users in a short space of time.

[00:32:07] Besnik: That was the content flow.

[00:32:08] Max: But so you followed them on Twitter. I mean, then what did you do to get them as a customer?

[00:32:13] Besnik: Well, I mean, it's [00:32:15] just like when you end up. You know, being on the street and you end up just slapping somebody, they're going to notice. A terrible, I know, you realize my ridiculous sense of humor, but it's the same, you follow them, like them, they notice, take notice, right, [00:32:30] ultimately.

[00:32:30] Besnik: And they go on to your link, on your page, and you just drive traffic. So that's typically how it worked. At least that was based on the data that we looked at, for example, and then, of course, they signed up. Then we ended up building the customer over time, obviously completely free at the [00:32:45] beginning because we just wanted to focus building an audience, a database.

[00:32:48] Besnik: And, of course, after that, we downside that growth hack. But in terms of first customers with sales flow, for example, it's one of and this one got, I mean, we invested a lot of money again. These are, I just [00:33:00] like multiplied into other businesses. So what happened next on, on sales? So I remember this is, this was Christmas and it's a true story.

[00:33:07] Besnik: I invested whatever money that I had and we were only three people and it was Chris near Christmas time and I, [00:33:15] I run out of money. I have one, 1, 000 left, literally, you know, 1, 200, right? Uh, 1, 200, and I paid the last paycheck to a sort of, uh, a young graduate that was working at the time. And I was like, [00:33:30] well, I've got one more card left to do to make this work because it was a lot of products bootstrap That's this is the situation you're under when you bootstrap then what I'm gonna do So what happened was I spent the last two weeks trying to understand what am I gonna do?

[00:33:43] Besnik: They're really gonna change [00:33:45] the lever of this business that we just finished out of the product We're now going so I ended up You Uh, I mean, we had a few customers, but we had all the business expenses, right? And even at the start, so then what happened was I reached out to [00:34:00] a guy called George Fetcher.

[00:34:01] Besnik: He was, he had a massive Facebook group and I saw the product. He absolutely fell in love with our Zapier. We had one. I thought to myself, well, how am I going to be different to other tools at that time? And then I [00:34:15] had one tactic to do. Okay. I want to use Zapier to create a workflow so we can, once you, uh, have the data, you're able to then create a lookalike audience to then really target them in an account based approach.

[00:34:26] Besnik: It was just the tactic

[00:34:27] Chintan: because

[00:34:27] Besnik: that was the anchoring point to win someone over. [00:34:30] to promote you. Like showing someone what they could do with sales. Yeah, it's a hack. He was a growth hacker, like crazy. And I was like a menace of growth hacking at that point, right? Because I had, it was a growth hack itself, right?

[00:34:41] Besnik: Nevermind the products. So about how to grow that. And then I worked with Josh [00:34:45] Fletcher and we created an ebook together. He loved it. And then he put it Posted on his Facebook group, uh, in, in January and that month, um, just to get that cash in, we just exploded. I had a true effing story, you know, and it was, I was overwhelmed.[00:35:00]

[00:35:00] Besnik: Like it was just, it was astonishing, uh, moment for me actually, because of all the eight years I reinvested, reinvest, reinvest and had one K left and that one tactic worked and it's, I never forget it because it's, it was emotional and [00:35:15] also Exciting because I finally, uh, approached a method or at least approach not just the product, but also a strategy.

[00:35:25] Besnik: So with them, we grew by the way of Facebook groups, [00:35:30] right? These are not something people have said, or we grew and we grew. I'm not. So in the next two years, it wasn't just Facebook group, but the first year we in 12 months, we we hit our first million in AR in the first year. boosters that year from Facebook groups, period.

[00:35:44] Besnik: [00:35:45] Who would have thought you just grow their business off Facebook groups? So that's the, that was the story. And then after that, we just sort of doubled and onwards. Really?

[00:35:53] Max: Wow. down to the wire and then all in. I, I, I,

[00:35:58] Besnik: I, I, I, I, I, I, I can call my [00:36:00] mom right now, because she, when I was at my, but I was living with my parents until I was 28.

[00:36:04] Besnik: Okay. Because I was booch. Do you think you can live in London and bootstrap all these businesses? Like, I just want to tell you the sacrifices beyond that, right? I was still at my parents. I have no, I'm a family, uh, [00:36:15] sort of oriented guy anyway. Right. As for my culture, but yeah, it's, uh, that was, that was true story and, and never forget it to be honest.

[00:36:23] Max: So I will fa that's, that's the favorite growth hack. Yeah. Have you ever had one just blow up in your [00:36:30] face

[00:36:30] Besnik: that that was the ball and blow up ? That was, that was the blow. I mean, that was the blow up was was working on that ebook in Facebook groups. That was the blow. No, I

[00:36:36] Max: mean, in a bad way. Like one where you are like, oh fuck.

[00:36:40] Besnik: Wow. I mean, Salesforce had a few blowups like that. So, and uh, [00:36:45] to be honest, uh, growth XI mean, I dunno, chin any. I don't mean to

[00:36:50] Max: make you relive the bad memories after. No, I think,

[00:36:53] Besnik: I think we've burned quite a lot of money in my, my personal view in ads. You know, sometimes you can burn [00:37:00] 50, 100 grand just like that in a couple of weeks or a month.

[00:37:05] Besnik: If you just don't have your money. Uh, no, this was before he joined, by the way.

[00:37:11] Max: Chintan's like, no, I didn't. What are you talking about? I have

[00:37:14] Besnik: [00:37:15] to clarify

[00:37:15] Max: it.

[00:37:16] Besnik: It's your performance marketing, right? I know, so you, you, you know, Oh, it's easy there. And this is, this is, you're going to love, like, this side of things, and I'm going to let Chintan perhaps elaborate further, but before, you know, Chintan came, we'd done a lot of wells, but then if you don't have the [00:37:30] right, sort of, uh, partners who are looking after you, because it was a big growth channel for us, Right.

[00:37:34] Besnik: It works. And, uh, but certain numbers when I would have added up and realize actually we've, we've been burning through cash by the way. Okay. There's a bootstrap business. If you can't, you know, [00:37:45] take control. That's why I want to, I was looking for somebody to take care of it. Cause I know the numbers did add up at one point and now we had to downscale it until we can.

[00:37:55] Besnik: find what worked. So, and then Shindan has been sort of, uh,

[00:37:59] Chintan: I think the word is, [00:38:00] um, attribution. So I think when you, you would know, because you do the performance marketing. So, you know, it's super important, uh, if you're running performance marketing, because it's a lot of money, it's like a stock, right?

[00:38:14] Chintan: You're [00:38:15] investing so much money. Uh, so you need to attribute because it's only then you can scale it. Um, So I think that was, um, the issue, um, where the things were not rightly attributed and [00:38:30] when, and especially SaaS, why it's a recurring revenue. It's not like an e commerce business that one time transaction, and then we will fix it next month.

[00:38:38] Max: So

[00:38:38] Chintan: it's a SaaS recurring revenue. We need to know where the [00:38:45] attribution is. So first click, last click. Whatever model you want to build, basically, um,

[00:38:50] Max: How close, how do you, One thing that it's, is interesting to see sometimes is that You need to, you need to have really good [00:39:00] attribution Yeah And it needs to be, you know, set up in such a way that, you know, Technically it's set up and within best practice and it's done well And you can do interesting stuff now with like event based analytics on the site and other, other stuff like that [00:39:15] But There's also, we often find, like, there's a line where you also have to be able to take a step back and look at, like, some of the most successful companies that we see that are from a paid perspective, it's because they understand, like, blended [00:39:30] CAC at a high level.

[00:39:31] Max: Yeah. And so they, you know. Because, you know, because it's really easy for attribution to lie to you, right? And like, the one that, that I, and I'll stop trying to lead this question too much, but this is less of a question and more something that I'm just curious your thoughts on, is that, [00:39:45] like, Google is a perfect example.

[00:39:46] Max: You'll often see, like, in the LinkedIn echo chamber, everyone's always all pissed off about, like, how much waste there is in Google ads, and I could go on about that. this because it's then you go look at the company and it's like they have some junior marketing manager running it and it's like, okay, well, would you let a junior [00:40:00] person be deploying millions of dollars of capital elsewhere in your business?

[00:40:02] Max: But either way, but the point that I'm getting at is that with something like that, the, the counter argument is, Oh, well, Google's just like absorbing all this attribution credit, right? But then on the other hand, it's like, [00:40:15] well, you're running Facebook ads or LinkedIn ads, you're doing all these things to create awareness of the product.

[00:40:21] Max: maybe they didn't click there, but that was the action immeasurable. You can't measure it. Right? And then they went and googled the product and then will, someone will say like, oh, well they [00:40:30] went and Googled the product. Why? You know, why would you run the Google ad? Well, it's 'cause if you don't, your competitor's gonna do it.

[00:40:35] Max: Right? And so it's like, we love to see that when it's like a, you have a comp, uh, we have a client and there's a competitor, and the competitor is spending heavily on. [00:40:45] Like, social or really good demand gen motion or whatever, but they're not running on search. Like, okay, we'll come in and buy that, you know, buy those, those customers.

[00:40:52] Max: So I'm, the point being, like, how do you, as an analytical kind of quantitatively minded person, how do you [00:41:00] balance that focus on the attribution to optimize the channel while still taking a step back, like, knowing how the internet works to be like, okay, well, we also have to look at it in a kind of blended logical perspective and the number, knowing the numbers can lie.

[00:41:13] Chintan: Yeah. Yeah. [00:41:15] No, I think, I think, uh, it's a, first of all, it's a, it's a great question. Um, so one of the things that I personally do, uh, is, um, balancing the attribution window, uh, across both channels. Um, what I mean by this is like with the [00:41:30] Facebook, uh, previously they just used to do one day click and seven day, uh, view.

[00:41:35] Chintan: Now they allow one day click and 28 day view. Same thing with the Google as well. Google now they introduced their new [00:41:45] attribution, which is, uh, above 90 days. So you can attribute up to 120 days. So this needs to be balanced. That's one. The second thing is it also depends on your strategy. Like, as you rightly mentioned, like Facebook can be used [00:42:00] as a brand event as peace, right?

[00:42:01] Chintan: And if they are in the first 30 days or 27 days, the attribution window, and then if they click. Uh, on your brand campaign, which is running on the Google because they say, Hey, I came across to this amazing ad, but [00:42:15] I'm not ready or maybe I'm doing something. And then probably next day or probably after seven days, he realized, Hey, I came across to the sales floor ad.

[00:42:23] Chintan: Let me search. What was that sales floor? Yeah. I'm going to type it. So one of the things that we see in some of [00:42:30] our campaigns is brand campaign doing very well. Uh, and it's not because, uh, we have an amazing brand or anything, but it's because we have a brand awareness campaign that's running, you know, that's the, that's the thing like [00:42:45] attribution view window, uh, that needs to be balanced across both places.

[00:42:49] Chintan: Uh, click is all good because you can always measure first click and the last click, uh, but view needs to be tackled as well. The best rule of thumb I personally think is the 60 [00:43:00] days. Uh, so Facebook, they don't allow, uh, but Google they do. So 60 day is a reasonable period. It also depends on your sales cycle.

[00:43:09] Chintan: Like how long is your sales cycle? Some businesses, their sales cycle is like literally seven days. If it is not a [00:43:15] very high ticket product, some businesses, they can take up to 60 days, 70 days. So it all about the attribution balancing as well. And then tracking and then sourcing it with that [00:43:30] specific user who came into the ecosystem.

[00:43:32] Chintan: And then we looking at the whole journey that, okay, they now came through Facebook ads. Now they're still exploring and doing certain things, but they're coming back again with a brand campaign, probably on the Google [00:43:45] and then awareness campaign or webinar or automated flow or what a lot of different things.

[00:43:49] Max: Right? What are your, so we talked about meta, uh, Or, you know, Facebook, Meta, and Google. You guys also advertise on LinkedIn, I guess? [00:44:00] Or

[00:44:00] Chintan: No, we don't. No. We don't. But, I, I, I, it's a pretty similar attribution they have as well. I'm

[00:44:09] Max: curious, why no LinkedIn?

[00:44:12] Chintan: I think it was the CAC. So, [00:44:15] so a couple of, a couple of reasons actually.

[00:44:18] Chintan: Uh, one of the reasons, um, two reasons, two main reasons. One is of course the CAC is very high. It's very expensive. On, on, on, on, on LinkedIn. Um, and the second reason is we are [00:44:30] LinkedIn software, so we want to bring them via our software. It defeats the purpose, right? Ah, okay. Technically, if a brand

[00:44:36] Max: consideration

[00:44:36] Chintan: there.

[00:44:36] Chintan: Not a brand consideration, but like the whole purpose of doing LinkedIn ads is to bring in more leads. We can do the same thing as a software. Oh, [00:44:45] okay. Makes sense. So it it kind of defeat the purpose. Yeah. So of why you want to have sales flow doing the same thing that you can do. The same thing with LinkedIn ads as well.

[00:44:55] Chintan: So that's one of the reason, that's what we, we, we have to, we have to play by the [00:45:00] books. Right? So, uh, sometimes, you know, this face, Facebook is doing ads on LinkedIn, and LinkedIn is doing ads on Facebook, but. What I'm trying to say is like, we don't do ads on LinkedIn, CAC mainly. And the second reason is like, okay.

[00:45:12] Chintan: It defeats the purpose of us, [00:45:15] our USP, our USP is like bringing the leads from the LinkedIn. So,

[00:45:20] Besnik: yeah, prospecting versus advertising.

[00:45:23] Chintan: And the one thing, one important thing is like, we have very heavy on intent channels, uh, rather than the non [00:45:30] intent channels. When I say intent as being Google, it's because there's huge time, like, you know, sales engagement, not only sales flow or LinkedIn automation, the whole sales engagement is a huge time.

[00:45:42] Chintan: There's a lot of demand already out there. There's a [00:45:45] huge volume for hundreds of different different keywords so, you know, even if you spend like hundred grand on this sales engagement as a as a as a Business not sales flow, but sales engagement warmly and everything basically It's still gonna be less.

[00:45:59] Max: [00:46:00] Yeah, no, it makes sense It's the the LinkedIn Facebook one is one that I always find interesting because a lot of times when we come in We're to, uh, or like start work, especially in PLG, SAS, right? Like, cause some of our, we have some like [00:46:15] enterprise clients where you're talking about like, you know, 60, 70 day sales cycle.

[00:46:18] Max: I mean, it could be 16 months, 18 months. Um, so of course there will be a little difference, but like PLG SAS, often it seems, and In performance marketing, like, there's very few rules. [00:46:30] Everything needs to be tested by the business, and they're always, always going to perform differently. But, oftentimes, meta is what ends up being one of the best performing channels.

[00:46:38] Max: And the reason that I'm interested in, you know, your strategy there is because there's this analysis that I have our team refresh often. [00:46:45] And I, you know, if someone in the comments knows an automated way to do this, let me know, because I don't. Is We'll take like a, a representative list of the PLG companies, which the one that I typically use is like, have you guys seen the PeerSignal list?

[00:46:56] Max: Are you familiar with PeerSignal? They have this, they have this list that they keep up [00:47:00] in like an air table. It's like all the PLG companies basically. Yeah. And so I'll take that list and filter out the companies that have more than like a thousand employees. Cause at some point you're advertising on every channel.

[00:47:08] Max: It's not a strategic decision at that point. It's just, our budgets are so big that we have something going everywhere. Yeah. So we, we, we [00:47:15] filter it down a little bit and we look at like the PLG companies in certain space. And, and it ends up being like 1, 500 companies or 500 companies. And we'll have our team go through each Facebook page individually to look at page [00:47:30] transparency and see if they're advertising on Facebook.

[00:47:32] Max: And we'll do the same on LinkedIn. And the thing that's interesting about this is that in, you know, I don't have the exact number in my head, right? But in B2B, it's about 80 percent of them are advertising on [00:47:45] LinkedIn, which as we were just talking about, it's like the most expensive inventory on the internet for this kind of thing.

[00:47:49] Max: Yeah. And it's almost the exact inverse, that about 80 percent of them are not advertising on meta. It strikes me that it is such a, a slept [00:48:00] on channel for B2B, and I've even done this in our outbound efforts. Like, cause I'll always like, in outbound a lot of times, cause we're an agency, right? So it's like, what's your, what's your, To externally that we're all the same.

[00:48:11] Max: No one cares. And so I'll often ask a question, and one of the ones that I've done in sort of a [00:48:15] research perspective is like, well, email people or LinkedIn message people, why aren't you advertising on, on Meta? Like I notice you're not. And the answers you get often are like, our customers aren't there. Or my favorite is like, we don't want to bother people on a personal channel.

[00:48:29] Besnik: And it's like, [00:48:30] are you kidding me?

[00:48:31] Max: Like, I buy a lot of sass. We, we, we're like trying to stop.

[00:48:33] Besnik: I totally agree. I'm not against it. And I think it's just where if you get your money returned better in Ads Intent versus Facebook, right? Not, because not everybody can have that volume [00:48:45] of search in their problem solutions.

[00:48:47] Besnik: That's the difference, right? But if you do, then it makes sense. But I totally agree. If you, if you enter in a Blue Ocean tool where you need to generate Demand or cold outrage it totally works because I I do if you go on [00:49:00] instagram like I'm a CEO of a company I go on instagram

[00:49:04] Max: How often do you see something and you're like, oh that's interesting Yeah,

[00:49:07] Besnik: and by the way, if you look at all the things I follow They're not just, you know, random things.

[00:49:13] Besnik: They're, they're news content, they're [00:49:15] technologies. So I, I, I, in fact, I, I, I don't, I can't remember the last time I've been on Facebook. I think it's Instagram, right? Like no one goes on Facebook anymore. Facebook groups is not a channel that I can grow now. That was, Three, four years ago. So I [00:49:30] think Instagram definitely

[00:49:31] Max: matter.

[00:49:31] Max: Should sponsor this podcast. Yeah. Yeah. ,

[00:49:34] Chintan: no, that, uh, you, you rightly said, like, I wouldn't be surprised, uh, max, um, uh, that Facebook is, is for you, uh, and for your clients, um, uh, gonna be one of the best [00:49:45] channels basically. I wouldn't be, of course there are like 2 billion people on, uh, meta, uh, including all the different, uh, products they have, uh, Facebook and Instagram.

[00:49:55] Chintan: 2 billion, 1. 9, 1. 9. No, what I was saying is like, you know, [00:50:00] meta, of course they're there. Everyone is on meta, right? Uh, but it all depends on the objective. Uh, and, uh, what's the product, right? Like I don't, I don't, I don't need to, I'm not saying that I don't need to be. We do [00:50:15] ads on meta as well, but the whole objective of running the ads on the meta is different and especially your product, right?

[00:50:22] Chintan: You know, that's where this again, intense signals, data signals are going to come. And, uh, validation of the product is gone. So if your product [00:50:30] or if your business, if there is already demand out there, you don't need to create the demand. Meta is the product other than lifestyle e commerce businesses. If you're running for the SaaS, Meta and LinkedIn, they both are the [00:50:45] channels that can help you drive the demand or create the demand.

[00:50:48] Chintan: People might not. So they have a pain that they don't know that they have a pain. So you as a business come in and they say, Hey, you have a pain, you have, you need this pill and we're going to give you this pill, right? That's [00:51:00] where this meta and LinkedIn ads come in and they do wonders. And with a touch of PLG, because with PLG, they're going to learn and like, it's a product led road.

[00:51:09] Chintan: So they're going to do everything by themselves and they're going to start, uh, absorbing, uh, the [00:51:15] learnings from what, What they have done on the product and eventually they're going to become an evangelist. So, you know, it's all start with this meta linkedin ads Creating a demand coming to the product driving them via webinar or ebook or [00:51:30] anything Making sure that they use the product so build the product in a way that they use the product And, and, and then they, they stay with you, but, you know, some of the businesses, they don't need to do this.

[00:51:40] Chintan: They can just simply go, uh, with intent if already demand [00:51:45] out there. So that's going to cut down your sales cycle. And with a touch of PLG things, it's kind of like an accelerator of the whole, uh, the process.

[00:51:57] Max: Yeah. I think the other thing that's interesting, [00:52:00] again, it's like stuff like this, where. You just have to think, either think about it like more of like a logic problem, cause it would be impossible to validate, you know, and have the data set.

[00:52:08] Max: Uh, but it's like, right now it feels like on LinkedIn, everyone's bitching about intent data, which like, you know, I feel like they should have [00:52:15] been, they should have been a long time ago, but like, but it's just like, this one pisses me off. Cause you'll, as like someone that has to fight for marketing budget from these companies, you know, it's like the amount of money that gets wasted on intent data.

[00:52:29] Max: And then if [00:52:30] we just think about it, it's like, okay. Every website on the internet that matters is pixeled by meta. Every person buying anything on the internet, in aggregate, 2 billion people or whatever on meta, they all have, you know, meta on their [00:52:45] computer, on their phone, whatever.

[00:52:45] Chintan: 100%.

[00:52:46] Max: And then you just think about it, and they're like, you're like, Okay, well, so if meta knows that if I'm considering, like, SaaS provider A versus SaaS provider B, You don't think Meta is connecting the dots there?

[00:52:59] Max: To [00:53:00] make sure that, like, put that ad, Oh, you're considering B, let's also put the ad of A in front. Like, how much better off would these companies have been if they had just taken that budget of intent data and just put it into some Meta ads? And okay, you won't have a report that lies to you and makes it [00:53:15] think, makes you feel like you have this edge.

[00:53:17] Max: Instead, you're just gonna have, like, the people going to your website and making a decision. Like, I'd take that route, if it's me.

[00:53:23] Besnik: No, I mean I don't know what your thoughts here, Chintana are, but I think the last time we, [00:53:30] one of the reasons why we, uh, we worked with, with even or, you know, partnered up with, with the warmly guys, you know, Alan and Max is because it is a growth hack ultimately, right?

[00:53:43] Besnik: It's not your ads. Absolutely. [00:53:45] I think I agree that if you just retarget your audience and you make the most out of your dollar spend on advertisement anyway, because you're still retarget with, with, uh, You still retarget or find lookalikes on Meta, right? They're not calling it Facebook anymore, really.

[00:53:59] Besnik: [00:54:00] You know, I'm getting old school. We

[00:54:01] Max: always call it Facebook. Facebook, right. I'm trying to say Meta. Meta, that's

[00:54:04] Besnik: it, Meta. It feels uncomfortable. Yeah,

[00:54:05] Max: no, me too.

[00:54:06] Besnik: My gut just took a twist a little bit. I was like, Meta, I've never said that before. Um, but you're right, you know. Um, I think, you know, we [00:54:15] tried, that's why we worked with, because it's to do with leveraging your traffic on your website at the day, you know.

[00:54:19] Besnik: And, uh, that's why we integrated instantly. We're the first. probably company to kind of do this. I mean, we know lead feed and others that warmly have done, or obviously they've done their twist to it, you [00:54:30] know, in the UK, uh, lead enrichment and data intent on those, because it's going to your website. You can't get more intent than someone searching your website really.

[00:54:38] Besnik: Right. It's just also about how can you drive more traffic to that? It's a pitch and then leverage that [00:54:45] from a personal perspective. You know, that's why we came into the mix with warmly because How are you going to, uh, from a B2B perspective, because B2C is not going to work, right? Because sometimes, uh, it's a whole different strategy, two different strategies.

[00:54:59] Besnik: And [00:55:00] I think our speciality is B2B. If someone asked me to launch a, a B2C app, I wouldn't have a scooby doo about, uh, where, where to, well, I would, but not to the extent that perhaps I would, uh, they would want to hear. So, and then the fact that you can, [00:55:15] you can leverage and connect or, uh, email these folks and visit your sites just became.

[00:55:20] Besnik: We've had some amazing results. You know, talk about growth hack. It's a, it's a growth hack,

[00:55:24] Chintan: you know,

[00:55:24] Besnik: ultimately that's what you buy is a growth hack, not just a tool or data. You buy a hack that [00:55:30] typically is proven. It's the same how we grew like no one was doing using LinkedIn for sales. By the way, it was predominantly for recruitment.

[00:55:40] Besnik: You know? So it was a growth hack. It was new, it was unconventional. Why did we add [00:55:45] email? Because just LinkedIn isn't, that was two, three years ago. You know, things are changing.

[00:55:50] Max: No, go ahead.

[00:55:51] Besnik: No, sorry, I was just going to say, go back to the data intent. Maybe, uh, at least I see data intent slightly different here, but I know we use Bombora and so forth, but it's just [00:56:00] about, Back to because where did warmly get their traffic side?

[00:56:02] Besnik: They got either from Advertisement organic or LinkedIn right whatever channels, but ultimately what you're doing with an intent data So that's that's how it became useful. I mean, this is nothing, you know, I don't know if that makes sense But

[00:56:14] Max: [00:56:15] no, no, it does and I might be wrongly roasting all intent providers I mean, I think that those kinds of like what you're talking about.

[00:56:20] Max: The on site intent is really valuable I think that that is like there's nothing better than people that are on your site. The, the thing that [00:56:30] cracks me up is when you look at like, like we're a zoom info customer. You look like the zoom info, uh, websites, you know, yeah. There are, I don't know who their provider is.

[00:56:38] Max: I don't want to slander anyone, but, but, but the thing that cracked that it was, I never bought it [00:56:45] directly. Right. I just got it because I got zoom info and it was included, but I was like, okay, so how are you guys? Like the guy explains to me how it works. You go on the website and we have, they're basically they have.

[00:56:53] Max: You know, they're doing it through Display Network and whatever other stuff they're doing there. But at the end of the day, it's like people reading articles. [00:57:00] So I'm like, okay, well, we're a digital marketing company. Most digital marketers are reading a lot of blogs and a lot of websites about how to do digital marketing.

[00:57:09] Max: So how are you discerning people doing research inside these companies? And they always have a really cute answer, but it's, at [00:57:15] the end of the day, if you just boil it down, how could you know? Without some, you know, You know, people went to your website or whatever it is.

[00:57:21] Besnik: Yeah. I think it's an exaggerated marketing lingo a lot of them use, right?

[00:57:26] Besnik: It's intent. It's so vague. It's like a legal term for, [00:57:30] uh, you know, someone walking in the street saying that's intent. I'm walking, I don't know, to, to, to buy some shoes and not some clothes.

[00:57:37] Chintan: Yeah.

[00:57:38] Besnik: Like it's just, it's completely, it's just exaggerated. And the user's market is sometimes you see intent as somebody [00:57:45] who's visited, I don't know, like, uh, a CRM system,

[00:57:48] Chintan: right.

[00:57:49] Besnik: For example, but the it's, it's, it's, it's, it's, It's, I don't, I don't, I think the accuracy, a lot of that data is just not there. We've done a lot of outreach based on data. So I [00:58:00] agree by the way, with your thoughts on intent in the past, maybe it's, it's evolved, you know, Sixth Sense and others competition has led to innovation in the field, for example, as well to, to actually have quality because before they didn't.

[00:58:14] Besnik: And when [00:58:15] we tried, you know, Bambora or ZoomInfo partially, they're expensive. So we didn't really go with them. It just didn't yield. You know, to be honest. So instead, we just, you know, stuck to what technologies they use, something a bit more down to earth. Or we use [00:58:30] our existing website traffic.

[00:58:31] Max: It's like implied

[00:58:32] Besnik: intent.

[00:58:32] Besnik: Implied. Thank you. Trademark. Yeah.

[00:58:38] Besnik: Do you want to swap, uh, Video Guy with Yeah, yeah. Implied. I get Video Guy, you get implied intent. Deal. [00:58:45] Yeah, so, I don't know. But if

[00:58:48] Max: we get out of here and I Google Video Guy and it exists, then you're definitely buying the curry. Alright. Deal. This is like a multi threaded.

[00:58:55] Besnik: That's how the best deals in the world happen.

[00:58:58] Besnik: You know, not a contract, just a [00:59:00]

[00:59:00] Max: gentleman's agreement. This is a nice segue though on the off chance that our friend Paolo comes and kicks us out of here in three minutes. I don't think he will, but we've been talking a lot about growth hacks. And you, you know, you gave your favorite one, which was the, the Twitter like and comment [00:59:15] thing from back in the day.

[00:59:16] Max: The thing that I think is interesting, I think I, uh, we were talking about the growth hacks from back in the day, like this Twitter growth hack, right? And obviously something like that wouldn't work today for so many reasons, not the least of which being that it just wouldn't be possible [00:59:30] because you'd get banned by, by, uh, you know, Master Elon pretty fast.

[00:59:34] Max: Yeah. So, and I think I've seen both of you. Posting in one way or another about kind of like, um, like 2023, growth strategies don't work. Right? And oftentimes [00:59:45] these growth hacks, they're, they're so short-lived, and so you have to like constantly be ahead of the curve. Yeah. And so I'm curious how you, how you do that.

[00:59:56] Max: Like, how do you keep finding these growth hacks that are going to work? [01:00:00]

[01:00:02] Besnik: A mixture of both qualitative and quantitative. Like, since that's been like a theme here, you know, so, I mean, I'll start from my end, right, just briefly, because normally it's just a lot of [01:00:15] research. Like I found a woman, the guys, I knew these guys were doing great, and I was like, this partner, you got a great tool here, you got a good thing going, let's, let's create a hack here, right?

[01:00:23] Besnik: So it's just a creative process.

[01:00:25] Max: What kind of research though?

[01:00:26] Besnik: Just online, uh, you know, just search, I'm always [01:00:30] searching, always researching, always reading. What are you reading? Just everything and anything. Like where the future is. Are you scrolling

[01:00:37] Max: LinkedIn? Are there any publications you read? Google,

[01:00:41] Besnik: publications, everything.

[01:00:43] Besnik: Everywhere where [01:00:45] I think I want to find the right information. Or understand where things are going. That's how I, what I've done to come across what I've learned. And also it's, it's, it's, if you're predicting or trying to see the [01:01:00] future or trying to understand, it's also an iterative process, by the way, right?

[01:01:04] Besnik: You don't just always hit. It's a bit like getting the, you know, if you're VC, you're investing in 10 100 companies like Ultimately, when you had [01:01:15] your bets and you want to go against one particular channel, one's gonna stick and one's gonna yield. So it's kind of that method as well, right? And that's at least for my view is you always Have to constantly well, that's why they say you have to always keep [01:01:30] abreast to the latest technologies, and that's what it is.

[01:01:33] Besnik: You have to. Most people just read a blog from your mainstream media. No, you go deep. You know, you go on to those Reddit threads. You go on to those X or Twitter. By the way, it's underrated. [01:01:45] I really love X when it comes to new insights, and I'm pretty sure a lot of people from LinkedIn just syndicate the content that's on X.

[01:01:53] Besnik: Oh, yeah. Because it's amazing, right? And, um, I'm not a user, to be honest.

[01:01:58] Max: Of X or LinkedIn?

[01:01:59] Besnik: [01:02:00] X.

[01:02:00] Max: X.

[01:02:01] Besnik: Yeah. Like, I think the content there is great.

[01:02:04] Max: You mean you're kind of like a, you're a scroller, but you don't post there?

[01:02:08] Besnik: Yeah, no, I research. It's the research for finding info, but I don't have a following or anything just because [01:02:15] I focus on LinkedIn, for example, at least and other things.

[01:02:18] Besnik: So, but yeah, no, that's my view is that I think you just gotta be a good researcher. I mean, if you if you come from academia in the past or in research, you kind of know where to look. And I know it [01:02:30] sounds very simple and basic, but most people don't do it. They don't search until page 39. Until they can, uh, um, understand if they have everything they want to have.

[01:02:39] Besnik: Well, I think to

[01:02:40] Max: that point, I think a lot of people, but I think a lot of people, they, [01:02:45] they sort of spend all their time researching and not enough time executing or testing. And so I'm curious, how do you take all this stuff that you're getting from these Reddit threads and X and like, when, how do you know which ones to Go and run an experiment or [01:03:00] implement or, you know, test out.

[01:03:01] Besnik: Um, so this is where I pass the baton This is where we make a very good team because are you

[01:03:08] Max: just like you're slacking chintz and all the time Hey, check out this one. Hey, check this out. And

[01:03:11] Besnik: then he but then hey, then he does it to someone else. So [01:03:15] So it's not like i'll

[01:03:18] Chintan: i'll i'll i'll i'll tell you so i'll the thing is like, uh, I think I think back in days, uh as we You It's a, it's a evolution, right?

[01:03:28] Chintan: As we, as we move [01:03:30] forward, um, Some things which weren't, uh, structured and organized are getting organized. What I mean by this is acquisition was one of the biggest issues probably 10 years back and [01:03:45] businesses and growth hackers. Mostly were related to those acquisition. Um, like, Hey, let me try this branding.

[01:03:52] Chintan: Let me try, uh, this integration, uh, cross integration, or let me try this paid media, or let me do this hacks, [01:04:00] different, different things. But now I think the challenge is not around the acquisition challenge is around the retention. Uh, and why I talk about this retention is because the growth hack is going to going to be around the retention and your [01:04:15] growth hack is going to be around your product.

[01:04:18] Chintan: So, so it is easy to bring the people into the ecosystem, but it's difficult to retain them and make sure that they are a customer within the ecosystem. And [01:04:30] that's where your, uh, and development comes in, uh, related to new features or how can you build that stickiness, uh, in your product, uh, by bringing the feature, you know, the convenience, right?

[01:04:44] Chintan: Like for [01:04:45] example, five years before the trend was not five years, I would say 10 years before all the startups, they were, they were, they were like exploded because they were just focusing on convenience, whatever we used to do, but they are making it sure that. [01:05:00] It happens digitally like delivery services, for example, after COVID, there were other services that came up, uh, which is again, convenience, uh, to the next level in a, in a remote world.

[01:05:12] Chintan: And this convenience is nothing but [01:05:15] the product, right? It's an extension of something ecosystem, some ecosystem already, right? Uh, so coming back to the same thing, growth hack at the retention level is all about doing the different research, [01:05:30] understanding what's happening, how we can, uh, uh, bring in that convenience within the product for the user so they can stay there, they can engage, uh, they can retain, uh, within that ecosystem and to answer your question [01:05:45] around like how we could, how we, how, how, how we kind of like put everything together.

[01:05:50] Chintan: This is very simple, very basic way is CDP. What I mean by CDP is like customer development pipeline. So all the research is going to go into your pool off [01:06:00] that pipeline. And then we as a business decide that Which feature or which idea or growth hack we want to pursue, uh, and, and bringing to the product, right?

[01:06:12] Chintan: So growth hack to me [01:06:15] is a very fancy and sexy term. Uh, but you know, it used to be at the acquisition level, uh, probably 10 years back. Now the acquisition problem is pretty much sorted, I guess. I think the problem now is the retention.

[01:06:29] Max: It's this two [01:06:30] prong thing. It's like, it's optimizing for who's going to convert the best.

[01:06:33] Max: Cause then they might just. Come in, especially something that's quick to spin up and relatively low, you know, not huge investment. They might just be gone in the next month. Exactly.

[01:06:41] Chintan: Now you can run the ads and bring the people, right? If you, if you're good with the [01:06:45] numbers, if you could run some models and, uh, bring the people into the ecosystem.

[01:06:49] Chintan: Wait,

[01:06:49] Max: are you trying to say that you have to have a good product for this shit to work? No, I'm not.

[01:06:56] Besnik: It's true. But, uh, but I, I, I can go with Chintan [01:07:00] because I think there's, in order for you to, you know, Understand if you have the ideal ICP, especially if you're product led, right, you don't speak with these guys at enterprise level where, you know, uh, it's you, you'll end up [01:07:15] knowing their whole family tree until they buy, right?

[01:07:18] Besnik: It's more to do with how can you get to the value proposition fast enough with that channel.

[01:07:24] Max: Yeah. And then prove it with the product.

[01:07:25] Besnik: Yes. And then prove it. And they stick around. And you're doing that with data, you [01:07:30] know, not as humans as data. Have they done this events? If you're tracking through mixed panel or Google Analytics, for example, um, or not, because you can, you can, if we, you know, I think we had this data when we were discussing if you had the Facebook or meta, you're [01:07:45] gonna, you're gonna change me now.

[01:07:46] Besnik: Uh, and, and, and Facebook ads or even organic and then, um, you understand, okay, where's the chance because we've seen where we've had, um, uh, met, uh, uh, advertisement. Um, which is non [01:08:00] intent, rather cold. And the retention rate of Google. This was even before perhaps we worked together and we looked at the retention and also the expansion rate, which is like the quality and the size of the company through that channel.

[01:08:13] Besnik: Um, I know. So I [01:08:15] think and then we found that naturally the Google had because it's intent a budget. Which is the conversion rate would increase all the close rates would be a lot higher just because for that and but I think Back to like trends and what's not [01:08:30] working. It's based on that data That's why I think ultimately if it's we we know that that channel is gonna be disregarded and cancelled out Because if they're not expanding or growing or your LTV Decreases because you can tell if you chop mogul, for [01:08:45] example, you'll know instantly and it's attributed it because that's how we track the full flow.

[01:08:49] Besnik: And then we have to reverse engineer that and say, what's the lowest LTV? Because if you use specific filters, because we, what we've done is attributed revenue, even in chart [01:09:00] mobile, for example, through ads or this campaign, even campaign level, nevermind, just as a Google is a massive channel. Um, because you can get long term, long term.

[01:09:09] Besnik: Long term, no,

[01:09:11] Max: long tail.

[01:09:12] Besnik: Thank you. You know, you haven't worked in marketing for so well. I mean, I [01:09:15] used to know this stuff in the back of my head, like long tail. I was like, God damn. Thank you. Long tail keywords versus short term keywords because some will be content based in search, which is slightly less intent.

[01:09:26] Chintan: Yeah,

[01:09:27] Besnik: or something with [01:09:30] define solution software or whatever it is. And then if you, if you, if you channel it through all the way to chuck monger, reverse engineer it, you'll understand the retention levels differ significantly. So back to, like, at least strategy perspective. It's not yes, just research or just [01:09:45] retention.

[01:09:45] Besnik: I think times are changing now, right? Constantly. We have a I now, for example, how's that going to impact strategies for the future? For example,

[01:09:55] Max: How much time do we have?

[01:09:56] Besnik: No, sorry. Are we over talking?

[01:09:58] Max: No, no, I was joking with the [01:10:00] open the AI rabbit hole. We're going to be here. No, no, you're right. You're right.

[01:10:03] Chintan: Yeah, I think, I think like exactly. And the same thing, Wombly, for example, like, you know, Wombly doing great job bringing the people into the ecosystem, but now they are branching [01:10:15] out, uh, like integration with sales flow. So kind of growth hack. Right.

[01:10:19] Max: Right.

[01:10:20] Chintan: Buy warmly, uh, to, you know, now they capitalize on the people.

[01:10:24] Chintan: They make sure that they, the, the, the customer stays with us because it's not just about, [01:10:30] uh, and reaching the data now they can do the different things as well via email, via LinkedIn, uh, prospecting. So, uh, Yeah, I think I think in my opinion now the growth hack is more about like, you know, building that convenience micro convenience, I would say, [01:10:45] all the nano convenience, which is nothing but like the product features like micro features and nano features, which can give convenience to users.

[01:10:53] Chintan: So Eventually, they will stay longer with you, or

[01:10:57] Max: you can have something that is seemingly a small [01:11:00] feature, but in the right sort of cohort, it's a huge feature.

[01:11:02] Chintan: Exactly, exactly. Have you

[01:11:03] Max: guys, have you guys ever added, you know, a specific feature and then just seen like a dramatic uptick from one, like a step change from one?

[01:11:13] Max: Kind of what you're talking [01:11:15] about, these like niche features or micro feature or something that surprised you there? I'd imagine you roll out a lot of features, you know, over time, having done this as long as you have.

[01:11:26] Chintan: Well,

[01:11:29] Besnik: I'm trying to [01:11:30] think, uh, again, for me, it was back when we already, still a year into the product, it was just a, you know, back in Zapier, Zapier integration, for example, in the early days.

[01:11:42] Besnik: Like, you can do so much with it.

[01:11:44] Max: Yeah, [01:11:45] especially for growth hackers. They love

[01:11:48] Besnik: Zapier. You know, uh, That would be one, like, I can really, like, really make a big impact. I mean, obviously for a lot of other reasons, but that was great. I mean, we, it was [01:12:00] the quickest development we made compared to the whole system.

[01:12:03] Besnik: Took us, like, a week. You know, it never had such a big impact for the product that was took in years to develop and that just really, and there's other small hacks as well that we would, would develop [01:12:15] in the past just for influencers, by the way, creators. who would impact our growth in the future, because that's where, you know, a lot of growth came from as well, is working with thought leaders and people who really loved our tool and would share about it.

[01:12:29] Besnik: So we would [01:12:30] try and solve their problems and then they would talk about it, even though that it doesn't solve their users problems, by the way. Sometimes people forget that if you want to work with influencers and others as a growth hack in the future, is solve the problems of influencers who will use your product.

[01:12:44] Besnik: If they would use [01:12:45] it just because they need it, users, then you can have a lot of growth there, too. Slightly separate, but we created sometimes focus our feature sets where, um, where we, we, we, we, we, we, uh, creative features just for them. And that's how it was used a lot [01:13:00] because then they would push it.

[01:13:02] Max: That makes sense. So, you know, I, running up on, running up on time here, I'm curious, uh, I'm gonna, I'm gonna ask, uh, Chinton the, the Grim Reaper. But I'm, I'm curious your thoughts too, Besnick. [01:13:15] Having, you know, obviously run a lot of experiments inside of sales flow. Also been inside of a lot, you know, involved with in various capacities, lots of other businesses.

[01:13:24] Max: I know you guys are advisors and, and so on. So it's not like you're looking at it from one lens.

[01:13:28] Besnik: Yeah.

[01:13:28] Max: Um. [01:13:30] What, are there any growth strategies that come to mind that people just, you see them and you're like, just, just cut it. Just stop, stop doing that. Like, you know, these, the sort of the 2023 playbook kind of stuff, like what we were talking about, that's just not working anymore.

[01:13:44] Max: Are there any that [01:13:45] come, come to mind that are like, especially egregious or, or is it, is it hard to give it a specific one? Is it more philosophical?

[01:13:53] Chintan: I think, I think it's, uh, it's, it's, it's hard, uh, because. It's [01:14:00] hard because a couple of things, uh, because we do a lot of experiments, of course, uh, but our experiments are.

[01:14:10] Chintan: Of course on the ad side as well on the performance marketing side and also on the [01:14:15] product side So we do have a learning on what's working what's not working and idea is to reach that cap that okay We want to hit that 20 percent or we want to hit that 25 percent. How do we reach to that 20 percent 25 percent?

[01:14:27] Chintan: Yes, of course, there will be a lot of things that we will be doing [01:14:30] that's not going to work. Uh, In that Um, but one of the things that I, I, I, I think, and I can, I can, I can share here is, uh, I wouldn't say the growth strategy because it's a very broad term, but I [01:14:45] would say that moving forward, a couple of things that's going to work is like the product led growth, uh, that's gonna even streamline, uh, because product led growth, it's still a broad term, uh, but in that we will be looking at like, uh, [01:15:00] signal led sales.

[01:15:01] Chintan: Thanks. Uh, product qualified, uh, leads, for example, uh, what I mean by product qualified leads is like, you are not gonna like marketing qualified lead and sales qualified lead. You have a product qualified lead. Now that [01:15:15] product qualified leads are the leads basically, where they have an aha moment. The users are having a aha moment that, hey, we like the product.

[01:15:24] Chintan: Now we want to buy your product, right? And and and to to to convert [01:15:30] them that process is going to be done by product led marketing Which is happening inside your product and that's where your remarketing ads are going to come as well outside even though they are a user or product tools, which is Eventually, it [01:15:45] was just used for showing the product here and there.

[01:15:48] Chintan: So What I mean is like, uh, the growth strategy You Is a very broad term, but as we move, uh, to 2024, 2025, in my opinion, it will [01:16:00] be like very streamlined, a very behavior based, uh, very intent. Uh, uh, that's, that's what it's going to look like. Uh, the broad thing is not going to work. Like, so that's the distribution mechanisms are [01:16:15] just so powerful at this point that getting in front

[01:16:17] Max: of people, isn't that, isn't the challenge is getting in front of the right people.

[01:16:19] Max: It's

[01:16:24] Besnik: No, I, I was just gonna, um, you know, I totally agree because I think, um, the way to look at it [01:16:30] is more both also, uh, sort of philosophical where most people are sticking to whatever's working last year and they're just staying there. I think the bad, well, think what people are doing is that they are not changing [01:16:45] or pivoting or testing enough.

[01:16:47] Besnik: Like they're sticking to last year's results and they're not actually experimenting new channels. So they have, they've become sort of, uh, I don't know, hesitant to continue experimenting because they found one [01:17:00] channel that works and I think one wrong strategy that I've had personally in the past, but also I, when I speak to a lot of businesses, they're sticking to one particular area that think that it's good enough when it's not.

[01:17:14] Besnik: There's other [01:17:15] channels that you could be doubling your growth, uh, doubling your size, for example, from that perspective. And also I've become less and less rigid over the years because I'm starting to understand how agile and fast you have to [01:17:30] be. Um, and I think most businesses out there that are looking into strategy again is back to, Hey, even for me, I'm thinking, well, we got PLG.

[01:17:40] Besnik: Let's think about freemium. We're talking about freemium model. We're talking about how do we, you know, [01:17:45] uh, test, adjust a sub product completely to do okay versus within the app versus completely separate. So we're really trying to have an unorthodox approach to everything that we do and just [01:18:00] having what, and I, you know, I was just finished sort of Elon Musk's book and he, he looks at, look at the first principles of something.

[01:18:08] Besnik: So imagine you're just doing it from the beginning and you're starting a business again whilst even though you haven't and just [01:18:15] reverse engineering everything you're doing. and having this mindset or this mind frame of, of, of always, uh, um, taking everything apart and starting from the beginning. And I'm a strong believer in that, for example, and that's why I can run fast.

[01:18:29] Besnik: [01:18:30] We can run really, really fast. Even that's what, that's why I love the beat trap mentality is that I can choose how the space and speed I want to go at. Sometimes you have to go really slow, sometimes really, really fast. on the spot. So I think that's why I'd say most people make [01:18:45] is that they linger in existing tactics too long that they're not quick enough to these tactics.

[01:18:51] Besnik: These channels, if I saw Twitter, for example, or Facebook groups, or, you know, Chintan is seeing a variety ones in an advertisement. We're doubling down because it works [01:19:00] very fast because it might not have the same volume as it did last year. For example, then you missed it. Then your window of growth is gone.

[01:19:08] Max: Yeah, I think it goes back to also kind of what we were talking about earlier and what, you know, you have to, if you want to be [01:19:15] able to do, do this stuff effectively and drive the outcome, which is obviously the whole point is driving some driving exceptional outcome. It's not, it's not just about having the ideas.

[01:19:25] Max: It's not just about doing the research. It's not just even about executing it. It's you have to, [01:19:30] you have to set the culture that this is how, you know, we, we run an experiment, we find something that works. You know, operationalize it, move on to the next one. Operationalize it, move on to the next one. If you're resting on the laurels, at some point it's going to stop working, and then you're going to be holding the [01:19:45] value.

[01:19:45] Chintan: It's, it's a, it's a, uh, you know, it's much easier, uh, to, to, to build a stack strategy, uh, around the customers who are within your ecosystem. Uh, so it's important that [01:20:00] once they come in, uh, to your ecosystem, you can offer them different kind of features and product. Um, and it's much easier, uh, to, to build a strategy using them and with them, uh, [01:20:15] in the ecosystem.

[01:20:16] Max: Yeah. Well, I think, um, you know, before all the cameras die and the audio recording stops and Paolo comes and kicks us out, maybe we call it a podcast. What do you guys think? This has been a blast.

[01:20:28] Besnik: It's been amazing, actually. We, you know, we've [01:20:30] not been stopped talking. It's been like three hours, actually, before the recording started.

[01:20:34] Besnik: So thank you for having us.

[01:20:36] Max: Thank you for coming out and, you know, joining me on the very first world tour.

[01:20:42] Besnik: Next time we're traveling to you. [01:20:45] No, Hydro, any excuse to get away from the British weather because, uh, you see it's cold in the spring. So,

[01:20:51] Max: yeah, I mean, now you, now you can go on a Caribbean vacation and you can call it a business trip.

[01:20:58] Max: You come into the office. We [01:21:00] have some extra desks.

[01:21:00] Besnik: It's done. Are we, are we, uh, are we making a promise because I'm willing to do it? Yes, let's

[01:21:06] Max: do it. Yeah. It's like, uh, recorded on the podcast by when are you coming down? And if not, you have to like eat some really hot, hot sauce or something. I, I, [01:21:15] I

[01:21:15] Besnik: like that.

[01:21:16] Besnik: I like that.

[01:21:17] Max: Yeah, cool. Awesome. Well, I'm going to, I'm going to link to all your stuff in the show notes, you know, sales flow, if anyone wants to get customers. You're an idiot if you haven't signed up. What else? [01:21:30] Follow, follow Banick on X I'm kidding. Follow him on Snick. Yeah. On on X. And, and Facebook. And Facebook and

[01:21:40] Besnik: Yes. So, yeah, literally, if you, if you are, if you're not in B2B, follow me on [01:21:45] Facebook and, uh, and, and, and, and, and something that I don't use like X, but no, I, I, I think to be honest, like, uh, you know, LinkedIn's always a powerhouse. I've met many people who are just not even leveraging it. You'd be surprised.

[01:21:55] Besnik: So yeah, follow me there and our website is salesflow. io. [01:22:00] Um, and we're, we've been writing a lot of content equally with Chintan. So both of us really so

[01:22:07] Max: dropping knowledge bombs on there. I've been liking it.

[01:22:09] Besnik: Yeah. Thanks dude Like I just beginning for the first time to do a lot more I'm i've been a little bit more on the back end [01:22:15] ops Uh in the last five years really focused on product and other things beyond the thought leadership piece

[01:22:21] Max: You're like a butterfly emerging from his cocoon I'm glad you said that [01:22:30] Really Cool,

[01:22:33] Besnik: should

[01:22:33] Max: we go get some curry?

[01:22:34] Besnik: I am, I'm, I'm, I'm starting to get hungry. I'm ready for it. Maybe, maybe a beer first. Because we still have an hour. And curry always tastes better after a beer.

[01:22:44] Chintan: After a [01:22:45] beer.