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Case Study: A Funnel of Top-Tier Sales Talent in the Perfect Location for Couchbase

 

Introduction

Today, business applications need to be able to handle a greater variety and volume of data than ever before, and many legacy systems can’t keep up with those changing requirements.

Couchbase fills that gap with a database solution that offers flexibility and unparalleled performance. However, because of Couchbase’s highly technical product — and its office location in Silicon Valley — it faced unique challenges in hiring and retaining an effective sales team.

Couchbase initially turned to memoryBlue for reliable sales development representatives with the right attitude and skills, who could successfully drive new opportunities for the company.

Ultimately, memoryBlue provided not only the right people, but also the right office environment Couchbase needed to grow and retain a successful sales staff.

Business Challenge

In the Bay Area, where Couchbase is headquartered, the sales job market was competitive. When companies in the area received funding and entered growth mode, they often attempted to quickly hire sales staff by sweeping through other companies’ sales departments and luring reps away with significant raises.

In such a volatile environment, Couchbase needed a way to maintain consistent staffing levels within its sales department.

To add to the challenge, Couchbase offered a high- tech, complex product with a unique sales cycle. “We sell infrastructure, on which applications will live,” said Jim Mongiello, vice president, world wide corporate sales at Couchbase. If customers purchased that infrastructure too far ahead of the application development, they risked not seeing the value from their purchase.

“It can be easy to get into a cart-before-the-horse situation. Our reps have to be able to marry the sales cycle to customers’ buying journey, working with the application development cycle to time the sale correctly.”

Couchbase needed a way to both hire the right sales reps and maintain a consistent team despite the competitive job market.

The Solution

Mongiello first became aware of memoryBlue at an event where he and Chris Corcoran, cofounder and managing partner at memoryBlue, were on a speaking panel together. “He was telling the story of what memoryBlue does, and I realized that’s exactly what we needed,” said Mongiello. “The memoryBlue model was very appealing, with the ability to essentially try and buy.”

The partnership began with two sales development representatives and quickly evolved from there. “We realized we wanted to convert memoryBlue reps to full-time,” said Mongiello. However, hiring those employees full-time and bringing them out to the Bay Area office would expose the company to the challenge it was actively trying to avoid.

Instead, Couchbase took advantage of a unique option to house its team in memoryBlue’s Austin, Texas office.

“We provide the option to clients to rent space for their team within our office,” explained Nimit Bhatt, managing director at memoryBlue. “That solves the retention issue and provides an engaging, motivating culture for employees who might otherwise be remote.”

Results

“The ultimate success metric is how many memoryBlue reps we’ve converted to full-time employees,” said Mongiello. Over the course of the partnership, Couchbase converted 10 memoryBlue SDRs to full-time employees who work in memoryBlue’s Austin office.

“They have been promoted through the ranks to inside sales, and they are now carrying multi-million dollars’ worth of net new and renewal quota,” said Mongiello. “And our business development representatives are consistently beating opportunity creation goals on a monthly basis.”

Mongiello attributes much of that success to memoryBlue’s model of identifying and assigning the company successful SDRs. “memoryBlue has been able to refine the profile of what we’re looking for,” said Mongiello. “They understand the characteristics required to be successful at Couchbase, and they find the people who fit those requirements.”

Housing the Couchbase team in memoryBlue’s Austin office has helped the company protect against Bay Area recruiters. However, beyond simply providing an office location, memoryBlue serves as an ongoing source for qualified, successful sales representatives.

“memoryBlue gives us a steady stream of additional resources that we can tap into on an as-needed basis,” said Mongiello. “So when we go through a round of promotions — either to inside sales or to BDMs — we can backfill those positions with people from memoryBlue.”

Its strategy is working. Based on the performance of the company and its sales team so far this year, Couchbase is well positioned for growth. “This is already starting out as our best year and best Q1 ever,” said Mongiello.

About Couchbase

Couchbase’s mission is to be the database platform that enables a revolution in application innovation. To make this possible, Couchbase created an enterprise-class NoSQL database to help deliver ever-richer and ever-more-personalized customer and employee experiences. Its geo-distributed database provides unmatched developer agility, manageability, and performance at any scale.

To see more examples of how memoryBlue helps clients radically improve their sales development efforts, visit our Resources section.

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