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$0 to $80 Million – How Vimeo Solved Enterprise Sales in Two Years

No longer the "indie YouTube," Vimeo is taking the enterprise sale by storm. And it's doubling down...

October 3, 2021

$0 to $80 Million – How Vimeo Solved Enterprise Sales

"We didn't have a salesperson two years ago. Now enterprise revenue makes up 25% of our business."

Anjali Sud is having a blast as CEO of Vimeo, a company growing 40% overall and 80% in their enterprise segment (which they define as "subscribers who purchase plans through contact with our sales force"). She took the company public on May 25 and now oversees 1,200 employees, including over 200 in their global sales organization.

When she took the helm four years ago, she literally and figuratively had to answer the billion-dollar question: how do we create that type of value for our customers, employees, and investors?

Headquartered in New York, Vimeo was founded in 2004 and, over the years, became known as the "indie YouTube." Its self-serve, freemium business drove the company strategy until Sud became CEO at the age of 34. As a career-long marketer, she made a bet on the sales profession. "Our product can be our marketing," she mentioned during her keynote as SaaStr last week. Get people using the product for free, and a talented sales force can take it from freemium to $22,000 ACV. That was her answer to the billion-dollar question.  

Fish in your own pond

Vimeo spends next to zero on marketing to the enterprise market. Instead, they empower their 120 enterprise account executives to fish amongst the 230 million freemium users. Sud noticed a signal years ago when more sign-ups were coming with a corporate email address.

The second signal came when her team noticed a dramatic change in the content uploaded to the Vimeo platform. It shifted from long-form creator-led documentaries and feature films to:

  • Corporate townhalls
  • Corporate marketing videos
  • Corporate training

The pandemic accelerated virtual work and the need for companies to take all-things digital more seriously. Like many SaaS companies, this was a boon for Vimeo. Their sales team started closing bigger deals at a faster clip.

Anjali Sud's strategy on lead generation:

"Freemium is our lead funnel. Ultimately, we don't have to fish in other ponds to find our enterprise customers. Over 70% of new enterprise customers start as free and self-serve users."

Customer segmentation is critical

Sud recommends segmenting your sales motion based on the end-user journey. There could be several journeys to map out, but when it comes to the enterprise, she first asked her team, "do we have the right product, and can we orient to serve the enterprise?"

If she could do it all over again, Anjali would have invested much earlier in customer success and user activation before, or at least in parallel with, building an enterprise sales team. If big companies use your product with success, they'll buy more stuff.

In her mind, relationships still matter in software sales. And best-in-class SaaS companies segment their go-to-market with this in mind. A time-intensive relationship is worth it if the customer continues to expand and grow with you. Ask what could be the lifetime value of this customer relationship?  

The enterprise segment for Vimeo is currently showing net revenue retention of 110%.

Double down

Vimeo is hoping to double its sales team in the next year with multiple openings for account executives, sales development, sales engineering, and sales operations. Although the company has experienced fantastic growth recently, Sud quickly reminds others that the "path to success will not be a straight line."

Success always takes longer than we expect, which shines through in her leadership mantra:

"Show patience on vision, impatience on execution."

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