Insights | Podcasts

BC Startup Sales Podcast – Why Your Sales Capacity Plan Doesn’t Work with Rick Smolen (Intralinks)

Jessica headshot

Jessica Bernido

June 25, 2020
Rick Smolen Podcast 001

This week, Rick Smolen, former VP of Sales at Intralinks and Greenhouse joined us to discuss why your typical sales capacity plan doesn’t work and the importance of investing in marketing. This topic comes up frequently within the SaaS ecosystem because as Rick says, it’s fairly intuitive for companies to think about sales capacity planning through the primary lens of hiring additional sellers and increasing quotas. But does increasing sales headcount and quotas alone lead to continuous outsized returns? Rick brings tremendous expertise to this topic having worked his way up as an individual contributor, manager, and executive at companies like Intralinks and Greenhouse and now works with multiple fast-growing SaaS companies as a consultant.

In this episode, we start off by mapping out the basics of what is a sales capacity plan and dive into how this works in practice. Companies with a growth imperative spend a significant amount of time trying to figure out how they can add more sales capacity to hit lofty revenue goals. Rick observes that at some point this stops working and many companies continue to fall into the same trap of building their growth plans around how many Account Executives they can hire and how much quota they can allocate. We talked through some of the common planning mistakes companies make and then delved into how taking a bottom-up approach in building the top of the funnel can allow for more accurate projections with sales capacity planning. We then talked through hiring and the ripple effect of when planning goes wrong. We cover a lot of ground so I won’t give it all away here but Rick shares lots of thoughts on this topic plus additional tips on how to expand the conversation beyond evangelizing your product and becoming a true consultative seller.

sales capacity plan

Rick Smolen is a passionate and results-focused Revenue Leader with over 20 years of experience in Technology and SaaS businesses. Most recently, Rick led Sales at Greenhouse Software where he oversaw the tripling of company recurring revenue in under three years. This was accomplished by building a world class sales leadership team and transforming the sales process and customer conversation.

Prior to joining Greenhouse, Rick spent over 12 years at Intralinks, a leading Fin-tech software company in a range of sales leadership and International roles helping to grow the company to over $300M in annual sales. He has also held multiple Sales roles at Thomson Financial and began his career in Finance at AlliedSignal. Rick is now continuously engaged in consulting work on behalf of the Revenue Collective, Force Management, and other fast growing SaaS businesses. Rick studied Finance at Penn State University and is an avid reader and runner.

If you liked “Why Your Sales Capacity Plan Doesn’t Work with Rick Smolen from Intralinks” and want to read more content from the Bowery Capital Team, check out other relevant posts from the Bowery Capital Blog.

Related Articles

Startup Sales Podcast Ulysses 001

Leveraging India To Scale Adoption & Growth with Ulysses David (Dataiku)

Leslie Brand Bowery Podcast Image 001

Building Your Customer Advisory Board with Leslie Brand (Alation)

Derek Draper Juniper Square 001

BC Startup Sales Podcast - Metrics Matter: Creating an Effective Sales Framework with Derek Draper (Juniper Square)

Baxter Lanius Alternative 001

BC Startup Sales Podcast - Building a Start-Up in a Bear Market with Baxter Lanius (Alternative)