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

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

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.

Jessica Bernido
Jessica Bernido
Jessica is the Director of Talent at Bowery Capital based in New York. She works closely with our founders on their human capital programs and hiring strategies. Prior to joining Bowery Capital, Jessica was the Head of People and Talent at Rocketrip where she built and led recruiting, human resources and subsequently ran office management. Previously, she worked at a boutique recruiting agency, Clarity, where she focused on corporate recruitment for creative agencies and tech startups, including Wieden+Kennedy, Shutterstock, and Blue Apron. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Business and Commerce, majoring in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations from the University of Western Sydney.