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Chief Revenue Officer: Lack of Outside Investment Sets us Apart

Last week, we shared the news of our ranking on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 and Fast 500 lists. While we are excited to be recognized in this way, it isn’t so much about being named to the lists as it is about managing to stay on for a second year that we think is the real achievement. As Greg Malpass, founder and CEO of Traction on Demand, says, “In many cases, firms like ours may appear once on this list and then quickly drop off for the simple reason that adding one million dollars in revenue at an early stage is a lot easier than adding 10 million dollars.”

To find out what plays into Traction’s staying power, we spoke to Andrew Buckley, Chief Revenue Officer about growth, agility and controlling our own destiny.

Q: How does Traction compare to the other companies on the lists?
A: We’ve never taken money from investors so we have a tremendous amount of freedom to evolve where we think our business should go rather than meet the needs of others. We’re controlling our own destiny at a speed that we think it right for us.

Q: What role has technology and Salesforce, specifically, played in Traction’s growth?
A: We believe that every company needs to become a technology company. This means leveraging technology rather than working around it. Internally, Salesforce has allowed us to connect data in ways that propel our business forward. We use the platform for everything: recruiting, marketing, sales, expenses, project delivery, Dun & Bradstreet, customer satisfaction and so on. It allows us to gain insight into what projects our people like to work on – which has to do with engagement – what verticals the projects are in, what geographies we should attack and which reps sell the deals that create the most profit. This kind of seamless data flow really provides momentum to take us where we want to go.

Q: To what do we owe Traction’s revenue growth?
A: Proving we had something of value that we could scale. From a Traction perspective, growth and revenue is the validation from your marketplace that you’re in the right place at the right time and that you have something that people want. Our first phase was about growth; our second phase is about showing that we’re a great company by aligning people and process. In the whole process, you have to be working toward an intentional outcome.

Q: What does Traction do differently from other consulting businesses?
A: In our market, we’re changing the way consulting companies work. Traditional consulting companies have always done things in a certain way but we can’t be afraid to take risks. We have to think like a software company, nimble and agile, because cloud infrastructure changes so much. Being a blend between a consulting company and a software company allows us to really understand what people want.

Q: What other factors help us succeed?
A: It’s about recruiting and it’s about our people. Hiring the right people. Having a culture of working with the best of the best. Our hive mentality compels us to work together as a team and strive for excellency. No one is more important than the clients we work with. We’re are super-fast paced but we can step back and take them along on the journey. That’s where the payoff is. Then, we anticipate where the market is going next. We’re continuing to master what we’re good at to build long term growth.

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Andrew Buckley is Chief Revenue Officer at Traction.

See the full 2016 Fast 50 and Fast 500 lists.

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