We’ve equipped the companies in our second Accelerator cohort with a bell to ring every time they close a sale. This stems from a practice started by Accelerator graduate The Better Software Company (TBSC). Founder and CEO of TBSC Steve Cody explains why the bell is effective in building culture, instilling passion and driving hustle in a SaaS company.
I’ve been an entrepreneur for 20 years running different types of small businesses - everything from Halloween and party shops to equipment rental services. As a small business owner I’ve learned that every business needs to decide the type of culture they want to create for their employees.
When operating a party store, the culture I created was customer-focused. All staff catered to the needs of the client - whether they were making a purchase or renting items. This helped everyone to remember that excellent customer service is a top priority.
In my businesses that had a franchise model I made sure that the culture was process-driven. This ensured that everyone was focused on following procedures and guidelines, making it easier for franchisees to operate their business.
For a SaaS company, generating sales and monthly recurring revenue should be at the center of your entire team’s world. Every action, every strategy, every effort should be for the purpose of generating sales.
At The Better Software Company, I use a bell to motivate the sales team. Every time a sales rep closes a deal, they ring the bell, and the entire team claps for them. This gives everyone in the company a huge morale boost, keeps energy levels high and creates healthy competition.
Most importantly, we use the bell as a tool to celebrate achievements and recognize people’s contributions to the team.
I also use the bell as a tool to instill passion into the team. As I’ve learned, passion is not something that can be learned, or taught. Oftentimes, in a startup, a team’s passion can outweigh their lack of experience, and lead to amazing results. I’ve seen this firsthand many times. Years ago, I provided inventory to a temporary Halloween store I was sure would not do very well, as they were opening up later than usual in the season. Despite their late start, they managed to generate six figure revenues, and on top of that, they made a profit. It was clear they were passionate about working hard and getting the results they wanted, despite their lack of experience. This really showed me that in any business, passion and a positive attitude can go a long way.
I have also seen passion lead The Better Software team to make amazing things happen - like our 35% MoM growth. This is why we started giving out weekly Hunger
Awards that recognize a team member’s determination and how they went above and beyond for the company.
When a new person rings the bell, it signifies that they’re a part of the team. This is really important for team-building and really shows how supportive everyone is of one another. It also sets the pace for new team members and encourages everyone to work really hard. It goes without saying that a startup team has to be in it for the long haul. Work ethic and hustle to get the job done over those long days, weeks and months are very important.
I think creating healthy competition is important, and it allows everyone to consistently re-focus on the common goal.
The bell also helps the members of our team that are on the technical side, who don’t often interact with customers, to hear the tangible results of their hard work on the back end. It reminds the group as a whole that while we’re a software business, our real focus is on helping small businesses and the owners behind them.
The Future of the Bell
I’m really glad that L-SPARK’s current and future portfolios will be a part of this tradition. In SaaS the goals are clear – increase monthly recurring revenue and create hockey stick growth.
Not only does the bell help motivate the companies individually, it will also strengthen them as a community. As the founders observe each other’s wins, they are reminded that they are all in this together. By celebrating together they collectively take one step closer to their goals of generating multiples on revenue and inevitably reaching the coveted Series A investment.