Podcast Summary.

Podcast - How to improve your employee experience

Episode 51
Episode Summary

Setting Up a Sales Engine From Scratch: A Guide for Growth Stage Founders

As a growth stage founder, setting up a sales engine from scratch is a unique and difficult challenge. It requires a different approach than joining an enterprise with an existing product and sales team. Tidy People Ops is a platform that helps businesses automate onboarding, transitions, and offboarding for their employees. It is a relatively new concept in the world of HR, and it is revolutionizing the way businesses manage their people. In this podcast episode, Kiran Menon, the founder of Tidy, shares his experience and insights on setting up a sales engine from scratch. He also talks about the journey of building the Tidy People Ops platform and the challenges that come with it.

What is People Ops?

People Ops is the merging of HR and IT, where technology is leveraged to deliver the best employee experience. It is a newer concept in the business world, but it is becoming more and more popular as the need for a unified profile of the individual and the automation of data flow across systems increases.

Tidy's Journey

When Kiran Menon started Tidy, he decided to go after larger enterprises, which presented its own set of challenges. To overcome this, they developed a hack to showcase value in innovation centers in Asia before building a global agreement. Now, Tidy serves businesses with 5,000 or more employees, and they typically sell through procurement, which is the centralized purchasing of products and services.

Enterprise Sales

Kiran Menon has 18 years of experience in enterprise sales, and he has found that selling to an enterprise involves a lot more than just selling to the functional head. He explains that it is important to focus on organizational value and ROI, and it proves that you have the security and scalability that the enterprise is looking for. The sales cycle for a startup is much different than a larger company, and it is important to understand the process and the steps involved.

Optimizing the Enterprise Sales Process

When Kiran started out, it took him five to six months to close a deal. He was able to shorten this process by having talking points and collateral prepared for each stage of the sales process. Today, the sales process is down to three to four months for deals over $100K.

Key Takeaways

Kiran Menon’s experience growing Tidy from zero enterprise customers to hundreds of customers in a few short years has taught him valuable lessons about optimizing the enterprise sales process. He recommends preparing talking points and collateral for each stage of the process, identifying the gatekeepers, and leveraging data to deliver a better employee experience. By following these lessons, you can optimize your own enterprise sales process and grow your business.

  1. Identifying Gatekeepers

Kiran recommends identifying the gatekeepers in the sales process. In his case, the CIO organization is usually the gatekeeper. This is because Tidy integrates with multiple systems, such as ServiceNow, IT Health Desk, Oracle, Workday, Paychecks, and more. These integrations require custom work, as each enterprise has a different data structure.

  1. Leveraging Data

Kiran believes that data is the core of everything they do. Employees give more data to their employer than to any other service, such as work history, educational experience, family structure, communication, documents, and more. Tidy is committed to using this data to deliver a better employee experience.

For example, Tidy can use data such as location, designation, work level, and department to give each individual a unique journey. This journey may include setting up an expense account, understanding benefits, and more. At scale, this data can be used to give a more personalized experience to each employee.

  1. Understanding the Challenge

Starting a sales engine from nothing is a daunting task. It requires the founder to have a deep understanding of the mechanics of the process and the ability to translate their tribal knowledge into a lead pipeline. Kiran Menon found that it took him some time to figure it out, and he's still learning new things as he continues to build out the sales engine for Tidy. 

  1. The Role of People Ops

Kiran believes that in five to ten years, the concept of employee experience will become a distributed responsibility across multiple teams. People Ops is a step towards this eventuality, where it's no longer the sole responsibility of HR to focus on employee experience and productivity. 

Tips for Growth Stage Founders

Kiran recommends that growth stage founders focus on lead velocity as their key metric and not shy away from the rough days. He also suggests challenging traditional wisdom by going after the enterprise market if the product is suitable.. 


Tidy People Ops is revolutionizing the way businesses manage their people and it is becoming more and more popular. Kiran Menon's experience in enterprise sales has been invaluable in helping him build the Tidy People Ops platform and navigate the challenges that come with selling to larger businesses. Understanding the process and steps involved in enterprise sales is key to success., As a startup founder, navigating the enterprise sales process can be daunting. It can take months to close a single deal and requires extensive knowledge of the customer’s needs and the value they will receive from your product. Setting up a sales engine from scratch is a difficult task, but with the right mindset and guidance, it can be done. Kiran Menon's experience and insights are a great resource for any growth stage founder looking to get started.

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