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EP 11: Neetha Ratakonda, founder/CEO of

Podcast Transcript

James Mackey  0:00  
Hello, and welcome to Scale by Design. Today we are joined by Neetha, Founder, and CEO of Neetha welcome to the show! 

Neetha Ratakonda  0:20  
Thanks, James, lovely to talk to you.

James Mackey  0:22  
Yes, I'm really excited about our conversation today. And just to riff on what it's like to be a founder, CEO, and what you're doing and where you are in terms of your phase of growth, and to just share insights with each other, that I think it's going to be valuable to everybody tuning in. 

But before we jump into it, I was hoping you could share a little bit about your background, and how you kind of moved into the founder, and CEO role at BigLittle. And then just a little bit of context of where your company is in terms of growth phase so people can understand your perspective and where you're coming from.

Neetha Ratakonda  0:56  
Sounds good. So my name is Nivedita, but Neetha for short, just like James said, I am a computer science professional, by education, right? I have a master's from CS and from Stanford undergrad CS and from India. So I'm a technology geek, right? I love technology but I've always been interested in how you make these products that people really love, right? And the transition to being a CEO or a founder was a sort of meandering path. Went from engineering, as you know, as an engineering developer to manager then heading business operations for startups in India. And then I just took the plunge. So I have this mentality that if I want to do something, I don't overanalyze, I just jump in and try to figure out how to swim. So that's what I did. 

So I did the first startup, just jumped in, trying to figure out the rest of the whole bunch of things, which is non-tech. And there's this huge world of non-tech stuff, marketing, sales, customer success, or how do you even get customers? So all of those things, right, so that was my first company, it was a good training ground. The first company was sort of acquired by another startup based in Singapore, so got an exit out of that. 

This happened because I was working on a project with a really large multinational company. And they had a very specific problem we had to solve. And we realized that there's a better way to solve a problem, than what was being currently solved. So that's when we did a whole bunch of market research, came back, and said, You know what, this would be a great product to build. And we started working on that. So one thing I did realize with my first company is, hey, just because the technology is cool, don't go build it. Really, really take your time to understand that customers really want it, and what form factor do they need it in? Right? It's not just about building the technology, but how are they going to consume it? So for Biglittle, we did a lot of market research and a lot of conversations. 

So is actually defining a new category. And that's the category of revenue observability. Now, what does that mean?  How do I know what's happening with my entire revenue process? Starting with marketing, sales, and customer success? How is revenue being generated? Why is revenue being lost? Where is it being lost? What's working, and what's not working? It's beyond dashboards, charts, spreadsheets, and the rest of the snapshot kind of visibility that, you know, current revenue leaders have. So that's, that's where we are.

James Mackey  3:57  
I love it. That's really cool. I'm actually really interested to learn more about your product, to dive into it, but I think it's really smart. And I love how you put the emphasis on doing a lot of research and talking with potential customers. And know that's a common kind of pitfall that people seem to make when they're making or building product companies from the ground up.

Neetha Ratakonda  4:19  
Actually, so for engineering grads, who've got the engineering background. That's a huge pitfall.

James Mackey  4:27  
Yeah, I believe it because I've heard from a lot of engineers there are all these cool problems to solve, and then they think like, Oh, well, who wouldn't want to use this technology? Right?

Neetha Ratakonda  4:39  
Technology, Wow, this is so cool. I can do this, this, and this, but what is it doing for your customer?

James Mackey  4:44  
Exactly. Does the customer see it as a must-tag, right? Is it like integration with Salesforce or is that like sitting on top of Salesforce or how does it work from that perspective?

Neetha Ratakonda  4:58  
Yeah. So you know what? We are this layer on top of your GTM stack, your detailed tech stack does not need to change, it's already there, it's functioning, you have a process in place, and we provide you the minute, granular details of how your revenue process is functioning. That's why we call it observability. How is your revenue observability on top of your GTM tech stack, so we integrate with your marketing automation systems, your Salesforce, your outreaches, and your SalesLoft? We even integrate with your CSV modules like you know, Zendesk, and your Salesforce Service Cloud kind of tools. We even go forward and even integrate with the product. Product tools like Pendo. And, you know, Mixpanel.  So we're the true end-to-end rev ops visibility, product. 

James Mackey  6:00  
And so are you. So in terms of phase of growth, are you in scale mode? Or is it still establishing a deeper product market fit and dialing in on these ICPs? Ideal customer profiles? Where are you in terms of building the company right now?

Neetha Ratakonda  6:20  
So our ICP is very, very, very clear, James, it's, you know, these companies that are fast-growing, they have their revenue process in place, they are beyond their product market fit. So these are companies that have a more product market fit already. And these are b2b tech companies, and which have a revenue operations role in place, right? So some kind of even a small Reb ops team. So those are the kinds of personas we're looking at in terms of the companies. What we're doing right now is a product is all done. The customers are using it. We're working on the product experience, I think the product market fit comes in phases. So the initial phase is when you say, Hey, my solution solves some problem, my product solves some problems. So we've sort of validated that, right? 

The next phase is how do I make this product really sticky. How do I really make it so useful to the user, that they come to it every day, and then make it really, really valuable or create value for them? So we're in that phase, the phase where we're trying to have the user use a lot more and solve a lot more of their problems. So that's the phase we're in. We have customers that are willing to, you know, go ahead and pay for it. So we're holding off on the revenue right now to be honest with you, because I really, really want the usage part and not have to tackle the pain part yet. Right? So once they come back and say, Hey, this is what this is the value that we get, we're getting out of it, we're gonna start getting some revenue. And,

James Mackey  7:57  
Yeah, and just kind of honing in on the experience and just kind of being sticky and being used on a daily basis, do you have any examples of how you're doing that right now? Or how you're approaching solving that? I'm just curious, are there tactical examples of how you do that?

Neetha Ratakonda  8:20  
So you know, the most important thing I've realized is to have a single user persona in place, right? You have your company, ICP, that's great, but in the company, who's your primary user? And I think you need to really understand their day-to-day job. And what do they really do on a daily basis? And what pains do they go through in the jobs, it's jobs to be done.  

It's a framework, right? You have the persona for this persona, what are the jobs they do? What are the pain points right now? What is the gain if they use your product? So you got to build out this whole analysis around this specific user, and the jobs to be done. So that's where we are, we've taken that and dissected it to the minutes level and say, Hey, these are the things that they do on a daily basis. So and this is where the friction is, where's the friction for them? Where's the pain for them? That's why we're trying to try to zone in and say, help them solve it.

James Mackey  9:26  
So is it primarily conversations and interviews or is it like shadowing? Do you try to share screens with them and shadow-like their work? Or is it like software that you're using to assist with this? 

Neetha Ratakonda  9:40  
There are a lot of things we did. The first thing was to take Rev ops courses, take the CRO courses, to understand. Really that's the first part of it, read, understand the job, understand what they're doing, and then talk to multiple people shadowing some. Now what we're doing is now that the product is being used, we're sort of analyzing their usage and seeing where they are spending the time. Why did they drop off at this particular point? 

So I think the understanding of these user personas starts at a highly high level first, and it gets more and more and more and more granular. As you have your product usage in there. And then you start tracking where they're, which pages they go to, which module they use, what charts, or which features are they using, right? So we were getting to that point now.

James Mackey  10:34  
So do you ever find situations in which like, there are requests from the user persona, but then you like, build it? And they actually don't utilize it? Or do you feel like, do you feel like that happens? Or do you feel like there are ways to interview or ways to ask or to try to prevent that as much as possible? Because I'm assuming to like when you're starting out, and you're trying to figure out which features to build out in which modules, like, part of the fear is like, Okay, you're going to invest time and resources and, and building this out, but it may not be leveraged as much as you'd like it to. Right.

Neetha Ratakonda  11:06  
Yeah, you know, what, at our stage resources are scant, I mean, really,  there are fewer resources, you got too much to do. So I think one thing for us is we need to be clear, what is our positioning? What are we trying to do? We're clear about what we don't want to be right and actually crystallize more, what we want to be. Because this is a new category, right? So when requests come in, we take a look at those requests very carefully. And we sort of ask the customer, how painful is it if you don't have this?

Then it's an intersection of what we want to be versus, you know, what the customer is asking us. And then you find that intersection and also prioritize, we're always prioritizing the requests that come in. And then we put it down to the dev team to go ahead and build it. You have to be careful what you build. Because obviously, it's like I said, the resources are scarce. You got to build something that gives you the biggest bang for the buck. 

James Mackey  12:13  
For sure. And are you all bootstrapped? Or did you take on funding?

Neetha Ratakonda  12:17  
We did. We did safe financing. Bootstrapped plus safe financing. 

James Mackey  12:24  
Nice. Very cool. And is the goal to do additional rounds? 

Neetha Ratakonda  12:29  

James Mackey  12:29  
That's great. So I wanted to talk to you a little bit about your path as a CEO. One of the topics we had discussed, you know, or, we brought up in terms of somebody that can be cool for us to chat about here is just like the biggest lessons learned, right? Over the past few years, as you're building BigLittle. 

Could you tell us a little bit about the biggest lessons that you've, you've learned and how your kind of perspective on building a company has shifted and evolved over the past few years? And, you know, maybe we can just kind of share some stories back and forth on.

Neetha Ratakonda  13:06  
Sure. When I started BigLittle, I was a solo founder, I did it by myself, right? So what happens there is you start second-guessing yourself a lot. And then you do have a gut instinct, but you know, all those sorts of thoughts that come into your head, sort of cloud that gut instinct, right? And, you start second-guessing yourself. 

So it's great if you have another person or a few people that you can actually, sort of brainstorm with, even if you're a solo founder, it's fine, but you need to have people that you can rely on. Luckily, for me, I had really strong team members that I worked with, initially. And these team members, my founding team, right? They came, and they sort of worked with me in prior companies. So I had that sort of trust and I could depend on them to be able to, for them to give me the feedback or inputs that really helped, and then I bought on another co-founder in the last year. So now it's the two of us that are out there and working together as a team. So that really helps. 

What I would say is being a founder in any startup, right, whether you're solo or you have two, or three founders, whatever I think it's all about, it's a lot about your mental strength. I realized that it's truly a mental strength game, right?  I feel like people don't realize it as much when you're outside, but it's about really the tenacity and the mental strength a lot more than anything else.

James Mackey  15:01  
I agree with you 100%. And I think it's actually something that isn't talked about enough, you have to be incredibly focused and your psychology has to be on point. You know, a lot of the CEOs that I know they're not necessarily the most well-balanced. You know, people, they're a little bit obsessive, and they're very goal oriented. And they're very focused and honed in on their mission, right? And I do believe psychology is, you know, most of the success. You obviously have to be smart, right? You have to be able to solve problems. But I honestly think psychology is probably even more important to a certain degree, obviously, you need to have enough intelligence, but really, I think the difference is psychology. And accounts for success. 

I mean, for me, psychology was definitely the primary driver of success, because I started the company without a lot of years of experience in my industry. So I think I had about three years of experience. And then I started my own firm. So there are no shortcuts, right? Like you can learn at another company, or you can learn at your own company. But, it took me several years of failing and just making massive mistakes, and I pretty much made, like, every huge mistake you can make. And somehow I survived it.  

There were times when I literally just couldn't pay bills, and credit cards were maxed out.  And, I mean, I just remember though, like, there was just this one point where I was like, this is a logical time to quit. Like, this is really bad. But then I was like, Well, you know, what if I don't, and then they're like, What if I can't pay this bill and I just don't until I can? But what if I just don't stop? Right?  What if I just keep going, it can't fail, unless I stop. 

And I don't think a lot of people like this, but I heard once and I don't remember where I saw some article. Was like, businesses don't fail, people quit, and I do believe that, like, I think businesses need to evolve sometimes. And it can be a different iteration of the business than we initially anticipate. But at the end of the day, you know, it's about taking massive action, collecting lots of data, iterating, from that point forward, optimizing, and then being consistent over a long period of time. And that's really what it takes to be successful at building a company. Right?

Neetha Ratakonda  17:42  
I totally agree with you. I think the psychology part people underestimate You gotta have grit. I think grit is a great word. As you said, you can always get the smart but you know, either through hiring or whatever else, but you know, you're the one driving the company, you better have the grit, and tenacity. 

James Mackey  18:04  
Yeah. And I think what you said too, about bringing on, either experienced team members or having the right advisors is critically important, right? And I think I underestimated at the beginning how important that was, I thought, like, if an advisor is good enough, they're good enough, right? And then I've developed a philosophy of good enough isn't good enough, right? Like, you know, you have to, like rewards disproportionately go to the very best, not the runner-up. And so when it comes to building your leadership team, or your advisors, you need the very best people and our job as CEO is to get them on board, at any cost, whatever it takes, because that's going to exponentially impact our growth. 

I mean, I have advisors on our team now that we are paying a lot of money per hour, like a ridiculous amount, and they didn't even ask for that rate. I just went to him, and I was like, Hey, will you do this, we'll pay you X amount per hour, right? Which is a lot more than, like market rate and these types of things. But like, I had specifically sought out specific people. I didn't reach out to like 20 people, I was like, who's the very best person for where we are as a company and what we do? And then I reached out to those individuals and convinced them to kind of come on our advisory team, right? And I think that's the level of focus we need to have, like, we don't want to just get somebody who's like, Oh, they're you know, pretty good. And we know them through a personal connection or work connection. Like you have to be very critical about who you're solving these problems with. Right?

Neetha Ratakonda  19:42  
I agree with you cuz for any person you get on board either on the team or the advisor, there's a lot of give and take. You're spending your time, your energy, interacting with them and figuring out, you know, what the company needs, so you better get the right people on. I think we're at a point where the team has to literally triple or double in the next year or so. So finding the next set of people is going to be like you said, super, super critical for us. And we need to have that laser focus on the kind of people that you want, and where's the gap in the team right now.

James Mackey  20:21  
So what are the skill sets of your current leadership team? So your background is engineering product focused? I think in your previous role, you were Chief Product Officer, right? So you have that technical understanding. Is the Co-founder, you brought on also strong in product? Or did you get somebody that's like a different kind of skill?

Neetha Ratakonda  20:42  
No, it was complimentary. So my co-founder is actually in marketing. He's a Marketing Head. So he's a CMO product marketing leader. So it's sort of its complementary skill set. Right. And that helps, because the perspectives have to be different, you can't have the same kind of people thinking in the same way. 

So right now, those are the only two leadership roles that we have in the team. As I said, my founding team members are phenomenal. Again, they are primarily tech. So there's UI UX, back-end experience, or data science experiences between them, and that really helps. So the next set of hires is going to be more senior. I'll have to, you know, zoned in on those specific roles that we need in the next set of people.

James Mackey  21:35  
What do you think your next leadership hire is going to be?

Neetha Ratakonda  21:43  
We are a Rev ops company, I better have a CRO on board. And, I'm gonna have to hire a product leader. And then probably some folks in marketing as well. And we'll put off the sales a little bit later. And then we'll get the sales lead team on and CS.

James Mackey  22:04  
It's like so many important things to do. 

Neetha Ratakonda  22:06  
A lot of things. 

James Mackey  22:08  
I think our next move is to hire a chief operating officer. Okay, we're around 30 full-time employees, and then with contractors around 40.  And honestly, I should have probably prioritized the chief operating officer hire earlier. But I was looking specifically at recurring revenue services companies, and I was researching the fastest growth, recurring revenue services companies out there. And the two very fastest growth companies that I came across, the CEOs were pretty much in a chief growth officer role. Like they were just relationship-focused, and in content focus, and then they had like a chief operator basically running the business. Right. And so I know, it's obviously like, a little different for a product company. But I still think there's like parallels in terms of like, figuring out like, Okay, what's the core value driver that, like we can bring to the table as CEO. Whether that's like,  talking with customers about product roadmap, or its revenue, or whatever the thing is, right? Fundraising, for instance, you know.

And then and then having like, a very strong executive that can handle everything else. One thing I've learned is like, I should not be involved in personnel matters. You need somebody you trust because it takes up so much time. Not to say I don't engage with my team, I'm just saying, when questions come up about how we're going to evolve, like benefits or time off, or like policies or delivery policies or like, that stuff is just not where my time should be invested. And so that's actually a recent shift, like our Head of Delivery, which is essentially Head of Customer Success. Like she's actually kind of stepping up and just operating the business and then I'm just focused on the podcasts and content and relationships. 

Neetha Ratakonda  23:59  
That's the other thing, James. I think when you actually found a startup and you're evolved, you know, your role is evolving. As the company evolves, your role evolves, right? So initially, whatever you're doing in the first six months of the life of the company changes, and then it changes, and that changes, and then changes. So you, I think, as a Co-founder have to change. You have to do things that only you can do, everything else you got to delegate. I think that's been another thing. That's a huge learning for me, right? 

I mean, when we started off, I was involved in the tech I was having those tech discussions, and obviously with my background, but then once you start to grow and you're looking at customers and doing the evangelism for the company, you can't really do the nitty gritty details of the tech discussions and all of that you sort of have to trust the people that you have in place. So I think the evolution of the role is something that you have to really see that you do it well.

James Mackey  25:05  
Right. And I think you also have to have the judgment to know when you should be the one adapting your skill set versus when you need to hire, get the adviser. It's very easy to go down the rabbit hole of trying to learn stuff when you really should just be hiring the expert.  Because even if you try to learn it, you're not going to do it as well as somebody who's been doing it for 20 years. So I think judgment is super important. And I feel like I am evolving. But I also feel like part of that evolution is developing the judgment to know when I am not the person to do something. And more and more, I'm realizing that I'm not, right?

My job is to assemble a world-class team, market our mission to the world, and craft the vision, Like what are we here to do? It's very clear and simple. We are here to become the category leader in every sense of the term. And to change the way tech companies engage with recruitment agencies, right, fundamentally changed the model from contingent fee base to embedded recruitment on demand. That is our mission. And focus on that vision and focus on getting the right people involved. And selling it. Like that's really it. 

I was speaking with the CEO of a company that scaled from 30 people to 350 people within two years. He did this kind of strategy that I'm referring to the chief growth officer thing I'd love to name drop because I think very highly of them. But I don't know if he'd want that. So I'm not going to publicly on the podcast, but I can tell you more about him. So basically, what he was just like, you know, you gotta get an operator and you know, he's like, quite honestly, sometimes they're gonna do things that you disagree with, or that you would prefer to do. But he says, you just have to let that slide like, It's worth it. Like, just let them do it their way. And even if you're like, I wouldn't have done it that way. That's okay. You just need to be focused on that core, like one thing, right? 

And so every once in a while, I look at my calendar, and I'm like, okay, is this aligned with what I decided I need to be focused on? Like, is all this stuff creeping up on my calendar that is not correlated for me to like, the chief growth officer thing, right? And, it took me a while to really like, buy into this. But it's to the point now, where like, literally 90% of my calendar is like, just growth-oriented.

Neetha Ratakonda  27:39  
Awesome. I think I need to get there. I don't think I'm there yet. But it's like I said, it's an evolution, right? I mean, and contingent on the fact that you have really good people on your team that you 100% trust, and you don't have to second guess, right? So you really need to get that set up in your team. And then I think you're, you're pretty much good to go.

James Mackey  28:02  
Yeah. I feel it's like, how do you recruit a world-class team? And again, there's a lot of, I don't know, like the content on LinkedIn, or like, don't hire people that are motivated by money. And I get it like, you want people that are bought into the mission, and values are aligned. Like, I totally understand that. But, money matters. I think more than like, we're seeing on LinkedIn content, like people are just like, you don't want somebody that's coin-operated, or, you know, whatever. It's like, money matters.

Neetha Ratakonda  28:33  
Yeah, and it's not binary, right? There's gonna be people for whom money does matter. And they're going to be just as passionate or, you know, bought into your vision. Go for it. 

James Mackey  28:47  
It's both right. And I think it's just like, money, the vision, the mission, is that clearly articulated the values? Is it exciting? Is it something new? Are you creating a new category? Are you at the front of that? Know what your vision of the future is. Why are you well-positioned to thrive in that future? Why are you the right leader to drive that? 

I mean, all of that stuff is like, critical, right? And I just can't emphasize enough how important it is to just build that world-class team and I feel like for product CEOs to then like the in addition to that, it's like, world class team, and then fundraising. Oh, yeah, like being really good at that right, which I've never done before. So I don't know how good I'd be. I think I would have to get advisors to tell me exactly how to do that. 

Neetha Ratakonda  29:34  
Yeah, that's a whole other ballgame. I think that's something that you'll just have to do. Like it or not, doesn't matter.

James Mackey  29:42  
But I heard it can turn into basically a full-time job for the CEO sometimes, like, through that motion. It's like they're literally not operating the business. They're not doing anything else. They're just trying to get their pitch deck down and their positioning and their strategy for the future. 

Neetha Ratakonda  29:57  
But you know what? I'm actually going through that process right now, and I think it helps. So unless you put it down, and you're really, really clear, and we don't really do that on a daily basis, and we don't do that on even a quarterly basis, to be honest with you, we know that this is working customer wants this blah, blah, blah, whatever but articulated, put it down on paper, and this helps, this exercise. 

I'm going to be jumping into fundraising in the next few months, but I want it to be fun. I really want it to be fun. And I think it's going to be fun because I feel like we have a unique product that isn't out there. And I just want to show the investors the value that we can bring to the market and just, you know, they have to get it. That's it. For sure. You have to be sort of excited, tell them that story that they get it. So I'm hoping that's going to be fun.

James Mackey  30:59  
Yeah, yeah, I hope so too. And you gotta let me know how it goes. Definitely teach me anything you learned. And tell us all about it, when it's done. But, I did have kind of a follow-up question for you, actually. So you mentioned that you're kind of holding off on revenue. The focus is making it really sticky and kind of optimizing the experience. How do you know when to shift into like revenue mode? Right? Because obviously, I feel like investors are going to be asking that too, right? How do you think about that strategy?

Neetha Ratakonda  31:37  
So I feel like, you should start talking about revenue when you say you're gonna pull out the product. And the customer says, Oh, no, I've been using it for this and it's given me value. So that's the point, I think you have to do it because I think we're there, and there are a couple of customers who are willing to pay right now. So we just have to get through the motion of getting those POS and all that stuff. So telling them that your trial period is over. This is the end of the trial period. Now, what do you want to do with it? And they come back and say, hey, we'll pay for it. That's like the litmus test. 

James Mackey  32:27  
Yeah. So it sounds very situational too, based on the business, right? 

Neetha Ratakonda  32:32  
For me, this product has to create value.

James Mackey  32:35  
Right? Yeah. Like they can't live without it. Like, once they've experienced, the value adds. I guess my other question is, like, how much thought and focus have you put into pricing thus far? And how do you think of that high-level strategy? And then what are the tactics? So other, you know, CEOs and venture capitalists and people just kind of tuning in, how should they think about pricing? And how are you kind of thinking about it?

Neetha Ratakonda  33:02  
Well, I'm learning this as I go along as well. Right? So the way that I'm looking at it for my specific product, is this: the initial customers who came in and they've been sort of our design collaborators, right, they've sort of helped us with, see where we're analytics, AI, ml,  company, right? So we need the enterprise data, we need the data from your Salesforce marketing, automation, your outreaches, and all that stuff. 

How are you gonna get that without having a collaborative partner? You can't fabricate enterprise data, it's not easy, you're gonna build, you know, all your models are going to be wrong, and so on, and so forth. So, these initial customers really helped us with that, right? So we went to them, they gave us data, we refined it, so we helped them with it. So for them, you really have to take that into account and give them a price that they're willing to pay for. And you know, what, they've stood with you so you're okay if you give them a discounted price. 

Now, at the same time, there are different kinds of customers, right? So how do you sort of protect yourself from not giving a flat rate to all kinds of companies? There are variables for every product or service that you're giving? How do you protect yourself and not lose the upside for pricing? So we're gonna go with a tiered model based on certain criteria, and mid-market companies or enterprises are going to be very different from, say, large enterprises like Microsoft or Cisco or whatever, right? So we'll have to protect ourselves against the complexities of the larger enterprise and price them differently. 

So we're coming up with a model where it's going to be tiered based on certain criteria and also based on certain features. So some features are going to be a lot more complicated like they need a lot more data and a lot more involvement. I mean, in general, I think what we're trying, we're looking at it that way, you have a tiered model, so that we can sort of have differentiated pricing based on the size of the company, and so on and so forth.

James Mackey  35:21  
For sure. Yeah, I feel like, and obviously, this is a little bit different, because we're services. But we've really honed in on our ideal customer profile. And we've just decided, like, we're just not focused on enterprise, we thought about making the jump, and okay, let's get fortune 500. But there are just so many obstacles to that. We do have like a couple of really huge customers, but we didn't really like to target them, right? It just kind of happened through relationship. And honestly, our contracts with them aren't necessarily huge. Because we don't actually have a built-like account management function yet to do things like sales and cross-selling and all that kind of stuff.  So, you know, I tried to do that. 

Neetha Ratakonda  36:01  
The really large enterprises need a completely different sales motion and different kinds of engagement. So you need to have that built into your sales function somehow. And, you should have thought through the whole process. Before you get in there, I think.

James Mackey  36:17  
Well, yeah. So like, some of the advice from one of our revenue advisors was like, Okay, so you're working with a lot of companies that are at this level scale, like, you know, earlier growth stage, right? And we have later some great growth stage, you know, IPO level companies, public companies, but now by larger, we're working with a lot of growth stage, let's go the next tier up to just focusing on late growth stage because they're more similar to your current ICP, you're gonna be able to talk their language better, they're bigger deal sizes, so you're putting together more complex like solutions, right? But he basically wants us to, like graduate step by step and work our way up to enterprise as opposed to just like, jump straight there. And so I guess it's like, it's a little different with the product, right? 

Neetha Ratakonda  36:59  
The same thing applies because you know, what? The problems that the user persona that you're solving for at a mid-market company, is going to be different from an enterprise larger enterprises, for example, you take our product, right? They're gonna have a huge rev ops team, and each business unit of theirs is going to be like a company, right? And then the entire business unit is going to be like a separate company, their function is to separate their multiple product lines, how do you deal with that complexity with your product is not going to scale automatically. You can't do that, you really have to do it all over again, start from scratch a trial with them, and see, you know, all that stuff. It's gotta be happening. 

James Mackey  37:46  
And hopefully, like, be able to, like, roll out within like, one segment like one business. 

Neetha Ratakonda  37:51  
Yeah, and sometimes, these divisions have their own CS, they have their own rev-ups, they might have their own, you know, separate functions. So, you know, I think it's a completely different engagement. 

James Mackey  38:09  
And you have to have a great CS organization in place. I feel like that would be like our full-time jobs, too. If we like either one of us leans into Microsoft, like, well, that's what I'm doing for the next three months. And it's also scary when you're younger, like a smaller company, because then so much of your revenues are tied to, like, one customer, and then all your focus is going to that one customer. And you have to be really careful. 

So that's another reason why we're not targeting enterprise because, you know, we've had customers that stretch us where we're like, Okay, we have to grow into this client a little bit and even out our revenue. But it hasn't been to like, you know, it's not like we have like one customer that's like, 75% revenue. Like we've had some situations in the past where it was like, 20-25%. And that felt really scary.

Neetha Ratakonda  38:57  
Yeah, it's a little scary if you have 75%, my goodness.

James Mackey  39:00  
Yeah, I know, like, that's how some companies operate. But, you know, now it's, we have a much healthier, like model in terms of our revenue breakdown, fortunately. But that's another thing to look out for, like your focus, your attention, but then you're also very highly leveraged. And then also, like, you know, from a product experience standpoint, too, right? Or even services, like you, want to make sure that the whole delivery experience is ironed out so you can make a good impression on those larger customers. So there's just so much complexity as you said, totally different sales motion. Totally different, like delivery motion.

Neetha Ratakonda  39:37  
Yep. You have to think through it. You can't just jump into it. You really really have to think through it, plan it, and get the right people. You know, the teams have to be different. So everything's gotta be I mean, it's like, yeah, I don't know completely new products even sometimes.

James Mackey  39:54  
Yeah, I feel like you need to like handpick leaders that specifically focus on Enterprise at that point. Honestly, I could keep talking with you for hours about this stuff. And I think this would probably be like a logical point to kind of end the conversation just because we're gonna be coming up on time anyway. And I don't want us to be like, rushed for the last two minutes. But, as we're about to sign off here if people want to engage with you if they want to learn more about your company, what's the best way for them to get a hold of you or to reach out?

Neetha Ratakonda  40:29  
Oh, my LinkedIn, I'm pretty active on LinkedIn. You can just look for Neetha and BigLittle as the name of my company. I don't think people will forget it. So you should just look for that. That's the easiest way and there's an email address on LinkedIn as well. So if you want to write to it, that's possible.

James Mackey  40:53  
Okay. Really cool. Well, thank you so much for joining us today on the show and for sharing your insights and experiences. I really appreciate it.

Neetha Ratakonda  41:02  
It's always great to talk to another Founder CEO and you know, just chat about what's the deal with the whole thing but yeah, appreciate it, James!

James Mackey  41:12  
For sure. Nobody else really gets it.

Neetha Ratakonda  41:15  
Well, you have to go through the journey.

James Mackey  41:18  
Right. You can intellectually understand to an extent, but it's totally different doing it right. And for everybody tuning in, thank you for joining us, and we'll see you next time. Take care.

Neetha Ratakonda  41:30  
Thank you. 

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