How Crunchbase Ran a Successful Sales Process With Scratchpad Resulting in a 30% Reduction in Their Sales Cycle

Company: Crunchbase

HQ: Remote-Based

Industry: B2B Finance Tools

Size: 300+ employees

The Challenge: Build a consistent sales process to improve data hygiene and capture revenue opportunities that were slipping through the cracks

The Solution: Implement Scratchpad to drive process adoption, establish Salesforce as a trusted source of truth, deliver more revenue.

The Results:

  • 30% reduction in sales cycle length (50 days to 35 Days) in under 60 days
  • 43% increase in pipeline generation in less than one year
  • 138% increase in outbound sales pipeline generation in less than one year
How Crunchbase Ran a Successful Sales Process With Scratchpad Resulting in a 30% Reduction in Their Sales Cycle

Crunchbase is a prospecting platform powered by best-in-class proprietary data. It helps over 75 million dealmakers discover, qualify, track, and engage with the right opportunities so they can search less and close more.

Automated outbound campaigns are only as effective as the list they’re targeting, but with unique funding data and other insights, Crunchbase is the best way for companies to create targeted lists of accounts that are ready to buy.

Since becoming an independent company in 2015, Crunchbase has grown to 300+ employees.  But like most companies who’ve experienced successful growth, the path to get there was not easy. In order to become a data-driven Revenue Team that resembled the customers they were serving, they had to build their sales processes and systems from the ground up.

This is how they did it.

The Challenge: Build a consistent sales process to improve data hygiene and capture revenue opportunities that were slipping through the cracks

Back when Natalie Blardony first joined Crunchbase as an SDR in 2018, the sales organization was still very small with minimal infrastructure.

Blardony, a proactive, technology-driven rep, transitioned into Sales Enablement in 2019 and eventually Revenue Operations in 2021 where she manages their tech stack and analyzes revenue performance to find gaps in their process and create predictable forecasts for leadership.

“When I moved into Enablement (in 2019), we had 3 Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) and 3 Account Executives (AEs),” but despite their small team, they were effective at driving revenue due to the fact that their AEs had been at Crunchbase for a few years, developed incredible product knowledge, and worked very tightly with their SDRs.

However, their success blinded them from flaws in their process, or lack thereof. “We were actually hitting our numbers,” says Global VP of Sales Ang Mcmanamon. So there was no urgency to stop and say “we got to get better [at Salesforce hygiene].”

“There was no process, there was no structure. There was no playbook. There was no Ops team so it was on a marketing person and an AE to set up Salesforce. Our tool stack was Salesforce, Salesloft, and the knowledge in the AEs head.”

But as the company grew, their flaws became more obvious.

New-hire AEs didn’t have the same success as their tenured reps because there was no knowledge sharing or process for them to follow. To make matters worse, when a tenured AE left, they took that knowledge with them so it became even more challenging to maintain output because information was scattered.

“Where are the notes on those old opportunities that are still open? What are the relationships like with these prospects? How do you recategorize old opportunities that had old opportunity stages? What's the context there? What did he mean when he wrote x,y, and z down?” These were all questions that Blardony and McManamon had to tackle on the Enablement and Ops side to ensure the sales team could meet revenue expectations, let alone exceed them.

Deal cycles and ramping periods for new hires were way too slow. Forecasts were unreliable. The company specializing in private and public company information, couldn’t provide that to their own sales team or leadership.

When McManamon joined the team in the Fall of 2021, they were about to grow the sales team from 16 to 40 people so urgency was at an all time high. Thankfully, McManamon had been there before. “The biggest issue for every and all sales teams that I've ever run has been Salesforce hygiene. I mean, that is by far the biggest pain with sales teams.”

Salesforce hygiene is a pain that you can’t ignore because it affects every aspect of a sales organization. Without it, leadership is handcuffed because they don’t have reliable data to make strategic decisions. If you miss your number, there’s no way to go back and iterate because you don’t even know where to begin.

“It was really important to start tracking things so we could begin to say ‘this has to get better to improve win-rate’ or ‘We need to improve on this to grow pipeline.’ And that’s what the board wants to see too.”

The Solution: Implement Scratchpad to drive process adoption, establish Salesforce as a trusted source of truth, deliver more revenue.

Before implementing Scratchpad at the beginning of 2022, Mcmanamon, Blardony and the rest of the Ops and Enablement teams instituted a number of changes. They created a playbook for sales to follow and an onboarding process for new reps to ramp faster.

One of the sales managers even tried to implement Dooly but it was not widely adopted by the sales reps.

Blardony took a step back and asked herself the most important question:

“How can we make sure Salesforce is the one source of truth?”

They have so much historical data in Salesforce from people who aren't there anymore, but nobody knows how to navigate through it. “Nobody knows how to get to the gold that's in there that could help us unlock so many potential opportunities. So how can I make that easier for sales?”

Luckily, an SDR had previously approached Blardony about Scratchpad. “He noticed all the same issues of not being able to have insight into opportunities and Salesforce being hard to navigate. He argued that this would solve all of our knowledge gap and Salesforce hygiene problems.”

“I just knew that if sales was able to really get a full understanding of our pipeline, of the opportunities that lie inside our CRM - there's so much money on the table that we can gain back.”

At the time, their tech stack included Salesforce, Gong, Outreach, Dialpad, and Docusign. These tools were great, but they didn’t help their AEs in Monday Morning Meetings when they were forecasting deals by licking a finger and holding it up in the air to predict how much revenue was coming in. “If I want people to have more confidence in their forecast number, then they’re going to have to understand the information in Salesforce better and actually input that data into Salesforce. That’s what I wanted to accomplish with Scratchpad.”

The Results

Data Hygiene

Since implementing Scratchpad in January of 2022, Blardony says Crunchbase’s Revenue Team has seen “a total 180” in Salesforce hygiene.

Testimonial from Natalie Blardony, Sales Ops at Crunchbase
“In terms of the data that's being put in, opportunities are not missing next steps, there are thorough notes and there's a lot more ability for Ops and Leadership to gain insight into the state of the pipeline when [we’re] doing analysis. And it’s thanks to the data that reps are inputting,” says McManamon.

It’s even turned salespeople with zero tech experience into data-driven rockstars. “Nellie is one of our top outbound SDRs and she was a nanny with zero tech experience before coming to Crunchbase. With Scratchpad, she’s creating list views, sharing them with her team and is one of the most data driven people in the whole organization. I think a lot of that has to do with how she’s learned to visualize the data thanks to Scratchpad.”

Getting buy-in from frontline reps has led to an improved process and solidified Salesforce as the one source of truth showcasing how frontline adoption leads to bottom line results.

“It's made my team want to update Salesforce. My team has fun updating Salesforce and updating their numbers. It's a vital tool. I think it's so significant in what it does for the reps and my managers. It’s so loved because it’s just very seamless and very easy to use.”


Before Scratchpad, leadership did not trust the numbers that AEs and managers would commit in their forecast.

“It's very hard to tell what's going on in the pipeline if a lot of things are just sitting in discovery and demo stages,” says McManamon. “Until Scratchpad, I don't think that we were focused on movement.”

It’s easy to enter a dollar amount on an opportunity, add it to your pipeline with an expected close date, and cross your fingers that it’s going to close in 30 days. It’s another thing when leadership has full visibility into the different stages of your deals to see why a deal is stalled or why it’s advancing.

“We started to have more specific pipeline meetings where one of my managers will lead a session and they bring up that person’s Scratchpad. It allowed us to ask the specific question about what we needed to move something to the next stage and build that habit. You talked about money so why doesn’t this client have a proposal? What was the last conversation we had? And then we’ll just do automatic updates in real time in Scratchpad right in the meeting.”

Finally, managers can trust their reps, leaders can trust their managers, and the C-Level can trust their leaders when they commit to a number for the quarter. Oh, and the board is happier too.

Pipeline Generation

Despite the macroeconomic climate, Crunchbase’s ACV has remained steady, but even more impressive is that their pipeline generation has increased by 43%.

“Before implementing Scratchpad, we were heavily reliant on our inbound lead gen, it was like a 70/30 inbound/outbound split, and now it’s 50/50 while our outbound pipeline as a whole has grown 138% after implementing Scratchpad."

By spending less time on administrative tasks, reps can spend more time building out their pipeline and advancing deals to next stages. With information being correctly logged into Salesforce, it’s easier to advance deals through the pipeline or close out the ones who are a bad fit.

Shortened Sales Cycles

“Before we implemented Scratchpad, our average sales cycle was around 50 days. Then 60 days after we were at 35 days, which is just massive, right? We've become a quicker, more efficient team, based off of that stat alone,” proudly claims McManamon.

Testimonial from Ang McManamon, VP of Sales at Crunchbase

Their sales cycle shrunk because “we got better at explicit next steps and what we needed from the buyer. That's why we were able to shave 15 days off of our sales cycle.”

Similar to forecasting, Scratchpad allowed their sales reps and leadership to become more strategic and detail-oriented. They were able to be data-driven because they actually TRUSTED their data.

There are a million factors that go into a successful Revenue Team. People, playbooks, leadership, economic factors, just to name a few. But whether you’re a growing startup or you’re an established titan of industry, giving your sales team the tools they need to work with speed and efficiency is critical.

“Getting people more efficient, getting more output and getting a better win rate is really important. We want to focus on metric-driven leadership to figure out how we can play with the team we have and get them better,” says McManamon.

They are not the only company today that is trying to do more with what they currently have.

With Scratchpad, your team is able to achieve that by reinforcing process and data hygiene so you can spend more time strategizing and closing big deals. “Anybody that has a 10 person org or 1000 person org could benefit from Scratchpad. Unless somebody's actually going in for the sales rep and inputting data for them, it’s going to be a struggle unless you have a workspace like this." concluded McManamon.

Learn more ways that Scratchpad can help your Revenue Team.