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The

State of Sales & Marketing

50
at the

Fastest-Growing
B2B Companies
created by:

in the U.S.

In July of 2016, Mattermark and Drift teamed up to identify the 50

fastest-growing B2B companies in the U.S. using Mattermark data. By
analyzing these successful companies, we hoped to uncover the sales
and marketing strategies that are most effective for driving growth.This

Report details our findings and offers insight into how you can leverage
them to drive growth in your organization.

created by:

How we built the list of the 50 fastest-growing
B2B companies
Data is only useful if it’s easy to access
and highly actionable. That's why we used
Mattermark to search more than 1.5 million
companies to build a rich list of the fastestgrowing businesses in the United States. By
leveraging a key set of data points that we
believed are indicative of business growth,
we whittled results down further to arrive at
the 50 we evaluated for this Report.

3

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

The Top 3
1.	 Upwork
2.	 WeWork
3.	 Slack

Table of Contents
00 Introduction
01 Content

. . . pg 16

03 Path to Purchase

. . . pg 22

04 Pricing

. . . pg 30

05 Final Thoughts

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

. . . pg 8

02 Communication

4

. . . pg 5

. . . pg 36

Introduction
“Theory is splendid
but until put into practice,
it is valueless.”
- James Cash Penney
(founder of J.C. Penney)

5

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

Today’s B2B sales and marketing professionals are bombarded with

tips and tricks about what they should be doing to drive customer and
business growth. And with so many different resources and growth

tactics to choose from, it can be hard to separate the good advice from
the bad.

So, what if instead of relying on the opinions of industry influencers
for your sales and marketing insights--or on the claims of product

evangelists--you could learn directly from what today’s most successful
B2B companies are actually doing?

6

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

For this report, we relied on a combination of qualitative and

quantitative analysis to create a snapshot of the sales and marketing
tactics most effective for driving growth and success.

Using Mattermark data and evaluating companies based on a profile

of typical growth indicators like employee headcount, funding, social

traction, and web traffic, we’ve created a starting point for evaluating if

the strategies used by these successful businesses could also be applicable
to your company.

7

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

Content
“Content builds relationships.
Relationships are built on trust.
Trust drives revenue.”
- Andrew Davis
(author of Brandscaping)

8

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

The majority of companies we looked at use
content to drive demand and educate their
target audiences.
With the rise of inbound marketing and
content marketing, content has become
the cornerstone of many modern B2B
marketing operations.
Here’s how it typically works: Blogging
drives top-of-the-funnel traffic to a
company’s website. From there, callsto-action (CTAs) encourage visitors
to download content (e.g. ebooks,

9

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

whitepapers, and templates) so they can
learn more about a particular topic.
This process can be repeated and scaled by
marketing teams to include a wide variety
of tactics at every stage of the funnel, but
the end goal is always the same: to add
value and build relationships that drive
revenue for your business.

80% (40 out of 50) of the fastest-growing
B2B companies maintain a blog and/or
online publication.

10

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

44% (22 out of 50) of the fastest-growing
B2B companies offer downloadable content,
like ebooks or whitepapers.

No downloadable content

11

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

Offer downloadable content

28% (14 out of 50) of the fastest-growing
B2B companies use gated content.
16% (8 out of 50) offer ungated content.
Of those 22 high-growth companies that
offer downloadable content, 14 of them
gate this content, which means you have
to fill out a form (or complete some other
task) before you can access it. The other
8 companies leave their content ungated:
You can download it by clicking a button
or link -- no form required.

Gated

Ungated
Offer downloadable content
No downloadable content

12

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

These differences in content accessibility highlight an important,
ongoing conversation in sales and marketing:

Should required forms and lead capture remain central to what we’re

doing? Or are there other ways we can communicate with prospective
customers once they’ve engaged with our content?

For some companies, forms are being replaced or supplemented with

1:1 messaging, which allows sales and marketing teams to communicate
with website visitors in real-time. (We'll explore 1:1 messaging in more
detail in chapter 2.)

13

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

Key Takeaways for Your Business:
Content educates people about your
product and your market. Leverage it with
the resources you have at your disposal,
whether that’s through blogging, webinars,
or another type of content that’s uniquely
your own.
Decide whether gating your content -putting it behind a form -- makes sense for
you. While it may work for some businesses,
there are alternatives to this common
practice.

14

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

Scale content as your business grows.
Too many businesses try to do it all at
once. Instead, focus on one content type
and channel at a time. As you grow your
business, scale your content efforts.

Communication
“These days, people want to learn
before they buy, be educated
instead of pitched.”
- Brian Clark
(founder of Copyblogger)

15

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

Live chat provides an additional channel of
communication for customers and prospects.
Based on our research, 80% of the fastestgrowing B2B companies maintain a blog.
And just under half offer downloadable
resources. So there’s no denying that, for
many of these high-growth companies,
content plays a significant role in how
they communicate with customers and
prospects.
But what about the people who engage
with this content and then have questions?

16

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

Or the people who don’t want to wait for
someone to email them after filling out a
form? People who want to talk to a real
person right now?
One solution that's emerging is 1:1
messaging, which allows prospects and
customers to have 1:1 conversations
with support reps, sales reps, and other
employees via a "live chat" widget on a
company's website.

22% (11 out of 50) of the fastest-growing B2B
companies have a live chat widget on their
website.

17

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

Of the 11 companies using live chat, 5 are
also using gated content.
Live chat gives companies the ability
to talk to their website visitors 1:1 and
answer their questions in real-time -- as
opposed to making them fill out forms
or talk on the phone. But that’s not to
say that these approaches are mutually
exclusive. Of the 11 companies using live
chat, 5 are also using gated content as a
way to capture leads (2 of the 11 provide
ungated content, and the remaining 4
don’t offer downloadable content).

18

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

Of the 11 companies using live chat, 8 have
it on their homepage. 3 have it appear after
you navigate to a pricing or contact page.
By choosing to display a chat widget
on particular pages, companies can
qualify their traffic and engage with
visitors in meaningful ways. For
example, if you've identified that lots
of prospects are navigating to your
pricing page, but then dropping off
before making a purchase, you could
focus your 1:1 messaging efforts
on that particular page and answer
questions in real-time, potentially
boosting conversion in the process.
19

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

Of the 11 companies using live chat, 3 show
photos of the employees you're chatting with.
There’s potential to get even more
personal with customer communication
by showing the actual humans who are
working behind the scenes.

20

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

Key Takeaways for Your Business:
If content is a gateway, communication
is the key that unlocks the rest of the
customer journey. Use content to start a
conversation and then help usher prospects
to the right outcome.

21

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

Leverage real-time chat strategically. 1:1
messaging can prove useful in providing the
right guidance to a prospect or customer
at exactly the right time. Use that to your
advantage.

Path to Purchase
“Our jobs as marketers are to
understand how the customer
wants to buy and help them do so.”
- Bryan Eisenberg
(founder & CMO, IdealSpot)

22

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

B2B websites lead people down 1 of 2 paths:
toward a product, or toward a salesperson.
The experience prospective customers
have when they land on your website can
be crucial to whether or not they end
up converting. As Slack CEO Stewart
Butterfield once commented:
“... even the best slogans, ads, landing
pages, PR campaigns, etc., will fall down
if they are not supported by the experience
people have when they hit our site, when
they sign up for an account, when they first
begin using the product and when they

23

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

start using it day in, day out.”
In analyzing the websites of the 50
fastest-growing B2B companies, we
found two distinct paths that companies
typically try to send potential
customers down. They either direct
people to A) engage with the product
or service in some way, or to B) engage
with a salesperson or other company
representative to learn more.

62% (31 out of 50) of
websites have primary
CTAs directing people
to the product/service.
38% (19 out of 50)
have primary CTAs
directing people to
talk to Sales.

24

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

Primary CTA:
Sales
• Get in touch
• Get a demo
• Contact us
• Learn more

Product
• Get started
• Sign up
• Get it now
• Create an account

Of course, many of the companies that have product-focused primary

CTAs also have secondary CTAs for talking to Sales. And remember the
11 companies with live chat from the previous chapter? All 11 of those
websites have product-focused CTAs.

The takeaway: It doesn’t have to be one way or the other. Within the 50
fastest-growing B2B companies in the U.S., both tactics are employed.

You can encourage people to discover the value of your product through

having them experience it for themselves, and you can provide them with
an opportunity to talk to a real person if that’s what they want.

Regardless of the path you choose to send people down, make sure that
their first experience is (as Slack's CEO recommended) a positive one.

25

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

36% (18 out of 50) of the fastest-growing
B2B companies offer free trials or freemium
versions of their product.
Of the 31 companies that use primar y
CTAs to lead prospective customers
directly to the product -- without
making them go through a sales rep
first -- 18 offer some type of free trial
or freemium version of their product.
(The other 13 product-focused
companies let prospects experience
their products through videos, case
studies, self-guided tours and more
before they buy, but there’s no real
access before a purchase is made.)
26

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

A free trial or freemium version of a product can be a driving force
behind a company’s growth. It’s a model that allows prospective

customers to experience first-hand how a product is going to perform,

which reduces the need for canned sales pitches and aggressive tactics.
As Roger Lee of Battery Ventures once wrote:
“Instead of hiring a huge sales force and sending these people out to

convince potential customers to buy your product -- the way Oracle,

SAP, Microsoft, and even Salesforce.com built empires -- a freemium

model is a perpetual motion machine through which your product sells
itself.”

27

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

Of the 18 companies with some free
component to their product ...
Ultimately, a trial or freemium version
of a product can have a huge effect on a
customer’s path to purchase. From a sales
and marketing perspective, you’re essentially
removing a layer from the funnel, as people
can go directly from considering your
product straight to using it.
However, as our research shows, the specific
approaches to free trials and freemium that
companies take vary widely.

28

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

7 offer free (time-restricted) trials.
4 offer “free forever” versions 		

(customers pay for bonus features/
functionality).

4 offer free accounts / free access

to a platform (customers pay for
services).

The remaining 3 each do something
different (for example, one company
gives 500 MB of free storage space).

Key Takeaways for Your Business:
When it comes to getting people to buy,
you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. But
you do have to deliver a positive experience
whether that means prospects talk to a
salesperson before giving it a spin, or start
a trial of your product on their own. Your
potential customer has pain points that
brought them to your site -- help them
solve them rather than offering a “hook”.

29

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

Leverage freemium as a “perpetual motion
machine.” Freemium may be a starting
point for many of your users, but build out
your version with the goal of turning those
users into paying customers at a certain
point in time.

Pricing
“Make your product easier to
buy than your competition, or
you will find your customers
buying from them, not you.”
- Mark Cuban
(entrepreneur & investor)

30

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

40% (20 out of 50) of the fastest-growing
B2B companies make their pricing public.
Research shows that a majority of
prospective customers consider pricing
to be the most important piece of
information a B2B company can show
on its website. But when we look at the
top 50 fastest-growing B2B companies
in the U.S., we find that just 2 in 5
have pricing pages that show actual
prices. ( We had to clarify this last
point because one company had a
“pricing page” with no prices -- just
“contact us” CTAs under ever y product
option.)

31

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

$ $ $
$ $

Of the 20 companies that make their pricing
public, 14 use tiered pricing.
With tiered pricing, a company’s product
or service is offered at multiple price
points, with the more expensive “pro” or
“ enterprise” versions typically offering
more features, functionality, seats, and/
or storage space than the less expensive
“basic” or “standard” versions.

32

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

$$$
$$
$
Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3

Of the 14 companies with tiered pricing, 6
have CTAs prompting enterprise customers
to request quotes.
Of course, even companies with public
pricing pages don’t necessarily make
all of their pricing public. Of those 14
companies that use tiered pricing, 6
don’t list prices for the enterprise tiers
of their product. Instead, prospective
customers looking for enterprise
pricing have to contact those
companies in order to get a custom
quote.

33

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

$$
$
Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3

Why do companies treat selling to the enterprise differently than selling
to everyone else? There are lots of factors, but it usually comes down to

scale. Rolling out a product or service to a massive organization can be a
seriously complex (and expensive) undertaking.

So while being able to make unassisted purchases on a B2B website
is convenient for most, enterprise customers need to be able to talk
through the finer details of your product/service with a real human
before they buy.

34

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

Key Takeaways for Your Business:
Pricing is important for buyers, but
not quite as important for companies.
A majority of the companies on our list
didn’t have pricing pages on their site, even
though research indicates buyers want
it. Consider A/B testing a pricing page’s
efficacy in driving to a specific outcome.

35

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

Keep your pricing simple. If your pricing
structure is unclear or a part of a frictionfilled process, you need to fix it. Remove the
barriers to entry for people who want your
product.

Final Thought

“Growth is never by mere chance; it is
the result of forces working together.”
- James Cash Penney
(founder of J.C. Penney )

36

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

The goal of this Report isn’t to establish new, etched-in-stone B2B sales
and marketing benchmarks, or to prove that one tactic or approach is

superior to another. By sticking to a sample size of just 50 companies
(the fastest-growing ones), we wanted to take a data-driven but

qualitative snapshot of the field and find out what we could learn.
We hope you’ve come away with more insight into what modern B2B

sales and marketing looks like, as well as ideas for how you can accelerate
the growth of your business.

37

State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B2B Companies

Thanks for reading
Learn more about Mattermark.

Mattermark collects & organizes
comprehensive information on the world’s
fastest growing companies. Get actionable
data that lets you pinpoint the companies
and people you need to know.

38

Learn more about Drift.

Drift is a messaging app that helps you
grow your business. Talk to your website
visitors, convert more leads, and keep your
customers happy.

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