In this Expert Insight Interview, Stefan Smulders discusses how he bootstrapped his way to $6 million in Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) in just 17 months. Stefan Smulders is from the Netherlands, and he is the co-founder of Expandi.io.
This Expert Insight Interview discusses:
- His beginnings in the field of lead generation
- How he found the gap in the market for Expandi.io
- Why and how Expandi.io was created
Stefan started another SaaS company called Leadexpress five years ago. The purpose of this software was to identify website visitors. He and his colleagues tried to grow that company in a traditional way with paid advertisements and other typical marketing techniques. The growth they had achieved was not bad, but not great either.
According to Stefan, the challenge there was that everybody likes to see who is visiting their website, but they actually don’t know how to get calls and appointments based on that information.
Learning About LinkedIn
The problems with Leadexpress challenged Stefan more than four years ago to see if he could make acquisitions in a much more modern way. He jumped into LinkedIn, having just 43 connections at that time. He had never used this social network for commercial purposes before that.
To push himself a bit harder, he decided to subscribe to Sales Navigator, and he immediately fell in love with the platform. By using all the filters available there, he could easily find his ICP and his target audience. The only problem was that it wasn’t all that easy for him to approach these people.
Birth of Expandi.io
He decided that he needed to do his homework a bit better. In the following three months, he invested all of his available time into understanding how to contact and engage with people on LinkedIn. In just three months, this became his number one lead channel.
As you can imagine, the only challenge was that he was wasting too much time making all these manual connections. He decided to be clever about it and find software that could automate some repetitive tasks on LinkedIn. Although many of these services have excellent features, they are almost exclusively designed for single users. Because of this and other problems with the software available out there, Stefan and his technical co-founder Glen Miseroy decided to create their own tool, which is how Expandi.io was born.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.
If you’re not happy with the software available on the market, why not make your own? In this Expert Insight Interview, we welcome Stefan Smulders, SaaS entrepreneur and CEO/co-founder of Expandi.io.