Greetings from Salt Lake City — Home of Instructure

Devon-McDonald by

Yesterday marked the end of my three day stint with the Instructure team in Salt Lake City, Utah. Instruture, one of OpenView’s newest investments, is an emerging leader in the Learning Management System arena. Ever heard of Blackboard? Well, imagine Blackboard, but about 1000 times more user-friendly, innovative and functional and you’ve got Canvas, Instructure’s flagship LMS. If you are in the education field, do yourself a favor and check it out. Seriously.
The goal of my trip out West was to work one-on-one with Instructure’s new Lead Qualification Specialist, Mike, and kick his ramp-up period and daily productivity into high gear. What does this mean exactly? Well in three days I worked with Mike to make enhancements to his scripts, emails, Salesforce.com setup, process, daily structure, etc. The idea is — with Mike focusing solely on qualifying (or disqualifying) inbound leads, the sales team, under the direction of Sales Director Cade Krueger (who is an absolute rockstar), will be able to focus more on nurturing relationships and closing deals in their extensive — and I repeat extensive — pipeline.

The sales team at Instructure is in a great position. Unlike some of the other lead qualification teams that I have worked with in our portfolio, Instructure is focusing primarily on inbound requests at this time as they have a massive backlog of leads to follow up with — I’m talking thousands of leads since their launch in February. The issue is, determining what leads are actually going to be qualified opportunities that the sales team should be focusing on, and what leads will never result in a sale. To scale, bringing a Lead Qualifier on board was essential.

As a young company that is growing so rapidly, Instructure and OpenView’s partners decided that it would be beneficial to send me, a Sales Analyst on the OpenView Labs team, into the trenches to turn the Lead Qualification program into a well-oiled machine. Since 2009, Lead Qual has been my focus — I’ve worked with Intronis, Zmags, Reality Digital, Loyalty Lab, Central Desktop, Balihoo and now… our good friends in Salt Lake City, Instructure. Each initiative has been unique in many ways, but at the root of it, the fundamentals of OpenView’s lead qualification model can be applied to almost any company that fits into our investment criteria.

As I head back to Boston, I am more excited than ever about Instructure and the direction it’s heading in.

Great product. Great team. Great market….recipe for success.