This $5 Billion Company Sold $320 Million Worth of Software Without a Sales Team

We’ve all received the dreaded sales phone call.

It usually starts, “Is now a good time, ma’am?” and ends with you hanging up crankily wishing you could have the last fifteen minutes of your life back.

But annoying though it may be, sales is just part of the package in the business world – a necessary cog in the machine if a company wants to grow.

Or is it? If you sold $320k worth of business software last year – like Atlassian did – without a single sales employee, perhaps it’s time to rethink your strategy.

The $5 billion software company develops products for software developers and has created apps such as HipChat, Stash and JIRA.

But instead of hiring a traditional sales team, it lists all prices, product information, documentation, support requests, and training materials on its website, doesn’t offer discounts, and provides the majority of their products as hosted or installed versions.

Speaking to Bloomberg TV, President of Atlassian Jay Simons explained the business’ if-you-build-it-they-will-come philosophy.

“We’re focused on products that can sell themselves,” Simons explained.

When asked how Atlassian was able to grow without a sales team, he broke down the company ethos.

“We grow by building great products, we grow by word of mouth, we grow by product simplicity and then we grow by model innovation,” he said, likening the strategy to that of Tesla or Apple, which don’t employ salespeople.

Given their success, it’s an interesting concept and one that other companies would do well to pay attention to.

Millennials are notoriously difficult to sell to – and it’s not just because we don’t have the disposable income to buy what you’re selling.

We’re keen researchers, rarely go into a purchase completely blind, and – let’s face it – are pretty cynical when it comes to sales people.

Plus we’re all busier than the next person. Think about it – when was the last time you bought something in person when you could have done it online instead?

And if you can pluck a scenario from memory, try to remember a time when you purchased a car, insurance or technology without having already done your homework on what was on the market and gone in with a fairly strong idea of what you’d be taking home with you.

Simons spoke about the importance of focusing on longevity and not rushing to gain success quickly at the expense of the business as a whole.

“We were focused on building a long-term viable business, so we had to focus on not hiring sales people to really focus on product quality and building something that could build itself,” said Simons.

Perhaps Atlassian has uncovered the secret to millennial spending – being busy is one thing, but we sure as hell aren’t being told what to do by just anyone.