Whilst mapping out the strategy for Livestax, I spent few hours analysing the growth of Salesforce.com, the most inspiring tech company right now. The spreadsheet can be accessed here. As you can see from the graph, Salesforce.com has achieved phenomenal growth since its inception in 1999. Salesforce.com filed for IPO in 2004, and a decent summary can be found on David Cumming’s blog.
Whilst there are many factors to Salesforce.com’s success, what stands out for me is nothing other than their marketing and sales spent. Salesforce.com has spent a staggering $1.5 billion in its first 10 years to generate over $1bn in revenues by year 10.
In 2013, Salesforce spent over 52.92% of their revenues in marketing and sales, a mammoth $1.6 bn. But what is remarkable is that having launched the product in Feb 2000, Salesforce.com spent $25.3 million in marketing and sales over the next 12 months (start of Feb 2000 to end of Jan 2001), a whopping 467.19% of revenues that year.
To achieve revenues of £5.4 million in the first 12 months is still a remarkable feat today. Would be interesting to watch how these % change as Salesforce.com marches towards $5n and $10 bn annual revenues in near future.
In case you are interested, here is the 2013 annual report