Dropbox: Go-To-Market Sales Strategy
(5 pages of text)
In late 2014, Dropbox, the San Francisco-based pioneering cloud-based file storage service, was at an important stage of its growth. Its user base had expanded into hundreds of millions of users globally, and the company was expanding its service offerings to organizations. At the heart of this expansion was the ever-increasing acquisition of customers in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. As Dropbox targeted larger customers, it needed to carefully allocate its limited resources and continually evaluate the appropriate sales approach because of the highly competitive nature of the cloud storage market. The head of the Strategic Finance team needed to recommend how Dropbox could most effectively invest its limited resources. Should it invest in the self-serve, inbound approach, or opt for the more proactive and costlier outbound approach?
This case is designed for undergraduate and MBA classes in finance, entrepreneurial finance, and general business programs. The case may be valuable in course modules dealing with new business models (e.g., SaaS), go-to-market strategies and sales, and e-commerce. The case may also be valuable in entrepreneurship programs because of its focus on sales and customer acquisition metrics, which are both critical aspects of new venture growth. After completing the case, students should be able to
- understand the core concepts and basic calculations used in SaaS models;
- apply the concepts and analytical tools used in SaaS go-to-market strategies, including the use of unit economics, by examining inbound and outbound sales models; and
- appreciate the comparative strategic values of various sales models and the importance of various approaches in the context of an entrepreneurial venture.
Information, Media & Telecommunications
United States, Large, 2016
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