Innovation

Would you trust newbie grads to keep your company afloat?

By Oliver Smith 23 August 2016
Summary

This £45m company has a secret to its success.

Would you entrust your company’s future to graduates? Just graduates?

That’s exactly what conference calling group LoopUp has done, and tomorrow the fruits of their big gamble will be a £45m London stock market listing.

In 2003 Steve Flavell and his co-founder Michael Hughes came up with the idea for a LoopUp, a better calling system that does away with dial-in numbers or access codes and today counts National Geographic, Alcatel-Lucent and Planet Hollywood among its 1,850 customers.

But the real magic is how Flavell grew LoopUp, by harnessing a veritable army of graduates.

Graduate life

Flavell told The Memo that LoopUp takes grads straight from uni and puts them into 6-person grad teams who work independently.

“Some people will be finding new opportunities, some will be closing them in that classic sales role, some will be account managers and helping to roll out LoopUp once a sale is closed.”

It’s not unusual to hire grads into sales roles, but LoopUp’s grads have been incredibly successful.

Each 6-person grad team last year delivered new business worth an average of £440,000.

The secret sauce? All the grads are rewarded based on the performance of their team, so there’s no incentive for salespeople to create fake leads or book meetings with companies who wouldn’t want LoopUp.

LoopUp currently has six 6-person teams, generating the bulk of its £9.2m in annual sales.

An army of graduates

But after LoopUp’s stock market listing tomorrow, Flavell has plans to grow this army of graduates even bigger. He told The Memo that he wants eight teams next year and at least 11 teams of six graduates by 2018.

Who is the idea candidate for these roles? “Basically anyone who is ready to embrace the teamwork that the [team] structure comes with,” says Flavell.

Flavell says companies waste millions trying to set up cumbersome conference calls.

It’s a £14bn problem that LoopUp is determined to solve.

And with big graduate hiring plans being drawn up for next year, he just might do it.

Graduates, on your marks.