From sales directives to customer success management and qualifying leads in the marketing pipeline, Sales Cloud gives us a comprehensive, holistic view of all the revenue components.”

Daisy Hoang | SVP of Sales & Success at Katalon

Katalon scales up for global growth with Salesforce

Katalon is a company on the rise. The test automation platform provider recently announced the closing of US$27 million in series A funding, and is pursuing an ambitious global growth roadmap.

Founded in 2015 with offices in Vietnam and the US, Katalon helps its customers adopt and scale test automation to deliver better software, faster.

"Software is a crucial driver of business innovation and a key competitive tool for many enterprises," says Uy Tran, General Director of Katalon. "Katalon's mission is to help teams build better software faster through practical, innovative and cohesive test tools.”

“We pride ourselves on being a very easy-to-use, low-to-no-code application to test automation with a very small learning curve,” adds Daisy Hoang, SVP of Sales & Success at Katalon.

With users from more than 100,000 companies across 160-plus countries, the Katalon ecosystem is growing by the day.

The company launched on a free subscription model in 2016, and started transitioning to include paid premium subscriptions by the end of 2019 on top of its free offering for the community users. Hoang explains this strategy has been critical to successfully delivering on the company’s customer-centric development ethos.

“Katalon delivers a simple, extensible, and scalable low-code continuous quality platform," she says. "We are firmly committed to supporting software teams of all sizes to deliver better software faster.”

Scaling up for global growth

Hoang says the company embraced the growth as part of its transition to include more subscription offerings. But supporting this rapid growth has presented some internal challenges for the company.

“We had very minimal sales, customer success and marketing teams,” Hoang explains. “We didn’t need a large team because Katalon is a product-led company, so we leveraged the product as the main engine to acquire, retain and grow our customer base. But we wanted to move up market and target the enterprise segment.”

To do so, Hoang says the company needed to scale its team, improve visibility and reporting across the sales pipeline, boost automation, and enable cross collaboration.

The company’s legacy CRM didn’t provide the required visibility into the sales pipeline, lacked the reporting functionality Hoang required to build accountability into the sales culture, and could not support the sales and marketing automation the company needed to scale.

Creating a single source of truth

Hoang and her team turned to Sales Cloud and Salesforce Inbox for the solution, now using the platform across multiple teams with varying use cases.

“We looked at Salesforce for a number of reasons,” Hoang explains. “Sales Cloud gives us the flexibility to scale, and a more seamless way to understand performance metrics.

Amongst the teams using Sales Cloud are the Revenue team and Marketing. “From sales directives to customer success management and qualifying leads in the marketing pipeline, Sales Cloud gives us a comprehensive, holistic view of all the revenue components.” said Hoang.

She also explains how the Salesforce ecosystem and the ease of third-party integration via the AppExchange has been critical for the company. “We were able to seamlessly integrate third-party tools for lead scoring and pre-sales. Salesforce enables us to centralise platforms and data across components, and create a single source of truth.”

Sales Cloud also supports the collaboration the company needs to successfully manage a highly distributed global revenue team. In addition to teams in Vietnam and Atlanta in the US, Katalon employs sales reps across the region including Philippines, Myanmar and India.

“Vietnam has a talented workforce. However, to optimise serving customers worldwide, we want to be able to hire from anywhere,” Hoang says. “Sales Cloud enables us to keep track of all employees’ progress across regions, and gives us the ability to work more collaboratively.

“Our goal is to utilise Salesforce to streamline the entire funnel and understand what part sales owns, and what part customer success owns, and divide those tasks while maintaining a seamless experience across the entire customer journey.”

The customer success team is also using Sales Cloud to support and automate customer engagement. Hoang says that Katalon’s large customer base presents challenges for the customer success team to touch every account.

“We rely a lot on automation through Sales Cloud,” she explains. “For example, we have an automated mechanism through Sales Cloud that goes out to our existing customer base as a campaign before renewal time. We remind them that their renewal is coming up, and ask if there is anything we can do to help them.”

Building a culture of accountability

Hoang says an in-house team successfully deployed Sales Cloud and Salesforce Inbox within about two months. The project lead focused on deployment, while engineers concentrated on integration and data centralisation.

Another critical move was the creation of the Revenue Operations function to drive employee adoption and ongoing system optimisation.

“We decided to roll out the RevOps team very early on because we knew it would be a catalyst for us to continue to grow and scale in the future,” Hoang explains. “We have an operations engineer on that team who takes requests from Sales, Success and Finance, identifies priorities, and every week releases new changes to our Salesforce system. This gives our revenue team a lot of ownership of Sales Cloud, which they have really welcomed.”

Hoang says Sales Cloud has supported the company’s scale up, and has acted as a catalyst for an approximately four-fold increase in the revenue team over the span of 12 months. Sales Cloud has also reduced 70% of manual tasks related to communication for clients’ renewals, improved the conversion rate, increased accurate forecasting by 50%, and drove accountability of the reps.

“More visibility has enabled us to build accountability into our sales culture,” says Hoang. “Prior to adopting Salesforce, there was no accountability for sales reps because management didn’t have access to good performance data. Now, with Sales Cloud, everyone is responsible for owning their forecasts and cleaning up their pipeline. We’ve moved to a space where we can more accurately forecast our revenue.”

Another key benefit of Sales Cloud, says Hoang, is the ability to align the sales pipeline to the buying cycle. “Sales Cloud gives us clear guidance for success at each stage of the sales pipeline. That is, sales reps have a clear understanding of the sequence of events for the deal to close.”


Driving ongoing growth

Katalon’s commitment to its customers was evident in managing challenges faced during Covid-19. The company rolled out incentives to help its user base access free licenses to ease financial strain during the worst days of the pandemic.

It’s that kind of commitment to its customers that will continue to form the backbone of the Katalon brand as the company continues to pursue global growth.

“From a product standpoint, we want to continue to be a category leader, provide an end-to-end quality experience for our customers, and cover as many testing scenarios as possible,” says Hoang.

“We’ll continue to scale the revenue team to have a presence across all the global markets we’re serving, and we’ll use Salesforce to provide the sales support we need to keep driving growth.”


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