Tell us about yourself?
Mary Grothe is the founder and CEO of House of Revenue® and Fractional CRO of Spotz. She is a faith-based leader, entrepreneur, global keynote speaker and the host of two podcasts: ‘Revenue Radio’ and ‘Destination Remarkable’.
Mary began her sales career at a Fortune 1000 company where she quickly advanced from an admin role to being the number one sales representative.
By following her natural instincts to always put the customers first and listen to their needs, she was able to drive success for her clients and herself and brought in millions of dollars in revenue.
Driven to help others achieve success, Mary founded her first company at the age of 28 and became a business strategist for star tups. Over a three-year period, she was instrumental in helping 36 startups reach profitability.
Her passion for scaling companies grew and she founded Sales BQ® to expand her reach from startups to companies with $1 million to $3 million in annual recurring revenue.
Mary recognized that focusing on the sales process alone was no longer enough to successfully scale a company, so she evolved Sales BQ® to House of Revenue® and developed a holistic revenue strategy that integrates sales, marketing, branding, customer success and revenue operations.
House of Revenue® builds unshakeable revenue foundations set for scale by focusing on all aspects of the revenue engine, essentially creating a Chief Revenue Officer service.
In the past year, Mary has helped multiple second-stage growth companies, between $1 million and $10 million in annual recurring revenue, double their monthly recurring revenue within 10 months.
As a faith-based leader, Mary inspires and empowers others to commit themselves to “do remarkable work”, to structure their lives so that they can truly honor their values, and to ask the questions, “What is most important in my life?
Do I want to be successful, or do I want to be significant?” She is a global keynote speaker on entrepreneurship and faith-based leadership, and is working on two upcoming books to be published under Forbes.
What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?
The biggest misconception about startups for founders is ‘if they build it, they will come’. Many startup founders have an idea and a vision that doesn’t align with what the market wants.
It aligns with what they think the market wants and they will launch without the proper testing and assurance that they know the exact pains, problems, and challenges it solves for the market, their ideal and target buyer, and how much that buyer is willing to invest or spend to solve their problem. The biggest misconception for non-founders (about startups) is that it is easy!
If you could go back in time to any moment from your journey, and give yourself one tip, what would it be?
Going back in time, I’d teach myself to drop the ego and encourage myself to heal from my wounds/trauma from my childhood that led to a belief I wasn’t good enough… which in turn led to a relentless pursuit to succeed, which was killing me.
What makes you stand out as an entrepreneur?
I stand-out as a faith-based entrepreneur, investor, and CEO. I do not hide my faith, nor do I shove it down people’s throats. I lead by example and honor everyone around me through being the love and light and God himself.
My truth and belief systems are rooted in the scripture and my goal is that when people interact with me, they’ll experience something different than what they’re used to in entrepreneurship, executive leadership, and the startup world.
What are some of the best working habits you’ve gained over the past couple of years?
My best working habits are calendering and delegation. I am strict with my time so that I can ensure I am present and whole as a wife, mom, and CEO.
I am discplined with scheduling, I color code my calendar, and I honor my workload and commitments to everyone in my life, periodically allowing sprints of heavier workloads as long as it does not come at my family’s sacrifice and vise versa. I will not swing the pendulum too far the other way and ignore my team or clients.
Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?
House of Revenue™ was born in late 2017 from an idea that small business owners shouldn’t have to struggle and throw away so much money on failed sales hires.
Our CEO and Founder, Mary Grothe, had just completed her second stint at a Fortune 1000 payroll & HR company.
As a top sales producer, Mary felt that sales came naturally to her. She loves the profession and set out on a mission to help small business owners build high-performing sales departments.
Originally named Sales BQ® (BQ is the behavioral quotient), our firm helped 45 small businesses in our first 18 months. We built their sales infrastructure, recruited top sales talent, and coached, mentored, and trained salespeople in the classroom and the field.
We were proud of the results, but there was a stark difference in performance between our clients who, on their accord, had a strong brand and marketing engine. By mid-2019, one of our team members presented the idea to assist with marketing strategy and execution for our clients to level the playing field and start producing consistent results across all clients by building a real Revenue Engine with automation.
By November 2019, we had built the start of our Revenue Operations (RevOps) division by becoming aHubSpot Certified Partner and contracted our first Fractional Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) to help our clients.
That month, three brave clients said yes to what would become our Full Scale Ahead program (where we oversee Brand, Marketing, Sales, Customer Success, and RevOps for our clients), and by March 2020, we had nine Full Scale Ahead clients.
These nine clients stayed with us through the pandemic, invested roughly $250,000 in our services, and we scaled them, on average, to $3.2M each. That’s a significant number as some of them experienced substantial revenue loss due to the pandemic.
Not only were we able to help our clients win that revenue back, but we scaled them and added significant additional revenue, forever changing their path forward. 2020 was a transformative year for us.
Not only did we experience our greatest client ROI and results to date, but we were given the opportunity to transform internally. We shed our Sales BQ® name and rebranded as House of Revenue™, as we firmly believe that companies’ Revenue Engines should be built on a rock – a firm foundation that can withstand any storm.
Plus, revenue departments should live in the same house, working together holistically to achieve results. In 2021, we doubled the size of our company and grew our capacity to serve more clients.
We began taking on Seed-Stage companies who are scaling to their Series A/B and working with both Private Equity firms and VCs to assist with their portfolio companies. We also added our CPG & Consumer Brands division and onboarded our first $100M+ client.
But we realized, after 12 hard months, that moving forward, we are only going to work with second-stage growth companies between $1M – $10M since we have a high 2-year success rate with that type of company.
Where do you see your business in five years?
In order to begin to see 5 years out, we had to rebuild our company. COVID rocked us to our core and gave us a chance to do just that.
We hadn’t built our company on a strong foundation (2017-2019) with the right systems, processes, or people. It wasn’t all bad, but what wasn’t built on the rock fell and what was built on a strong foundation, remained.
While we were stabilizing from the pandemic shut-down, our team developed our new strategy for growth. Our competitive pivot: we had been known for rebuilding sales departments (under our former name, Sales BQ), but now our clients work with us on the entire revenue engine, marketing, sales, sales ops, and customer success.
We proved this strategy yields significant results for our clients. With that, our average revenue per client increased from $24k (2018) to $250k (2021) and our clients’ average revenue growth, as a result, was $3.2M.
I remain committed to being an openly faith-based CEO and believing that God is using our talents in the marketplace to scale our CEO clients’ dreams and missions, but we do not have a 5-year revenue goal or vision of scale for ourselves.
We believe in luminescence and the brighter our light shines within the engagements we do have, the greater the results will be, and the organic growth that has ensued will continue as it is meant to continue.
We are faithful servants of our gifts and are deeply committed to loving and serving our CEO clients, and helping them scale.
In 5 years, my hope and prayer are that we stayed committed to the path that was being built for us and we honored God while we got to do the work that our team LOVES to do.
It may not be the answer you’re looking for, but it seems to be working out for us and our clients. The results from our work in 2021 were off the charts, and we are committed to shining bright and yielding significant revenue growth for our clients.
What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you in getting there?
The biggest challenge I have as a faith-based leader is staying focused on the spirit and not the flesh. I fall victim to worldly desires.
I want to succeed, I want to win awards, and I want recognition. However, I am learning to faithfully separate myself from that, as it only yields short returns. I am focused on eternal reward!
Talk to us about your biggest success story so far?
In the past year, I’ve been stretched to unimaginable lengths. In 2021, our team adopted our own revenue scaling methodology we use for our clients. In 9 months, we doubled from 12 to 28 employees, $190k monthly revenue to $420k.
We scaled so we could serve more companies. In 2020, we served 9 companies. Most spent $250k+ in our services, on average, we scaled them by $3.2M, nearly doubling them. Our 2021 vision was to serve 18+ companies.
However, I underestimated the stress, strain, and pressure related to rapid growth with a services company, one whose only “product” is people. The labor market became highly competitive. Inflation rose, top talent now made far more than we budgeted, and I needed to build out a middle management layer; something I’ve never done.
As a faith-based CEO, I have openly discussed my struggles as a talented, high-performing over-achiever who hustles until burnout. My battle is acting on my calling/purpose versus the flesh side of me that loves to compete, win, make money, and be recognized.
By Q4 2021, I realized scaling my company was something I could do, but maybe something I shouldn’t do. I hustled myself into a public nervous breakdown, in Disneyland, with my family. I needed help.
I began healing and realized my identity and worth are not tied to my company, title, revenue, employee count, or profit.
My identity is as a catalyst for love and kindness in our community. God has given me a platform, a company, an incredible team, and a responsibility to care for them and prove that business can be done differently.
My greatest accomplishments this year were healing, righting the wrongs inside of my business, and securing my mental health.
We hired too many employees too fast, a few of whom were not the right fit, and we brought on clients that didn’t fit our ICP and were not succeeding.
We helped several team members find new jobs outside of our company, paid severance when we couldn’t, and also let a few clients out of their contracts.
How do clients and customers find you? Are you much of a salesperson for yourself?
Our customers find us through our inbound marketing engine! We rank number one for the term Fractional CRO and that’s all we need to drive tremendous pipeline for our business. I am the only salesperson and I love engaging with every CEO that enters our funnel.
What one tip would you give to fellow startup founders?
My top tip is to figure out what the market wants.
Remove your ego and pride from what you have built as your product or service and test, test, and test it until you have a consistent feedback loop from your market that they love your product or service and are willing to pay for it. Once that has been accomplished, you can optimize then scale!
And finally, what do you hope the future brings both you personally, and your business?
I trust the Lord with all my heart and know He will continue to provide me, my family, my company, and challenge me to be an excellent, obedient steward of His good name and His love and light!
I am looking forward to publishing two books under the Forbes Books brand in 2023, and growing my presence on social media, my podcasts, and as a speaker.
Lastly, my husband and I just launched a new company, www.doremarkablework.com, and we are so ready to finally be in business together!