Khalid Saleh is the Co-founder and President of Invesp, an eCommerce conversation rate optimization firm. Founded in 2006, Invesp has worked with hundreds of companies ranging from well-established brands to fast-growing startups to increase their online revenue.
Back in 2005, Khalid was leading the largest e-commerce implementation for Motorola, a dream for any software architect. Although everyone was excited about working on this project, Khalid was worried that enough visitors wouldn’t visit the website, and it would hardly generate any revenue.
Still, after endless man-hours in the office and a price tag close to $50 million, Khalid and his team finally launched the website. Once launched, hundreds and thousands of visitors flocked to the website, which crashed 16 servers within a couple of hours. Although the development team managed to recover and bring back the servers, they noticed that even after so many visitors visited the website, only a handful of them placed orders. There was no money, and as a matter of fact, the website generated less than 10 orders during its first 30 days.
This incident helped Khalid understand what the future of the web would look like. No matter how much companies have invested in building websites, how many engineers they have hired, or how much money they have spent driving visitors to the website; if visitors do not convert, none of that matters. This eventually laid the founding stone of Invesp, one of North America’s first companies to focus on conversion optimization.
“The idea around the formation of Invesp was that we had seen that many companies were not paying attention to conversion optimization. Most companies were building websites and only focusing on SEO – but most of the traffic they were driving to their website was not converting. We wanted to help companies convert more and more visitors into buyers without increasing their traffic.”- stated Khalid.
Helping with Conversion Rate Optimization
When Khalid, alongside his partner, Ayat Shukairy, founded Invesp in 2006, there were only two other companies dedicated to CRO in North America. Invesp was one of the first two companies and remained one of the oldest CRO firms in the U.S. The firm’s services center around e-commerce Conversion Rate Optimization. Depending on the size and type of the company, Invesp offers services like;
- End-to-end Conversion Rate Optimization: Invesp’s dedicated team uses various conversion research techniques to uncover issues and new revenue opportunities on a client’s website.
- User and Conversion Research: Invesp offers this service to help e-commerce companies realize the push and pull forces that motivate their clients to pull the trigger.
- Conversion Rate Audit: The firm does an expert review of its client’s website and highlights specific quick fixes that are designed to increase conversion rates on their sites. This is mainly for small companies considering increasing conversion rates but not ready to take on complete projects.
- UX Design: Invesp offers this service for e-commerce companies who can’t afford a complete turnkey CRO service but considering redesigning an existing website or designing a new one.
- Landing Page Optimization: Invesp’s CRO team designs, optimizes, and tests the designs to improve the conversions on landing pages.
- CRO Training: Invesp’s CRO training program helps clients transform their marketing teams, developers, and design teams to become data-driven and agile with a sharp focus on customer service and retention.
Tackling Key Challenges
Just like any other entrepreneur, the daily challenges that Khalid faces vary depending on the situation. As a leader, he faces three primary challenges: employee development, keeping everyone on the same page, and avoiding burnout.
- Employee Development: Khalid feels that not every employee who joins Invesp is experienced. Some of them are juniors in their respective roles and lack the needed experience. As a leader, it is Khalid’s responsibility to understand their aspirations and create an environment that encourages growth.
- Keeping Everyone on the Same Page: Invesp’s most significant competitive advantage is it moves fast to deliver the best possible result. However, this also comes with a downside, and it can be tough to keep everyone on the same page. Khalid prefers one-on-one meetings with his managers to keep a pulse on what’s going on with each team and keep everyone on the same page to deliver great results.
- Avoiding Burnouts: Khalid feels avoiding burnout is a real challenge. Invesp’s team is spread across several time zones and different parts of the world. So, Khalid himself works very long hours – starting his workdays around 5:00 AM and even working during weekends. Recently he has introduced mental health days, so every last Friday of the month, the entire team gets an off from their duties.
Mission and Vision
Under Khalid’s leadership, Invesp aspires to replace negative online customer experiences with positive experiences. “We want Invesp to be synonymous with conversion rate optimization. Which is to say, when anyone thinks of conversion rate optimization (or CRO), we want them to think Invesp.”- Khalid says.
The firm takes all the necessary and tedious steps to deliver results-oriented CRO programs that help its clients improve revenue and foster growth. It is committed to doing all the heavy lifting for its clients, and it will go above and beyond every day to prove it.
Khalid states, “Each and every quarter, we make it a point that we have company-wide meetings to talk about all things Invesp. These sessions also let us discuss our work and the team’s expectations.” The firm has also created a standardized process reflecting its mission and vision. Although Khalid understands that this process is not bulletproof, it is a good starting point to keep everyone aligned with Invesp’s values.
Creating a Better Team
Although Invesp is regarded as the top CRO agency in the world, the firm still aims to be better as a team. “We want the word Invesp to be synonymous with CRO. We want people to think of Invesp whenever they hear the words CRO or conversion rate optimization. But all this can be achieved by ensuring that we create an environment conducive to employee growth and development. With a team made up of only rockstars, nothing is impossible.”- explains Khalid.