How Openlayer drove 81 Enterprise opportunities in 3 months with Divisional

“Gagan and the Divisional team were huge unlocks for us. They helped us get out of the weeds in sales and build a repeatable engine, while flexing as our product & needs changed.”

- Vikas Nair, Co-Founder

Openlayer (YC S21) is an Enterprise SaaS product that enables Machine Learning (ML) teams to better track, prompt, and improve their Artificial Intelligence (AI) models. Since launching in 2021, they have been deployed at companies like eBay, Birdie, and Virtu Financial, and closed $5M+ in funding.

Problem / Challenge

Gabe, Vikas, and Rishabh worked together as Machine Learning Engineers at Apple, when they discovered a major opportunity to improve the model creation and testing process. Like many successful founders, they acted on a problem that they knew well and were determined to build a product that would solve it.

However, they also struggled with a problem that many technical founders face: how do you juggle building an amazing product with growth & sales? Here were some of their core challenges that stemmed from that question:

1. Free up their bandwidth from growth

As a founder-led startup, Openlayer's co-founders were stretched thin between managing the product, sales conversations, and growth initiatives. Specifically, Gabe (CEO) found it challenging to respond promptly to messages and sales inquiries while juggling other responsibilities.

Naturally, they didn’t want to take their foot off the gas with outreach, but they weren’t seeing predictable success due to not having time to handle responses and book meetings. As they explored new audiences, they also found it challenging to come up with the right messaging that worked on a channel like email.

2. Drive interest from Enterprise buyers

Large companies like Stripe and eBay don’t make decisions quickly, and this meant that Openlayer needed a sales strategy that reflected that. This meant creating a program that would navigate the challenge of having multiple stakeholders and building authority with their audience - as engineers are typically skeptical of sales / outbound

3. Create demand at scale

While the Openlayer team had seen success with their initial outreach, they didn’t know how to replicate these efforts on a weekly basis and create the problem of ‘too much demand’. Ideally, Gabe wanted to have demos pre-populated on his calendar and be armed with the right context to run them.

One of the challenges to this engine was the balance of higher volume outreach with personalization - determining how to show the prospect that they were familiar with their problem and company situation, without spending too much time on any specific outreach. Gabe spoke to his frustration in our initial call:

“I knew that if a prospect responded to my initial message, I had to get back to them within an hour, otherwise they would likely go cold. Staying on top of that, while sending a higher volume of outreach, was very difficult”

- Gabe Bayomi, Founder & CEO


Openlayer required a seasoned growth professional with expertise in Enterprise SaaS sales and outbound marketing to technical buyers. The ideal candidate would possess:

  • Extensive experience in selling Enterprise products to technical audiences, particularly in industries like healthcare or technology.
  • A deep understanding of outbound marketing strategies, including email campaigns, cold outreach, and automated follow-up processes.
  • The ability to craft compelling messaging and positioning tailored to Openlayer's target audience of ML Engineers and Data Scientists.

Divisional chose Gagan Gill, a Head of Growth with a decade of experience in Enterprise SaaS sales and marketing, as the perfect fit for Openlayer's needs. His background at Hypercare, a SaaS solution for mid-sized and large hospitals, provided him with valuable insights into selling to technical buyers in complex organizations. Gagan was intimately familiar with the challenge of getting the attention from a qualified buyer (i.e. doctors), while navigating multiple stakeholders to get the company to make a buying decision.

Gagan was impressed at the level of alignment between his background and Openlayer’s problem:

“This felt like a natural fit for me. Doctors are never at their desk, so they don’t answer cold calls or emails. Outbound selling to them is very hard. I could empathize with what the Openlayer team were going through, and had an idea on how to solve it”

- Gagan Gill, Head of Growth


Gagan collaborated closely with Openlayer to understand their target audience, messaging, and available channels. After evaluating various marketing ideas, he identified outbound as the primary opportunity for generating a consistent pipeline of qualified leads.

Gagan's implementation strategy involved the following components:

1) Outbound Channel Selection

After testing various outreach methods, Gagan determined that personal DMs were the most effective channel for engaging Openlayer's target audience.

2) Targeted Prospecting

Gagan implemented sales tooling that helped Openlayer's co-founders connect with qualified prospects at a list of target accounts, continuously refining and testing different messaging approaches.

3) CRM Integration

Gagan configured Pipedrive CRM to streamline the management of new opportunities and ensure that follow-up tasks were not missed, fostering a scalable and efficient process.

4) Adding an SDR

Divisional provided Openlayer with a fractional Sales Development Representative (SDR) who had a proven track record of meeting quotas at a Series D company. This SDR was responsible for building prospect lists, handling objections, and booking meetings for opportunities generated through the outbound campaign.


Gagan's outbound marketing strategy yielded remarkable results for Openlayer within a span of three months:

  • Generated 81 qualified, Enterprise opportunities, becoming Openlayer's top source for pipeline generation.
  • Reached out to 1,800 prospects through targeted outreach.
  • Converted 4.5% of prospects to product demos.

Gagan also embrace a key characteristic of Divisional marketers: adaptability. After the engine was set up, he created a process for the SDR to do weekly sends and allowed Openlayer to transition from a full engagement to one that was ~ 25% of the original monthly cost.

With the emergence of LLMs, Openlayer had to revisit some of their product strategy and launch new alpha tests with Machine Learning Engineers (MLEs). True to Divisional’s model, the Openlayer team was able to scale up their engagement again, reintroducing Gagan and a Growth Marketing Manager to run acquisition tests on Reddit, Hugging Face, and other ML communities.

“I was surprised at how quickly Gagan and the team were able to drive results, and how much trust I could put in Gagan to iterate. I’ve never had this level of confidence in a employee who wasn’t full-time”.

- Vikas Nair, Co-Founder


By partnering with Divisional and Gagan Gill, Openlayer was able to:

  • Generate 81 qualified, Enterprise opportunities in just three months
  • Implement a targeted and scalable outbound marketing strategy
  • Establish a sustainable growth engine, allowing the founding team to focus on product development and closing deals
  • Transition the growth engine in-house at a reduced cost of 75%, setting the stage for future marketing initiatives