Orbital Witness Case Study

Orbital Witness

Orbital Witness

Using interim leadership as seamless parental leave cover

How a ScaleWise interim leader enabled Orbital Witness to maintain momentum during the Head of Business Development’s parental leave.

Business type


Solution type

Interim & Fractional

Size of commercial team


Company stage

Pre-series A

Launched in Autumn 2018, Orbital Witness is automating legal due diligence in the property sector. Instead of asking lawyers to check through myriad documents and reports, Orbital Witness’ digital solution improves the transparency, speed and simplicity of legal diligence during property transactions. In just four years, the product has been used to check almost one million properties, and is trusted by UK legal giants, such as Freshfields, Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy.

Orbital Witness Need

With Orbital Witness’s Head of Business Development going on parental leave, the company’s co-founders started looking for a parental leave cover solution three months in advance.


In particular, they were looking for an experienced leader that could keep the momentum going and support the business development (BD) team during the parental leave period.

Key Impact

ScaleWise explained the various types of role that could act as cover, including interim, fractional and coaching. Having decided on an interim leader, ScaleWise created a shortlist of candidates based on Orbital Witness’s needs. Following a round of interviews, Orbital Witness decided to hire Richard Wright for an initial six months.

Richard met up with Orbital Witness in the weeks before the engagement began, attending meetings and getting up to speed, to ensure a seamless transition. He has since had the following key impacts:

1. Maintained BD momentum

Richard was able to fill in the gaps and ensure that Orbital Witness continued its growth. In particular, he held a fairly junior team of BDRs to account, but also supported their development through 1-2-1s, coaching and mentorship. Richard was also able to attend sales calls and advise on more complex deals based on his previous experience and expertise.

2. Suggested new ideas

As an interim cover, Richard was tasked with steadying the ship rather than implementing widespread changes. However, he also suggested small process changes, which Orbital Witness decided to try. For example, he reorganized the BDRs and AEs into pods to bring about some internal competition and get members of the sales/BD team working in sync.

3. Delivered founder peace of mind​

With the Head of BD going on leave, it would have fallen on the company’s co-founders to pick up various meetings and responsibilities, whilst also trying to find time for hundreds of other business-critical activities. Richard’s energy and expertise gave the BD team an outlet to draw on – especially in terms of professional development. As such, the team had less need to ask the founders for support, which freed up the founders’ time to focus on other tasks.

4. Opened future support options

Orbital Witness is a young growing company with a high likelihood of parental leave at leadership level in the future. Having worked with Richard, the founders not only know the benefits of interim cover – allowing them to plan with confidence – but the flexibility of external expertise has opened new support options. For instance, leaders at Orbital Witness know they can lean on Richard’s unique experience as a sounding board for future decisions or second pair of eyes on new initiatives.

Edmond Boulle

Co-Founder, Orbital Witness

“Unquestionably, Richard has made our lives as founders easier. Having someone with his level of experience come in and coach the business development team has not only maintained our growth, but given us founders the time back to drive the company forward.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Think of it as head-renting instead of head-hunting. Rather than spending time and money trying to hire a full-time leader, Interim & Fractional leadership involves hiring leaders on either a short-term or part-time basis usually to carry out a specific purpose. They are experienced senior-level operators that can be parachuted into your company on short notice to drive high-performance in particular aspects of your business.

Unlike a coach or a consultant, Interim & Fractional leaders are hands-on doers whose remit is to get stuck in and get things done. For more information, check out our: Definitive guide to Interim & Fractional Leadership.

Interim & Fractional leaders both provide flexible GTM support based on your specific needs. Interim leaders usually work full-time (4-5 days per week) for a set period of time (i.e. 4-6 months) to bridge an ‘interim’ leadership gap. Fractional leaders work a fraction of the time for a fraction of the cost, usually working between 2–4 days per week on a rolling basis. As Interim & Fractional leaders flexibly work between both roles depending on the requirement, we consider them as one leadership solution.
We’ll help you define what you need and produce a detailed role brief with realistic goals. This goes beyond a job description, capturing the specific leader profile required and clear deliverables. Then we’ll produce a shortlist of suitable candidates (based on your needs, culture and leadership style) from our wide network of experienced Interim & Fractional commercial leaders. Finally, we’ll organise interviews to ensure there’s a cultural chemistry and expertise alignment from the outset.

At ScaleWise, all our Interim & Fractional leaders have scaled at least one company (Seed to Series C) in senior GTM roles, usually at VP or C-Suite level in sales, marketing, customer success, partnerships or revenue operations (RevOps). Many have worked with other scale-ups in Interim & Fractional roles too. As such, they’re adept at quickly diagnosing issues, prioritising solutions and having an immediate impact.

Instead of joining with a wide-ranging brief, Interim & Fractional leaders focus on pre-agreed objectives. During the engagement, they will implement and execute a pre-agreed plan, so it’s crucial to agree on these objectives, deadlines and KPIs beforehand. Interim & Fractional leaders can also help interview and onboard their permanent replacement, ensuring they hit the ground running.

For example, the five most common tasks for an Interim & Fractional VP of Sales include restructuring the sales process, devising a coherent commercial strategy with company-wide buy-in, improving sales team performance and advising on sales hires (i.e. SDRs, AEs or even their full-time replacement).

Unlike full-time hiring (which can take up to 6 months), Interim & Fractional leaders are placed within 1–4 weeks and can have an immediate impact. This short time frame is possible thanks to ScaleWise’s unrivalled network of GTM leaders and the idiosyncrasies of the Interim & Fractional model (i.e. they don’t need company-wide onboarding and can dive into pre-agreed tasks straight away).

ScaleWise’s matching process vastly minimises the risk of a bad partnership. However, if the Interim & Fractional leader is not working out, it’s easy to terminate the relationship as there’s no long-term contract (you take out a month-by-month contract with ScaleWise, not the leader).

At ScaleWise, we find the reverse is usually true. Companies either hire their Interim & Fractional leader full-time (this happens in 35% of cases at ScaleWise) or they decide they no longer need support in one area (i.e. sales) and want support in another area (i.e. marketing). With ScaleWise, moving from an Interim & Fractional sales leader to an Interim & Fractional marketing leader is simple.

Interim & Fractional leaders are not hands-off consultants, but highly-experienced commercial leaders who join with a clear mandate and instantly command respect from the team due to their previous experience. Employees respond well to their ‘external’ status as it doesn’t disrupt the internal team dynamic (and avoids office politics) and enables them to objectively make swift strategic decisions (not decisions based on bias or nostalgia).


However, it’s important for the leadership team to support the Interim & Fractional leader and make it clear to employees that they have the authority to make changes (it helps if an internal leader introduces an Interim & Fractional leader to all the key divisions within the business at the start).

Our Interim & Fractional leaders turn into permanent employees every 1 in 3 placements. If you’re looking for a leader that will eventually transition to full-time, it’s worth being upfront about this in the matching stage.

Interim & Fractional leaders placed through ScaleWise are contracted to ScaleWise, not your company. That means we can place them quickly and easily without you needing to negotiate payment terms or waste any time setting up contracts and billing relationships with lots of different leaders. It also makes it easier to change GTM support if required (i.e. using an Interim & Fractional Customer Success leader after working with an Interim & Fractional CMO).

Unlike a coach or a consultant, Interim & Fractional leaders are hands-on doers who get stuck in and get things done. At the outset, they will agree working schedules, practices and processes with you, including days of the week, communication channels, check-ins and access to the wider team.


For example, a leader might work part-time (i.e. three days’ work spread out across the week to ensure responsiveness to company needs) in a hybrid capacity for a few companies concurrently. No matter the working agreement, though, it’s crucial to schedule frequent catch-ups (i.e. one hour per week) to discuss updates, barriers and progress.

Interim & Fractional leaders are scaling professionals. To get roles, they need a strong catalogue of past successes, positive case studies of their previous Interim & Fractional work, and supportive references. As such, they always commit to the role whole-heartedly.


Yet, more importantly, they are motivated by enjoyment. They have often chosen a portfolio career as they love taking on new challenges and sharing their insights to help companies grow, so the more fulfilling the role, the more the Interim & Fractional leader will go above and beyond.

ScaleWise has supported the portfolio companies of top-tier investors

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