Here we go again 😉

Howdy SaaSholic’s! Checkin in from Day II @SaaStrAnnual2018. My notes from yesterday can be found here. Here we go again:

Intacct’s Journey to an $850m Exit — Greg Sands & Kathy Lord @Intacct

  • Leadership, Talent => Revenue Growth;
  • Product differentiation => Profitability & EBITDA;
  • Disciplined execution => Capital efficient growth;

Focus on the inputs to achieve great outputs;

  • In 2007, the company was at $2m ARR, and struggling. Needed to do a recapitalization. The company had zero mentions on TechCrunch, unsexy. The fund Emergence Capital helped the company seek a CEO, Rob Reid. Focus 100% on building a great machine with talented people. The acquisition of Intacct by Sage returned $120m to Emergence’s LP’s. Right before the acquisition, the company was getting ready for an IPO;
  • Company focused on their purpose, Simon Sinek’s “why”. They focused on delivering efficiency and transformation in the financial departments;
  • Focus on great service delivery, building partner ecossystem and figuring it all out in a SaaS delivery model;
  • Nail and then Scale it. Clear funnel metrics. Having very clearly defined sales steps/milestones early on was the secret to be able to scale. Also, focusing on retention, was necessary to be able to nail it;
  • Targeted SMB/Mid Market, scaling Demand Gen was hard. The brand was not well recognized and most people even pronounced it wrong. The sales needed velocity to close, to be competitive, so the team got super creative in demand gen;
  • Great visibility and metris: Collaboration with the CFO was great and company was super mature from a metrics standpoint.
  • Doing it again: I’d be way more agressive. Invest more in Sales and enablement earlier. Explore some verticals earlier. Would have raised more cash to go even bigger;

Building Outbound Sales Teams — Aaron Ross @Vanilla Forums, Scott Wong, Mackenzi Farsheed

  • Growth companies, ideally, shouldn’t outsource. Outsourcing can be a starting point, but if you can, start with your own, internal team. If you’re doing “in house”, start with 2 prospecting people and a manager;
  • Scrappy way: Single entrepreneur doing it part time. You might learn something, but you won’t get huge results;
  • If it’s taking more than 1 year, you probably have a people problem. At Salesforce, year one broght in $1m, year 2 they brought in $7m;
  • Prospectors should bring 5–15 new opps/month. Ideally at a $10k–100k ACV range.
  • Do not assume that stuff that work at one company works at another. As the deal sizes change, there are big changes in the otubound prospecting model;
  • Some people won’like the work qualifying outbound leads. Take the time to listen to their calls. Meet weekly. Teach them to ask good questions;
  • Compensate SDR’s on revenue. Incentivize lead quality more than volume. Align compensation plan to companies goals. High volume of low quality meetings sucks. Low quality = no shows. Put comp plan aligned with quality meetings. Mindfire compensates SDRs on Opps accepted and Opps closed;
  • Aligning marketing + Outbound: To empower SDR’s, marketing builds targeted case studies and sales enablement facts for their use. Tangible results and hard numbers help SDR’s to excel. Marketing must give them “airflow”. Keep the same messaging, target the segment on channels such as Linkedin, keep cohesion;
  • SDR’s should cover budget on the conversations, but this must be well trained. Ask questions, focus on uncovering if the lead is really qualified. For Mackenzi, they coached the SDR’s to have ROI conversations. They created a 8 bullet checkpoint in which the rep needed to check at least five to consider the lead qualified;

Lessons from Building a Developer GTM — Bitmovin, Shippo

  • Focus on solving dev problems, not on selling to them. Figure out a clear value proposition, a big problem, and make i easy for them to solve that with you;
  • Save time, offer excellent documentation, up to date libraries. Go self service, pay as you go. They avoid talking to humans, so self service helps;
  • By making easy, you enter the target companies tech stack, and get them to open up for conversations;
  • The developer is the internal champion on the sales proccess. Get them involved to advocate for you internally;
  • If they see the value, you make them succeed, they’ll help you to access to business execs;
  • Foster communities, go where they are. Foruns, Github, Trade Shows, etc;

Making SaaS Viral — Mixmax

  • The only way to get $0 CAC is to create a viral product.
  • There are 5 kinds of virality:
  • Network Virality: Only useful if there’s a lot of people using the product. Doesn’t fit all kinds of products.You can either have “out of company virality” = Linkedin OR “in company virality” = Slack;
  • Value Virality: When your customer uses your product, he generates value for users that are not using your product. Great example: DocuSign. Users get documents online, mobile, even if they’re not using the product;
  • Exposure Virality: The product is so awesome that people show your product often. Examples include: Instagram: Users brag about their pictures. Airbnb: Users show the penthouse they rented. Apple: “Sent by my iPhone”;
  • Referrals/Invitations Virality: Users are incentivized or look good by sharing your product with friends. Think about Uber Invite and get $10
  • Word of mouth Virality: You got a brand. People talk about how awesome you are, even without any incentivization.

What didn’t work:

  • Network virality. 1% of new signups;
  • Exposure (sent by Mixmax): 2% of new signups. Adopting this also causes churn almost on the same volume of new signups. On the other hand, this gives great visibility/exposure;

What worked:

  • Referrals: 12% of signups. They offer a free upgrade if you invite 7 or more friends. Works great for products that have a broad appeal;
  • Value Virality: 14% of signups. Features such as embedding calendar availability inside an email, embedding videos, docs, polls and additional features to email. Users see what the product can do and they get interested.
  • Word of Mouth: 44% of signups. People searching for branded keywords on Google, talking on social. Focus on building a brand and being memorable.

Not all virality is equal:

Design principles:

  • Build a culture of frugality;
  • Constrain budgets, creativity brings $0 CAC;
  • Pricing: Ignore common sense, focus on low price, one plan, monthly only. Make it easy to buy if you want to increase virality;

That’s all for today, see ya’ll tomorrow!

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