Our Selling Pains Survey 2019 pointed out a bunch of problems folks on the ground are facing every day. Over 80% sales professionals surveyed admitted having a problem getting a face to face meeting with an identified prospect between 20% and 60% of the times in varying degrees.
There is so much information available about building and growing your saas and I always wonder what it takes to clear our head and focus on what needs to be done. Building a SAAS business is very complex and difficult. When you get over the initial hump, what determines if you will go from $2M ARR to $20M? And then to $100M ?
This presentation by Jason Lemkin provides 10 pointers of things you are probably doing wrong or need to do right – which ever way you look at it. Includes mistakes like:
Not Hiring 2-3 Sales Reps.
Not Seeing The Pattern Early Enough – this is apparent by the time you hit $500K ARR.
Not (Intentionally) Going Upmarket Faster and
Not Seeing the Power of a Mini-Brand
It is a 57 min video and has a download link to the slide deck. A great investment of your Tuesday evening.
And as you will realise it will mostly be your fault if you are not looking out for the signs.
P.S. Whenever you are feeling like learning something new about Saas head to Jason Lemkin’s Twitter feed.
Where I learnt this # 288
Top 10 Mistakes Getting to $100M ARR https://www.heavybit.com/library/video/top-10-mistakes-getting-to-100m-arr/
Most of the advice on Startups have a timelessness about them. People have been starting businesses with an idea that they found compelling for hundreds of years. Still you would wonder why we do not learn from the abundant availability of information? Possibly because we are making conscious choices like – ‘build to be acquired – not to serve customer needs’. A few clever people do get away with that. But I digress.
I came across this highly readable article by Vishal Kataria (http://aryatra.com) on common blunders founders commit and I thought it would be nice to reiterate the basics that we ignore. No idea why?
Vishal talks about these:
1. The Mere Ownership Bias : Be fiercely customer centric.
2. Selling Products And Services : Sale the Solution (to the customers problem) not the feature ( in your product).
3. Ignoring The Process – This is super important. But clarity in role and deliverables is key to success.
4. Pursuing Every New Opportunity – Stop doing that. Obviously.
5. Saying No To Learning – Learn about new tech, new competition, new user needs.
Give it a read. It has illustrations, more links and a nice way to quick check if you are in the clear.
Business Insider just released their UK Tech 100 list. It is an interesting mix of techies, VC’s, politicians, journalists and activists. Women feature in equal measure contrary to the normal discourse that tech is male dominated. Not so any more, at least on this list.
I have been exploring GrowthX since I met Andrew and Sean at the Startup Grind earlier this week. Want to sell at scale and build an enduring business? This is Sean’s hypothesis. The first lesson is – the First Mover Advantage is overrated. This I will agree however the contention that this is never the case for a leader in any category might be a stretch. I would love to circle back to this theme later. But the real point of the article is not that. It is the Lasting-Mover Advantage.
Running a business while raising kids can be challenging. There are a lot of decisions, example setting etc that one needs to focus on. In this context I always remember a lecture by Desh Deshpande at a TiE Conference in California nearly two decades back. He said “In life we all have many balls in the air that we are juggling between – ambition, career, hobbies, dreams, family…all of these balls are made of rubber except one. All the ones made of rubber will bounce back up even if you drop them once in a while. But there is one that is made of glass and you better not drop it. It is the ball of Family”. I never forgot that.
Yesterday I attended the Startup Grind Durham region spearheaded by Sherry Colbourne CEO of Spark Centre, Oshawa with two electrifying guests Sean Sheppard and Andrew Goldner founders of GrowthX. It was a rocking time full of bonhomie and nuggets of wisdom. Here’s one: the ‘Service as a software’ idea shared by Sean.
Last week Jason M. Lemkin pointed to Marc Benioff’s TechCrunch Disrupt interview where he told his starting up story – how he went up and down Sandhill Road and no one was interested in his vision of cloud and how no one without exception offered him any money. Its his friends in US and Japan who stood by him and help him build Sales Force which is now 100Bn in market cap.