Finding a sure shot model to deliver on revenue targets is a holy grail for sales. Ethan Teng is heading growth at Recurly and has delivered some spectacular success. He discussed his co-horted growth model to measure the end to end customer lifecycle – “ from acquisition, activation, engagement, retention, monetisation, and resurrection – and identify the biggest opportunities and points of leverage” in the GrowthTL;DR podcast.
If you are following the startup discourse on the net with many very knowledgeable founders and VCs and others weighing in for revenue, the primary obsession seems to be with funding. Yet anyone who has raised and spent knows that money in the bank runs out at some point unless it is backed by revenue.
There is no question that you need to hone your marketing game before you start selling at scale. The quality of channel that drives quality traffic is indicated by not only in terms of number of visitors but “in terms of (1) how quickly it can generate leads once you start investing, (2) scalability, and/or (3) potential return on investment (ROI).”
Tomasz Tunguz wrote this lucid post on using mental models for Sales hiring at Startups. The first is that of looking at the experience of the sales person through the lens of Market Leader or Market Challenger. Selling for a Market leader is considerably easier and allows sales people to leverage the brand. However selling for a startup is very different and involves educating the market and convincing the buyer to abandon the market leader in the process of buying the challenging solution,
Strangely this motto of PitchLink – our buyer seller engagement platform, jumps right out of the new Gartner CSO Update on the new B2B buying journey. Gartner is calling it ‘Buyer Enablement’ – a term that is gaining traction over the past couple of years. So what do you enable? According to Brent Adamson (check out his entertaining and educative video in the link below) the buyer needs to complete 6 jobs and selling organisations need to focus on information excellence at each stage to assist the buyer ‘complete’ her jobs at each stage to be able to complete the sales process.
We all know it. Building a product is relatively easier than selling it. One of the reasons founders keep pushing, first – the face to face with customers and after that asking for money from them – is because we want to keep the fantasy rolling. In many guises – the product is not ready, we need to add those two features, our market it elsewhere and so on.
Well let’s get real. Thanks to Tracey Ruff‘s list of 10 must watch videos for SaaS Growth, I found this great talk by Mark Roberge (MD, Stage 2 Capital, Prof, HarvardHBS and former CRO at Hubspot) and Michele Law (former CRO at Castlight Health and former COO at OpenDNS). And they list these four core issues failing SaaS sales, ergo – what not do to.
1. Pre-mature focus on growth/ Going into growth mode too early
2. The first sales hire
3. Ignoring sales impact on customer success
4. Aligning GTM by function rather than buyer
There is more advice on what To Do. It’s a 20 min listen. Go for it. hashtag
Where I learnt this #382
Learn from the Leaders: 10 Must-See Videos on SaaS Growth https://blog.userlane.com/saas-growth-videos/
The Betts Recruiting Compensation Guide 2019 shows the current hiring pay for all levels of Sales, Marketing and People positions in the Tech Industry.
The typical compensation structure (Base + Commission) was 100% Salary + bonus for a Sales Ops role to a 50:50 (B+C) split for Enterprise sales. Typical SDR had a 60:40 split between salary and commissions.
One surprising trend of our times is the openness with which people share strategies and learnings. Through my 366 posts in 2019 that has been one constant source of joy. That’s not all. Whenever I reached out to the writers I almost always found genuine interest to share more.
Vik Singh, cofounder of Infer wrote about STC in his post in Latka B2B SAAS Blog and it brings a simple yet arguably a very effective way to assess the health and state of a startup (or any company for that matter) and apparently VC’s are paying a lot of attention to what Vik calls “STC”.