This week’s roundup includes great tips for scaling your SaaS company, aligning sales and marketing teams, improving SaaS system validation and more! Let’s get started…
How long is a startup a startup? And how and when do you scale throughout the startup phase, and beyond? This question arose in a recent Chargify marketing meeting, prompting Chargify’s own Kate Harvey to do a little digging. Well, maybe more than a “a little” digging. What Harvey has done here is actually quite brilliant, thorough and educational. Taking readers on a journey from the pre-startup stage and guiding them through every step of the growth, scale, and maturing process – Harvey fastidiously details each stop along the way. This article propels readers through its sometimes lengthy explanations in a way that makes it feel half as long as it really is, without sparing the necessary details. We highly recommend taking Harvey’s guided tour of the various stages of SaaS company growth.
With premature scaling being the reason 70% of startups fail, it is vital to identify the points at which your SaaS can successfully expand. By understanding the major stages of a SaaS company, you can create and implement better strategies for growth at every phase. And no matter where your SaaS company currently is in its life cycle, there are always opportunities to learn, adapt and excel.– Kate Harvey
This is something we’ve discussed a lot on the SaaSX blog, and we loved reading Hackernoon writer Andrew Gazdecki‘s perspective on it. Sales and marketing alignment is such an important issue for SaaS businesses, and though poor alignment can yield potentially devastating consequences – many of us continue to overlook this aspect of our company structure every day. But for Gazdecki, this is not the case. As the founder of Bizness Apps, he has learned the importance of sales and marketing alignment firsthand, and in this 7-minute read he offers some fantastic advice on aligning these departments fully, and properly. Don’t overlook sales/marketing alignment! It matters more than you may think.
By following the tips included in this discussion, you’ll successfully complete this transition with less turmoil. Any dramatic chance of this caliber is bound to create some disruption, but your staff will quickly realize that an aligned business performs and operates smoothly and to more significant effect, in terms of growth, revenue and overall success.– Andrew Gazdecki
Ch Daniel of the newly-founded Chagency is one of our favorite SaaS writers around right now. With his brilliant insights, unique perspectives and concise writing, it’s easy to understand why his posts are so popular. Each week, he produces 2-3 fantastic pieces covering a variety of SaaS-related topics and each time, Daniel makes sure to send readers home with something truly beneficial. While a lot of SaaS bloggers tend to attack the “easy” and most commonly discussed topics, Daniel never fails to forge into new territory, or shed new light on tired old discussions. This is of course the case in his newest piece as well, which sees Daniel pack years of SaaS industry experience into a 6-minute read that is sure to change your understanding, perspective, and approach to designing, scaling, and automating your SaaS demos. Give it a read, and be sure to follow his various accounts for more great content.
In the end every one business has got the same “pain point” which is they want to make more money (roughly). That’s the last common denominator of all businesses.– Ch Daniel
Xander Marketing founder Alex Cohen returned to the blog last week with a great piece on the skills SaaS Marketing Directors and CMOs need in order to achieve real results. Cohen spotlights the 6 skills he considers most important, and backs them with a convincing argument fueled by his irrefutable experience and qualifications. Stating than an applicant’s paper qualifications are not enough on their own, Cohen frames his opinions in a real-world “rubber meets the road” context, and leaves readers with a blinding sense of clarity when moving into their marketing director/CMO interview process.
The reason we want experience in a senior role is that an applicant presenting this is likely to have proven their ability to perform this part of the CMO’s remit successfully. They need to have demonstrated the ability to think and act strategically.– Alex Cohen
As an IT consultant, Medium writer Terri Mead has spent over 14 years consulting with life sciences companies on system selection, system implementation, and computer validation. Reflecting on the changes within the tech industry that have lead to declining need for people with her skill set, Reed questions if this lack of need is really a lack of need – or a lack of awareness. She points out that biotech companies aren’t building internal computer validation and system talent since most emerging biotech companies are outsourcing their IT. Quality Assurance (QA) departments are reluctant to take on responsibility for computer validation as well, as are most other departments. So what are life sciences companies doing to ensure compliance with regulations such as 21 CFR Part 11 for electronic records and electronic signatures? According to Reed – not enough. And after hearing her perspective, we tend to agree. In the first half of this article, Reed explains the current need for SaaS system validation to be passed off to qualified IT professionals, and in the second half, she explains how to get this done right. How are you addressing SaaS system validation?
No vendor can fully anticipate a customer’s intended use and therefore can’t provide a validated system without defining the intended use and verifying the system meets those requirements. Every company has different processes and procedures and configures systems for their intended use thereby making it impossible for a vendor to claim they have a ‘validated system’ during the sales cycle.– Terri Mead
Last but no least comes this fantastic article from OPEXEngine‘s Lauren Kelley. Kelley delves into the calculation of SaaS Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) and how to calculate it correctly. Pointing out that knowing what not to include in your CAC calculation is just as important as knowing what to include, Kelley focuses this piece on the former. Have you fine-tuned your CAC calculation process? This article can help!
Successful SaaS businesses calculate the Cost of Customer Acquisition (CAC) correctly and use that CAC data to quantify and optimize their marketing and sales productivity. CAC analysis gives SaaS vendors insights to improve top line growth and profitability.– Lauren Kelley
Thanks so much for joining us for another SaaS roundup. We hope to see you here again next Monday!