Synopsis: Why are churn rates in B2B SaaS companies so high, and why is expansion in major accounts so haphazard? For whatever reason, management teams wildly over-invest in their Land strategies while dramatically under-investing in their Expand opportunities, as well as in the support and education efforts required to ensure that customers Renew. Perhaps part of the problem is the lack of suitable models and best practices for managing each of the three corresponding sales motions. I hope this article provides some pointers to help teams redress this chronic imbalance.
Paul Wiefels, is a Master of GoToMarket strategy for the Tech Industry, we caught up with him to find out what should tech companies be focusing on in 2021. Paul shares how there is such little difference between technology offerings from tech companies in the same category and how aligning and motivating the troops is the key to success. In a nutshell it is all about Speed to Market. This is a not to be missed episode.
On this week’s episode of ScaleUp Marketing, I talk to René White, a Senior Advisor with the Chasm Group. René works with boards, CEO’s, and executive management teams on business challenges tied to revenue growth, He began his career with the storied marketing consulting firm Regis McKenna, where he worked directly with Steve Jobs at Apple for more than five years. Rene and I talk about what makes great positioning and how to do positioning projects the right way.
Every day since late last year the media has reported on Covid vaccine rollouts to a global audience anxious to gain protection against Covid-19. The early running indicated that the Oxford-Astra Zeneca alliance, would grab the lead, with the pure-play MRNA companies, Biontech (backed by Pfizer) and Moderna following close behind. Then there’s J&J, which employs a similar technology to that of Oxford-AZ. Which vaccine technology and which company stand to win out in the end? I know where I’m putting my money…
For the past year the world has waited anxiously for confirmation that newly developed Covid vaccines will help restore some level of normalcy to our daily lives. Clearly there’s nothing like a major existential threat to concentrate the minds of scientists, microbiologists, chemists, pharmaceutical companies, execs, healthcare systems, and governments – let alone each one of us citizens – to find a solution to a global pandemic that to date has infected 125m people and killed almost 3m.
“The formulation of the problem is often more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skill.”
– Albert Einstein
“The problem is not the problem, the problem is the way we see the problem.”
– Saji Ijiyemi, Don’t Die Sitting
In my work with CEOs and their teams in B2B SaaS scaleups as well as mid-sized and larger companies I am constantly surprised by how many of their sales teams are closing small deals of $50k or so in ARR with enterprise-level organizations instead of developing much larger opportunities. One consequence of this apparent lack of ambition is a much slower growth rate for the company, and another is that it can take twice as long to build a profitable revenue engine. In fact, I believe this is partly why B2B SaaS companies tend to take a decade or more to build a profitable revenue stream.
“Never let a good crisis go to waste.”
– Winston Churchill, while working to form the United Nations after WWII
“There is only one winning strategy. It is to carefully define thetarget market and direct a superior offering to that target market.”
– Philip Kotler
During the depths of the global crisis, a five-year-old mobile banking software startup was struggling to gain a firm foothold in the market and was facing bankruptcy or at best a fire sale for a few million dollars. A few customers had signed up for pilot projects, generating just under $1m in annual revenues for the VC-funded company. The new CEO and their team were targeting 1400 or so banks in North America, but they still weren’t achieving liftoff. Just six months later they had discovered the formula for success, were off and running, and never looked back. How so?
Tuning Your Strategy for Post-Covid Times
“You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose.”
– Mario Cuomo, former three-term governor of New York State, 1983-94
“If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.”
– Albert Einstein
“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability but comes through continuous struggle.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
My purpose here is to clarify why in today’s C19 downturn virtually every tech company needs to have a clear picture of how they fix critical breakages in one or more of their target customers’ business processes. In order to bring this concept to life it sometimes helps to use a metaphor such as the Leaky Pipe, which I’ll describe further down.
Synopsis: Customer success is a broken promise in 95% of tech companies. CEOs, CROs and sales teams are generally preoccupied with chasing new logos, and scarce CSMs scramble to minimize churn and secure upsells. Frequently, they have no idea about their customer’s business objectives or success criteria. In a downturn like today’s Covid-19 crisis, the risks of cancelled contracts and lost relationships is heightened, just when winning new logos is harder to pull off. This is exactly the time when executives and their customer-facing staff must engage more fully with their major customers – and really help them achieve their desired business outcomes.
How can anyone fail to have noticed the sudden prominence of videoconferencing app Zoom since the outbreak of the Coronavirus crisis? Despite facing established competitors like Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook in consumer video-calling and Cisco and Google in videoconferencing at work, Zoom appears to have literally zoomed to the top of the charts in just the past couple of months.