Getting Unstuck: Webinar Summary
Overcoming Barriers to Revenue Growth
It happens to many SaaS businesses: Just when things are going right — the number of new bookings is climbing, existing customers are buying more from you, and revenue is moving in the right direction — you hit a wall, and revenue growth slows to the point of feeling “stuck.” The same go-to-market programs and approaches that worked so well in the past no longer deliver the same results. It’s clear change is required, but it may not be clear what’s causing the problem or how best to address it.
This was the focus of our recent webinar featuring sales enablement and operations expert Stephen Hallowell from MuleSoft. Steve has had the good fortune to be part of not one but three companies that broke the mold — ConstantContact, Responsys, and now MuleSoft. With the perfect background to lead this discussion, he identified factors that contribute to getting stuck and, most importantly, outlined how SaaS companies can develop smart programs to restart effective revenue growth. Below are the 5 most important takeaways from the webinar.
1. Three common barriers to revenue growth
Revenue slowdowns can occur due to a number of factors, but typically they center around one or more of these three issues:
- Demand Scaling, i.e., you can’t scale inbound demand as fast as you can scale sales headcount.
- Customer Readiness, i.e., many customers don’t see the value you are offering.
- Uneven Account Executive Performance, i.e., only a few of your sales reps are killing it.
2. It’s all about getting across the chasm
Selling to innovators and early adopters is much different than selling to early majority buyers, late majority buyers and laggards. What worked in the beginning isn’t going to work as you start selling to the mass market. These buyers don’t recognize the problem your solution solves. You have to educate them before you can even think about touting your capabilities and closing the sale.
3. Data helps to shine a bright light
BizOps leaders prove they are strategic business partners when they use data to make the case that change is needed. Start by talking with colleagues in Sales, Marketing and Product to find out if they are seeing the same symptoms you are seeing. Find out what causes they have identified. Then lead the organization by using data. Quarterback a cross-functional team that supports the Sales organization. Find champions on the team that exemplify how changes they’ve made are having a positive impact, and celebrate these individuals and these successes to keep the momentum going.
4. Crossing the chasm is a full company effort
Sales and BizOps can’t go it alone. Marketing has to be part of the journey. Work together to hone your value proposition. It must be crystal clear why customers should change and use your product. Refocus your qualification process to target and qualify only those customers in the mass market that have the ability to buy now. Restructure your sales process to establish an insight-driven model that helps the customer recognize and prioritize the problem/opportunity before focusing on your capabilities. Nail your messaging for content and campaigns, and ensure each and every account executive knows how to talk to customers.
5. An emerging platform called ‘Account Lifecycle Management’ helps BizOps lead with data
For SaaS businesses it’s all about maximizing Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) and Lifetime Value (LTV). CRMs don’t help with this. A new operational platform is required to drive effective growth of recurring revenue. As described by Rekener CEO Alex Laats, Rekener’s Account Lifecycle Management platform enables BizOps leaders to manage data, analyze opportunities, and put that insight into action in order to maximize recurring revenue.
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Steph served as Rekener’s Community Manager and CMO. A Rekener co-founder, she was previously Senior Director of Marketing at CCC, a $300M+ recurring revenue business, and served in marketing leadership roles at Vertical, @stake, Informio, DotContent and Meridian. Her first recurring revenue role was as an inside sales rep selling real-time stock pricing subscriptions.
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