So we just updated our SaaStr New Year’s Resolutions here, and it’s a great list. Pick a few and you will without a doubt grow faster this year.
But a lot of advice takes some time to pan out. What are 5+ changes you can make today, or at least this week, to do better?
A few thoughts:
1. Visit all prospects and customers in person that have an ACV of >= $50k. The more of your prospects you visit in person, the more that will close. And the more existing customers you visit in person, the better the upsell and revenue retention. Want to increase your close rates, with the leads you already have? Get on an airplane. Want to increase your revenue retention? Show up in person. Visit all your customers > $50k every quarter if you can, at least twice a year, and start now. You don’t need an amazing agenda. Just give them a roadmap update — that alone gets the meeting in most cases. And then just check in . Even with no new leads, and no new customers, this alone will boost your revenue. And you can start this week.
2. Have a weekly 1-on-1 with a VP/direct report that you don’t have one with right now. Weekly 1-on-1 meetings are critical. They are one of the simplest ways to get more out of the team you already have. Meet each week, in an unstructured way. This will help you surface simple ways you can help then do better. Most of us tend either not to do 1-on-1s, or only do them with some reports. Force yourself to do them with all your reports. And if there’s someone you don’t want to do a 1-on-1 with … that’s a sign she/he should report to someone else. So make that change this week, too. So they report to someone who can be a more effective boss than you.
3. Hire a new recruiter and meet with 30+ new candidates for your #1 open role. As you begin to scale, the gaps on your team can become overwhelming. Because there will be so many of them. Take a breath, and if you want to do better this week, focus on just one key hire. The #1 you need. And find a new recruiter. You need a fresh perspective. Tell her you want to meet 30 candidates in 60 days, if possible, and you are committed to making the hire ASAP. That will motivate both of you. And pay up. A recruiter fee is tiny compared to value a top VP will bring.
4. Set a burn-rate budget for each and every month. This will focus your team and de-stress your life. Most of us come up with a rough budget for the year, but not a burn-rate budget for each month. This will force everyone on the team, starting Monday, to collaborate on hiring and other trade-offs. If you go over the budget, now everyone will know. In close to real time. This will almost immediately improve the efficiency of your limited budgets, and improve teamwork. And you will make better decisions on where to deploy your limited resources. Which will not just manage your burn rate — but increase your revenues. Starting Monday.
5. Cut out toxic folks. Most of us keep / sit on a hire or two that has strong skills, that we feel we need, but that is dragging down the team. It turns out, you don’t need them. It turns out, the week you move them out of the company, the folks that are great and positive will somehow fill the gap, someway. And it turns out, you’ll do better just one week after moving the super experienced, but toxic folks out. Do it this week. Do it on Monday. And you will do better this month.
Scaling a SaaS company past, say, 100 customers, $1m ARR, or even earlier, is as much about making fewer mistakes than it is about going faster, bigger, strong. Take as many actions as you can to just do a bit better.
And above are 5 you can take this week.
Make it so.
(note: an updated SaaStr Classic post)
Published on January 3, 2023