Three Takeaways from SaaStr 2017
Last week, the SaaSOptics team joined close to 10,000 global SaaS founders, executives and investors in San Francisco for the annual SaaStr event. Now in its third year, SaaStr has become the “must attend” event for anyone running or investing in a SaaS business.
The current and expected growth of the global SaaS market (predicted by Forrester to hit $236 billion by 2020) was echoed by the attendees, speakers and overall size of the event, which was sold-out.
In case you missed it, these are my top three takeaways from SaaStr 2017:
1. SaaS Veterans Supportive of Newcomers
At SaaStr every cross-section of the SaaS ecosystem was covered. No matter which stage of growth your SaaS business is in or which obstacle you might be facing, there were plenty of speakers, sponsors and attendees who were well-equipped to help you overcome any challenge.
One of the biggest advantages of SaaStr is the opportunity to network and learn from others who have “been there, done that” and can provide real, honest advice. It’s great to see that this SaaStr community, founded by VC and SaaS enthusiast, Jason Lemkin, is growing strong with a passion for sharing information and helping other SaaS businesses succeed.
2. Financial Metrics and Operations Pain Point for SaaS Firms
As one of eight finance-focused sponsors, we found that attendees had an unquenchable thirst for information around streamlining their SaaS financial operations. Several of the attendees I spoke with were looking for ways to measure what matters and take the headache out of capturing the financial metrics they need to grow their business and eventually, impress investors.
Over the three-day event, many of the attendees I spoke with realized too late that they didn’t have the right financial operations in place early enough. When it came time to raise capital, they scrambled to pull together the numbers that would make their business appealing to investors. If this sounds familiar, you can check out this article I wrote on SaaS financial metrics.
3. Managing Outbound Sales Team Continues to be Challenge
Building a successful outbound sales team was another area of focus at this year’s event. Aaron Ross, the author of Predictable Revenue and who always has sage advice about specializing sales teams, moderated a panel that provided particularly good information on framing the basics of managing an outbound team – something a lot of SaaS businesses struggle with as they build an effective sales strategy. Mark Roberge, former CRO of HubSpot, also had some extremely practical advice regarding compensation plans that drive a desired behavior. Never underestimate the value of your compensation plan.
About the Author
Tim McCormick is the CEO of SaaSOptics, a subscription management platform designed specifically for growing B2B SaaS and subscription-based businesses, and has over 30 years of experience in building, launching and growing successful enterprise software businesses.