Top 10 Takeaways from the SaaStr Annual Conference in San Francisco

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SaaStr is probably one of the most influential events in the SaaS industry. This February, at the SaaStr Annual 2016 conference for startups and small businesses, 150 speakers and over 5000 participants gathered.

The conference attracted prominent speakers, unicorns, and investors for a three-day period that allowed all participants to showcase their products and develop new friendships. Some of the keynote speakers at the conference were: Blond, S. (SVP Sales of Zenefits), Maccabe, E. (Co-founder at Intercom), Ellis, S. (Founder of Growth Hackers, Cassidy, B. (VP Sales at Linkedin). Below is the list of ten takeaways that we learned during the conference.

1. Not all content is created equal

The catchy phrase “content is king” is on everyone’s mind. But it is important to understand that re-posting that one kitten’s meme a million times will do absolutely nothing for you and your business. Only high-quality authentic content and profound understanding of the audience will generate heat for your startup. Be mindful that Quora, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other resources have subtle differences when it comes to audience and style. Get a deeper grasp and spend your time learning the philosophy practiced by each media channel and its users.

2. Focus your attention on clients

Onboarding is quite important for the UX, especially during the first nine months of usage. Secondly, you should reply to every customer comment politely and be able to handle both positive and negative feedback. Try to develop a continuous integration, for example, via messengers

3. SaaS use metrics wisely

Three main points of success for a SaaS company are growth, profitability, and cash. Despite the good execution, strengthening the growth always goes with profitability and cash flow. It is possible to make a higher profit if the cost of acquiring a customer is three times less than the lifetime value of the customer. So, the advice from the David Skok is to concentrate on LTV (loan-time value) figure. The crucial factor for increasing revenue for a single-product promotion is the variable pricing axes. That means that to the product features we add such indicators as database size, mailing list size, etc. Cash flow is significantly impacted by the ‘Months to recover CAC’, which should be fewer than 12. Cash flow should be positive and continuous from every customer.

4. Today is the perfect time for the cloud business development

Workly is a bright representative of cloud-based software. In the nearest future, our solution should become the best time and attendance application because we are working to keep our customers happy and satisfied.

5. Clients should not have any doubts about product’s reliability

This means that everything should run smoothly and a company’s employees must work on continuous improvement of the product. Additionally, it is better to create simple, easy-to-use, stable products.

6. Develop the right pricing model

Pricing strategy for traditional products differs totally from the pricing strategy of SaaS products. If you don’t understand that, it will definitely bring a lot of problems in the future. The first advice is not to give a discount if SaaS is purchased with a credit card. The second advice is to build a two times bigger discount for the larger enterprise deals. Finally, you as a manager should understand when is better to beat the rival’s offer. It is crucially important, especially for the long-run perspective.

7. Build a company-wide growth culture

Despite the severe competition, every leader should do three major things:

- Involve every team member in broad participation: collect and analyze ideas.

- Learning should be transparent: share all results with the team.

- Weekly Cadence: implement prompt testing with an ad hoc team and other execs. It helps you to discover more. The blog of Ellis, B. could be interesting for you.

8. Benchmark your startup.

According to Tunguz, T., it is crucially important to build a strong sales team. The best way to develop your business is to invest in salespeople and support them. Today it is very difficult to prosper due to political instability as well as increasing competition. The best way is to stop hiring and concentrate on the existing team: invest and require more.

9. If you are afraid of risk, you are not an entrepreneur.

Victoria Tsai, the founder of Tacha, confirms that even if it is difficult to quantify, calculate and predict risks, you should do it. “Risk is like a bad smell, but after a while, you enjoy the results”. Watch this video to learn more.

10. Use Sales Force to collect the data about the customers.

The major goal of a company is to build and develop a long-term partnership with customers. For this purpose, the customer should be happy and satisfied if you want them to return in the future.You can equip sales force with data mining tools that will help to shape the product and create client-centric culture. Your company should focus more on what is convenient for the customer, not for the company.

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