The role of customer success & 5 must-have sales reports (+SaaS conversion benchmarks & winning characteristics of first startup hires).
Hey - it’s Alex!
Today, I will share with you:
4 actionable SaaS growth tips
Best tip, failure, & learning’ by Andreas Michel (Co-founder & CEO of Locaboo)
1 software tool recommendation
… that will help you quickly grow your SaaS product 🚀.
👉 Before you begin:
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1. SaaS conversion rates + 8 tips to increase your activation rate
Corey Haines (Swipe Files) recently published a great SaaS marketing report.
And what it shows, is that:
29% of SaaS startups have a visitor-to-lead conversion rate below 1%
the majority (59%) have a lead-to-customer conversation rate below 10%
If you’re getting enough leads, but having a hard time activating them, I’ve collected 8 tips for you.
8 tips to 𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗱𝘀 🔥
The Bowling alley framework gives you a great overview, of what you can use to convert new leads into active users.
1️⃣ 𝗠𝗮𝗽 𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗰𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗿 𝗷𝗼𝘂𝗿𝗻𝗲𝘆
Start to draw your customer journey (e.g use Miro).
Decide intentionally how you get them from one stage to the next stage (e.g. email sequence, call, in-product tour…).
Ask yourself: Can you remove complexity? Do I provide enough guidance in each stage? Does the journey makes sense or should we revamp the customer journey?
2️⃣ 𝗥𝗲𝘃𝗮𝗺𝗽 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗰𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝘁𝗼 𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗴𝗲
Once the journey is clear, do you make it easy to move to the next stage?
Do you have the right CTAs in place? Also is it consistent in your messaging?
Move them one step after the after in your onboarding.
3️⃣ 𝗥𝗲𝗺𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗳𝗿𝗶𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗼 𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮 𝘀𝗮𝗹𝗲𝘀 𝗱𝗲𝗺𝗼
If you’re following sales-led growth, is it easy to book a demo with you?
Embed a scheduling tool e.g. Calendly
4️⃣ 𝗦𝗲𝘁 𝘂𝗽 𝗮 𝘄𝗲𝗹𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗹 𝗮𝘂𝘁𝗼𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘀𝗲𝗾𝘂𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲
After signup, send out a welcome email.
Let them know what to do next.
Ideally, it’s not just a single email, better set up an email sequence.
The goal of the sequence is to get them active.
5️⃣ 𝗥𝗲𝗺𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗲𝘅𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗶𝗻 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁 𝗼𝗻𝗯𝗼𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴
A lot of tools are really complex when you sign up.
You see lots of different features.
Better remove complexity and focus on delivering value as fast as possible (quick time to aha moment).
What is the key feature new signups need to experience? Focus on that.
6️⃣ 𝗔𝗱𝗱 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗴𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗯𝗮𝗿𝘀, 𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗰𝗸𝗹𝗶𝘀𝘁𝘀, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗴𝘂𝗶𝗱𝗲𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁 𝗼𝗻𝗯𝗼𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴
‘Guidance’ within the product is a great way to get them to the aha moment, especially if you’re product-led.
7️⃣ 𝗢𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗿 𝗲𝗻𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵 𝘀𝘂𝗽𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁
Track how your new signups interact with your product.
If you see someone is lost, offer support.
Also segment new signups (e.g. Tier 1, 2,3) and proactively offer sales support to the most valuable (Tier 1).
You can segment signups using forms in the signup flow (e.g. number of employees, company name, amount of ‘value metric’).
8️⃣ 𝗘𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗱 𝘀𝗼𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗼𝗳
Add social proof (logos, case studies, testimonials) along the customer journey.
This means having social proof in your welcome email sequence, signup page, pricing page, and help center.
Also, read this article by Laura Kluz & Ramil John for some great examples of product onboarding experiences.
2. 5 reports every SaaS founder should have!
I’ve seen founders tracking every single metric possible, and also I’ve seen SaaS founders lacking crucial metrics.
Here are 5 reports that I would highly recommend to every B2B SaaS founder.
𝟭) 𝗧𝗿𝗮𝗳𝗳𝗶𝗰 𝘁𝗼 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻
Track your website traffic and amount of new leads created.
𝟮) L𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗱𝗲𝗮𝗹 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗽𝗲𝗿 𝗺𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗵
See how many new leads are created this month.
Track what percentage of those are converted to deals.
Track month over month to see if you’re getting better.
𝟯) W𝗶𝗻 𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗽𝗲𝗿 𝗺𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗵 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗿𝗲𝗽
What percentage of the deals you’re closing this month are 'won' and 'lost'?
If your win rate is below 20%, you need to work on your sales demos.
See if your sales team gets better over time in closing deals (higher win rate).
Identify sales reps that need more training in closing.
𝟰) L𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗽𝗲𝗿 𝗾𝘂𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗲𝗿
It’s normal to lose deals. But make sure you know why you lose deals.
Use predefined lost reasons (drop-down) to make analyzing easy.
At least once a quarter, analyze them.
𝟱) S𝗮𝗹𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗿𝗲𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁(𝘀)
Yes, sales is also (not only) a numbers game.
Track the number of emails / calls / demos / meetings per week.
I would recommend creating a sales dashboard and adding each of the reports to it. This makes it easy to frequently analyze how you’re doing.
Tools like Pipedrive & HubSpot make it quite easy to create these reports (they have templates for it).
3. Customer Success activities and responsibilities
Customer Success (CS) is crucial for B2B SaaS.
But still, I get a lot of questions about what CS really does!
That’s why I’ve created a quick overview about 𝗦𝗮𝗮𝗦 𝗖𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗿 𝗦𝘂𝗰𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗲𝘀, 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗽𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗶𝗯𝗶𝗹𝗶𝘁𝗲𝘀 & 𝗞𝗣𝗜𝘀.
𝗖𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗿 𝗦𝘂𝗰𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗽𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗶𝗯𝗶𝗹𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗲𝘀:
Onboarding & Training of new Customers
Retain Customers and Increase Revenue over time (Upselling)
Optimize overall product experience (especially onboarding) / Product Marketing
𝗠𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗿𝗲𝗹𝗲𝘃𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝗖𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗿 𝗦𝘂𝗰𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗲𝘀:
Doing Onboarding Sessions with new clients
This could be either in 1:1 Sessions or also at 1:n training sessions/webinars.
Offer migration service and/or premium concierge onboarding
Some clients need more help or data migration is key for success.
CS job is to help new clients to get 'live' as fast as possible, including a smooth migration service (e.g. data import).
Monitor customer usage
Observe the product usage of clients.
Identify churn potentials and offer help to prevent churn.
Identify revenue opportunities for heavy users and try to upsell them.
Optimize overall onboarding experience
Work on great emails and help center content (e.g. Training Videos).
Support product with in-product messaging.
Provide Training to boost product adoption (together with Product marketing).
Upselling & Cross-selling strategy
CS is responsible to increase the ARPA over time and increase net revenue retention.
Create a strategy for when and how to upsell and cross-sell over time.
𝟯 𝗠𝗮𝗶𝗻 𝗞𝗣𝗜𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗖𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗿 𝗦𝘂𝗰𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀:
expansion revenue / net revenue retention
customer NPS Score
I’m curious to hear how you run Customer Success! Send me a DM on Linkedin.
4. 𝟵 𝘄𝗶𝗻𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗰𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗴𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁 𝗳𝗶𝗿𝘀𝘁 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗿𝘁𝘂𝗽 𝗵𝗶𝗿𝗲𝘀
I’m getting frequently asked by founders about who are the right first 10 employees for my startup.
Here are 𝟵 𝘄𝗶𝗻𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗰𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗴𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁 𝗳𝗶𝗿𝘀𝘁 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗿𝘁𝘂𝗽 𝗵𝗶𝗿𝗲𝘀:
Wants ownership and be accountable
Being okay with uncertainty (especially missing structure, processes, and long-term strategy)
Being flexible and being fine with pivots
Don’t need a crystal clear job profile
Open-minded problem solver (always looking for new ways to solve challenges)
Growth mindset and loves to learn new things
Motivated by having impact and ownership (not by money)
Focused on outcomes, not on input
Great culture fit
If you’re building your team right now, keep this in mind!
💡 Best tip, failure, and learning Andreas Michel (Co-founder & CEO of Locaboo)
Tip: Don‘t focus on the competition too much. Better focus on your core target/customer group and talk to them early and continuously (!). But do not ask them what they need or want or what the software lacks in their opinion. Better ask them what kind of problems they are trying to solve and understand their journey to solve their daily business and pain points
Failure: As a product manager with a penchant for UI, I used to tend to get lost in the details. Today, I m convinced that the 80/20 rule gives a real productivity boost. This doesn't mean that the quality has to drop to comply with this rule, but I often spent the last 20% to achieve a worse result than I had with 80%.
Learning: Don't believe the feedback too much when it says: exciting, awesome, amazing stuff you are building. Trust metrics and implement funnels and tracking to get a real understanding of your customers. Everything else is just words. Polite but unfortunately not valuable to build good products.
P.S. Check out Locaboo if you want to manage your resources, spaces, and areas efficiently. It’s the most flexible cloud platform to manage space and resources and make them bookable online.
🧠 Do you want to share your best tip with 500+ SaaS professionals? Reach out to me via Linkedin.
💪 1 software tool recommendation
I can highly recommend Phantombuster for your lead generation.
It’s super simple to generate leads from all major networks & websites (like Linkedin, Instagram, Google Maps…). Here is a guide on how to extract emails from Linkedin.
P.S. Check out my list of best software tools for SaaS startups.
Happy growth 🚀.
The majority (59%) of B2B SaaS have a lead-to-customer conversation rate below 10%
5 must-have reports: Traffic to Lead; Lead to Deal; Win rate; Lost reasons; sales activity
Customer Success is crucial for B2B SaaS success.
9 winning characteristics for a great first startup hire: wants ownership, okay with uncertainty, problem solver
🚀 Whenever you’re ready, 3 ways I can help you:
Follow me on Linkedin for more actionable tips to grow your B2B SaaS business
Download your FREE copy of the SaaS Growth Strategy Worksheet and get access to a list of 82+ hand-picked, proven SaaS growth strategies.
Work with me 1:1 to grow your B2B SaaS business - send me a DM on Linkedin or book a free 15min virtual coffee with me to learn more about my offering.
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