Starting a SaaS company is hard, and raising it can even be more challenging. Finding the right strategy, going through trial and error, and especially finding the fund you need are only parts of what makes it difficult to achieve. However, with the right measures, it is possible.
In this episode of SaaS-Story in the Making, B2B SaaS Sales Coach and host Matt Wolach and Juno’s CEO, Josh Hotsenpiller, talk about how to take your startup to explosive growth. Hotsenpiller shared the right steps that he applied at Juno, where it successfully grew, and he managed to raise $15M with only 60 employees.
Podcast: SaaS-Story in the Making
Episode: Episode No. 216, “How One SaaS Founder Hit $1M Revenue in His First Four Months”
Host: Matt Wolach, a B2B SaaS sales coach, Entrepreneur, and Investor
Guest: Josh Hotsenpiller, CEO at Juno
TOP TIPS FROM THIS EPISODE
Win Channel Partners & Accelerators
Juno launched in October 2021 but for a short time, it managed to grow quickly and massively. One thing that Hotsenpiller emphasizes is that “you can’t predict growth.” When starting your SaaS startup, you cannot simply know how you can grow and how far you will go. But ‘accelerators’ can help.
In starting Juno, he had the chance to talk to these accelerators. They are founders “who have earned the trust of the marketplace.” This connection allowed them to expand their channel and get recognized by the market.
Founders should find their channel partners and accelerators. Channel partners are those founders or investors, or even contacts at other companies, who have connections. They have distributions where they can introduce you to other founders. Hence, expanding your network.
Accelerators, on the other hand, have established their unique identity, have a strong influence, and are trusted by the marketplace. Their authority can help you build yours. It is important to learn how to win these accelerators to help you not only with the process of building your startup but in starting the whole process on the right foot.
Associate Your Solutions To Their Needs
It does not stop there when you have adequate funding to support your startup. There are still people that you have to win. Hotsenpiller shared that when they are at this stage, he realizes that it is essential to winning analysts. They are problem solvers who can help you make the best-informed decisions in the future. Learning how to win them is essential for your growth.
However, they are far different from investors or managing directors. You have to let them think and solve the problem for you to get their interest. During the pitch, explain to them what it is about and let them analytically work through your business.
Selling to analysts is one example of why you need to personalize your presentations. You will be pitching to different people, with different levels of expertise, and different areas or industries. Catering what you are talking about to who you are talking to is a must so you can easily be on the same page. Learn to associate your solution with their specific needs.
Look For Investors That Can Help You Grow
There are a lot of investors out there. With the right product and a good pitch, you can get funding from them in no time. You need them to support you financially, but they can help you with more. All you need to do is to find the right investors for your business.
In growing your business, you need resources, and any investor can provide you with that. But you must look for those who can help you grow and evolve as a business. Hotsenpiller said, “I still think there’s a massive value of getting money from somebody that can help you grow.” They will be willing to support you in many aspects, provide you with opportunities, and push you to be the best. Because startups are hard, before working with an investor, ask yourself, “who’s going to help us get to that next level?”
There’s No One Way of Doing Anything
Getting your new business out in the market is not easy. The competition is tough, and there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for growth. Like Hotsenpiller said, “there is no one way of doing anything.” Businesses will have to go through trial and error before they can succeed, but it is not impossible.
Before Juno, Hotsenpiller had built companies in the past. But what made Juno grow fast and massive was starting on the right foot. With years of experience, Hotsenpiller has learned how to grow a SaaS company, which he applied at Juno. He leveraged the network he had built before, talked to the suitable accelerators, and introduced the product to the market well. With this, they have raised $15M and grown to 60 employees in a very short time.
However, it was not an easy journey. They have also struggled in the process, especially with the fast-paced growth. The hard work and struggles paid off. Eventually, Juno had explosive growth in finding the right measures needed at the right time.
Virtual Is Here to Stay
In the past few years, we have been used to attending conferences and events virtually. But more than a space for dialogue, businesses should also leverage it for their engagement. Juno is a Single-Destination SaaS Platform where you can do virtual events for engagement.
Today, people want to connect to people they love. And your market also wants a constant connection with you. Starting in the virtual space allows you to be reachable to them. You can use it to provide value to a wider audience, provide more utility to your customers, make space for interaction and engagement, and most importantly, you can use it for lead generation. The virtual space is here to stay and businesses should learn how to use it to their advantage.
[07:40] “I think, a lot of times, we put so much pressure on ourselves for explosive growth. And I think somebody just needs to tell you, you can’t predict it, you can’t buy it.”
[08:52] “My advice to founders is you need accelerators, that have earned the trust of a marketplace, and then you need to go win with them.”
[09:13] “Personality can get you to the door, but [the] process will get you through it.”
[16:49] “One of the things you have to do is cater your pitch, cater what you’re talking about to the role, the role of the person on the line level, and what they care about what they’re working for.”
To learn more about Josh Hotsenpiller and Juno, visit: https://www.junolive.com/.
You can also find Josh Hotsenpiller on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshhotsenpiller/.
For more about how host Matt Wolach helps software companies achieve maximum growth, visit https://mattwolach.com/.