Everywhere you go in software businesses, you hear “KPI” thrown around. But how exactly do you begin to capture data, make sense of the numbers and produce an action plan written with letters? Easy. You follow the steps of intentional iteration.
Host and B2B SaaS Sales Coach Matt Wolach and ScaleMatters CEO Scott Stouffer unleash the magic of intentional iteration and unravel the secret art of using data. Stouffer also shares the assortment of tricks you can apply to scale your company securely. Watch and learn to wield logic like a wand to spell your company to success!
Podcast: SaaS-Story in the Making
Episode: Episode No. 244, “How to Gain More Efficient Growth Using Data – with Scott Stouffer”
Host: Matt Wolach, a B2B SaaS sales coach, Entrepreneur, and Investor
Guest: Scott Stouffer, CEO of scaleMatters
TOP TIPS FROM THIS EPISODE
Model, Measure & Analyze the Motion
Applying intentional iteration via data is a must to keep your growth steady and efficient. You begin to do this by modeling and measuring the motion. Essentially, you need to capture all of those estimates and assumptions you have in your head. Even if it’s not fully backed by research, write down all those numbers.
You measure the model by actually comparing your metrics with your projection. You then compare the existing metrics with the next metrics, and so on. You dig deeper into the data by analyzing the Whys behind a specific metric failing. While making sense of data can be intimidating, you can use tools like scaleMatters, which automates all of these for you, including providing insights.
Fund Lead Generation Early
For many SaaS startups, hiring software salespeople can seem like a luxury or a move that can wait. Instead, they choose to invest in marketing as it’s seen as more affordable. Plus, there are all these impressive statistics about SEO, so what could go wrong, right? While it’s true that marketing is very efficient, it can be quite slow at building up momentum. Hence, adding it later in the game as a funnel booster is better.
To attract prospects properly, software founders would invest in lead generation. This is also more than just the revenue; having actual customers would be how you refine your product market fit (PMF). If you need more customers, chances are your PMF is strong, and no amount of scaling will compensate for that. So make sure to do whatever you can to fill your pipeline from the get-go.
Invest in Sales Support
Instead of scaling the number of salespeople under payroll, investing in top-of-funnel sales support would be ideal. It depends on the needs of your company. However, Stouffer has noticed that companies tend to be overstaffed on sales which becomes detrimental to the team.
This happens because investors should have more time to push for this in their attempts to scale the scaling itself. It gets dangerous because “the old model of revenue driven by sales headcount” no longer works. Often, no one reaches the quota, and the top salespeople leave. Stouffers adds that the sales motion alone isn’t enough and that “the vast majority of the top of the funnel is generated by marketing activities these days.”
Have an Efficiency Mindset
The threat of recession or not, an efficient growth mindset will do more than keep your company financially afloat. While we encourage you to be cautious with your finances at an early stage if you have wiggle room, it’s important to be very protective of your budget. Basically, do not spend so little that you strangle your growth but do not spend too much.
Stouffer muses that you can be as creative and clever as you want with your money. You can even opt for the “fail fast” route that fortune 500 companies do. But make sure you know what you’re doing and what is at stake. Don’t just fail for nothing. Again, just be sure to apply intentional iteration so that your money will not get pointlessly burned. And be cut off from whatever isn’t working.
Onboard Executives & Delegate
Early-stage software companies tend to need more capital to buckle on finances understandably. Still, recruiting executives is recommended to save more time, which you can use to grow the company and gain more capital. Stouffer notes that this investment, while not cheap, will actually pay itself as you can divert yourself to areas where you can make the most impact.
While it’s optional to have an entire C-level team from the get-go, it’s also not ideal to wait too long before doing so. If you wait too long, you will impede your scaling potential. Matt points out that fellow executives would ideally produce more value in their areas of focus compared to what you can do with the bit of time you can allocate. It would even exponentially accelerate your scaling.
Intentional Iteration Ensures Progress
Intentional iteration is the awareness of the iterations your company honed by consciously and regularly improving the process using data. This means that you do more than just go with the flow of running your company’s existing operations. You are aware of the complexity of the process and the reasoning behind them. You also know if they’re effective. If the methods have shortcomings, you tweak them until it’s at peak performance.
Context Drives Actionability
When it comes to data analysis, it’s crucial to look at the context connecting all data points. Telling someone their metrics will not be enough to induce change because the bigger picture needs to be clarified, which is why benchmarks matter. That’s why conversion rates are averaged and compared to one another in sales. Context also helps distinguish what noise is from the critical pieces of data you need to focus on.
[5:50] “Never fast enough but making good progress.”
[10:18] “None of us come out of the gate and have this perfectly honed go-to-market engine. It’s a series of twists and turns and experiments we go through until we try to find things that work.”
[21:38] “Fail fast but do so because you’re being very intentional about things.”
[22:38] “bringing on somebody else who focuses on something and who could– can take something off your plate… it’s more than just the sum of each part. It’s like an exponential acceleration.”
To learn more about Scott Stouffer and scaleMatters, visit https://www.scalematters.com/.
You can also find Scott Stouffer on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/scott-stouffer.
For more about how host Matt Wolach helps software companies achieve maximum growth, visit https://mattwolach.com/