SaaStr Annual, 2017

I attended the SaaStr Annual conference in San Francisco last week, and here are some of the notes I took in amongst the different sessions.

The nature of business is shifting towards:

  • Multiplayer/collaborative
  • Mobile and multi-device
  • International/localized everything

In addition to knowing who your customers are, you should know who they are not. Who are you willing to be bad for?

If your LTV is 3x your CAC, then you’re in a good place.

It’s important to have a realistic understanding of churn. A “simple” measure of 5% implies that your customers are with you for 20 years.

There are four fundamental areas of Machine Learning which can be combined and used in different configurations

  1. Anomaly Detection
  2. Object Identification
  3. Optimization
  4. Segmentation

Regular retrospectives, where you identify and fix things, lead to self-healing, constantly improving teams.

Managers should have their own “operating system” — what are the elements they consider important to their operation? 1:1s? Weekly team meetings? Regular reports upstream? All-hands?

NPS was hammered as the preferred metric for customer satisfaction and engagement. Retention also key/correlated with NPS to indicate a long-term opportunity with great PMF.

You should always prioritize your existing users’ happiness. They are already your customer, so they are significantly easier to keep working with than acquiring new ones.

CAC for new users vs upsells/”expansion” sales is dramatically higher. In the order of 8x more expensive to get new. Lowering churn is crucial here to multiply over time. Once churn is controlled, then look at your upswell and expansion process.

Alignment technique: Sit down with your management team and write down the single most important thing for the company to be successful. Now the next most important, and then the third most important. Now compare and eliminate anomalies, get everyone aligned, then communicate that to your teams.

Levers for SaaS companies to influence their success:

  1. Product Market Fit
  2. Top of funnel lead flow
  3. Conversion rate
  4. Cost to close a deal
  5. # Sales reps
  6. Productivity Per Rep
  7. Number of leads
  8. Pricing/Packaging
  9. Customer Retention Rate
  10. Dollar Retention Rate
  11. Months to Recover CAC
  12. Recruiting, Onboarding & Management

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