“The particulars of business have changed, but the fundamentals have not.” — Bill Gates
Fundamentals of business have not changed. Not in Bill Gates eyes. What is certainly true about building a B2B SaaS business is one thing. It’s not easy.
The reason it’s not simple — lies in the fact competition is in every market sector, barriers to entry are low with less defensible moats and SaaS businesses largely follow a similar playbook. In my view to set yourself apart from the rest you need to focus your attention to;
- Double down on building brand equity — it’s critical you invest in serious and detailed thinking on how you build the most likeable brand in your category. Brand has been a neglected cousin of Outbound / Demand Generation over the past 5 years. If you notice though, the B2B SaaS brands who are growing at speed — all have superior brand equity. Build a proposition deck on Peter Thiel’s 4 buckets: Proprietary technology, Network Effects, Economies of Scale and branding.
- Build an end-to-end Revenue funnel — you should have read SaaS Sales as a Science (if not please do). An action every B2B business needs to take is build a full revenue funnel that goes beyond closed won into customer advocacy. Hire specific marketers / revenue ops into your teams that can deliver these insights that will skyrocket your understanding of growth in the business.
- Hire sales last — a controversial view. Why on earth would you hire sales last when you need to grow revenue? Well, in fact the key here is your GTM, proposition and processes. Before you hire sales you need to have really built a strong sales led proposition, built out models/ frameworks for scaling and design processes in your demand funnel. This is a different persona to sales. Without this sales is blind. The rise of Product Led Growth models informs and backs up this perspective — think differently about how you close revenue.
And I always encourage my team to reflect on it in great depth every quarter. Yes, it’s fine to follow some fundamental strategies that work. But what will you do that is innovative — what will you do differently and how will you have other brands copying your playbook.
If you manage to achieve this in the market you will be market leading.