I started reading "From Impossible to Inevitable" six days ago. Co-authored by Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin, I first heard about the book during Day 3 of SaaStr Annual 2017. In fact, I recall buying it from my iPhone as I listened to a breakout panel moderated by Aaron Ross. So far it's been a uniquely relevant read.
SEE RELATED: My Takeaways from SaaStr Annual 2017 Conference (Day 3)
Over Easter weekend, I dug in further. This post is about the takeaways I've gotten from Chapters 1-8.
Preface: Systemizing Success in SaaS
The book's preface makes the argument that success in SaaS (Software as a Service) can by systemized: "There's a template that the world's fastest companies follow to achieve and sustain hypergrowth." Well that's a beautiful hook and I'm listening. Tell me more :)
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Part I: Nailing a NichePart I, or chapters 1-4, deal with:
- Identifying a niche (Niche does not mean small market).
- Reducing/focusing your offering or product.
- Working through the Niche Matrix.
- Jason's 20-Interview Rule (useful!)
- Leveling up your elevator pitch.
Luckily for us, we're far enough down the road where these keystone events have already happened for Paubox. Nonetheless, it was good validation to read them.
Part II: Creating a Predictable PipelinePart II, or chapters 5-8, are where the rubber met the road for me. I learned that:
- "Predictable lead generation is the lever to creating hypergrowth."
- The best way to triple sales is not by tripling the salesforce, but rather by growing qualified leads.
- There are three types of leads: Seeds, Nets and Spears.
- Too many companies obsess over a single form of leadgen and ignore the others.
- Seeds are based on word of mouth and relationships. They will mostly like comes by systemizing how you ensure your customers stay happy, get value from your service, and thereby generate more referrals and lower churn rates.
- The best way to grow seeds is with a repeatable system to ensure your customers are successful.
- Customer Success does not mean free help.
- Customer Success is a mindset, starting at the top with the CEO.
- Customer Success is a growth investment just like sales and marketing.
- Customer Success goals should evolve as your company grows.
- Nets are tactics like inbound marketing, webinars and online advertising.
- Marketing team should have a Lead Commit quota.
- Get the executive team to agree on specific Lead Commit goals as a way focus the company on what really matters.
- "Practice saying no to new ideas and interruptions."
- Develop content for your readers, not for you.
- Spears involve strategies like outbound prospecting and getting appointments with anyone who isn't coming to you.
- Outbound isn't about about interrupting people who don't need you, it's about reaching out in a friendly way to find the folks who do need your product.
- Stick it out with Spears: It can take 3-6 months to get it working.
- The best prospectors have a clear picture of which companies are a good fit and which aren't.
- Simplify email messaging to boost response rates.
- The KPI for VP of Marketing should be Pipeline Creation Rate (PCR).
- PCR is a real-time trend and clearly predicts growth.
- You haven't crossed over from Early Adopters to Mainstream Buyers until someone from Iowa buys your stuff (LOL).
- "Stop bitching. Start learning."
- You're probably underestimating LTV (Customer Lifetime Value).
I'm looking forward to digesting and implementing techniques covered in the rest of the book. Stay tuned!
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