SaaS Tattler Issue 48

March 7, 2015 Paul Philp

SaaS Startup Success

Last week we focussed on the SaaS Unicorns, so this week, let’s look at the other end of the spectrum – the SaaS startup.  What does it take to build, launch and grow a successful SaaS startup?

And, speaking of startup success, ff you are in the Southern Ontario area, you won’t want to miss the upcoming Customer Success Meetup on April 14th.  The theme is “Customer Success = Startup Success”.

It Takes 24 Months.

Jason Lemkin warns that it takes 24-months to know if your SaaS startup is going to work.  You have to fully commit to that 24-month period if you want to build a successful SaaS startup.

1.  First, are you prepared to give it a full 24 month commitment to hit Initial Traction?  Not 12.  Not 18.  But — 24?  6 months isn’t enough.  12 isn’t.  It’s going to take you 9-12 months just to get the product right.  And another 6-12 to get any material revenues.

Maybe an Instagram or a WhatsApp or a Pinterest or a Meerkat can explode in just 12 months.  That just doesn’t happen in paid SaaS apps.

>> Can you “afford” to commit for 24 months just to get to Something, to real Initial Traction?  If not, you should pass.

Slack went from $0 to $12m ARR in ’14.  Woah.   But it wasn’t founded on 1/1/14.  It took them a year to get to a Minimum Sellable Product.  And it was really founded as a company many years earlier.

We know this from our experience at Amity.  Our prospects look the dimmest at the one year mark.  There was a ton of interest and positive feedback, but little in the way of paying customers.  Suddenly, at the 24-month point, all the metrics started to improve dramatically.  It felt magical, but it was the result of all the slogging in the first two years.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective SaaS Startups

Every SaaS startup is standing on the shoulders on  They invented the SaaS model and proved that it could work.  What was the secret of their success?  Ron Pragides boils it down to the Seven Habits of Highly Effective SaaS Startups.

  1. Your Value is Easy to Articulate.
  2. Rally Your Team Around a Cause.
  3. Know Your Customers. Make Them Heroes.
  4. Build a Platform.
  5. Make Trust Your #1 Value.
  6. Punch Above Your Weight Class.
  7. Take Risks and Ride the Wave.

How SalesLoft Built a SaaS Sales Machine From the Start

SalesLoft has a great set of services for sales teams. Their CEO, Kyle Porter, created a sales-driven company out of the gate, and it paid off.  SalesLoft has grown to $3.7M in revenue over the past 10 months.  Here’s how he did it: The Sales Structure that Grew SalesLoft into the Fastest-Growing SaaS Company in the US.

SalesLoft’s Successful Sales Process

Each outbound sales representative at SalesLoft contacts 50 new people per day by email using Cadence. Later on in the day, they call those 50 people inside of Cadence, and when they get on the phone, it gets automatically logged inside Salesforce.

In total, each prospect gets contacted seven times within seven days: 3 emails + 4 phone calls.

Throughout the following days, there’s email follow-up for prospects who didn’t answer the first email and phone calls to those that didn’t pick up the first time. What happens with so much contact is that the sales reps either get an answer one way or another: the prospect isn’t interested, or they’d like to learn more. After seven days, there’s an 80% response rate.

Super SaaS Fundings

Swifttype – $13 M Series ‘B on March 5, 2015.

Pressly  – $2.5 Million Series ‘A’ on March 4, 2015.

Namely – $11 Million Venture Round on March 3, 2015.

CloudMine – $5 Million Series ‘A’ on March 3, 2015.

Newest SaaS Services from Product Hunt

Office for Mac 2016 – A truly Mac version of Office. Three cheers!

Intercom Realtime  – Have live conversations with users inside your app.

PRStack – All the tools you need for PR in one place.

Meerkat – Tweet Live Video.

Infographic of the Week


Other Great Weekend Reads

As the SaaS revolution hits the mainstream, it’s time to rethink our SLA metrics.

So, what’s after SaaS?  Jeff Kaplan thinks it’s the Internet-of-Things. Leveraging the Cloud. made their bones using the ‘End of Software’ concept.  And it worked beautifully.  Now, is it the end of SaaS?

Implementing Customer Success? The Guide to Developing a Business Case for Customer Success will help you achieve your customer success mandate.

Want something added to the SaaS 2.0 Tattler – let us know! And let us know your take on the SaaS 2.0 Tattler in general – we’d love your feedback.

Curated by the team at Amity using the outstanding tools provided by Product Hunt, BetaList and CrunchBase. We encourage sharing and subscribing!

#SaaS Tattler Issue 48 - SaaS #Startup Success w/ articles by @jasonlk, @mrp, @ericosiu and more!
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