As the year comes to a close, the most critical thing you can do is step away from day-to-day tasks and take high-level stock of your company’s recent performance, current priorities, and future goals.
Why End-of-Quarter Reviews Are So Essential for Driving Intelligent Growth
By this point in the year, that annual goal planning meeting you attended back in January probably feels like a lifetime ago. Between now and then you and the rest of the management team likely got caught up in the day-to-day execution of the business — putting out fires, jumping on new opportunities, reacting to changes in the market, your customers, your competition, etc. If you didn’t take the time to periodically reconvene and review your goals at a high level then you may now find yourself in a completely different place from where you initially planned and hoped when you originally set your goals.
That’s why establishing a quarterly operating review process — sitting down every 90 days to discuss your goals, review your progress, reassess priorities, and adjust your plan for moving forward — is so critical.
After you’ve narrowed your focus on a target, you need to craft the perfect attack plan. Should you start small and expand through premiums, or go big right off the bat? OpenView’s founder Scott Maxwell evaluates each go-to-market strategy, and his finding may surprise you.
Editor’s Note: This post is one part in a series by OpenView founder Scott Maxwell on go-to-market strategy design. Read his previous posts to learn:
Should You Start Small and Go Big, or Vice Versa?
Once you’ve identified the best customer segment to target, it’s important to consider how you’ll attack that segment.
In the SaaS world, the prevailing wisdom seems to be that smaller, emerging businesses can (and maybe should) fuel initial growth through a freemium or low average sales price (ASP) models. Then, they introduce premium features or options over time, allowing the business to grow existing monthly recurring revenue (MRR) or target bigger buyers.
What separates the companies that make it past the early growth stage and those who don’t? A big factor is the ability to target the right customer segments and dominate them. OpenView founder Scott Maxwell shares five market segmentation strategies proven to work.
At OpenView, we spend a lot of time helping our portfolio companies segment their customer markets and then developing a strategic plan for what segments they should attack, how they should attack them, and when. There are lots of strategies to consider and unfortunately many companies don’t take the time to thoughtfully develop and execute any of them. Below are five basic strategies for you to consider that will help you think about which potential customers you should be focusing on. Your mission is to figure out which ones are best for you and how to execute them.
Your SaaS business is on a roll. You’ve acquired a number of early users, your churn is relatively low, and you’ve identified a host of new market opportunities that could lead to high growth. Time to step on the gas, right? Sure, if you know your target market segments. If you don’t, you may want to hit the brakes.
When software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies enter the expansion stage, they’re often eager to begin attacking new markets as quickly as possible. After all, time is of the essence, and the last thing most founders want is to miss the boat on potentially lucrative (and profitable) growth opportunities.
I can’t say I blame founders for feeling that way, but stepping on the gas before where exactly you want to go is very often a disastrous approach to growth.
Converting today’s B2B buyers into customers requires the ability to provide them with the right targeted content experience at exactly the right time. And that takes having the right go-to-market strategy elements in place.
Editor’s Note: This is OpenView founder Scott Maxwell’s fifth post in a series about go-to-market strategy design. Read his previous posts to learn:
All buyers go through a distinct journey on their path to purchase.
If you’re a startup, you might be more concerned with your day-to-day than developing your go-to-market strategy for the long haul. But as OpenView founder Scott Maxwell explains, designing your strategy now will go a long way towards helping you win the war for customers and one-upping your competition.
Editor’s Note: This is OpenView founder Scott Maxwell’s fourth post in a multi-part series about go-to-market strategy design. Read his previous posts to learn the key to market clarity, why focus is everything, and how you can apply the tools of design to your market strategy.
If you think about the best strategies — the ones that have allowed nations to win wars, small businesses to develop into multi-billion dollar corporations, and sports teams to win elusive championships — you will realize that those strategies were never static. Instead, they were highly adaptable, evolving over time to adjust to changing circumstances, capabilities, and objectives.
What does preparing the perfect bath have to do with SaaS success? Discover the four keys to sustainable growth for your software-as-a-service business.
When you think about the essence of what it takes to create a truly valuable software-as-a-service (SaaS) company, the formula is relatively simple: Acquire as many high-quality customers as possible, do everything you can to retain those customers, and develop systems or processes that allow you to add new customers quickly and cost-effectively.
In that sense, it’s a lot like filling a bathtub.
Do you really understand your target market? Learn how to conduct an honest assessment and set your company on a course to achieve true market clarity.
Editor’s note: This is the third post in a multi-part series about go-to-market strategy design. Read the previous posts in the series to learn why focus is everything when it comes to designing a go-to-market strategy, and how you can use the tools of design for a more successful approach.
In its most conceptual form, a go-to-market strategy encompasses the ways in which a business approaches, engages, and attacks its key market targets. It is a focused, organized process for identifying the people, channels, and factors that have the most influence on buying decisions, and formulating a plan of action to promote specific behaviors.
Naturally, doing that without knowing exactly who those people are, what they care about, and which channels they tune into most is virtually impossible.