Structure Sales Function for Maximum Growth

Built to Grow

4 Practices Every B2B Company Can Learn from the SaaS Sales Model

Over the last five years, CRM and marketing automation firm HubSpot has been growing revenue at a compound average growth rate of 37%.  For sure, companies like HubSpot that are growing exponentially have amazing products and winning business models.  But they also have sophisticated sales organizations that fuel that growth.  In our March 16 Webinar with HubSpot (click here to watch), we unpacked the high-growth SaaS sales model and explored how both SaaS and non-SaaS businesses can benefit from the approach.  In this article, we will focus on what any B2B company can learn from these highly effective SaaS revenue engines.

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Revenue or Margins are Slipping

3 Biggest Sales Leadership Mistakes CEO’s Make

Many founders and CEO’s of high growth businesses ask me, “Do we have the right sales leader for this stage of our business?”  It is an important question, since getting it wrong stunts growth and usually results in a costly executive replacement.  Recently, we convened a panel of four high performing business leaders — from HubSpot, Ceros, WITHIN, and Morningstar – all who have led sales and revenue functions at high-growth businesses in various stages of commercial maturity.  We had a far-ranging and thought-provoking conversation that you can watch on-demand here.  In this short article, we will zoom in on one aspect of that discussion by looking at three of the most common mistakes growth businesses make when selecting a sales leader.

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Signs Your Customers Don’t Get It

3 Signs Your Customers Don’t Get It

Value Drift could be killing your sales. Here are the warning signs.

Whether you are responsible for your company’s overall growth strategy, or are a salesperson with a quota, it’s crazy-making when customers don’t “get” the value of your amazing offering.

If you are confident that your B2B product or service creates significant business value for customers, and yet you are seeing any of these 3 fact-based warning signs, your business may be experiencing value drift.

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Scaling the “front office” of your growth business is your greatest challenge. Here’s why.

Congratulations.  You and your team have created a powerful solution using sophisticated technology or a clever platform that solves an important business problem.  Even better, you designed your business model around a product that can scale.  Unlike a professional service business or a capital-intensive manufacturing business, you’re able to provide your product to vastly more customers with very little marginal cost.  People are hailing your company a “high growth business.”

Growth vs. Scale

Businesses that are designed to scale should be growing, but not all growing businesses scale.  That’s because growth and scale aren’t the same.  Growth simply means you are increasing revenues.  But if your costs increase proportionally, you may be bigger without being more profitable.  Scale is different. Read more

3 Plays from the Private Equity Playbook —
and what they teach us all about Value Creation

Private equity (PE) firms have become expert at creating shareholder value because their fundamental business is to buy companies, improve their value, and then sell them for a solid return.  As an industry, they have had a lot of practice at it.  Currently, there are about 7500 U.S. companies owned by private equity, and over $2 trillion in assets under management by PE firms globally.

With that level of experience as an industry, I was curious to see what I could learn from PE about creating shareholder value.  As I researched this topic and spoke with numerous PE firms, I observed that Read more

Growth is Not a Strategy

“Growth” is Not a Strategy

“Our strategy is to achieve double-digit revenue growth year-over-year.”

Whenever I see something like that on a corporate strategy or mission statement, I want to say, “For your sake, I hope not!  What you have there is a desired outcome.  Growth is not a strategy.”

Don’t get me wrong; growth is important – very important.  A long-term McKinsey study has shown that revenue growth is strongly correlated with future business survival, more so than company size, industry, or shareholder returns. Read more