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Marketing Leaders: Here’s what to expect from a How To SaaS engagement

If your business is considering bringing in an external marketing consultant, it's likely that the in-house marketing leaders will have (and should have!) a lot of questions. These questions might include:

Will the benefits Marketing sees actually warrant the time and expense of the engagement? 

Does the consultant have the relevant experience to understand your business and give valuable insights?

Will they work with your team to make changes, or will they just hand you a list of unrealistic recommendations? 

At How To SaaS, our team is made up of marketing professionals, and almost all of us have been in this position. We've asked these questions, and we've often been frustrated by how vague some consultants are in their answers. 

We want your experience with How To SaaS to be different. To help you get a clearer picture of what working with us means for your marketing department, this article covers what you need to know: 

  • What a How To SaaS...
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How insightsoftware Built a Marketing Foundation for Growth

 

“We were on a hyper-growth trajectory and going through multiple acquisitions a year,” recalls Lacey Ford, former Senior VP of Marketing at insightsoftware, a financial reporting solution provider. After 14 acquisitions in the space of just a couple of years, "what we needed was to build the foundational elements to scale the business as quickly as possible,” Lacey explains. 

From a marketing perspective, there were three fundamental areas insightsoftware needed help developing: getting the team structure right, building the data infrastructure, and scaling the demand gen engine. 



Read on to hear how Lacey and insightsoftware managed to: 

  • Pick a consulting option that balanced strategy and implementation
  • Scale inbound lead generation to 2x
  • Uncover areas of over- and under-investment in marketing
  • Build a marketing team with the skills to support their growth


Choosing the Right Consultant

Lacey started looking at various consulting options...

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Price Transparency

Increased price transparency helps everyone win.

  • Customers win because they can self-serve and identify if a solution is a good fit for them.
  • Sales wins because they have conversations with more qualified prospects who understand what they're in for.
  • Marketing wins because all MQL thresholds include price education earlier in the buyer journey.

Most importantly, efficiency increases because far less time is spent on having customers jump through hoops to get a pricing 1-pager that they cannot afford.

Even if you're a B2B enterprise company with a $100K offering. Boldly put your starting price point on a pricing page for the world to see.

Your whole Go-To-Market motion will improve and your buyers will trust you more.

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Shifting Marketing’s Accountability: Look inside Post-Acquisition Marketing

Most PE-backed businesses aren't getting the full value from Marketing as a growth lever.

To start changing that for your portfolio companies, take a look at Shiv Narayanan's new book, Post-Acquisition Marketing: How to create enterprise value in the first 100 days. Here's what you'll learn: 

    

One of the key areas the book covers is how to effectively shift Marketing's accountability. Below is an excerpt from Post-Acquisition Marketing that reveals:

  • Why Marketing's current accountability is stalling revenue growth
  • The data Marketing should be tracking
  • A real-life case study of a business that made this switch

 

Shifting Marketing’s Accountability

“I need to know the truth, and I need to know it fast.”

Those were Henry’s first words on his first call with me, shortly after Fleetsync, his fleet-management software company,  was acquired by the private equity firm North Star Capital. 

Henry was the new...

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How Mailprotector Expanded Their Marketing Scope with How To SaaS

 

“One of our biggest challenges was the fact that our entire lead flow was single-channel,” David Setzer, Founder and CEO at Mailprotector explains. “We work in a community environment, so it's a very event-driven lead flow. That was working great, but after raising our series A, we needed to expand the inbound lead channels to more than just relying on one channel. It can be cyclical at times, so being able to have a consistent lead flow and also tap other potential partners that aren't at events or in these communities was just absolutely critical for us.”

With their new funding, Mailprotector was poised to grow. But they had been playing zone defense on marketing, and they knew they needed some support here to help them build their pipeline in a data-driven, scalable way. 

David first met Shiv Narayanan, Founder and CEO of How To SaaS, at a private equity entrepreneur event. He soon realized that they completely aligned on their philosophy of the...

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How HelpSystems Optimized Marketing for Even Higher ROI

 

If your business already has a mature marketing function that delivers a steady flow of leads, it's tempting to let marketing continue on autopilot while you focus on improving other functions. But, chances are, this approach means you miss out on even higher conversion rates, lower CAC, and more closed-won deals that are easily within reach. As security and automation software company HelpSystems discovered, businesses in this situation are in an ideal position to make low-effort but high-ROI adjustments to existing campaigns and processes. 

Although HelpSystems already had an effective marketing engine in place, they wanted to further increase the number of quality leads they were generating. “While we were continuously patting ourselves on the back for all the great things we were doing, we wondered what else we could be doing,” recalls Mike Devine, Vice President of Marketing at HelpSystems.

So, when...

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Sales Reveals Broken Processes

 

Increased sales volume breaks internal processes.

As you close more deals, your organization has to figure out a way to deal with increased complexity.

This is where questions like the following become increasingly important:

  1. How can we deliver faster?
  2. How can we increase automation across the business?
  3. How many people do we need to scale?
  4. What will our margin be as we scale?
  5. What is the core business we are in?
  6. Which opportunities should we say no to?
  7. What kind of operational framework will help us scale to the next level?
  8. What should our product focus on to help us scale even more?
  9. What are our scaling bottlenecks?
  10. Who do we need in which seats to scale?

These kinds of questions only become relevant and evident as sales volume crosses certain thresholds.

This is one of the most undervalued contributions of sales: As more deals are closed, the organization is given an opportunity to examine key strategic questions that would otherwise remain unaddressed.

As those questions...

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Mental Health vs Productivity

Rethinking meetings for mental health and productivity is more important now than ever before. Here are 12 principles worth following:

  1. Don’t use the full scheduled window
  2. Gamify / add rewards for ending meetings earlier
  3. Don’t attend meetings you don’t need to be present for
  4. Don’t invite everyone possible to a meeting
  5. Add a 5-10 minute buffer minimum between meetings
  6. 7 to 10 minute meetings are often all that’s needed
  7. Longer meetings don’t equal increased value
  8. Sometimes the best meeting is no meeting
  9. Use asynchronous communication (Loom, Slack) instead of meetings
  10. Cancel / push unnecessary meetings every morning
  11. Change frequency of recurring meetings. They don't need to be as frequent as you think.
  12. Try to purposely take a day / afternoon / morning off meetings
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Ongoing Coaching

Scaling companies would be a lot easier if companies behaved more like sports teams.

Training in most companies halts after onboarding. This is part of the reason why tenure in a lot of roles (especially executives) is below 2 years. In a market where the demand for talent far supersedes the supply of talent, internal training can be a competitive advantage.

Hire high potential employees and invest in them by:

  1. Having them report to a manager that educates them on how to level up their skills.
  2. Give them access to premium education resources so they can self study and improve on their own time.
  3. Help them connect with communities so they can learn from others facing similar challenges.

Each of these empowers team members to come back to the company with capabilities to contribute even more.

As they level up based on your investment, reward them with higher compensation to recognize their increased ability to contribute.

If your business model doesn't allow you to invest in team...

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Team Member Hierarchy of Needs

Increasing team member tenure can be one of the keys to unlocking growth long-term.

Each time you lose someone, you take on the added tangible costs of onboarding and training replacements + the intangible costs of lost institutional memory.

This is why employee satisfaction and retention is not an HR issue. It is one of the biggest growth priorities for companies yet unfortunately not treated as such.

People leave companies for a variety of reasons. These include:

Level 1 - Salary, Title, Benefits. What do I financially gain from working here?
Level 2 - Safety, Security. Can I trust this company / leadership to take care of my needs?
Level 3 - Culture. Do the values of this company resonate with me personally?
Level 4 - Opportunity. Do I see a path for personal and professional growth here?
Level 5 - Alignment. Does this align with my long-term goals?

Each leader in a business must be fully attuned to these questions and proactively engage team members to ensure all 5 levels are...

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