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5 strategies to drive your next wave of growth

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Karen Peacock, COO of Intercom, one of the fastest growing SaaS businesses of all time, has led businesses of all sizes through massive growth. At SaaStr Annual 2019, she shared her top 5 lessons learned in building and scaling SaaS businesses from $1M to $500M in ARR including expanding to serve upmarket customers, moving from product to platform, and how to hire well to drive breakthrough customer experiences and business growth.

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5 strategies to drive your next wave of growth

  1. 1. SCALING FROM $1M TO $500M ARR 5 Strategies to Drive Your Next Wave of Growth Karen Peacock, COO
  2. 2. Chief Operating Officer Board Member Senior Vice President
 Small Business Advisor Advisor
  3. 3. What happens after your first phase of growth?
  4. 4. What you thought was the finish line was actually JUST THE STARTING LINE
  5. 5. BUILD YOUR NEXT BIG PRODUCT FIND PRODUCT MARKET FIT AGAIN DECIDE YOUR PLATFORM PLAY BUILD YOUR TEAM EXPAND YOUR MARKET 5 STRATEGIES TO DRIVE YOUR NEXT WAVE OF GROWTH @karenpeacock
  6. 6. EXPAND YOUR MARKET 1
  7. 7. In order to keep growing, you need your product to appeal to more customers. Figure out how your product can solve the problem you originally solved, but for a broader set of customers.
  8. 8. HOW COMPANIES EXPAND • By vertical • Upmarket companies expand downmarket • Downmarket companies expand upmarket* classic disruption
  9. 9. ! BUILDING FOR ONE BIG CUSTOMER The risk here is using your company’s time on something that isn’t scalable It might be great for one company but isn’t what is most important for others
  10. 10. YOUR STRATEGY IS AS
 MUCH WHAT YOU DON’T DO AS WHAT YOU DO
  11. 11. –Mike Tyson “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” “Everybody has until they get
  12. 12. –Karen Peacock Everybody has a strategy until they get handed a big check” “Everybody has until they get
  13. 13. Don’t get blinded by that big check Invest in what will scale
  14. 14. EXPAND UPMARKET ONE STEP AT A TIME • Find customers who have outgrown you • Assess needs vs. wants • What do you need to build vs what could you partner on
  15. 15. CHANGE YOUR BLUEPRINT MARKETING SALES SUPPORT Hire at least one person who has served larger customers in the past and can lay out the blueprint for you
  16. 16. Customer #1 Product #1 Customer #2 Product #2 Solve problems for new customers Solve new problems for existing customers
  17. 17. BUILD YOUR NEXT BIG PRODUCT 2
  18. 18. PROBABLY RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU Your next big product is
  19. 19. WE ORIGINALLY BUILT INTERCOM TO HELP PEOPLE SUPPORT THEIR CUSTOMERS Businesses started using the Intercom Messenger to talk to prospects on their website, even though it wasn’t yet purpose built for a Sales job
  20. 20. 82% HIGHER CONVERSION WHEN YOU ENGAGE CUSTOMERS
 ON YOUR WEBSITE USING THE INTERCOM MESSENGER
  21. 21. NOT WHAT CUSTOMERS DO THEY SAY WATCH WHAT
  22. 22. WHAT OTHER IMPORTANT PROBLEMS DO YOUR CUSTOMERS HAVE? Which could you solve well?
  23. 23. • IMPORTANT PROBLEMS: If you want to build a big business, solve a big problem • YOUR CUSTOMERS: The person who already 
 buys from you • SOLVE WELL: What jobs can you solve uniquely well
  24. 24. SUCCESSFUL ADJACENT PRODUCTS CAN DOUBLE YOUR REVENUE
  25. 25. of add-on purchases happen upfront Add on products are not added on later, they are sold upfront NAIL YOUR UPFRONT PURCHASE EXPERIENCE 50%
  26. 26. THE BEST WAY TO DRIVE GROWTH IS TO HAVE YOUR PRODUCT DO THE SELLING
  27. 27. SHOW IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN TELL Especially when you sell to your existing customers
  28. 28. FIND PRODUCT MARKET FIT
 AGAIN AND AGAIN 3
  29. 29. Here is the myth: you get a stroke of inspiration, work hard, do the right things and have a little luck on your side, so you enter the beautiful world of PRODUCT MARKET FIT
  30. 30. • For every set of new target customers • For every new product you want to create • For everything, every year or two PRODUCT MARKET FIT IS SOMETHING YOU NEED TO FIND AGAIN AND AGAIN
  31. 31. FALL IN LOVE WITH THE PROBLEM, NOT WITH THE SOLUTION Find product market fit
  32. 32. DECIDE YOUR PLATFORM PLAY 4
  33. 33. WE LIVE IN A DEEPLY INTERCONNECTED WORLD
  34. 34. YOU WILL NEVER WIN IF YOU CHOOSE TO GO IT ALONE Your customers don’t want you to go it alone. They want you to work with all of the other things they already use. As you get bigger, the reverse is also true: they want all of the other things they use to work with you.
  35. 35. Moving from product to platform at Intercom WE STARTED BY WATCHING
 WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS
 WERE DOING
  36. 36. WITHIN 3 MONTHS OF APP STORE LAUNCH 100 apps live
  37. 37. OF ACTIVE CUSTOMERS USE OUR PLATFORM AND ONE OR MORE 3RD PARTY APPS 65%
  38. 38. Deliver value to Customers Partners You Killer apps Developer tools PRINCIPLE OF SUCCESSFUL PLATFORMS Access to customers 1 2 3
  39. 39. DON’T GET FOOLED BY VANITY METRICS
  40. 40. • App store visits • # of apps PLATFORM METRICS THAT MATTER ★ Active use
  41. 41. BUILD YOUR TEAM 5
  42. 42. YOU CAN’T DO IT ALL YOURSELF Invest time to build the team to take you to the next level Think about now and the next 12-18 months, not 3-4 years out
  43. 43. WHEN HIRING FOR A ROLE THAT IS NEW TO YOU Meet with 3 best-in-class leaders in that field to learn and pattern match
  44. 44. APPLY LEAN STARTUP PRINCIPLES TO HIRING Put people in the job before you hire
  45. 45. BUILD YOUR NEXT BIG PRODUCT FIND PRODUCT MARKET FIT AGAIN DECIDE YOUR PLATFORM PLAY BUILD YOUR TEAM EXPAND YOUR MARKET 5 STRATEGIES TO DRIVE YOUR NEXT WAVE OF GROWTH @karenpeacock
  46. 46. THANK YOU Growth BlogGrowth Handbook

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