Lessons Learned in 17 years Building and Exiting a SaaS Business
When Gail became CEO of Constant Contact 17 years ago, she had to persuade venture capitalists that selling anything to SME/SMBs was possible, let alone an online service – THIS WAS THE LAST MILLENNIUM!
It wasn’t easy to make it work (see her previous Business of Software Conference Talk – ‘The Long Slow, SaaS Ramp of Death‘. Over this time, the business grew to over 1,400 people, went through an IPO with a market cap of over $1 billion and attracted more than 650,000 small business customers (that were impossible to market to). In November 2015, Constant Contact was sold to Endurance Software for $1.1b. One of her legacies to the software industry has been proving you can build a profitable business in the SMB space. Today, SME/SMBs are a recognised and attractive market segment for software companies and significant amounts of venture funding is available to go after it.
Gail considers some of the things she has learned about marketing and serving SMB customers, about the software industry and about leadership along the path to a scale business. She will also share her thoughts behind the ultimate sale of the company, something she describes as good for customers, for employees and for shareholders, even if it was a bittersweet process for her personally.
Some of you may remember that I talked about the SaaS slow ramp of death a few years ago.
Played off of the “different world views” idea…
Rough flow: “Hard to know…” builds automatically when the slide loads [click to build] the group of lines/questions marks (representing possible targets/partnerships) builds [click to build] the measuring stick and the “MVV” build for talking about how to measure what would be the right opportunity, which sets up the segue into talking about the CTCT situation in 2014...
NOTE: graph is obviously not to scale…just trying to show a “new customer” line that is hovering at 50k...
Rough flow (from your notes): “Gail” and “Bachelors” build when the slide loads [click to build] criteria for Bachelor 1 build and then the check-marks/x’s build after them [click to build] criteria for Bachelor 2 build and then the check-marks/x’s (and extra check-marks next to Customer funnel) build after them
Gail Goodman Constant Contact - Lessons learned running a SaaS business for 17 years
Insights Gained From 17 Years Of Running (and Exiting) A SaaS Business
Gail Goodman, Former CEO of Constant Contact