It’s not every day that you see so many people building SaaS products and aiming to disrupt the world. 

When I started thinking about this roundup of SaaStock 2019 and got back to my notes, I was worried about fitting so much into a single blog post. 

Fortunately, I was able to extract the main points from this year: 

  • Why and How to adopt Product-led growth
  • Why Product/Market fit is a myth  
  • How to turn webinars into money making machines
  •  How to predict virality and make it happen
  •  Why the future of SaaS belongs to India

Here’s a rundown of some of the best insight I gained from attending SaaStock 2019.

Adopting Product-led Growth 

What do we mean when we say Product-led growth? Is this just a new buzzword or much more?

Elizabeth Cain and Kyle Poyar, OpenView, explained this in their SaaStock 2019 talk “Insights from 500+ SaaS companies on how to grow faster”, helping us realise the importance of Product-led growth. 

In Product-led Growth, Product usage serves as the primary driver of user acquisition, conversion, and expansion. This is complemented by today’s end users’ buying behavior, where they are finding software themselves. 

These are some of the ways to PLG-ify your business – 

  • Offer free trials or freemiums
  • Product analytics for decision making
  • Self-service buying experience
  • Not only MQLs and SQLs but also PQLs – Product qualified leads
  • Referral programs

And a bonus is “It even works for enterprises”.

Appeal to the end-user, don’t annoy them.

Elizabeth Cain and Kyle Poyar, OpenView

Product/Market fit is never achieved 

Des Traynor from Intercom claimed that most of us are really obsessed over Product/Market fit.

He went on to explain how any startup in whatever stage of their product, should be worrying about Product/Market fit, even if they have 10’s of millions of revenue.

He identified the 3 main stages that startups go through:

  • The Early stage which ends when a startup becomes a breakout success. 
  • The Growing-Up stage, which finishes with the company becoming an established player.
  • And the Standard stage, in which the startup turns into a mainstream company.

In each stage of the startup, Product/Market fit is never complete, it’s just the definition that keeps on changing. 

Unfortunately, that’s where most founders don’t pay attention. 

You can have a truly world class product, You can have tens of millions of revenue, You can have thousands of customers, You can have an amazing valuation, You can have an incredible brand, And still be ? business. 🙂

Des Traynor, Intercom


Don’t just do Webinars, Win Webinars

When we’re talking about Webinars, it doesn’t mean they are only for marketing purposes. 

Dan Martell, nailed down the point in his SaaStock 2019 masterclass, explaining that webinars are one of the best ways for Sales. 

He explains his Winning Webinar Framework – 

  1. Get over with a static slide and unenthusiastically saying “I am very excited to present to you bla bla bla”. Instead, start with a power song as your Introduction, and get your attendees charged up. 
  2. Convey your KPI/solution with the help of shapes. Fit into a triangle or square or maybe a circle. This helps people retain the shape and its context as compared to some bullet points. 
  3. “Nothing happens until someone sells something.” Explain the problems your prospects are facing, show them the solution in the form of outcomes, compare the old world and the new world instead of talking about features and top it up with some testimonials
  4. Create a sense of scarcity or “FOMO” if they don’t buy it today and quickly walk them through the buying process. 
  5. Don’t ever take random questions from your audience. Smartly plan your questions which are relevant to sales and connect it with some virtual person “John”.

 JFDI – Just f**king do it

Dan Martell

Virality can be predicted!

As your product grows, how can you get lots of people to pay?

This was one of the questions Nathan Latka tried to explain in his keynote “State of SaaS in 2019.”

Once you get the below right is when you start focusing on people paying for your offering – 

  1. Who will we sell to? Are you selling low price items to a high number of customers or high price items to fewer customers? 
  2. What problem do you solve? 
  3. Does it work? Is your product creating enough value for your customers so they are retained?

If anyone tells you that virality can be predicted, you will ignore them. Unlike Nathan, he explains it as a simple equation: 

User creating new users = Invites x Conv%

According to Nathan, virality, if leveraged in a proper fashion, will lead to immense growth. 

Your existing users should be able to create new users, and in turn your new users will thereby create new users and so on so forth, which will create a virality factor. 

Indian SaaS ecosystem 

Our very own Arun Mani, Freshworks in his talk “Building a Global business from India” showcased how India is one of the top SaaS ecosystem places after Silicon Valley and Israel. 

With a broad array of SaaS companies from India making a mark in the global market like Freshworks, BrowserStack, Razorpay, Zoho, CleverTap, Plivo, Chargebee and many more, it is clear that Indians are able to solve global problems effectively and at scale. 

One of the most important models which Arun Mani explained and was followed at Freshworks was the “Tried and True” Silicon Valley Model. This model provides an approach for any startup to create immense value. 

The Model has 4 steps in a cyclic manner – 

  • Pick a niche market (or) a large market with 10X promise
  • Go upmarket with more and more features
  • Sales-driven expansion
  • Invest heavily in expansion

The above model works like a charm and the world has witnessed startups follow the same and be successful. 

Conclusion: Looking forward to SaaStock 2020

It is almost impossible to meet, talk and learn from customers, founders, speakers, and investors outside an event like this – and SaaStock provides us all a common platform for the same. 

I am already looking forward to next year, but if you want to connect, you don’t have to wait until then — just get in touch on Twitter: @TheShashwatJain  

Hope to see you there!