Kathy Lord, Senior Vice President of Sales and Customer Success, at Sage Intacct recently sat down with Greg Sands, Founding and Managing Director of Costanoa Ventures, and also a former board member of Intacct, to discuss Sage Intacct’s journey over the past decade.
Kathy has been with Sage Intacct for over 11 years, and is participating in a four-part blog series with Greg discussing what it takes to build great SaaS companies, the early stages of Sage Intacct, what she would do differently, and knowing the exact signs that it’s time to scale your company.
If you’re a business leader, recognizing when it is time to scale the business can be really difficult.
It really begins with making sure that you've defined key milestones in your sales process. If you think about it from the buyer's perspective – what are those different milestones and what is a consistent way of systematically capturing those in your CRM system.
Because you need to measure those key conversion rates and the three primary are:
• What is your lead-to-op creation or your conversion percentage?
• What is your opportunity-to-close conversion percentage?
• What is your average sales price?
It will vary depending on if you're selling a little bit more B2C, purely B2B, highly considered purchase or a less considered purchase, and what the size of that investment is, but once you can consistently get to those key metrics, you should accelerate your hiring and growth.
We did this at Sage Intacct, and it really helped us create a very predictable funnel where we knew if we put x number of leads into the system we would get y number of dollars out of that.
Now, the challenge comes sometimes is that your ideal customer profile or the segments that you serve may expand over time. We had this happen where we were targeting customers from 10 employees up to a couple thousand employees. And the process that the buyer would go through at the low end was very different than the process that the customers would go through at the high end of that market.
We developed very specific funnel metrics and stages for the low end of the market, and then at the high end, so that we could really be very instrumented in terms of understanding for each of those size segments we were targeting, what would we get out based on how much we put in there.
It helps you identify where in the process you have friction. One of the other elements of that for us now with the next evolution is looking at that not only by size segment but by vertical as well. And as we know, the way a nonprofit organization makes a software-buying decision is very different from maybe how a high-tech, soon-to-be-IPO, SaaS company makes a decision and their experience in making that decision.
So what’s the solution? I think it's important to ensure that you’ve captured and instrumented the sales cycle so that you can report on those metrics and track the trends of those over time. This enables you to identify where there's friction or where you might have issues to address so that you can push on the accelerator in the areas of your business once you get that consistency.
That’s when it’s time to scale.