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 missed the previous blogs from the series, check out the first, second, and third post. To wrap up this four-part blog series on Sage Intacct’s $850M, readers will be hearing from both Greg and Kathy today.
Check out their final post below as they discuss their journey with Sage Intacct, and things they would have done differently.
Greg: If you look back on your 11-year tenure at Intacct, now Sage Intacct, I'd love to hear you reflect on with 20/20 hindsight, what would you do differently the next time, or what would you have done differently if you had it to do over again?
Kathy: That's such a great question, and one thankfully I've asked myself a number of times over the course actually of my entire tenure, as you kind of reach each next stage of growth.
I think there's three or four things that I would definitely have done, and first one being I would have hired more sales reps even if we didn't have the pipeline generation capacity for them. This would have driven the need to invest in sales enablement and training at a much bigger scale earlier, and earlier investment in a Customer Success program. We invested in Customer Success probably before the majority of companies even knew what it was. But frankly? That needs to be Day One in a SaaS company.
We would've done verticals sooner and really thought about pipeline generation and done more outbound prospecting sooner. For the size of the market that we had to go attack, and the ability that we had to disrupt that market, we were too cash-conservative. I mean it's easy to say that now, when you look back though!
When you're in the moment and you're balancing the risk of, “Do we raise more money and get more dilution? Or do we be more conservative?” As they say, “Cash is queen,” when you're trying to run a very capital-efficient company and get to that point of profitability.
I think the way that buyers buy today is so different and what we've found is that it's really a combination of the traditional demand generation programs coupled with an outbound sales development team that's partnered with their sales reps.
It's leveraging and playing off of your partner ecosystem, whatever flavor that may look like. And it's putting all those together so you get one plus one equals ten.
The majority of SaaS companies that are disrupting markets are having to compete against much larger companies, and with much deeper pockets. They have to be more agile.
It's the ability to get greater leverage and better execution than your bigger counterparts in the market. I think the secret sauce for us for really accelerating growth these last few years; taking the combination of all of those activities to accelerate our pipeline generation.
Greg: Absolutely, these are hard decisions. They're always made in real-time without future visibility, a little bit through the fog of war. And it was an amazing journey that I was thrilled to be part of with you, Kathy, and I know it took a lot of Herculean efforts and great work by you and many other members of the team – a lot of fundamentals, a lot of execution. I'm really grateful for your hard work and for your sharing your perspective.
Kathy: Thank you, Greg. Likewise; Sage Intacct is incredibly grateful to you and to Costanoa for being such an instrumental part of our success.
And that wraps up this four-part blog series with Greg Sands and Kathy Lord! Thank you for reading as we talked through Intacct's Journey to an $850M exit.