1. SaaS METRIC OF THE WEEK: Lead scoring is a well-established way of assigning numerical values to prospects so sales and marketing teams can optimize their funnels and convert faster - how does that work in a Product Lead World? This blog has all the answers.
2. MLP: For your tech dictionaries - that's Minimum Lovable Product. MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is OK, but what if no one likes it? FirstRound Capital uses the analogy of burnt pizza - pointing out that the fastest and cheapest functional prototype could produce a poor or flawed version of something that people may actually love.
3. VALIDATION: I'm sure you have heard repeatedly that validating a product is a make-or-break part of a startup's scale-up process, especially at teh early stage - but how do you do that properly? Check this list of techniques and tools (it all starts with Market Research) - and get more into that starting here (with free templates!)
4. PUBLIC SAAS: Meritech dives into the $2 trillion SaaS Public market, showing some pivotal shifts: Revenue multiples have dropped by up to 80% from the '21 highs (median multiple is 6.5x today), and a stark trend of trading growth for profitability and efficiency. NDR is also at an all-time low - 115% upsells and churn impacting that metric hard.
5. DATA PRIVACY: Tracking and personalization have historically been a big part of marketing efforts via tracking Cookies. However, regional legislation (such as GDPR) and the death of third-party cookies have changed everything. Indiehacker dives deep into how to track users ethically. What does that mean for personalization? Venturebeat dives into this topic and also looks at how marketing, in general, can be more private.
6. GOVERNANCE: Mark Suster (from Upfront Ventures) has a series on his Medium Blog covering StartUp Boards. With a follow-up article that shows a board structure based on stage! He also provides a blog post AND a 43-slide deck.
7. SDRs: A couple of weeks back, I got a prompt from a friend asking about SDRs, and I realized it has been a while since I have written much about them. In past long-form newsletters, I have referenced SDR metrics and quotas, and ICONIQ Capital has their 2023b Sales Compensation guide discussing SDR comp from earlier this year as well as the updated 2023 SDR Bridge Group SDR Survey - answering all the great benchmark metrics such as How much time does it take for an SDR to ramp up? And how many calls does it take to book one meeting? What about the SDR:AE ratio? This article goes all out and pitches a Mendoza Line for sales reps based on value to the company (not just quotas). BONUS: SDR compensation calculator (Excel).
8. EMPLOYEES: Here is a great question: How many employees should you have based on your ARR? In 2023, this answer may be much lower in our Leanops market, but my former big boss David Sacks has a great slide from his SaaStr presentation on optimal SaaS Org Charts (Full deck here) - Series A is 40-50 at 1m ARR. Yup, that's only $20-$25k ARR per employee - full report here, which expands into what roles you should hire and what the org chart looks like.
9. POC: Switching to proof of concept (POC) based paid trials is working well for me as part of our customer journey and is the fastest time-to-value metric we can deliver for various enterprise stakeholders. Want to get your POC up and running fast? The team at Work-Bench has a step-by-step framework AND a template of a POC Agreement for you here.
10. CASE STUDY: Airtable announced it would lay off about one-third of its team this week following a similar-sized round of layoffs back in December. This has prompted some online reviews of the business as Airtable is currently valued at $11.7B, and there are now some significant doubters (including Anand Sanwal of CBInsights)
POD OF THE WEEK: Another from David Sacks, fresh out of this year's SaaStr Conference, covering what the future of SaaS may look like - lots of SaaS-AI, what it's gonna take to raise a Series A these days, and why Seed investing is currently not a good deal.