TIMIA CXO Summit 2019

By Catherine Daly

Posted February 27, 2019

TIMIA’s annual CXO Summit took place at the Peak of Vancouver in the beautiful Grouse Mountain Resort.

An exclusive group of SaaS leaders traveled from across North America to participate in the event. Hosted by sports and news anchor, Jody Vance, the day was filled with guest speakers and interactive panels that provided forums for knowledge-sharing and discussion. Below is a brief recap of what we covered.

Sales as a Science: Optimize your Revenue Engine

Jacco van der Kooij, Founder, Winning By Design

Jacco van der Kooij is a SaaS growth expert based in Silicon Valley. His energetic session took us through a science-based approach to selling that’s tailored specifically for SaaS businesses.

He described the friction between the traditional “work harder” mentality and the new “work smarter” mentality that is creating communications challenges on modern sales teams. He detailed ways to facilitate a “work smarter” environment, part of which is the introduction of a organization-wide sales methodology that spans sales, marketing, and customer success. Most importantly, Jacco stressed the need to measure each stage of your process to ensure clarity, accountability, and iterative improvements to increase revenue.

Source: Winning by Design

In fact, Jacco demonstrated how businesses can double their revenue by moving the needle just 10% across seven metrics or key moments in the buyer journey.

He also discussed how to use content to drive your inbound leads, saving SDR time educating prospects about the value of your offering. To sum this up, Jacco said, “We should be in the business of selling bibles, not religion.” He recommended ways that great content can help you sell the value, so when the time comes for the buyer to engage, you can get straight to selling the solution.

Jacco discussed the danger of discounting. He said, “SaaS is the discount! Customers are no longer paying millions for on-premise setups—do not discount SaaS.” If you must give discounts, ensure you’re trading the discount for something of value—a customer referral, a reference, a case study, etc.

For more about the Sales as a Science masterclass, follow Jacco on YouTube.

M&A Update

David Raffa, President, Valeo Corporate Finance

David Raffa took the group through a detailed session which centered around three tips for preparing your business for a sale.

  • TIP 1: Follow 5 stages:
    • Analyze: Is your company ready to exit? Are there things that you should do before taking the company to market?
    • Educate: Educate yourself on what is involved and what to look out for. Run through all aspects of the deal cycle in advance so you are prepared.
    • Prepare: Assemble the marketing materials, data room, and develop the go-to-market plan.
    • Market: Identify, profile, and approach potential buyers–be able to articulate your value proposition to each of them.
    • Close: Manage the deal from LOI through to close. Deals can fall apart if they’re not actively managed.
  • TIP 2: It is never too early to be prepared for selling your company—you never know when it will happen.
  • TIP 3: Prepare the storyboard (strategic plan), financial history (at least two years audited, quarterly current year unaudited), forecast (monthly for at least two full fiscal years), MD&A, deck, data room, executive summary, prospect list (segmented and prioritized), and business plan (optional).

David also shared details on some of the latest M&A activity in the tech industry. Interestingly, technology acquisition was the number one driver for buyers last year. Other key drivers include year-over-year revenue growth, recurring revenue rate, profitability/cash flow (EBITDA), and customer churn rate.

Tools to Help Drive Revenue Growth

Panelists

In this panel session, participants discussed some key solutions that have helped them drive growth (and some that have hindered them).

Key discussion points:

  • For building a culture with a remote workforce, Slack, Zoom, and Google Hangouts are invaluable. Shrad Rao from Wagepoint said, “Remote workers are not second-class citizens—if one person is dialling in, everyone should dial in.”
  • Collin Stewart from Predictable Revenue said, “Tools enable good process, good math informs profits.” The biggest mistake they’ve seen is a company with $10K ACV trying to build an outbound model. It’s just not cost-effective, no matter what tools you have in place.
  • CRM and marketing automation solutions are important for lead tracking and lead nurture. When 80 percent of inbound leads are not ready to buy yet, you need a way to score them so you can focus on those that are. Ensure you have a way to nurture the rest until they’re ready to buy.

Tools that were mentioned include:

  • Copper (formerly Prosperworks) is a popular CRM solution that integrates with G Suite.
  • Slack and Evernote integrations with CRM are useful for capturing context.
  • Facebook Ads targeting for lead generation helps to focus on your audience and reduce CAC.
  • Drift offers conversational AI to help qualify and convert your web traffic.
  • Calendly is a useful scheduling and calendar tool that has integrations with SFDC, Google, Zoom, and more.
  • Hubspot is a CRM and marketing automation tool that some felt is overpriced for small businesses. Overall, the group dislike the per contact pricing model. The general consensus is that it does lots of things but it doesn’t do any of them really well.
  • Intercom is a messaging tool for sales, marketing, and lead qualification.
  • Google Docs is used across the board by all the panelists and was hailed as the best value for money.
  • Close.io is a useful inside sales tool.

Sales and Customer Success

Jason Jantz, COO, XenCALL and Ross Fulton, CEO, Valuize Consulting

The final session of the day discussed the importance of sales and customer success working together. Jason and Ross shared best practices from the field and talked about how they have seen sales and customer success teams set up to reduce churn dramatically…as well as teams set up for failure where important information gets lost in the chasm between pre-sales and post-sales.

The TIMIA CXO Summit wrapped up with a short hike to take in the beautiful views of Vancouver from the top of Grouse Mountain. The bluebird day and fresh mountain air was the perfect way to allow the day’s knowledge to soak in.

Thanks to everyone who made the day so engaging. We look forward to next year’s Summit already!

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