A little while back we did a post on the Top 20 SaaStr surveys, and the results were pretty interesting. I wanted to follow up with another 20 of the top surveys and learnings:
#21. Most of you segment your NRR by segment. You gotta do this if you have customers of different sizes. Otherwise, you won’t see the different trends. And you won’t be able to set different goals per segment.
#22. Most of you are hiring twice as many sales reps as last year. This isn’t an epic insight, but I did the poll because I find so many SaaS founders underestimate how many reps you have to hire. If you want to double, you have to at least double your sales team. At least.
#24. Only 35% say your sales execs can fully demo the product themselves. Another Sigh. I know sometimes, this isn’t possible. But you have to least try. Who wants to buy from a sales rep that doesn’t know the product well enough to use it?
#25. Most of you get a significant number of customers from your partners. I put this poll together just because many founders rely 100% on a direct strategy, and often you have to to get things going. But most of you are getting from 10%-30%+ of your revenues from partners. So lean in early on partners, platform and biz dev. And staff it up with at least one full-time, dedicated resource as soon as you can!
#26. Most of you give a new VP a quarter or more to start making strong hires. I disagree here 100.0000%. 🙂 The best VPs always bring in a few great folks with them. But still, interesting to see how many of you give VPs so much time to find great folks to join them. My advice remains not to give them this much time.
#27. 85% of you attend the top industry events, and 39% get a booth. Not everyone is great at “manning a booth”, and when you are tiny, it can seem expensive. But almost 40% of you do it. In any event, most of you show up in any event. Events are an unusual thing, but the top one have one thing in common: your buyers and customers go to them.
#28. Most of you see about 20% turn-over in your sales teams. Strive for a zero voluntary attrition sales team, i.e. that everyone great stays. But also, the bottom 10% also generally doesn’t deliver. 20% annual turn-over is a good model. That means if you think you need to double your sales team this year, you really have to do more, and grow it 20% more than that. Many founders miss that in their models.
#29. Most of you think sales reps you interview need to know your product at least well enough to ask good questions. I was heartened to see this, because I know many disagree. But if a sales rep isn’t curious enough to learn enough about your product to ask and answer some decent questions before an interview … then I never see them really perform.
#30. Most of you are back to visiting customers in-person. This is good to see. Zoom is great. Zoom is efficient. Zoom works well for first meetings. But you keep more customers if you visit them in-person. And they buy more from you. This is true now as before all this.
#31. Most of you get 25% or more of your customers from word-of-mouth. This is great. It’s free, it’s high value. So ask yourself — what are you doing to incent this? To reward it? To improve it and enhance it? Likely not enough. And sometimes, not much at all.
#32. Most of you see your top sales reps closing 3x or more than the average rep. We’ve talked about it for years on SaaStr, and you’re seeing the same. A great rep doesn’t sell just a bit more. They sell 2x, 3x, even 9x in many cases more than a “standard” rep. Cherish them. Never let them go.
#34. Most of you don’t actually get QBRs done with your larger customers. QBRs aren’t always magic, but you have to try. You have to try to have a formal meeting with every top customer at least once a quarter. It always helps, if you get and make the meeting happen. This survey is consistent with a lot of interviews I’ve had with CSMs recently, who say they do QBRs, but in practice only get a few customers to shop up. Do better.
#35. Most of you hired your VP of Sales before your VP of Marketing. That’s fine, but I find it’s even better if you have a great VP of Demand Gen already in place before your VP of Sales starts. It’s part of having at least a basic engine in place before you hire a true VP of Sales. More on that here.
#36. You get on average 25%-30% of your revenue from outside North America. This survey didn’t have the most respondents, but it made the point. Most of us in SaaS get about 25%-30% of our revenue from outside the U.S. and North America. Don’t fear it. Instead, lean into it.