Dear SaaStr: When Do You Know It’s Time to Tilt a Bit in SaaS?

I think in SaaS, it’s time to tilt when you have a handful of customers, and they are happy, and it’s been 9+ months … and you are growing, but slowly.

If you have no customers, it’s not really a tilt, it’s a restart or a total pivot.

But in SaaS, what can happen sometimes is you are close to a product the market really wants, close, but not quite there. You’ll close a handful of customers, and do whatever it takes to make them happy. But even after 12, 18 months, the demand won’t quite be there. You’ll be growing a little bit, but not enough.

It’s a frustrating time. You may have a 60 NPS and a neat piece of software, but you are stuck at $10k, $20k, $40k a month, and not growing much.

The good news is you are usually close-ish. Oftentimes, you just need to build something broader. Or deeper. In the end, often something more valuable. A bit more of a solution. And/or, a bit closer to a version of the solution that is close to a bigger pain point.

Or later, growth can slow permanently if you don’t expand your TAM enough.  You saturate a smaller initial market, but you don’t expand the surface area of who you can sell to.

In either case — take a pause and listen if growth has truly slowed for 3 quarters or more.  You can’t just blame the economy, the team, or much of anything else at this point.  It’s time to tilt a bit, and get more product-market fit and/or expand your market.

How?  Your prospects, the deals that almost close, will have some of the answers. So will your existing customers, who are happy, but aren’t buying more.  Go talk to them more, meet them more.

Then go built that tilt, and make your existing customers even happier. You can get there.

A bit more here:

Your (Belated) SaaS New Year’s Resolution: Add a Layer

Not Enough image from here

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