I was recently catching up with one of the top early sales reps at a SaaS company that just crossed $100m ARR.  He was there from $1m – $50m ARR or so:

  • He said when he was there, and while they grew like a weed on $25k-$50k deals … they could never close a $1m deal.  They were great at $20k-$50k deals, and a few big ones.  But they never closed a $1m deal.  (That may sound like you).
  • Fast forward just a few years, and to $100m ARR, and this SaaS startup has closed a half dozen $1m deals this year.  With muchly the same product.

The reason wasn’t just going upmarket.  The product hasn’t even gone that much upmarket.  It was a change in sales leadership that just enjoyed hunting $1m+ deals.  And — knew how to do them.

You’ve probably heard or seen variants of this story.  But the particular point here is it isn’t always the product, or even the product first.  The sales leadership you bring in will favor a certain price segment most of all.  They may love the higher velocity of $20k-$50k deals.  Or they may like to hunt bigger deals, even if they take longer.  Or they make want to stay at an ultra-high velocity of $3k-$10k deals, if they close fast.

Your product sometimes is only good for SMBs, or is very enterprise.  You can pick.  You can build those features.  And likely, what you build will determine your first 50-100 customers.

But after that, your sales leadership will make a huge impact.  They’ll take it in the direction of their strength.

Make sure you know it, are aligned there.  And want to lean into it.

(image from here)


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