We may be stuck at home but that didn’t stop over 1,500 SaaS experts from joining us at the Future of SaaS festival a couple of weeks ago on May 26-28.

We enjoyed some fantastic presentations from founders, investors, customer success pros, product leaders & growth gurus and while the content streamed our slack channel was buzzing with Q&A for speakers.

We’ve picked out some of the top questions and answers to share with the community. Take a look below… and if you’d like to connect with the speakers or continue the conversation then be sure to check out the Future of SaaS Slack channel.

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On day 1 Yasmine Helmy, Growth Marketing Lead at Instabug walked us through a step-by-step guide on how to build your first growth model, from choosing between a plethora of channels, measuring the right metrics, to automating your workflow and scaling faster than ever.

Who in the organization is responsible for identifying the tools to include in your growth stack? and are you investing in them or finding freemium packages are sufficient to get started?

Yasmine: Any growth member could choose tools and then pair up with an engineer to evaluate them and decide which of them fits our needs. At first, we tried to go for fermium packages and startup discounts/credits.

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Laura Blackmore & Alex Kerswill, Customer Success at Peak.ai then took to the virtual stage to share how they are building a customer success operation equipped to deliver results in a world that is still being created - the world of enterprise AI.

Do you worry that as you scale it will be harder to maintain your current level of attention with individual customers? How does the platform help Peak scale its customer success?

Laura & Alex: We really find a limit of 5 customers is hard to commit to, but any more and you under service. We are actively scaling up our team to keep up our level of attention. The idea also is that once customers are in a live state, we can minimize how we work with them too, depending on which product stack they have. Our platform is designed for data scientists to work in, as well as customers to retrieve data and insights, but we have found ways to flex this to CS. Such as being able to run usage reports and monitor customer health.

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On Day 2 Mike Pilawski, COO, Typeform shared best practices for building exceptional customer experience and relationships with customers.

How do you enforce/encourage company-wide alignment around this approach to customer experience as #1?

Mike: Our Leadership Team is aligned around this approach and that helps. There are three main strategies we employ to help this land.

First and foremost, we try to enforce it as part of the culture: from screening for the right values in the recruitment process to evaluating for that behavior during performance reviews. We bring customers to our All Hands team meetings to share their feedback and their expectations as well.

Second, you need to lead by example. A lot of behaviours in the company come from the top, positive and negative.

Three, you continue to measure the impact. We measure how our customers evaluate the customer experience and we estimate the impact of their feedback on retention and referral. This helps us understand the business impact and have data to back this approach.

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Then SaaS veteran Rav Dhaliwal, Investor and Venture Partner, Crane Venture Partners gave us insight into what CS is (and isn't), how to use it effectively as a lever to accelerate your growth, and most importantly how best to align and measure your CS, Sales, Marketing and Product teams so they are all oriented around long term customer value and revenue growth.

Do you think CS is even more important in the COVID era? and following on from that, more broadly how do you think COVID will impact the investment environment for SaaS start-ups?

Rav: The importance of CS in most companies has risen enormously since the pandemic as everyone realises that new sales are likely to be very slow for a while and that doubling down on keeping every customer you have is even more critical than normal.

Companies that have let their CS teams go are more likely to not have understood the value they were adding or the team's themselves may have been more reactive/support like rather than proactive value drivers. From an investment perspective, I would say funds will want to continue to deploy capital but will likely have raised the bar on the quality of the teams they are investing - so a bit more selective.

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On Day 3 Peter Schroeder, Head of Growth at Onna gave us his top tips on marketing enterprise software. From landing your first big client, to going upmarket, to understanding the way enterprise buyers think - Peter unpacked how to sell to the best and brightest.

You mentioned ‘quality interactions’ a lot in your presentation. How do you ensure all interactions are ‘quality’ and maintain that standard across so many touchpoints?

Peter: it's not an easy thing but there needs to be a gatekeeper of quality. Someone who says no to 97% of things to make sure the 3% of things you do are top quality.

Luckily for enterprise, those touch point are going to come over a long course of time, so you have the time to product quality messaging, quality content, and quality relationships.

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Customer Success was one of the most popular themes of the festival and Melissa Logothesis closed it out by sharing Success Plans - what they look like, why you need one and how to build it.

We’re a small team with only 1 person working on CS currently (….me!) with limited resources and time, what elements of your success plan would you prioritise?

Melissa: This is a question I've been asking myself too! As a whole, we've found that starting with the customer journey is super helpful. What does it look like when a customer is "tracking" well:

  • at 1 week mark
  • at 1-month mark
  • 2-month
  • 6-month
  • onwards?

This helps create the general outline and then the fun part is getting the customer buy-in through check-ins aligned with each of those "milestones"

If you made it this far, thanks for reading! And as mentioned be sure to check out the Future of SaaS Slack to engage with your peers and keep these conversations going! The Future of SaaS is being built by people like you 🤓