Hitting the $100 Million Mark
With Stijn Hendrikse
The $100M mark is a unicorn in the software industry, as well as in many others. But Stijn Hendrikse has done it – and he found a duplicatable solution to help you do it too.
Stijn is the Author of T2D3: How some software startups scale, where many fail, a book written for early-stage SaaS leaders who want to build their go-to-market toolkit. T2D3 stands for Triple Triple Double Double Double: The idea that you can triple annual revenue 2 years in a row, only to double it 3 more years after that – to ultimately reach that $100 million annual recurring revenue mark.
It sounds like a rarity, but it is possible. By using Stijn’s tips in sales, marketing and niching down, entrepreneurs and founders can turn their SaaS companies into wild successes and stay true to the power of their ideas.
Stijn has contributed to the success of 10+ startups as a C-level executive, including Chief Revenue Officer of Acumatica and CEO of MightyCall, a SaaS contact center solution.
Stijn founded Kalungi – the global leading Growth-as-a-Service provider focused solely on B2B SaaS companies, and Amy.us, an AI-powered conversation platform that allows small business owners to service their customers better. Stijn has served as CMO and CEO for multiple B2B SaaS companies, including MightyCall and Acumatica. Stijn led Global SMB Marketing and B2B Product Marketing for Office at Microsoft, including the launch of Office 365 and the adoption of the Open XML ISO 29500 Standard.
A shift from quantity to quality
Stijn agrees that software as an industry has boomed for the past 15 years since the great economic recession. However, he shares that this growth comes at a significant cost.
Just 5-10 years ago, companies focused on rapid growth achieved their goals. They quickly expanded, cutting corners and taking shortcuts. The mindset was growth at all costs – and it shows in their lack of infrastructure. Now, Stijn points out that companies who did exceptionally well a decade ago were not built to last. They are struggling to retain clients with the introduction of new technologies such as generative AI, as suddenly their customers are going elsewhere.
In his book and in this episode, Stijn encourages us to look beyond traditional measures of success and evaluate our businesses with an open mind. We should ask ourselves: When someone lands on our website, how many stay, and for what? How many sign up for our product or service? How many are recurring customers? How many recommend it to others?”
In order to evaluate our businesses, he reminds us that the most frustrating mistake he sees is when entrepreneurs fail to establish real product-market-fit: Defined on wikipedia as “the degree to which a product satisfies a strong market demand.” This comes down to doing your research. What value are you adding to the market – and what value will you continue to add?
Depth over width in business growth
When SaaS Founders consider methods to reach the $100M mark, they often think that they have to appeal to a wide range of members or customers to achieve their goals. But Stijn shares that this is not the case.
By focusing on width, you are more likely to score temporary users. You’ll ultimately spend more money this way, especially in the marketing process. It’s smarter and more effective to target specific users who will become diehard fans of your product. They are more likely to recommend it to others, use it for years and get excited when new features launch. This saves you money in advertising dollars and builds a more solid foundation for your company to thrive.
It also helps you focus your efforts in the right places. In a competitive market like SaaS, competitors will come out of the woodwork offering cheaper or better features. However, your users are more likely to stay when you focus on their needs, ask them questions about what features they’d like to see, and serve the clients you already have rather than focusing on new ones.
Enjoy this exciting wisdom from SaaS entrepreneur and Author Stijn Hendrikse…
“Marketing and sales can be really hard for founders. You often have a founder who is either an engineer who found a problem to solve, or a subject matter expert, like a dentist who builds software for clients in the dental industry. Neither have real sales or marketing backgrounds! I founded a company called Kalungi where founders of companies, when they are ready to go talk with the world and scale, can do that!”
“After the 2008 financial crisis, things have gone really well in the world of software and SaaS business. But it was about growth at any expense – and it’s coming back to a few companies who did not do the basics well.”
“In the end, we need to add value. With generative AI, it’s rapidly changing. When you think of a marketing agency, that’s half of what they do! They have to rethink – am I really solving a problem? Am I able to prove it in the end?”
“Time is our most valuable resource. We can never make more of it. Every time you spend an hour doing something, how do you turn that into more?”
“T2D3 talks about the $100M mark. To achieve this – People often think they have to go really broad, really wide. But if you look at how big markets are for a meaningful solution, a meaningful software product that actually solves a really important problem – getting to a $100M doesn’t actually require you to have a very large market! It just requires you to do really, really well.”
“Staying relevant is also about saying no, and not trying to do more for more people – just doing more for the existing audience you have.”
Links mentioned in this episode:
Visit the website for T2D3 at https://www.t2d3.pro/
Read the Blog Post: 10 Milestones to Reach Product Fit: https://www.kalungi.com/blog/10-milestones-to-reach-product-market-fit
Connect with Stijn Hendrikse on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stijnhendrikse/
Follow Stijn on twitter at https://twitter.com/stijnh1
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