Tag Archives: predictable revenue


How SaaS and Other Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue

Authors: Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin

In my week three reflection I talked about Part I of my chosen book. This week I am reflecting on Part II: Creating Predictable Pipeline.

Creating predictable pipeline is the ultimate goal because if you can control where and how you are generating revenue, you control you financial growth/success. Here is how Ross and Lemkin say to do it:

  1. Seeds – Customer Success;
  2. Nets – Marketing;
  3. Spears – Outbound Prospecting;
  4. What Executives Miss.

“The Painful Truth: Overnight success is a fairy tale. You’re not going to be “Discovered” with a viral video, post or product that makes all your lead generation problems magically disappear.”

Of these four sections, #2 stood out the most to me because ever business needs marketing, but not every business knows how to do it.

Chapter Six – Nets-Marketing

If a company is struggling with marketing, Ross and Lemkin informs readers that inbound marketing works for every. “The idea is creating marketing that customers love or learn from, inspiring them to want more from you, eventually buying your stuff.”

To put it more plainly for those that are still unsure about what inbound marketing is, here is how Wikipedia defines inbound marketing: Inbound marketing is a technique for drawing customers to products and services via content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization and branding.

With that being said, be careful. I have seen some terrible inbound marketing. Doing it just to say you did it is almost as bad as not doing it at all. In my profession (membership organization) we have chapters. Each chapter has their own social media platforms because they are interacting with their service areas (a specific city, county or state). Not all chapters are equipped with members that are social media gurus. The other issue is, not all chapters have the resources (revenue) to hire someone to manage their online presence (social media accounts).

Those challenges are the same challenges that small or start up businesses may face. For a business, it’s worth the investment.

Marketing success requires a team. There is a really great graph on page 68 of the book that depicts what your Revenue Team (for marketing) should look like.

This team is headed by a “Revenue Lead”.
Under that lead is a VP of Marketing and a VP of Sales.
Under each VP is a manager – Marketing and Sales.
After this the structure begins to show more clear separation.

On the marketing side there is a Senior Designer.
On the sales side there are Ads (Account Executives).

Each side has an outbound team:
Marketing – Demand Gen Marketers
Sales – Outbound SDRs (Sale Development Rep)

Last, each side has an inbound team:
Marketing – Content & Social Media Marketing
Sales – Inbound SDRs

Without marketing, a business relies only on word of mouth. That is not a sustainable model and your business will never cross the gap.


How SaaS and Other Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue

Authors: Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin

In my last reflection I talked about the focus of my reflection: addressing are Ross and Lemkin’s Seven Ingredients to Hyper-Growth.

The first ingredient is Nail the Niche (Part 1). This whole first section focuses on Nailing the Niche in four (4) chapters:

  1. “Niche” Doesn’t Mean Small;
  2. Signs of Slooging;
  3. How to Nail It;
  4. Your Pitch.

This seems so simple and yet, most companies aren’t doing this “right”! I think most people do not get it right because it is difficult to focus on one thing when you have many interest and/or talents, but who said you cannot have more than one business! Each business should essentially have its own niche – what works best.

Ross and Lemkin indicate that you know you have nailed the niche “when you are able to find and sign up unaffiliated customers. Unaffiliated. Paying. Customers.”

What does that look like? The authors talk about the “Arc of Attention” in respect to nailing the niche. Below is the same image from the book on Aaron Ross’ website.

To put it simply, the authors describe the “High Trust” zone as a business’s early adopters – family, friends, and people you know. The “Gap” is the difference in marketing to people that you may or may not know. The “No Trust” zone is the mainstream buys – mainly people that you do not know.

“The whole point of Nailing the Niche is to help you cross the Trust Gap, moving from depending on buyers on the right side (trust) to being able to better market and sell to buyers on the left side (no trust).”

So HOW do you nail the niche? Chapter 3 speaks directly to this. Here are a few points that Ross and Lemkin make:

  • Specialize in a specific “pain” you save, but don’t get so narrow that you can’t find anyone that has it;
  • Make lists that will produce tangible results to determine your niche (“stop” lists may be most important because it should list the projects that have failed);
  • Stop talking and start proving;
  • Get customer feedback before you build it – surveys are a great way of doing this;
  • If nothing happens, that’s not a failure if you see it as useful information, too.

The last bullet stands out most to me because I believe “failure” produces growth and opportunity to learn. Business is about relationships, even through failure. One of the first things that we learn to do in life is build relationships – whether good or bad. We build relationships with our parents and sibling (family), then friends (and foes) at school, we move on to learn how to build relationships with classmates and coworkers, romantic relationships are sprinkled throughout, and in entrepreneurship we build relationships with clients.

Those entrepreneurial relationships are important beyond building revenue. They are important with learning how to build your business or take it to the next level. In your early stages building relationships will be critical in finding your niche.