Sameer's CRO Playbook
Why the playbook?
B2B SaaS sales needs a far more coordination between various functions (marketing, sales, customer success etc) to succeed. For that, you need to have a clear structure, processes, alignment of process input and output to the overall revenue target etc. I have created a sample plan/playbook, you need to adapt it to your needs. In some places, I have provided a framework (such as the budget) in excel that would save your time to develop the same.
The playbook is useful for you if you are:
A startup which has already achieved the product market fit. So far the founders have been driving sales. You have now raised significant funding (Series A) and looking out to grow rapidly in existing markets and explore newer ones. You are looking out to build your first professional sales team.
A Corporate / An established company which is re-envisioning and improving a B2B SaaS sales initiative. You need to adopt a whole new way to start selling and achieve customer success
An individual salesperson, marketer or a Customer Success professional who wants to evolve into a CRO and you believe in the value of the process-oriented approach to drive revenue growth.
Here's the Playbook. It's in presentation format in the image below, if you are watching this on your mobile just keep taping on the image below to go to the next slides.
The way sustainable profitable growth is to:
create a customer experience that make customers LOVE me and then scale it up (get enough leads in the pipeline and close enough of those.)
... in that same order. And you need to make sure that you have the enabling building blocks of processes, automation, the data that comes from that and decisions based on the analytics of that data.
The playbook is just a quantification and structiing of the principle.
The customer experience deccides what price (average customer price or ACV) they are going to give to us. If this experience is awesome, they pay you greater price and you are able to defend that price better as you grow (over the period of time and number of customers). Only when you have got this right that you need to start scaling this expereince to a larger number of customers. For that you need to connect with a lot of prospective customers and communicate your offerings to them and get them interested (lead generation to create a healthy pipeline). Some of them (the % of that is called Win Rate) end up buying your offerings. And then you go back to provide them with great experience and the cycle starts and you get your revenue.
The revenue actually a combination of three things in a B2B SaaS:
- Live ARR: The revenue from new customer logo going live on the product. The annual value of it is called as 'Live ARR' (ARR or Annual Recurring Revenue is the value of deals closed, often subscription-based revenues normalized for one calendar year.). The monthly value of the same is 'Live MRR' (Monthly Recurring Revenue = ARR / 12). Since this is the dominant part of the total revenue, we would drop the 'Live' term from it and call it just ARR and MRR.
- Cross / Upsell: The part of the revenue that's earned through upgrading existing clients or selling them other offerings.
- Churn: The revenue lost through customers who cancel your product (or a service) product within a given period of time.
Revenue = Live ARR + Cross/Upsell - Churn
Now let's go a few layers deeper to see how each one of these numbers gets constructed from the interplay of marketing sales and customer success teams.
The above two slides in the CRO Playbook packs in a lot of knowledge on:
- Processes and structure of a ‘revenue’ organization to earn a given revenue target
- Quantification of the output of every process/team, KRAs
- control and follow-up mechanism for CXOs.
- Develop a line of sight for each individual to the final goal
- Top management's ability to pull the right level to affect the change that they want
- The type of CRM you buy and the customization you need.
The slides post the above two are self-explained. So I will let you read the deck now. A few articles on this blog which start with 'CRO Playbook Series ...'. E.g. 'CRO Playbook Series: (Customer) Love is all you need'.