I’ve been consulting startup founders for 10 years. Sometimes as part of a paid engagement and other times just as friends swapping ideas. I got my initial start with the Alchemist Accelerator then branched out via my network and through VCs. My absolute favorite things about being in the SaaS world are the bonds that get created in these high stress environments and how much collaboration happens across networks. When building a company from scratch, there are lots of new challenges that you have never faced and talking with others that have been through it before is extremely helpful. I personally have benefited from sharing experiences as well as receiving knowledge from others that have been there before and are willing to share. A vast amount of experience out there and readily available if you know where to look 🙂
Imagine that you wanted to start a company from scratch. You have a great idea, have convinced some folks to invest in your idea and now you have to go build a website, build a product, find customers, retain customers, hire a bunch of people and all without running out of the money you raised. Think about how many decisions you’d have to make! Then think about how critical each of these decisions are, especially when you are just getting started! Any one or two bad mistakes can crush your momentum or completely sink your company. As I mentioned before, the journey from 0 to $100 million is crazy!
I have been fortunate in my career to have worked at many very successful companies, and learned from some of the best. Crazy stat = The companies I’ve worked with have collectively raised ~ $1.5B in capital. I have now seen 4 successful exits 1st hand. I have worked from early stage to IPO twice and early stage to acquisition twice as well. I played a significant role in many of these companies. I know what it’s like when every deal matters. When every customer matters. When every hire matters. When you need to make the right choices. I have also seen the impact of making one or two wrong moves. Now,I’ve certainly been lucky! That luck and hard work has given me a wealth of knowledge to offer early stage companies looking to scale and strive for similar outcomes.
As a consultant and fractional CRO, I help founders think through these decisions and tradeoffs by sharing advice from my own experiences and also helping them accelerate their scaling efforts at a fraction of the cost of full time CRO. Some examples of tangible things I do for them; Create capacity plans and comp plans, help recruit, interview candidates, review sales pitches, help with deal management, build competitive intelligence operations, build SFDC dashboards, run customer survey programs, write job descriptions, and even train their employees. I’m here to help them build a foundation for revenue scaling (sales and customer support) without making too many unnecessary early mistakes.
A few examples of real questions founders have:
- Should I spend money on sales software?
- What Software is best for our stage?
- Should I hire an SDR, a marketer, a VP sales or an Account executive?
- What seniority?
- How should I compensate them?
- What is a realistic goal for growth?
- Why are we losing deals to our competitors?
- What customers can/should I support?
- How do I navigate a negotiation?
In a nutshell I think of a Fractional CRO like a short cut. Hiring an experienced full time VP Sales, VP Success or CRO can take months. When you add new hire ramp time, it could be 1 2 full months before you see value from that investment. SaaS is about speed, windows of opportunity close quickly so founders can actually now be scaling and building a foundation instead vs waiting for the FTE to arrive. You can actually get going faster!
** If you see an acronym or word anywhere on the site that you haven’t seen before, I might have posted an explanation on my glossary of terms. If not, tell me and I’ll add it!*