Playing the growth game, eh?
No matter whether you are journeying to product-market-fit or scaling a sales team, as a SaaS founder, you need to have an uncompromised focus on what matters. And for nearly all sales and marketing teams, revenue metrics are at the heart of it all. Weekly meetings can be notorious traps for getting into deal specifics, deconstructing a recent campaign, or for introducing deviations that distract from a defined strategy. At their worst, weekly meetings can be a playground for power struggles and finger-pointing.
In fact, a recent study from Harvard Business School of nearly 200 senior executives from diverse industries indicated that “only 17% reported that their meetings are generally productive uses of group and individual time”
With that in mind, it’s imperative that you run focused and concise meetings to continually hit your metrics goals — month after month. There are different breeds of ineffective meetings, but if you want to be category king, you should get increasingly specific and consistent in your meetings today.
Know your metrics
A quick pulse check with your existing team will tell you who on your team understands what you’re driving towards. If you’re a subscription or SaaS business, here are some questions that you may want to pose internally:
- Do your sales reps understand how MRR translates to ARR?
- Are your customer success leads aware that there are different kinds of churn and appropriate strategies to combat each type?
- Can you articulate a strategy to reach nirvana: negative churn?
- Is your finance and business operations team regularly reviewing cohorts to understand subscriber lifecycle?
If you’re thinking, yikes, we need a refresher — that’s okay. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to key metrics. There are best practices for defining what to track and how to track it.
Sticking with a set of critical, crisp revenue metrics will help you avoid a trap I’ve seen in many sales and marketing meetings — that all-too-familiar rabbit hole where ad hoc questions are posed to uncover data points needed for a specific line of argumentation.
None of that happens when your team has 1) a high level of data literacy and 2) a clear understanding of what metrics are important.
When you invest the time to ensure that your team understands the heart of growth metrics, you increase the business acumen of your contributors and help them to understand what makes a business successful beyond tactical one-offs.
If your team already has a level of comfort navigating MRR movements and LTV conversations, that’s great — you’re already two steps ahead. You can point them towards what is top of mind and build a regular reporting rhythm.
Proactive revenue-focused meeting agendas
Now that we have a level playing field, we can get more specific. Metrics should be role specific. Each team member should know what they are responsible for and how their contributions contribute to larger goals. Of course — these are company-specific metrics — but take a moment to imagine how this kind of clarity across the team could affect regular meetings in your world.
Let’s explore with a hypothetical sales team meeting:
Sales reps at the A-team are charged with achieving (more accurately, overachieving) an MRR goal month-over-month. The A-team sales leadership team is charged with an end of year ARR goal.
What might their weekly sales meetings look like? For this exercise, we’ll assume that the attendees include 4 sales reps, 1 sales lead, and 1 sales and marketing ops contributor. I’ve simplified the example to illustrate the power of taking a revenue-focused approach to weekly sales meetings.
What’s interesting here is that Option 1, by itself, seems like a reasonable agenda.
But when compared side-by-side with Option 2, the former feels less productive and more reactionary. I’d even argue that most of the items on Option 1’s agenda find their way there because asynchronous collaboration and team communication is lacking. Imagine having to wait 1 full week to get support or ideas for a stuck deal — that could immediately kill a deal!
Another notable feature of Option 2 is that each salesperson has the opportunity to articulate how they are contributing to the team goal instead of feeling the need to justify past decisions made over the past week. This can be a powerful way to let employees know that you trust in their ability to get the job done — and more focus on forward-looking results.
Build rhythms to remove barriers
All this sounds fine and well, right? But what happens when a deal goes by the wayside? (Let’s stick with our sales example)
How do you make sure things stay on track if you’re not hashing them out in sales team meetings?
It comes back to revenue metrics.
If your team has a clear understanding of their responsibilities and how they relate to company goals, then each person should be able to understand what is most important at any given moment. Rather than waiting for a forecast review, a rep can instead call sales leadership with a question or idea about an active opportunity needed to reach the MRR goal.
Rallying around a proactive, revenue-focused target can be transformational — and, at the same time, a ton of fun.
Other challenges or inquiries can be solved with lightweight processes. For example, you can implement a change management procedure to improve CRM usage and to socialize ideas about process and technology. You can try forecasting committed deals asynchronously in Slack or on a whiteboard in the office.
You can also use regular 1-1s and trainings to make sure that you’re proactively identifying and working against areas of risk.
Do it regularly
I used the word rhythm intentionally because a one-off standout meeting won’t suffice. You need to get folks thinking about revenue metrics each day — not solely at the end of the month or in advance of a meeting.
Success in SaaS has a lot to do with balance and efficient growth. Companies like Instapage, Hotjar, and Notion use ChartMogul to democratize and discuss key revenue metrics — and they’re doing so on a regular basis.
Need help getting started? Give ChartMogul a whirl and start your 14-day trial —we’ll be there to help you along the way.
Sara leads sales and marketing at ChartMogul. If she’s not helping SaaS start-ups build a better growth engine, you’ll likely find her making a big mess in the garden or attempting to learn German.