Some of you are gonna hate me for even saying this. Might even have some intense fist-shaking action. But it’s gotta be said. There is such a thing as having too many leads.
When I started Flowtown, we were treading water in the reddest of oceans. Social sharing and publishing tools were all the rage, and standing out from the crowd was NOT going to be easy. Fortunately, we were able to lean into one key differentiator in our feature set for our product called Timely. It was almost criminally simple -- but by being the only social publishing tool that CHOSE the ideal time to post for you (based on our algorithm)...
Not all leads are created equal. Even if you’ve dialed in your ideal customer profile and built out your distribution channels to only attract the perfect prospect… ...you’re still gonna have to implement systems and filters to separate your buyers from your tire kickers. This is especially true in the scaling phase where spending too much time with non-buyers will tax your sales team, inspire bad decisions with “false negatives”, and create a whole slew of crushing inefficiencies. After taking
Ever read about those outrageous “rider” demands that touring musicians demand from the concert promoter? … Iggy Pop demands a Bob Hope impersonator. … Mariah Carey insists on gallons of vitamin water to bathe her dogs in. … Van Halen would refuse to take the stage if a brown M&M found its way into the candy jar. Borderline insane right?
I have a little secret. A few years ago when I started coaching growth-minded SaaS founders on how to scale their companies, I created someone named ‘Software Scaling Sam”. Sam was obsessed with growth, had achieved product/market fit, and was ready to take full ownership and responsibility in scaling beyond 10k MRR. If you think that Sam sounds quite a bit like you, that’s because Sam is you.
Chances are you’ve already done some work in defining your “customer avatar”. At the very least, I feel good assuming you don’t think I’m talking about a blue space creature ;-) But when it comes to defining and dialing in your B2B SaaS avatar… … the rules are a bit different.
Back when I was growing Clarity.fm, we were getting a TON of organic traffic. At its peak, we were clocking in at over 100K unique visitors/month. Which on the surface sounds like a number worth fist-bumping over. Problem was… Barely any of those visitors were actually converting into free accounts or paid calls. About 2% to be exact. (I can’t believe I thought that was OK) And it’s not like the leads were bad either.
“Facebook ads don’t work for B2B SaaS” Raise your hand if you’ve heard that one before (or have been the one to say it). I hear some spin on that one multiple times per week. Usually from a jaded SaaS founder who went “all in” with Facebook only to burn through their Amex card with nothing but a stack of air miles to show for it. There’s a reason that Facebook is such a polarizing channel in the SaaS world.
During Flowtown’s peak, I had TWELVE people reporting to me. That was on top of my own workload that I was responsible for delivering on. Talk about overwhelm. I was literally inundating myself with reports/metrics/managers that didn’t necessarily serve the growth of the company. Rule of thumb:
Nothing makes me facepalm harder than getting an email from a SaaS company with a subject line that says… “Dan, your free trial is about to expire” *grabs an ice pack for my aching forehead* If you’re using email marketing as a notification tool (and not as a 24/7 salesperson who doesn’t take holidays or call in sick after a Black Mirror binge fest)...