7 Takeaways from SaaStr Europa 2022

I’ve just returned from  SaaStr Europa in Barcelona. During the two-day event, I connected with customers and heard from industry peers, SaaS founders, and the investor community. I also had an opportunity to take the stage and discuss a topic near and dear to my heart: data-oriented product design.

With over 30 hours of content, over 60 speakers, and lots of inspiring SaaS talk, there were several learnings and insights gleaned. To summarize though, here are my top takeaways from SaaStr Europa:

  1. Customers expect a consumer-grade user experience (UX) now more than ever…starting with the onboarding experience, which should be a majority of your product team’s focus, and continuing with product-led growth. But what exactly is product-led growth?
    • Very simply put, product-led growth (PLG) is a go-to-market motion that relies on a product (and its excellent user experience) to drive a company’s growth and all its funnel stages. The app itself, rather than ad dollars or sales outreach, is the engine.
    • Organic discovery, viral loops, and network effects play important roles. This makes PLG a relatively cost-effective growth strategy, not having to rely on hiring more sales reps and spending a bigger marketing budget. PLG will most likely  require more R&D money to create a great product, but then it can scale.
  2. PLG can be used in tandem with sales and marketing motions. Companies relying on product-led growth are selective about where and when to deploy their toolbox of go-to-market motions — combining these in different ways for different journeys, including:
    • Start with a free product experience, then layer on a sales-assisted track for enterprise leads.
    • Begin as a sales-led company, then add a freemium or free trial product a few years in.
    • Use product to drive all net new revenue; only use sales and customer success teams to drive expansion revenue.]
  3. If your NRR (Net Revenue Retention) is much much higher (e.g. 115%) than your GRR (e.g. 85%) then it means a segment of your customers really love your solution. It is important to pay close attention to that segment as they most likely are your biggest fans, potentially ICPs and can be great advocates for your brand/product. Satisfied customers are your best ambassadors!
  4. Employment trends are are not a recession but rather a market correction. Asana has recorded 67% revenue growth in 2022 so far, for instance. According to Jason Lemkin (founder of SaaStr) and Saravana Kumar (CEO, Kovai.co), only the “overvalued unicorns” are at risk now, because their growth has been unsustainable.
  5. Hire leaders who understand scaling. You need people who are used to scaling and who can help you drive predictable results from a playbook. And if you want to make sure you can scale in an effective way, you need to put some focus on goal alignment. 
  6. Highlighting your product ROI goes a long way. It is important to share benchmarks and case studies to help your prospects understand the added value of your product/solution.
  7. Connecting with people in person is very powerful. What SaaStr has shown us this year is that virtual, while having expanded over the past couple of years allowing us to stay connected, will never replace face to face interactions with prospects, partners, and customers.

Keep your eyes peeled for the SaaStr Europa 2022 sessions going live on the SaaStr YouTube page in the coming weeks to get more in-depth insights from myself & the other SaaS executives, founders, and entrepreneurs!

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