How Revenue Leaders Can Own Their Seat at the Table

May 5, 2022

Author: collin stewart

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The journey from Series A to B can be treacherous. Revenue leaders often struggle to hold their own in the board room, with pressure coming from all sides. This week\u2019s podcast guest shared invaluable advice on how revenue leaders can not only survive the Series A to B journey, but thrive in the process.\u00a0\n

Tom Glason is the Co-founder & CEO of Scalewise, helping B2B tech scale-ups accelerate growth by providing access to world-class scale coaches, fractional leaders, and delivery partners. Tom joined the Predictable Revenue podcast to discuss how revenue leaders can own their seat in the board room.\n

\n

The market is more crowded than ever before\n

Venture capital (VC) fundraising has reached new heights; median financing rounds have quadrupled since 2010, and with more money comes more competition.\u00a0\n

Less than 20% of VC-backed startups are successful at raising a Series A round, and only 50% of those go on to secure a Series B. The vast majority of companies are failing between Series A and B. All of this contributes to higher expectations and more pressure on companies to perform exceptionally well, especially at the go-to-market stage.\u00a0\u00a0\n

\n

What does this mean for revenue leaders?\n

There are a few reasons for this massive growth. The Covid-19 pandemic has hugely accelerated investment in the tech industry, especially for companies like Zoom and Slack, which have seen massive growth.\u00a0\n

Governments around the world have also allocated funding for various businesses and startups, trying to keep their economies afloat in uncertain times. With so many VC-backed companies (many of them targeting the same market or serving the same ideal customer), the competition for sales and funding can be fierce.\n

That\u2019s why it\u2019s more critical than ever for revenue leaders to know their numbers. Measuring and managing the right performance metrics can be the difference between securing and not securing Series B. Tom shared some of those key metrics below.\n

\n

\"\"\n

\n

5 key questions Series B investors are asking\n

Does the company have a strong product-market fit?\u00a0\n

Product market fit can be best measured by annual recurring revenue. If your company is burning $1-2 million a month, that means customers are churning. Revenue leaders often have a good handle on their sales numbers, but investors want to know how much it cost to get there.\n

\n

Is the company growing fast enough?\u00a0\n

Revenue growth can be benchmarked either internally quarter over quarter or against other successful companies. To reach Series B, investors ideally want to see 1.5-2.5x year-on-year growth. Another key metric is the quarterly growth rate of new revenue or new customer logos. Investors want to see that revenue is accelerating quarter after quarter.\n

\n

Is the company growing efficiently?\n

Efficiency can be measured with growth accounting, with new revenue (new customers and upsells) divided by lost revenue (downsells and churn). This calculation will give you the quick ratio, which is an indication of whether new business is growing faster than lost business. Ideally, this number will be equal to or greater than four.\n

\n

Is the company retaining and growing customers?\n

This can be measured through net dollar retention (NDR) and gross logo retention. The exact numbers for a target churn rate and retention rate depend on your market segment and ideal customer, but in general, your NDR should be at least 100-125%, while logo retention should be anywhere from 75-90%.\n

\n

Is the company selling efficiently?\u00a0\n

This final question can be difficult to quantify but is still critically important for revenue leaders to consider. Typically, after companies secure Series A funding, they begin to rapidly scale their sales team.\u00a0\n

The problem with this approach is that it neglects all the other factors that drive growth: rep hiring, ramp time, pipeline growth, and demand generation, just to name a few. This underinvestment in pipeline growth leads to fewer qualified opportunities, and ultimately, failure to reach Series B.\u00a0\n

\n

The most important factor for investors\n

From an investor\u2019s perspective, the two key metrics are the Magic Number (ratio of yearly recurring revenue gained for every sales and marketing dollar spent) and the CAC payback period (how long it takes to recuperate customer acquisition costs). These metrics indicate both the efficiency and sustainability of a company\u2019s revenue.\n

Series B investors are looking for companies that can efficiently leverage their capital to grow sustainable revenue. If your revenue is unpredictable, you\u2019re unlikely to secure funding at this stage.\u00a0\n

\n

How to own the board roam as a revenue leader\n

Most revenue leaders are great at coaching reps, defining playbooks, and improving the sales process\u2013but few have a handle on their metrics. They don\u2019t know their standard conversion rates or the number of leads they need in the pipeline, and therefore they\u2019re unable to own their seat at the board room table.\n

There are a few key steps revenue leaders can take to fix this. First, get support from Revenue Operations. But leaders should also take it upon themselves to learn what the important data points are, what they mean, and how to find them.\u00a0\n

If you\u2019re having trouble understanding the numbers, get help from a mentor. Don\u2019t try to figure it out alone. Learning from someone who\u2019s been there before is the best way to gain confidence with the metrics.\u00a0\n

At Predictable Revenue, we offer coaching services for sales leaders looking to grow sustainable and scalable revenue. Click here to book a free assessment and learn how we can help you drive pipeline growth.\n

\n

Conclusion\n

Not only will knowing your numbers help you become more credible in the board room, but you\u2019ll also learn exactly what levers to pull to increase revenue and drive conversions. With the right knowledge and support, the journey from Series A to B becomes much more manageable.\n

If you want to connect with Tom to learn more about how to scale efficiently, reach out via LinkedIn or visit scalewise.com.","tablet":""}},"slug":"et_pb_text"}” data-et-multi-view-load-tablet-hidden=”true”>

The journey from Series A to B can be treacherous. Revenue leaders often struggle to hold their own in the board room, with pressure coming from all sides. This week’s podcast guest shared invaluable advice on how revenue leaders can not only survive the Series A to B journey, but thrive in the process. 

Tom Glason is the Co-founder & CEO of Scalewise, helping B2B tech scale-ups accelerate growth by providing access to world-class scale coaches, fractional leaders, and delivery partners. Tom joined the Predictable Revenue podcast to discuss how revenue leaders can own their seat in the board room.

The market is more crowded than ever before

Venture capital (VC) fundraising has reached new heights; median financing rounds have quadrupled since 2010, and with more money comes more competition. 

Less than 20% of VC-backed startups are successful at raising a Series A round, and only 50% of those go on to secure a Series B. The vast majority of companies are failing between Series A and B. All of this contributes to higher expectations and more pressure on companies to perform exceptionally well, especially at the go-to-market stage.  

What does this mean for revenue leaders?

There are a few reasons for this massive growth. The Covid-19 pandemic has hugely accelerated investment in the tech industry, especially for companies like Zoom and Slack, which have seen massive growth. 

Governments around the world have also allocated funding for various businesses and startups, trying to keep their economies afloat in uncertain times. With so many VC-backed companies (many of them targeting the same market or serving the same ideal customer), the competition for sales and funding can be fierce.

That’s why it’s more critical than ever for revenue leaders to know their numbers. Measuring and managing the right performance metrics can be the difference between securing and not securing Series B. Tom shared some of those key metrics below.

5 key questions Series B investors are asking

Does the company have a strong product-market fit? 

Product market fit can be best measured by annual recurring revenue. If your company is burning $1-2 million a month, that means customers are churning. Revenue leaders often have a good handle on their sales numbers, but investors want to know how much it cost to get there.

Is the company growing fast enough? 

Revenue growth can be benchmarked either internally quarter over quarter or against other successful companies. To reach Series B, investors ideally want to see 1.5-2.5x year-on-year growth. Another key metric is the quarterly growth rate of new revenue or new customer logos. Investors want to see that revenue is accelerating quarter after quarter.

Is the company growing efficiently?

Efficiency can be measured with growth accounting, with new revenue (new customers and upsells) divided by lost revenue (downsells and churn). This calculation will give you the quick ratio, which is an indication of whether new business is growing faster than lost business. Ideally, this number will be equal to or greater than four.

Is the company retaining and growing customers?

This can be measured through net dollar retention (NDR) and gross logo retention. The exact numbers for a target churn rate and retention rate depend on your market segment and ideal customer, but in general, your NDR should be at least 100-125%, while logo retention should be anywhere from 75-90%.

Is the company selling efficiently? 

This final question can be difficult to quantify but is still critically important for revenue leaders to consider. Typically, after companies secure Series A funding, they begin to rapidly scale their sales team. 

The problem with this approach is that it neglects all the other factors that drive growth: rep hiring, ramp time, pipeline growth, and demand generation, just to name a few. This underinvestment in pipeline growth leads to fewer qualified opportunities, and ultimately, failure to reach Series B. 

The most important factor for investors

From an investor’s perspective, the two key metrics are the Magic Number (ratio of yearly recurring revenue gained for every sales and marketing dollar spent) and the CAC payback period (how long it takes to recuperate customer acquisition costs). These metrics indicate both the efficiency and sustainability of a company’s revenue.

Series B investors are looking for companies that can efficiently leverage their capital to grow sustainable revenue. If your revenue is unpredictable, you’re unlikely to secure funding at this stage. 

How to own the board roam as a revenue leader

Most revenue leaders are great at coaching reps, defining playbooks, and improving the sales process–but few have a handle on their metrics. They don’t know their standard conversion rates or the number of leads they need in the pipeline, and therefore they’re unable to own their seat at the board room table.

There are a few key steps revenue leaders can take to fix this. First, get support from Revenue Operations. But leaders should also take it upon themselves to learn what the important data points are, what they mean, and how to find them. 

If you’re having trouble understanding the numbers, get help from a mentor. Don’t try to figure it out alone. Learning from someone who’s been there before is the best way to gain confidence with the metrics. 

At Predictable Revenue, we offer coaching services for sales leaders looking to grow sustainable and scalable revenue. Click here to book a free assessment and learn how we can help you drive pipeline growth.

Conclusion

Not only will knowing your numbers help you become more credible in the board room, but you’ll also learn exactly what levers to pull to increase revenue and drive conversions. With the right knowledge and support, the journey from Series A to B becomes much more manageable.

If you want to connect with Tom to learn more about how to scale efficiently, reach out via LinkedIn or visit scalewise.com.

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