Navigating the Biggest Growth Challenges of SaaS Companies

Pablo Dominguez, Operating Partner at Insight Partners, joins us to share best practices for accelerating revenue growth at SaaS companies

Too often, SaaS companies that have enjoyed growth from expanding markets don’t have the commercial engine needed to withstand competition or weather an economic downturn. Those that lack a scalable framework for organic growth aren’t able to evolve fast enough.

On today’s show, Pablo Dominguez, Operating Partner at Insight Partners, shares the 3 fundamentals that every SaaS scale-up needs to get right to accelerate growth as well as common mistakes to avoid.


Click here for the podcast version of this interview.

Segment 1: Customer Segmentation

  1. Guiding portfolio companies to truly understanding their markets. minute 2:39
  2. Common mistakes in account segmentation. minute 4:20
  3. How often segmentation should be revisited. minute 6:10

Skip to minute 7:19 to hear Pablo discuss the ideal time to start annual planning.

"Is it aspirational to start in May? Absolutely. But that's what we would recommend is at least start having discussions around, 'How is our strategy going to change as a company? Are we going into new markets? Are we selling new products?...' So those discussions, the earlier they start happening, the better you are as you get into Q4 so you get into Q1 successfully."

Segment 2: Winning With the Right Coverage and Org Design

  1. 3 factors for choosing the right org design for SaaS companies. minute 8:44
  2. Hiring more salespeople vs. improving productivity. minute 11:28
  3. Identifying alternative routes to market. minute 13:05

Skip to minute 15:24 to hear Pablo share how to minimize disruption in the field when rolling out org changes.

"In a perfect vacuum, starting at the beginning of the year is best. Sometimes you don't have that luxury, though. You go through an acquisition, you buy somebody or you augment your sales staff, or you have to go into a new region and you've got to do some changes. So you've got to be willing to pivot, but ideally try and limit those changes to the beginning of a fiscal year, so you can kick off with new coverage, organization, comp plans, et cetera."

Segment 3: Incenting the Right Behavior With the Right Comp Plans

  1. Key data points in comp plans for SaaS companies. minute 17:01
  2. Determining if you have made the right decisions in your compensation plans. minute 19:26
  3. If and when to implement spiffs and special programs. minute 20:58

Skip to minute 21.59 for best practices when rolling out your new compensation plans:

"Don't stop. So you roll out the compensation plans, and then people go, 'Cool. I'll wait until the next planning period. I'm done.' No. You want to make sure you reinforce the behaviors every quarter, in QBRs, in all hands. You also want to make sure that you call out reps that are making a lot of money... You want people to get excited about, 'I have the potential to make a lot of money in this company.' So you want that continual communication."