20 apr. 2022
SaaS (Software as a service) is an exponentially booming industry in the years to come. The best way to be updated with the know-how is to collaborate with peers and players through networking and knowledge sharing.
SaaS (Software as a service) is an exponentially booming industry in the years to come. The best way to be updated with the know-how is to collaborate with peers and players through networking and knowledge sharing. Imagine an event where you can witness 900+ SaaS minds under one roof in southern Sweden. It is the testing bed for Saas products to prosper. Welcome to SaaSiest 2022 hosted by SaaS Nordics.
SaaS Nordic is a community-based initiative run by two SaaS enthusiasts, Thomas Sjöberg and Daniel Nackovski. Their goal is to foster the exchange of knowledge, trends, and ideas so that Nordic B2B SaaS companies and professionals can reach their full potential. Launched amid the pandemic chaos, SaaSiest first created a buzz in the digital world at the 2021 edition by creating a forum for SaaS founders to discuss trends and best practices and delve into topics such as growth and scaling, PLG, funding opportunities, and more. With the world opening up, 2022 looked a lot different. Their team brought more than 900 SaaS professionals across the USA, UK, Europe, and Nordics to Slagthuset, Malmö.
SaaS Nordic 2022 at Slagthuset, Malmö
It is fantastic what commitment there is within the Nordic B2B SaaS Communities. They share their experiences generously and really want to help each other, says Thomas Sjöberg.
This is the beginning, our ambition is to grow SaaSiest into an event that is known internationally. We already have visitors from around 10 countries this year and see great interest from both investors and global SaaS companies, says Daniel Nackovski.
It is a huge networking opportunity but also a great learning experience. In Daniel’s words, “The SaaS Nordics community is a goldmine of experiences! 66 speakers took the stage and they all shared valuable and insightful experiences that will help us all grow!
Many SaaS companies have global ambitions and want to enter new markets to become significant players outside their regional boundaries. We could go on and on about the extravagant 2-day SaaS fest, but here are some of the key highlights and trends SaaS professionals should keep an eye on:
Ways to build a $100 million SaaS company
Nathan Latka, a SaaS crusader from the United States and Founder and CEO at Founderpath jolted a 9 am 20 minuter- keynote opener on How do you build a $100 million ARR SaaS company? He set out to answer that question by tracing what nine different SaaS unicorns have done right in recent years to get to where they are today, for example:
optimizing product-led growth (PLG)
launching products at high velocity
optimizing existing audience traffic on hotspots like Google
outsourcing sales development to enter new markets
controlling the right sales offers
offering Customer Success Manager for upselling,
working with value-added resellers like Hubspot is some of the levers a SaaS expert can pull in growing the business.
However, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions in the market. Learn the inside secrets through Nathan's podcasts with SaaS founders on how to grow their companies into a million-dollar businesses.
Keep the sales team energized
SaaSiest 2022 brought many SaaS veterans. One of them was Aaron Ross, the author of Predictable Revenue. In his keynote on building a resilient sales team, Aaron shared that having a sales team design, predictable pipeline, and emotional smarts can make for a great sales team under challenging circumstances. Today, companies are moving towards creating specialized roles within the sales department where each crew member has a specific responsibility.
Bringing the emotional smarts subject upfront, Aaron delves into a crucial topic of handling workplace stress for sales teams, especially considering targets. He emphasizes:
Remember that if you’re a leader, you set the example for your team. If you’re doing things that are good for you, and avoid getting burnt out, you lead by example and help your team do the same thing.
Act local while you think global
Taking on the markets outside the local demographics, especially beyond Europe and into the US is on everyone’s agenda. But, exactly how challenging expansion can get is something every SaaS organization must run over million times. We draw some common points from Pål Malmros, partner at Verdane, and Øyvind Reed, CEO of Whereby.
“I wish I could say that there’s a certain time that you just know, but I would be full of bullshit if I said that. It’s a journey,” Øyvind says when asked about entering the US market. Moreover, companies need to consider the huge cultural differences between the Nordics and the US. To act globally, companies need to think local i.e. expand within Europe and similar local markets before making the crossover. One piece of advice that came from the sessions was to consider entering the UK as a first international step.According to Reed, another bold way to enter the international markets is to go all-out. Whether good or bad, learn from the experience and go again much stronger.
Building your hiring pipeline
How often does a Saas company pay attention to hiring and investing in the right people from early on? While most companies view HR as a 'nice to have function, only those with the right mindset will view HR as a commercially viable function, says Elin Filipp, Chief People Officer at Talentech Group. One of the major takeaways of the panel is to realize the timing to start hiring - the idea is to start hiring as soon as the business realizes the potential to scale, in a new market or a new product. Also, it can be challenging to overlook cultural challenges when hiring globally. Just as talent acquisition, talent retention is equally important to business growth.
Your brand is the biggest asset
The brand is the most important business asset. Revealing the secret sauce of SasS companies, Ling Koay, VP of Brand at Oneflow, says, “A brand is not your logo, website, colors, fonts, or buzz. A brand is your company’s most important asset that you can control. It’s your reputation”.
We believe that what follows the brand at Saas is user experience. Allow your customers to enjoy the brand and experience your product. One of the key learnings was that you need to differentiate between brand and marketing.
It was an all-SaaS A-lister. Great speakers, insightful keynotes and panels, and valuable encounters. To support the SaaS Nordic team, our team helped pack 900+ swag bags, registered an equal number of attendees, and collaborated with the event agency for the smooth functioning of the event, we went home with exhausted feet but energized spirits.