Cooking up a great SaaS team is a little bit like making the perfect recipe: all the ingredients have to balance each other out. Too much of one thing is overpowering, but not enough can make the entire effort kind of “meh.” When it comes to ensuring SaaS success, the right blend of talent, teamwork, and time management can make all the difference to your company’s success.
Of course, you want the most talented team you can find, but hiring managers would do well to heed the old adage, “Too many cooks spoil the broth.” All too often, I hear founders getting advice to “overhire,” and in that first round of funding, there can be immense pressure to fill many roles as quickly as possible. But when it comes to hiring, I’m a big proponent of hiring based on actual need, not anticipated need.
Fostering relationships with talented people in the industry, whether you can hire them straightaway or not, is a great way to make sure that when positions do open up, you’ve got a roster of people in mind, rather than a mad scramble to fill a role that results in a bad fit hire. It’s also important to be present with employees – put that phone away and really pay attention in meetings and sit downs. Being present makes employees feel valued, and when talented people want to come to work every day, you’ve got a team that’s well on it’s way to SaaS success.
The right hand should always know what the left hand is doing, but more importantly, the right hand should know why the left hand is doing what it’s doing to meet common goals. It’s not enough for teams to simply get along (though that’s great too). According to Aberdeen Group, companies that prioritize marketing and sales alignment grow 32% faster than companies that fail to nurture those relationships.
But optimizing the marketing and sales relationship means more than simply liking each other. Sales, marketing, and even product teams should be on the same page about goals and targets as well as customer pain points and even churn rate. Jointly discussing and analyzing data across departments opens up communication and makes problem-solving a company-wide effort.
Meetings are a bit like cayenne pepper: incredibly effective in small doses. However, like a food trend gone awry, meeting culture has gotten completely out of control. According to recent studies, executives spend 23 hours a week in meetings, up from less than 10 hours a week in the 1960s. And when Harvard Business Review surveyed 182 senior managers, 65% said that meetings were actually keeping them from getting their jobs done.
The solution? Institute a company-wide, meeting-free week once every six months. Cutting out meetings for just one week can “reset” a company’s meeting culture. A week without meetings can also do wonders for employees who feel like they spend more time talking about getting things done than actually getting things done. And when you get back to those meetings, it’ll be easier to gauge which discussions are necessary and which are distracting, the same way a juice fast can jumpstart a healthier, more nourishing relationship with food.
Of course, tastes vary, and a recipe that goes over well at one table might need some tweaks at another. But focusing on these three t’s lays the foundation for a fulfilling office culture – feel free to add your own finishing touches! Check out another recipe for a SaaS Success Cake.