Kudos to the guys at L-Spark for putting on a big-time conference which would not have looked out of place in the mecca of SaaS, San Francisco. Great venue, great speakers and the who’s who of players in the Canadian SaaS ecosystem make this conference a must-attend for me, and it’s only in its 2nd year.
I was asked to put together some of my key take-aways from the conference, and I’ll preface this by saying we’ve been in SaaS for a number of years and just crossed $500k MRR, so what I found valuable might not be the same as others in attendance. There was a plethora of advice and resources for startups as well. So with that being said, on to my list!
1. Grow Quick or Go Home
At a session entitled ‘Money talks’, the comment was made that the biggest driver of valuation in SaaS was still the year over year, month over month, and even week over week growth rates. Grow quick or go home was the mantra.
2. The Importance of the Customer Journey
I was reminded by multiple speakers about the importance of taking a ‘customer journey’ through your processes. From your website to the sales process through onboarding and customer success, seeing the process through a prospect or customer lens will pay major dividends. The key is removing friction and frustration at every stage.
3. Lead Generation & Scalability
A major epiphany for me was about marketing lead gen sources and their ability to scale. At this stage in our growth it’s important to invest in not only those lead gen sources that are working, but also to identify and double down on those that can scale. If you can’t scale the source, it might not be worth spending time/energy/resources on it.
4. Ancillary Services
At the Shopify keynote, they talked about keeping your eyes open for ancillary services that you can provide which might not be core, but can provide value with little work. It was an eye opener to hear about Shopify Payments, Shopify Shipping, and especially Shopify Capital. They are definitely thinking big and outside the box of traditional SaaS.
There you have it. My major take always from the SaaSNorth conference held in my hometown of Ottawa. I’m already looking forward to next year!