Scaling The High SMB SaaS Firms: What It Takes with GGV Capital Managing Director Jeff Richards and GGV Capital Associate Tiffany Luck (Pod 647 + Video)


The SMBTech financial system may be very completely different from enterprise software program, and there may be large alternative to seize it. There are over 400M small companies worldwide. That’s greater than 90% of corporations and 40-50% of GDP. 

At this week’s Workshop Wednesday — held each Weds at 10 a.m. PST — Jeff Richards, GGV Capital Managing Director, and Tiffany Luck, GGV Capital Associate, share what it takes to win as a SMBTech startup in as we speak’s financial system. 

Rewind The Clock — How Did We Get Right here

Most small companies in pre-2010 didn’t have computer systems of their retailer or restaurant. Most didn’t even have web. Are you able to imagine that? We’ve come a good distance in a brief period of time. 

After which the iPhone modified all the things. Instantly, individuals had computer systems of their pockets in every single place. Throw within the rise of social media and cell net cost programs like Stripe and Braintree, and one thing revolutionary was at our doorstep. 

As a substitute of strolling into locations or calling on the telephone to talk to somebody, companies may attain clients via social media and different software program. The market continued to broaden and develop into what it’s as we speak. 

Quick Ahead To 2020

The pandemic occurred. Firms have been compelled to transition from pen and paper to digital options shortly. Everybody was caught in place and on-line was the reply. And there’s no going again when you’re “turned on.” 

2020 wasn’t the one purpose small enterprise homeowners adopted software program options, but it surely certain sped up the method. This mentality has stayed round and has grow to be a core a part of working a enterprise, and the pattern will solely develop. 

How To Seize This World SMBTech Alternative

There may be large market alternative to promote to SMB companies. As a substitute of promoting to enterprises, which is fully completely different, your major product, packaging, and the best way you go to market is geared to serve small enterprise homeowners. 

The present public market worth of SMBtech is $400B, which doesn’t account for the tens of billions which can be personal. Firms like Intuit,, Sq., Hubspot, Monday, Shopify, Toast, and Zendesk all cater to this area. 

SMBTech is primed for progress. 

What It Takes To Win 

With small companies, you’ll have extra churn and enterprise volatility than with an enterprise. It’s a part of the deal. That mentioned, you’ll be able to nonetheless create a powerful SMBTech firm, particularly with a number of tech merchandise to develop with you. 

The 4 issues you have to win as a SMBTEch startup are: 

  1. Environment friendly GTM
  2. Dedication to buyer success
  3. Product technique that drives sturdy internet greenback retention and grows your current buyer base
  4. Persistence

After all, that is not at all complete. However get these items proper, and also you’re setting your self on potential trajectory. 

Environment friendly Go To Market

There are quite a lot of methods to GTM as an SMB. One factor is for sure. You need to make sure you’re touching sufficient individuals with an enormous top-of-funnel and spending sufficient time or sources from a value and particular person perspective concerning the place you might be within the funnel. 

Shopify is a good instance of this very self-serve expertise. Anybody can open a retailer and undergo the method with out speaking to anybody. 

The important thing to reaching tons of of 1000’s of retailers is group constructing and getting the suitable advertising supplies in entrance of shoppers. 

You’ll be able to solid this vast internet by specializing in ICP early to make use of your treasured sources finest. 

Key Takeaways

  • Create an enormous top-of-funnel
  • Guarantee the right combination of self-serve, sales-assisted and inbound, and outbound to your product and buyer
  • Don’t underestimate the ability of a community-building movement

Buyer Success Is Every thing 

Buyer success is important for any tech firm, but it surely’s extremely essential within the SMB world. 

The keys to buyer success are: 

  • Onboarding

    Most small enterprise homeowners aren’t tremendous tech-savvy. Typically, founders assume their software program is simple to make use of, but it surely’s not at all times that straightforward. It’s important to drive the onboarding course of so SMBs have an incredible expertise.
  • Driving adoption and engagement

    Assist your small enterprise homeowners achieve success. There are quite a lot of instruments these days that will help you monitor what features and options clients use.
  • Delighting SMB clients and their finish clients

    If one thing is driving worth to your clients’ clients, it’s going to be arduous for them to tear that out from below them. Delighting your clients and their finish customers means sticky clients and nice retention.
  • Optimizing time to worth

    Small enterprise homeowners don’t have some huge cash to throw round. This makes them a bit trickier than enterprise. Folks need to see the worth of your software program shortly as a result of the cash comes out of their pockets, so ship on that point to worth.

SMBTech Firms Take A Lengthy Time To Construct

Richards and Luck have been investing for fairly a while, and early on, they realized that not all the things works proper out of the field. Issues are arduous to foretell, and in SMBTech, there are a complete host of various purchaser behaviors to grasp. 

That’s why persistence is essential. You’re within the lengthy sport. 

With enterprise software program, you’re promoting to fewer individuals for a higher quantity. With SMB, you need tons of or 1000’s of little retailers to pay you each month. This takes time to construct. 

So be passionate in regards to the buyer you’re serving and the issues you’re fixing as a result of it’s going to be an extended journey. 

Undertake A Development Mindset Product Technique   

There’s at all times cash accessible for good corporations. A progress mindset product technique might help you drive NDR (internet greenback retention) over time and make you an organization price investing in. 

You begin with one product to grasp your clients’ wants, and as you study their precise wants, you add extra merchandise over time to resolve for them. 

When you’ve got good buyer relationships, you’ll have the ability to:

  • Anticipate their wants
  • Decide the subsequent finest product for them
  • Provide them options earlier than they search them out from one other software program supplier

Key Takeaways

The SMB market is tough and can by no means not be arduous, even for these north of $100M ARR. It’s a fragmented buyer base. 

The important thing takeaways for SMBTech corporations to scale in as we speak’s financial system are: 

  1. Now is a good time to construct for SMBs. 
  2. Nail an environment friendly SMB movement earlier than making an attempt to maneuver upmarket. 
  3. Know Your Buyer and be picky as you scale. 
  4. GTM + buyer success + product technique has to tie collectively.
  5. Constructing group is usually a superpower. 

Printed on April 1, 2023


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