In this episode of SaaS Half Full, host Lindsey Groepper chats with Elias Rubel, CEO of Matter Made, a B2B growth marketing agency in Silicon Valley. Elias has been around the SaaS block as a founder, marketer and now a go-to-market-strategy agency owner.
Whether you’re an early-stage SaaS company or an established brand launching a new offering, Elias has identified four mistakes most companies make in their GTM strategy which hold them back from explosive growth.
Assuming People Care About Your Product
Elias states looking only at what works in marketing can be problematic — tactics that worked in the past for other brands tend to be very specific to time, place and market conditions.
From Elias’s perspective, the first mistake marketers commonly make is assuming people care about their product. He realizes it’s often a harsh realization for founders and a hard conversation to have with clients after they’ve put blood, sweat and tears into their product, but the focus needs to be the customer.
“Whoever your buyer persona is, or buying committee, your goal should be that person. It’s messaging from that place, from almost an unselfish place, looking out for your buyer persona and advocating for them and their needs instead of your own,” said Elias.
Focusing on the Future vs. Now Market
A second common mistake revolves around keeping your eyes on the current total addressable market (TAM) versus getting caught up on the “blue sky” total addressable market (blue sky TAM) of the far future.
Elias knows discipline is crucial when discussing TAM with his clients. It’s focusing on the ‘now’ and not getting caught up in the big vision or end goal, realizing growth for a startup happens over time.
“We know that there’s going to be a path to get to that blue sky TAM, we’re not discounting that. If a company needs to triple this year, then only look at the total universe necessary to build enough pipeline to triple this year, and that’s it,” Elias said. “Everything else should be effectively dead to them. Then, it’s an act of focus, and being really efficient with time internally and with your budgets externally to execute it.”
Winning Without Knowing Why
The third mistake Elias sees is companies start to win or have success, without knowing why it’s happening – making it nearly impossible to replicate or scale. Having tracking metrics in place can help eliminate this problem.
“Don’t ‘get cute’ with foundational martech metrics,” said Elias. It’s having the discipline to take the extra two weeks, or however long it may take to set up that foundation first so that you can track and understand what did go well when you start to win.”
Elias suggests using Salesforce or Hubspot for your marketing automation and not spending money and time on newer UI tools. Training new hires will be easier and quicker if they are using tools with which they are already familiar.
Letting Opinions Trump Testing
The last common mistake marketers make is prioritizing executive or founder opinions to make company decisions over testing ideas to see what works.
“The healthy thing to do and the thing to institutionalize within your company is to create a culture of rapid testing, and to put this culture of testing over a culture of opinions,” said Elias. “I’m all about quick decisions, but you can still make quick decisions and get enough time to get some form of signal from the market about what the right decision is.”
Elias knows his agency isn’t trying to reach statistical perfection each time they test. “We just need a little bit of signal to find our way around in the dark to the next big milestone.”
For more of Elias’s insights, listen to Episode 309 of SaaS Half Full.