[SaaS Club] Overcoming SaaS Category Challenges

The SaaS Club Newsletter

Hey Reader

Here's a quick round up of what's been going on at SaaS Club:

 In this week's newsletter:

  • 🎧 Overcoming SaaS category creation hurdles
  • 🤝 Discover Attio: next-gen CRM solution
  • 🤔 Simplify SaaS sales with one problem focus
  • 📗 Avoid startup pitfalls with this book

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🎧 Podcast

Overcoming SaaS Category Creation Challenges to 8-Figures

Evan Liang is the co-founder and CEO of LeanData, a platform that helps revenue teams manage all go-to-market motions.

In 2012, at a previous company, Evan faced significant challenges trying to integrate their CRM and marketing automation systems. So he built an internal solution to solve the pain, which sparked the idea for LeanData.

When Evan decided to launch his startup, he brought on a technical co-founder, Kelvin. As a former VC, Evan was able to raise funding before they even had a product.

Raising money was relatively easy. Finding product market fit was tough.

As the solo salesperson, Evan signed LeanData's first 20 customers. But growth was painfully slow. LeanData struggled to educate prospects and close deals as a new category creator. 

Sales cycles often dragged on for up to three years!

If that wasn't bad enough, traditional marketing channels didn't work either. The founders had to get scrappy and creative. Finally, they found some success connecting early adopters at events and meetups.

On top of that, the founders were under severe pressure from investors to grow faster. But Evan stuck to his guns. He had to balance the board's expectations with the harsh realities of creating a new category.

It wasn't easy, but Evan and his team kept at it.

Today, LeanData serves over 1,000 customers, generates 8-figures in ARR, and has raised $42 million in funding.

In this episode, you'll learn:

  • How Evan dealt with the challenges of educating the market and the crazy-long sales cycles that come with category creation.

  • Why you absolutely need to get your investors on the same page about your company's growth path.

  • How LeanData turned customer success into a growth engine by transforming users into champions.

  • Why paid marketing flopped for Evan at first and how he pivoted to find early adopters.

  • How Evan tweaked LeanData's product and pricing to nail down the right fit for customers and the market.

I hope you enjoy it.

Listen to the full podcast episode

🤝 Attio: A Powerful, Flexible & Data-Driven CRM

Attio is built specifically for the next generation of companies. It syncs with your data sources, easily configures to their unique structures, and works for any go-to-market motion from self-serve to sales-led.

Attio automatically enriches contacts, syncs your emails & calendar, gives you powerful reports, and lets you quickly build Zapier-style automations.

The next generation of companies deserves more than an inflexible, one-size-fits-all CRM. Join ElevenLabs, Replicate, Modal and more, to scale your startup to the next level.

Get your free account today!

🤔 How to Simplify Your SaaS Sales

Struggling to sell your SaaS product?

Simplify your message: one problem, one solution.

You've got a big vision for your SaaS.

But prospective customers aren't 'getting it'.

Here's a simple tip:

Instead of selling a 'grand vision' and a dozen use cases.
Talk about ONE problem your product solves.

Focus on a pain they can't ignore.

If it's painful enough, they'll buy.

For example:

LeanData helps revenue teams manage GTM motions.

But when founder Evan Liang started doing sales. 

He focused on one problem, one pain, one solution.

- Dirty CRM data (problem)
- Missed sales opportunities (pain)
- Our product cleans your data (solution)

Here's the thing:

When you try to sell everything your product does.

You don't impress customers, you confuse them.

Remember, clarity is the key to communication.

Make it clear. 
Make it simple. 
Make it specific.

That's how you turn "I don't get it" into "I want it!".

Let me know if you agree or disagree here.

 📗 Book of the Week

This week's books recommendation is from Evan:

The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup by Noam Wasserman

This book offers critical insights into the early decisions that can make or break your startup, such as cofounder choices, equity splits, and leadership transitions. Through real stories and extensive research, it helps you anticipate and avoid common pitfalls that often lead to failure.

🌟 Help Spread the Word

Enjoyed this week's newsletter? Please do me a favor and forward this email to someone who would benefit from it as much as you did. 

Sharing is caring, and it helps us grow! ❤️

😍 Let's Get Social

Want to get more social? Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Have a great week!

- Omer

Interested in sponsoring The SaaS Podcast or this newsletter?

P.S. Whenever you're ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:

  1. Join SaaS Club Plus: Get early access to our new community for early-stage SaaS founders. Join the waitlist now!

  2. Apply for SaaS Club Launch: Designed to accelerate your journey to $10K MRR for new and early-stage founders.

  3. Apply for SaaS Club Mastermind: Scale from six to seven figures with our focused mastermind group.

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