SaaS Growth Marketing: Insights from Greg Head

Within 5 years, Greg Head and his cofounders scaled their startup from a kitchen table to 500 employees and went public. Here's how they did it.
saas growth marketing

SaaS growth marketing isn’t easy. Fortunately, there are many founders with successful exits who share their SaaS marketing insights. One of the most popular is Greg Head, an advisor to 40 SaaS founders and host of the Practical Founders Podcast.

SaaS Growth Marketing

Greg and his co-founders started at a kitchen table. Within 5 years, they scaled to 500 employees and went public. He later helped Infusionsoft scale from $15 to $100 million in sales.

In this episode of the MoreBusiness Podcast, I sat down with Greg Head (click this link to follow his profile – his posts are very insightful). Greg is a seasoned entrepreneur renowned for spearheading the impressive growth of software companies like ACT, SalesLogix, and Infusionsoft. He reveals how he grew his businesses exponentially and shares practical SaaS growth marketing advice for startup founders to scale a SaaS business.

Key Times Inside This Episode

  • 00:00 Greg’s Background
  • 03:32 Marketing Strategies for Rapid Growth
  • 08:41 Common Mistakes of Early Stage Founders
  • 10:46 Understanding Product Market Fit
  • 13:42 The Power of Specialization
  • 20:18 Building a Community for Your Brand
  • 29:03 The Power of Partnerships in Business
  • 30:35 Turning Infusionsoft into a $100 Million Business
  • 32:51 Efficient Lead Generation and Conversion Strategies
  • 38:46 The Role of Customer Feedback in Product Development
  • 41:11 The Importance of Identifying Ideal Client Profile
  • 44:53 The Dangers of Following the Crowd

Greg highlights the power of specialization and focus in achieving growth and shares the importance of building a community, refining the ideal client profile, focusing on problems customers are willing to pay to solve and channelizing funds efficiently.

Running an Effective Startup: Lessons from Experience

Despite the seduction of gathering large funding pools, one of Greg’s most striking pieces of advice for young founders is to hone their focus. He warns founders to resist the urge to expand into multiple directions, as widespread attention tends to scatter the growth and development resources. Instead, starting firms ought to cater to a specialist need. As a case in point, Greg recalls how brands like Chipotle followed this principle and succeeded.

Keeping focus in mind, another pro-tip Greg shares is to engage in active experimentation. For young enterprises, willingness to trial different strategies and objectively process feedback is key for identifying what sticks and what doesn’t. This applies to anything ranging from customer acquisition strategies to formulating their software offerings. Greg emphasizes that SaaS growth marketing comes from knowing the specific needs of a particular market and meeting those needs.

The Power of Laser Focus

When it comes to growing a company, many believe the answer lies in customer diversification and expansion into new markets. Greg, however, credits his success to an approach that might seem counterintuitive—specialization.

He advocates for deeply understanding who your customers are, what they need, and how they engage with your product. The idea is to then narrow your focus to only the most satisfied customers—those who not only buy from you but are also happy to pay for upgrades or referrals.

At Infusionsoft, Greg navigated the process of transitioning from targeting a widely broad audience to focusing on a more niche market of savvy, small businesses. This narrow focus ramped up the company’s growth rate, optimized lead generation, and boosted overall profits.

The Role of Partnering in Growth

Greg also emphasized the significant role of partnerships in expanding business reach. It’s an fast-track step in SaaS growth marketing. Tapping into the networks of other organizations can significantly enhance visibility and customer access—always remembering to seek out partners that align with your targeted customer profile.

Whether offering an add-on product in a marketplace, generating referrals from partner channels, or integrating your solution into another product as a white-label solution, such partnering strategies can greatly scale a startup’s growth.

Building a Community: An Underestimated Growth Driver

Greg stresses the worth of fostering focused communities in initiating and sustaining business growth. He states that being a specialist in the industry and drawing a specific crowd of interested users can rapidly propel a startup’s journey. He advises founders to become active contributors and facilitators, and to be generous in aiding connections within these communities.

Yet, the building of communities needs to be organic and driven by a genuine interest in helping solve a common problem. This relationship-focused approach, as opposed to a transactional approach, can lead to unprecedented growth and product development ideas from direct feedback.

Essential Metrics for SaaS Growth Marketing

On metrics, Greg highlights the importance of monitoring the cost of customer acquisition (CAC) and the long-term value (LTV) of a customer besides tracking growth. These metrics provide a clear picture of how much is spent on attracting a customer and the value they bring over their relationship with the business.

Metrics to Grow By

When it comes to SaaS metrics, most SaaS founders often look at common indicators like growth rate, budget management, and cost per acquisition. While these are important, Greg emphasizes the weight of other factors that can be crucial for startup growth. According to him, one important metric is Net Retention Rates (NRR). This looks at how many customers remain satisfied users of a software product and continue to invest in its offerings.

Another key aspect to consider is the cost of acquisition against lifetime value (LTV). Greg urges founders to keep the balance optimal, emphasizing that a startup should not spend too much on customers who won’t retain their subscriptions for long.

However, the recurring revenue business model often embraced by SaaS businesses encourages customer longevity on its own. You can’t fake continual customer involvement and satisfaction. As such, businesses employing this model can witness the positive effects of customer retention organically.

SaaS Marketing Insights: Steering Towards Success

Greg’s advice for SaaS growth marketing: whether you’re at the outset of your SaaS growth marketing adventure or looking to scale your existing business, remember the keys to success are focus, experimentation, and a deep understanding of your customer base. Monitor your essential metrics while paying attention to the under-appreciated ones, and create a growth-oriented community around your product. With consistency and some patience, you might just be carving out your notable trajectory in the software industry.

Starting a software company may look daunting, especially in an overly crowded marketplace. However, Greg’s success story underscores that with proper understanding of your customer base, effective utilization of strategic partnerships, and a laser-focused approach to serving a specific segment, SaaS founders can carve out a notable trajectory and navigate the path to significant growth.

I need help with:

Got a Question?

Record it below. We’ll answer selected ones on our livestreams.

Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you decide to purchase something using one of our links at no extra cost to you.