Aaaand that’s a wrap! With over 40 fantastic talks and 30+ hours of actionable video content, the Future of SaaS Festival took you through the ins-and-outs of the very best SaaS strategies.

We had over 1,800 attendees tuning in from all across the world, and the festival was a celebration of driving growth during uncertain times, with plenty of strategies to help you develop and scale your products in 2021.

A global selection of SaaS experts shared their insights and tips on everything from leadership, investment, product-led growth, and marketing, to metrics, customer success, customer retention, pricing and positioning.

Basically, it covered everything that makes the world of SaaS tick.

But! What were the key takeaways from the festival? Let’s have a gander. 👇

1. Customer success is priority #1

Customer success is the topic everyone wants to hear about. Keeping users happy and churn rates low has been front of mind for many businesses this year.

And we had plenty of essential talks to help you. Such as ScreenCloud’s CEO and Co-founder, Mark McDermott, who led you through removing friction & surfing waves: stimulating non-linear growth. A guide on how to make processes simpler for your users. So, what were some of the friction removal takeaways?

  • Simplify your buying options.
  • Have a cost-effective setup.
  • Build on top of your platform.
  • Have dynamic content feeds.

Rachel Provosty Sheriff, Gloval VP of Customer Success at LogicMonitor also took you through customer success as a growth engine, featuring all the advice you need to reach your sales targets. What were some of the keys to success, we hear you wonder?

  • Having a unified go-to-market strategy.
  • Creating a clear customer journey map.
  • Building a strategic account plan with operational cadence.
  • Enablement. Period.

Need more help? Future of SaaS to the rescue! We’ve got a guide to customer success you can read with a few essential tips from one of Slack’s leading practitioners.

2. 2020 was a trial through fire for SaaS leadership

In normal times, the priority for leadership is continually shifting from roadmapping to fundraising and beyond.

But this was a year for SaaS leaders to throw out the rulebook and shift innovation into high gear to ensure their products remained relevant and continued reaching their customers.

We all needed a little flexibility and openness in 2020. And these are key qualities any highflying leader had to embrace.

The festival included plenty of talks for inspiration. Take Dan Frohen and Kris Rudeegraap of Sendoso. They had an amazing presentation about Creativity: your GTM team’s secret weapon.

It outlined why leaders need to be bold, creative, and unique—and foster these very same qualities in their teams—to help their businesses prosper and stay strong in a world of economic uncertainty.

The pair class it as “getting gutsy”, so what are the top tips?

  • Build your network.
  • Take risks.
  • Learn from failures.
  • Rinse and repeat.

There was also a look at Creative risk-taking in SaaS leadership from Google’s Product Marketing Manager, Tucker Bryant, who dived into why leadership is an art, as well as how to map the connections between the process of creative growth and leadership challenges.

What’s Tucker’s top tip from all of this?

  • Overconfidence is one of the highest predictors of failure in leadership.

What do you need? Resourcefulness, resilience, and continuous innovation. These’ll remain words to live by as we head into the New Year.

And will be the only way for leaders to face the unknown challenges that lie ahead.

3. Data is king

What’s the driving force behind some of the world’s top SaaS companies?

The answer is obvious—data! Besides the basics, making sure your data is comprehensive, clean, and de-siloed across your organization. You need to be looking for the right metrics and acting on the insights to achieve your goals.

Data feeds into all of the core elements of your business, from product development, GTM plans, pricing, positioning… you name it, you’ll need the data, and the strategy and tools to manage it.

Klarna’s Head of Shopping Growth, Jon Chang, was one of the experts on the topic with 500K users to 5M in one year. Miss that one?

Well, his talk highlighted what should be every company’s priorities—from finding valuable market data, to identifying the user behavior trends that play a crucial role in product development and optimization.  

The key data takeaways? Use the right metrics stack! Think along the lines of:

  • Adjust
  • Mparticle
  • Amplitude
  • AWS
  • Braze
  • Google Analytics

What’s clear is you need to master your data. Otherwise, you risk falling behind. So, go out there and get granular for 2021—the rewards are there for the taking.

4. Remote work and virtual collaboration are here to stay

The pandemic hasn’t necessarily spelled doom and gloom for the SaaS market in 2020. On the contrary. It’s spurred on a huge influx of use in communication tools like Slack and Zoom, turning them into household names.

It’s also been a defining year for project management tools, social media software, and productivity solutions, which have kept the business world ticking over.

As products are so easy to use (and increasingly affordable), Gartner expects the market to generate $105 billion in 2020—that’s $20 billion more than 2019.

Time to ride the wave of a booming industry and take advantage of arising opportunities.

5. Building a people-first culture is intrinsic to driving growth

Without good people, you’ll struggle. They’re the ones behind your product who make it what it is. So, it makes perfect sense to protect and nurture your staff, particularly given the recent shift to remote work.

This was definitely a hot topic at the festival and Michelle Chiantera, Vice President, Americas Growth Marketing and Global Segments and Industries at Cisco talked us through how to reimagine people and places—at scale, taking into account the unique circumstances that people managers have been facing over the past few months.

What were her top takeaways?

  • Build a good company culture.
  • Bolster you team’s confidence with their skills.
  • Communicate frequently.
  • Have unstructured conversations.
  • Be aware of your energy levels.

Meanwhile, Drift’s Dena Upton joined Articulate’s Aly Wood for a fireside chat about people powered growth, specifically highlighting the importance of diversity and inclusion in tech.

  • Use a scorecard to work out the suitability of people-power.
  • Take advantage of rituals to bring the company together.
  • Ground staff in your mission and goals.
  • Provide business transparency.

Other key learnings? The importance of promoting staff empowerment, offering professional development, uniting your team, and ensuring workplace harmony.

Internal feedback loops and employee assistance programs (EAPs) can be put in place to keep mental health and productivity strong.

Don’t forget our membership plan

Looking for more business scaling tactics? Want to get record low churn rates in 2021? Need some guidance in your customer success strategies?

Sign-up and you’ll find your dashboard packed with:

  • Templates and guides to walk you through the most challenging SaaS practices. Such as product demo checklists for presentations and churn rate cheat sheets.
  • 40+ hours of video content with deep dives into scaling tactics and growing pains.
  • Members-only Q&As.
  • Value-driven content with no advertising or clickbait.

Well, it’s all in our SaaS membership plan. Sign-up now! 👍