As a venture capitalist I’m looking to invest in companies that will generate outsized returns for my fund. As a founder you’re looking to hire people who can help you generate outsized returns on the investment you’re making in them. This is where an independent consultant who helps SaaS companies comes in.
- What is Saas?
- What is a SaaS consultant?
- What does a SaaS consultant do?
- Top 10 SaaS consultants to hire for your business
- Select a SaaS consultant
What is SaaS?
SaaS is Software as a Service. A SaaS company is one that hosts an application that makes it available to customers over the Internet. The primary different between a SaaS business model and a software company is that the SaaS company is hosting their application in the cloud. This removes the need for an end user license to activate the software and any infrastructure to host the software. Instead, the SaaS company hosts their membership. The customer just has to log into their account via the web and they get full access.
Estimates today show that $160 billion in revenues will be generated by 2022 via the SaaS business model with a clear path to $1 trillion.
Hiring an independent SaaS consultant is a common way for a founder to help them get closer to getting a piece of this growing market faster than they would have on their own. In fact, independent consulting is a growing trend that I've written about in the past on my blog.
What is a SaaS consultant?
An individual who has deep expertise in a specific area of business with a Software as a a Service (SaaS) business model and operates with the primary objective of improving their client’s condition.
They are likely highly efficient with their process and can generate outsized returns relative to the investment in their services.
The three primary benefits of hiring a SaaS consultant for your business are:
- You have a partner who has been there, done that.
- You have another set of eyes to look at the problem you’re looking at and bring a fresh perspective.
- Help you achieve your desired objective in the least amount of time possible.
What does a SaaS consultant do?
A SaaS consultant will start by understanding whether they can solve your problem. If they cannot they will more often than not point you in the right direction. SaaS consultants operate as trusted advisors. They see themselves as being helpful above all else.
Once they feel they can help they will likely ask relevant situational questions and then go deeper with thought provoking questions that drive to the root of the problem, or opportunity.
Armed with a solid sense of where to focus their energy they will work on a project, or on-going support basis to help you achieve the agreed upon objectives.
Top 10 SaaS consultant to hire for your business
I’ve worked with and trained some amazing people. Here are the top SaaS consultants for you to hire for your business in 2021. You can review each of these individuals and decide which individual may sound interesting. If you schedule time with one of them, send me proof that you completed an intro meeting with them and I’ll deliver something awesome in your inbox!
Aditya Joshi (Artificial Intelligence)
Artificial Intelligence is being deployed in almost every industry to improve products and services. Successful AI projects require a combination of strong software engineering and data science skills. Finding, evaluating and hiring the right talent is a time-consuming and expensive process. On the other hand, not investing in the right data and machine learning strategy may dilute your competitive advantage with value left on the table. A successful AI project that delivers measurable ROI will give you the confidence to invest in larger projects down the road.
Adtiya’s specialty is artificial intelligence and machine learning. He focuses on helping companies that are early stage (1-10 employees).
Where Aditya helps:
- Assess if machine learning can add value to your product
- Identify and prioritize use cases that deliver business value
- Implementation of an end-to-end production application that fits in with your existing tools and workflows
Jason Evanish - First 100 customers
Jason helps product-minded founders and 1st PMs with their biggest challenges in going from 0 to their first 100 customers: how to find them, and building the right things to attract and retain them.
Ideally the companies has raised $1 million to $10 million in funding.
For over a decade Jason has been working on B2B SaaS startups as a founder, 1st Product Manager, and consultant. He understands the challenges and nuance of getting your first potential customers to interview, signing those first customers, and figuring out how to create repeatable processes to grow. An all while building the right things with limited resources in high pressure environments.
Jose Bermejo - Product adoption
Jose focuses on competitive positioning and building differentiation to achieve widespread SaaS adoption. Think of this as supporting your mainstream SaaS adoption strategy.
Jose works with companies that are pre-scale and/or crossing the chasm.
Jose is a global consultant, coach, and instructor focused on accelerating high-tech product success through innovation adoption strategy. He was trained in world-class business schools (IESE and Harvard). He has led strategy and sales teams in the USA and Europe at B2B software corporations. While directing growth with their employers, Jose launched a B2C real estate innovation in Spain that led a new market-category creation. Today the company is the market leader in central Spain.
You can reach Jose here.
Michael Fulwiler - Content Marketing for mental health
Michael helps VC-backed mental health startups grow through content marketing.
He works with Seed and Series A companies.
Michael was formerly the CMO of the Gottman Institute where he took the company from $1 million to $10m in ARR, reached 1 million social media followers, 1 million unique monthly page views, and 500K email subscribers.
He encourages Founders to connect with him on LinkedIn first.
Michael Glenn - Software strategy
Michael bridges the divide between business strategy and software development. He crafts software strategy, optimizes the software development process, and improves software team management and effectiveness.
Michael focuses on working with startups with at least $1.5 million in funding, or annual recurring revenue (ARR).
Michael has over 20 years of professional experience in software development with diverse companies including digital agencies, environmental, travel and transportation startups, large financial corporations and media conglomerates. He understands the intricacies of software development as well as the traps and tradeoffs necessary to meet business objectives.
Robbie Crabtree - Storytelling, strategy, and speaking
Robbie is a consultant supporting founders with storytelling, strategy, and speaking. He c0-wrote an essay in the past on building your story on this blog.
He works with founders who run companies seed stage through Series B.
Robbie was a trial Lawyer turned consultant with a deep understanding of storytelling, persuasion, public speaking, and speech writing. He helps founders turn the vision inside of their head into a winning story that sells.
You can learn more about him here.
Shreesh Naik - Revenue operations
Shreesh is a Revenue Operations (RevOps) consultant. He co-wrote an essay in the past on building a targeted outbound prospect list on this blog.
He works with companies in that in the B2B software or tech-enabled service space on their $0-$10M journey. Shreesh helps B2B companies build the RevOps function into their go-to-market efforts. This consists of:
1) aligning marketing, sales, and customer success teams to a common set of metrics and making everybody accountable for full-funnel revenue growth,
2) enabling go-to-market teams with the coaching, frameworks, and tools they need to be effective in their roles,
3) building efficient and scalable go-to-market processes each powered by best-in-class software that integrate seamlessly with one another, and
4) breaking down organizational data silos as they pertain to revenue and leveraging them to produce the analysis and insights required to drive predictable growth.
You can connect with Shreesh by finding time on his scheduler here.
Trent Waskey (Growth marketing)
Trent is a B2B growth marketing consultant. He helps Founders and Marketing Leaders accelerate their growth through inbound marketing and demand-generation.
He focuses on Series and later stage companies.
Trent is a SaaS Marketing Director turned consultant because of his love for fueling the growth of startups. For each company he partners with, he brings an experimentation methodology, setup frameworks, and playbooks for growing the funnel. After a few months of working together, his clients use phrases like "our growth ninja", "the secret weapon on the marketing team", and "demand-gen expert we've been dreaming of".
You can use Trent's scheduler to connect with him.
Yash Chavan (Repeatable growth engine)
Yash creates a repeatable Growth Engine for software businesses.
The ideal business is post-product market fit (PMF), Seed, or Series-A stage.
After being the first marketing hire at a couple of startups, I developed a playbook to grow early-stage companies. This experience, backed up with accelerated learning from multiple other SaaS clients means I know the cutting edge of marketing as it stands today. I will help you position your product correctly, test and scale positive ROI channels, and eventually create a repeatable growth engine. If you run a software startup, we should talk.
You can reach out to Yash for 1:1 time using his scheduler here.
Young Han (Fractional COO)
Young, based in Austin, Texas, offers Fractional COO services. He specializes in operationalizing growth companies going from seven to eight figure ARR. While he supports companies Seed to Series C stage, he provides the most value to Founders who’s companies are specifically Series A and B.
Young is a serial entrepreneur and has started multiple companies of his own. I've also had the great fortune of working at two hyper growth companies, Philz Coffee and Limelight Health, from Seed to Series C, both in a very short 2.5 year time frame. The unique experiences has given me a wide range of people, systems, methods, and tactics to pull from to solve business problems.
Select a SaaS consultant
The decision tree for you as a founder is simple.
- Do you have a problem, or do you see a massive opportunity?
- Do you want to solve this on your own, or do you want help?
- Do you want help from an independent consultant, or a W-2 employee?
All the consultants I’ve mentioned above generate a vast majority of their business via referral.
A SaaS consultant takes their expertise and packages it in an efficient way to drive growth outcomes for technology startups.
SaaS often involves first determining product market fit, then go to market fit, and finally building a moat around the business. Because no founder can be a superstar at everything, the best founders find the right talent to support their initiatives (this is often times second time founders because first time founders often believe they either know more than they actually do, or less).
In the last 14 months I have seen a rapid acceleration in the best founders leveraging consultants to help them move quickly through painful moments in their business.
I encourage you to reach out to one more of these consultants to see how they can help your business survive and thrive.
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