Why your B2B SaaS company needs a growth strategy 

Andreas Davies Sandbu Growth Strategy

Are you looking for a way to grow with your B2B SaaS company, but do not exactly know how? Setting up a growth strategy will guide you in the right direction. But what is a growth strategy exactly? In the early stages, fast-growing B2B SaaS companies often have a range of possible growth paths to follow. Both commercial and product choices have to be made and this might seem overwhelming.

Should the company focus on a specific vertical? Are any particular customer segments more attractive? Which markets to expand to – and by when? What direction to take with the product? Does it make sense to develop a deep or broad product offering? And how to make the most of the current resources? These are all questions you should find the answer through developing a growth strategy.

Written by Andreas Davies Sandbu, Head of Operational Excellence at Viking Venture

Keep a narrow or a broad focus? 

Having a large opportunity space for growth, both commercially and product-wise, is generally a positive for scale-up companies. However, having a range of options also comes with a risk. It may guide the company in a suboptimal direction due to lack of focus and pursuing opportunities ad hoc. Most fast-growth B2B SaaS companies often have resource constraints such as access to qualified employees, product maturity, and capital. These constraints imply that focus – and using the resources most efficiently – is essential. 

Why should you implement a growth strategy?

Defining and executing an articulated growth strategy helps you focus. It forces you and your teams to prioritize key areas and align strategic initiatives across the organization. This in turn ensures you make the most of your current resources. In Viking Venture, we collaborate with the founders, CEOs, and management teams in all our investments in getting the growth strategy right – and with the corresponding strategic initiatives and core enablers. 

Linking your vision to a value creation plan

When we invest in a company, the company has a clear vision, and it has a well-proven product-market fit. However, many companies often lack a clearly articulated growth strategy which links vision and ambition with concrete strategic initiatives. Having a growth strategy in place has multiple benefits, among others: 

  • Stronger purpose: Ability to clearly articulate the vision and goals of the company so everyone understands the direction and how their role contributes
  • Sharper focus: Ensure focus on a North Star in a period with high growth, where the choices are many and opportunities might be pursued ad hoc
  • Higher efficiency: Alignment on priorities in the company so teams can focus on execution (e.g. sales, product development, recruitment)
  • Stronger customer proposition: Clearer communication to customers on the value proposition of the offering – and what the product delivers  
  • Better access to talent: Ability to communicate the company’s ambitions to prospective employees – and how they might contribute
  • Easier access to capital: Developing a strong story around the plan for the company backed by development in financials and KPIs

Next to that, there is a need for a clear view of “Where to play” and “How to win”. A value creation plan with concrete initiatives, timelines, financial targets, and other KPIs helps realizing this. 

Execute efficiently in a fast-growth environment

Getting the growth strategy right has many benefits for B2B SaaS companies. The aim should be to execute this growth strategy efficiently in a fast-growth environment with limited resources. However, it is essential to highlight that a growth strategy is not carved in stone for the next three-to-five years. Market conditions might change, the company’s development might not go as planned, new attractive opportunities might arise and unforeseen events might happen. One benefit of a smaller company is the ability to be agile and adaptable. Therefore, B2B SaaS companies need to leverage these benefits by reassessing and updating their growth strategy from time to time. This will help to establish the right priorities and define whether the focus areas are correct as the company develops over time. 

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Keen to learn more about getting your growth strategy in place? 

Our next article on strategy will be a practical framework for getting your B2B SaaS growth strategy in place. Sign up for our newsletter to learn more about developing a growth strategy as a B2B SaaS company.