In my previous article, How to Solve B2B SaaS International Challenges, I outlined the three areas that B2B SaaS founders need to pay close attention to in order to grow their businesses profitably around the globe. These are people, culture, and systems.
The right people and culture are the foundations for your successful growth as they will provide you with the needed values, behaviors, experience and intellectual horsepower to solve ongoing problems. The right systems and tools will enable you to grow profitably without wasting time and money.
Below are the principal systems that I have implemented with B2B SaaS companies to grow around the globe profitably. Besides each system, I have outlined the principal tools and/or sources that I have used so to assist your efforts.
- Identifying the right countries to expand to initially if 25%+ of sales are already international (networking, data analysis, and validation of hypotheses via Lean Canvas)
- Identifying individual country requirements that may need to be built into your solution or selling process ie. language, tax, legal etc (Google, networking)
- Baseline assessment and product gaps (Lean Canvas, networking, Slack)
- Cross-functional cooperation, alignment, and communications — especially with remote team members (Principles by Ray Dalio, Zoom, Mural, Google Drive)
- Hiring, selling and on-boarding (networking, Hubspot)
- Mentoring younger team members and ensuring a happy culture (Principles by Ray Dalio, TINYPulse)
- Branding and inbound marketing (Hubspot)
- Customer success (Obeya Room, Mural, Hubspot)
The following SaaS companies are good examples of being clear as to their people, culture, and systems: Hubspot, 37signals, Slack, Buffer, Zapier, Hotjar, GitLab, Doist, and Spotify.
I encourage you to learn about their cultures, people, hiring practices, and problem-solving practices.
If you have any questions or if I have missed any key system or tool, please mention them below or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org