Select Page

Get your own copy of Driven every week.

    Library of emails

    Issue 28

    April 25, 2020


    • Job prospects for revenue leaders
    • Updated expectations of revenue leaders
    • Make your web content easier to find
    • 7 scenarios for recovery
    • Most common SaaS revenue models
    • New tool: How to reach your target audiences

    As we approach the end of April, a few U.S. states are taking steps to reopen their economy.

    Whenever your state “reopens for business,” you must resolve these questions:

    • When will it be safe for your company to stop working from home?
    • How will you do business in states that have different restrictions and timelines for lifting them?
    • How will you protect your employees and customers?
    • What will you do with employees who don’t feel safe returning to your office?
    • How will you monitor contagion in your workplaces?
    • How will you conduct business with customers?

    In this week’s issue…

    We look at these topics, in order:

    • Job prospects for senior revenue leaders, from an April survey by the Revenue Collective [article]
    • Update: Revenue leaders’ views of business effects of COVID-19, from an April survey by the Revenue Collective [article]
    • Organize your website content the way your visitors want to see it. Ideas from a study on the content preferences of B2B buyers [article]
    • What might a recovery look like? Strategic consulting firms Deloitte and McKinsey share their ideas in the form 7 scenarios. [brief, with links  to downloadable resources]
    • 15 most common SaaS revenue models [brief, with link to Nathan Latka’s article]
    • New tech tool helps reach your prospects through media they already use [brief on SparkToro, with link]

    Reading time

    Your reading time this week is about 8 minutes if you read at 200 words per minute.


    Job prospects for senior revenue leaders

    If you’re looking for a new job as a senior revenue leader in software, what does the current market look like?

    The short answer is that it’s mixed. And as you’d expect, it’s a very different market from that of early March.

    That’s the high-level takeaway from 2 executive search professionals in the software industry. They specialize in placing CEOs, CROs, CSOs,CMOs, and other senior go-to-market roles.

    The headhunters at Kindred Partners shared their views this week with Sam Jacobs, founder of the Revenue Collective.

    Here are some highlights from the online videoconference:

    • Every company is trying to figure out how to do more with less.
    • Companies seek to reduce costs by chopping both headcount and executive salaries.
    • They are looking to merge roles. They’re consolidating and combining teams and responsibilities. Flexibility is paramount.
    • Companies favor leaders who are willing to do hands-on work.
    • They want candidates who can show grit and resilience, with experience in managing through hard times.

    Lower salaries, more variable comp

    In general, candidates for revenue leadership can expect lower salaries, with higher variable compensation. Many companies are offering more equity in lieu of salary.

    Job market varies by industry segment

    No surprise here: Companies that are hiring now sell to industries outside those most damaged by the current crisis. Forget about travel, restaurants, entertainment, and others that are on the ropes.

    Some software companies selling to health care are doing great.

    But those selling hospital-management systems are not. Hospitals have no time to think about their management systems. They’re swamped with COVID patients, and many are struggling financially.

    Some software categories are doing better than others

    Companies that are growing and hiring are likely to fit in one of these categories:

    • They sell infrastructure software.
    • They sell applications for collaboriation and managing distributed workforces.
    • They are early-stage companies with recent venture investments.
    • They engage in product-led revenue growth (PLG).

    Companies that sell enterprise software are less likely to be growing their headcount now, especially in sales and marketing roles.

    That’s partly because it’s hard to get any prospect to create new budgets. Few have capital for new categories of investment.

    How venture investment affects job openings

    As you’d expect, VC and PE investment trends have a big effect on who’s hiring.

    During prior economic contractions VC firms have realigned their portfolios. They’ve fed their winners. They’ve killed or divested their losers. And they’ve starved their middle performers.

    They’ve also pushed their investments into earlier-stage businesses.

    That’s one reason why some smaller companies are hiring more than their bigger counterparts. They must hire to grow.

    Just be sure they have enough funding to be successful.

    Opportunities vary by role

    Recruiters at Kindred Partners say the number of new searches tends to vary by revenue function.

    Demand is up for these leadership roles:

    • CEO
    • Engineering and development
    • Customer Success

    Demand has not changed much for sales leadership roles. And it’s down for chief marketing officers (CMOs) and chief financial officers (CFOs).

    Tips for candidates

    If you’re involved in a search, recruiters say you should be prepared these changes:

    • Companies are making hiring decisions faster, with less internal process. They may not meet you in person. Companies with distributed workforces are likely to move fastest. They are least likely to insiste on meeting you face to face. They’re also less likely to care where you live.
    • Some companies are canceling their hiring process abruptly.
    • Expect employers to want examples of how you can do hands-on work. They want to hear stories that demonstrate your grit and resilience.
    • Your references will be very important. Be sure to have them lined up.
    • Companies are likely to expect you to take on more direct reports, maybe across more business functions.

    Update your LInkedIn profile to emphasize what you contributed to the growth of your past employers.

    Dig deeper

    Finding a Great C-Level Job with Kindred Partners.” Revenue Collective and Kindred Partners. April 17, 2020. [58-minute video conference on Crowdcast. Registration required. No charge.]


    Update: Revenue leaders’ views of business effects of COVID-19

    How has the shutdown affected other companies? The Revenue Collective updates their survey of revenue leaders bi-weekly.

    In the most recent results, for April 16, the number of respondents who reported reductions in headcount was up to about 42% from about 38% on April 6.

    As work restrictions grind on, leaders predict longer-term consquences for their companies. Respondents who think the effects will last more than 6 months rose by 6 points, to almost 73%.

    Average optimism down slightly from the prior period. On a scale where 5 is the most optimistic, the current average is about 3.

    Note that the people who respond to the survey vary from day to day. This means the survey doesn’t track changes to individual opinions. Rather, it shows collective opinions for each set of respondents who took the survey each week.

    Also note that the Revenue Collective doesn’t share an N for each time-series data point as it varies by week. Without this information, we can’t see how representative the findings are for each week.

    Dig deeper

    COVID-19 Economic Benchmark Survey Summary Results.” Revenue Collective. April 16, 2020. [Downloadable PDF. 32 pages. No charge.]


    Organize your website content the way your visitors want to see it

    Many B2B websites organize their content by product or by industry segment. But recent research suggests that many potential buyers want you to organize it differently.

    The 2020 Buyer Preferences Report from Demand Gen Reports found that buyers want to see your website content organized in these ways:

    • By topic (56%)
    • By business issue or pain point (535)
    • By industry segment (50%)
    • By visitor’s business role (33%)
    • By content format (24%)

    Why it matters

    If you organize your content in the way your visitors want to see it, you can expect more visitors to consume it.

    You’ll also unearth content that’s currently buried on your site, where visitors can’t find it.

    That means you can help move them more efficiently through their decision process.

    You’ll improve your return on investment for the content you’ve already created.

    And you’ll also achieve better rankings in Google search results. That means more traffic will come to your web pages.

    How to ‘reorganize’ the content on your site

    But reorganizing your website can take a lot of time and money.

    So what can you do instead?

    You can create a series of content hubs.

    Content hubs are like visual indexes. They enable you to cross-reference the content on your web pages.

    For more about content hubs and how to create them, see Dig deeper, below.


    2020 Content Preferences Study. Demand Gen Report. March 2020. Sponsored by ON24, PureB2B, and Vidyard. [Downloadable PDF. 25 pages. No charge.]

    Dig deeper

    Organize the content on your website the way your buyers want to see it.” Dave’s One Good Idea series. Dave Vranicar. B2B Revenue Institute. April 17, 2020. [19-page downloadable PDF. No charge.]


    15 most common SaaS revenue models

    What are the most common revenue models for SaaS companies?

    Nathan Latka, the self-described SaaS data guy, has done the research for you.

    “The most successful companies,” Latka says, “usually take advantage of multiple revenue sources.”

    Check his article to see if you’ve considered all your options.


    15 Most Popular Types of Revenue Models to Consider in 2020.” Nathan Latka. Latka B2B SaaS blog. April 8, 2020.


    What might the recovery look like? 7 scenarios

    How will the global economy recover from COVID-19?

    The Conference Board and Deloitte share their ideas.

    Dig deeper

    The World Remade by COVID-19: Planning Scenarios for Resilient Leaders.” Deloitte. April 2020.

    COVID-19 Scenarios: Rebooting an Economy in Free Fall.” The Conference Board. April 9, 2020.


    New tech tool helps reach your prospects through media they already use

    How much time does your marketing team spend looking for ways to reach your target audiences?

    If they’re doing a thorough job, it’s hours and hours.

    Now they can get time-saving help from a new tool that may also offer new insights.

    SparkToro comes from the Rand Fishkin and the folks at Moz. Moz provides one of the top tools for search engine optimization.

    To use SparkToro, you enter search phrases such as these:

    • Topics your audience often talk about
    • Words they use in their online profile
    • Twitter accounts they follow
    • Websites they often visit
    • Hashtags they often use

    The tool quickly returns a list of related websites, blogs, podcasts, social media, and other channels.

    For each channel, it offers data about who uses the phrases, the percentage of people who fit the profile, and more.

    The tool generates these results by combing through what they say are billions of online data points. You can download them to spreadsheets for offline analysis.

    SparkToro offers a free usage level with very limited capabilities. Monthly plans range in price from $150 to $300. You can save money by paying annually.


    Do you like shorter articles and more variety, as you’ve seen this week?

    Or would you prefer more depth for at least one article?

    Is Driven hitting the right topics for you?

    If you have strong preferences, please share them with me.

    I respond fast to all emails.

    Please share this email

    If you find value in this week’s edition, please share it with friends and colleagues who may be interested. They can go here to get their own copy of future editions.

    Have a great week,

    Dave Vranicar


    Driven is a free weekly email for time-strapped revenue leaders in business-to-business SaaS companies.

    Its goal is to keep you informed about a broad range of topics related to revenue growth.

    We scan the horizon for insights and ideas from sources you may otherwise miss.

    You can receive your own copy of Driven at no charge by sharing your email address here.

    About links, endorsements, and recommendations

    When I provide links to articles from vendors, it does not imply an endorsement of their products or services. I link to them because they offer good content.

    I’ll make it clear when I’m recommending a product or service. 

    © 2020. SilverStream LLC. All rights reserved.