How to Develop a Growth Plan for a Fast-Growing Startup

Sep 1, 2020 5:01:50 AM
Author: Kieran Flanagan

In this episode of the GrowthTLDR with talk to Adelina Peltea, the VP of Growth at Holded, a 70 person company based in Barcelona selling business software to SMBs.

We talk to Adelina about her role as VP of Growth, where she manages the full customer lifecycle - marketing, sales, and customer success.

We talk to Adelina about the benefits of having cross-functional pods managing different parts of the go-to-market. We got into the three-step plan she developed to help Holded grow and what signals told her it was time to invest in a new growth channel.

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Time Stamped Notes:

[2:40] - Adelina is the VP of Growth at Holded. In that role, she manages the entire customer lifecycle, including marketing, sales, and customer success. Adelina organized the group into cross-functional teams like demand generation, customer lifecycle, and partners/resellers. The team is 30 people.

[5:00] - Adelina is accountable for new MRR, revenue expansion, and revenue retention.

[6:30] - Adelina has seen a lot of benefits in having cross-functional teams work together. For example, with marketing and sales working so closely, sales have benefited a lot from learning how to automate more of their process. Marketing is getting better insights into the problems customers are trying to solve.

[8:00] - Holded wants to build its go-to-market around self-serve. Today, only 20% of demand that closes into customers get touched by sales. Adelina's team also prioritizes expansion MRR. Holded's customer dollar retention rate is 130%.

[9:00] - When interviewing for the company, Adelina developed a proposal of what she would have her group work on for the first 6 to 12 months.

[12:10] - The plan included three key parts:

1. Test the potential of new product verticals and countries for MRR expansion.

2. Improve the unit economics of the primary acquisition channel - paid advertising.

3. Find a new channel for growth.

[15:40] - Adelina and the team used paid advertising to test new channels and geographies. They compared metrics like LTV:CAC, product stickiness, and conversion rates to gauge whether the markets were worth pursuing or not.

[17:00] - Adelina knew there were improvements the company could make on paid advertising and conversion rates based on those she saw at prior companies.

[18:30] - Adelina knew it was time to look for a new growth channel because the existing one, paid, was starting to show diminishing returns. She also felt that the new channel they're investing in, resellers, could add virality through their documentation feature.

[21:15] - We discuss virality differences at a company like TypeForm (B2C2B) vs. Holded (B2B).

[23:15] - Holded is an all-in-one platform with many single features like CRM, document signing. They've mostly focused on acquiring people onto a single feature and selling them on the total platform.

[27:30] - We talk about what skills and people should exist in a growth team. In most startups, pricing is an area of opportunity many companies don't take full advantage of and is an excellent area for experimentation.

– Adelina on Twitter / LinkedIn
– Kieran on Twitter / LinkedIn / Medium
– Scott on Twitter / Linked / Medium

Topics: Growth, Podcast, Leader

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