Slides from my SaaStock Presentation: How To Connect Your C-Suite to the Ground Truth

Earlier today I spoke at SaaStock USA in Austin and gave a presentation on connecting your c-suite to the ground truth. I think it’s important that startup founders and leaders understand how easy it is to get disconnected from the ground truth (i.e., the reality of the field, deals, and customer conversations) and how that problem only gets worse as you scale. Largely it’s caused by layers of management, but it starts early — with just one.

It’s also caused by process, specifically the review process that most startups use. On messaging, you see the blueprint (in a QBR session), but not the house. In sales, you review the playbook, but don’t see the play. Thus, constantly seeking the ground truth — what’s actually happening on the ground — is an important part of any startup leader’s job, for both operational and strategic reasons.

In this presentation, I dive into why the problem occurs, why it’s worth solving, and what you can do about it. Specifically, I offer three ways you can connect yourself and your c-suite to the ground truth:

  • Deploy conversation intelligence (CI) software. If you’ve done so already, try to climb the value stack I outline.
  • Run third-party win/loss analysis.
  • Perform an annual or event-driven proprietary market study where you answer both fairly standard questions and ideally, a list of special questions you’ve accumulated using a hypothesis file.

The slides are embedded below [1]. You can download them on Drive [2].

Thanks to everyone who attended and to SaaStock for having me.

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See my blog bio and FAQ for relevant affiliations.

[1] As a series of images using a WordPress blocktype. This is new for me so please excuse any bugs. I had to stop using Slideshare because they have become amazingly intrusive with advertising (so as to make the site unuseable IMHO) and I no longer want them monetizing my content.

[2] For the time being, slide downloads are only available on Drive. Of late, I had been making them available on Drive and Slideshare, but I can no longer use the latter, see note [2].

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