Category Archives: Balderton

Emerging Stronger from the Downturn Than You Went In — A Balderton Webinar

I’m writing this post to promote an upcoming webinar entitled How To Emerge From The Downturn Stronger Than You Went In.  The webinar will be held on Tuesday, January 24th and is hosted by Balderton Capital, where I work as an EIR.  The webinar will start at 3:00 pm UK time, 10:00 am Eastern, and 7:00 am Pacific (lucky me), and will last one hour.

While Balderton invests in European (broadly defined) companies, the webinar is nevertheless open to all.  Some Balderton content necessarily takes the European angle on issues (e.g., my USA expansion mistakes series), but for this webinar the material should be 95%+ equally applicable worldwide.  So please join us if you’re interested, regardless of where you work or your fundraising plans.

I’ll be rejoined with Balderton’s Michael Lavner, who partnered with me on the Balderton Founder’s Guide to B2B Sales.  The format will be as follows:

  • I’ll do a 30-minute presentation.
  • Michael will run a 30-minute Q&A session that pulls from questions submitted by the audience (and/or that pop into his head).

I love live Q&A so there should be a lot of interaction and it should be a lot of fun.

Here’s a preview of the five ways to Emerge Stronger that we’ll be discussing at the event.

  1. Sharpen focus.  As they saying goes, “never waste a good crisis.”  Use the downturn to force yourself to answer some hard questions about your strategy.  Are we focused enough?  Do we remember our Latin teacher who taught us that focus was singular?  Are we putting all our executive energy into The Crux of our strategic challenge?  Are we “throwing bones” to board or team members?  Can we afford to?
  2. M&A.  Depending on your situation, you’re either a buyer or seller —  but, either way, companies will be trying to broaden their product lines to get more leverage from their clostly go-to-market machines.  (Think:  “we need put more things in sales’ bag.”)  Multiples are down, so it’s a good time to buy.  And if you lack the cash or strategic position to ride out the storm, it’s not necessarily a bad time to sell — especially when you compare the expected value of your equity between a potentially dirty term sheet and a solid, clean M&A offer.
  3. Play into SaaS rationalization.  To quote Jim Lovell, “there are people who make things happen, there are people who watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened.”  Be the the first type.  SaaS spend rationalization is going to happen, whether we like it or not.  How can you position your company to be on the right side of that trend?  How can we turn this threat into an opportunity?
  4. Re-orient your use-cases and messaging.  Can you grow faster than the competiton by tapping into the new concerns of your buyers?  How have their priorities changed?  How does that map to the various use-cases of your product?  If you’re selling conversation intelligence, should you switch campaigns from “onboard faster” to “drive increased productivity?”
  5. Upgrade talent.  The labor market was pretty brutal during the past 5 years.  How can you exploit the easier labor market to upgrade key members of your team?  How do you balance this upgrade opportunity with a dance with who brung ya ethos of employee loyalty?  How can you build a culture that lets you do both?

It should be a great event and both Michael and I look forward to seeing you there.  You can register here.