This is part of our AMA series with top SaaS founders and operators. If you’d like to join live, apply to FounderLed.
Pritesh Vora is an entrepreneur and self described “growth geek.” He has over a decade of experience in orchestrating successful sales and growth strategies, executing marketing initiatives designed to get traction and increase revenue. He’s currently head of marketing and growth at Sprinto.
In his own words:
I am an Engineer turned Sales guy turned founder who had to run GTM for his startup and formally got into the world of marketing.
I like to see myself as an entrepreneur mindset marketer and not a marketer marketer.
Been a B2B SaaS guy throughout ever since and have helped companies grow from scratch for multi million dollar revenues.
We covered everything from how he thinks about hiring marketing leaders, to what tools he’s using for outreach. See below for a lightly edited recap of the top questions Pritesh answered:
When you’re thinking about driving more volume vs. improving conversion rate, how do you know when to pull which lever more aggressively?
The way I think about this is to measure the maturity of a channel and make a decision accordingly.
For example -> If I know a channel still has a long way to go to reach its potential, I would focus on driving volumes there with the intention of learning as fast as possible.
The faster I learn, the faster I can improve.
On the other hand, if it is close to reaching a state of stability …. turn the tables and focus on improving conversion rate.
In Founder Sales, growing the first 100 clients, where have you seen the most ROI? I have 16,000 organic connections on LI, and Sell to HR/Recruiting. Would you suggest focusing there and what type of cadence, and content mix, video, images, long posts, engaging posts?
The biggest impact I have personally seen is by making myself more visible. Speaking at events was an amazing hack for me. This helped me jumpstart the traction and reach my goals faster.
With the kind of audience you already have, I would suggest to double down on it by:
- Doing more partnered events to get more visibility
- Establishing yourself as a thought leader
How did you acquire your first 25 customers? What are some other, more non-conventional ways? especially in 2023 where attention is super hard to get.
No fancy answers here.
Brute force + network and/or being part of a tribe (a bonus). Leverage connections, events to land those first few customers.
Events had a major role to play. Having a network helps immensely.
How do you think about putting resources behind organic vs paid?
Great question.. no single answer as it depends on the industry, situation, and more.
However, I like to think of it as a two pronged strategy. If you can afford to do it:
Nothing can trump organic but you cannot do one over the other. You still need to meet your short term goals while building long term engines.
Use Paid ads as a lever to jumpstart your engine and growth, while you work on building the core pillars of your business.
What were the most successful growth vectors for Sprinto? What was your CAC for these? Cac:LTV ratio?
To be honest, market timing. Market trumps everything. We were lucky to be in a place where the demand is increasing with every passing day.
That’s a gift for a marketer like me.
Our CAC: LTV currently is at 1:2/2.5
Having said that, we ensured that we leverage and act on this opportunity by building and scaling the channels fast to ensure we capture the demand.
What % of your growth came from paid channels vs SEO/organic?
In the initial days:
80 – Paid
10 – outbound
10 – organic
50 – Paid
30 – organic
20 – Rest
If I’m doing outreach to executives at companies, what is the ideal sequence in your opinion? What tool(s) do you recommend to set this up so that it can all be automated and then tracked in a CRM?
To be honest, with the pace at which markets are changing, there is no one specific way of doing it.
It’s so different for every business, but in general the strategy we are using internally is as:
- LinkedIn by manager
- emails (sequence)
What do successful demand gen teams have in common?
Tough one but if I have to summarize it:
- Good problem solvers
- Ability to be bold and creative
- Ability to build playbooks and processes
- Forward looking (plan not just for present but future as well)
What was the hardest part in scaling Sprinto to new geographies?
First: understand the local nuances of the market.I am still amazed at how different geos perceive the value of the same product differently.
Second: The channel that works in one region may not necessarily behave the same way in the other region. Learn fast and adjust the channels accordingly.
Follow up – did tactical problems like compliance, payments, sales-tax, etc were a headache for new geographies and/or it slowed you down?
I think these are largely solved for now, so it didn’t really slow us down. Many vendors in this space make life easier.
How do you assess marketing talent? Specifically vp of marketing?
I recently hired a director of marketing for our company. We went through the exercise of unlearning and learning.
Few attributes where the candidates stood out for me were that they were:
- Perennially Curious- asking questions about the company/ position/ team
- Brings opinions and solutions to tables
- Problem solver
- Asks hard questions and makes me think in the interview
- are secure about themselves and the role
Tell us a bit more about your company Sprinto:
InfoSec compliance is a bottleneck to accessing larger deals. Historically it has been a painful process to get one.
We went through it ourselves in our previous company and know it first hand, that’s when we decided to solve for it.
Sprinto helps tech forward companies to automate their infosec compliance journey there by reducing the effort by up to 90%, reducing the time from months to weeks and significantly reducing the cost.
Most importantly though, it frees up the time of the leadership team to focus and work on things that will help the company grow.
Can you share your “lightweight” framework or top tips on Jobs to Be Done?
It’s a complex topic in itself. The core steps of it are:
- Understand the jobs that your potential customers want to get done and the outcome they want to achieve.
- List down the associated pain for achieving these outcomes.
- For each pain, write down how the product relieves the pain.
Once you have this data in place, you have the foundation in place to get your winning message.
Does the new wave of generative AI influence Sprinto in some ways? E.g. product innovation / differentiation, positioning, better deal flow thanks to AI assisted sales?
Absolutely. I am very excited about the potential of AI and the value it can deliver to our customers.
In fact, this quarter onwards, we are creating a dedicated pod to build muscle around AI.
I think it can help us change the game on its head by leapfrogging in product innovation that will allow us to position better in the market.
Lot of internal use cases as well from CX to support to marketing and sales.
Can you share the sales metrics you usually keep an eye on?
For the stage we are in, I closely look at the below metrics very closely (We are a sales led org):
- Demo’s done
Can you provide an example of a “autopilot demand gen engine”? Just high-level for context?
One example: being able to add a badge on your customer assets automatically.
It just keeps multiplying and growing on its own.
A HUGE thank you to Pritesh for taking the time to answer questions for our FounderLed community. If you’re interested in learning more:
- Watch Pritesh’s keynote on 3 Demand Gen Tactics That Paid off Big time
- Follow Pritesh on LinkedIn
- Learn more about Sprinto
Join our next AMA! Just apply to join FounderLed today.