Every company needs a rallying cry. Strategic narratives matter. As the next-stage CEO leading Maxio forward after we brought together two amazing SaaS billing and finance pioneers, I knew my first and biggest challenge was to create a sense of common purpose — a clear vision for what our mission was and how we were going to accomplish it.
That’s really the crux of every CEO’s job: to articulate how their company is going to win, and to unite their team around that roadmap for success. For Maxio, that moment came fully into focus at SaaStr 2022, where we unveiled our “One Maxio” vision, and introduced our unified UI and toolkit to the world.
Now that we’ve planted our flag in the ground, I wanted to take a minute to reflect — and to explain how Maxio’s theory of “How to Win” can be adapted and applied by other SaaS businesses, too.
It starts with 5 questions
One thing that’s become crystal clear to me is that figuring out how to win isn’t a one-time thing. It’s an ongoing and active process that requires constant reevaluation. To make smart decisions and chart the right path forward, you need a rich source of data to help you access the required insights and intelligence.
To put it another way, you need a deep understanding of what you want to win, before you try to figure out how to get there. That means asking a few critical questions:
What does success look like? This might sound simple, but building a theory of how to win means translating your business goals into solid KPIs that you can use to guide success. That means knowing exactly what you’re aiming for, and how you’ll quantify success to differentiate a home run from a walked single.
Where do we play? Understanding success also requires knowing where you’re planning on playing. What does your ideal customer look like, and which segments or categories will you target? This also means figuring out where you won’t play: figuring out how to win means knowing which opportunities you’re happy to pass up.
How will we win? This is the $64 million question. But it’s really another way of asking: what is the differentiated value we bring to the table? Knowing how to win means understanding why customers should choose you, and exactly which problems you’ll solve for them — because only then can you create a theory for how you’ll deliver that value better than anyone else.
What capabilities do we need? Now you know what you’re trying to build, you need to figure out how to make it happen. Often, that means deciding which bits of the machine you won’t try to build yourself — because the fastest path to success often means buying services and forging partnerships rather than doing everything on your own.
What systems and processes are required? You’ll need to get granular as you translate these insights into action. What KPIs will you measure, and how will you do it? How will you track performance and turn metrics into accurate forecasts? And how will you turn that intelligence into strategy and growth?
By working through these questions, you can boil your thesis down to “strategy on a page” — a written theory of success that contains everything you need to develop a viable operating plan.
In other words, “How to Win” isn’t just a mission statement. You need to anchor it in a deep understanding of the market you serve — the drivers you’re using to win, retain, and expand your customer base, and the specific KPIs and metrics that make it possible to succeed at scale.
How Maxio helps you win
Part of Maxio’s “How to Win” analysis was realizing that we’re built to help other companies find their own path to success. Our FinOps philosophy depends on making the job of the CFO easier with streamlined financial reporting, easier cash projections, and actionable SaaS metrics to support the story they’re telling to investors — while also empowering CEOs to keep making smart decisions as the company expands.
Our analysis also helped us realize that we’re competing against non-consumption. We need to persuade our customers that our product is better than what they currently use — typically an Excel spreadsheet or a rigid ERP solution.
At Maxio, we know that figuring out your own “How to Win” statement is a critical step for SaaS leaders looking to unlock their stage of growth. That’s why we aren’t just building fintech tools. We’re helping SaaS companies connect the dots between their SaaS metrics and the story they’re telling to investors, so they can find their own path to disciplined and strategic growth.
Schedule a demo with our team to learn more.