5 takeaways from SaaStr Annual 2021

Shonna Bairos
October 5, 2021

For the last week of September, some of the Tourial team made our way cross country to San Mateo, CA to attend SaaStr Annual for the very first time. And we must say, it was a week well spent!

Each day was full of inspiring speakers, learning from successful businesses and plenty of opportunities to meet new people and build relationships. We had a blast!

Here are some of the key points we walked away with.

1. PLG doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all playbook  

A major theme this year was PLG — so many of the presentations either focused on or related to product-led growth. Product-led growth is all about focusing on the end user, how you serve them, and helping them love the product. But there isn’t just 1 way to get there. Most companies are still figuring out how they can become more product-led — and it’s not always suitable for every company, product, or customer segment. Some of the most successful companies operate with a PLG and Sales-assisted approach (often to address both SMB & Enterprise).

2. Broader alignment > Siloed departments

The different revenue departments (marketing, sales, customers) are consolidating and really becoming one larger revenue team to improve alignment. It’s super important to ensure teams are working toward the same end goal and even some common KPIs. Also, everyone should be a product expert. This means open communication and collaboration between product and revenue teams.

3. Product virality and minimizing friction are keys to PLG  

If you’re not actively thinking about ways to minimize friction at every interaction, someone else is. For PLG to work effectively your product has to take on a viral effect, and this means minimal friction, an intuitive design, sticky features and a short time to value. Your customer’s experience can make or break product virality so it’s important to pay attention to how customers are behaving in order to improve these experiences and drive loyalty and advocacy.

View the Tweet

4. A company’s marketing strategy has to come from a place of authenticity and intent

You’re not just selling a product, you’re selling a feeling and an experience. Buyers see right through fluffy marketing campaigns so it’s crucial for companies to dig deep and figure out what kind of experience they want to provide. When people love your product and how it makes them feel, they want to tell others about it, fueling virality.

5. IRL events are much welcomed!

Like many others, SaaStr Annual was the first IRL event we attended since the pandemic started and boy, did it feel great to be back. Virtual events are great but nothing beats being able to actually meet up with people and chat face-to-face. Having the conference outdoors also meant being able to experience the amazing weather the Bay Area has to offer. Much better than sitting inside a stuffy windowless room for hours on end.

We’re already looking forward to next year’s SaaStr conference!

Missed the conference this year? All speaker recordings and presentations are now available online.