Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Space-as-a-Service (SPaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). We live in the X-as-a-Service economy. What was once a tangible product bought in-store or a tool delivered on-site can now be delivered over a network cost-effectively. For example, instead of building and maintaining your own software, you can now access all the benefits hassle-free with a monthly subscription.
The same is true with scale expertise. Instead of hiring and training for a permanent role, you can now access wide-ranging expertise from seasoned scale experts hassle-free with a monthly subscription. It’s Scale-Expertise-as-a-Service (SEaaS) and it’s revolutionising how start-ups and scale-ups grow.
Scaling is hard. From juggling new responsibilities, personnel and targets to building a repeatable sales process and efficient growth engine, the drive from Seed to Series C is a long and complicated one. However, the journey is made considerably easier with passengers who know the route and understand its detours, shortcuts and black spots. That’s what Scale-Expertise-as-a-Service (SEaaS) delivers.
Whether it’s monthly coaching of your revenue leader or hiring an experienced CMO on an interim basis, on-demand expertise is making the scaling journey smoother in three key ways.
Traditionally, scaling companies would bring in new personnel on a permanent basis to drive them forward, but this is fraught with risk. Not only is ‘hiring well’ a skillset on its own – one that many Series A founders haven’t yet road-tested – but a wrong decision can set you on a costly 18-month detour as it takes time for the hire to bed-in, time for you to realise they’re not right, time for you to remove them and time to replace them.
Companies need leaders for their current junction on the scaling road. If hiring a sales leader, for instance, you need someone who can build a scalable and efficient sales engine, streamline your pipeline process and coach a team – not someone who knows everyone in the industry (don’t be wooed by the Rolls-Royce, when you need a fuel-efficient 4×4). With SEaaS, companies can hire that exact role on a short-term basis. Someone who hits the ground running, accelerates your growth and leaves you on the right path.
Ferrari or Ford? People underline the success of a business and the SEaaS model gives scaling companies access to talent they wouldn’t otherwise be able to obtain on a full-time basis. Whether that’s because of top talent’s higher salary and benefit costs or the stiff competition for their services given they can now work anywhere in the world (even more so after Covid accelerated the online transition).
However, by moving to an on-demand model, you can take on a CMO with 20 years’ experience for a few months to sort out your demand generation strategy. You can hire a five times scale-up CRO as a mentor to your sales lead. What’s more, by investing less (and getting more) in people, companies can use the resources elsewhere, such as SalesOps and RevOps tools. It’s like getting the Ferrari with money left over for the gull-wing doors.
The principal issue of a permanent hire is that no matter how brilliant they are, they bring just one person’s skill sets to the party. On the other hand, the on-demand model adapts to your changing needs and enables companies to access the expertise they need as their priorities and targets grow. For example, you want to focus on training up your sales lead to build a repeatable, efficient outbound pipeline (Scale Expert 1). You then want to pivot to inbound marketing (Scale Expert 2) and advice on partnerships (Scale Expert 3) to bring in new revenue opportunities before nailing Customer Success (Scale Expert 4) now that you’ve got a solid client base. Like switching to the most practical vehicle to cover the off-road, mountains and motorways along the scaling route, SEaaS ensures you always have the expertise you need at any given point in your journey.
From fine-tuning sales processes, enhancing strategic leadership skills and building marketing confidence to developing a GTM strategy, improving lead gen capabilities and implementing CS processes, every company’s scaling journey is different, but also very similar. Scale-Expertise-as-a-Service puts you in the driving seat. The odds of scaling success may be currently stacked against you with only 0.7% of companies completing the arduous route from Seed to Series C, but having flexible access to a community of world-class Scale Experts turns them in your favour.