What is signaling to be the *Biggest* impact on SaaS Sales & GTM in the next 5 years?
This is not a prediction – it’s something anyone can hear directly from Chris Degnan the CRO at Snowflake.
1. In a discussion with Sam Jacobs (CEO of Revenue Collective/Pavillion) with Chris Degnan on this Sales Hacker Podcast recorded in 2018:
Chris Degnan, CRO of Snowflake (at ~ 21 minutes into the interview):
“I said to Mike Speiser (Board of Directors and former CEO at Snowflake) – I love you to death but there is nobody on the Board of Directors who cares about the sales team. I’m working for you and the founders who are engineers but I need a Sales Leader on the Board. And literally, Mike Spiser invited John McMahon on the Board the next day.
John’s still on our board to this day. And he gave me such great guidance along the way. I learned so much from him.
2. Also, on the SaaS Operators Podcast (Episode 18):
Chris Degnan (at ~ 38 mins in):
“We started to scale the business and see the sales pipeline growing. … I give the Board of Directors a ton of credit – John McMahon is on the Board, he is a Sales Leader. He was super helpful – was very helpful for us in building the sales team from there.”
Chris Degnan, (at ~ 41 minutes in):
“I owe a lot to …John McMahon who was on the Board of Directors. I almost didn’t take the job – I told the CEO that I needed someone on the board who knows & cares about Sales.
I want to know where my blind spots are and John will tell me… Like before the Board meetings, he’s like he calls me up, he looks at the Board deck and says – OK, what about this, this and this?
And we go through the Board Deck every single time – and he’s like, you’re going to get hit here … so he’s looking out and he’s telling me if from his standpoint there are the things that are concerning. And if they’re concerning to him, they’re going to matter to the investors on the Board of Directors. And man, it’s always been really, really good coaching.
He calls me back 100% of the time, he spends time with me. And he’s thoughtful around the advice he gives.”
3. Also, on the Grit podcast recorded on 2/8/21 – “CRO of Snowflake, Chris Degnan: Building Snowflake’s Successful Sales Organization from the Ground Up”:
“My advocate has been John McMahon, a Sales Leader on our Board who has been instrumental…”
So here it is –
the biggest impact on GTM & Sales Teams will be when the Board of Directors has an independent board member who is a CRO or a Sales Leader and therefore in Chris Degnan’s words “cares about the sales team”. This Director on your Board will not only care but will use their deep hands-on experience (battle scars) to connect the Board to the CRO and your Sales/GTM strategy in ways that were previously not possible. And this will be all the difference for your Revenue Growth when the Board has one of its own to understand the GTM at a deep level and help you drive growth.
Many more investors (PE and VC alike) are now focusing on amplifying their Boards with CROs like John McMahon as their Board-level GTM experts and you will see this 10x in the next 3-5 years.