If I were building a Venture Program at a productivity software like Loom or Asana, there are a few things that I would do, having learned what not to do in prior companies.
🎯 The volume is going to be low and so revenue cannibalization is going to be limited. You should give it away for free.
This is a really hard thing to convince sales leaders of, because they're worried about hitting their numbers. The way I was able to work around that at Loom was to limit the headcount of those that could avail of the deal.
📍 But to be honest, I think some people think that a venture program is like a silver bullet, it's going to inject #growth into a company. It's not. It takes a really long time.
You need to have your leadership team on board, and you need to convince them to give it away for free. Otherwise, startups won't pay for it.
💪 Think how to enable portfolio companies
It depends on how easy or hard your tool is to use. For Loom, we could enable the VCs, give it away for free, show them how to use it, so they could use it with their portfolio companies. That's how we're able to get a lot of traction.
📊 You do NOT need to hire someone and build all of these frameworks and use any tech solution to get started.
It's easy to take someone and have them dedicate 20% of their time. You'll get enough signal if it's worth investing further.
Some companies think it's a massive unlock. They'll throw resources at it. And it takes a long time to scale. It probably takes 12 months before you start seeing meaningful revenue from that channel. Being really mindful of that is important.
💰 The way we thought about monetizing in Loom
Is we give it away for 6mo for free up to 25 seats. We expect either expansion for those that use it and grow beyond 25 seats. Or we look for conversion once 6 mo have passed.
We used nurture campaigns, we did a lot of office hours, and other types of enablement. When the 6 mo mark did occur, they were already using it heavily. It's that much harder to leave.
🏆 [In Loom] That was a pretty big win as far as converting,
because what you don't want is a bunch of folks just using it for free, and then churning as soon as they hit whatever threshold or paygate that you've set.
It's important to make sure that the startups are actively using your product - you can use BI tools to do that. If they're not using it, either do some light touch marketing motion, or a higher touch sales assist.