Transformation Talent: Growth and Retention in Saas

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Aaron is an execution-oriented strategist with 15+ years’ experience and specialization in transforming and scaling software businesses with an emphasis on SaaS and AI. His core strengths lie in defining go-to-market strategies and implementing new enabling processes across functions including direct / channel sales, customer success, professional services, and quote-to-cash across diverse organizational contexts.

Q. When you’re at a networking event, how do you describe your independent career status, and where you focus your work?

I help SaaS companies drive growth, by optimizing the customer life cycle. I advise clients in designing complementary go-to-market and customer success models to support account acquisition, adoption, retention, and expansion.

Q. What are the specific benefits that you, as an independent, offer to the operating teams/portfolio company leadership? How do you explain the value your expertise brings?

Working as an independent consultant allows me full flexibility to tailor my engagement model for each client’s needs. Typically, operating teams are seeking an expert that is willing to work hands-on while also providing ad-hoc strategic input on key decisions. I have worked with a broad array of technology companies facing similar business problems with unique variations. My aim is to translate this experience along with external industry best practices to be applicable to each client’s own business and organizational context.

Q. Why do you think there is increasing demand for independent expertise with PE operating teams?

I see two major factors. PE operating teams are finding that the right independent expert can generally ramp up and drive results more quickly than large consultancies, with a more flexible economic model. Additionally, I have found that the clients I work with typically have strong in-house strategic capabilities and realize more value from advisors with more direct operating experience.

Q. Describe a recent or successful assignment in terms of scope, duration and any particular highlights in the outcomes.

I recently worked with an enterprise software company building out a Customer Success Management (CSM) account coverage model for a new SaaS business unit struggling with high churn rates. Drawing on industry best practices, I defined the capability and capacity requirements required for this new role. I also developed a detailed transition plan, defined the scope of the new team, and drafted customer-facing communications. With the new model in place, the company saw a 10%+ increase in customer retention and a 5% uptick in upsell rates after 1 year.

Q. What advice would you give to anyone about to embark on an independent career as to how they can provide the best results for a client, while fulfilling their own career path?

Working independently allows me to work with a broader diversity of clients and business problems than I ever could in the corporate world. I also find that I am able to make a more significant impact. While success as an independent consultant may require a higher tolerance for uncertainty, in my opinion, the pros well outweigh the cons.

Q. What's your favourite thing to do when you're not on the clock?

I love to explore live music venues in new cities whenever I travel for work.

Looking for talent to support your go-to-market strategy or commercialization plan? Engage with talent like Aaron by posting a project now, or by talking to us about how to build up a pool of similar talent in the field.

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