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The most-read posts on Insight’s blog in 2023

Insight Partners | January 05, 2024| 4 min. read

As we wrap up another year of Insight blogs, a few key trends emerge. Our expert team provided valuable insights on the rapid evolution of artificial intelligence (AI), success benchmarks and metrics from across 500+ SaaS companies, product-led growth, and more. Let’s take a look at our top blog posts of 2023 — and stay tuned in 2024.

SaaS Sales Periodic Table: The best-in-class metrics ScaleUps need to measure success

In June, we released the SaaS Sales Periodic Table, a resource that provides best-in-class metrics for measuring go-to-market success. This interactive table offers insights into key performance indicators (KPIs) based on the annual recurring revenue (ARR) segment and average selling price (ASP) of businesses using data collected across our diverse SaaS portfolio.

Explore the table by clicking on each metric for how to calculate, targets for each ASP, and a definition of why it’s important.

Navigating the LLMops landscape: What you need to know

From conversations with enterprise executives through our IGNITE program, as well as numerous conversations with founders, we realized that the tools required to implement generative AI use cases, or “LLMops” tools, differ from the toolchain for more traditional prediction system machine learning (ML) models, or “MLops.”

Enterprise businesses have different needs for generative AI versus traditional prediction system ML models for multiple reasons, including transfer learning, compute management, and feedback loops. But, areas of the LLMops pipeline are vastly underrepresented in the market. The market gaps alongside the convergence of LLMops and MLops in areas like data privacy, model governance, and model security present promising areas of opportunity.

Read more about our analysis of the space and see the full market map from our investors.

Investor POV: Parsing the generative AI application layer

2023 was the year of generative AI as ChatGPT’s release spurred the rapid progress, adoption, and applications of the technology, impacting many of our day-to-day lives. From an investor perspective, we’re seeing rapid innovation across the tech stack — the foundation model layer, tooling/infrastructure layer, and application layer — with immense potential on the horizon.

“Generative AI, for the first time, makes it so that AI not only analyzes existing data and finds patterns in such data but can also create entirely new content itself.”

Taking a top-down look at the landscape, early-stage, gen-AI-native companies emerge around horizontal- and vertical-specific applications, but where do the opportunities ahead lie? And how can genAI-native companies create enduring value?

Generative AI, SEO, and what leaders should know: Google search in the future

Zero-click searches, where users get answers directly on the search engine results page, are coming to a head in 2024. SEO is changing in a big way amidst the genAI wave, and Google search results will dedicate more real estate to Search Generative Experience (SGE) rather than paid and organic search results.

“Insight’s independent research has found that only 57% of links cited by SGE are from the first page of organic results.”

Every time Google updates its algorithm, winners and losers emerge. What does this mean for scaleup companies? Read our recommendations for adapting your SEO and content strategies to navigate this evolving landscape in the coming year.

7 things to include in every board deck

Ditch the dread surrounding company board meetings with our time-tested seven best practices, including a CEO “State of the Union,” functional summaries, team highlights, and more. At Insight, we work closely with executive teams to drive growth, scale operations, and achieve better and faster results through Onsite, our team of 130+ dedicated operators in sales/customer success, marketing, talent, and product/tech. As a result, we have attended and prepared for many board meetings.

By incorporating these seven core elements, companies can have more effective board meetings that drive growth and improve decision-making. Our list of seven must-haves will get you most of the way there; the quality of the dialog will do the rest.

Investor POV: AI governance and responsible use

As AI adoption races forward and continues to disrupt the status quo across industries, conversations around risk are starting to take center stage. From our POV, these concerns present unexpected opportunities.

“The moment has come for business leaders to ask not just how do we adopt AI, but how do we adopt AI in a way that is safe, reliable, and aligned with human values?”

As investors, we’re excited about multiple areas within AI regulation, including purpose-built AI governance platforms, model monitoring and feedback, and even incumbents. There is a significant opportunity for startups to help enterprises build their AI governance programs – and both purpose-built AI governance tools and MLOps tools will be critical parts of enterprises’ responsible AI strategies.

Scale up by the numbers: SaaS Sales KPIs from over 300 companies

In May, we released our latest SaaS Sales KPI Report, which provides data from over 300 software companies — making it one of the world’s most comprehensive and best sources of private SaaS sales KPI data. The report covers five key areas and 19 individual metrics that are crucial for founders and leaders, including growth, profitability, sales efficiency, retention, and go-to-market strategy.

Based on this year’s data, two distinct trends emerged: growth rates were highest in 2021 and sales and marketing costs outpaced revenue growth in 2021 and 2022. Read the report to get the full story — and see how our predictions for the second half of 2023 fared.

AI coding will unlock the next wave of developer productivity and reshape the software supply chain

AI coding tools are becoming increasingly popular among software developers, with 95% of them using AI tools like GitHub, Copilot, and ChatGPT. While these tools may not be perfectly accurate, they still provide value by helping developers stay focused and generate creative ideas.

“Skilled engineers have unique ways of thinking and sometimes procrastinate, so the boost in productivity from AI really helps keep them engaged and productive. We expect “10x” engineers to become “15x” engineers.”

AI-powered coding assistants are particularly beneficial for beginners and experienced engineers, increasing their productivity by up to 50%. However, mid-level engineers may face challenges as AI-generated code can be more complex and require additional debugging. See what’s ahead for AI’s impact on developer coding in the full article.

How PLG companies can scale efficiently by transitioning to hybrid sales

We dive into the world of product-led growth (PLG) companies and how they can scale up efficiently by transitioning to hybrid sales. With practical insights on improving PLG sales and marketing ROI for sustainable growth, we also offer tips on optimizing marketing spend and enhancing data management.

“PLG companies need to ensure they have the right people, processes, and technology when expanding their routes to market rather than relying on their existing PLG infrastructure.”

If you’re curious about the inner workings of PLG companies and their path to successful scaling, this article is a must-read.

Tips for modeling your compensation cost of sales

Using our programmable model, get a gut check on your compensation cost of sales using benchmarks from over 500 B2B SaaS companies. Calibrate coverage models, check incentive structures, and project cost outcomes with just four sample inputs: on-target earnings, AE headcount, spans and layers, and the ratio of AE quota to their on-target earnings.

Sales compensation and quota setting are hard, but by using accessible templates and techniques, it is easy to understand the financial implications of your plan. That way, you can make the best use of your resources and hit the ground running next year.