Getting the B2B SaaS Org Structure Right- From Startup to Over 100 Employees

B2B SaaS Org Structure

When you’re starting a SaaS business, getting the org structure right is critical to your success.

You need a clear hierarchical structure that allows for communication and decision-making down the line.

But what’s the best way to set this up? And how do you grow your team as your company scales?

In this post, we’ll explore the ins and outs of SaaS org structures, and share tips on how to get them right from the beginning.


Advantages of Having the Right Organizational Structure for a SaaS Venture 


Below are some of the benefits that come with having the right organizational structure for a B2B SaaS venture:

Improves Efficiency Across All Departments  


Having a clearly defined process and hierarchy enables the team to work more efficiently, helping to reduce the time taken for tasks.


Ensures Better Communication & Collaboration Between Teams  


Having the right organizational structure helps everybody in the team to understand their roles and responsibilities more clearly, leading to smoother collaboration between departments.


Increases Scalability and Growth Potential


A well-defined org structure makes it easier to scale the business, as all teams are aware of how the company is structured and how each team interacts with one another.


Streamlines Operations & Decision Making Processes  


The right org structure helps to streamline decision-making processes by allowing the team to make faster and more informed decisions. This helps to ensure that the venture is always moving in a positive direction.


Getting to Know the Different Personas Involved in B2B SaaS Ventures


There are a lot of different moving parts in a SaaS business. And each of those parts is crucial to the success of the venture.

In order to understand how each piece fits into the puzzle, it’s helpful to understand the different personas involved and their functional responsibilities.

Here’s a breakdown of the key players in a SaaS business and what they do

  • Founder/s: These are the individuals who have the vision for the SaaS company and are responsible for its overall planning and strategy development
  • Product managers: Product managers are responsible for design and management, requirements gathering, collaboration with engineers and other teams, quality assurance testing, launch coordination, and monitoring
  • Developers: Developers write code to create the application as specified by the product manager or founder. They also debug errors or issues on an ongoing basis
  • Salespeople: Salespeople are responsible for lead generation and conversion to leads to deals. They also conduct market research to understand trends in the industry, build relationships with prospects, and maintain those relationships through nurturing processes
  • Customer success managers: Customer success managers work closely with customers to ensure maximum value from software solutions. They provide regular follow-ups, analyze data from software usage to identify areas of improvement, and develop strategies for enhancing results


Different Management Levels in a SaaS Organization


Below we will explore the different management levels needed and some of the challenges faced when scaling a SaaS business.


Management Board Level


The management board level includes:

  • The CEO: They are responsible for providing the vision for the company and setting overarching strategy.
  • The CFO: They are responsible for managing the finances of the organization which includes forecasting and budgeting. They work closely with the CEO to make sure that the financial resources are available to execute on the vision.
  • The COO: They are responsible for ensuring that operations are running smoothly. This involves working with other department heads to make sure everyone is aligned and working towards common goals


VP Level


The VP level requires significant experience in order to be successful. They typically report directly to the CEO and are responsible for a specific area of the business.

Their scope of responsibilities often includes managing other VPs and directors. They need to be able to work well under pressure and handle ambiguity well.

In addition, they need to have excellent communication skills in order to manage upwards as well as downwards.


Director Level


The director level reports into the VP level and their primary responsibility is leading teams of up to 10 members. They need excellent communication and leadership skills in order to be successful.

Additionally, they need to be able to oversee multiple projects at one time while maintaining a high level quality of work.


Team Leader Level


The team leader level reports into the director level and their primary responsibility is supervising 2-3 individuals on their team. They need excellent communication skills in order to deliver feedback effectively as well as coach their team members when needed.

Additionally, they need to create an environment where team members feel like they can grow and develop their skills over time.


Challenges for Growing Teams in SaaS Companies


SaaS companies have a lot of potential but there are also many challenges that come along with scaling such an organization. Some are as follows:

  • Hiring additional managers too late: This can lead to lower morale among employees as well as increased turnover.
  • The exponential growth can quickly become unmanageable: This often leads to leadership struggling to maintain control which can result in a negative impact on culture.

Check out How to Create an Effective SaaS Company Structure for more information.


Taking Responsibilities Early On in B2B SaaS Ventures


In the SaaS business world, there’s a lot of talk about startups and small businesses “scaling up.”

But what does that actually mean?

For a SaaS business to scale up, it needs to grow in two key ways:

First, by increasing its customer base, and second, by taking on more responsibilities.

When we say “responsibility,” we’re talking about both the functional roles within the SaaS company as well as the processes and administrative tasks associated with running a business.

By taking on additional responsibilities early on, SaaS businesses can set themselves up for success in the long run.

Here’s why:


Faster Decision-Making and Action-Taking


When you have clearly defined roles and responsibilities within your company, decision-making and action-taking become much faster processes.

That’s because each team or department knows exactly what their role is and what needs to be done in order for the company to meet its goals


Improved Coordination Among Different Teams/ Departments


With clearly defined roles and responsibilities comes improved coordination among different teams and departments within the company.

When everyone knows their role and what they’re responsible for, it becomes much easier to delegate tasks and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal.


Increased Efficiency in Workflow Management


Defining roles and responsibilities early on also leads to increased efficiency in workflow management.

That’s because you can develop processes and systems that are tailored specifically to your company’s needs…

Which leads us nicely into our next point.


Clear Understanding of Each Role’s Functionality


When you take responsibility for your business early on, you gain a clear understanding of each role’s functionality within the company.

This allows you to assign tasks based on skill set—which again leads to increased efficiency in workflow management!—and also ensures that everyone is working at peak capacity.


>25 FTEs: 3 Essential Roles at a Startup Stage 


Below are three essential roles in order for a SaaS startup with less than 25 full-time employees (FTEs) to function properly including their respective responsibilities:


1. Sales & Marketing


The sales team is responsible for generating leads and closing deals, while the marketing team is responsible for creating awareness and demand for the product or service.

A successful sales and marketing strategy will take into account the unique needs of the target market and craft a message that resonates with potential customers

Some examples of successful sales and marketing strategies employed by B2B SaaS ventures include content marketing, lead generation campaigns, account-based marketing, and partner relationships.

Each of these strategies can be customized to fit the specific needs of the target market.


2. Product & Tech


The product and tech team is responsible for developing and delivering the software product or service.

They work closely with the sales and marketing teams to ensure that the product meets the needs of the target market.

Additionally, they are responsible for ensuring that the SaaS product is easy to use and provides a good customer experience.

Some examples of successful product & tech strategies employed by B2B SaaS ventures include user experience design, continuous delivery, DevOps, and microservices.

These strategies help to ensure that the product is high quality and engaging for customers.


3. Processes


Processes play an important role in ensuring that a business runs smoothly and efficiently.

In a B2B SaaS venture, there are a number of critical processes that must be put into place in order to ensure success. These include financial planning and management, accounting, legal compliance, HR management, IT support, and customer service.


25-50 FTEs: The Necessity of Venture Managers


A common question for SaaS startup founders is whether or not to extend their team after their first seed investment.

At this stage, most SaaS startups already have approximately 25 full-time employees. The answer isn’t always clear, but there are a number of reasons why it can be advantageous to do so.

One of the benefits of hiring a venture manager is that it allows you to extend your team and create new positions within the company. This can be beneficial for a number of reasons, including:

  • Allowing you to focus on more strategic tasks: As the founder, you likely have a lot on your plate and are pulled in many different directions. By creating new positions and extending your team, you can delegate some of the more operational tasks so that you can focus on more strategic tasks, such as business development and marketing.
  • Freeing up your time: If you’re able to delegate some of the tasks that you’re currently doing to someone else, it will free up some of your time so that you can focus on other things. This is especially important as your company starts to grow and scale.
  • Adding expertise to your team: When you create new positions, it’s an opportunity to bring in experts in different areas who can add value to your team. For example, if you’re looking to expand into new markets, it might make sense to hire someone who has expertise in that particular market or region.
  • Building out your management team: As your SaaS company grows, it’s important to build out your management team so that you have people in place who can help manage different parts of the business effectively. By hiring a venture manager, you’re taking an important step in building out this team


The Necessity of Hiring Team Leads for Operational Teams


Another reason why SaaS founders should consider hiring a venture manager after their first seed investment is that it’s necessary to have team leads for operational teams in place so that they can effectively manage day-to-day tasks.

This is especially important as the SaaS company starts to grow and scale because there will be more moving parts and things will start to get more complex quickly.

Having team leads in place who understand what needs to be done on a day-to-day basis will help keep things running smoothly and prevent any bottlenecks from forming.


50-100 FTEs: The Importance of Hiring Experienced Leaders for Growing SaaS Companies


As your SaaS business continues to grow and expand, it’s important to have experienced leaders in place at the helm.

Three classic c-level positions that are essential for SaaS companies approaching 50 full-time employees are the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO), Chief Technology Officer (CTO), and Chief Operating Officer (COO).

Recruiting experienced leaders for these positions can help take your business to the next level by increasing revenue, improving efficiency, and generating new sources of financing.


Chief Revenue Officer (CRO)


A CRO is responsible for generating revenue for the SaaS company and understanding the needs of the market. They do this by creating new marketing campaigns, pricing strategies, and business development plans that will help the SaaS company generate more revenue.


Chief Technology Officer (CTO)


The CTO, or Chief Technical Officer, is responsible for overseeing the technical aspects of a company. This includes the production and development of software, as well as managing teams of developers.

In the case of SaaS companies, the CTO is also responsible for ensuring that the software is accessible and easy to use for customers. In addition to these duties, the CTO may also be involved in research and development, in order to create new or improve existing software products. As such, the CTO plays a vital role in the success of a company, and must have a deep understanding of both technical and business matters.

They also need to be up-to-date on all technology trends and changes so that they can make recommendations on what new technologies to adopt or invest in.

Having a strong CTO in place is especially important for SaaS companies that rely heavily on technology or offer technology-based products or services.


Chief Operating Officer (COO)


A COO is responsible for streamlining processes within the company. They work closely with other departments to identify areas of improvement and develop strategies to increase efficiency. For example, they may implement new technology or restructure teams to eliminate redundancies and maximize resources.

The COO is also responsible for making sure employees have the tools and training they need to do their jobs effectively. They may review job descriptions, hire outside consultants, or create policies and procedures that help create a positive working environment.

Additionally, the COO works closely with the CEO to create short-term and long-term goals for the organization. They may also help develop budgets, manage costs, and identify potential investments. Ultimately, a COO is responsible for maintaining an efficient and effective organizational structure that supports the company’s overall objectives.


<100 FTEs: Optimizing Company Performance


Once a SaaS company reaches more than 100 full-time employees, it becomes increasingly difficult for upper management to have an accurate pulse on day-to-day operations. This can result in inefficiencies, decreased productivity, and even higher costs.

In order to avoid these potential pitfalls, SaaS companies should consider adding vice president (VP) and director-level positions, implementing performance measures and processes, and allocating resources accordingly.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these strategies.


Add Vice President and Director Level Positions


In addition to the COO, many organizations employ a Vice President of Operations and/or Directors of various departments or divisions. The Vice President of Operations is typically responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the company, while Directors focus on specific areas such as customer service, product development, marketing and sales.

These positions are often responsible for developing and implementing strategies to improve efficiency, productivity, customer service and profitability. They also help manage the company’s resources, including personnel, budgets, equipment and materials.

Additionally, Vice Presidents of Operations and Directors often work closely with the COO to create and implement organizational goals. Together they ensure that their organization remains competitive in the marketplace.


Implement Performance Measures and Processes


In order to maintain control over a large number of FTEs, it’s important to have performance measures and processes in place.

By tracking key indicators such as productivity levels, quality control rates, and cost per unit, leaders can identify areas that need improvement and make the necessary changes.

Additionally, regular check-ins with employees can help to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards common goals


The Role of the CFO in Large Financing or Exit Processes


When a company has more than 100 FTEs, financing or exit processes become much more complicated. In these situations, it’s critical to have a chief financial officer (CFO) who can effectively manage the financial data and develop strategies accordingly.

The CFO should also be responsible for preparing accurate reports for investors, boards, and senior management.

Additionally, the CFO should be able to minimize risk and losses while maximizing profits.


The Need for a Director of Business Intelligence (BI) 


As data becomes increasingly important to businesses of all sizes, the need for a director of business intelligence (BI) becomes more pronounced.

  • A BI director is responsible for understanding the market, competitors, and customers.
  • They must also be able to leverage technology in order to increase efficiency across the company.
  • Additionally, the BI director should regularly monitor company performance and devise solutions to improve results.


Allocate Resources Accordingly


Finally, it’s important to allocate resources wisely when managing a large number of FTEs.

This includes everything from human resources to financial capital. By carefully considering where each resource is best spent, SaaS companies can avoid overspending in certain areas while still providing the necessary support in other areas.


Final Thoughts


The org structure of a B2B SaaS business will look different as the company grows from startup to over 100 employees. At each stage, it’s important to align your org structure with your company goals in order to set yourself up for success.  It will enable the right communication, processes, and collaboration.

As your business grows, you’ll need to hire new team members and create new roles—and it may become necessary to add additional levels of management such as Vice Presidents and Directors. This will help ensure that there is strong oversight at all levels of the organization.

If you’re looking for more tips on growing your SaaS business, be sure to check out our blog.


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Ken Moo