How This $12m Accounting Biz Moves from On-Prem to SaaS Model

Barry Clapp

In Episode #809, Nathan interviews Barry Clapp. He brings over 30 years of experience in sales and management to Centage. Beginning with IBM, he held successional positions with increasing responsibility on software and internet businesses. At DigitalGlobe, a satellite imagery company, he served as VP of international sales opening distribution in over 20 different countries.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Biography of Richard Branson
  • What CEO do you follow? – Marcus Lemonis
  • Favorite online tool? — Salesforce
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 6
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – Be bolder, take more risks and get more equity from businesses with potential

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:43 – Nathan introduces Barry to the show
  • 02:12 – Centage makes a budgeting and planning tool simple
    • 02:20 – Every company budgets and most use Excel, which can be very difficult
    • 02:49 – Centage automates budgeting to replace Excel
  • 03:10 – Centage is a SaaS business
  • 03:18 – Centage was launched in 2002
  • 03:37 – Centage’s current business model is a changing from their previous licensing model
  • 04:27 – Centage is in the SMB space and they have less competitors
  • 04:55 – One of their competitors, Adaptive Insights, has just raised $175M
  • 05:13 – Centage has raised a total of $13.5 M
  • 05:50 – Barry shares what he did prior to Centage
  • 06:24 – The top three PE firms for Barry, in Boston
  • 07:16 – Centage’s customer pays an average of $35K to $40K a year
  • 07:26 – Centage has also sold services in their first years
  • 07:48 – Pricing is per seat
  • 08:18 – Centage currently has a thousand customers or 10K users
    • 08:46 – Most customers have 3 or more subsidiaries
  • 09:06 – Barry is hoping to break the $30M ARR number
  • 09:20 – Centage just launched their new product that is currently on beta
  • 09:57 – 30% of Centage’s customers are on subscription and the 70% are installed on premises
  • 11:07 – 2016 ARR was $12M
  • 12:43 – Team size is around a hundred with some remote
  • 13:13 – Average CAC
    • 13:36 – Centage has an inside sales model
  • 14:29 – Annual logo is quite higher than the previous model
  • 14:41 – Centage has 80% retention rate
  • 15:43 – Centage’s product has been continuously improving over the years
  • 16:32 – Centage has always made 10-12% of their revenue from upselling
    • 16:52 – Centage sells additional training
  • 17:11 – Barry shares the weirdest thing they did to acquire new customers
  • 18:50 – Gross margin
  • 19:10 – Centage runs webinars, goes to tradeshows, spends at least $10K a month on Google AdWords and total marketing spend is around $100K a month
  • 21:06 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Be BOLD and take risks now!
  2. Shifting from a previous model does NOT mean that you should force your current customers to shift as well.
  3. If people see value and how you can make life easier for them, they’ll stay loyal to your product.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Simplero – The easiest way to launch your own membership course like the big influencers do but at 1/10th the cost.
  • The Top Inbox – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences
  • GetLatka – Database of all B2B SaaS companies who have been on my show including their revenue, CAC, churn, ARPU and more
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Host Gator– The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible
  • Audible– Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives