SaaS Go-To-Market Strategy Case Study: Trellis

SaaS Go-To-Market Strategy Case Study: Trellis

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- Your biggest critic is yourself. And, once you start to implement some of the discipline that you even teach within the program, and you can see the results in front of your eyes, right? Through some of the metrics that we track. We've seen since we started the program, we've seen our MRR, within a year more than, I think it's 5X of what we started off, right? So, we were super pleased with where we are today. - So, normally, I'll bring you an episode on this channel, on the core principles, on building and scaling a go to market strategy for your SaaS business. I talk about things like your ideal customer profile, your manifesto, your Broadway show. Now, if you're new to this channel, you don't know what those words are, that's okay.

I'll dig into it. But, I thought I'd do something different. I thought I'd actually talked to a founder that applied all of those things. And, once they applied all those core principles that we talk about on this channel all the time, what happened to their business.

On this episode, I'm gonna be interviewing Fahim Sheikh, CEO of Trellis. Now, Trellis, they're a demand generation platform for e-commerce merchants. And, that's a really incredibly exciting space to be in. And, they've done so well this past 12 months, they've actually 5X'd their MRR, which is incredible. And, you might be wondering, well, demand generation, E-commerce, what does all that mean? Let me explain how important this space is. When you think about e-commerce merchants, there's this silent war going on between Shopify and Amazon.

If you're an e-commerce brand, you're either on Shopify, where you're trying to build your own traffic, or you're on Amazon, Amazon has all the e-commerce traffic, but you're trying to compete to get the attention. And, in some cases, brands will be on both. And, in order to do this, in order for these e-commerce companies to compete with each other, and get their attention, and drive the traffic, you need a proper demand generation platform. You need something that's catered for e-commerce companies.

And, how important is this? Well, the Shopify app store is actually one of the biggest, is turning into one of the biggest app stores for SaaS companies. There are so many SaaS companies just in my go to market program, including Trellis, that serves e-commerce brands and operates for Shopify merchants and Amazon merchants. How big is it? Well, the Shopify app store has over 4,200 applications. And, what does that mean? Well, a more interesting stat is 80% of Shopify merchants actually use a third party application, a third-party SaaS app, to hook into their core's Shopify platform to get all the functionality, to actually operate their e-commerce empire. Now, that's just Shopify.

But, think about Amazon. When you think about Amazon, Amazon, nearly 500,000 merchants globally on their platform and nearly 60% of their retail sales, when you buy something off of Amazon, 60% of the time when people are buying off of Amazon, it's coming from these 500,000 merchants, and they're all competing with each other. And, in order to compete, whether you're in the Amazon marketplace or you're in the Shopify ecosystem, you need proper demand generation software.

And, how do I know about all this? Well, Trellis is in the program. So, I learned a lot about how their business works as I coach them. And, so, in this episode, we're gonna dig into exactly what happened to their business when they applied all the principles we talk about in this channel, and we're gonna actually dig into the story of how Trellis came to be, how they applied these things, and what they're gonna be doing next. Intro.

(lively snappy beats play) What's up, everybody? welcome to Unstoppable. I'm TK. And, on this channel, I help SaaS founders like you grow your size business faster with an unstoppable strategy. Now, if you're new to this channel, welcome, I drop an episode every single Sunday with actionable strategies and principles on how to grow your SaaS business faster. So, be sure to hit the subscribe button and that bell icon, that way you'll get notified every single time I drop an episode with the TK energy.

Now, if you're already part of this community, if you're part of my coaching programs, my people, welcome back. It's really awesome to see you over here. Now, as you know, every week I bring you an episode with actionable strategies and how to drive growth. I thought it'd be different, if this time around, instead of me talking about it and promising you this stuff really works, I actually get someone that's been applying it and has been seeing success with it. Trellis has grown their MRR 5X over the last 12 months. Their CEO Fahim is a member of my go-to-market program.

And, so I was like, let's get on a zoom call and let's do the SaaS and scotch thing. And, let's actually talk through what you've learned and how you've applied it, and what's going on with Trellis. And, I was so excited about the interview, because when you work with a founder for 12 months and you see their ebbs and flows, stuff that works stuff, stuff that doesn't, we keep chipping away at it, it's just cool to get together and almost reminisce about all the stuff that's happened and what we've learned. And, so that's exactly what you're gonna get on this video.

I'm gonna actually cut to our recording that I've kind of made sure that we tightened it up, just so it's punchy and you actually pay attention. You don't get ADD, but if you watch 'til the end of this episode, here are the key learnings you are going to get, just so we're clear on exactly what you're gonna get if you actually watched through the end of it. Number one, we're gonna get into this silent war that's happening between Shopify and Amazon.

This is something that I really tuned into, because I started to work with so many different SaaS platforms that serve e-commerce brands in my go to market program. I worked with a lot of B2B SaaS companies, but that's one category that's super exciting. And, there's a silent war between Shopify and Amazon.

So, you'll learn more about that. The second thing we're gonna dig into is the state of ad tech and e-commerce tooling. This is a huge opportunity for SaaS companies, serving e-commerce brands, giving them an edge, helping them rise above this very crowded space, whether you're on Shopify, or Amazon, or both like Trellis is doing.

Huge opportunity. And, investors should be thinking about this, and founders should be thinking about this, and just marketers should be thinking about this. So, we're gonna talk about that as well. We're also gonna dig into, hey, how'd you actually 5X your MRR? We're gonna dig into what are the things they did inside of the go-to market program.

How did they think about their ICP, their manifesto, their Broadway show? What worked for them? We're gonna talk a bit about that without giving out too many trade secrets, what we're gonna get into some interesting stuff, so that you can start to understand how the principles we talk about when applied, what kind of results this actually delivers. And, the last thing we're gonna do, also, is we're gonna talk about why their first manifesto didn't quite work. Their first manifesto didn't work.

Sometimes, people will watch the one YouTube video I have on a manifesto, and they're like, I tried, it didn't work. I'm like, honestly, when you're in the program, we have like solid training on manifestos. And, even on top of that, with my coaching and tweaking, it takes two to three tries to nail it. And, so we'll talk about that on like how they finally nailed it and why it was so tough with the first one.

And, I was like, it's okay. Perfectly normal. So, we're gonna...

These are the key learnings you're gonna get. And, by the end of this, you're going to actually see how some of the principles we talk about exactly what it, for building and go to market, exactly what it looks like when you apply it, maybe what are some of the common pitfalls that happen, And, by the end of this, you'll be able to apply some of these principles to grow your own SaaS business. Also, one of the cool parts about this is I also asked him, hey, what's the thing you loved about being in the go to market program and what's the thing that you absolutely hated? And, we talk about that too.

And, that was really cool, because I always talk about core principles, and I give so much content on this channel, and then still founders every month, they're like, hey, I want to work with you TK and they join my go to market program. So, you get a glimpse into what it looks like, behind the scenes, for a founder that's actually gone through it. So, if you're excited to dig into the interview, I know I am, go ahead and smash out like button for the YouTube algorithm.

If you haven't subscribed yet, hit the subscribe button, and that bell icon also, and let's queue up that interview. Fahim, thanks for doing this. And, thanks for getting on the show. Maybe, just introduce yourself and tell us what Trellis does, so that everyone has the context about the company and you.

- Sure. So, Trellis, we started Trellis back in August, 2019. We're just over about two years old. We've developed a demand generation platform for e-commerce merchants.

So, if you are a merchant selling on various marketplaces, like Amazon or Walmart, as well as you're also advertising through social media, then what Trellis does is it helps you drive more demand for not to your listings on these marketplaces or even to an online store that you may have. - Yeah. The thing that I love, you're in the go-to market program, so obviously we worked together on a bunch of stuff, I always love founder stories. Like, how'd you get into this? why'd you do it? And, your background is particularly interesting, so maybe tell us about that, and tell the audience what were you doing before this that got you interested in creating something like Trellis, and getting into this very specific space around e-commerce brands and Amazon. And, it's super interesting to me.

So, I think others would enjoy it to. - Well, my background is, and this is a big career pivot for me, in terms of I've been doing a lot of sales and specifically networking and Telco side for a long time. And, I just, the last five years of it was... I just felt it was a race to the bottom, right? The margins were getting thinner and thinner. A lot of the Chinese companies were coming in and really disrupting the pricing.

So, I really didn't see a lot of future in that. And, so I've always wanted to do a SaaS type business, again, software, SaaS , really the space that really attracted me. And, then one of my co-founders, Krishna Vemulapali, who had been in retail e-commerce for the past seven years, and been doing a lot of work in artificial intelligence actually came to me and we worked together about 20 years ago in a couple of startups, and said, okay, Fahim, this is the idea, this is what I want to do. And, I'm like, yeah, absolutely.

Let's go, let's go. So, that's how we kind of started. - Yeah, and then he had experienced also. And, he was the one that had the domain knowledge around these pieces. - Correct. Correct. So, he's...

He was doing... He was spending a lot of time telling big brands, like the Apples of the world, the Revlons of the world, on where they rank for certain search terms. So, providing a lot of digital shelf, share of voice, share of shelf information to these brands. And, we said, why are we telling these brands where they rank.

Let's just get them to the right spot that gets them the sale, right? So, that's sort of the genesis behind Trellis. - It's so interesting. I was reading the other day, there's this interesting intersection.

There's this interesting war going on that no one realizes yet, but it's gonna become a lot more obvious. And, I wonder what your take on this is, 'cause you're right in e-commerce and demand generation. And, how do you get advertising to work to get eyeballs to buy your products? The war is between Shopify and Amazon. And, that like in the next coming years, that's gonna be... And, I read that and I was like, oh, that's interesting. I never thought about it that way, but it makes sense to me.

Does that make sense to you? Do you think that's where we're headed? - Oh, absolutely. And, you'll see a lot of camps on the Amazon site. So, there's been a huge amount of investment that's gone into these brand aggregators and specifically on Amazon. So, a lot of money has gone there and then you have a slew of other companies, like we just talked about, like an example, Clearco, where they've been investing in a lot of Shopify stores, right? So, absolutely the two, you see the two sort of going at each other. What's interesting is the biggest difference that we see for those two approaches to driving more demand for these merchants is Amazon's got the traffic.

They've already got the traffic on the marketplace. Whereas, Shopify, the biggest challenges has been to drive traffic to their online stores, right? So, that's where we see the biggest difference. And, that's sort of where we come into the picture. Not only do we help these merchants on an Amazon marketplace, drive more eyeballs to their products and generate more sales on the marketplace, but we also use similar technology to drive more traffic to a Shopify store. And, we recently did an acquisition of a company called a Pixie Bot that allows us to apply some pixel technologies on the Shopify stores and learn about where the traffic is coming from, what people are doing on the store, and we see a lot of similarity between what we're doing on a marketplace, and what we can do to generate traffic to these online stores. - Traffic is the thing.

And, now, it's... So, you're right. Even within Amazon, I think your platform starts with Amazon. You focused on Amazon, and then you're gonna be looking at other platforms down the line. Traffic is everything right now. Even within Amazon, it's hard to compete on a single product, 'cause there's the Amazon basics, and then the newer sell, and then the 50 other things.

And, Alexa suggest one where maybe it shouldn't, it's super interesting on how to actually capture that traffic. - Oh, absolutely. I mean, even Amazon itself, it's become so competitive, right? So, if you look at the trends on cost per click over the past, even year, right? They're increasing very fast, right? So, as a merchant, as it is, their margins are stretched on Amazon, right? And, that's why people have been trying to go onto the Shopify platform, because it's an opportunity to gain back some margin. So, really trying to still remain competitive on Amazon. And, I think that's where a lot of the automation technology that we built and the AI that we use to do a lot of the bid management, the budget management, is helping merchants re improve their return on their ad spend.

And, that's sort of how we see the... Our technology helping on the Amazon marketplace. But, it's the same similar concept for driving traffic to your store, whether it's coming from Facebook, Insta, even Tiktok now, right? It's all about how do we maximize that return on ad spend? - Yeah. I come from the MarTech space as you know, and the sales tech space, and what I've seen with categories and SAS is they go through cycles. There are cycles where it's the hottest thing ever, and everyone wants to fund it.

And, there are cycles where no one wants to touch another MarTech platform. Like right now, no one wants to do it. In ad tech, it's really interesting with the changes that are happening with say privacy, and iOS, and tracking, and cross domain cookies.

Do you feel that we're headed into a point where new ad tech is gonna be needed more than ever? Or, do you think that ad tech's done and obviously you're biased, but, what does that mean, given these macro trends that are happening right now? - Well, I mean, that's just a good question, TK, and I think this space is ripe for some disruption, especially with some of the changes you mentioned, like on the iOS front, right? Where you're able to get a lot of information without people knowing it. Now, with those privacy laws, we're actually not dependent on any of that, right? 'Cause we're actually taking the data right off the marketplace or off the platforms that are driving traffic, right? So, for us, I think we're immune to that, but I think we're seeing a lot of disruption gonna happen, because agencies have been doing a lot of the management of the advertising for a lot of these big brands over the years. And, you're finding that the bigger brands are not seeing the results, and because these marketplaces have become so competitive, they're actually looking for alternative solutions, and the traditional percentage of ad spend, all those models, I think there's a whole disruption that's gonna happen there, where agencies need to transform if they want to retain those brands, otherwise you're gonna see brands bringing things in-house, right? And, that's... We're actually seeing that happening right now. Even if you look at some of the acquisitions that are taking place right now, you can actually feel there's a lot of momentum building.

We saw a number of our competitors in the past six months, like three got recently picked up, right? So, there's a lot of activity activity going on. And, a lot of agencies are looking for a technology solution. So, they get less dependent on having resources manage and monitor these campaigns. - That resonates with me, because what I've seen in all categories is whenever channels get constrained, new channels emerge, and also creativity goes up, and you get these disruptions.

And, so it seems like it will be a point of like an ad tech Renaissance, because, let's be honest, we're not all gonna go back to like organic only or SEO only. It's only gonna be getting even more competitive to get attention. And, so there's going to be creativity. There's going to be new platforms. Like that's, that's what I would think as well.

And, new channels probably. - Oh, absolutely. I mean, I'm just amazed always at all the marketplaces popping up, right.

And, it's just... It just boggles your mind and every geography is different, right? I mean, Amazon seems to be the exception. They seem to have a strong offering globally, except for Southeast Asia, I think, and obviously big markets like China and Russia. But, even if you start to look into China and Southeast Asia, you have some pretty significant other players like Shopee and Lazada that have come up, right? And, they're looking to move out west.

And, so there's gonna... The battle is just starting, right? Because, and then the investment, you can see investments are going into these marketplaces, and in each of the countries that we're seeing. - Speaking of battles, you just went through an incredible stage of the journey. And, now you're looking at this next stage.

So, we started working together about a year ago in the go to market program. It's coming up on 12 months, which it goes by so fast I feel like. Tell us a little bit around what was going on in your world.

What stage were you guys in 12 months ago as a company and what got you interested in the go to market program? - Yeah, absolutely. We've always had a very strong product led team here in at Trellis. We had great product people. We had great developers and we had built this product, and we would show it to clients, and they would be amazed. And, in fact, some of them would say, is this even real? Right? (TK chuckling) And, we had one of our advisors come in and I can't get the statement he made out of my head, he's like, you guys have built this apartment building, but you don't have any tenants.

(TK laughing) And, that's just sticking my head, right? And, so a year ago, he came in and he left that one line, and it's just... It's just driven us to... We gotta get this. We gotta figure out this go to market, right? And, then this is where I started to look for help, because you don't want... You can go and figure it out, but it's gonna take time.

If you can find someone out there who can guide you, has already been through it, and then we started looking around for that help, and we obviously came across your videos on YouTube. I started watching them. I think my kids all know you, TK. (TK laughing) - You mentioned that before, yeah. (chuckling)

- And, we enrolled in the program. - Yeah, I've found out recently that, on average, I think founders have consumed 10 hours of my free YouTube content before they joined the program. And, back when you joined, I used to take the calls myself for like enrolling. And, so it'd be like, hey, it's me live.

What's up? (laughing) So, I've had front row seats in this early stage of your journey. And, it's been really cool to watch, because as it goes in the go to market program, and as I'm very transparent about like a bunch of stuff works, a bunch of stuff doesn't, you got to iterate. And, then in the end we come out with stuff that's happened that are effective for the business. So, why don't you tell us a little bit around what have you guys accomplished over the last 12 months as a company? And, what... What was the most valuable for you out of the go-to-market program now that you're 12 months past it? - Sure. I think we had a lot of the ideas around ICP in our heads.

Right? And, we had ideas around how to position the product, again, in our heads. And, we were practicing that with whatever client engagements we had, but when we joined the program, it was a methodology, right? That really resonated with us. So, first had going in defining your ideal customer, right? Going through that process. I think even building the manifesto. It actually brought a lot of those ideas and those thoughts into a very organized fashion, right? And, that not only helped us with building out more content, whether it is the emails, where we were doing a drip campaigns, to even building content on our website, to even how we talk to customers, right? So, it gave us almost the recipe to position the product, right? And, I think that was super valuable for us, because before it was all sort of all over the place between my head, my co-founders head.

And, we actually, when we sat down and built the manifesto, everything sort of came together, right? And, we've used that continuously, right? So, whenever we go on, whether we're talking to a client who asked us, so how did you guys start this? And, we talk about how the founders created this, right? And, in the same message even for investors, right? So, that manifesto is super powerful, right? Especially when you're engaging with... Clients, and investors, and partners as well. So, I think that was super valuable. And, you have to iterate, our first manifesto, it was good, but it didn't work, right? - We learned, I remember that one. We learned on that first one. - Yeah, and then we iterated in on that.

We came out with the second version, we got much better results on the second version. And, we're working on the third version now. So, it's a constant process and you can see that by doing so over time, we've actually gained more confidence in ourselves, right? Because, the biggest, I find, especially as I...

We've been building this company, your biggest critic is yourself, and once you start to implement some of the discipline that you even teach within the program, and you can see the results in front of your eyes, right? Through some of the metrics that we track, you get confidence in what you're doing, right? And, I think that really helped us. I mean, there's lots of other parts of the program that I think were valuable. But, for me, that whole ICP, manifesto, Broadway show concept is a very simple concept, and just implementing it was super helpful.

We've seen, since we started the program, we've seen our MRR, within a year or more than, I think it's 5X of what we started off, right? So, we were super pleased with where we are today. - Yeah, that's awesome. I remember, so one of the cool things about the manifesto is words matter.

And, a lot of times, founders had these things in their head, and when you're crafting it, you're stress testing it. And, I remember we were on a hot seat, and I was like, I think it's kind of like autonomous campaigns and you like had an allergic reaction. You're like, no, it's not autonomous campaigns. (laughing) And, I think that's one of the coolest things, because when we're going through the process, you can stress test some of these things. And, we had like a good discussion around why it's not autonomous, and here's a different way to think about it.

And, otherwise you're having those conversations in your head I've found, which is not effective at all. - So, having the other founders on too, I mean, you learn a lot from that, like even today's session, right? And, some of the advice you were giving Patty was super useful to all of us around how to engage if someone was sniffing around your company, right? So, there's a lot of intangible values that we're getting through the program that we wouldn't... I wouldn't have otherwise, right? - Yeah, you said you 5X'd MRR, nearly 5X'd. So, looking back, go to market, every founder listening go to market is top of mind, what would you say was the toughest? And, this is especially interesting, because you're a go to market company also for e-commerce brands, and you're working on your own go to market.

So you think about this all day long and practice it. What was really tough looking back on the past 12 months? - You mean specifically on the go-to-market side or in general? - Either, actually, whatever... The first one that comes to mind for you-- - Oh, for sure.

Go to market, like we haven't had trouble building a product. We hadn't had... We don't... We didn't have trouble finding talent and money.

That's not been our challenge. Our challenge has been go-to-market, right? And, I don't think we're fully out of the woods on that too, right? - I got news for you, you never are. You just have to keep iterating. (laughing) - And, where I think our biggest challenge, and it's, I would say still one of the challenges where we're facing is really honing in on, we know who the ICP is, but some of our go-to market specifically on our inbound, right? Is not hitting the ICP, right? And, getting the inbound tweaked, the messaging tweaked, the drip campaigns tweaked, all of that, landing pages, right? So, that we can hone in on the ICP, all the way when you're running ads on Google, start from your...

The keywords, the ad copy, the landing page, getting all that working for the ICP, I think that has been our biggest challenge. - Yeah, it's a super tough one, 'cause you also have to have a lot of volume for inbound to get the quite higher quality. Whereas, I remember another hot seat we did where... So, like you and I know this, every company has one core channel where they're really good.

And, then they're trying to catch up on other channels. But, one channel, they do really well. I remember it in the hot seat, you were like, well, this one's doing really well. The other ones were still inbound. We're still trying to figure out.

We're still trying to tweak. And, I'm like, you should just double down on them on that's working. But, it's also funny, because that one is so counterintuitive to the DNA of you guys being product guys.

You're like, no, that can't be it, even though it's working. It's so funny. - Yeah, I mean, so outbound is doing awesome now, right? Where we have it with a team of SDRs that are just lighting up the phone and we're bringing in... We're bringing in ICPS, and it great, right? We had our first, I would say significant ICP win through inbound this week, right? - That's awesome.

- Before, when we joined the program, we were like, okay, we're praying that we can get a $49 a month client coming in. Obviously, after working with you, we adjusted our pricing. And, now we're like, okay, 499 is coming on through, inbound, organic traffic, right? - That's amazing, yeah. - So, just getting that whole machinery going, and I think one thing that I have learned is just you have to be patient, right? This takes a lot of discipline and a lot of patience, but if you stick to it, it's gonna happen, right? It's gonna come.

- Lot of founders tend to undercharge for their product. And, I feel like... - Us included. (laughing) - Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, like I feel like I could just start programmers pricing, and then just like double your pricing. (laughing) And, that's it. It's like...

What was that like when you guys increased pricing? You retweaked pricing, you now communicated the value in a specific way. Tell us, tell everyone that's listening what was that experience like? Was that scary? Was it like... What was it like on the other end of it? Once you kind of nailed it, 'cause it's a scary thing for most founders to do. - It was because we were so new into the market, right? A lot of people didn't know us, but it's a double-edged sword, right? Because, we got into this situation... So, we started off really low, right? We thought, okay, and then on one of your training was you can always increase, but it's harder to decrease, right? So, we said, okay, we'll start low and then work our way up. And, but then we were getting a lot of...

I would say the long tail of the sellers that are actually not doing so well on Amazon, right? And, so, 'cause we priced it so low, right? And through, obviously, through the program and really focusing on the ICPs, we found that ICPs are actually questioning us, because our price was too low. They're like, can't be any good if it's that low, right? So, we have... We've, probably since we joined the program, adjust our prices, pricing three times now, right? So, we went from the lowest tier, from 29, to 49, and 99, and I think we're probably going to do another one soon. It is scary, because you don't know whether it's just gonna kill your traffic, your inbound traffic, and really hurt your conversion rate.

But, so far it's actually I think helped us in a way, right? Because, people are taking us more seriously. And, before they were like, you do all this for that, it was like, there's gotta be a catch or something missing, or you're not doing something critical, right? And, we have a pretty good... We have a really good solution. We had a bake-off with... One of the top player in the space, where one of the clients we won this week actually tested our software against this number one player.

And, we came out on top, right? So, with that, you get the confidence, you get the mojo. And, you're like, okay, that's it. Now, we can now charge more where we're like, we can charge what they're charging, right? So...

- Yeah, yeah. It's so counterintuitive, 'cause in a way, now you have these incredible customer logos that you've acquired over the last 12 months, that builds trust, but also in a way pricing communicates trust also, it's like, if these guys don't even think highly of themselves to charge this amount then... It's a counterintuitive thing though for us as logical engineers, where we're like, listen, my AWS cost is not that high. (laughing) - Yeah. And, don't... You think you wanna just grab market share right now, right? You want to go in with a low price, but it, again, we had to make those changes to really get recognized as a solid player in the space, right? - Yeah.

Much like everything else, it's a narrative process and you keep tweaking, you mentioned you're gonna increase again or tweak again. And, that's, that's exactly how it goes. That's the right way to do it. Okay, so incredible year, what do you most... And, also, I must say, I'm super excited for you guys, because I think the... Given the macro trends in advertising and e-commerce, given the traction you guys have gotten, given just a space, like this thing's gonna...

This is like a secret almost, it's gonna change in a big way in the coming year or two, this space. And, so you guys are really positioned for it. That's what excites me. What excites you about Trellis? Like, what's next for you guys? Like, what's top of mind for you? - I think, you have this Venn diagram that you show at the beginning of the program, and we've always felt we had the-- - This one? The market, product, go to market. (laughing)

- Yep, that's the one, man. (chuckling) Product, go to... Market and go to market, right? And, we've always felt very confident with the product and the go-to market, right? Sorry, the product and the market, and the go-to market is where we've we needed to improve on. So, I think we recently kicked off a program where we're trying to increase and really get our inbound focused on getting to those ICPs, right? I think that's, I think a really an exciting initiative that we have within the organization, but beyond that, what we're seeing is just being able to drive or add on more channels, right? 'Cause we have our clients, okay, this is fantastic for Amazon, but can you do this for Walmart? What do you have for Google shopping? - They're on four other channels-- - Yeah, we're getting Shopee, Lazada, like every client is either, on average, has five different channels that they worry about, right? Whether it's Facebook, and Insta, or Walmart, or Wayfair, right? So, just bringing on those channels, and for us, why is that exciting? Because, we've already acquired customers in this space. Well, that whole CAC and the acquisition cost is so low by just adding on these channels, and now we go from an LTV and we're almost by, if we're able to add five channels, we're tripling our LTV with virtually a low CAC, right? So, that's what's really exciting for us. - Yeah, so one thing's for sure, and I think you know this, but it's always good reminding, like every new inflection point of revenue you have to revamp go to market, like that's just what happens.

And, you're like, well, that got us here, but that won't get us to here. Like how do we revamp it? And, you turn on channels, and tweak things, and tweak messaging. So, that's one. And, I think what's also interesting for you guys is like, from a DRR perspective, because there's so many more channels to go after, and there's more optimizations, and more campaigns, more ad dollars, like there's always ways to increase the value of a customer. And, there's-- - Oh, absolutely. And, then...

- Are the right things, for sure. - And, then the really interesting things happen is once we have all these channels, and we're learning, and we're getting data from the channels, how can I leverage that data across channels, right? So, it gets super interesting there. So, that's something that I'm really looking forward to and having the platform do.

But, again, it's still early days. - That's awesome. So, if an e-commerce brand wants to work with Trellis, what's the best way to get in touch with you guys? Where should they go? Can they just sign up for the product now, on the website? - Oh, absolutely. And, we've had... We've had a touchless onboarding from day one, right? When we launched. So, a lot of our, I would say, inbound clients just go to our website,,

and there's a sign up for a free trial. So, we offer a 14 day free trial, and they can go in, and connect their Amazon account, takes about five minutes. And, then they have the option to connect to what we call Amazon MWS, which actually pulls in all their product listings. So, they could do that, or they can upload them through a spreadsheet. That, again, depending on how many products they have could take anywhere from five to...

We just onboarded a client with a thousand listings. So, it's about half an hour to bring in all these listings. And, then after that, literally within five minutes, you can have an ad up and running on the marketplace. - That's amazing.

And, in case investors or biz dev people, related to e-commerce and ad tech, want to get in touch, what's the best way to get in touch with you? - The best way is either to email me, FAHIM@GOTRELLIS.COM, or just send an email to, and I should be able to get that. - Sweet. Well, Fahim, thank you so much for joining us today. I really enjoyed it.

It's all... This season, we're doing people that I've just worked with over the last 12 months, and it's been a pleasure working with you and seeing your growth, and I'm super excited for you guys. So, thank you so much for sharing your story and your journey. And, this is only the beginning.

So, there's only... I hope you come back again, and tell us about how things progress, and how things grow from here as well. - Yeah, absolutely, TK. And, for me, personally, especially because I'm new into the SAS space, and just the way that you've sort of outlined the program, I found it super useful, and it was at the right depth level, right? And, I just want to thank you for creating an awesome program and we look forward to continuing work with you. - Oh, thanks, man.

No, that means the world to me. I really appreciate it. We put a lot of love, I put a lot of love.

I say we, but it's just... When it's in the program, it's just me, and I put a lot of love into it. So, I'm so glad to hear.

- I just need you to answer one question though. How do you do it? Like how do you do all the videos, the content for the program, (TK laughing) the weekly coaching sessions? I mean, how do you handle all that? 'cause... - I just don't sleep. It's really easy once you stop sleeping. (laughing)

- And, I guess a lot of scotch, right? - Yeah. No, I honestly, I think like I had to get disciplined, like Mondays are metrics days. Tuesdays are YouTube filming days.

Wednesdays are only for... Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays are only for clients and improving the program. And, so once I got there, like I got good at it, like good at managing it. Before that, I probably would be going crazy. And, I also have a team that helps run all the operations.

So, all my time, at this point 99% of my time just goes towards founders in the program. That's it. That's all I do. - That's amazing, amazing. I know people that I've just bumped into, on the street, like friends that I've met, and they actually watched your videos.

It's kind of cool. - Oh, really? (laughing) That's awesome. We're growing. So, Fahim, I will see you in the next strategy session or a hot seat, but for the audience, they'll... I'll include all your contact info on Trellis in the show notes so that they can click on it.

Thank you so much for joining today. This was a lot of fun. It was like walk down memory lane of 12 months. So, it's really great. And, I look forward to continuing to work together with you too. (censor beep) Wasn't that an awesome interview? So, if you're still watching this, that means you actually watched the whole thing.

So, awesome. Hopefully, you got a ton of value. Remember, the key learnings I promised you were, what is the silent war between Shopify and Amazon? What's the state of ad tech and e-commerce tooling? How'd they actually get to 5X M, or 5X MRR? Why did their first manifesto fail? So, we covered all of those. Now, if you got value from this video, please smash that like button if you haven't already. If you haven't subscribed yet, I drop actionable videos on how to grow your SaaS business faster every single week.

So, be sure to subscribe button and that bell icon. If you liked this format, I plan on interviewing more people that I've been working with, just to kind of tie together principles, to execution, and results. If you've enjoyed this format, please put it in the comments. If you didn't enjoy it, let me know what I can do to improve it, so I can keep bringing these people and servicing these voices that are actually executing on these things, these principles that we talk about, and that'd be... I would appreciate a lot. Put it in the comments below.

And, also if you want to work with me in scaling your go to market, in applying these principles, then I invite you to check out my SaaS go-to-market coaching program. Just go to TKKADER.COM/GTM. And, lastly, if you want to learn more about Trellis, the website and their information will be listed below this video as well. So, you can reach out to them or you can just go to their website, GOTRELLIS.COM. I want to thank you for joining.

And, remember, everyone needs a strategy for their life and their business. When you are with us, yours is gonna be unstoppable. MTK, and I'll see you in the next episode.

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2021-12-09 04:03

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