Management Meetings for Scaling B2B SaaS Startups: A Guide for CEOs

Evolution Equity Partners
8 min readMay 2, 2023

As a B2B SaaS startup CEO, changing your approach to management and leadership is essential as your company grows. You no longer have time to micromanage everything anymore; you need to start relying on the expertise of the leadership team you just hired. Sales, Marketing, Product, Engineering, Finance, and HR leaders are crucial players, but how do you ensure everyone is aligned and working towards the same goals? And how can you ensure your company runs smoothly and delivers the expected results? Here are some tips for navigating growth and scaling your startup.

To begin scaling your operations, aligning and incentivizing your management team based on desired outcomes is crucial. CEOs who manage and set KPIs for each leader separately make too many mistakes and rarely achieve their business goals. You must ensure everyone is working towards the same goals and the business is moving in the right direction. However, aligning the team is the beginning; day-to-day operations require consistent attention to ensure excellence.

Regular meetings with your leadership team are crucial to achieving this. The meetings should have a clear focus and purpose, with some aimed at reviewing outcomes, celebrating achievements, and identifying challenges, while others are geared towards ensuring alignment across teams and identifying pressing issues. It’s not about adding another meeting to your calendar but rather creating a productive cadence of management meetings that enable the business to operate smoothly and achieve its goals on time. With each meeting having a specific focus, you can ensure that your business runs like a well-oiled machine and your leadership team is working towards a shared vision of success.

To ensure your business operates effectively at scale, it’s crucial to have a set of meetings that enable your leadership team to stay aligned, updated, and productive. Here’s a list of meetings that we suggest you have with your leadership team:

The bi-weekly management meeting:

The leadership team should attend this meeting, including the CEO, Sales, Marketing, Product, Engineering, Finance, and HR leaders. Its purpose is to get updates, identify any pressing issues or challenges, and make decisions that enable the business to progress toward its goals. During this meeting, managers can share updates, discuss any roadblocks they face, and align with their peers to achieve the business goals.

Consider this meeting as the voice of the data you see on your dashboards. It adds the needed context beyond just the dry data on the screen.

The agenda for this meeting may include quick updates on sales and marketing, product development, customer success, people, and financials. This meeting is about enabling the business to achieve its goals, so it’s not a strategy meeting, nor one where you make big decisions that may change business goals or product direction.

Examples of topics typically discussed in this meeting:

  • Sales pipeline velocity and quality
  • Customer complaints about product quality
  • Upcoming product releases
  • Marketing contribution to the pipeline
  • Gaps in business metrics
  • Hiring velocity and quality
  • Progress update on company goals and KPIs
  • Discussion of issues and roadblocks
  • New initiatives

The quarterly management meeting:

Besides the bi-weekly management meeting, it’s crucial to have a quarterly management meeting with your leadership team following your meeting with the Board of Directors. While it’s essential to be well-prepared for your Board meeting with information you receive from your leadership team, it’s equally important to get back to your team following that meeting and provide updates.

The quarterly management meeting has several purposes. It’s an opportunity to review progress against the company’s strategic goals, set priorities for the upcoming quarters, and make any necessary strategic decisions. It’s also a chance to celebrate success and make hard decisions if needed. In this meeting, you can share with the leadership team any feedback (good or bad) coming from the Board and any decisions made.

The quarterly management meeting is essential for aligning your leadership team around the company’s strategic goals and ensuring everyone is working towards the same objectives. You can create a transparent and collaborative environment that fosters innovation and growth by providing updates and feedback from the Board of Directors. This meeting is an excellent opportunity to celebrate successes, learn from failures, and set a course for continued success. This meeting goes deeper and broader than bi-weekly, as you only have four of these per year.

The all-hands meeting:

Following the quarterly management meeting, it is also necessary to have a quarterly all-hands meeting with the entire team at your company, including people working remotely.

This meeting is held to share company-wide updates across the business, product, marketing, people, and overall market update. It is also an opportunity to celebrate successes and recognize employees’ contributions to the company’s values, goals, and objectives.

You do want to have at least a few of the leadership team presenting and at least one employee that managed to achieve something exceptional to share with the rest. This meeting is very important for all employees to meet the leadership team, communicate, ask questions, get updates, etc.

Some fun activities to include in all-hands meetings:

  • Fun work experience: To get remote workers/offices connected to the headquarter, ask the remote team to film a 2–5min video to share the work experience, their country, experience, etc. The remote team can nominate the next team to create a fun video for the next all-hands.
  • Employee Awards: Recognize employees who have gone above and beyond during the quarter with awards such as “Employee of the Quarter” or “Team Player of the Quarter.” This can be a great morale booster and encourage others to work harder. The nomination for excellence should come from all employees, while the leadership team should select the winners.
  • Happy hour: End the meeting with a virtual happy hour where everyone can relax, chat, and enjoy snacks and drinks. You could also organize a virtual mixology class where everyone learns how to make a fun cocktail.

Monthly inner and cross-department meetings:

Ensuring your leaders meet monthly with their team is as important as the leadership meetings. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the progress of the specific department and to align the team around the department’s goals — review progress and alignment with the goals, get updates, identify any pressing issues or challenges, make decisions that enable the team to progress toward its goals, upcoming projects, and identify new initiatives. Velocity, quality, and quantity are key metrics to measure during the meeting. It is also important to leave time for people to ask questions. The owner of the meeting is the department head or manager.

It is also important to have monthly cross-department meetings for key departments, such as Product and Sales. The purpose of this meeting is to encourage collaboration and alignment between different departments within the company. The main topics for such meetings include updates from different departments, cross-functional projects, any roadblocks, and planned releases.

Open door

Many employees have the desire to meet and speak with the CEO, share their feedback, ask questions, or just have visibility of the CEO for their work. Obviously, you cannot fill your calendar with meetings with all employees. However, a more productive approach is to reserve an hour on your weekly calendar for employees to book time.

Many of my employees highly appreciated this ‘open door’ initiative, although, in practice, only a few actually used it. But the overall message is that my door is open for everyone, and I reserve time to meet with everyone on my calendar, it came out very positively when I announced it at one of our all-hands meetings.

I used to have my leadership team following that as well, reserving time on their calendar for the ‘open door’ initiative so all employees could have the opportunity to meet and speak with any leader. That increased transparency, trust, and communication across the company. Everyone is reachable and accessible.

The annual kickoff meeting

An annual kickoff meeting is a critical event that sets the tone for the entire year. It’s a time for the entire team to come together and align on the company’s goals, strategies, and priorities for the year ahead.

Typically, the CEO or senior leadership team will kick off the meeting with a company-wide address, sharing the overall vision for the year ahead and highlighting any major changes or initiatives. This is followed by presentations from different departments, including product, marketing, sales, and customer success, which give an overview of their plans and objectives for the year. The meeting also includes workshops, training sessions, and team-building activities to help the team connect and collaborate effectively.

Some key topics that may be discussed during an annual kickoff meeting at a B2B SaaS startup include:

  • Company vision and values: It’s essential to revisit the company’s vision and values to ensure everyone is aligned and motivated to work towards the same goals.
  • Product roadmap: The product team should present the year’s upcoming roadmap, new features, and product enhancements.
  • Marketing strategy: The marketing team should present the overall marketing strategy, including plans for content creation, campaigns, and events.
  • Sales goals and plans: The sales team should present the overall sales goals, strategies for achieving them, and metrics for tracking progress.
  • Customer success plans: The customer success team should present plans for retaining customers, improving customer satisfaction, and reducing churn. Inviting one or two customers to present the value they receive from the company’s products and services is a great addition to have.
  • Operations and finance: The operations and finance team should discuss budgets, operational efficiency, and any new systems or tools that will be implemented in the coming year.
  • Training and development: The meeting should include training and development sessions to improve skills and knowledge across the company.

It takes time and effort to prepare for such an event. You should plan at least four months ahead to deliver a productive event that archives its goals. Management should practice with their presentation and learn how to tell the story in an engaging and interesting way for the broader audience in the company. It is a big show time that every presenter should be prepared for.

An ideal agenda for an annual kickoff meeting might look like this:

Day 1:

CEO opening remarks, company vision, business performance, goals for the next year

Department presentations: product, marketing, sales, customer success, finance

Team building activities

Day 2:

Training and development sessions. You should invite customers and partners to these sessions.

Workshops on company-wide initiatives

Annual recognitions and awards

Closing remarks and next steps

Overall, an annual kickoff meeting is an opportunity to bring the entire team together, align priorities, and set a foundation for a successful year.

1:1 meetings

Other than the above-mentioned meetings with your team, you should have 1:1 meetings every week. Other than with your leadership team, you may want to meet with some directors or group managers as well, bi-weekly or monthly. These meetings aim to feel each side of the operation’s heartbeat, help managers solve problems, and get feedback.

Written By: Yuval Ben-Itzhak

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Evolution Equity Partners

International venture capital investor partnering with exceptional entrepreneurs to develop market leading cyber-security and enterprise software companies.