David O. Sacks is the general partner at Craft Ventures, a venture capital firm he co-founded in 2017.
Prior to Craft Ventures, Sacks was the founding COO of PayPal, where he managed 700 employees and was responsible for the product management, design, sales, marketing, business development, customer service, fraud operations, and human resources functions across the company.
This meeting template was created by Sacks to help startups that start to have board meetings for the first time after raising a Series A. Here are five best practices to keep in mind as you schedule your SaaS board meetings:
- Board meetings should be held quarterly
- Board meetings should be 2 hours long
- Board meetings should be scheduled shortly after the quarterly close
- Board meeting agendas should be sent 2 days ahead of time so board members have a chance to review the materials
To make things easier, Sacks also developed a board deck template to go along with this meeting agenda template.
What’s inside this meeting template:
1 CEO Update [30 minutes]
According to David Sacks, all SaaS board meetings should start with a “30,000 foot level” overview from the CEO.
- What major progress has occurred since the last board meeting?
- What are the biggest problems?
- What’s keeping you up at night?
- How much cash is in the bank? (runway)
“It’s important to recognize that board members are not there to sit in judgment of you but rather to collaboratively problem-solve with you. If you’re not able to discuss the company’s biggest problems with them, you’re much less likely to make meaningful progress,” says David Sacks.
After the 30,000 foot level overview, it’s important to go into learnings and KPIs.
- What have you learned about your target customer since the last board meeting?
- How have you changed your market thesis?
- Are there any pivots you need to make?
- How fast is revenue growing on a monthly basis?
- How are churn and expansion, as well as new sales, contributing to your top line number?
- What does revenue retention look like (by cohort)?
- What are your Daily Active User (DAU), Weekly Active User (WAU), and Monthly Active User (MAU) numbers?
“Every SaaS business has a handful of KPIs that should be covered up front to gauge the health of the business and set context for the rest of the meeting,” says David Sacks.
Board meetings are better in Fellow
Fellow is the meeting management app that companies like Shopify, Uber, and KeepTruckin use to run effective board meetings.
2 Sales Update [30 minutes]
David Sacks advices that the Head of Sales is present at every board meeting. During these meetings, the Head of Sales should review:
- The previous quarter’s results (ARR, deals closed, objections, competitive landscape)
- The upcoming quarter’s pipeline (forecast, major deals, coverage ratio)
- Team performance (quota attainment, hiring plan)
“Finally, sales forecasts should be tracked using a waterfall chart so nobody forgets what was originally promised in relation to what was delivered,” says David Sacks.
3 Other Departmental Updates [20 minutes]
Bringing the heads of other departments to present at the SaaS board meeting is a great way for the CEO to take a break from presenting and allow board members to get to know key company leaders.
“Usually this is a product update,” says David Sacks. “A discussion of sales objections naturally leads into a product roadmap conversation (because new features solve objections). Ideally, the roadmap should fit on one page.”
Other departmental updates are optional, and can be rotated between different departments and meetings.
4 Financials [10-20 minutes]
In this section of the board meeting, the CEO focused on financial topics:
- Is there a gross margin problem?
- Is the company planning to raise a new financial round?
- Are headcount and operational expenditure increasing?
“For more mature companies, the CFO will need to present in greater detail. As headcount and opex increase, more scenario planning is required in order to help a fast-growing startup avoid running into a wall,” says David Sacks.
5 Team [10-20 minutes]
As part of the SaaS board meeting, the CEO is expected to discuss hiring needs and culture.
- What does your ideal org chart look like?
- What areas have the greatest need for new hires?
“In practice, you should focus on hiring roles that the team is desperate for, not ones that are a luxury item,” says David Sacks.
6 Administrative Matters [5-10 minutes]
Last but not least, it’s important to leave some time at the end of the board meeting to discuss housekeeping and administrative matters.