From interactive presentations and breakout sessions to after-hours networking and informal peer discussions, Serent executives came away with new ideas and energy to move their organizations and professional careers forward. This year, we focused on three key themes:
- Building a competitive advantage through pricing
- Growing strategically through acquisitions
- Finding and recruiting top performers to win
In addition, we protected space to share candidly “What’s Keeping You Up at Night,” whether it was a professional or personal topic, confidentially amongst peers.
Building a Competitive Advantage through Pricing
Two Serent companies, Progress Learning and Raintree, presented how a pricing strategy with coordinated execution was a key lever for their sales and revenue growth stories while also becoming a customer-centric driver of innovation.
One major lesson, especially for sales, was that pricing only works well if applied with a thoughtful and holistic approach that aligns with a company’s superior and consistent value to customers. With that holistic approach and customer value delivery in place, pricing helped Progress Learning and Raintree increase profitability and drive higher ARR while maintaining customer retention.
In addition, by better understanding the value that their customers received from their respective products, both teams felt more confident to invest heavily in innovation to develop new products and capabilities that increased the value delivered to their customers.
Growing Strategically through Acquisitions
Serent partner Stewart Lynn shared the exit story of Next Gear Solutions and illustrated how strategic acquisitions could unlock significant growth and value with the right partner, even if a company had never done M&A before. Though Next Gear was one of our smallest initial equity investments, through our working partnership, especially on M&A, it became one of our biggest investment stories.
A job management and workflow solution, Next Gear was the tech leader in property restoration, a large, fragmented market in the early stages of tech adoption. Serent’s Growth and Investing Team saw an opportunity for Next Gear to become the market leader through M&A.
The company pursued the M&A strategy and tripled its ARR in 5 years with 5 successful acquisitions. This consolidation strengthened the network value of Next Gear’s one-stop property restoration solution and allowed the company to monetize its platform further. As a result, Next Gear drew significant M&A interest and was acquired by CoreLogic in the fall of 2021.
Finding and Recruiting Top Performers to Win
Serent’s Human Capital team led an interactive session on best practices for attracting, assessing, and retaining the right leaders in a competitive market. Portfolio leaders participated in role-playing, live brainstorming, and Q&A around several key takeaways:
- Set up your search for success. Align on new hires’ success criteria and desired outcomes before your search begins.
- Run a multidimensional interview process. Conduct an interview process that lets you delve beneath the surface, connect the dots of a candidate’s career history, and dig deep into their technical skills. This is the best way to get all the information you need and determine if your candidate is the right fit.
- Close candidates effectively. Remember, the candidates you really want are also interviewing with other companies. Delivering a great candidate experience and building rapport throughout the process are critical.
Summit themes and takeaways aside, we started the Serent Summits with a simple goal: Bring our talented portfolio of people together.
One of the most common complaints we hear from our leaders is: “I never get a chance to talk to people who have been through the same challenges I’m going through.” This complaint is the impetus for our most popular sessions, the “What’s Keeping You Up at Night?” or WKYUAN breakouts.
During WKYUAN, our founders and executives get Serent-facilitated but otherwise unstructured small group discussions and after-hours networking to talk through questions like:
- What challenges keep me up?
- What big growth opportunities are we not seeing?
- How do we continue to grow our revenue sustainably as we head into a recession?
With Serent, you get more than just a funding partner – you get a community. And Serent Summits have quickly become one of our most high-impact and beloved community traditions to build relationships and ultimately help companies and founders grow.
The portfolio companies identified and described above do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold, or recommended for Serent’s advisory clients, and you should not assume that investments in such portfolio companies were, are, or will be profitable. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.