#277 -  Tony Hohlbein, CEO Growblocks - on making revenue growth predictable

A story about solving the disconnect between planning growth and the operational reality of driving it

This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to give revenue teams a scientific approach to revenue and stop flying in the dark. My guest is Toni Hohlbein, Co-founder and CEO of Growblocks.

Toni has spent the last decade growing B2B SaaS startups successfully as a CRO, leading to two exits.

He discovered that revenue planning and execution was fundamentally broken. The old approach is finance-heavy and is skipping over a ton of important details CROs need to know to hit their revenue targets. 

So he started working on a solution and created an operating model that help the business he was working for hit target 12 quarters in a row.

He learned that other startups had the same problem, which sparked the idea to create Growblocks together with his cofounders Olafur & Andrew.

The mission: help organizations unlock their revenue potential.

And this inspired me, and hence I invited Toni to my podcast. We explore what’s broken in the way businesses run revenue operations. Toni shares his vision of how to solve this – based on an approach that delivered remarkable results at his previous company – helping them grow from €10 to €50 million in 12 straight quarters. He shares the big lessons learned in taking his startup from idea to ready for primetime and outlines what ingredients have been fundamental to get right from the start. Last but not least, he shares what he’s specifically steering for to create a SaaS business people will start talking about and keep talking about. 

Here’s one of his quotes

We are not a forecasting tool that tells you which number you’re going to hit in q1. We’re helping you to figure out what number you are gonna hit at the end of the year. What are the long-term revenue goals you want to achieve? 

Then you start executing. And what you then very quickly see is that some part of the engine is going to veer off course. Otherwise, you would have probably seen this in the post-mortem that you have in your quarterly business review in three and a half months from now. We ping you if something is off. We give you a root cause analysis of why it is off. And then you can fix it. And that is a very nice, straightforward, you could even say, agile cycle that we are enabling organizations to do in real-time instead of having quarterly business reviews to then tweak something.

During this interview, you will learn four things:

  1. How to go about challenging the status quo in a mature market
  2. How changing one word in your positioning can change everything for the traction you experience 
  3. How to empower your champions to drive the buying process from the inside
  4. The mistakes many startups make that put their buyers in a disagreeing spiral, instead of a nodding spiral
  5. How to spark word-of-mouth if you’re selling big enterprise SaaS tools


For more information about the guest from this week:


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About the author

Sales Pitch

Ton Dobbe is a former B2B software product marketer who's on a mission to save mission-driven SaaS CEOs from the stress of 'not enough' traction. He's the author of The Remarkable Effect, the host of the Tech-Entrepreneur on a Mission podcast, and writes a daily newsletter on the secrets to mastering predictable traction.