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John Luttig on SaaS Pitch Decks

In this episode of The Role Forward podcast, our host Joe Michalowski is joined by John Luttig, a Principal at Founders Fund and Mosaic Co-Founder and COO, Joe Garafalo. They chat about the building blocks of a SaaS pitch deck, the CAC Payback Period metric, and how to address investors' most significant concerns in your pitch.

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Episode Summary

A successful pitch deck is an informative presentation that includes all relevant details and critical metrics that SaaS investors want to see. And you should use that space wisely to get your message across.

But there’s no one-size-fits-all pitch deck template. You need to tell your company’s unique story.

In this episode of The Role Forward podcast, our host Joe Michalowski welcomes John Luttig, a Principal at Founders Fund. They chat about the building blocks of a SaaS pitch deck, the CAC Payback Period metric, and how to address investors’ most significant concerns in your pitch.

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Featured Guest

John Luttig

Principal, Founders Fund

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John is a Principal investor at Founders Fund. During his time at the VC firm, John has worked on investments in companies like Scale AI, Rippling, Figma, Newfront Insurance, Flock Safety, Origin, The Org, Tagomi (acquired by Coinbase), Escher Realty (acquired by Niantic), Luko, Coder, DoNotPay, and other organizations still in stealth. He was directly involved in Founders Fund’s participation in Mosaic’s Series B round.

Key Themes from the Episode
  • There's no one-size-fits-all template for a great SaaS pitch deck — but there are some stand-out examples to learn from.
  • A clear narrative of the near-term and long-term growth plan is critical to a great pitch.
  • The best SaaS pitch decks proactively address the biggest concern for investors.

Episode Highlights from John Luttig

4:59 — What are the building blocks of a great SaaS pitch deck?

“There are a lot of templates out there, including one by Mosaic, which you should check out. I don’t want to regurgitate the slide-by-slide breakdown, but to the extent you are including historical metrics, have things around go-to-market efficiency, which could be things like your sales rep ramps, your win rates, your sales efficiency, and your cohort-based potential metrics. I think those are all table stakes for a great SaaS stack, particularly at the mid-stage and growth stage.”

19:17 — The most common mistakes people make with the CAC Payback Period metric

“I think it’s a particularly important metric, just because it’s a key driver of your return on invested capital and how quickly and efficiently you can deploy incremental dollars. I don’t need to describe the calculation here. I’m sure you can read the Mosaic blog for that, but I think  people make a few common mistakes. One is that they don’t fully burden the CAC with all attributes of customer acquisition costs. And so, it could be not including the full sales and marketing team headcounts. It’s not just your ad spend. I think this is also tricky if there are non-sales and marketing org sellers within your company. If your CEO is doing the sales, they should be included in the CAC because, to the extent you’re scaling the founders, that’s going to require incremental costs to acquire your customers.”

21:12 — Lean into your strengths

“Lean into your strengths and try not to compensate for your weaknesses. I think when you’re preparing your life around college admissions, you might focus on being well-rounded and good in a lot of different dimensions. But in the context of your career, you really want to lean into your strengths, whether it’s writing or selling.”

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