What Positions Should an Org Chart at a SaaS Startup Have?

Common SaaS Startup Org Chart Positions

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

The CEO is generally at the very top of a SaaS startup’s reporting structure. They receive information from the rest of the team and use it to direct the entire organization. Often, the CEO is the founder or co-founder of the company.

Responsibilities for a CEO include:

  • Providing vision and direction for the company
  • Developing high-level strategy and setting long-term goals
  • Communicating with investors, shareholders, partners, and in some cases, the Board of Directors
  • Representing the company as its public face
  • Establishing internal policies for conduct and behavior
  • Leading by example
  • Assessing and averting potential risks to the company
  • Maintaining social responsibility
  • Seeking out opportunities for growth and expansion

The CEO may also take on some of the other roles listed below, such as Chief Product Officer. This becomes less practical as the company grows, however, and the CEO must eventually delegate.

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Chief Operating Officer (COO)

The COO oversees the day-to-day administrative and operational functions of the startup. Put simply, the COO’s primary role is ensuring that the company is operating as efficiently and effectively as possible. In many cases, the COO acts as a kind of second-in-command to the CEO, putting the CEO’s plans into action.

Responsibilities for a COO include:

  • Designing and implementing business operations per the CEO’s goals
  • Establishing policies that promote a healthy company culture
  • Standardizing procedures
  • Monitoring the work of other executives
  • Managing projects

In a SaaS startup, the COO usually handles the functions of the Human Resources and Finance departments.

Chief Product Officer (CPO)

The CPO is in charge of researching the customer base and developing a product strategy to meet their unique needs and expectations.

Responsibilities for a CPO include:

  • Conducting customer research
  • Analyzing data
  • Formulating a strategy for product design
  • Communicating that design to the Chief Technology Officer
  • Taking part in further product development and iteration

The CPO “owns” the product and is ultimately responsible for its success or failure.

Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

Once the CPO has a solid roadmap for the product, the CTO gets to work trying to bring it to life. The CPO gives the “what” and the “why,” and the CTO figures out the “how.” Beyond this, the CTO may also manage the company’s internal IT needs.

Responsibilities for a CTO include:

  • Taking the CPO’s product design and creating an actual product
  • Overseeing any adjustments, iterations, or upgrades for the product
  • Remaining aware of current trends in science and tech
  • Ensuring that all technical strategies align with the company’s goals
  • Providing internal IT support and cybersecurity
  • Collaborating with vendors and suppliers if necessary
  • Supervising testing and deployment for all software
  • Identifying key performance metrics for the product

Because the CPO and CTO must work so closely together, it’s essential that they cooperate with one another.

Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)

The CMO develops and executes marketing campaigns to raise awareness for your product and brand. By attracting attention to the value your company provides, the CMO helps convert prospects into paying customers.

Responsibilities of a CMO include:

  • Pinpointing your ideal customer profile
  • Performing market research
  • Crafting marketing campaigns that will connect with your prospects
  • Developing a strong brand identity for your startup
  • Coordinating strategic partnerships

A skilled CMO can make all the difference in giving your startup an edge over the competition.

Vice President of Sales

For many SaaS startups, a robust Sales team is critical to success. The Vice President of Sales boosts revenue by building an effective sales funnel that guides prospects toward closing a deal. This funnel may start with the Sales team reaching out to leads or fielding queries from interested prospects. Either way, the goal is to pitch your product in such a way that your target audience just can’t say no.

Responsibilities of a Vice President of Sales include:

  • Promoting your products and brand
  • Designing a winning product pitch and sales funnel
  • Engaging with leads
  • Managing and motivating the Sales team
  • Training new hires in Sales
  • Monitoring market activity
  • Keeping up with the latest sales tactics
  • Creating sales reports

Director of Customer Success

Customer Success is all about keeping existing customers happy with your product in order to reduce churn and increase renewal and upsell rates. This starts with responding to any issues a customer may have, but ideally, the Director of Customer Success should be doing more than that. The key is proactivity.

By educating and assisting new customers during the onboarding phase, the Director of Customer Success can fix problems and answer questions before they even arise. This gives the customer a better experience with your product from the start, making it more likely that they’ll renew or upgrade.

Responsibilities of a Director of Customer Success include:

  • Developing educational materials for your product, such as PDFs, video clips, or infographics
  • Streamlining the onboarding process
  • Proactively reaching out to new customers to make sure they get the most out of the product
  • Managing accounts
  • Pitching renewals, upgrades, add-ons, optional services, and customization to existing customers
  • Answering questions and solving problems
  • Gathering customer feedback
  • Advocating for the customer’s wants and needs to the rest of the company
  • Increasing customer satisfaction

Make no mistake: the Director of Customer Satisfaction, also known as a Customer Success Manager, is one of the most important figures in SaaS startup org structure.

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