Recapping with Recapped
Jan 2, 2024

Recapping with Recapped: Winning by Design & Forrester's Dave Boyce

Mark Fershteyn
CEO & Co-founder

Building a Sales Foundation Fit for 2024's Buyer-Centric Revolution with Insights from Serial Entrepreneur Dave Boyce

2023 challenged even the best SaaS startups. Between funding drying up, buyers pinching budgets, and bloated go-to-markets built for growth colliding with got ugly.

Yet some organizations not just survived but thrived. So what set them apart?

To unpack lessons from the turbulence of 2023, I sat down with serial entrepreneur Dave Boyce. Dave has built and sold five SaaS companies and now serves on the board of multiple high-growth startups.

Needless to say, he’s seen it all - including nasty downturns.

Here are Dave’s top insights from weathering the storm:

Today's Revenue/GTM Leader Speaker:

The Illusion of Healthy Pipelines

Many sales teams are still scraping their way to decent pipeline numbers through scrappy marketing tactics. However, Dave pointed out that while pipelines may look relatively healthy on the surface, closing rates have plummeted. He said, “Closing that business has been a nightmare for everybody that we work with and for us.”

The problem often comes down to apprehensive buyers unable to get necessary approvals, especially for big-ticket deals. Sales professionals can no longer rely on the velocity of yesteryear.

Realign Sales Around Smaller, Smarter Deals

Dave noticed that in 2023 many sellers clung desperately to past notions of deal size and contract value. But massive deals largely failed to materialize as approvers balked.

Meanwhile, the reps laser-focused on helping customers solve problems - even if it started smaller - ultimately drove Growth. As Dave said, “Meet people where they are.”

Trust Product-Led Growth as the Future

Dave, author of the upcoming book “Product-Led Sales,” believes that self-service sales motion will become more prominent as enabling technologies like AI mature. As he said, “the product can actually do some of that on its own.” Rather than inflating sales teams, he believes SaaS must shift left and hire the product to sell itself where possible.

He points to pioneers like Atlassian, Zendesk, Dropbox, and Canva that built growth engines propelling low-touch or no-touch acquisition, activation, renewal, and expansion.

When humans focus on high-value adding activities instead of rote tasks, magic happens. And AI and automation will accelerate this flywheel. The end goal is higher revenue per employee and customer success.

Build an Unshakeable Foundation

Rather than chase hypergrowth in 2023, Dave worked with leadership teams to focus on strong fundamentals - like sustainable economics per rep or employee.

While layoffs hurt, proactively rightsizing go-to-market prevented deadly downward spirals in productivity this year.

Dave believes doubling down on efficient models in 2024 will pay dividends for years by enabling companies to expand confidently.

The Takeaway from Winning by Design’s Dave Boyce

Navigating B2B sales cycles requires resilience, creativity, and empathy under current conditions. While flashier growth tactics may seem appealing, sticking to customer-centric fundamentals often wins the day.

Rather than chasing elephant deals that rarely come to fruition, the most reliable path is to start small, deliver impact, and build trust with buyers. Dave Boyce and other sales leaders believe this approach will separate the winners from the rest of the pack in 2024.

Giving Back to the Community

What Dave Boyce can do for you

Connect with him on LinkedIn. His DMs are always open. He loves the courageous entrepreneurial spirit. Anything you need, just ask!

What you can do for Dave

Subscribe to Dave's Substack:, and share it with those who are interested in PLG. He releases a lot of concepts on a weekly basis.

Look out for his book release coming soon!

  • "Product That Sells Itself" by Dave Boyce - Published by Stanford Business Press

About Recapping with Recapped

Recapped CEO Mark Fershteyn interviews and unpacks the critical lessons learned by top revenue and GTM leaders in 2023. This series dives deep into their insights, strategies, and hidden tactics, offering you the blueprint to dominate 2024.

Recapped believes in the power of knowledge sharing. We're passionate about amplifying the voices of these industry leaders and helping their insights reach a wider audience. Learned something? Share this page with others, you're not just gaining valuable knowledge – you're becoming part of a community dedicated to pushing the boundaries of revenue excellence.

Apply to interview for our Recapping with Recapped series by emailing

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