Why An Investment Raise Should Trigger a New Website Build

For VCs and private investors, investing in B2B SaaS and tech companies, building a new website should represent a key early decision for the CEO when it comes to deploying capital.

Alan Gleeson - CMO Contento

Alan Gleeson

Co-Founder / CEO

September 15, 2023

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8min read

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For B2B, SaaS, and tech companies their website represents a key factor in the success or otherwise of your business. For those on their startup journey, a significant investment raise represents a key inflection point and should trigger a new website build. This is a significant undertaking and is often not well understood within companies. Protecting scarce developer resources should be a key goal, but it is also important to make good choices when so many decisions need to be made. 

  • Which Content Management System (CMS) to use? 

  • What budget should we allocate for this? 

  • Do we need to refresh our visual identity as part of the process or not? 

All of these decisions need to be made - yet time is of the essence, and timelines from a decision to proceed to a new website launch can hit 6-9 months. Investors are thus advised to encourage their investee companies to prioritize the process early but to also assist these companies in sharing resources that help ensure good decisions are made in what is often a pressurized context.

B2B SaaS Websites and Lifestage

Most early-stage B2B SaaS and technology startups cobble together their first website on a basic CMS. Resources are tight and a light feature set means a basic brochureware site is the norm. Perhaps the site was built using a website builder like Wix or Squarespace, or a traditional legacy CMS like WordPress. This represents a sensible decision in the early years. Quite rightly the focus is on “the product build” with very little budget if any available for sales and marketing, or for a website for that matter. These basic CMS are fine at the start, but they are shaky foundations on which to continue building especially as the startup gains some traction. None of these traditional or website builder CMS platforms scale well. None of them are equipped with the demands of a growing marketing function. However, modern CMS like those in the fast growing category called Headless CMS is a better match for this next phase of growth.

In these formative years, the marketing team may not even exist - a team of one is common. A ‘jack or jill of all trades’ tasked with “keeping the lights on” and taking orders from the CEO is a typical scenario. Founder-lead sales are the norm at this stage, and most of the headcount will be in developers. The main mantras followed at the pre-investment phase are to:

Avoid premature scaling”. 

“Seek product-market fit before putting the boot down.”

At this stage, it is hard to generate much traffic to the website (especially B2B ones). New sites have a low domain authority and thus it is difficult to rank organically. The site depth is narrow and new content production is limited. After all, the marketing team ‘of one’, has a lot to do.

It can also be soul-destroying writing long-form content in the early stages- with no one to read it. Budget limitations mean that specialist input from Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) experts is out of reach. Paid acquisition is not an option meaning overall site traffic is likely to be minimal. Life can be tough. 

But you battle through. You leverage your network and gain some traction, and gather evidence to convince an investor that the total addressable market is sufficiently large, and the team is strong enough to capture a decent market share. You secure some investment - a decent cheque - more than €1 million if you are going to have any chance of success (for most B2B, SaaS, and technology companies).

This represents the stake in the sand.

This capital needs to be deployed with product, sales, and marketing representing the main beneficiaries. 

The marketing function will no longer be resource-constrained. They will be tasked with building an engine of growth, and will thus need adequate resources to build the machine. The main building blocks at this stage are a marketing leader, a team to execute, and a website that can help you deliver on these goals. Once these are in place you can then look to scale growth.

Post-Investment the Marketing Function Needs to Transform Itself

Once a B2B SaaS or tech company raises a round expectations change. A sales and marketing engine needs to spin up. Terms like “attribution, lead generation, SQL’s, Product-market fit, and traction" will be bandied about. All bets are off. 

An already busy marketing leader is quickly going to receive a deluge of requests. Order-taking mode on steroids. Can you do “this, that and the other”? Task after task.

Instead, there should be a pause, with marketing budgets and resources discussed upfront. Once these are agreed upon and the team is resourced adequately then the website needs to come sharply into focus as a main priority. As referenced earlier there is no point in building on weak foundations. 

Why am I so sure they are weak?

Most early-stage B2B SaaS websites are “cheap and cheerful” - budgets are minimal and the goals of the site are modest. A decent website designed to attract and convert leads needs specialist input be that from copywriters, designers, or SEO experts. It needs to look good and be designed to optimize lead generation. Beyond the capability and budget of most early startups.

As a former freelance Chief Marketing Officer supporting VC-backed B2B SaaS startups this was the world I once occupied. I saw the same patterns repeat themselves - on pretty much every website I became responsible for. A really basic site with minimal traffic that now needs to turn into an engine of growth. It is time to upgrade from a Lada to a Porsche.

But where to start?

The Increased Demands of A Growing B2B SaaS Website

A growing startup will need to support a website that does much more than a basic brochureware website. Everything is about to change. 

The following represent some of the patterns we’ve seen:

  • A larger marketing team with more people creating and contributing to content publishing, both within the marketing team and across the organization.

  • A significant increase in the volume of publishing. Blog frequency may increase from monthly to daily. The length of the content will need to increase, and the quality will also need to improve with more contributors involved in the process.

  • A wider variety of content types (beyond just blog posts) will also typically need to be produced. The forms this content takes will now include newsletters, product sheets, podcasts, videos, webinars, and whitepapers, not to mention technical documentation and educational resources. A far cry from the days of a single blog post.

  • An increase in attention will need to be paid to branding and design. First impressions do count. A basic brand may have carried you through your formative years but won’t work if you want to appear enterprise-grade and want to generate leads.

  • A greater importance will need to be placed on site performance across platforms - desktop and mobile. Conversion rates and SEO are all dependent on site speed. For those on a Wordpress CMS, website bloat is common with slow-loading pages representing the norm. It will no longer be acceptable to plough on with a creaking underlying infrastructure.

  • An increased need to integrate with third-party applications including marketing automation, email newsletters, CRM, onboarding, customer support, technical API documentation, payment processing, careers (job announcements), analytics, SEO etc.

Over time you will also want the flexibility to swap some of these out, as the company grows and the techstack you use as a startup is not fit for purpose anymore. Again all of these changes can be accomplished with less development time and complexity under a Headless CMS architecture.

  • The website content is also likely to change frequently - after all, a startup is characterized as one looking for Product Market fit and is largely operating initially on a number of assumptions that need to be validated and may change as more data comes to light. Daily site edits will become an increasingly important requirement.

  • An increased need for security to protect customer data - the whole house has to follow security best practices. 

As this list illustrates, a post-raise marketing team needs to function very differently from a pre-raise one. The legacy CMS, workflows, and processes need to evolve. The questions then become:

  • How can we protect scarce development resources as part of this transition?

  • How can we make some good decisions when faced with such new demands?

  • Can we learn the lessons from others to short-circuit the process and compress timelines?

  • Have we adequate resourcing to deliver on these increased demands?

Lessons for B2B SaaS and Tech Investors

As has been outlined above a new website is going to be a key part of the post-funding plans, and it can represent a significant time suck and distraction. It can also be a fairly major undertaking in terms of demands on the team, but also timelines. 

An added danger is that the product team can get dragged in as technical input is needed. This is the last thing you want - this key resource needs to be focused on product development and not building the website. VCs and investors are going to want to have the team they’ve invested in focused on “the product” and not the website. Your developer resources are the scarce resource - minimizing the time they spend on your website is a key criterion. Dev’s need to focus on the product and not the website as is often the case in our experience. 

In terms of the questions posed above:

How can we protect scarce development resources as part of this transition?

Ensure the marketing leader (and/ or) tech leaders pick the correct CMS for the next phase of growth. A Headless CMS is likely to represent the best option for the next phase of growth.

How can we make some good decisions when faced with such new demands?

If the marketing leader is not that senior it is recommended that external support is brought in, be that via a Fractional Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) or via a dedicated hire.  

Can we learn the lessons from others to short-circuit the process and compress timelines?

Yes, of course. Hence the blog and recommendations. The above scenario is one I’ve seen play out numerous times, and there are experienced CMO’s who can help derisk the process.

Have we adequate resourcing to deliver on these increased demands?

This is a key question. In many instances, the playbook is often to keep allocating tasks to the marketing leader until they squeal. Instead, resourcing should be a key early discussion given the timelines needed to adequately resource the function.

Contento - the Headless CMS for B2B SaaS Companies

This squeeze point is one we at Contento are acutely aware of. We’ve been there. More than once. It is the pain point we are trying to resolve. Marry the latest CMS technology from a modern CMS like Contento, with the various additional components you need to reduce the dependency on your developers, while also looking to fast-track decisions. We thus partner with dedicated B2B SaaS copywriters and designers so the final delivered product provides the platform you need to put your sales and marketing engine into play.

This reflects the journey we are on ourselves.


If you are investing in B2B SaaS and technology companies, you’ll appreciate the importance of the website at the heart of the sales and marketing efforts. You may even recognize the journey painted above. If you do, we recommend you share the lessons outlined in detail with your portfolio companies.

Alan Gleeson - CMO Contento
Alan Gleeson

Co-Founder / CEO

Alan Gleeson has 15+ years extensive B2B SaaS experience working with several VC backed Startups & Scaleups in the UK, US & Ireland.

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