Valo Park | Washington, DC | June 3-4, 2019



Day 1:

7:30 AM - 8:30 AM
Breakfast and Registration

8:30 AM - 8:45 AM
Welcome: Why are you here?

We’ll explore what’s on the agenda, what we’re trying to accomplish and how to get the most concrete value from the day. We’ll also ask you some questions about your objectives and experiences.

8:45 AM - 9:30 AM
The Modern Customer Journey: Be Found Where your Customers are Looking

We'll talk to the SMBs about the challenges they face in meeting, and exceeding, the expectations of today's Modern Consumer - impatient, highly connected, relies heavily on social proof, won't wait around for a call back for much more than 60 minutes. You'll hear where they are in terms of acknowledging that the Modern Consumer is their customer and how ready they're in addressing the challenges.

Liz McConomy, LocalIQ

9:30 AM - 10:15 AM
Managing your Reputation and Online Visibility

We'll discuss with SMBs the current state of reviews and reputation management, how to leverage technology for review generation - keeping issues like gating in mind - and what it means to nurture and maintain a high quality online reputation. You'll understand what is pushing or preventing SMBs from leveraging technology for review and reputation issues and what their fears and hopes are around the notion of social proof and user generated content.

Romona Foster, Google

10:15 AM - 10:30 AM
Expo Showcase

A rapid look at innovative technologies and ideas from our exhibitors. You’ll learn how SMBs can use these tools and services to save time and money, better understand their customers and increase their loyalty.

With FreshLime and U2 Cloud

10:30 AM - 10:50 AM

10:50 AM - 11:30 AM
CRM and Customer Insights

We'll address how CRM platforms can improve how SMBs engage with their customers while saving time and money. You'll hear the challenges SMBs face in moving from pencil and paper to technology for capturing their customers vitals and what it is about CRM solutions that might be inhibiting SMBs from jumping in with both feet.

Joe Malcoun, Nutshell CRM

11:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Managing Cash Flow/Profits (aka Why You Are in Business)

For a SaaS product to gain traction, it either must be all things to all users --- and risk not doing all of them well -- or it can focus on making its’ core product great and integrate with best of breed in adjacent products. Integrations help eliminate reasons not to do business with you. This session will present case studies on integrations, lessons learned and pitfalls to avoid.

Greg Powell, Fundbox

12:15 PM - 1:15 PM
Working Lunch in Exhibit Area

Most small business owners work through lunch. So we decided to do the same at Engage. Lunch will feature topical roundtables where small-business operators can commiserate and share best practices around the biggest challenges they face -- hiring, retaining customers, keeping costs down, keeping the sales pipeline full, to name a few.

1:15 PM - 2:00 PM
Finding and Hiring the Right People

We'll tackle the tough issues of hiring and retaining employees that can be brand ambassadors for SMBs and what SMBs are up against in a competitive employment market. You'll learn what tactics and strategies SMBs are using to hire and retain and where technology could assist them in finding better employees and retaining them longer.

Mark Haner, Linkedin

2:00 PM - 2:45 PM
Smart Service: Winning the Customer Experience

We'll focus the SMBs attention on cash flow issues and how new fintech can help them improve their cash flow. You'll better understand what SMBs are doing today in terms of cash flow management and if they're clued into how many options are coming into the market to help them with the single challenge that business success and failure toggle on.

Emily Sloan-Pace, Zoho

2:45 PM - 3:15 PM
Key Lessons for Local Entrepreneurs

Microsoft’s Abid Chaudhry interviews seasoned entrepreneur Sydni Craig-Hart, CEO & Co-Founder of Smart Simple Marketing. They’ll discuss how SMBs can identify their ideal client, validate core messages, simplify marketing, and create referral relationships while developing a sales process that supports a steady stream of paying clients.

Abid Chaudhry , Microsoft
Sydni Craig-Hart, Smart Simple Marketing

3:15 PM - 3:35 PM

3:35 PM - 5:00 PM
SMB On-Stage Discussion: Research in Real Time℠

Local business owners take the stage to offer their perspectives on the tools, topics and themes discussed throughout the day. What’s on your technology wish lists? What do you want from technology that you aren’t getting now? How do you feel about the sales tactics you’re seeing? We expect total candor from a diverse group of business owners.

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Reception and Networking

Join us for a drink and continued conversation with your peers and after a great day of learning!


8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Beer 2 Beer After Party

Join your peers for discussion over beers (and cocktails or wine if that's your preference!) at Tysons Biergarten, a traditional Bavarian beer hall.

Tysons Biergarten
8346 Leesburg Pike, Tysons, VA 22182


Day 2:

8:00 AM - 8:30 AM
Breakfast and Registration


8:30 AM - 9:00 AM
SMBs and KPIs: Sharing Data that Drives Success

The best business conversations are informed by data-driven insights. We’ll begin Day 2 of Engage by combining fresh small-business survey data with SMB SaaS KPI benchmarks to paint a picture of the metrics that matter for the health and continued growth of this industry.

Charles Laughlin, LSA
Neal Polachek, Board Advisors

9:00 AM - 9:30 AM
Bridging the Divide: What Enterprises don’t Get about SMBs

Enterprise sales tactics and product development often proceed without considering the true needs and interests of the SMB customer. This session will explore that disconnect, identify key mistakes SaaS companies are making and offer a set of recommended solutions which will deepen loyalty, drive engagement and grow market share.

Sydni Craig-Hart, Smart Simple Marketing

9:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Getting CACky: Who has Mastered the Art of Efficient Selling?

Every SMB software company aspires to sell at scale and at a low customer acquisition cost. Yet achieving this is another matter. In fact, CAC keeps rising across the industry. We’ll share case studies from a diverse group of companies that have mastered the art of efficient B2B selling.

Chris Black, Updopt
Jeff Tomlin, Vendasta
Denica Greenwood, Paychex
Faith Murphy, Verizon Media

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Selling to SMBs: A Better Way

SMB software and marketing companies have high CACs in part because they don't understand which prospects are likely to buy and when. This session explains the importance of understanding small business development stages, how to use growth-based classification to better identify prospects, and how to effectively engage by aligning messaging to the current growth priorities of business owners.

Steve Waters, SMB Intelligence

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM


11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
SMBuy-in: Better Onboarding and Engagement

Most SMB software products offer customers improved efficiency and time savings. But the upfront investment in learning and training is a big ask for busy SMBs. This session will offer best practices for reducing the SMB learning curve, in order to increase engagement and, ultimately, reduce churn.

Chris Vasquez, AWeber
Amy Haupl, LegalZoom
Maryanne Lee, LegalZoom

11:45 AM - 12:30 PM
AI’s Impact on the B2B Customer Journey

AI is now ingrained into every aspect of small business software. We’ll examine how AI makes every stage of the customer journey more efficient and effective, from prospecting and nurturing leads to knowing which customers to close and when. AI determined when to touch the customer, and how to train and guide them to engage more deeply with your product.

Dalia Asterbadi,

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

1:30 PM - 2:00 PM
More Integrations, More Usage

For a SaaS product to gain traction, it either must be all things to all users --- and risk not doing all of them well -- or it can focus on making its’ core product great and integrate with best of breed in adjacent products. Integrations help eliminate reasons not to do business with you, which is why integrations are all the rage.

Greg Powell, Fundbox
Andy Fowler, Nutshell
David Brownman, Zapier

2:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Turning Customers into Advocates

The world’s best brands get paid by the people who sell their products. How do these companies harness their gaudy NPS scores into armies of customer advocates? Having a great product isn’t enough. Customer advocates have an emotional connection to the products they promote. We’ll deconstruct leading examples of products that sell themselves.

Andrea Kayal, Upserve

2:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Building a Culture of Customer Success

Unhappy teams breed unhappy customers. We’ve all seen this on certain airlines and at certain stores. Yet other companies seem to have customer advocacy as a natural element of their culture. Is there a science to creating a culture of customer success?

Brian Kraff, Market Hardware
Joel Lovegrove, Sensis
Marisa Schneider, Uberall

Shashi Bellamkonda, Surefire Local

3:00 PM - 3:15 PM

3:15 PM - 3:45 PM
Bringing Customer Feedback into Product Development

The lack of engagement with so much of the software build for SMBs today suggests the end users isn’t playing a sufficient role in helping SMB software companies design their products. How do the best product companies involve customers in their product development process?

Aksh Gupta, Occasion

3:45 PM - 4:15 PM

The Best Companies and PE Firms are Focused on Engagement - Are You?

Mark Roberge, Harvard/Hubspot

4:15 PM - 4:45 PM
Market Outlook: Rollups & Exits

What does the road ahead look like for M&A in the small business software industry? Are certain categories or verticals ripe for consolidation? We’ll ask some top PE players focused on this industry what they see on the horizon.

Chris Legg, Progress Partners
Sarah Jordan, EverCommerce

Luca Sechi, Endurance International Group