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The Official Saastr Podcast: SaaS | Founders | Investors

The Official Saastr Podcast is the latest and greatest from the world of Saastr, interviewing the most prominent operators and investors to discover their tips, tactics and strategies to attain success in the fiercely competitive world of SaaS. On the side of the operators, we centre around getting from $0 to $100m ARR faster, what it takes to scale successfully and what are the core elements of hiring. As for the investors, we learn what metrics they hone in on when examining SaaS business, what type of metrics excites them and what they look for in SaaS founders.
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Now displaying: May, 2016
May 30, 2016

Bill Binch is a leader and expert in the SaaS sales industry. Bill was the senior vice president of worldwide sales at marketo for 8 years and he joined when it was a small venture backed startup with a mission to reinvent marketing automation, it was his sales leadership and expertise that formed a critical component in building Marketo into one of the fastest growing enterprise software companies in the world. Recognized through his being awarded worldwide VP of sales in 2011.

In today's show with Bill we discuss:

  • What were Bill’s biggest takeaways from his time scaling the sales organisation at Marketo??
  • Why did Bill find it enticing selling to sales and marketers with Marketo?
  • How can startups go about approaching the topic of the sales cycle? What does the right cadence look like?
  • How can sales leaders look to establish a quota that is achievable and confident? Why is it about deal frequency not dollar size?
  • How can we optimise the hiring process for sales professionals? What are the benefits to over hiring? Is this sustainable in a downturn?
  • Does Bill agree that customer success will be the new sales, as Nick Mehta stated?

In a round we call the 60 Second Saastr, we also hear:

  • SaaS tools that Bill could not live without?
  • Creating your own scorecard?
  • What does Bill know now that he wished he had known at the beggining

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented you can follow us on Twitter here:

May 27, 2016

I am delighted to present Part 2 of our feature of Gainsight. Joining me today I have Anthony Kennada, the founding VP Marketing at Gainsight where he is responsible for managing the company’s global marketing strategy, from demand generation to brand marketing, and is credited with creating the “Pulse” community of Customer Success leaders. Anthony began his career as an early employee at Box. He later joined LiveOffice and managed their OEM partnership with Symantec from contract signature to acquisition for $115M. Prior to joining Gainsight, Anthony led the Emerging Cloud Products division at Symantec, and was responsible for the first organic product development effort that spanned both consumer and enterprise market segments.

In today's show with Anthony we discuss:

  • How Anthony came to be VP of Marketing at one of the hottest startups in the valley?
  • Being the founding VP of Marketing, how did Anthony look to grow the team? What were the actual steps Anthony used to scale the marketing at Gainsight?
  • How has B2B marketing changed, from Box to today? With this evolution, what are Anthony’s marketing learnings in creating new categories vs. new players in existing categories?
  • How should we be thinking about marketing, both Demand Gen and Corporate, differently in crowded spaces? ?
  • How can marketing help support going up market and driving ACVs up?  Both Box and Gainsight did this.
  • How should CEOs and VPMs think about, and budget events?  What if they don't have all the capital Gainsight does?

In a round we call the 60 Second Saastr, we also hear:

  1. Billboards: Stupid or effective?
  2. Fave SaaS resource and why?
  3. 3 Biggest Tips For Running a Successful Event?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented you can follow us on Twitter here:

May 23, 2016

This week on SaaStr we are celebrating the rise of GainSight with a special feature week dedicated to Gainsight and joining me today we have Gainsight CEO, Nick Mehta. Since Nick has been at the helm of Gainsight, it has experienced a meteoric rise to the top of the world of SaaS having practically created the category of customer success and revolutionising business work processes in doing so. Due to this, Gainsight has raised funding from the likes of Battery Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners.

In today's show with Nick we discuss:

  • What were the solutions before Gainsight? Why were these inefficient and what the market opportunity for Gainsight?
  • Why has the power shifted from the hands of the vendor to the hands of the customer? What can vendors to do optimise this shift?
  • Is the proliferation of available tools and the resulting competition not dangerous as there is only so low prices can go?
  • To what extent does Gainsight have a monopoly over the customer success market?
  • How much should startups spend on customer success in the early days? How can one measure that success and return on investment?
  • What does the hiring of a customer success officer look like for Nick? How can we optimise this process?

In a round we call the 60 Second Saastr, we also hear:

  • ACV is everything: Explain?
  • Being a specialised CEO: Right or wrong?
  • On again, off again hiring in sales?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented you can follow us on Twitter here:

May 20, 2016

Joining us today on The Official Saastr Podcast is Nakul Mandan, Partner @ Lightspeed Venture Partners, where he focuses on early stage SaaS investments. At Lightspeed, Nakul led the firm’s investments in Gainsight and Reflektive. Previously, Nakul worked at Battery Ventures, where he helped lead the firm’s investments in category defining companies such as Marketo, BlueJeans Networks, Gainsight, Intacct, 6Sense and Yesware. Prior to Battery, Nakul worked at Blue River Capital, a growth stage investor focused on India.

In today's show with Nakul we discuss:

  • How Nakul came to be one of the leading SaaS investors in the US?
  • What will the 2nd phase of the consumerization of the enterprise entail? What innovation will we see in business model?
  • How important is predictable revenue for early stage startups? Hoe can they mitigate the circumstances of losing it?
  • What more needs to be done to ensure the continuation of consumerising traditional enterprise software?
  • What does Nakul hone in on when considering investing in a SaaS startup for Series A? What are the metrics and requirements that matter? At this stage are there large data sets and metrics to rely on?

In a round we call the 60 Second Saastr, we also hear:

  • Fave SaaS reading material?
  • Greenfield Opportunities in SaaS?
  • SaaS Founder Nakul most respects and admires?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented you can follow us on Twitter here:

May 16, 2016

I am so excited to welcome Russ Hearl, Head of Sales @ Datahug. Datahug is a pipeline management and forecasting solution within Salesforce and backed by the likes of DFJ and Salesforce Ventures. Prior to Datahug, Russ was the VP of Sales at DoubleDutch where he built a sales machine that delivered over 1,500 new customer wins and took the business from $0 to over $20 million ARR in less than three years.  A true thought leader in sales optimization and selling velocity.

In Today’s Episode You Will Discover:

  • What makes a great SaaS sales leader? How can you spot the BS and the façade of someone who does not have what it takes?
  • How do the best leaders run 1 on 1’s with their reps? How can leaders optimise this time and interaction? Is there anything they should avoid in the process? ?
  • How can sales leaders go about introducing elements of competition into sales without disincentivising the loser? What is the buddy system and how does that work?
  • Why do SaaS founders need to make pipeline velocity optimization a priority today? What are the biggest opportunities in improving pipeline velocity?

In a round we call the 60 Second Saastr, we also hear:

  1. Biggest opportunities in improving pipeline velocity?
  2. Fave SaaS resources and reading materials?
  3. What are the biggest mistakes people make in pipeline velocity?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented you can follow us on Twitter here:

May 13, 2016

I am so excited to welcome Johnny Chin, Founder & CEO @ Bannerman to The Official SaaStr Podcast today. Bannerman is the company that provides on demand security staff and bouncers to some of the world’s biggest companies including Spotify, Y Combinator, Weebly, Optimizely and many more incredible firms. Bannerman are also an alum of YC having been in their YC S14 Class.

In Today’s Episode You Will Discover:

  • Why did Johnny decide to transition Bannerman from B2C to B2B? WHat metrics suggested to Johnny that product market fit had not been achieved with the B2C model?
  • How did the transition affect the product? What does Johnny mean when he discusses ‘Wizard Of Oz’ moments?
  • How did Johnny go about developing and establishing a sales process? What were the inherent challenges and how did JOhnny combat them?
  • At what stage did Bannerman reach profitability and what does this allow Bannerman to now do and focus on? SHould it be a priority over growth for other SaaS businesses?
  • How Johnny approaches brand building at Bannerman? Why brand is so important for B2B companies? What are the must do’s and the must not’s when it comes to B2B branding?

In a round we call the 60 Second Saastr, we also hear:

  1. Most challenging element of the journey?
  2. Fave SaaS resources and reading materials?
  3. Competitive landscape for on demand security?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented you can follow us on Twitter here:

May 9, 2016

To Commemorate the 3 month anniversary of the best conference ever, SaaStr Annual 2016. We thought we would take a trip back to the conference with one of our favourite discussions featuring Jason Lemkin, Founder @ SaaStr and John Somorjai, Executive Vice President of Corporate Development & Salesforce Ventures. Salesforce Ventures invests in the next generation of enterprise technology. The Salesforce Ventures portfolio includes companies such as Box, DocuSign, Dropbox, Evernote, GainSight, MongoDB, MuleSoft, Stripe, SurveyMonkey, Twilio, and Xactly. Salesforce.com has invested in more than 150 enterprise cloud startups in 11 countries since 2009.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • What have been the fundamental determinants for the growth and acceleration of Salesforce in the last few years?
  • What gave Salesforce the conviction to deploy $500m back into startup investing?
  • With the success of Salesforce Ventures, how have John’s investing goals changed since 2009?
  • Why should founders raise with Salesforce, what is the value add?
  • What is John attitude to the recent pessimism in the valley? How does John approach the dichotomy of growth and reducing burn?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented you can follow us on Twitter here:

 

May 6, 2016

Following our meeting at SaaStr Annual 2016, I am thrilled to welcome David Cancel. Now David really is a serial entrepreneur having founded 5 companies, with the last, Performable, being acquired by Hubspot, resulting in his taking up the position as Chief Product Officer at Hubspot. Now David is the CEO @ Drift. Drift allows you to talk to your website visitors and customers in real time. David is a master when it comes to hiring, company culture creation and maintenance and team building and we dig into all that in today’s episode, as well as:

  • Why David’s golden rule to recruiting is hiring people not skills?
  • Why is cultural fit so important for future employees? How can you test for it in an interview? Can you hire a team of all A team players without having insane competition and friction?
  • What does David mean when he says it is important for candidates to be scrappy? What signals are there that the person is an insane hustler?  
  • What questions does David pose to get the candidate out of the standard interview style answering? How does david push them out of their comfort zone?
  • Why does David believe it is crucial to never hire PMs who have done it before? What is the benefits of this?
  • How does David view success? What commonalities does David se in thementiality fo those that have and have not been successful?

In a round we call the 60 Second Saastr, we also hear:

  1. Must read books for startup CEOs?
  2. What are the 3 biggest lessons you learnt the hard way?
  3. What is David’s approach to learning?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented you can follow us on Twitter here:

May 2, 2016

Delighted to welcome Jon Miller to The Official SaastrPodcast today. John is the Founder & CEO @ Engagio, the all inone account based marketing platform that allows you to accelerateyour move to account based marketing, streamline account basedreporting and analytics and map salesforce leads to targetaccounts. Prior to Engagio, Jon was the Co-Founder and CMO atrocketship, Marketo.

 

Intoday's show with Jon we discuss:

  • Whatreally is account based marketing and how does it differ to otherforms of marketing?
  • Whatwere Jon’s biggest takeaways from co-founding Marketo and watch itscale into hyper-growth mode?
  • Howcan startups determine whether account based marketing is the rightmarketing solution for them? How can startups accelerate theprocess of moving to account based marketing?
  • Howcan startups communicate with their ideal customers in a nongimmicky, personalised fashion? What can be done to show personaland effective touches?
  • Towhat extent does account based market intersect with account basedsales development? How much of a role will this integration play inthe future?

 

In a round we call the60 Second Saastr,we also hear:

  1. Themost effective ABM channels?
  2. Thebiggest mistakes startups make in ABM?
  3. Thehardest element of growing Engagio from scratch?

 

If you would like to find outmore about the show and the guests presented you can follow us onTwitter here:

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