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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: July, 2017
Jul 31, 2017

Stacey Epstein is the CEO @ Zinc, the secure communications platform for workers in front of customers, not computers. They have backing from some of the best in SaaS investing including the likes of Jason Green @ Emergence, CRV with George Zachary and GE Ventures. Prior to Zinc, Stacey was CMO at Banjo. Before Banjo, Stacey was CMO at ServiceMax where she helped fuel 5 consecutive years of triple-digit growth. Finally, before ServiceMax, Stacey was the Vice President of Global Marketing Communications at SuccessFactors. During her tenure with SuccessFactors, Stacey pioneered the marketing function in 2005, and was instrumental in the company’s successful IPO in 2007, which led to a $3.4B acquisition by SAP in 2010.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Stacey made her way from Executive Assistant working for another Executive Assistant before moving to CMO and today as CEO?
  • What were the fundamental lessons Stacey took from her career as CMO to now being CEO/ What were some of the hardest elements of the transition?
  • What role should the CEO play in the marketing strategy and execution? What do CEO’s most often get wrong about CMO’s?What is the optimal and most efficient working relationship between CEO and CMO?
  • How does Stacey create alignment and strong and successful communication between the traditionally conflicting sales and marketing? How does transparency help drive better business results?
  • How can one look to instill these values and communication standards on inherited organisations they they did not found? Are there any drawbacks to transparency and communication?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. What hires does Stacey wish she had made earlier?
  2. What can females do to master the art of negotiating?
  3. Recruiting in the valley today, how tough and top tips?
  4. When is the right time to hire your CMO?

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

Jason Lemkin

Harry Stebbings

SaaStr

Stacey Epstein

Jul 24, 2017

Auren Hoffman is the Founder & CEO @ Safegraph, the startup that is unlocking the world’s most powerful data so that machines and humans can answer society's toughest questions. They have backing from likes of Naval Ravikant and prior guests of the show including SignalFire, IDG Ventures and David Rodnitzky just to name a few. Prior to Safegraph, Auren has an astonishing 5 successful exits under his belt with one being, LiveRamp (sold to Acxiom for $310m in 2014). If that was not enough, Auren is also a prolific angel investor with a portfolio including the likes of ThumbTack, Rainforest QA, Brightroll and Groupon.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Auren made his way into the world of SaaS and came to found his 6th SaaS startup in Safegraph?
  • Auren has said before there are two types of successful sales people, what are these two types and what are their character profiles? What type of company should have each different profile? How does each profile interact differently with the rest of the company?
  • Why does Auren take the contrarian view and saying that highering your price is not always the right answer? In what markets is it right to higher or lower your price? When is it the wrong time? What percentage of revenue should sales and marketing be at a healthy SaaS startup?
  • Why does Auren believe that you can actually grow faster by having fewer employees? In what situation and start does this work and when does it not? ?
  • Why does Auren believe that the CEO should never delegate HR? What does Auren mean when he says the best HR professionals are real capital allocators?

60 Second SaaStr

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

Jason Lemkin

Harry Stebbings

SaaStr

Auren Hoffman

Jul 17, 2017

Promise Phelon is the CEO @ TapInfluence, bringing the first ever influencer marketing platform to the Fortune 1000. Under Promise’s leadership the company has enjoyed a 300% increase in revenue in 2015 alone, they made the successful transition from a services to a SaaS model and were successful in raising a fantastic $14m Series B. Prior to TapInfluence, Promise was the Founder and CEO at 2 startups, one of which, The Phelon Group, grew to 8 figure revenues and was successfully acquired in 2009. Before that, Promise got her start at BEA systems.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Promise made her way into the world of SaaS and came to be at BEA systems, one of the most exciting companies in the valley at the time?
  • How does Promise view the importance of building long lasting relationships with colleagues? How does Promise suggest is the right way to leave a job and sustain the best communication and relationship with former employers and colleagues?
  • What does Promise mean when she states the importance of upward empathy? What are the benefits of installing this in your organisation? What is the right way to breed a culture of upward empathy?
  • How does Promise differentiate between ‘advocate’ and ‘mentor’? What is the right way to attain each of these? At what point in one’s career is the right time to have each of these?
  • What does Promise believe is the formula for making the successful transition from a services based business to a SaaS business? How can one make the change without significant customer churn and revenue loss?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. What does Promise know now that she wishes she had known at the beginning?
  2. How does motivating people differ when outside of the valley?
  3. Should customer success be able to upsell?

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

Jason Lemkin

Harry Stebbings

SaaStr

Promise Phelon

Jul 10, 2017

Ashu Garg is a General Partner @ Foundation Capital whose portfolio includes the likes of Uber, Lending Club, Adroll and Netflix, just to name a few. As for Ashu, at Foundation he has led investments and naming just a few of them here, in the likes of Conviva, Localytics and TubeMogul, later going public in 2014. Prior to Foundation, Ashu was the General Manager for Microsoft’s online advertising business.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Ashu made his way from completing to the Rubik's cube as a kid in 25 seconds to being a leading SaaS VC?
  • How does Ashu really define scaling a SaaS company? What does product market fit really look like with regards to ARR growth?
  • What are the 3 fundamentals that SaaS founders have to nail if they are to scale to $30m+ ARR? Why does Ashu believe it is so important to have a single insertion point? What does this mean for SaaS founders?
  • What does Ashu advise first time founders making their first foray into the world of SaaS? How should they think about obtaining and building an ecosystem of mentors? How should they manage weaknesses within their own skill sets? Does Ashu believe with Aaron Levie @ Box, “anyone can learn to be a great CEO”?
  • Where do technical founders most often struggle? What can be done to help them go from 0-1 on customer acquisition? Where do business led founders most often struggle? How must they think of the engineering element as a core part of the founding team?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. What does Ashu know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning?
  2. Chats: Fad in the enterprise or here to stay?
  3. Biggest inflection points and breaking points in SaaS company growth?

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

Jason Lemkin

Harry Stebbings

SaaStr

Ashu Garg

Jul 3, 2017

Kurt Bilafer is the CRO @ WePay, the most complete payments solution for platforms. To date, they have raised close to $75m in VC funding from some of the best in the business including Max Levchin and August Capital just to name a few. As for Kurt himself, prior to WePay he has had experience both in startups and large corporations with his founding of Pilot Software, sold to SAP in 2007, where he spent a further 7 years holding titles such as a Global Vice President of Sales and Director of Strategic Accounts.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How did Kurt make his way into the world of SaaS? What were Kurt’s big takeaways from seeing the internal machinations of SAP?
  • What is the one metric that guides Kurt’s thinking? How can you calculate your “magic number” for your business? Why must SaaS founders switch from activity based metrics to KPI’s?
  • How does Kurt assess scalability and repeatability of revenues? What is a reasonable ratio for sales and marketing expense to revenue?
  • Why should SaaS founders focus on the LPI of “time to money”. How can they look to optimize this? How has Kurt seen the enterprise sales cycles change since his time with SAP?
  • How does Kurt assess conflict within the sales and marketing teams and customer success and product teams? How can managers look to implement an element of prioritization into what sales teams submit to product teams?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. What does Kurt know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning?
  2. What is the worst piece of SaaS advice that Kurt commonly hears being given out?
  3. What should one look for in their VP of Sales?
  4. What mistake does Kurt see most in the world of SaaS?

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

Jason Lemkin

Harry Stebbings

SaaStr

Kurt Bilafer

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