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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, 2018
May 29, 2018

Bill Binch is a leader and expert in the SaaS sales industry, currently CRO @ Pendo.io,  the startup that helps you understand and guide your users, creating a product experience they can’t live without. They have raised over $58m in VC funding from some of the best in their space with the likes of Battery Ventures, Spark Capital and Salesforce Ventures, all backing them. As for Bill, prior to Pendo, Bill was the Senior Vice President of Global Sales at Marketo for 8 years. 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 Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Bill made his way into the world of SaaS and came to be employee #18 at Marketo before making the transition to today, as CRO @ Pendo?
  • Bill has said before that career paths are for B players. First, what is wrong with the current thinking around career paths? Why does that inherently mean that A players do not align with them? How can one determine when is the right time to step away from the career paths? What characteristics and attributes do those truly special opportunities have?
  • Bill has successfully made the transition from transactional business to enterprise business many times, what have been his core learnings on what it takes to make this transition successfully? What are the biggest challenges in making the transition? How does the internal structure of the team change when making this transition?
  • What does Bill mean when he says you have to “rig the recruiters”? What incentives can be placed in front of them that ensure you will be a priority for them? On the flip side, what incentives do you have to give the recently on boarded employees to encourage grassroots, word of mouth on the company brand?
  • How does the company and sales cycle fundamentally change when moving from $0-1m ARR? What does that mean for the company policy on discounting and pilots? How does the company alter when transitioning from $1-10m in ARR? How can sustainable social validity be built in this stage? How does a company successfully move from $15m-100m in ARR?     

60 Second SaaStr?

  1. What does Bill know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning?
  2. What keeps Bill up at night?
  3. What does Bill mean when he says you have to check your ego?

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

Bill Binch

If you’re looking to simplify file version control, ensure data security and save time while increasing accessibility, Egnyte is the right solution for your business. Egnyte delivers secure content collaboration, compliant data protection and simple infrastructure modernization; all on a single SaaS platform. Founded in 2007, Egnyte is privately held, headquartered in Mountain View, CA and supports thousands of businesses worldwide. For more information, please visit www.egnyte.com/SaaStr

May 21, 2018

Kristina Shen is a Partner @ Bessemer Venture Partners, one of the world’s leading venture funds with a portfolio including the likes of Pinterest, Skype, Box, LinkedIn, Yelp and many more incredible companies. As for Kristina, she serves on the boards of DoubleDutch, Glint, Retail Solutions and Zoosk and is also a board observer with RainforestQA, Vidyard, Gainsight and ServiceTitan. Kristina is also one of the best data gurus as the co-author of Bessemer’s State of the Cloud 2016 and 2017 and Bessemer 10 Laws of Cloud, which captures the top trends among leading public and private cloud computing and enterprise mobile companies. Due to Kristina’s success she has been named to both Forbes and Business Insider’s 30 Under 30 in 2014 and 2016, respectively.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Kristina made her way into the world of cloud investing and came to be the data guru for much of the cloud landscape?
  • What does Kristina fundamentally mean when she states the key question is, is there velocity in this SaaS business? Is velocity just about revenue or ARR growth? How can startups present real velocity with their sales funnel? How can startups present further velocity through their SQL process?
  • Why does Kristina believe that “private SaaS multiples are not expensive and we need a new framework”? What makes the existing framework inaccurate? What does this mean for the way Kristina assess ARR multiple and growth rates? How does this framework alter Kristina’s perception of the often hailed “Rule of 40”? How does it change with scaling?
  • What are the core elements Series A SaaS investors focus on today? With regards to revenue benchmarks for the A round, where do they need you to be both on the low and high end? Where do Series A investors expect startups to be for y/y ARR growth?
  • What core metrics are required to successfully raise your Series B in SaaS today? What does Kristina think is the fundamental difference between Series A and B today in SaaS? What can founders do to show repeatability and reliability of revenue streams as they move into the B round?    

60 Second SaaStr?

  1. What does Kristina know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning?
  2. Questions from Jeremy Levine: What would Kristina like her legacy to be as an investor in 20 years time?
  3. What keeps Kristina up at night?
  4. Is it worse to see an amazing deal and pass on it or to have never seen it at all?

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

Kristina Shen

May 14, 2018

Jason Lemkin is the Founder @ SaaStr, the world’s largest SaaS event with over 20,000 of the world’s best SaaS founders and investors attending every year. Jason also invests from SaaStr’s debut $70m fund and has made prior investments in the likes of Algolia, TalkDesk, MixMax, Rainforest QA and many more incredible companies.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How does Jason think founders should approach long sales cycles in the early days? Why does Jason believe that ultimately long sales cycles do not matter? What can the truly great VPs do to impact those long sales cycles?
  • How does Jason think founders can tackle lead optimisation with their team? How can founders determine which leads to send to which AEs? What will the effect of this tailored lead distribution be?
  • When is the right time for the founder to begin to take a step back from sales? Why does Jason believe that the founder must always be involved in the sales process? How does this look at scale when selling to thousands of customers? How does this mean the founder works with the growing scaling team over time?
  • Why does Jason believe that SaaS companies have to raise so much money today? What is the core decision that founders must make when determining how much they need to raise? How should founders approach the topic of cloning? What are the 3 core advantages they have over their clones? What must they be mindful of when being cloned by incumbents?  

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

May 8, 2018

Timo Rein is the Founder & CEO @ Pipedrive, the startup that helps sales people focus on actions that close deals. To date, Timo has raised over $30m from the likes of Atomico, Bessemer Venture Partners, TransferWise Founder Taavet Hinrikus and Andy MCloughlin and has scaled the team to over 330 people across multiple continents. Prior to founding Pipedrive, Timo was a Partner @ Vain & Partners acting in a consultancy role on how to get the best ROI from your sales process and before that was himself a door-to-door salesman with SouthWestern Company selling high ACV products.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Timo made his way into the world of SMB CRM with the founding of Pipedrive from the days of being a door-to-door salesman of high ACV products?
  • Why did Timo choose to go global with Pipedrive from day 1? What are the benefits of founders having this global mindset from the start? What are Timo’s biggest learnings in terms of acquiring customers globally early on? What worked? What did not work? How did Timo think about pricing on an individual country perspective? What are the challenges with this?
  • Having raised from both US and UK VCs, how does fundraising differ when comparing Europe to the US? If Timo had to say the West Coast, East Coast and European VCs each had one area they focus, what would that area be? What are the challenges with these inherent focus points? What advice would Timo have for foreign founders looking to make it big in the US?
  • How does Timo look to manage a team so spread across the globe? What are the core challenges of this? What works? What does not work? What functions can be split up by geography? What must remain in one location? Now at 300 people, how does Pipedrive ensure for the same values fit when hiring at scale?
  • Many VCs say with such low ACV and such high churn, the SMB market is too difficult. How does Timo respond to this? How does Timo think about ensuring the continuous refilling of top of funnel? How does Timo think about acquiring such small customers in a cost efficient manner?    

60 Second SaaStr?

  1. What does Pipedrive look like at $100m ARR?
  2. What keeps Timo up at night?
  3. Who is Timo’s favourite angel investor?
  4. What does Timo know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning?

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

Timo Rein

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