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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, 2018
Jul 30, 2018

Tom Bogan is the CEO of Adaptive Insights, the company that proves a new generation of business planning software for finance and beyond. Prior to their reported $1.55Bn acquisition to WorkDay, Adaptive Insights raised over $175m in VC funding from the likes of Bessemer, Salesforce Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners and many more incredible investors. Prior to Adaptive Insights, Tom was a partner at Greylock Partners where he focused on enterprise software investments. He was also president and COO at Rational Software until its acquisition by IBM. Before Rational, Tom served as CEO at Avatar Technologies and Pacific Data. He began his career as a financial officer in both public and private companies, serving as CFO at SQA and Orange Nassau, Inc., as well as vice president of finance at SCA Services.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Tom made his way into the world of SaaS, came to be a Partner with Greylock and then made the move back into operations with Adaptive Insights?
  • Elad Gil has previously said the role of CEO is to “find product market fit, ensure the company does not run out of money and ensure the team does not implode”, how does Tom define his role as CEO of a $100m+ SaaS company? How does the role of CEo fundamentally change over time? What aspect of the role does Tom find most challenging?  
  • What core role of CEO is constant throughout the lifecycle of the company? From seeing many of the world’s best SaaS CEOs, what are the commonalities in how the very best CEOs hire the very best execs? How does Tom think about the debate of hiring externally or promoting from within? How does Tom look to reduce internal discontent when hiring externally rather than promoting?
  • At $100m Jyoti Bansal said on the show, this stage is about “creating and sustaining operational efficiency”. What have been Tom’s biggest learnings on the creation and maintenance of operational efficiency? What has worked? What has not worked? How does Tom think about internal asset allocation?
  • Why does Tom believe that ultimately, ARR growth is the metric to rule them all? How does Tom think about and prioritise the metric stack in SaaS? How does he approach payback period vs CAC/LTV? In terms of services components of businesses, does Tom believe these should be baked into the CAC? What should the financial targets be for these services businesses?  

Tom’s 60 Second SaaStr

  1. What does Tom know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning?
  2. Tom’s favourite business reading material and why?
  3. What would Tom most like to change in the world of SaaS today?

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

Jul 23, 2018

Jonah Goodhart is the CEO @ Moat, the SaaS analytics and intelligence company focused on transforming brand advertising online. Prior to their acquisition by Oracle for a reported $850m Moat raised over $67m in VC funding from the likes of Insight Venture Partners, Founders Fund, Mayfield, Founder Collective, SV Angel and more incredible names. Prior to founding Moat, Jonah was the founding investor and board member at Right Media, acquired by Yahoo for a reported $680m. Jonah was also the founding partner of WGI Group and co-founder of Billions.org. If all of that was not enough, Jonah is also an angel investor including the likes of adroll, Namely and fitmob all in his personal portfolio.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Jonah made his way into SaaS with is founding investor role in Right Media? How did experiencing both bubbles change the way Jonah thinks about operations today?
  • How does Jonah fundamentally define “North Star”? How plastic and flexible does Jonah believe a North Star should be? What was a time where Jonah’s decision was guided in a certain direction by his strong North Star?  
  • Why does Jonah believe that in B2B your roadmap is given to you by your customers? What can founders do to clearly and quickly determine what their customers want from their conversations with them? What questions are crucial to ask? What response suggests real intent to buy from them? How does one prevent this from falling into heavy customisation?
  • How does Jonah approach the element of “brand” in the world of B2B today? What does Jonah believe is the secret to brand? How does this affect how Jonah both onboards, trains and engages with new and existing employees? Was brand core to Moat being able to sell to enterprise so successfully in the early days?  

Jonah’s 60 Second SaaStr

  1. What does Jonah know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning?
  2. Quality or quantity of logos in the early days?
  3. How important is it for SaaS founders to be involved in the process?

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

Jonah Goodhart

Jul 16, 2018

Sam Blond is Chief Sales Officer @ Brex, the startup that provides corporate cards for startups. To date they have raised over $57m in funding from the likes of Y Combinator, Peter Thiel, Max Levchin, Yuri Milner, Elad Gil and many more incredible names. Prior to Brex, Sam Was Chief Revenue Officer at Rainforest QA. Before Rainforest, Sam saw firsthand the hypergrowth scaling of Zenefits as VP of Sales where he saw the company grow from 18 employees and $1m in ARR to over 1,800 employees and over $70m in ARR. Sam got his start in the SaaS industry with Jason Lemkin @ Echosign as Director of Sales.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Sam made his way into the world of sales and came to join Jason Lemkin with his first role in sales at Echosign?
  • Why does Sam believe that more sales reps does not always equal more revenue? What are the benchmarks that suggest founders really need to add to their sales team? Does Sam agree Founders should be selling up to $1m in ARR?
  • How does Sam assess who is the best person to hire for the role? What have been Sam’s lessons on what it fundamentally takes to attract the best talent? In the early days how does Sam think about both role allocation and whether to hire the young jack of all trades vs the more senior executive?
  • Why does Sam believe that founders need to spend more time on top of funnel? Why does Sam believe that not all opportunities are created equal? How does Sam think about the right structure and time it should take to pass from lead to MQL to SAL to opportunity to deal? Where does this most commonly breakdown?
  • Why does Sam believe the key to success in SaaS sales teams is “urgency”? Literally, how can reps instil a sense of urgency in their current pipeline? Why does Sam disagree with the conventional wisdom and say discounting is a great tool? How does Sam determine the right level of discount to give? How does Sam assess pilots as an alternative approach to getting leads over the line?  

Sam’s 60 Second SaaStr

  1. What does Sam know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning?
  2. Quality or quantity of logos in the early days?
  3. Sales rep productivity, what does Sam believe is good?

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

Sam Blond

Jul 9, 2018

Eoghan McCabe is the Co-Founder & CEO @ Intercom, one of the fastest growing saas companies of the day providing a new and better way to acquire, engage and retain customers. Due to their phenomenal growth they have raised over $240m in funding from some of the best in the world including Kleiner Perkins, Social Capital, Bessemer and Index, just to name a few. As for Eoghan, prior to co-founding Intercom, he founded an award-winning software design consultancy called Contrast, and co-founded Exceptional, a developer tool startup acquired in 2011 and now a part of Rackspace.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How did Eoghan come to be founder of one of the hottest growing startups in SaaS from founding a software design firm in Ireland?
  • What does Eoghan believe are the core pillars for success in making the move from SME to enterprise? How does one reinvent oneself to make this transition? How has Eoghan seen te org structure and internal decision-making change with the adoption of many more enterprise clients?
  • How does Eoghan determine between the decision to hire the young jack of all trades vs the much more experienced senior exec? Why does Eoghan believe you can never be too early to bring someone more senior than you onto the team? What makes Eoghan say, “we are all learning on the fly”?  
  • How does Eoghan look to create a culture of experimentation and accountability without the fear of failure? What must the leader do to imbue this culture? Where does Eoghan see many going wrong in trying to make this happen?
  • How does Eoghan think about “transparency” with SaaS companies today? Why does he think that not only is it not healthy but also largely not possible? Instead, what is a better, more sustainable solution to transparency?   

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

Eoghan McCabe

Jul 2, 2018

Steve Lucas is the CEO @ Marketo, the world leader in marketing automation for companies of any size. Prior to their IPO and eventual sale to Vista Equity partners for $1.79Bn they raised over $100m in VC funding from the likes of Battery Ventures, IVP, Mayfield and Lead Edge Capital. As for Steve, prior to joining Marketo, he served in many leadership positions at SAP, Salesforce, Microsoft, BusinessObjects, and Crystal Decisions. If that wasn’t enough Steve also sits on the board of Tivo, SendGrid and The American Diabetes Society.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How did Steve make his way into the world of SaaS and come to be CEO @ Marketo?
  • Why does Steve describe his experience at Salesforce to be life-changing? What were the core takeaways for Steve? How has that impacted how he operates today with Marketo? What does Steve mean when he says Marc Benioff is a “master of relevance”?
  • Why does Steve believe the key to success as a CEO is accessibility? How can CEOs be both vulnerable and strong in today’s SaaS world? What are the 2 different types of CEOs and how they engage with their CMOs? What do the best do? What do the worst do?
  • Why does Steve believe that the “CRM” term is incomplete? How does Steve fundamentally believe the way that customers want to be engaged with has changed? How can marketers enact this level of personalisation and engagement with such large customer bases? How does the role of artificial intelligence fit into this mass scale personalisation?
  • How does Steve view the broader martech landscape? Why does Steve strongly believe that we will be entering a period of consolidation in martech? How does Steve view the emergence of new categories such as ABM? How does this impact his overarching view on the next wave for martech?  

Steve’s 60 Second SaaStr

  1. What does Steve know now that he wishes he had known when he started?
  2. Management upgrade is the most important role of CEO, agree?
  3. What keeps Steve up at night? How does that influence his running and operations of Marketo?

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

Steve Lucas

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