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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: 2019
Sep 19, 2019

SaaS is about creating long-term value for your customer, and being compensated appropriately for that value as a business. Learn actionable monetization tips from a Product/Growth operator turned VC.

 

Missed the session? Here’s what Naomi  talks about:

  • How to avoid underpricing your product
  • Fitting your businesses’ product to the market

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

Jason Lemkin

SaaStr

Sep 16, 2019

Janine Pelosi is the CMO @ Zoom, the next-generation enterprise phone system. Prior to their very successful IPO, Zoom raised funding from some of the best in the business including Sequoia, Emergence Capital, Horizons Ventures and 2 of my favourites in the form of Matt Ocko @ Data Collective and Dan Scheinman. As for Janine before joining Zoom, she spent 11 years at Cisco where among many incredible achievements she led worldwide demand gen for WebEx and led their worldwide digital marketing team with a $25M annual budget. 

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Janine made her way into the world of SaaS and came to be one of the leading CMOs today with Zoom?
  • How has the role of the CMO changed over the last 5 years? Would Janine agree with Jason Lemkin that “the role of the CMO is to execute the vision of the CEO”? What makes Janine and Eric’s relationship so successful? What makes Eric the special leader that he is? How does the changing power of the CMO affect their relationship with the CEO?   
  • When is the right time for startups to hire their first CMO? What should they look for in that ideal candidate? What should they have in place in terms of infrastructure, prior to hiring the candidate? What does the right onboarding process look like for a CMO? Where does Janine see many going wrong when hiring their first CMO? 
  • How does Janine look to create alignment between sales and marketing? Why does Janine not believe in having the labels of “MQLs and SQLs”? How does Janine look to reduce the friction when handing off between marketing and sales? What are the common causes? How are we seeing marketing also blend with customer success?

Janine’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Janine know now that she wishes she had known at the start of her time at Zoom?
  2. Who does Janine most respect in the world of marketing today? Why?
  3. What would Janine most like to change about 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

Janine Pelosi

Sep 12, 2019

Matt Schatz is SVP of Sales at WPEngine, responsible for defining and executing the global sales strategy. Matt has nearly two decades of senior leadership experience in sales and customer growth, specifically for technology companies with customers around the world including Bazaarvoice, CityVoice and Rackspace.

 

Missed the session? Here’s what Matt  talks about:

  • Getting your “first story”
  • What is a lucky lead and how does that turn into predictable growth
  • Building trust across time zones

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

Jason Lemkin

SaaStr

Sep 9, 2019

Allison Pickens is the COO @ Gainsight, the company that provides everything you need to turn your customers into your biggest growth engine. To date Gainsight have raised over $184m from some of the world’s best VCs in the form of Lightspeed, Bessemer, Insight Venture Partners, Battery Ventures and Salesforce Ventures just to name a few. As for Allison, in her 5 years at Gainsight her list of achievements in endless from running all functions that drive value for Gainsight customers, now a 150 person team, to building out the corporate development function to being the right hand to the CEO. Allison is also an Entrepreneur-In-Residence at Bessemer Venture Partners and sits on the board of RainforestQA. Before Gainsight, Allison started her career in NYC with stints at Bain and The Boston Consulting Group.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Allison made her way into the world of SaaS with Gainsight from her start in finance at Bain in New York?
  • What does a strategic plan really mean to Allison? What is included in it? How should it be structured? In terms of ambition, how does one set ambitious enough plans to be a stretch but not a stretch too far? How does one tie their strategic plan to their financial plan? What is the right way to communicate this throughout the organisation?   
  • Why does Allison believe product marketing and customer success are the new sales and marketing? What have been Allison’s biggest lessons on how to effectively measure adoption? Who is accountable to this number? CS or product management? Does Allison believe that marketing needs to be held accountable to a number directly tied to revenue? 
  • How does Allsion respond to the common negative of “services revenue”? What is an acceptable ratio of services to software revenue? How can one approach setting up a services team for scale? Why is having such a great CS team actually bad for product development in the long run? How can one mitigate this?

Allison’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Allison know now that she wishes she had known at the beginning of her time with Gainsight?
  2. How often should CS check in with their customers? What does that look like? 
  3. If on a tight budget, how should one staff a CS team?

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

Allison Picken

Sep 5, 2019

Building a company made up of distributed teams presents a plethora of complex challenges that can derail productivity and impact employee retention. But with it comes immense benefits and competitive advantages such as the diversification of ideas, speedier product development, and representation in important regions and time zones. Come and hear about the typical pitfalls (and how to avoid them) from Pat Poels, an executive with over seven years under his belt leading Eventbrite’s now 300+ strong engineering team that sits across North America, South America, and Europe

 

Missed the session? Here’s what Pat  talks about:

  • Engineering your own luck
  • How to build an engineering team

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

Jason Lemkin

SaaStr

Sep 2, 2019

Jon Herstein is the Chief Customer Officer at Box, the company that provides one platform for secure content management, workflow and collaboration. Prior to their IPO, Box had raised funding from some of the best in the business including Andreesen Horowitz, Bessemer, DST, Emergence and Meritech, just to name a few. As for Jon, prior to being Chief Customer Officer at Box, he was Senior VP of Customer Success, responsible for all post-sales services Box provides from implementation to user adoption and more. Before Box, Jon spent 4 years as VP of Professional Services at NetSuite and prior to that, close to 8 years as Senior Director of professional services at Informatica.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How did Jon make his way into the world of SaaS and come to be one of the leading figures in the rising tide of the customer success movement?
  • What does Jon mean when he says, “you have to constantly bring your customers to the forefront of your employees minds”? For non-customer facing roles, what can one do to give them that perspective? Does it work to ensure every function spends time in customer support? What is challenging about that? What can be done in the onboarding phase to ensure the individual has the most empathy for the customer, regardless of function?  
  • For those in CS, what is the right communication cadence to check in with their accounts? What should the agenda look like? What outcomes should they drive towards? Should they be involved in the upsell process? How does Jon think about post-mortems on churned clients? How do they structure them? What lost client stands out to Jon and what would he have done differently to retain them?
  • From Jon’s experience seeing Box in hyperscaling, at what stages do SaaS orgs start to break down? Why does Jon think that is? What can be done to proactively try and mitigate this? How does Jon think about the structuring of roles and responsibilities with scale? What does this done well look like? Where do many people go wrong here?  

Jon’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Jon know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning of his time with Box?
  2. What motto or quote does Jon frequently revert back to?
  3. What is the most challenging element of Jon’s role with Box 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

Jon Herstein

Ever feel like you can’t really connect with prospects or have an organized workflow to get deals closed? Outreach.io, the leading Sales Engagement platform, supports sales reps and their managers by making it simple to humanize and personalize communication at scale; automating the soul-sucking manual work; and dramatically increasing the productivity and efficiency of all revenue-generating teams. You can check them out at outreach.io/saastr to chat with them and receive a free copy of their new book -- Sales Engagement: How The World's Fastest-Growing Companies are Modernizing Sales Through Humanization at Scale.

 

Aug 29, 2019

Tom Bogan, CEO of Adaptive Insights, a Workday company, will review the key principles to building a successful SaaS company. From team to vision to metrics to funding and more, these principles provide the framework for high-growth, high performing SaaS companies.

How can you develop a winning culture? How can you set aggressive but realistic goals? What’s needed to build the right team in SaaS today?

Missed the session? Here’s what Tom talks about:

  • The important maxims about team building
  • Insights on fundraising and why you might not want to always raise at the highest valuation
  • Personal stories from his time building Adaptive Insights

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

Jason Lemkin

SaaStr

Aug 26, 2019

Whitney Bouck is the COO @ HelloSign (now a part of Dropbox). For those that do not know, HelloSign is the company reimagining how you approach your most important business agreements with their award-winning e-Sign solution. As for Whitney, she directly leads the organization's go-to-market efforts, including sales, marketing, business development and customer operations. Whitney is also an advisor to companies funded by the YC Continuity Fund, focusing on enterprise strategy, go-to-market strategy, leadership and execution. If that was not enough, Whitney is also on the board of Ekata, building the global standard in identity verification. Finally, prior to HelloSign Whitney spent close to 5 years at Box where as SVP Global Marketing & GM Enterprise she took on all of marketing globally for Box and was responsible for reshaping the company brand from SMB to enterprise. 

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Whitney made her way into the world of SaaS originally with Box and how that led to her coming one of today’s leading COOs with HelloSign? What were Whitney’s biggest takeaways from seeing the hypergrowth of Box? How did that change her operating mentality?
  • What does truly successful exec leadership look like in Whitney’s mind? When is the right time for founders to think about building out their first exec team? What common mistakes do they make in the process? What can founders do to attract seasoned SaaS execs to their early-stage company? What are the questions that suggest an individual has a startup culture to them? What are the indications that they are a “big company” person?  
  • What does Whitney believe is the new role of the CIO? What has changed about their tole and what has driven this change? With their coming front and centre in the org, how does that change both the reporting and operating structure of the business? What are the nuances and intricacies of this role that many do not often consider? 
  • COO is thrown around as a term today, what does it really mean to Whitney? What does Whitney believe separates good from great when it comes to COOs? When is the right time for founders to start looking for their first COO? What should they look for in their first COO? What is the optimal onboarding process for any new COO? 

Whitney’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Whitney know now that she wishes she had known at the beginning?
  2. What makes for the optimal relationship between COO and CEO?  
  3. What is the most challenging element of Whitney’s role with HelloSign 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

Whitney Bouck

Ever feel like you can’t really connect with prospects or have an organized workflow to get deals closed? Outreach.io, the leading Sales Engagement platform, supports sales reps and their managers by making it simple to humanize and personalize communication at scale; automating the soul-sucking manual work; and dramatically increasing the productivity and efficiency of all revenue-generating teams. You can check them out at outreach.io/saastr to chat with them and receive a free copy of their new book -- Sales Engagement: How The World's Fastest-Growing Companies are Modernizing Sales Through Humanization at Scale.

 

Aug 22, 2019

Globalization opens up a world of opportunities for sales growth. We often focus on the positive sides of growth—but what about taking a look at the ugly sides? Even what we could consider “good problems” need preparation, and it starts by understanding your team and your goals, including knowing when and how to recruit members of your team, and building in a way that compliments your growth. Do you need more man-power on the customer facing side, or do you need to bring in new management to keep everything in line? Growth isn’t always linear, and the steps to success aren’t always one after the other. How do you prioritize and organize to bring the best possible results? This side of success can be scary, but knowing how to prepare can set you up to reach your companies long term growth goals.

 

Missed the session? Here’s what Tara talks about:

  • What does the ideal candidate look like?
  • How to hire your core staff really well
  • Enabling salespeople to share learnings

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

Jason Lemkin

SaaStr

Aug 15, 2019

Companies that have access to more accurate financial data have the ability to develop seamless exchanges of information, providing consumers with improved ways to manage their finances. But how do companies gain secure access to that data in the first place? Enter the platform company. Hear from Plaid co-founder and CEO, Zach Perret and CNBC's Ari Levy as he walks through his lessons learned building Plaid and how it found itself at the center of the fintech ecosystem.

 

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

Jason Lemkin

SaaStr

Zach Perret

Aug 12, 2019

Justin Welsh is the former SVP Sales @ PatientPop, the startup that offers the first all-in-one practice growth platform that’s HIPAA-compliant and is proven to grow your practice. During his 5 years at PatientPop, Justin grew sales from $0 to $56m alongside the full build-out of the sales team. Before PatientPop, Justin was one of the first 10 employees at ZocDoc, where he spent 4 years in different roles including Director of Strategic Sales. 

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Justin made his way into the world of Sales and came to be one of the industry's leading scale up Sales leaders with PatientPop and ZocDoc?
  • How did Justin experience burnout? What were the first indications and signals for him that he was suffering from it? How did it manifest itself in how he carried himself and his behaviour? How did Justin communicate the situation to his bosses? What does Justin advise others in communicating burnout to their superiors?  
  • As a manager observing their team, what are signs that an individual is burning out? What is the right way to approach them to discuss the situation? What options do managers have available to them when faced with a burned out employee? How does micro-management fit into the signals that suggest clear burnout of the individual? 
  • Justin has said before that “culture must precede performance”, what did he mean by this? What actions and communications must they adopt to ensure that this feeling of culture over performance is accepted by the team? With that in mind, how does Justin think about KPI and goal-setting? What can leaders do to create an environment of safety for their team? Where do many leaders go wrong here? 
  • Having seen multiple scaling culture, where do SaaS organisations tend to break down both in terms of culture and process? What are those inflection points? What can be done to actively mitigate these 2 significant points of failure?   

Justin’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Justin know now that he wishes he had known when he started at PatientPop?
  2. Sales leader Justin most respects and why?
  3. If Justin could change one thing about the world of SaaS today, what would it be? 

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

Justin Welsh

Ever feel like you can’t really connect with prospects or have an organized workflow to get deals closed? Outreach.io, the leading Sales Engagement platform, supports sales reps and their managers by making it simple to humanize and personalize communication at scale; automating the soul-sucking manual work; and dramatically increasing the productivity and efficiency of all revenue-generating teams. You can check them out at outreach.io/saastr to chat with them and receive a free copy of their new book -- Sales Engagement: How The World's Fastest-Growing Companies are Modernizing Sales Through Humanization at Scale.

Aug 8, 2019

As a global technology provider powering thousands of SaaS companies, Google is at the forefront of driving exciting and innovative technologies to market. Eyal and Megan host a fireside chat between Google Cloud and Zenoss, a leader in software-defined IT operations. They discuss the most common and emerging challenges facing SaaS companies today. You’ll also learn how leading SaaS companies are able to scale and thrive in this complex, dynamic environment. Join us for this lively discussion between two innovators.

 

Missed the session? Here’s what Eyal and Megan talks about:

  • How to develop software faster
  • The emergence of new A.I. services
  • Why the “strongest” conversations need to happen between engineering and marketing

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

Jason Lemkin

SaaStr

 

Aug 5, 2019

Vikas Bhambri is SVP Sales and Customer Experience @ Kustomer, the startup providing Real-time, actionable views of customers with continuous omnichannel conversations and intelligence that automates repetitive, manual tasks. To date they have raised over $113m in financing from some of the best in the business including Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Boldstart, Canaan, Cisco and Redpoint just to name a few. Prior to Kustomer, Vikas spent over 20 years implementing, consulting, marketing, and selling CRM and ContactCenter solutions with companies like LivePerson and Oracle. 

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Vikas made his way into the world of SaaS and came to be at the rocketship that is Kustomer?
  • Why does Vikas believe that a wave of SaaS incumbents are about to be displaced or disrupted? What about the changing tech stacks and infrastructures makes them vulnerable to up and comers? Does this not lead to a consolidatory environment? How does Vikas see the space play out in the coming years when it comes to acquisitions?
  • What have been the dramatic changes that have happened in sales over the last few years? What is the right way for startup founders to address sales rep onboarding? Why is it so crucial to invest in enablement in the early days? How should this enablement be structured? How does this change sales rep payback periods? What is a good payback period? 
  • How does Vikas feel about discounting? If accepted, what must the startup ask for in return? How does Vikas think about multi-year deals? When are they good? What sort of terms make them less beneficial for the vendor? 
  • How does Vikas think about professional services? What is a good margin for professional services? What ratio of revenue is healthy for professional services to account for? When should one look to hire their first customer success reps? What should they look for in those reps? 

Vikas’ 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Vikas know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning?
  2. What is his secret to building diverse teams?
  3. The sales leader Vikas most respects and admirers and why?

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

Aug 1, 2019

The age-old sales funnel has worked fine for decades…until now. Flaws are being exposed, and a new model is imminent. Why is the sales funnel alone no longer an appropriate way thinking about customers? What will emerge to supplement or replace it? HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan and NEA's Hilarie Koplow-McAdams explore the evolution of the marketing and sales funnel you’ve been using for decades to generate traffic and convert and leads into customers.

 

Missed the session? Here’s what Brian talks about:

  • Why a flywheel instead of a funnel?
  • What does the Grateful Dead have to do with Marketing…?
  • What role do T shaped people play?

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

Jason Lemkin

SaaStr

Brian Halligan

Jul 25, 2019

Leah is currently a General Partner at Fuel Capital, an early stage venture fund located in Silicon Valley. She likes to invest across consumer, B2B saas, and technology infrastructure companies at the earliest stages. In 2008 Leah founded TaskRabbit, the leading on-demand service marketplace in the world. She spent nearly a decade involved with the company as CEO and Executive Chairwoman before she sold the company to IKEA in October of 2017. Hear about her takeaways from a product reboot with TaskRabbit.

 

Missed the session? Here’s what Leah talks about:

  • What are the lessons learned from a product reboot?
  • When  bringing a product to market - what are the BHAGs?
  • How to navigate a product pivot.

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

Jason Lemkin

SaaStr

Leah Busque

Jul 22, 2019

Eric Christopher is the Founder and CEO @ Zylo, the software management system built for the cloud pioneering a new standard in software management. To date, Eric has raised over $12m for Zylo from some of the best in the business including Byron @ Bessemer, Salesforce, GGV, Semil @ Haystack and the team at High Alpha. Prior to founding Zylo, Eric was the VP of Sales @ Sprout Social leading the revenue operations for over 11,000 customers. Before Sprout Social he was VP of Sales at Shoutlet, responsible for global direct and channel sales teams and developing and managing strategic relationships. Finally, prior to Shoutlet, Eric spent over 7 years at ExactTarget as a Senior Business Development Manager which is where he met High Alpha’s Scott Dorsey. 

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Eric made his way into the world of startups and SaaS? What were his biggest takeaways from working with Scott Dorsey @ ExactTarget? What was the founding moment with Zylo?
  • What have been Eric’s biggest lessons when it comes to making the transition from founder led sales to sales team? What would we have done differently with the benefit of hindsight? What were the biggest challenges in the process?  
  • How does Eric think about the importance of quantity vs quality of logos when acquiring your first few customers? Do big logo brand names really provide social validity or is it over-hyped? How does Eric think about discounting in the early days? What can founders do to really extract the most value from the discount they are giving away? 
  • Why does Eric believe that hitting the employee 50 mark is a huge moment for founders and the scaling of the company? What fundamentally changes? What gets harder? What gets easier? How has Eric seen his role evolve with the scaling of the team? How does Eric think about goal and KPI setting with a much larger team? What needs to change? How does one create and retain accountability and ownership at scale?
  • Why does Eric believe that the bar for execution in SaaS in 2019 is so much higher than in 2009? What has changed? How does this make Eric change the way he approaches benchmarking, capital allocation and growth? How did Eric find raising the Series A as a non-Bay area company?

Eric’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Eric know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning? 
  2. What is the toughest role to hire for today?
  3. If the money is on the table, take it. Agree or not? Why?

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

Eric Christopher

Jul 18, 2019

Michael Seibel is CEO and a partner at Y Combinator and co-founder of two startups – Justin.tv and Socialcam. He has been a partner at Y Combinator since 2013, advised hundreds of startups, and has been active in promoting diversity efforts among startup founders. Hear his take on the future of work with a decade in learnings from YCombinator.

 

Missed the session? Here’s what Michael talks about:

  • How quickly should you hire?
  • When is the right time to sell a startup?
  • How large a differentiator will investors make in your company?

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

Jason Lemkin

SaaStr

Michael Seibel

Jul 15, 2019

Peter Yared is the Founder & CEO @ InCountry, the startup that allows you to operate globally with data residency as a service meaning they store your mission-critical data in it’s country of origin, without compliance. To date, Peter has raised $8m for InCountry from some of my very favourites including Bloomberg Beta, Felicis, Ray Tonsing @ Caffeinated and CRV just to name a few. Prior to InCountry, Peter founded six and sold 6 enterprise software companies that were acquired by Sun, Citrix, VMware, Oracle, Sprinklr and Prograph. Previously, Peter was also the CTO/CIO of CBS Interactive where he brought CBS into the cloud. At Sun, Peter was the CTO of the Liberty identity consortium that designed SAML 2.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How did Peter make his way into the world of enterprise SaaS with the founding and selling of 6 companies and how did InCountry come about? What is that founding moment?
  • Why does Peter feel like it enterprise is really hard again? Why is it no longer to come into large enterprises with a small contract and expand? How does Peter think about enterprise pilots today? Do they really mean anything? What proof points suggest an enterprise is really bought in? What benchmarks should startups bake into the agreements? 
  • How does Peter think about and approach market sizing today? Why is market risk no longer a risk he is willing to take? Where do many entrepreneurs make mistakes when it comes to market timing? In terms of timing, how should entrepreneurs think about whether to start at SMB and move to enterprise or start enterprise and move to SMB? What are the considerations? 
  • Why does Peter believe that large orgs are so dysfunctional today? What can founders do to extract the truly special talent out of these large orgs with big pay packets and troves of options? How has Peter found the transition from CTO to CEO this time? What have been some of the challenges? Where has he asked for external help? 
  • Having built numerous successful remote teams, what have been Peter’s biggest learnings in what it takes to successfully build remote teams? Where do many people go wrong? Does it have to be from Day 1? When is the right time to start thinking about this as a startup?  

Peter’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What would Peter most like to change about the world of Silicon Valley and tech?
  2. Who is the biggest rockstar in the valley that is less well known?
  3. Hire fast, fire fast, agree or disagree? 

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

Peter Yared

Jul 11, 2019

Erica has led New Relic through massive growth, scaling the company’s enterprise business 10x since she joined the business pre-IPO. Growing a company’s revenues, customer base, team, process, and product doesn’t just happen without major work and strategy. Erica will share the five critical steps (and some lessons learned along the way) for scaling in the enterprise.

 

Missed the session? Here’s what Erica talks about:

  • How to change up your marketing mix
  • How to transition from SMB to enterprise
  • Identifying your sweet spot target customers and leveraging your network to access those companies.

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

Jason Lemkin

SaaStr

Jul 8, 2019

Joe Chernov is the VP Marketing @ Pendo, the startup that understands and guides your users allowing you to create products they cannot live without. To date they have raised over $108m in funding from some of the best in SaaS including Meritech, Salesforce, Battery, Spark Capital and Sapphire just to name a few. Prior to Pendo Joe was Chief Marketing Officer at Robin and before that he was the CMO @ InsightSquared where he led the transition from an email-driven leads model to an account-based marketing model. Before InsightSquared, Joe was Head of Content Marketing at Hubspot where he increased blog traffic by more than 1M visits/month and increased leads by 40%. Finally, pre-Hubspot, Joe held VP of Marketing roles at Kinvey and Eloqua.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Joe made his way into the world of startups and SaaS marketing many years ago? Does Joe really believe in the saying that, “no one really knows what they are doing?” Where are the nuances to it?
  • Joe has been CMO and then #2 and alternated between the 2 roles many times, so what the continuous alternating? How does switching from CMO to VP of Marketing prepare you better for each subsequent role? Does Joe agree with the saying that the best in marketing are able to “throw the playbook out of the window”? 
  • What does Joe mean when he says, “the most powerful mentorship is mentorship from below”? What makes the best #2’s just so good? What do they do? What advice would Joe give to a #2 in a role today? What can the individuals do to foster a relationship of deep trust and transparency?
  • Having worked at both early and late stage companies, what does Joe believe the early companies can learn from later stage companies? Does installing very severe ops not reduce the creativity of a young company? What does Joe believe that later stage companies can really learn and take from early-stage companies? 
  • How do the marketing functions differ in both structure and process when comparing early to late stage? What does Joe find to be the biggest challenge within each respective stage? How has Joe seen the content landscape evolve and change radically throughout his career alternating between early and late stage companies?  

Joe’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. Who does Joe believe is killing it in SaaS marketing now? Why?
  2. ABM, total BS or real meaning to it?
  3. If Joe could change one thing about SaaS today, what would it be?

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

Joe Chernov

Jul 4, 2019

Hear from Hired's CEO Mehul Patel on how to move from transactional to recurring revenue. Hired is a marketplace that matches tech talent with innovative companies. Hired combines job matching with unbiased career counseling to help people find a job they love. Through Hired, job candidates and companies have transparency into salary offers, competing opportunities and job details.

 

Missed the session? Here’s what Mehul talks about:

  • How to leverage your company values to drive stability.
  • Hiring people, strategically.
  • Finding your pricing sweet spot.

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

Jason Lemkin

SaaStr

Jun 27, 2019

Dropbox Chief Customer Officer Yamini Rangan draws on 20 years of experience to challenge five common misconceptions about SaaS success. From beating the competition to over (or under) relying on Outbound, she offers a practical perspective on the frameworks that are holding businesses back from reaching their full potential in a changing landscape.

 

Missed the session? Here’s what Yamini talks about:

  • How to increase the odds of reaching $1B in ARR
  • What is the pull upmarket, why do companies focus their attention there?
  • Common go-to-market myths and lessons.

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

Jason Lemkin

SaaStr

 

Jun 24, 2019

David Skok is a serial entrepreneur turned VC at Matrix Partners. He founded four companies: Skok Systems, Corporate Software Europe, Watermark Software, and SilverStream Software and did one turnaround with Xionics. Three of the companies he founded went public and one was acquired.

Jason Lemkin is the Founder @ SaaStr, the world’s largest SaaS community and leading early-stage SaaS fund with investments in Automile, TalkDesk, Algolia and more.

Jason Vandeboom is the Founder of ActiveCampaign, a sales and marketing automation platform that enables small businesses around the world to meaningfully connect and engage with their customers. Since 2013 with their transition to SaaS have grown to more than $50 million in ARR in less than five years, while maintaining profitability.

Dave Kellogg is a leading technology executive, independent board member, advisor and angel investor. In his most recent role, Dave was the CEO @ Host Analytics where he quintupled ARR, halved customer acquisition costs and increased net retention rates before selling the company to a private equity sponsor.

Fred Shilmover is the CEO and co-founder of InsightSquared, one of Boston’s premiere tech startups paving the way in the sales intelligence space. Throughout the InsightSquared journey, Fred has raised over $25m in VC funding from the likes of DFJ, Bessemer, Salesforce and Atlas Venture.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • Does David Skok believe that ACV should sit at the top of the metrics stack? What are the 4 metrics that fundamentally matter in your business? What can founders do to their pricing model to extract as much value from each customer? How do the very best businesses structure their pricing for value extraction?
  • If ACV increase is a core focus for our startup, should we hire a sales rep solely selling to enterprise? What are the biggest mistakes founders make in this scenario? What can founders do to optimise revenue per lead? How does on need o approach lead targeting according to the individual skills of their reps?
  • Is it best to start at enterprise and work down to SMB or does SMB and work up to enterprise work best? How does the product have to change with the scaling to enterprise? How does the messaging need to change with the scaling to enterprise? How do you need this change to be reflected in your pricing?    
  • What does it truly mean to be an ARR first company? What is the right way for founders to calculate their differing ACVs? What is the right way to present that when pitching VCs? Where do many founders go wrong in how they present and discus ACVs with investors?
Jun 19, 2019

Ryan Petersen will share what he has learned about scaling culture, expanding globally, raising venture capital (or not), and using technology to improve legacy industries.

 

Missed the session? Here’s what Ryan talks about:

  • How Flexport grew to a multibillion-dollar business.
  • How the company broke into the $2T freight forwarding industry.

 

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

Jason Lemkin

SaaStr

Ryan Petersen

Jun 17, 2019

Sara Varni is the CMO @ Twilio, the company building the future of communications allowing you to engage customers like never before on voice, SMS, WhatsApp or Video. Prior to their IPO in 2016, Twilio had raised over $250m in VC funding from some of the best in venture including USV, Bessemer, Salesforce and Techstars just to name a few. As for Sara, prior to Twilio she spent 10 years with Salesforce in numerous roles including SVP of Marketing for Salesforce’s Sales Cloud and CMO @ Desk.com, among other roles. If that wasn’t enough, Sara is also an advisor @ Anthos Capital.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How did Sara made her way into the world of SaaS and came to be one of the industry’s leading CMOs with Twilio today? What were Sara’s biggest takeaways from her 10 years at Salesforce seeing the incredible hyper-growth first hand?
  • What does Sara mean when she says, “you have to have a creative plan to get your message to market”? Does Sara really believe that there is a playbook when it comes to marketing? How does Sara determine when to throw the playbook out of the window? What resounding question do you always have to ask yourself when thinking messaging?
  • Messaging is very dependent on the customer being targeted, how does the messaging need to be different when targeting SMB vs enterprise? How does the creative plan to get the message to the target customer change dependent on SMB vs enterprise? Where does Sara see most people go wrong here?   
  • Why does Sara so strongly believe in the power of customer stories? What makes the very best customer stories? What would Sara’s advice be to someone who is wanting to start creating them? Where does Sara see so many people go wrong? What are Sara’s tips for creating this alignment between the marketing team that make the stories and the sales team that sell them? Where are there often points of tension?
  • What does the very commonly used term, “enablement”, really mean to Sara? Does it mean you can hire lower quality candidates and upgrade them? How does Sara distinguish between a stretch VP and a stretch too far? What questions does Sara find most revealing in the interview process?  

60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Sara know now that she wishes she had known at the beginning?
  2. Who is crushing it in the world of SaaS marketing today?
  3. What is the most common reason for the breakdown of an efficient funnel?

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

Sara Varni

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