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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: March, 2019
Mar 28, 2019

Mark Roberge is a senior lecturer with Harvard Business School, former CRO of Hubspot and author of the bestseller "The Sales Acceleration Formula". Join him as he takes you through his step by step guide to revenue growth.

 

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

  • An in-depth guide to driving revenue growth by company stage
  • When to scale and how fast
  • Product market fit, go-to market fit during the experiment stages

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

Mark Roberge

Mar 25, 2019

Leyla Seka is the executive vice president of the Salesforce Mobile platform experience. Over Leyla’s incredible 11 year journey with Salesforce she has seen the team scale from 1,800 to over 40,000 and revenue scale from $500m to over $16Bn. In Leyla’s role today, she leads the charge on extending the power of Salesforce with a full portfolio of mobile apps, and is responsible for driving product, go-to-market and other key programs around Salesforce’s mobile offerings. Prior to her current role, Leyla was executive vice president of the Salesforce AppExchange, where she launched a refreshed AppExchange storefront, a new partner program, and built an entire AppExchange-focused team, resulting in more than 4,000 solutions, installed nearly 6 million times. Beyond her day-to-day role, Leyla is also the executive sponsor of BOLDforce, Salesforce’s organization for expanding and empowering the black community at Salesforce.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Leyla made her way into the world of SaaS with Salesforce when it had 1,800 people and $500m in revenue?
  • What were Leyla’s biggest learnings on people and business model through seeing the first hand hyper-scaling of Salesforce from $500m to $16Bn? How did Leyla evolve and scale as a leader herself in those 11 years? What advice does Leyla give to young people considering whether to found a startup, join a startup or join a hyper-growth company?
  • Where do things start to break in the scaling of SaaS companies? What needs to be put in place to prepare for hyper-scale? What are the commonalities of where many founders go wrong in the scaling process?  
  • What does Leyla mean when she says, “growing up in product, you have to lead through influence”? How does Leyla think this influence can be created and maintained? How does Leyla think about the balance between effective influence and excessive influence?  
  • Why does Leyla believe that, “you can teach skills but you cannot teach empathy”? What have been her learnings from scaling teams when it comes to hiring and detecting candidates with true empathy? What can one do to nurture that empathy in the culture of the company?

60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Leyla know now that she wishes she had known at the beginning?
  2. What is the hardest element of Leyla’s role at Salesforce today?
  3. What does Leyla believe in SaaS that most around her disbelieve?

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

Leyla Seka

Mar 21, 2019

At Atlassian, openness is core to everything the company does: employees can access most information on Confluence; "open company, no bullshit" is one of the company’s five values. But it can be risky. Atlassians knew the company was going public four months before it filed. The entire company was told about Atlassian selling its chat products Stride and Hipchat to its largest competitor in the space, Slack, four days before the news went out. Some would say that that level of openness is unnecessary, but Atlassian believes that trust and honesty are essential to maintaining the culture its worked so hard to build.

 

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

  • What is driving growth in the cloud?
  • Does collaboration help founders drive growth forward?
  • How do you scale an open culture?

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

Mar 18, 2019

Jeff Lawson is the Founder & CEO @ 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 Jeff, prior to founding Twilio, Jeff was the Founder & CTO @ Nine Star Inc and enjoyed a spell at Amazon as a Technical Product Manager.

 

Sameer Dholakia is the CEO @ SendGrid, the category leader in email delivery, reaching half of the world’s digital users every 3 months. Last year Twilio acquired SendGrid bringing email into one seamless customer engagement platform. As for Sameer, prior to joining SendGrid, he spent 4 years at Citrix, where he drove the company’s product strategy for cloud infrastructure and server virtualization. Sameer joined the company in 2010, when Citrix acquired VMLogix, where he served as CEO and doubled revenues during each year of his tenure. Before that, he worked for 12 years at Trilogy, where he held key leadership roles helping the company grow from a start-up to a $300 million business.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Jeff came to found Twilio and what was that a-ha moment for him? How did Sameer enter the world of SaaS and come to be CEO @ SendGrid?
  • How did Jeff and Sameer assess the culture fit between the 2 companies when deciding whether or not to join forces? How did they formulate and approach creating a new set of values with the 2 companies coming together? How do they distinguish between culture and values? How can leaders both be authoritative and vulnerable simultaneously?
  • What does Jeff mean when he says, “the developer first approach is a maturation of the supply chain of software”? How has Jeff seen his original thesis for “developer first” evolve and change with time? What does truly special customer experience look like in the developer first model?  
  • In terms of product strategy, how do Jeff and Sameer approach when is the right time to release a second product? What does Jeff mean when he says, “you have to maximise the number of at bat opportunities you have”? Why does Sameer think that SendGrid waited too long to release additional product lines? What were his core learnings from that?
  • How do Jeff and Sameer think about what what truly special leadership looks like today? How do they approach speaking so that people will remember? What are some of their biggest tips to aspiring entrepreneurs with regards to that and team empowerment? Why do both Jeff and Sameer believe that so much of the management wisdom today is outdated?

60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What do Jeff and Sameer know now that they wish they had known at the beginning?
  2. The book they have gifted most often and why?
  3. What does it take to truly be a great board member?
  4. What do the next 5 years look like for Twilio? How big could it get?

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

Jeff Lawson

Sameer Dholakia

Mar 14, 2019

Formerly a senior leader at Google, Claire Hughes Johnson is now Chief Operating Officer at Stripe, where she’s helped guide the online payments firm through rapid growth. Stripe today has more than 1,400 employees and processes billions of dollars for millions of users worldwide. Scaling the company’s employee base, sales teams, marketing, and operations—all while preserving its culture—has required a laser focus on first principles, smart processes, and effective hiring.

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

  • How to avoid trapdoor decisions when scaling
  • Lessons for scaling high-growth organizations

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

Mar 11, 2019

Dan Reich is the Founder & CEO @ Troops.ai, the startup that is the ultimate slackbot for sales teams. To date, Dan has raised over $17m in VC funding with Troops from many friends of the show including Felicis Ventures, Founder Collective, First Round, Nextview, Susa Ventures and even Slack. As for Dan, he is also the Co-Founder and President of TULA, a private equity backed health and beauty business that has developed the world's first line of probiotic skincare products. Before that, Dan was a Co-Founder of Spinback (acquired by Buddy Media in May 2011, then acquired by Salesforce in June 2012).

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Dan made his way into the world of SaaS with the founding of Spinback? How that led to his founding of the ultimate slackbot for sales teams in Troops?
  • What does Dan really mean when he says “account based collaboration”? What is this a transition from? In terms of tracking and analysis, how does this change when making the move from tracking individual performance to team performance around an account? What can one do to actively implement this? What is key to a successful transition to this style of selling?
  • What does Dan mean when he says, “sales teams are not working together the way we think they are”? What can sales leaders do to actively ensure their sales team is acting in unison? Where do many sales leaders go wrong here? How does Dan think about post mortems when an account is lost or won? How does Dan prevent dips in morale when sharing the loss of a sale?
  • With scaling orgs, siloes are often created, why does Dan think many silos come into existence? At what stage does Dan really see them become a problem and cracks in the org begin to show? What can leaders do to instantly reduce the effect of silos? How does Dan think about controlling the noise to action ratio with the firehose of data at our disposal today?

Dan’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Dan know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning?
  2. What is the right time to train your sales team?
  3. The right way to structure sales comp plans?

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

Dan Reich

Mar 7, 2019

Qualtrics Co-Founder and CEO Ryan Smith sits down with SaaStr Founder and CEO Jason Lemkin as Ryan reflects on the survey software maker's acquisition by SAP this year. The company was acquired this November in an $8B deal ahead of its planned IPO. This is SaaStr’s founder favorites series where you can hear some of the best of the best of SaaStr Annual’s Speakers.

Missed the session? Here’s what Jason and Ryan talk about:

  • Why did Qualtrics turn down a $500M acquisition offer in 2012?
  • What did Qualtrics’ path to fundraising look like?
  • How to build lifelong customers
  • Capital efficiency (and dilution)

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

Mar 5, 2019

Erica Schultz is Chief Revenue Officer @ New Relic, the company that gives you the real time insights your software driven business needs to innovate faster. Prior to their IPO, New Relic raised over $214m in funding from some of the best in the business including Benchmark, Insight Venture Partners and Blackrock, to name a few. As for Erica, under her CRO role, she leads all go-to-market functions including Marketing, Sales, Operations, Customer Success, Services, and Support. Prior to New Relic, Erica served as Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Customer Success at LivePerson and before that, Erica had a 16-year tenure with Oracle Corporation, where she founded and led numerous teams within the sales organization, including pioneering the company’s cloud business, and leading teams for North American and Latin American markets.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Erica made her way into the world of SaaS and came to be Chief Revenue Officer @ New Relic? What were some of her biggest takeaways from her incredible 16 year journey with Oracle?
  • Why does Erica believe that enterprise is a “company sport”? Why does each department need to re-platform when making the move to enterprise? How can founders know when is the right time to make the move from SMB to enterprise? Where does Erica often see founders make mistakes with this scaling?
  • How does the move to enterprise fundamentally impact the sales team? How does the structure of the sales team change with the move? How does the role of marketing change with the move to enterprise? How does this move impact the relationship between sales and marketing? How should compensation plans be altered with the move?
  • With the scaling of departments and teams, what has Erica seen work really well when it comes to making cross-functional teams communicate really well? What are the inflection points where Erica often see communication or process begin to breakdown? How does Erica ensure the team are still in the trenches with the clients despite the scaling?
  • From Erica’s experience, how do the very best sales reps build relationships with their prospects? Where do many go wrong? How much time does Erica believe reps should be given when it comes to translating relationships to dollars? What is the right way to think about payback period today?   

Erica’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Erica know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning?
  2. The optimal relationship between CRO and CEO?
  3. The hardest element of being CRO @ New Relic?

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

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