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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: April, 2019
Apr 29, 2019

Manny Medina is the Founder & CEO @ Outreach, the market leading sales engagement platform that turns your team into a revenue driving machine. To date, Manny has raised over $114m in funding from some great people including friends of the show in the form of Alex Clayton @ Spark, Mayfield, Trinity Ventures and DFJ Growth, just to name a few. Prior to founding Outreach, Manny spent 7 years with Microsoft where he ran the Latin America and Canada business development group for Microsoft’s emerging mobile division, representing $50M of yearly revenue. Befofe that Manny was a Senior Product Manager @ Amazon where he engineered the compensation system for Amazon Associates and Web-Services which accounts for 15% of Amazon's traffic.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Manny made his way to found the leader in sales engagement from product management at Amazon and Business Development @ Microsoft?
  • How does Manny fundamentally approach managing top of funnel? What are the 2 big dangers of not managing it aggressively? What can be done to ensure not only full but high quality top of funnel?
  • Why does Manny believe it is so important to track pipeline coverage as one of your core metrics? What does good look like when it comes to pipeline coverage? How does this change if you are creating vs in an existing market? How does Manny think about specialisation within the sales function? Why are SDR’s 99% of the time not able to carry leads to completion?
  • How does Manny think about quota construction today? Does Manny err on the side of setting high to be ambitious or setting low to increase confidence? How can managers really empower their reps to be aggressive in hitting their quota and exceeding it? How does Manny think about resource allocation on the individual rep level? What is sufficient? What is excessive?
  • Does Manny believe that the founder should always be responsible for selling their product at one moment in time? How did Manny sell the first $1m in ARR simply through walking the streets of SOMA and selling door-to-door? What were his biggest lessons from doing this?  Why does Manny believe that you should not have a VP before $5m?

60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Manny know now that he wishes he had known in the beginning?
  2. What does the future of sales prospecting look like to Manny?
  3. What would Manny 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

Manny Medina

Apr 25, 2019

Join Glitch CEO Anil Dash and Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson for a discussion about the ethical implications of technology in today’s society. Jeff and Anil discuss how social media and AI are changing the way we think about the impact of technology on society as well as the responsibility of tech leaders for this impact.

 

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

  • How taking no stance as a business leader today, is taking a stance
  • How to set concrete numbers for diversity goals
  • The impact of corporate culture on employee happiness

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

Jeff Lawson

Anil Dash

 

 

 

Apr 22, 2019

Alexandr Wang is the Founder & CEO @ Scale, the startup providing high quality training and validation data for AI applications. To date, Alexandr has raised over $23m with Scale from some of the best in the business including Index, Accel, Y Combinator, Dropbox’s Drew Houston, Justin Kan, Thumbtack’s Jonathan Swanson and more. Prior to founding Scale, Alexandr was a Tech Lead at Quora, directly responsible for all speed projects and before that a software engineer at Addepar responsible for building and maintaining financial models.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How did Alex make his way into the world of SaaS and come to found Scale? What were some of his biggest takeaways from seeing the first hand scaling of Quora and Addepar?
  • Why does Alex take the contrarian view that “TAM in the traditional sense barely matter”? What two characteristics of the market should founders really look to examine? How does Alex approach the element of market sizing? Does he prefer top down or bottoms up and why?
  • Why does Alex believe that you must invest in customer success before you think you need it? What were the benefits for Alex of investing early in customer success? Why does CS over sales ultimately drive the growth of your company? How does one know when is the right time to hire their first in customer success? What is the ideal profile of this candidate?
  • How does Alex think about the integration of customer success and product teams? Why is it crucial from the product perspective that founders pick their first customers well? How can your customers drive your product decisions? How can one ensure to be customer informed and not customer driven?     
  • Why does Alex believe that in the early days it is not important to focus on the size of the deals you are signing? What should founders be focusing on with these early customers instead? When is the right time to flip the switch and opt for value extraction as a more primary objective? How does Alex respond to the fact that VCs often look at these first customer deals as an indication of the size of the pain point you are solving?  

60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Alex know now that he wishes he had known in the beginning?
  2. What does Alex believe is the hardest role to hire for today?
  3. Who does Alex think is crushing it 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

Alexandr Wang

Apr 18, 2019

Leela Srinivasan is the CMO of SurveyMonkey. Join her as she takes you through her seven tips for using customer feedback and building rabid fans. Consistently ramping your ARR is a whole lot harder if your customers don’t stick around. In an age where earning customer loyalty and trust is harder than ever, the road to lifetime value is paved with customer feedback. If you take the time to listen, understand and act on what your customers are thinking and feeling, you’ll create an army of advocates and drive topline revenue growth for good measure.

 

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

  • How to create an army of advocates
  • How to drive topline revenue growth
  • Real world examples from businesses that are listening and acting on customer feedback every day.

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

Leela Srinivasan

 

Apr 15, 2019

Stephen Burton is VP of Smarketing at Harness, the industry’s first continuous delivery as a service platform. To date, Harness has raised $20m in funding from the wonderful Matt Murphy @ Menlo Ventures and BIG Labs. Prior to Harness, Stephen was VP of Marketing at Glassdoor, managing a team of 52 in product marketing, helping grow B2B revenue from $19m to $90m in just 2 years, leading to their $1.2Bn acquisition. Before Glassdoor, Stephen was VP of Product Marketing at AppDynamics where he helped grow B2B revenue from $0 to $100m in a staggering 3 year period, resulting in their $3.9Bn acquisition by Cisco.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Steve made his way into the world of SaaS and came to be VP of marketing at 2 of the larger B2B exits of the last decade in AppDynamics and Glassdoor? What were Steve’s biggest takeaways from seeing the hyper-scaling at AppDynamics?
  • Steve has previously said, “sales and marketing must be one team”. Why does he believe this is so important? What can leaders do to turn this into reality? What works? Where has Steve seen many make mistakes? Where does Steve find common points of tension between sales and marketing? WHat are the 3 elements that marketing comp should be tied and aligned to?
  • What does Steve mean when he says, “marketers need to embrace the developer first mindset”? What does this mean for the processes used by marketing teams? Speaking of developer-first, how can startups compete in a war for talent against FB and Google? How can they integrate autonomy into their hiring process as a core advantage?     
  • For Steve, what does devops really mean? What does Steve believe is the right culture for devops teams? Does it differ from traditional dev teams? How can a CEO determine when is the right time to fundamentally invest in devops? What are the required steps to make devops teams as successful as possible?

60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Steve know now that she wishes she had known at the beginning?
  2. When is the right time to pour fuel on the company fire?
  3. The playbook? Is there one? Dangers? Copyability?
  4. What would Steve most like to change 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

Stephen Burton

 

Apr 11, 2019

Mikkel Svane is the CEO of Zendesk and author of "Startupland". Join him as he takes you through his lessons taking Zendesk beyond a billion in ARR. Mikkel founded Zendesk in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2007 before moving the company to San Francisco in 2009.

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

  • The future of the cloud
  • The rise of the public cloud and re-platforming of the tech stack
  • How business applications are sold and delivered leveraging 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

SaaStr

Mikkel Svane

Apr 4, 2019

Karen Peacock is COO of Intercom, one of the fastest growing SaaS businesses of all time. She has led businesses of all sizes through massive growth.  Listen to her top 5 lessons learned building and scaling SaaS businesses from $1M to $500M in ARR including expanding to serve upmarket customers, moving from product to platform, and hiring to drive breakthrough customer experiences and business growth.

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

  • How should you expand your market?
  • How to move upmarket
  • The steps to building a product and creating an end to end experience

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

Karen Peacock

Apr 3, 2019

Ben Braverman is the CRO @ Flexport, one of the world’s fastest growing startups combining technology, infrastructure and expertise, to build the operating system for global trade. To date they have $1.35Bn in funding from some of the biggest and best in the business including Softbank’s Vision Fund, Founders Fund, DST, Susa Ventures and Y Combinator, just to name a few. As for Ben, he spearheads global sales and go to market teams. Prior to Flexport, Ben helped drive two high-growth companies to successful acquisitions: URX (acquired by Pinterest) and Heyzap (acquired by Fyber).

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Ben made his way into the world of startups and came to be CRO of one of the world’s fastest growing startups in the form of Flexport?
  • Why does Ben fundamentally disagree with the specialisation of roles within SaaS companies? What does he believes this does to the customer journey and relationship? How should one thing about role segmentation and allocation of accounts with this in mind? Where does Ben see many people going wrong here?
  • Why does Ben believe it is “total horseshit to say the best sellers don’t make the best managers”? What must founders try and figure out before hiring their sales leader? What are the leading indicators that suggest a sales rep has the ability to be a sales manager? How does Ben determine between a stretch VP and a stretch too far?   
  • What does Ben mean when he says, “there are 3 distinct buckets of sales management”? What are they and what is their relationship between one another? Why does Ben believe one does not need sales management in the early days? What is the best way to train reps and determine payback period fast? Why does Ben believe sales ops is the most underappreciated role in the valley?

60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Ben know now that he wishes she had known at the beginning?
  2. What is the optimal relationship between CRO and CEO?
  3. What does Ben believe in SaaS that most around his 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

Ben Braverman

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