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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: September, 2016
Sep 30, 2016

John Gleeson is VP of Customer Success @ Affinio where John was employee #1. 2 years and a half years later, John is the VP of Customer Success following their Series A and has seen the team expand to over 40 people and have offices in New York, Toronto, Halifax and Ireland. John has written a special blog post just for SaaStr listeners today outlining his ultimate guide to customer success reading, it is my go to guide for customer success.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How did John make his way into the world of SaaS and more specifically customer success?
  • John has previously described customer success as ‘The Analogue of Sales’, what does he mean by this? How does it affect the way he views customer success
  • How does John view the role of sales vs customer success in large accounts? How do they partner to drive expansion?
  • How customer success managers be truly productive at the enterprise level? How can they measure their success with this productivity increase?
  • Moving downstream, why does John believe the $2m benchmark per CSM is the hardest phase? What skills do you need to be successful at this stage? With so many accounts, is it possible to be proactive?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. The biggest mistake most companies make when it comes to customer success?
  2. Most common questions asked by CSM leaders?
  3. Measuring customer success?

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

John Gleeson

Sep 26, 2016

Lawrence Coburn is the Founder & CEO @ DoubleDutch, the category leader for event marketing automation. If you are at SaaStr and have the pleasure of using the SaaStr app, yep that is DoubleDutch! They have raised more than $75m in VC funding from some of the best VCs in the world including Index Ventures, Bessemer, Floodgate and Bullpen. As for Lawrence he is a three time entrepreneur, Lawrence also founded RateItAll, a top ten consumer review property, and LocationMeme, a blog about location based services. Lawrence is also the geo-location editor for The Next Web, is a mentor at IO Ventures, a San Francisco based incubator, and on the advisory board for the Enterprise 2.0 conference.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How did Lawrence made his way into SaaS and then came to found DoubleDutch, the category leader for mobile social events?
  • How does Lawrence look to use SDR as a growth engine and does he think it is important to invest in this early to build the machine?
  • How has Lawrence found the transition in terms of moving upmarket from SMB to Enterprise? How does Lawrence look to differentiate himself in such a crowded market?
  • How has Lawrence seen the evolution of the team? Does he agree there are different people for different phases of the growth cycle?
  • How does Lawrence look to use customer success as a bridge to cover gaps in product?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. Fave SaaS resource?
  2. What does Lawrence know now that he wish he had known at the beginning?
  3. What is the biggest challenge Lawrence faces to this 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

Harry Stebbings

SaaStr

Lawrence Coburn

Sep 23, 2016

Michael Cardamone is the Managing Director of Acceleprise, a SaaS focused accelerator based in San Francisco and backed by leading operators. He is also an advisor to and angel investor in early stage SaaS companies. Prior to Acceleprise, Michael was one of the first 30 employees at Box in a business development role and then led partnerships at an EdTech company called AcademixDirect.  

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How did Michael make his way into the world of SaaS and then start Acceleprise in SF?
  • How can founders know when is the right time to ship product? Does Michael agree with Reid Hoffman, ‘if you are not embarrassed by your V1, it is too late’? How should startups look to establish a pricing mechanism at such an early stage?
  • What are Mike’s thoughts on freemium? Before Mike has said founders can charge more than they think. Why does he think this and how can founders know when they have reached their price ceiling?
  • Do founders need to sell their own product? How should founders approach the sales learning process? What questions should they be asking
  • How important is it for a startup to have an ideal customer profile? Should founders be looking for influential customers early or just getting as many dollars in as possible? How impactful can big brands and companies be as customers to early stage companies?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. Scrappiness: good or not as it just simply isn’t scalable?
  2. Most common challenge for Mike’s companies?
  3. Fave SaaS reading material?
  4. Entrepreneur optimism: Let it run or be wary?

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

Michael Cardamone

 

Sep 19, 2016

Eoghan McCabe is CEO and co-founder of Intercom. The customer communications platform that has taken the saas world by storm in the last few years with 116m in VC funding from truly some of the world’s best including Bessemer, Social Capital and Index Ventures. He previously founded Contrast, an award-winning software design consultancy, 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 Intercom break out in the early days with seemingly lots of competition and an install before you buy process?
  • In terms of category creation, in the early days how did Eoghan convince people of a product that had previously never existed? At what stage did Eoghan and Des stop selling the product themselves? When is the right time to hire your VP of Sales?
  • How did Eoghan establish a pricing mechanism for Intercom? Why is Eoghan such an advocate for value based pricing?
  • Why it is so important for founders and sales teams to have empathy for the customer? How can you practice empathy? How can you cheat empathy?
  • How does Eoghan manage a distributed workforce so well? What does he do to create links and culture between both the Dublin and SF office?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. Biggest advice to SaaS founders?
  2. Fave SaaS reading material?
  3. Most proud moment of Intercom’s journey?

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

Sep 16, 2016

Louis Jonckheere is the Co-Founder & Co-CEO @ Showpad, the company that enables sales teams by making content, findable, presentable and trackable. They have raised from some incredible investors including Dawn Capital, Hummingbird Ventures and Insight Venture Partners who more recently led their Series C $50m fundraise earlier this year. As for Louis, Showpad is his second company. He and his co-founder, Pieterjan, founded the mobile development agency, In The Pocket in 2010, where Louis still serves on the board. Prior to In The Pocket, Louis was a Strategic Partnership Manager at Netlog, where he first met Pieterjan.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How did Louis come to found Showpad? What was the a-ha moment for him?
  • How did Louis look to build out the core executive team? What have been the big lessons learnt? What have been the big mistakes and how has Louis changed his approach since?
  • How did Louis look to scale the customer success team? At what stage did Louis hire his first CSM? Is $2m ARR the right benchmark? Do customer success teams need to be product specialists?
  • How has Louis looked to build a scalable and repeatable sales process with Showpad? At what point did Louis decide to hire sales reps for the first time? What benchmark was this? Did Louis hire the first 2 reps at the same time?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. Louis’ Fave SaaS resource?
  2. Louis’s biggest advice to SaaS founders?
  3. What does Louis know today that he wishes he had known at the start?

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

Louis Jonckheere

Sep 12, 2016

Tim Kopp, Tim is a Managing Partner with Hyde Park Venture Partners one of the leading early stage VCs in the Midwest. Prior to joining Hyde Park Venture Partners, Tim was the CMO of ExactTarget for 6+ years, leading a global team of nearly 300 amazing marketing leaders. Tim helped grow ExactTarget from $47M to $400M in revenue, through IPO, and ultimately to a $2.7B sale to Salesforce. He previously spent 10+ years in consumer marketing with P&G and Coca-Cola. You can follow his advice for startup executives and marketing leaders at his newly launched website:www.cmovc.com.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Tim made his way into the world of B2B marketing and then made the transition into the world of venture?
  • Why does Tim believe marketing in B2B is unbuilt and uninspired? What would Tim like to see change?
  • What are SaaS CEO’s doing wrong with regards to organisation and scaling of their marketing team? What questions should they be asking?
  • Why does the best B2B marketers come from the world of B2C? What makes them more effective than current B2B marketers?
  • Why is ABM the most revolutionary thing to happen to marketing for the last decade? How can startups and CEOs integrate ABM into their current marketing forecasts?

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

Tim Kopp

Sep 9, 2016

Jim Stoneham is VP of Infrastructure Products @ New Relic and Jim joined New Relic when the company acquired Opsmatic, where he was co-founder and CEO. Prior to Opsmatic, Jim was CEO of Payvment, a social commerce platform for SMB sellers that was acquired by Intuit in early 2013. He joined Payvment from Yahoo, where he led Communities (Flickr, Answers, Groups, Delicious) as well as the integrations of Facebook and Twitter into Yahoo products. Prior to that, he spent several years building consumer products at Kodak and Apple. A huge thanks to Cindy Padnos @ Illuminate for making the introduction, without which this interview could not have happened.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Jim came to found Opsmatic and why he decided to sell to New Relic over other acquirers?
  • Why does Jim have a preference toward hiring senior experienced individuals over young talent to the founding team?
  • At what stage should startups look to bring on fresh, inexperienced candidates who are passionate for the job but in need of mentoring and guidance?
  • Question From Cindy Padnos: John is a master of employee onboarding, so how does John look to onboard new employees in the most effective and fast manner?

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

Jim Stoneham

Sep 5, 2016

Chad Arimura is the Founder & CEO @ Iron.io, where he drives the team to build the world's best cloud infrastructure services. Now they do have some pretty sizeable clients including the likes of Google, Zenefits, Twitter, Whole Foods and they have the backing from the likes of Steve Anderson’s Baseline Ventures, Bain Capital, Matt Ocko from Data Collective and our friends at Sapphire Ventures just to name a few and Prior to co-founding Iron.io, Chad was CIO and founder of AllDorm Inc., a collegiate media and marketing company that provided fundraisers and viral marketing campaigns for clients such as Volkswagen, Domino's Pizza, and Visa.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Chad came to found Iron.io ?
  • With a complex product like Iron, how much of a role does education play in the onboarding process for prospective new clients?
  • To what extent does content marketing play the dominant marketing function for Iron both in terms of educating customers and converting potential customers?
  • How does Chad view the balance of much larger ACV clients with long sales cycles compared to SME’s with smaller ticket sizes and shorter sales cycles?
  • What are the challenges when selling to large corporates and CIO’s in the traditional corporates?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. What does Chad know now that he wish he had known at the beginning?
  2. What is Chad’s favourite reading material?
  3. How does Chad deal with stress as a Founder & CEO?

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

Chad Arimura

Sep 2, 2016

Greg Sands is the Founder and Managing Partner of Costanoa Venture Capital. Prior to founding Costanoa Venture Capital, Greg was a Managing Director at Sutter Hill, where he was an early investor in the likes of Feedburner, AllBusiness, and Return Path just to name a few. Before Sutter Hill, Greg was the first hire at Netscape after its founding engineering team. As Netscape’s 1st Product Manager, Greg wrote the initial business plan, coined the name Netscape, and created the SuiteSpot Business Unit, which he grew from zero to $150m in revenue. He also served as Manager of Business Development at Cisco where he architected a global channel management plan.  

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Greg made his way into the world of VC from Netscape?
  • Why did Greg see the opportunity for an early stage B2B fund like Costanoa? Why did this fund not exist in B2B but was becoming popularised in B2C?
  • To what extent does Greg agree SaaS investing is ‘traction capital’? When investing pre metrics, what are the signs of promise Greg looks for?
  • How does Greg assess product market fit? Why is customer segmentation and customer archetypes so important?
  • What does Greg make of the ‘full stack CEO’? Is it better to be specialised or jack of all trades? When is the right time to specialise?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. Greenfield opportunity in SaaS?
  2. Biggest advice to startup founders in SaaS?
  3. Easier or harder to raise money now than before?

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

Greg Sands

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