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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: November, 2017
Nov 27, 2017

Spenser Skates is the Founder & CEO @ Amplitude, the only analytics solution built for modern product teams that helps you understand user behaviour and ship the right solutions fast. They have raised over 55m in VC funding from many friends of SaaStr and 20VC including Eric Vishria @ Benchmark, Neeraj Agrawal @ Battery Ventures, the teams at IVP, Data Collective, Box Group and SV angel, just to name a few of their incredible investors. Prior to Amplitude, Spenser founded Sonalight, an app that allowed users to text while they drive, backed by the likes of Y Combinator.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How did Spenser make his way into the world of SaaS and come to found Amplitude?  
  • How did Spenser look to build and scale his sales team, as an engineering focussed founder? Where does Spenser see most engineering founders go wrong in their approach to sales?
  • What were the stumbling blocks that Spenser found hard in this learning process? What is his biggest advice to technical founders to scale the learning curve fast?
  • How does Spenser view the importance of a customer’s willingness to pay? Does that suggest a correlated amount of value? How should this propensity to pay, change with the stage of the provider? How does Spenser suggest founders mitigate discounting?
  • What have been Spenser’s core learnings in creating an incentivised sales team? What are the core drivers that yield the behaviour desired? How does Spenser look to align this with engineering teams, traditionally disgruntled with sales’ compensation packages?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. What does Spenser know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning of Amplitude?
  2. What is Spenser’s fave SaaS reading material? How does that vary according to stage of business?
  3. How does Spenser view discounting?

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

Spenser Skates

Nov 20, 2017

Lars Nilsson is the VP of Global Inside Sales for Cloudera and with over twenty-five years of sales and operations experience, Lars Nilsson is a global leader in enterprise software and selling solutions. One of Lars many incredible achievements was he and his team at Cloudera built the sales methodology Account-Based Sales Development (ABSD), which has transformed how businesses approach high-value targets. Prior to Cloudera, Lars founded SalesSource, a business services consulting firm specializing in CRM customization and sales process development. Lars has also served in sales executive roles at ArcSight/Hewlett Packard, Riverbed Technology and Portal Software – all three of which achieved IPOs, in addition to Cloudera (2017). As Special Advisor at True Ventures, Lars helps True portfolio companies develop sales compensation plans from the ground up, implement best-of-breed sales technologies, and rapidly scale sales teams to meet demand.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How did Lars make his way into the world of enterprise sales back in 1995? How has Lars seen the industry change so significantly over the last 22 years?  
  • Why does Lars believe that SDRs are the most important role in sales? How does their role of ensuring a full pipe compare to the role of demand gen and marketing?
  • How does Lars think about setting a quota that ensures a desired behaviour beyond pure revenue chasing? What is his framework for setting and optimising the right quota? Why does Lars believe that ales is all about activities? What activities is Lars most eager to measure and test?
  • What is Lars’ biggest advice to someone looking to build out their SDR team from the ground up? What core characteristics should one look for in those initial SDR hires? What is and has been Lars’ biggest challenge in building out his SDR team? Why is building SDR teams in the bay so hard?
  • How does Lars think about setting ideal customer profiles? How big a TAM is large enough to be excited, yet narrow enough  to be achievable and solve a true and inherent customer need?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. What does Lars know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning?
  2. What is Lars favourite piece of SaaS reading material?
  3. Sales rep productivity, what does Lars believe is the scale from exceptional to poor?

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

Lars Nilsson

Nov 13, 2017

Jyoti Bansal is the former Founder & CEO @ AppDynamics, backed by the likes of Lightspeed, Greylock and Kleiner Perkins just to name a few before it’s ultimate acquisition by Cisco for $3.7Bn. Today, Jyoti is the Founder and CEO @ BIG Labs essentially a laboratory for creating, developing and launching innovative ideas. The first of these ideas being turned into companies being, Harness.io the industry’s first continuous delivery as a service platform, where Jyoti is the Founder & CEO. As a result of his tremendous success, Jyoti has been a recipient of many leadership awards including, "Best Cloud Computing CEO to Work For", "Best CEO" by San Francisco Business Times.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Jyoti made his way from selling agricultural machinery with his father in India to creating one of the fastest growing enterprise companies with AppDynamics?  
  • $0-3m ARR: What is the key goal and objective for startups scaling through this phase? How can startups look to accurately determine what their North Star in this stage? To what extent should the founder involve the customer in product roadmap and development?
  • $10-15m ARR: What are the core objectives for the business in this stage of the cycle? How should founders view competition through this phase? What does Jyoti mean when he says about “go-to-market strategy fit”? How can this be determined most accurately?
  • $60-80m: What should be front and centre of the mind of the entrepreneur at this stage? Why does Jyoti believe it is here that it is crucial to get sales execution right? WHere are the breaking points that occur in the team scaling at this phase? How does the role CEO change here?
  • Pre-IPO: Why is operational efficiency so crucial in this stage of the business? What did AppDynamics do best at this stage of the business? Where would Jyoti say AppDynamics could have done better in the progression through this stage?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. What does Jyoti know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning of Appdynamics?
  2. What is Jyoti’s must read SaaS material?
  3. Payback period is the most important metric?

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

Jyoti Bansal

Nov 6, 2017

Paul Albright is one of the valley’s most experienced SaaS execs with extensive operational and capital management experience, including 3 IPOs. Most recently Paul was the Founder & CEO @ Captora, the marketing acceleration software solution that raised over $25m in VC funding from the likes of NEA and Bain Capital Ventures. Prior to Captora, Paul was Chief Revenue Officer at Marketo where he drove the overall revenue strategy across sales and marketing that delivered global revenue growth over 100% year-over-year, from $14m to $58m. In a similar position at SuccessFactors, he grew revenues to more than $200m and over 80% year-over-year growth. Previously, Paul led worldwide marketing at NetApp and at Informatica, which he joined pre-revenue through their successful IPO. If that was not enough he has also served as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Greylock.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Paul made his way into the world with the likes of SuccessFactors and Marketo? What were his big lessons from seeing both companies scale into hyper-growth mode?  
  • Does Paul agree with Dave Kellogg in stating, “CAC/LTV is the single most important metric for SaaS startups? What other metrics must all VPs of Demand Gen and Sales be watching constantly?
  • What does an efficient sales and marketing engine look like? What are the core components to build that? What are the requirements to both run this engine and scale it quickly? How does the growth of this engine affect hiring in other parts of the business?
  • Why does Paul believe that it is much harder to go SMB up than enterprise down? What are the changes that are required on both ends? For this in “no man’s land of pricing” what does an efficient sales process timeline look like from lead to conversion?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. How does Paul think about picking the investors he works with?
  2. Is customisation always wrong?
  3. What is “good sales rep productivity” to Paul?
  4. What does Paul know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning?

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

Paul Albright

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