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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 center 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: December, 2019
Dec 30, 2019

This interview originally aired as Episode 213 on February 26, 2019.

Tom Tunguz is General Partner @ Redpoint Ventures, the venture fund with a portfolio including the likes of Stripe, Netflix, Zuora, Hashicorp and Juniper Networks just to name a few. As for Tom, he joined Redpoint in 2008 and has since led investments in Kustomer, Looker, Expensify and Gremlin all prior guests on the show I hasten to add. He is also the co-author of Winning with Data: exploring the cultural changes big data brings to business. Tom has also been named on the Forbes Midas Brink list. Before joining Redpoint, Tomasz was the product manager for Google’s AdSense social-media products and AdSense internationalization.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Tom made his way from creating software with his father in Brazil to being GP and forefront figure in the SaaS investment community as a GP at Redpoint today?
  • Annual contracts: To what extent do annual contracts dominate today? How does this differ when comparing enterprise to SMB? Why does Tom think in the early days one should be wary of signing too many multi-year contracts? What are the dangers there? How does Tom think about calculating churn when it comes to multi-year contracts?
  • What were the findings on what good looks like when it comes to logo retention? How does this differ when comparing SMB to enterprise? What were the commonalities of leading indicators of churn? Is it fair to always surmise that when serving SMB one will always have a higher rate of churn? What is the right way to conduct a churn analysis?
  • Assisted vs unassisted: What does Tom believe are the leading benchmarks for both? How does this differ when comparing SMB to enterprise? How does the impact of a salesperson change the conversion rate? What time frame from SAL to closed lead suggests product market fit? What one question must all founders be asking in the sales process? 
  • How does Tom think about constructing comp plans the right way today? How should comp plans differ when comparing AEs to customer success? Where should the responsibility for upsell lie, customer success or sales? Should sales commission be paid on renewals?  

Tom’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Tom know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning?
  2. What is Tom’s favourite book and why?
  3. What is Tom’s most recent investment and why did he say yes?

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

Tom Tunguz

 

Dec 26, 2019

The SaaS business model has risen to popularity for many reasons - it’s fast-paced, creates residual revenue streams, and well, the multiples are strong. However, while many are flocking to reap the benefits of the SaaS model, truly understanding how it works sustaining success over time is not as easy as some make it look. Rajesh is going to walk you through the key elements of winning the long game in SaaS - how to win customers, how to create long-term relationships, and how to avoid churn. He will also provide insights on the differences between commercial and enterprise customers and the key metrics to keep an eye on as you grow your business.

Dec 19, 2019

Congratulations you’ve built a product that’s proven itself in the marketplace! So how can you leverage that product’s success to obtain the valuation and funding you need to scale? Ashley Smith, Venture Partner at OpenView will provide insight on what investors are looking for in product metrics and growth indicators so you can capitalize on your product's story for funding.

Dec 16, 2019

This interview originally aired as Episode 229 on April 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

Dec 12, 2019

Lucidchart has been recognized as one of the most mature Product Lead Growth business models in the market, driving over 700,000 registrations per month, combined with a hyper-efficient B2B business model. It didn’t happen by accident. It happened through experimentation: from extensive A/B testing (with over 500 marketing tests completed in 2018), to testing crazy brand videos (which have garnered over 200 million views and was named the only ad campaign that truly mattered in 2018 by Adweek), to constant iteration and expansion of the business model.

Experimental marketing brings together the science and art of marketing, allowing for creativity that drives results. It’s an essential skill in the toolkit of the modern marketer, and one that’s easy to get started with, no matter your company scale.


Key Takeaways:

- Discover how to start or extend your marketing experimentation.
- Learn how marketing experimentation can apply across funnels, brands, and business models.
- Get tips on how to build a culture of experimentation that fosters creativity and drives business results.

Dec 9, 2019

Yousuf Khan is a serial CIO, start-up and VC advisor. Most recently Yousuf was the CIO & VP of Customer Success @ Moveworks, the advanced AI built for enterprise providing automatic resolution of IT issues. During his time at the company, they raised over $108m from Lightspeed, ICONIQ, Kleiner, Sapphire and Bain Capital. Pre Moveworks, Yousuf was CIO @ Pure Storage during their period of hypergrowth both as a private and public company. Finally, before Pure, Yousuf’s first role in the valley was with Qualys again as CIO where he owned the entire global IT budget.   

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Yousuf made his way from the UK to the valley and how that led to his becoming one of the leading CIOs today in the rising prominence of CIOs in enterprise? 
  • How open and can transparent can CEOs be with CIOs? Do CIOs know the state of early-stage companies in terms of their cash situation, fundraising etc? Does that ever put them off buying? What is the right tone and temperament to take with those CIOs in the first meetings? How does Yousuf advise founders on quality or quantity of logos in the early days? 
  • How does Yousuf advise CEOs approach CIOs when it comes to discounting? Do they make a difference to the buying decision of the CIO really? Should founders offer discounts in exchange for customer testimonials? How can CEOs provide alternative forms of social validity to other CIOs in the ecosystem, other than case studies?  
  • How does Yousuf advise founders approach CIOs when it comes to multi-year deals? Does the mindset of the CIO change when the deal is paid upfront? How should the founders position that? When it comes to implementation, how important is time to value in the mind of the CIO? What is the worst thing a founder can do when discussing implementation?    

Yousuf’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What separates good from great when it comes to CIOs?
  2. What makes the best board members?
  3. What are Yousuf’s biggest strengths and weaknesses?

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

Yousuf Khan

Dec 5, 2019

Salesloft CEO Kyle Porter, Zoom Head of Sales Ops Hilary Headlee and Fireeye VP of WW Sales Christina Foley share the seven tips and tricks to getting more revenue per AE.

Dec 2, 2019

Des Cahill is the Chief Marketing Officer for Oracle CX Cloud Suite, an integrated set of marketing, sales, commerce and service solutions that power customer experience for thousands of leading global brands. Prior to Oracle, Des was the CMO @ Kerio Technologies marketing to over 60,000 SMB customers and 5,000 channel partners. Before Kerio, Des was the CMO @ Ensighten, where he helped grow the customer base from 10 to 100 and revenues from $2M to $14M. Des has also spent time as CEO having founded and grown Habeas Inc from 0 to 450 customers, $9M in revenue and raising 3 rounds of venture financing. 

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Des made his way into the world of startups and came to be CMO of Oracle’s CX Cloud suite? 
  • Why does Des believe customers are more unpredictable now than ever before? How is their behaviour fundamentally changing? What are some great examples of how Des has seen companies amend to the changing consumer demands?
  • How does this change the role of the marketer today? How does this change the prioritisation of customer experience for marketers? What are the challenging elements of this change? How does the role of marketing also integrate with the post-sale and customer success with much of their content being used there?  
  • How does Des think about the relationship between marketing and sales teams? What are Des’ biggest tips on how to reduce friction in the handoff from marketing to sales? What works? What does not work? What is the right OKR to measure marketing teams? Does it have to be tied directly to revenue?  

Des’ 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. Biggest breakdown in the working of an efficient funnel?
  2. Who is killing it in SaaS marketing today and why?
  3. Advice in SaaS you commonly hear but disagree with?

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

Des Cahill

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