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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: March, 2020
Mar 30, 2020

Anthony Kennada is the CMO @ Front, the startup that provides your team with better email so they can treat every customer like your only customer. To date, Front have raised over $138M from some leading names including Sequoia, Eric Yuan @ Zoom, Ryan and Jared Smith @ Qualtrics, Michael Cannon-Brookes and Jay Simmons @ Atlassian and Frederic Kerrest @ Okta to name a few. As for Anthony, prior to Front Anthony was the founding CMO at Gainsight where he and his team are credited with creating the Customer Success category. At Gainsight Anthony and the team developed a new playbook for B2B marketing that fueled the company’s growth from $0 to over $100M of ARR. If that was not enough, Anthony is also the author of Category Creation: How to Build a Brand that Customers, Employees, and Investors Will Love. The book debuted as a number one new release on Amazon.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Anthony made his way into the world of SaaS starting in the sales team at Box and how that led to his entering the world of marketing and creating the customer success category?
  • How does Anthony marketing playbook change when making the move from Gainsight with higher ACV’s and longer sales cycles to Front with lowers ACV’s and much higher volume? How does Anthony think about ABM today with Front given the lower ACVs? At what ticket size does ABM make sense?
  • How does Anthony feel about brand marketing? Why did Anthony and Front decide now was the right time to engage with billboards? How does Anthony think about data and tracking for brand marketing? Does Anthony believe that all marketing has to be tied to a number directly related to revenue?  
  • How does Anthony seeing a changing relationship between customer success and marketing? How is marketing being pushed further into the realms of CS? What is the optimal relationship between CS and marketing? How does this compare to the relationship of sales and marketing more traditionally?       

Anthony’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Anthony know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning of his time in marketing?
  2. What is the hardest element of Anthony’s role with Front today?
  3. Who does Anthony think is killing it in the world of marketing 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

Anthony Kennada

Mar 26, 2020

We’re obviously in a very unique situation today. The pace at which Corona is impacting us all right now is so fast, it’s hard to keep up.

Today is different from other times but in SaaS. It will probably be like ’08-’09 downturn — just faster.

Join Jason Lemkin, CEO and Founder of SaaStr, and Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight, as they take a look back at what happened to them as a SaaS vendor in ’08-’09, and what learnings you can leverage.

Mar 23, 2020

May Habib is the Founder & CEO @ Qordoba, the platform that helps everyone at your company write with the same style, terminology and voice. To date, May has raised over $21M in funding with Qordoba from the likes of Upfront Ventures, Aspect Ventures, Bonfire Ventures and Michael Stoppelman to name a few. Before entering the world of SaaS, May was a vice president at one of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds, where she was the first employee on the technology investment team, building a portfolio now worth over $20B. Before that, May started her career in the New York Office of Lehman Brothers raising capital for software companies.  

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How May made her way into the world of startups and SaaS from being a VP at one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East?
  • How does May think about and assess operational survival in times of such uncertainty? Why does this downturn feel so different to prior downturns? Operationally, what needs to fundamentally change about your processes?
  • How does May think about when is the right time to engage with pre-emptive burn cuts? Where does one look first in the organisation when making these cuts? How does one structure those discussions? What is the right way to do it? What is the right way to communicate the cuts to the team, customers and investors? 
  • How does one keep the existing teams spirits high when they have just seen many of their friends be released? What is the right way to manage those discussions? What can founders do to build unity in their team now everyone is WFH? What has worked well for the Qordoba team? Where do many go wrong here?       

May’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What is the most challenging element of May’s role with Qordoba today?
  2. What does May know now that she wishes she had known at the beginning?
  3. If May could change one thing about the world of SaaS, what would it be and why?

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

May Habib

Mar 19, 2020

The first step in success with SMB clients is to recognize that it’s not a one size fits all scenario. Companies need a specialized approach for SMB accounts, different than the tactics used for Enterprise. Andrei Brasoveanu will sit down for a conversation with Agnes Bazin Doctolib on how to create a targeted and effective sales process tailor-made for SMB.

Mar 16, 2020

Rachel Hepworth is VP of Marketing @ Pilot, the startup that offers the best bookkeeping, tax and CFO services for growing businesses. To date they have raised over $58M from some of the best in the business including Index Ventures, John Collison, Paul English, Drew Houston, Frederic Kerrest, Diane Greene and more incredible names. As for Rachel, prior to joining Pilot, she saw the hyper-growth of Slack firsthand enjoying a couple of different roles including Head of Growth Marketing and then also Head of Self Service and Platform Marketing. Before Slack, Rachel spent 4 years at LinkedIn where she led the product marketing team for content experiences. Finally, before LinkedIn, Rachel spent close to 3 years at Climate Corporation, prior to their $1Bn exit to Monsanto. 

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Rachel made her way from marketing manager at Climate Corporation to VP of marketing at Pilot today? What were Rachel’s biggest takeaways from her time seeing the hyper-growth at Slack?
  • How does Rachel think about organic growth and inciting word of mouth today? How does Rachel think they can be more accurately tracked and measured? How does Rachel think about the optimal ratio of paid to organic in growth? Would Rachel agree in paid, your payback period doubles every $5M you spend?
  • With the rise of product-led growth, are we seeing a fundamental shift in the structure of sales and marketing? How does Rachel see marketing move ever close to the function of customer success today? What is the optimal way for customer success and marketing to work together? 
  • How does Rachel think about the importance of getting in front of your customers? Why does Rachel believe that data tells you the what and customer conversations tell you the why? What is the right way to structure your customer conversations? Where do so many people go wrong here?      

Rachel’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. Hardest element of your role with Pilot today?
  2. If Rachel could change one thing about SaaS today, what would it be?
  3. Who is killing it in SaaS marketing? Why?

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

Rachel Hepworth

Mar 12, 2020

The startup journey moves in waves—whether you’re ready or not. After finding funding and product/market fit, your next steps as a founder in the hypergrowth phase can determine the future of your company. Harry Stebbings of Stride.VC and Robert Vis of MessageBird will walk through lessons learned to survive hypergrowth and what will make a difference when it comes to scaling. Hear how to navigate fast growth and how to look ahead as you travel forward.

Mar 9, 2020

Harry Hurst is the Co-Founder & Co-CEO @ Pipe, the startup that gives you control of your cash flow by giving you access to the full annual value of your monthly subscriptions, upfront. This month they announced their $6M seed round led by David Saks @ Craft and joined by Fika, Weekend Fund, Naval Ravikant and WorkLife Ventures to name a few. Prior to Pipe, Harry co-founded Skurt raising over $11M in the process before being acquired by Fair.com. Harry has also angel invested in the likes of BreathePod and Try.com. 

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Harry made his way from the UK to founding one of Silicon Valley’s hottest SaaS startups with the founding of Pipe?
  • How does Harry think about when is the right time for a startup to raise VC funding? How does Harry stress test the alignment between the founder and the VC/ Opposingly, when is the right time for a founder to take non-dilutive capital from Pipe instead?
  • Pipe’s lending model is so centred around churn prediction, what does their churn analysis look like at Pipe? How does Harry think about the right way to structure churn post mortems? Why does Harry believe investing in customer success is far more important than customer acquisition? 
  • How does Harry think about the importance of brand for enterprise startups today? Do you have to invest in it from Day 1? What mistakes does Harry see many founders make when it comes to investing in their early brand?      

Harry’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Harry know that he wishes he had known at the beginning?
  2. What does Harry believe is the hardest role to hire for today? Why?
  3. What does Harry believe 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

Harry Hurst

Mar 5, 2020

According to a study from SiriusDecisions, the majority of buyers (81%) today make purchase decisions based on buying experience, over product or price. To meet buyers’ high expectations and manage the challenging sales landscape, companies must involve their entire organization in maturing the sales process- including after prospects sign on the dotted line. This session will outline a practical approach to growing revenue and retention by aligning sales, marketing, and customer success.

Mar 2, 2020

Today we deep dive into what startups can learn from the large SaaS incumbents of today. 

Sara Varni: CMO @ Twilio on her biggest takeaways from her time at Salesforce.

Erica Schultz: President of Field Operations @ Confluent on her biggest takeaways from her time at Oracle.

Whitney Bouck: COO @ Hellosign on her biggest takeaways from her time at Box.

Leyla Seka: Partner @ Operator Collective on her biggest takeaways from her time at Salesforce.

Ryan Bonnici: CMO @ G2 on his biggest takeaways from his time at Salesforce.

Ryan Barretto: SVP @ Sprout Social on his biggest takeaways from his time at Salesforce

Tien Tzuo: Founder & CEO @ Zuora on his biggest takeaways from his time at Salesforce.

Paul Albright: Board member @ Clarizen on his biggest takeaways from his time at SuccessFactors.

Jaleh Rezaei: Founder & CEO @ Mutiny on her biggest takeaways from her time at Gusto.

Eugenio Pace: Founder & CEO @ Auth0 on his biggest takeaways from his time at Microsoft.

Liat Bycel: VP @ Airtable on her biggest takeaways from her time at Twitter.

Mark Goldberg: Partner @ Index on his biggest takeaways from his time at Dropbox.

 

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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