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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: Category: business
Dec 22, 2020

Tamar Yehoshua is the Chief Product Officer @ Slack, the company providing a place where people get work done, together. Prior to their direct listing in June 2019, Slack raised over $1.3Bn from the likes of Accel, Thrive, Softbank, Kleiner, IVP, T Rowe, GV, and a16z to name a few. As for Tamar, previously, Tamar was a Vice President at Google, holding product and engineering leadership roles on Google’s most important products, including Search, Identity, and Privacy. Prior to that, she was the Vice President of Advertising Technologies at Amazon’s A9. If that was not enough Tamar is also on the board of 2 public companies in the form of Yext and ServiceNow.

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Tamar made her way from Google and Amazon into the world of bottoms up SaaS with one of the leading companies of our generation, Slack?
  • What were Tamar’s biggest takeaways from her time with Amazon and Google? How did Jeff Bezos’ approach to “the customer” impact Tamar’s operating mindset? How does Tamar analyse customer responses to product changes? How important a role does the press play in customer’s responses? 
  • How does Tamar think about effective product design today? How does Tamar structure the customer development process? What questions does she ask? What is she looking for? Where do many people go wrong with customer discovery? What channels can teams put in place to have this real-time dialogue with their customers?        
  • How would Tamar describe her management philosophy today? What have been some of Tamar’s biggest lessons on giving effective feedback? How should it be structured? When should it be given? To what extent does Tamar agree with “radical candour”? Where do many go wrong in giving their feedback?

Tamar’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. The most challenging element of Tamar’s role with Slack?
  2. What would Tamar most like to change about the SaaS industry?
  3. What moment in Tamar’s life has served as an inflection point and changed the way she thinks? 

Read the full transcript on our blog: https://www.saastr.com/saastr-podcast-411-with-slack-chief-product-officer-tamar-yehoshua/

 

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

Dec 8, 2020

Kate Taylor is Head of Customer Experience at Notion, one of the fastest-growing startups of the last 5 years with over $68M in funding from some of the best in the business including Index, Daniel Gross, Elad Gil, Lachy Groom, Josh Kopelman and Aydin Senkut to name a few. As for Kate, prior to making the move to Notion just last month, she spent an incredible 8 years at Dropbox including holding roles such as Head of Sales Development, North America and Director of Global SMB Revenue and Operations. Before Notion, Kate spent 2 years at Salesforce in the corporate sales and enterprise business units. 

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Kate made her way into the world of SaaS with Salesforce, how that led to her 8 year tenure at Dropbox before joining the breakout, Notion?
  • Why does Kate not believe that in startups you can “do it all”? How to discover the problems people care about? How to think through prioritisation of problems at the early stage? Where do many people make mistakes here?
  • How does Kate approach delegation at scale? When is the right time to start? How can founders let go and entrust others to do the role they have been doing? How can leaders build trust with the people they work with? How can leaders empower employees with act with conviction and invest in them?        
  • What is the role of sales in a product-led growth organisation? How can sales and product work effectively well together? Where do many mistakes happen in sales and product? How can product and marketing also collaborate productively? What can one do to shorten the feedback cycles as much as possible?

Kate’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. Most challenging element of Kate’s role with Notion?
  2. What would Kate like to change about the world of SaaS?
  3. What does Kate know now that she wishes she had known from the beginning? 

Read the full transcript on our blog: https://www.saastr.com/saastr-podcast-406-with-notion-head-of-customer-experience-kate-taylor/

 

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

Dec 1, 2020

Sam Taylor is the VP of Sales and Success @ Loom, the startup that helps you get your message across by making it easy to record instantly shareable videos. To date, they have raised over $73M from some of the best in the business including Sequoia, Kleiner Perkins, General Catalyst and Point Nine to name a few. As for Sam, prior to Loom, Sam spent over 4 years at Salesforce following their acquisition of Quip, a startup Salesforce acquired for $750M where Sam was also the 1st sales leader. Before Quip, Sam spent an incredible 3 years at Dropbox where he was the first enterprise sales rep in the entire company. 

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Sam made his way into the world of SaaS with Dropbox and how that led to his leading the sales and success team today @ Loom?
  • What was Sam’s biggest lesson from scaling the sales team at Dropbox? How did his 4 years at Salesforce change his operating mentality? Thinking of Dropbox, how does Sam justify the role of sales in a world of product-led growth? How do product and sales work together most efficiently? What can one do to structure that relationship?       
  • Does Sam agree that the founder is the one who has to create the sales playbook? When is the right time to hire the first sales rep? Should you hire 2 at a time? What does one look for in their first sales hire? What measurements should be used to determine their success? How does this change when selling to SMBs vs enterprise?      
  • How does Sam think about the relationship between sales and marketing? Are marketing becoming the new sales team with their content being used more and more in the sales funnel? How should the success of marketing be measured? Does it have to be tied to a number related to revenue?

Sam’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. Biggest challenge of Sam’s role with Loom today?
  2. What would Sam most like to change in the world of SaaS?
  3. What is Sam’s biggest weakness as a sales leader? 

Read the full transcript on our blog: https://www.saastr.com/saastr-podcast-403-with-loom-vp-of-sales-sam-taylor/

 

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

Nov 18, 2020

Rob Gonzalez is the Co-Founder & CMO @ Salsify, empowering brand manufacturers to deliver the product experiences consumers demand at every point in their buying journey. To date, Salsify has raised over $250M in funding from the likes of Venrock, Underscore, Warburg Pincus, Matrix Partners & Greenspring to name a few. As for Rob, prior to founding Salsify, he was the first-ever product manager at Cambridge Semantics and before that was a Senior Product Manager @ Endeca helping grow the company to it’s $Bn exit. 

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Rob made his way into the world of SaaS as a product manager and how that led to his founding Salsify over 8 years ago?
  • How does Rob think about the bundled vs unbundled thesis within SaaS? When is it right for SaaS companies to turn down potential customers? How can they do that the right way? What is the right way to think about customer segmentation? How should startups decide which customer segment to focus on?      
  • How should startups think about implementing partnerships? When is the right time? What is the right way to onboard them? How can they be trained in implementation efficiently? What does great change management look like to Rob? What does Rob believe are the biggest misconceptions around change management?       
  • How does Rob think through pricing today in a way that encourages land and expand? What can you do to make the land as frictionless as possible? What does it take to expand effectively? How does Rob think about usage vs seat-based pricing in SaaS? How should sales and marketing work together on pricing?

Rob’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. Most challenging element of Rob’s role with Salsify?
  2. What would Rob most like to change in the world of SaaS today?
  3. What does Rob know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning? 

Read the full transcript on our blog: https://www.saastr.com/saastr-podcast-398-with-salsify-co-founder-cmo-rob-gonzalez/

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

Rob Gonzalez

Nov 10, 2020

Andy MacMillan is the CEO @ UserTesting, the company that provides real-time feedback, from real customers, wherever you work. To date, they have raised over $200M in funding from the likes of Accel, Greenspring, Openview and Insight to name a few. As for Andy, prior to UserTesting, he was the Chairman and CEO @ Act On Software and before that held several positions at Salesforce, including COO - Products Group. Before Salesforce Andy spent close to 5 years at Oracle as VP Product Management. 

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How did Andy make his way into the world of SaaS? How did he come to be CEO at the market leader, UserTesting?
  • Why does Andy think the seat-based pricing model in SaaS will die? What are the downsides of it? Why is volume-based pricing optimal? How does one instil volume based pricing without disincentivizing usage? How does Andy think about discounting? How does Andy view the importance of offering trials?       
  • What does it take to scale a sales team successfully? How can one determine a closer in the interview process? Should one hire sales reps 2x2? How does Andy think about hiring sales reps from adjacent companies and industries? How does Andy think about minimizing and optimising sales ramp times? How does Andy think about payback period?      
  • How does Andy structure the pipeline meetings? Who is invited? How are the meetings structured? How does Andy advise on the right segmentation of pipe? How does Andy evaluate the closability of the pipe? Where do many people go wrong in pipeline meetings? What have been his biggest lessons on running them successfully?

Andy’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. The hardest element of Andy’s role with UserTesting?
  2. What Andy would most like to change about the world of SaaS?
  3. The hardest role to hire for today and why? 

Read the full transcript on our blog: https://www.saastr.com/saastr-podcast-395-with-usertesting-ceo-andy-macmillan/

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

Andy MacMillan

Oct 28, 2020

Randy Rayess is the Co-Founder @ Outgrow, a growth marketing platform that enables marketers to build interactive content/tools to increase customer engagement and boost demand generation. Prior to founding Outgrow, Randy co-founded VenturePact, an invite-only marketplace that connects companies with trusted software development firms. Before VenturePact Randy held roles at Ampush and then on the investor side at SilverLake. If that was not enough, Randy is also an investor having invested in the likes of SmartyPal, Nooch, Alie and AirCare Labs to name a few. 

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Randy made his way from the world of PE with SilverLake to changing the game of digital marketing with Outgrow?
  • What does interactive content mean? What are the most common forms? When should one start to use interactive content What resources and team does one need to engage with an interactive content strategy? Where do many people make mistakes with using interactive content?     
  • How should one think about idea generation for interactive content? How does one know what interactive content works best? How should we test it’s effectiveness? How should interactive content be promoted? Where should it be placed? How many text inputs is it optimal to request for?     
  • How does it convert more leads? How does Randy think about using interactive content to maximise sales rep efficiency? How should customer success engage with interactive content? What can be done to make the sales and customer success teamwork so well together?    

Randy’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. The hardest element of Randy’s role with Outgrow today?
  2. Hardest role to hire for today? Why?
  3. What would Randy most like to change about the world of SaaS?  

Read the full transcript on our blog: https://www.saastr.com/saastr-podcast-390-with-outgrow-co-founder-randy-rayess/

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

Randy Rayess

 

Oct 20, 2020

Ryan Carlson is the CMO @ Okta, the leading independent provider of identity for the enterprise. Prior to their incredibly successful IPO in April of 2017, they raised funding from some of the best in the business including Sequoia, a16z, Greylock, Khosla and Floodgate to name a few. As for Ryan, he has spent an incredible 9 years at Okta in numerous different roles starting with running the product marketing team before moving to run the marketing team, leading to his promotion to CMO close to 5 years ago now. Before Okta, Ryan was the Co-Founder and CEO @ Sproost, a bootstrapped online expert recommendation system. 

  In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Ryan made his way into the world of enterprise SaaS? Why was joining Okta the most challenging interview process he has experienced? How did it impact how he assesses candidates today?
  • How does Ryan distinguish between the company story vs the product story? When do they align and when do they separate? How should your strategy change as they move apart? How does the structure of your marketing team need to change with the evolution?     
  • What should the first marketing hire look like? What experience should they have? Why does Ryan believe you should hire two in marketing to start? How do you want them to work together? How does Ryan ensure cross-function working seamlessly from the very beginning with marketing?     
  • How does Ryan think about measuring success when it comes to product marketing? How does Ryan think about marketing attribution today? How should we think through SAL vs closed revenue as indicator of marketing success? Where does Ryan believe many go wrong with regards to marketing funnels?    

Ryan’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Ryan know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning?
  2. What makes Frederic Kerrest the special leader he is?
  3. What is the most challenging element of Ryan’s role with Okta?  

Read the full transcript on our blog: https://www.saastr.com/saastr-podcast-388-with-okta-cmo-ryan-carlson/

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

Ryan Carlson

Oct 14, 2020

Paul Rosania is the Founder & CEO @ Balsa, the company that recognises that builders move the world forward and so they are building the best second screen for builders, integrating tools you already use like Jira, GitHub, and Figma. Coming out of stealth today with their seed round being led by Andrew Chen @ a16z and joined by former CPO @ Slack, April Underwood, Chapter One’s Jeff Morris Jr and then of course, 20VC Fund. Prior to founding Balsa, Paul was Senior Director of Product @ Slack and before Slack was a Group Product Manager @ Twitter where he was responsible for the home timeline, including timeline ranking.

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Paul made his way into the world of startups with Twitter and Slack and how that led to his founding SaaS company, Balsa?
  • Paul was central in the decision-making around changing the Twitter timeline from chronological to ranked, how did he think about that decision? How does Paul approach such large product decisions today? What were his biggest operating takeaways from seeing the internal mechanics of Twitter & Slack?     
  • What does really effective product marketing mean to Paul? How does Paul think about driving really effective change management? When engaging with bottoms up sales models, where does Paul identify the tipping points of going from bottoms up to top down?     
  • Why does Paul believe that the builders are the new pro athletes? How will the structure of orgs change around them? How will the support they receive change? How will their training change? How will their comp change? How does on do this and not discourage other functions in the org?    

Paul’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Paul believe is the hardest role to hire for today?
  2. What would Paul most like to change about the world of SaaS today?
  3. What do the next 5 years hold for Paul and for Balsa?  

Read the full transcript on our blog: https://www.saastr.com/saastr-podcast-385-with-balsa-founder-ceo-paul-rosania/

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 Rosania

 

Sep 29, 2020

Ryan Sandler is the Co-Founder and CEO @ Truework, the company that gives employees control over employment, income and other identity data. To date, Ryan has raised over $44M with Truework from the likes of Sequoia, Khosla, Menlo and from the founders of companies such as Plaid, Seatgeek, Mino Games and Checkr. Prior to founding Truework, Ryan spent 3 years as a Senior Product Manager @ LinkedIn.

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Ryan made his way from LinkedIn Product Manager to founding Sequoia backed Truework and changing the world of identity data?
  • Why does Ryan believe it is such an advantage to sell into mid-market? Where do most people go wrong here? How can startups show credibility to mid-market when they are so small? How can founders use case studies and references to build social credibility early on?     
  • What have Ryan’s lessons been when it comes to pricing? How does Ryan think about and approach discounting? How does Ryan feel about pilot plans? What elements can founders negotiate on to get the best pricing?    
  • Why does Ryan believe SEO is the best-kept secret in SaaS? How has Ryan structured his content and marketing team as a result? How can one automate as much of the content creation process as possible? How long should one expect in terms of lead times to see returns on the SEO strategy?    

Ryan’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. Hardest element of Ryan’s role with Truework?
  2. What would Ryan most like to change about the world of SaaS?
  3. What does Ryan know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning? 

Read the full transcript on our blog: https://www.saastr.com/saastr-podcast-380-with-truework-co-founder-and-ceo-ryan-sandler/

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

Ryan Sandler

Sep 23, 2020

Dave McJannet is the CEO @ Hashicorp, one of the fastest-growing enterprise companies of our time providing consistent workflows to provision, secure, connect and run any infrastructure for any application. To date, the company has raised $349M in funding from some of the best in the business including Bessemer, Redpoint, True Ventures, IVP, Mayfield, TCV and GGV to name a few. As for David, prior to Hashicorp, he held some incredible roles including VP Marketing at Github and Hortonworks, Senior Director of Product Marketing @ VMWare and then also spent over 5 years at Microsoft. 

Read the full transcript on our blog: https://www.saastr.com/saastr-podcast-377-with-hashicorp-ceo-dave-mcjannet/

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

Sep 8, 2020

Latane Conant is the Chief Marketing Officer at 6Sense, the company that allows you to achieve predictable revenue growth by identifying accounts looking for your solution, prioritise efforts and then engage the right way. To date, the company has raised $120M in financing from Battery Ventures, Insight, Venrock, Costanoa, Bain Capital and Salesforce Ventures to name a few. As for Latane, before 6Sense she was CMO and sales leader at Appirio where she drove 5X more effective field marketing programs and an increase in inbound leads by 300%. If that was not enough, Latane is also on the Advisory Boards of both Mediafly and Atrium. 

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How did Latane make her way into the world of SaaS and come to be the rockstar CMO and ABM thought leader she is today with 6Sense?
  • What does the preparation process look like pre-sales kick off week? What is involved? Who is involved? What needs to be ready? How does Latane feel about putting comp plans as part of the week?     
  • How important is a theme to having an engaging week of content? What can teams do to bring their themes to life? How does Latane advise others when it comes to keeping the content fresh and exciting?  
  • What is the right way to end the week? What are the right follow up steps to take? Where do many people go wrong here?    

Latane’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. Hardest element of Latane’s role today with 6Sense?
  2. What would Latane most like to change about the world of SaaS?
  3. What does Latane believe that most around her disbelieve? 

Read the full transcript on our blog: https://www.saastr.com/saastr-podcast-372-with-6sense-cmo-latane-conant/

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

Latane Conant

Aug 26, 2020

Hilary Headlee is Head of Global Sales Operations and Enablement @ Zoom. Prior to joining Zoom, Hilary was VP of Global Sales Operations and Productivity @ MindBody and before that enjoyed similar roles with Alteryx, Invoca and Lynda.com. At Lynda.com, Hilary grew the support teams from 6 to 60 people and supported more than 60 net new reps in just 3 years. If that was not enough, Hilary is also a Limited Partner in Stage 2 Capital, the venture firm focused purely on go-to-market. 

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How did Hilary make her way into the world of SaaS and come to be the sales leader she is today with the global communications leader, Zoom?
  • When thinking about sales ops vs revenue ops, what are the 4 key points to consider for founders? How does lead management and onboarding alter the question of sales ops vs revenue ops? Where does Hilary see operational debt the most? How does she advise founders on removing it?    
  • Given the broad scope of sales ops and engagement, is it not just rebalancing culture, comms and change? As a business scales does there not come a time where it unbundles and scales out of sales vs revenue ops? How do the roles change with time and scale? Where do the breakpoints occur? 
  • Why does Hilary believe documentation is so important today? What is the toolset Hilary uses for documentation? How does Hilary train her team around the right strategy to document their processes? Where do many go wrong here? Where can you pick up small wins?   

Hilary’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What is the hardest element of Hilary’s role today with Zoom?
  2. What would Hilary most like to change in the world of SaaS today? 
  3. What does Hilary believe that most around him disbelieve? 

Read the full transcript on our blog: https://www.saastr.com/saastr-podcast-367-with-zoom-head-of-global-sales-operations-and-enablement-hilary-headlee/

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

Aug 18, 2020

Kyle Parrish is the Head of Sales @ Figma, the company that helps teams create, test and ship better designs from start to finish. To date the company has raised over $132M in financing from some of the best in the business including Sequoia, a16z, Index, Greylock and Kleiner Perkins to name a few. As for Kyle, prior to Figma he spent over 5 years at Dropbox achieving some incredible milestones including launching and scaling the Austin, Texas office from 3 to 80 people and being responsible for growing Dropbox’s leading partner ecosystem. Before Figma, Kyle spent close to 3 years as an Account Executive at ADP. 

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Kyle made his way into the world of SaaS and sales and came to be Head of Sales at one of the fastest-growing companies in Figma?
  • Kyle was in charge of creating the Austin, Texas sales team @ Dropbox, what were some of his biggest lessons when it comes to moving sales outside of HQ? What worked? What did not work? At what stage does culture and process really start to break?    
  • Why is it so hard moving from 0-1 in sales? How does Kyle advise founders when it comes to making your first sales hire? Does Kyle agree that it has to be the founder who develops the sales playbook? How does one create sales targets that are both ambitious but also achievable? What is the balance? 
  • What does it take to create a performance led sales culture? Where do many people go wrong here? How is the best way for sales and product to work together? What can one do to proactively make those discussions with sales and product both frequent and productive?   

Kyle’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What is the hardest element of Kyle’s role today with Figma?
  2. What would Kyle most like to change in the world of SaaS today? 
  3. What does Kyle believe that most around him disbelieve? 

Read the full transcript on our blog: https://www.saastr.com/saastr-podcast-364-with-figma-head-of-sales-kyle-parrish/

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

Kyle Parrish

The future of work is here and digital automation is now essential for today’s workforce. Tools have improved, but companies are STILL using outdated and manual processes to conduct business. Enter Pipefy. Pipefy is a workflow management software that makes business processes such as purchasing, onboarding, and recruiting—hassle-free, so requesters, processors and managers are more efficient. Pipefy seamlessly integrates with other tools in your toolchain to ensure a completely automated experience with a low to no code implementation. Dispersed or remote team members? NO PROBLEM! Pipefy can automate your requests from anywhere. Scroll over to pipefy.com/saastr to try it out and get 10% off your first 3 months. Empower your teams everywhere with Pipefy.

Aug 10, 2020

Lara Caimi is the Chief Customer and Partner Officer @ ServiceNow, the company that allows you the power to make work, work better. Prior to their IPO, ServiceNow raised funding from some of the best in the business including Sequoia Capital and Greylock. As for Lara, she joined ServiceNow in 2017 and spent 3 years as Chief Strategy Officer before assuming her current role just this month. Before ServiceNow Lara spent an incredible 17 years at Bain & Co across a variety of different projects and roles.

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Lara made her way into the world of ServiceNow and SaaS having spent an incredible 17 years at Bain & Co?
  • What does the role of Chief Strategy Officer really entail? How did the role change in Lara’s 3 years in the position? What is the optimal relationship between the Chief Strategy Officer and the CEO? How does Lara advise founders on when to hire their Chief Customer Officer?  
  • How does Lara see the 4 phases of startup growth? What are the most challenging elements within each? How does one instil process and discipline without losing agility and speed? How does one set targets that are a stretch but also not a stretch too far? What is the right balance? 
  • How does Lara think about what great change management looks like today? How does that change in a COVID world? How does Lara approach the right way to address enterprise customer communications? Why has that been made easier in COVID times?  

Lara’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What would Lara most like to change in the world of SaaS today?
  2. What is the hardest element of Lara’s role with ServiceNow today?
  3. The biggest surprise for Lara internally since the start of COVID? 

Read the full transcript on our blog: https://www.saastr.com/saastr-podcast-361-with-servicenow-chief-customer-and-partner-officer-lara-caimi/

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

The future of work is here and digital automation is now essential for today’s workforce. Tools have improved, but companies are STILL using outdated and manual processes to conduct business. Enter Pipefy. Pipefy is a workflow management software that makes business processes such as purchasing, onboarding, and recruiting—hassle-free, so requesters, processors and managers are more efficient. Pipefy seamlessly integrates with other tools in your toolchain to ensure a completely automated experience with a low to no code implementation. Dispersed or remote team members? NO PROBLEM! Pipefy can automate your requests from anywhere. Scroll over to pipefy.com/saastr to try it out and get 10% off your first 3 months. Empower your teams everywhere with Pipefy.

Jul 28, 2020

Pete Kazanjy is the Co-Founder @ Atrium, the startup providing proactive, always-on insights for sales operations, managers, and leaders. Stop asking questions. Start getting answers. Alongside Atrium, Pete is also the Founder of Modern Sales Pros, a community of 15,000 focused on sales operations and sales management. Pete is also the author of Founding Sales, the canonical writing on early-stage startup sales. Prior to founding Atrium, Pete founded TalentBin, culminating in their exit to Monster Worldwide in February 2014. Finally, before TalentBin, Pete founded Honestly.com building the world's first professional reputation clearinghouse and raising funding from CRV and First Round in the process. 

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Pete made his way into the world of SaaS and how he came to be one of the leading figures on sales operations and management that he is today?
  • Why do founders have to sell the product themselves at the start? When is the right time to hire their first sales reps? What profiles should founders look for in these first reps? What are the most common mistakes founders make when hiring their first reps? How should they structure their comp plans?   
  • How do the best onboard their sales reps? What can be done to minimise ramp time of new reps? How is the documentation used most effectively? How can sales calls be used for new rep onboarding? How does Pete think about optimising payback period on a per rep basis? 
  • What are the leading indicators that a sales rep is successful? What are the core metrics founders should measure to determine the effectiveness of their reps and sales teams? How does this differ between SMB and enterprise? What are the challenges with enterprise given the long sales cycles? 

Pete’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. Hardest element of Pete’s role today with Atrium?
  2. What would Pete most like to change in the world of SaaS?
  3. What sales leader does Pete most respect and why?

Read the full transcript on our blog: https://www.saastr.com/saastr-podcast-356-with-atrium-co-founder-pete-kazanjy/

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

Pete Kazanjy

Jul 6, 2020

Neha Sampat is the Founder and CEO @ Contentstack, a modern content management system bringing business and tech teams together to deliver personalised, omnichannel experiences. Atypical in our world, but Neha scaled the business to well over $1M in ARR before raising funding. Now Neha has raised over $31M from the likes of Insight Partners and Illuminate. Prior to Contentstack, Neha was the Founder and CEO @ Built.io and before that spent 10 years as the Founder and CEO @ Raw Engineering, building a leading digital transformation consultancy.

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How did Neha make her way into the world of SaaS and content management systems having previously built a digital transformation agency?
  • How the heck did Neha scaled Contentstack to over $1M in ARR without raising capital, whilst being based in the Bay? What were the signals that made Neha realise she had a scalable software business? What did Neha look for in her first seed round investors? How did that profile change when she went out to raise the Series A?  
  • How has being a sommelier helped Neha break the glass ceiling of business? What are some lessons Neha has learned in terms of build true and genuine relationships with customers beyond the transaction? What are the counter-intuitive strategies Neha has found works when it comes to motivating remote teams?
  • Why did Neha decide to build out so much of the tech team well outside of the Bay in a town outside of Mumbai? Does Neha believe the future of tech is in the valley or decentralised?  

Neha’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. Neha’s biggest strength and biggest weakness as a leader?
  2. What does Neha believe that many around her do not?
  3. The biggest obstacle to the success Neha has achieved?

 

Read the full transcript on our blog: https://www.saastr.com/saastr-podcast-350-with-contentstack-founder-ceo-neha-sampat/

 

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

Neha Sampat

Jul 1, 2020

Kurt Muehmel is the Chief Customer Officer @ Dataiku, the platform democratizing access to data and enabling enterprises to build their own path to AI in a human-centric way. To date, the company has raised over $146M in funding from some of the best in the business including ICONIQ, Firstmark, Battery Ventures and CapitalG to name a few. As for Kurt, he joined the company over 5 years ago and has risen from AE to VP EMEA to VP Sales Engineering to today as Chief Customer Officer. Before Dataiku, Kurt spent 5 years at Deloitte as a Manager advising primarily European public authorities on sustainable development policies.

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Kurt made his way into the world of enterprise SaaS with Dataiku having started his career at Deloitte in Paris?
  • What does it take to go from 0-1 in implementing both AI and data science disciplines in 20th-century companies? Where do many go wrong with their first steps? How can one assist them in the right way? How does Kurt feel about services revenue? At what stage or ratio does it become too much? 
  • How does Kurt approach the challenge of change management? What does great change management look like? Where do so many go wrong? How can content be used to efficiently scale change management practices? How does one need to engage different teams for effective change management? 
  • How does Kurt think about the right pricing mechanism for the customer today? How does one find a mechanism that does not disincentivize the customer with usage? How does Kurt feel about discounting? To what extent is Kurt and Dataiku willing to engage with pilots and POCs? Where do many go wrong here? 

Kurt’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. Biggest challenge of Kurt’s role with Dataiku today?
  2. What does Kurt know now that he wishes he had known when he entered the world of SaaS?
  3. Who does Kurt look up to in the world of customer experience? Why?

Read the full transcript on our blog: https://www.saastr.com/saastr-podcast-348-with-dataiku-chief-customer-officer-kurt-muehmel/

 

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

Kurt Muehmel

Jun 23, 2020

Julie Herendeen is the CMO @ PagerDuty, the real-time operations platform ensuring less downtime and fewer outages, meaning happier customers and more productive teams. Prior to their IPO in 2019 PagerDuty raised funding from some of the best in the business including Accel, a16z, Baseline, Bessemer and Harrison Metal to name a few. As for Julie, prior to PagerDuty she was Vice President of Global Marketing @ Dropbox. Before Dropbox Julie was CMO @ Lookout and before Lookout, Julie enjoyed VP roles at both Yahoo and Shutterfly. If that was not enough, alongside her role at PagerDuty today Julie is also an angel with Broadway Angels and a Board Member @ Hubspot. 

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Julie made her way from the world of consumer into the world of enterprise and came to be CMO @ PagerDuty today? What were some of Julie’s biggest lessons from her time as VP Global Marketing at Dropbox?
  • Does Julie believe that marketing should be held accountable to a number tied directly to revenue? How does Julie believe sales and marketing should work in unison? How can sales be involved in pipeline generation meetings? Should AEs make themselves responsible for sourcing new leads also? What does the ideal handoff look like? 
  • How does Julie see the best marketing and product teams working together? What can marketing do to collect the most valuable data to inform product decisions? In what forum should they be relayed to product teams? How should product and marketing leaders interact most efficiently? 
  • How does Julie think about the relationship of customer success and marketing? Does Julie agree that with the increasing amount of marketing content used post-sale, marketing is doing much of the work of CS? Where does Julie see many going wrong when investing heavily into thought leadership and content marketing?

Julie’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. Which marketing leader does Julie most respect and why?
  2. What would Julie most like to change about the world of SaaS today?
  3. What is the optimal relationship between the CEO and the CMO?

Read the full transcript on our blog: https://www.saastr.com/saastr-podcast-345-with-pagerduty-cmo-julie-herendeen/

 

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

Julie Herendeen

Jun 9, 2020

David Politis is the Founder & CEO @ BetterCloud, the company that helps IT discover, manage and secure the digital workplace. To date, David has raised over $186M in funding with BetterCloud from the likes of Accel, Warburg Pincus, Greycroft, Flybridge and Dropbox to name a few. Before founding BetterCloud, David was an early employee of Cloud Sherpas (acquired by Accenture), where he led the company to become the leading cloud services partner to SMB worldwide. Prior to Cloud Sherpas, David was a founding employee and General Manager of Vocalocity (acquired by Vonage), which he grew into one of the top providers of cloud PBX technology.

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How David made his way into the world of SaaS and came to found BetterCloud? How has David seen the rate of cloud adoption within enterprise over the last 5 years? Has it been faster or slower than he thought? 
  • People often suggest operators are suited to certain stages of a company lifecycle, does David agree with this? What are the leading indicators an individual is struggling to scale? How does one communicate that to them effectively? How does David think about the decision to move an individual to another role vs release them? 
  • What does radical transparency really mean to David? How does the ability to have radical transparency within your org change when the org is 10 people vs 100 people? What are the biggest challenges of scaling transparency? From a meeting structure view, what can leaders do to encourage transparency? 
  • How does David feel about the method of OKR setting? How has his mindset changed towards OKRs? What does the decision-making process look like for deciding which OKRs to focus on? What OKRs do they focus on at BetterCloud? How does one know when they need to change their OKRs?

David’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What would David most like to change in the world of SaaS?
  2. How has David seen himself emerge and develop as a leader?
  3. What is the biggest challenge of David’s role within BetterCloud today?

Read the full transcript on our blog: https://www.saastr.com/saastr-podcast-341-with-bettercloud-founder-ceo-david-politis/

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

David Politis

Jun 4, 2020

Mark Suster is a managing partner at Upfront Ventures, the largest venture capital firm in Los Angeles, and a prominent blogger in the startup venture capital world.

In this episode of the SaaStr podcast, he shares his learnings on the current landscape of funding in the time of Coronavirus, including:

  • Valuation and compression 
  • Forecasting market trends
  • The slowdown in VC
  • His best advice for surviving the downturn and raising a round of funding 

You can find the full video and transcript of this talk on our blog: https://www.saastr.com/funding-in-the-time-of-coronavirus-with-mark-suster-video-transcript/

Jun 2, 2020

Michael Katz is the Founder & CEO @ mParticle, the customer data platform for brands leading the customer data revolution with clients from Airbnb to Spotify to Postmates. To date Michael has raised over $120m in funding with mParticle from GV, Social Capital, Greylock, Bain Capital Ventures and a friend of the show in Zach Coelius. Prior to founding mParticle, Mike was the Founder & CEO @ Interclick, where he organically grew revenue to over $140m in 5 years. The company went public in 2009 and was acquired by Yahoo in 2012 for $270m, a 50% premium on existing share price. If that was not enough, Michael is also on the board of Brightline and a mentor with Techstars.

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Michael made his way into the world of SaaS and enterprise SaaS having founded and IPO’d an adtech business previously?
  • Why did Michael make the move to CRO 8 months ago? How does Mike think about when is the right time to hire your first CRO? How does this hire correlate to your hiring in sales enablement? What are the different CRO profiles Mike has seen? How does Mike advise founders on those that work best for early-stage?
  • Why does Mike believe that playbooks are for suckers? What is the reasoning for the reductionism towards the power of the playbook? How does Mike think about the relationship between playbooks and predictability? 
  • How does Mike make sales data really actionable within the company? What is the right way for founders to do post-mortems on won and lost deals? What is the right way to structure their sales pipeline? Who should be involved in analysing this data? What can be done to incentivize sales to be accurate in their sales data?
  • Why does Michael believe that most sales meetings are unproductive? What is the right way to structure your sales meeting? Who should be brought into the meeting other than the sales team? How does Michael advise sales reps to maintain customer relationships post-sale? Where do many go wrong here? 

Michael’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What would Michael most like to change about the world of SaaS?
  2. What is the hardest element of Michael’s role today with mParticle?

Read the full transcript on our blog: https://www.saastr.com/saastr-podcast-339-with-mparticle-founder-ceo-michael-katz/

 

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 Katz

May 26, 2020

Christine Trodella is Head of Americas for Facebook’s Workplace product, the communication tool that connects everyone in your company, through Groups, Chat, Rooms and Live video broadcasting. Prior to Workplace, Christine was Head of America’s for Facebook’s Audience Network and before that spent 5 years as a Group Director across multiple different sales and account teams within Facebook’s mid-market channel. Before Facebook, Christine was an Executive Director @ WebMD and before that spent close to 3 years in media sales at Yahoo. 

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Christine made her way into the world of SaaS as part of a non-SaaS company and how that led to her leading Americas for Workplace by Facebook?
  • What have been the biggest benefits of scaling a SaaS company within a non-SaaS company? What are the biggest challenges or misalignments of scaling Workplace within Facebook? What have been some of the core and early mistakes the team made in their strategy to build out the Workplace sales and marketing machine? 
  • What have been Christine’s biggest lessons on what it takes to sell really effectively to some of the largest enterprises in the world? What do CIOs most want in pricing? How does Christine think about the pricing problem of having a variable pricing mechanism without disincentivizing usage? How does Christine think about and approach discounting?
  • Does Christine believe remote is the new normal? What really interesting data have Christine and the Workplace team seen since the world has move to work from home? How has behaviour changed on the platform with the rise of remote work? 

Christine’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What would Christine most like to change in the world of SaaS?
  2. When I say success, who is the first person that comes to Christine’s mind?
  3. What is the biggest challenge of Christine’s role within FB today?

Read the full transcript on our blog: https://www.saastr.com/saastr-podcasts-for-the-week-with-facebook-workplace-and-slack-may-29-2020/

 

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

Christine Trodella

Lower your burn by leveraging AI to claim R&D tax credits for a flat fee. Cash on hand is more important than ever, CrossBorder Solutions helps you keep more of your money. See why AI is the rational choice, request a demo today. [crossborder.ai/20]

May 19, 2020

David Spinks is the Founder @ CMX, the premier network for community professionals. In 2019, CMX was acquired by Bevy, where David now serves as the VP of Community. Bevy is a customer-to-customer community management platform, building products that brands use to build, grow and manage their community event programs, both virtual and IRL for companies like Slack, Twitch, Salesforce, Atlassian, and Duolingo. Prior to CMX, David founded 2 prior startups centred around different forms of community building and before that was Community Manager in the early days of LeWeb the largest tech/startup conference in Europe.

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How David made his way into the world of SaaS and came to found CMX? Why David believes that community is so central for all SaaS companies today?
  • How does David advise teams on expectation setting around virtual events? How ambitious should they be? What big mistakes does David often see in the early days of the planning? How does this differ if you have an existing cohort of users vs are starting new with no audience?  
  • How dependent is the success of the community on the platform it is hosted on? What is the ideal size for Slack, Telegram and Whatsapp communities? Should the host seed the discussion or allow it to be natural? How important is it to establish a handbook of expected actions and behaviours? Should you cull members who are inactive? 
  • What does David believe separates good from great when it comes to discussion groups? What innovative strategies has David seen work when it comes to bringing a virtual event to life? What is the right amount of people in that discussion group? What is the core role of the moderator for the group?

David’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. Biggest misconception around virtual events?
  2. Virtual events: Permanent tide change or purely in the COVID world?
  3. What has been David’s favourite virtual event? Why?

Read the full transcript on our blog: https://www.saastr.com/saastr-podcasts-for-the-week-with-cmx-media-and-salesforce-may-22-2020/

 

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

David Spinks

Lower your burn by leveraging AI to claim R&D tax credits for a flat fee. Cash on hand is more important than ever, CrossBorder Solutions helps you keep more of your money. See why AI is the rational choice, request a demo today. [crossborder.ai/20]

May 11, 2020

Bridget Gleason is the Head of Sales and Customer Success @ Tidelift, the company providing managed open source, backed by maintainers. Tidelift has raised over $40M from some of the best in the business including Foundry Group and General Catalyst. As for Bridget, she has the most incredible track record. Before Tidelift, Bridget was VP of Sales @ Logz.io and before that was VP of Corporate Sales @ Sumo Logic where she drove ARR up by a record 237%. Prior to SumoLogic, Bridget was VP of Sales @ YesWare where she increased MRR per rep by 450%. Finally, before YesWare, she was VP of Sales @ Engine Yard, where she tripled monthly recurring revenue, over the course of her 3+ year tenure, in 3 key leadership roles.

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Bridget made her way into the world of SaaS and Sales and came to be Head of both Sales and Customer Success at Tidelift?
  • Why does Bridget believe the best starting point for customer success is “company culture and value”? How does company culture impact the quality of customer success? In practice, what can one do to improve it? Who has done this well? How does value drive customer success forward? 
  • How does Bridget think Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs drives the roadmap for customer success? What core elements does it change? Where do most teams go wrong in implementing the role out of their CS strategy? When should one hire their first CS rep? What should that hire look like from an experience perspective?
  • How does Bridget advise her CS reps the best ways for them to build trust with their clients? What works? What does not work? Does Bridget believe CS teams should be involved in the upsell process? Does that endanger the element of trust?

Bridget’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Bridget know now that she wishes she had known when she entered the world of SaaS?
  2. What would bridget most like to change about the world of SaaS today?
  3. What is the most challenging element of Bridget’s role with Tidelift?

Read the full transcript on our blog: https://www.saastr.com/saastr-podcasts-for-the-week-with-tidelift-and-cloudflare/

 

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

Bridget Gleason

Lower your burn by leveraging AI to claim R&D tax credits for a flat fee. Cash on hand is more important than ever, CrossBorder Solutions helps you keep more of your money. See why AI is the rational choice, request a demo today. [crossborder.ai/20]

May 6, 2020

Jessica Lin is a Co-Founder and General Partner @ Work-Bench, one of New York’s leading early-stage enterprise funds with a portfolio including the likes of Cockroach Labs, X.ai, Dialpad, VTS and Catalyst to name a few. Prior to Work-Bench, Jessica was a Learning and Development Manager at Cisco Systems, where she worked with the Engineering organization on Agile transformation, innovation and culture. Jessica is actively involved with the education and workforce development community in New York City and as chair of the Industry Advisory Board at Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow.

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Jessica made her way from learning Swahili into the world of enterprise and into the world of venture with the founding of Work-Bench?
  • How should founders expect to see their new business pipe be impacted by COVID? What does Jessica believe is the right way to do proper pipe reviews? What specific elements does Jessica really double click on in reviews? Where does Jessica find managers and founders do pipe reviews wrong?
  • What does Jessica believe is the right way for sales reps to engage with new customers during this time? What is the right tone to adopt that achieves both empathy and a business objective? How should sales teams and CS respond to requests for discounts? What should be the compromise with discounts? 
  • What specific and deliberate things can startups do not just to prevent churn but also to increase usage and upsell? Does Jessica agree with the rule of thumb that in enterprise, on an annual basis, 95% of your customers should retain? What other strategies has Jessica seen work really well for retention?

Jessica’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What would Jessica most like to change about the world of SaaS?
  2. What is the hardest element of Jessica’s role today with Work-Bench?
  3. The NYC ecosystem, pros and cons?

Read the full transcript on our blog: https://www.saastr.com/saastr-podcasts-for-the-week-with-work-bench-and-initialized-capital-may-8-2020/

 

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

Jessica Lin 

Lower your burn by leveraging AI to claim R&D tax credits for a flat fee. Cash on hand is more important than ever, CrossBorder Solutions helps you keep more of your money. See why AI is the rational choice, request a demo today. [crossborder.ai/20]

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