The Benefits of Hiring a Stretch VP of Sales (and The Risks)


………………… Hiring a VP of Sales in a startup is an incredibly hard thing. It requires good instincts, luck, timing, and plenty of other things to work. Even if you hire the right person there is no guarantee your startup is going to make it.

Sales 254

6 Top Sessions On Scaling From SaaStr Annual 2021


The topic of scaling is central to the mission of SaaStr: “Our goal is to help everyone get from $0 to $100m ARR with less stress and more success.” ” SaaS is not the right industry to aim for incremental, low single-digit revenue growth.


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The Things You Have to Get Right When You Start a Start-Up


Everyone today wants to start a SaaS startup. They have an idea they are passionate about. They’ve worked under a great CEO and they’re ready — they think — to do it on their own this time. And maybe they are. What does it take?

5 Top Customer Success Talks at SaaStr Annual 2021


Getting customer success right is one of the most powerful levers in SaaS: Upsell + expansion with existing customers costs 62% less than acquiring new customers ($0.63 upsell + expansion CAC vs $1.67 new customer CAC, per KeyBanc 2021 Private SaaS Company Survey ).

The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Strong and Effective Value Proposition

Speaker: Robin Zaragoza, Product Coach and CEO of The Product Refinery

Join Robin Zaragoza, product coach and CEO of The Product Refinery, as she shares tips on how to create a powerful Value Proposition that keeps your customer at the heart of your product development process.

6 Product Led Growth Sessions From SaaStr Annual 2021


As OpenView and many others have documented, Product Led Growth (“PLG”) is one of the dominant themes of the SaaS marketplace today. Unsurprisingly, Product Led Growth was one of the most popular discussion topics at SaaStr Annual 2021.

The Low Viral Coefficient of SaaS, And Why That’s Just Fine


We’ve talked a lot on SaaStr about how to get from $1m to $10m, $2m to $5m, $10m to $30m, etc. One area we haven’t talked as much about is getting from say $100k in ARR to Initial Traction, or $1-$2m in ARR. A bit, but not as much.

B2C 216

Just Remember, We Don’t Really Need Any More SaaS Products. Then You’ll Do Far Better.


I guess in some ways SaaStr is a digest of mistakes we all make in recurring revenue businesses, how to avoid them, or at least, make fewer. There’s one important mistake folks tend to make consistently in the early days.

SaaS 226

Dear SaaStr: What Do The Top 1% of Sales Reps Do … That The Other 99% Don’t?


Q: Dear SaaStr: What Do The Top 1% of Sales Reps Do … That The Other 99% Don’t? I have a pretty good sense what the Top 10% do, though I’m not not 100% sure about the top 1%. On the surface, they seem to be doing the same things the rest of the Top 10% do.

Sales 217

SaaStr Annual 2022 is BACK!! Save the Dates, Sep 13-15 ’22


After our highest-rated SaaStr Annual 2021 ever, we’re back for 2022 in the SF Bay Area again at San Mateo event center. We’ll again use our festival-style format from 2021, just bigger, better and more refined: Outdoors + Open Air Again! 40+ Acres! 10,000 Founders, VCs + Execs.

Cloud 212

How Customer-Centric Feedback Loops Can Evolve Your Product Process

Speaker: Nickey Skarstad, Director of Product at Duolingo

Join Nickey Skarstad, Director of Product at Duolingo, as she discusses why it’s important to actively gather customer feedback, how to build customer feedback loops into your product planning, the best ways to decipher different types of feedback, and different frameworks for how/when to apply feedback processes.

Casey Renner’s SaaStr Walks with CEO of Algolia, CMO of Synk, and VPM of Vanta


Casey Renner, partner at Openview, grabbed 3 of our great speakers from 2021 SaaStr Annual to do 3 fun, short walks-and-talks. All 3 are worth a watch! CEO of Algolia, Bernadette Nixon. First up was a walk-and-talk with one of my favorite CEOs, Bernadette Nixon of Aloglia.

The Average SaaS IPO Takes 12 Years


So how long does it take to really Go Big? We did our own SaaStr analysis a little while back and saw it took on average 10 years to get to a $1B+ acquisition in SaaS. And an IPO? Sapphire Ventures crunched the numbers. And the answer is 12 years to IPO.

SaaS 266

5 Interesting Learnings from Freshworks at $400,000,000 in ARR


Freshworks has filed to go public, one of a next wave of U.S.-Indian Indian SaaS hybrid super success stories. Headquartered in the U.S., but with 3,800 of 4,300 employees in India, and customers spread across the globe — Freshworks is a great example of the future of SaaS.

SMB 281

10 Learnings From The 2021 SaaStr Annual


So that’s a wrap on SaaStr Annual 2021, #007. THANK YOU to everyone that made it out!! While there are always bumps, I’d give it a 10/10, for first time since #001 in 2015. A few learnings: — Jason BeKind Lemkin (@jasonlk) September 30, 2021.

Cloud 233

The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Pandemic Response: Lessons Learned From COVID-19

In March 2020, the world was hit with an unprecedented crisis when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. This whitepaper reviews lessons learned from applying AI to the pandemic’s response efforts, and insights to mitigating the next pandemic.

3 Basic Steps to Reduce Sales Rep Turnover


Dear SaaStr: How do you reduce employee turnover in your sales teams? The key is a great VP of Sales combined with a very fair comp plan — and a promotion path for those that want it. First, you need a comp plan where the top reps make a lot of money. Not necessarily everyone.

Sales 179

Top SaaStr Posts and Videos of the Week: State of the Cloud, Hyperscaling at PagerDuty, Notion’s CRO, and More!


Ok so what was Big on this week? Top Blog Posts This Week: Dear SaaStr: What Do The Top 1% of Sales Reps Do … That The Other 99% Don’t? At the Top SaaS Companies, Founder-CEOs Own ~15% at IPO. And Most Co-Founders Are Not Equal (And That’s OK).

Cloud 172

5 Interesting Learnings from Expensify at $140,000,000 in ARR


Expensify: Founded in 2008 … 13 years ago. A long, tenacious path to $100m ARR, and then … Boom!! * 60% growth in Year 13 at $140m+ ARR!! * 119% NRR from SMBs!! Super Profitable (35% EBITDA!!) golong — Jason BeKind Lemkin (@jasonlk) October 18, 2021.

SMB 183

The State of the Cloud 2021, How to Build a Cloud Unicorn with Bessemer Venture Partners (Podcast #484 and Video)


Bessemer Venture Partners Byron Deeter, Mary D’Onofrio, and Elliott Robinson share a state of the cloud economy, tactical lessons and case studies for early-stage founders, private market analysis, alongside key predictions and trends driving innovation in SaaS around the globe. Want more?

Cloud 204

AI in Manufacturing

Manufacturers want to deliver the best products on the market as quickly and ethically as possible. Learn how to solve your most urgent manufacturing and business needs with an enterprise AI platform.

Dear SaaStr: Have All the Good SaaS Ideas Been Built?


Dear SaaStr: Have All the Good SaaS Ideas Been Built? Sort of, but it’s OK. What software can do in each category keep evolving, and getting more sophisticated, and more specialized.

SaaS 278

30+ Founders and Execs Share Pricing and Billing Practices … That Just Weren’t Worth It


Q: What billing or pricing tactic have you found in the end just wasn’t worth it? “[You] have to get some sort of dollar commitment for pilots in Mid Market and Enterprise deals. 9/10 times they don’t work otherwise.”

It’s Never the User’s Fault


Overall, the 2021 SaaStr Annual might have been the most successful ever. The outdoor experience, the speakers, the energy, the enthusiasm was off the charts. And it was our best organized Annual ever. But there was one software vendor we used that just failed us.

10 Marketing Tactics That Always Work for Early-Stage SaaS StartUps


Q: What are the best marketing techniques for an early stage SaaS startup? My list of things that almost always work: Try everything — and Double Down on anything that works. If your price point is very low, this sometimes doesn’t work.

Roadmaps Are Dead! Long Live Roadmaps!

Speaker: Bruce McCarthy, Co-Author of Product Roadmaps Relaunched and Founder of Product Culture

Join Bruce McCarthy, co-author of Product Roadmaps Relaunched, as he discusses the best ways to innovate your product roadmap. So that it reflects your customers’ needs while simultaneously and accurately communicating your products strategy and vision.

The Top 10 Questions to Ask a VP of Marketing in an Interview


There is a lot to do in marketing. But a new VP of Marketing will really only do 3 things. Ask them what those top 3 are before you hire them. You may need something different. — Jason BeKind Lemkin (@jasonlk) August 4, 2021.

Don’t Hire VPs With The Wrong Titles


Dig deeper on a lot of titles during recruiting. A "VP of Product Marketing" rarely knows anything about demand gen, ABM, etc. A "VP of Revenue" often knows nothing about inside sales or building a sales team. A "CRO" often doesn't want to do sales anymore.

25% of The Cloud 100 Is Growing 100%+ at $100m ARR. Woah.


Byron Deeter, general partner at Bessemer Venture Partners and I caught up on SaaS and Cloud in general and the upcoming Cloud100 awards and learnings. The full session is below and sign up for the Cloud 100 for FREE here. A few of the takeaways: #1.

Cloud 282

The Top 100 Private Cloud and SaaS Companies Now Have an Average Valuation of $5.2 Billion


Recently Bessemer Venture Partners did another great deep give on Cloud metrics at the Cloud 100. They’ll update their classic “State of the Cloud” on Sep 27-29 at SaaStr Annual 2021 in the SF Bay Area so come join us there for the latest!

Cloud 260

Product-Led Onboarding: How to Turn New Users into Lifelong Customers

Speaker: Ramli John, Managing Director at ProductLed and Author

Let’s face it. Today’s users are impulsive and easily distracted. They don’t have the time (or patience) to try and figure things out by themselves. They expect the product to be intuitive. Easy. And fast. Add to that a few, unfairly poor reviews and you’ll be more than just stuck. Ramli will share a simple but powerful framework to get more users to experience a product’s "Eureka!" moment and turn them into lifelong customers.

7 Top Trends in Customer Success to Learn From, and Maybe Emulate


Nick Mehta, CEO of Customer Success leader Gainsight, recently did a short post above on his Top 7 takeaways talking with customer success leader for the first time in-person in a long time. These points are so interesting I thought I’d add a few thoughts on to them. 7 takeaways: 1.

Trends 283

At Least 20% of Your New Customers Should Come from Referrals and Word of Mouth


Q: Dear SaaStr: What Percent of My Revenue Should Come from Referrals and Word of Mouth? Ultimately, almost all software companies end up getting 20-50% or so of their new customers from their existing customers once they hit scale. Sometimes even more. From referrals. From brand. From word-of-mouth.

10+ Signs of a Mediocre Hire


Q: What do mediocre employees do that the best employees don’t do? My list of what mediocre employees do: Unable to hit deadlines. This is different than missing a few, with a proper heads-up. Get angry when they fall behind. Instead of quietly stepping up and just getting it done.

Two Great SaaStr Sessions with HubSpot’s new CEO, Yamini Rangan


Yamini Rangan is HubSpot’s new CEO, as Brian Hallgian becomes Executive Chairman. Both are two of the highest rated SaaStr speakers of all time! A huge congratulations to Yamini. A quick look back at her two sessions.

SMB 269

Build Trustworthy AI With MLOps

Machine learning operations (MLOps) helps companies deliver machine learning applications in production at scale. Discover the importance of secure MLOps in the four critical areas of model deployment, monitoring, lifecycle management, and governance.

Who’s Accelerating in SaaS? DataDog. HubSpot. Zendesk. Everyone.


We all know times are good in SaaS and Cloud — but just how good? Is it all the big public cloud vendors and a handful of outliers? Really impressive, accelerating, Datadog quarter.

SaaS 268

If You Want to Hit The ’22 Plan, You’d Better Be Making the Hires Now


If you want to hit the plan for Q1'22, You need to be hiring all the sales reps you'll need then … Now. — Jason BeKind Lemkin (@jasonlk) September 15, 2021. Recurring revenue certainly has pros and cons.

10 Tips to Avoid Burnout as a Founder


Q: As an entrepreneur, what are some tips and strategies to avoid burning out? It’s a huge risk. A lot of “pretty successful” startups all sell at about the same point in time … about 5 years in. Because the founders get just too burnt out around Year 4 … and as Year 5 rolls in, they’ll sell.

Travel 227

The Average SaaS CEO is 43 at IPO


Does “age” even matter any more for SaaS founders, if it ever did? On the one hand, the Stripe founders became billionaires in their teens. On the other hand, many SaaS founders are on to their 3d or 4th success. SaaS has just been around for a while.

SaaS 226

Feedback: The Secret to Innovating Your Product Development Process

Speaker: Liz Love, Chief Commercial Officer at ProdPad

Join Liz Love, Chief Commercial Officer at ProdPad as she details how product feedback can improve your product development process while mitigating stakeholder conflict, constant feature requests, failed launches, unexpected outcomes, unhappy users, and complexity.