SaaStr

Should You Visit More Of Your Prospects In Person? Almost Certainly

SaaStr

I remember the first customer I lost due to not showing up in person. They were a Fortune 50 customer. We did a CSAT survey, and every user loved us. The implementation was flawless. There were zero issues. And … we lost them at renewal.

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What are the pros and cons of selling a company? Do you ever regret selling?

SaaStr

It’s complicated. Having a “good exit” is a special thing. You will make some money, perhaps even life-changing money. It will prove you can do it. It will Level You Up in the hierarchy of founders. You will have beaten the odds, and be a “winner”. But as time goes by, you may see it all differently.

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Top 10 Learnings about Free Trials with Tomasz Tunguz (Video + Transcript)

SaaStr

Join Tomasz Tunguz, Managing Director with Redpoint Ventures as he takes you through a quantitive analysis of 600 Freemium Soon companies. Want to see more content like this? Join us at SaaStr Annual 2020. Tomasz Tunguz, Managing Director @ Redpoint Ventures. FULL TRANSCRIPT BELOW.

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What was the biggest ousting of a CEO that ever occurred?

SaaStr

CEOs get fired all the time. Founder-CEOs getting fired seems rarer these days, though. Two that would be hard to imagine happening today: Pushing Steve Jobs out of Apple. Pushing Sergey Brin + Larry Page “down” to bring in an Outside CEO.

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What Is (and Isn’t) Product Management?

Speaker: Steve Johnson, VP of Products, Pragmatic Institute

Product Management is one of the most exciting - and most misunderstood - functions in technical organizations. Is it strategic or tactical? Is it a planning role or a support role? Many product professionals are unclear about what is (and isn't) product management. After all, product management spans many activities from business planning to market readiness. In this session, we’ll examine many product activities and artifacts for product strategy, planning, and growth, and introduce a simple tool that you can use in your organization to clarify the roles of product management and others. Steve Johnson explores the many roles of Product Management in this fun talk focused on why product managers should obsess on problems instead of solutions.

5 Interesting Learnings from SurveyMonkey. As It Crosses $300m in ARR.

SaaStr

SurveyMonkey is one of the Old School SaaS companies that has followed an interesting path. Founded back in 1999 (like Salesforce) in the Web 1.0 days, for years it was run by a tiny team and dominated the self-service side of surveys.

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5 Interesting Learnings from Xero. As It Crosses $650m in ARR.

SaaStr

Xero is one of those SaaS companies most of us have heard of and know is a big success and sort of know about, but, not really ??. What lessons can we learn from this huge Kiwi SMB success, for other founders?

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5 Interesting Learnings From Slack. As It Gets Ready to IPO.

SaaStr

With Slack’s IPO data and financials finally public, what is left to know about the app we all use and have been reading about for years? What’s interesting to know about Slack … that we didn’t already know? ??. Slack is obviously a rocketship going from $0 to ~$600m+ ARR (!)

SaaStr’s Most Respected Leaders Awards 2019: The Top Five

SaaStr

Meet SaaStr’s Most Respected Leaders of 2019. Our most popular CEO, COO’s and Presidents that spoke at SaaStr Annual 2019. Curious how we came up with this list?

How did Saleforce got so big as a company?

SaaStr

Salesforce was an outlier (as you’d) expect from the #1 largest player in the industry. Look at their growth rate in the early years — even when Cloud was 100x smaller than it is today: Winning Strategies for Scaling Your Sales Team | SaaStr. Today, this type of growth, while crazy, is more common.

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6 Payment Acceptance Obstacles SaaS Companies Face and How to Avoid Them

SaaStr

By: Rob Nathan, EVP, Integrated Solutions at CardConnect. With thousands of new startups emerging everyday and the average turnover rate for business applications trending at 39% annually, the SaaS industry couldn’t be more competitive.

Churn 227

Embedded BI and Analytics: Best Practices to Monetize Your Data

Speaker: Azmat Tanauli, Senior Director of Product Strategy at Birst

By creating innovative analytics products and expanding into new markets, more and more companies are discovering new potential revenue streams. Join Azmat Tanauli, Senior Director of Product Strategy at Birst, as he walks you through how data that you're likely already collecting can be transformed into revenue!

Top Lessons in Building Great Teams from Khosla Ventures (Video + Transcript)

SaaStr

Keith Rabois is an investment partner at Khosla Ventures where he focuses on consumer Internet, education, enterprise, financial services, and digital health investments.

Building a Customer-Centric Company: Five Best Practices for Growing to Multi-Digit ARR with Segment and Aloglia (Video + Transcript)

SaaStr

Join Algolia CEO Nicolas Dessaigne and Segment VP of Marketing Hollie Wegman for a session discussing best practices for growing your ARR in your SaaS. Want to see more content like this? Join us at SaaStr Annual 2020. Nicolas Dessaigne, CEO @ Algolia. Hollie Wegman, VP of Marketing @Segment.

What’s the most efficient way to allocate inbound leads?

SaaStr

A few thoughts in the early and early-ish days: Segment your leads, once you have enough reps to do so. At least, by Small, Medium and Larger leads (if they aren’t all the same size). Let reps specialize at the business process changes, questions and needs of customers of a specific size.

When You Raise Prices More Than a Smidge … They At Least Look At Another Vendor

SaaStr

We’ve talked quite a bit about the pros and many cons of raising prices on existing customers on SaaStr. Our general view, and experience, is that until you are fairly mature, raising prices on existing customer isn’t worth it. It impacts your NPS and relationships.

What is the psychology behind the B2B enterprise sale?

SaaStr

In 2019, the average enterprise buyers has deployed over 100+ SaaS apps, per Okta numbers. And the average SMB buyer has already purchased 50+ apps. So your prospects and customers are veterans. The general pyschology thus is different than it used to be in SaaS.

The Magic of Intent: Start Knowing The Goals of Your Users

Speaker: Terhi Hanninen, Senior Product Manager, Zalando, and Dr. Franziska Roth, Senior User Researcher, Zalando

It's important to know your users - what are their preferences, pain points, ultimate goals? With user research and usage data, you can get a great idea of how your users act. The tricky part is, very few users reliably act the same way every time they use your product. Join Terhi Hanninen, Senior Product Manager, and Dr. Franziska Roth, Senior User Researcher at Zalando, as they explain how they were able to reach a new level of user understanding - by taking their user research and segmenting their users by point-in-time intent. You'll leave with a strategy to change how your product team, and organization at large, understands your users.

5 Interesting Learnings From Zoom. As It Gets Ready to IPO.

SaaStr

Much has been written about Zoom’s impressive financials as it prepared to IPO, growing > 100% at $425m+ in ARR!

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5 Interesting Learnings from Fastly. As It Gets Ready to IPO.

SaaStr

Fastly isn’t quite as well known as the others in this 5 Interesting Learnings Series — Zoom, Slack, PagerDuty, etc. But it has some very interesting learnings for founders. Especially on how bigger deal sizes can work with free, freemium, self-service, etc.

What is the best way to motivate a sales team?

SaaStr

The key to truly motivate a sales team, to excellence, is two-fold: They need to see the top reps making real money. Like, really good money. That will show everyone it is possible. That is can be done. And that maybe it isn’t even that hard if you hustle, listen and learn.

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What are some key signs that the managers that got you to $5m ARR may not be the right managers that will get you to 25m ARR?

SaaStr

A few signs: Lack of organization. You can get to $5m being only sort of organized. After that, you gotta get really organized. Either by yourself, or with a Sales Ops / Marketing Ops / Some Sort of Ops leader under you.

Nine Companies Share 30+ Best Practices for Creating Embedded Analytics Products

In this 4-part series, product and technology leaders share insights for successfully going to market with a data product. Download the eBook now, and find out how you can embed analytics in your solution, from building your business case to designing and launching your product.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of having co-CEOs?

SaaStr

Like many things, my thinking on this has evolved over time. I used to think co-CEOs was almost always plainly a bad idea. But now I think maybe it’s only a bad idea when done for the wrong reasons. The drawbacks of co-CEOs are large and clear: No one knows who the boss is.

How do I find out how if my competitor is cold calling prospects?

SaaStr

Just assume your competitor is cold calling all your existing customers. They should be. Yes, sometimes the yield here can be low if your customers are very happy. But it is worth a shot if you have the resources and are in a competitive space.

How to Make the Whole World Love Your Product from Bevy, Atlassian, Salesforce and Slack (Video + Transcript)

SaaStr

Join Derek Anderson, Co-Founder of Bevy alongside Atlassian Sr. Director of Customer Engagement, Leslie Lee, Salesforce VP of Community Erica Kuhl and Slack Developer Marketing Manager Elizabeth Kinsey for a session on building communities. Want to see more content like this?

Do startups ever have one founder with substantially more equity than the other founder(s)? Does this work?

SaaStr

My gut was that equal splits were more common than non-equal — but I just looked and I’m wrong. Of the 25+ investments I’ve made, less than half have equal splits. And it looks like only a minority of the SaaS companies to IPO had equal splits. And looking at them, most seem “fair”.

Your 2-Part Metrics Audit for High-Value Products

Speaker: Sam McAfee, Product Development Consultant, Startup Patterns

You know what they say: what's measured improves. As product managers we're in a golden age of being able to get all sorts of metrics and run all sorts of experiments. But what are your measurements and analytics focused on? Are they really truly objective? Do they contribute to the ultimate vision of your product? And is everybody clear on that vision? Join Sam McAfee, Product Development Consultant, as he takes you through a two-part measurement audit. First, you'll learn how to make sure your measurements actually align with your product strategy. And second, you'll learn how to evaluate your culture of using measurements, so future experiments will more consistently provide high-value results.

The Top 10 Most Popular Sessions at SaaStr Europa Next Week!

SaaStr

Do you have your ticket for 2019 SaaStrEuropa.com? We are Sold Out at 2,500 total attendees, but will continue to release a handful of tickets from the waitlist, so sign up here asap to get on. We will dribble out a handful of final tickets each day as sponsors release any surplus passes.

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Beyond $1B ARR: Lessons from Zendesk on Why the Cloud is Unstoppable (Video + Transcript)

SaaStr

The cloud’s biggest days are yet to come. The rise of the public cloud is driving a massive replatforming of the tech stack and customer experiences for every company. What’s next? A deep dive with Ophelia Brown, Founder of Blossom Capital. Want to see more content like this?

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What successful startups were launched while the founders worked 9 to 5 jobs on the side?

SaaStr

I’m not aware of any huge successes in SaaS that were active side projects while the founders worked at different companies. But there are a bunch that were side projects at the same company: Mailchimp was a side project while the founders ran a web-design agency.

The Age of the $1 Billion+ Acquisition in SaaS Has Just Begun

SaaStr

When I started off as a SaaS founder, the #1 SaaS company’s market cap was … $2.6 billion. Yup, Salesforce was worth just a bit more than $2 billion. And their largest acquisition to date at the time was (drumroll, please) $15m. Fast forward to 2019.

Top 10 industries for monetizing data: Is yours one of them?

Find out which industries, use cases, and business applications are the best opportunities for data monetization. Understand what data is being monetized, who wants it, and why. Use data you already own to create new revenue sources. Download the eBook today!

SaaStr Podcasts for the Week with Twilio and Flexport — June 21, 2019

SaaStr

243: Sara Varni is the CMO @ Twilio, the company building the future of communications allowing you to engage customers like never before on voice, SMS, WhatsApp or Video.

SMB 166

The Funnel is Dead. Long Live the Flywheel. With Hubspot CEO Brian Halligan (Video + Transcript)

SaaStr

The age-old sales funnel has worked fine for decades…until now. Flaws are being exposed, and a new model is imminent. Why is the sales funnel alone, no longer an appropriate way of thinking about customers? What will emerge to supplement or replace it?

Are You Interviewing 50+ Years Young SaaS Veterans? You Should Be.

SaaStr

SaaS as we know it probably started in 1999. Salesforce was founded then, NetSuite just before that. SurveyMonkey was founded in 1999, one of the few SMB survivors of that era. There were apps before that (e.g.,

How to Build a $18B+ Success Story Far Away from Silicon Valley with Adyen (Video + Transcript)

SaaStr

In this session, the audience will learn about Adyen’s journey from a Dutch payments startup, to a global public company with more than 15 offices around the world working with large global companies like Facebook, Spotify, Uber and Microsoft.

Measure the Immeasurable: Beyond Vanity Metrics

Speaker: Sari Harrison, Product Management Instructor, Product School

As a product manager, it's your job to realize your product’s vision by executing your chosen strategy. It’s also your job to deliver value to the business. Ultimately, these two outcomes are aligned so the temptation is to focus primarily on business metrics. Doing this can cause you to lose focus on the real value you are trying to achieve, in favor of moving the vanity metrics such as launches and time spent. Join Sari Harrison, Product Management Instructor at Product School, as she explains how to use immeasurable success criteria along with your more standard KPIs to deliver products that don't just get used a lot, but deliver real value.

10 Crystal Clear Signs Your VP of Sales Just Isn’t Going to Work Out

SaaStr

We’ve written a lot on SaaStr on how to find a great VP of Sales, what the risks are, what risks to take, etc. We’ve also summarized a few critical factors that will tell you, within 30 days, if your VP of Sales won’t work out.

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7 Tips For Using Customer Feedback To Build Rabid Fans And Make More Money (Video + Transcript)

SaaStr

Consistently ramping your ARR is a whole lot harder if your customers don’t stick around. In an age where earning customer loyalty and trust is harder than ever, the road to lifetime value is paved with customer feedback.

5 Changes You Can Make >Today< To Grow Faster

SaaStr

Almost all of our 4,000+ pieces of content and 300+ SaaStr sessions and 250+ podcasts are really just about how to do … better. A smidge better. A bit better. Since SaaS compounds, even doing just 5% better now can compound dramatically over time.

What do you think makes a good SaaS pricing page?

SaaStr

A few thoughts at least: The stronger the brand, the more complex the pricing page can be. So yes, copy Salesforce, Twilio, Slack, and other iconic leaders. But bear in mind their brands make them a default choice. That means their prospects will be more patient with complex pricing.

Build Delightful Products with Customer Validation

Speaker: John Little, Head of Product Marketing, Centercode

When it comes to delivering a solid product/market fit, customer validation is key. After all, you want to provide customers with a product that not only fills the need, but is delightful -- right? To get there, you need to commit to a vital blend of market research, strategy, and user testing. Join John Little, Head of Product Marketing at Centercode, as he explains a two-part approach to customer validation. First, how do you strategically identify your top product areas that need attention prior to release. And second, how do you turn user data into strategic priorities that help the right teams make the right decisions.