To Really Scale, You Need $1M on Your Balance Sheet for Every $2M in ARR


“My CEO Told Me To Stop Selling So Much” Recently, I met with a sales leader I’ve known for years, and he told me The Most Curious Story. His SaaS CEO asked him to stop selling so much. Slow down. You are doing too good of a job, the CEO said. We can’t afford it.

Why Lead Velocity Rate (LVR) Is The Most Important Metric in SaaS


One thing that is great in SaaS, from a 20,000 foot perspective at least, is You Can See The Future. It’s the benefit of a recurring revenue stream in a B2B model.


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The #1 Reason SaaS Companies Stall Out at $15m-$20m ARR


In theory, many things can kill a SaaS startup after $4m-$5m ARR. In practice, quitting is the only thing. In theory, many things can stop a SaaS startup after $4m-$5m ARR from getting to $100m. In practice, high churn is the only thing. — Jason BeKind Lemkin (@jasonlk) January 17, 2021.

A Simple Commitment Test For You And Your Co-Founders


Don't pick a cofounder that. – has something better to do – wants to see how it goes – has a clear backup plan – sees it as risky – argues over who should be CEO – doesn't 100% believe. You'll see. — Jason BeKind Lemkin (@jasonlk) July 18, 2020.

"I Love Filling Out 12-Page Applications and Waiting Weeks For a Response,” Said No Merchant Ever

Learn how becoming a payment facilitator can improve a merchant’s experience and your revenue.

Gartner: SaaS Will Be Even Bigger Than We Thought in 2022+


Early in my career, I was a bit skeptical of big analyst firms like Gartner. Was it all sort of some sort of game in enterprise software? But like many things, time goes on and I learned. Yes, sometimes a vendor recommendation from Gartner can seem a bit circular.

Doing 5, 6 or 7 Figure Deals? Don’t Forget the Services Revenue


25% of revenue from professional services may sound high, but it’s a fairly standard ratio in true enterprise software. Importantly, Qualtrics’ margins remain high so it’s not losing money on its services. Gross margins on services are about 35%.

Why VCs Need Unicorns Just to Survive


One of the most tiring things for founders can be always being compared to Unicorns and now Decacorns. Certainly sometimes it’s inspirational.

5 Interesting Learnings from Cloudflare at $500,000,000 in ARR


Cloudflare is one of those iconic Cloud companies most of us use, and know about as a product and vendor … but perhaps we don’t think as much about as a public company. And quite an epic one it is, at ~$500m in ARR and a $25B+ market cap!!

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5 Interesting Learnings from Datadog at $700,000,000+ ARR


$30B+ Datadog became the great darling of developers and devops years ago, and never stopped pushing on the accelerator. It’s expanded its product portfolio to build an incredible observabillity engine approaching $1B ARR.

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How to Measure DevSecOps Progress and Ensure Success

Speaker: Shannon Lietz, Director of DevSecOps Team, Intuit

You've finally done it: You've won over C-Suite and your DevSecOps team is up and running. But how do you monitor your new program? Join Shannon Lietz, Leader and Director of DevsecOps at Intuit, and learn to lead your DevSecOps team to the top.

Knowing — and Sharing — Your Zero Cash Date


One of the most important operating metrics in your SaaS start-up, if you aren’t predictably cash-flow positive, is your Zero Cash Date (“ZCD”). You hear a lot about SaaS metrics, but this one doesn’t often come up.

Why Now Is the Biggest Change in SaaS Sales in 15+ Years


2021 will be the year SaaS sales evolves the most since the Appexchange ecosystem started to take off ~15 years ago, which spawned the entire notion of a true sales app stack. What’s the change? The permanent move to distributed sales teams.

If You Leave the Low End of the Market … You Probably Can’t Go Back


As we begin strategic planning season for next year, there one topic a lot that comes up a lot: Should We Just Let Our Smallest Customers Go?

5 Interesting Learnings from Atlassian at $2B in ARR


We’ve done so much great content with Atlassian over the years, with CEO Michael-Cannon Brooks to Trello Founder and CEO Michael Pryor to ex-President Jay Simons, and the learnings are always amazing.

The Complete Guide to SaaS Revenue Modeling

In today’s climate, it’s more important than ever for SaaS companies to build rock-solid financial models on which they can operate and make key business decisions. The teams at SaaSOptics and Burkland have teamed up to create a comprehensive guide to the most difficult aspect of financial modeling: revenue forecasting.

If You’re Going to Do a SaaS Start-Up … You Have to Give it 24 Months


It took us 2 years just to figure out our ultimate business model. What you think you do on day 1 may look very different by day 365. link]. — Aaron Levie (@levie) September 11, 2020. It seems like everyone wants to be a SaaS founder these days.

How Cheap a Product Can You Have And Still Have Salespeople?


One question I struggled with a lot in the early days was what price points supported inside sales reps. It was clear to me that our freemium offering, priced at from $0 to $19/month, couldn’t really support a traditional inside sales team.

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If Your VP Sales Isn’t Going to Work Out — You’ll Know in 30 Days


We’ve talked a lot on SaaStr about how to make that critical hire: the VP Sales. I’ve done it right, and I’ve done it wrong. When it’s good … it’s just so good. It all clicks. But when you make a mis-hire, it’s about the worst mis-hire you can make.

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The Simple Reason There Are So Many SaaS Unicorns Today


It seems every day there’s not just a new SaaS unicorn, but 2 or 3! How can this be? How can there now be 100s of SaaS Unicorns (startups worth $1B or more) … vs just a handful 5-6 years ago?

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Are Your Embedded Analytics DevOps-Friendly?

Does your analytics solution work with your current tech stack and DevOps practices? If not, any update to the analytics could increase deployment complexity and become difficult to maintain. Learn the 5 elements of a DevOps-friendly embedded analytics solution.

If You Don’t Think You Need a VP of Product, VP of Marketing, Etc. — Then You Haven’t Worked With a Great One


I hear again and again from SaaS founders growing to $5m, $10m ARR or even more that they don’t need a certain VP — with the exception of a VP of Sales. That they can get away without no one in the role, or a just a junior person in marketing, in product, in success, in biz dev, etc.

6 Types of Bad Behavior Sales Reps Bring Out When They Are Struggling to Hit the Plan


Q: Your sales manager is under great pressure to increase sales. At a recent meeting of the entire sales staff, this person said, “We have to hit our numbers no matter what it takes!” Does this emotional appeal change your way of dealing with customers?

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Don’t Fire Your “Worst” Customers. Hire Them a Psychiatrist Instead.


There’s a lot of Internet advice that makes a lot of sense, but not necessarily in SaaS. Somewhat bad advice that entrepreneurs share again and again, without having really tested the ideas behind that advice.

5 Interesting Learnings from Twilio at $2 Billion in ARR


We checked in on Twilio at $1B in ARR , but it’s interesting to check in again at $2B+ in ARR as the engine just hasn’t stopped worth.

The Five-Finger Approach to Onboarding

As a group who provides the software tools necessary to manage the contracts to cash process, Aysling onboards users and projects daily, and has learned some important tips if you want to be successful when onboarding new clients and/or projects.

Turns Out, 85% of the World Likes “Contact Me”. Even Though You Don’t.


I know you are probably like me. You go to a web service. What do you do? Free trial. Sign Up Now. The very, very last thing I am going to click is “Contact Me.”

Don’t Make Anyone “Head of Sales/Marketing/Engineering/Whatever” in SaaS. At Least, Not For Too Long.


A little while back, I gave a great SaaS Founder CEO a Gift. A real gift. This founder CEO was at about $1m in ARR, doing well, but with only a smidge of angel funding and limited resources. And I gave him an insanely great VP of Sales candidate.

Why You’ll Need Just About $3,000,000 to Build Your First Real Sales & Marketing Team


Every week, I meet with several entrepreneurs, often bootstrapped or close to it, who fit the following sort of model: Gotten to Initial Traction (~$1m-$1.5m ARR), or getting close to it, or a bit beyond; and. With nice growth (>=100% YoY); and.

Big Companies Don’t Churn. They Quit You.


“Churn” is a term we all use in SaaS as a core metric, but its roots, as near as I remember and can tell, come from our B2C colleagues. Folks churn out of their Verizon plan, their Netflix subscription, etc. In a low-end subscription model for a tool, not a solution (e.g.,

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Digital Trends Report 2020

As part of our goal to continue helping our community during these times, we wanted to share with you this critical data on the state of digital products across industries and provide context on how businesses are responding to the changing winds.

5 Interesting Learnings from New Relic at $650,000,000 in ARR


New Relic is one of my favorite Cloud stories. CEO Lew Cirne, after regretting selling his first startup in the space to CA for $375m, tries again with New Relic. Today New Relic is worth more than 10x that, at $4.3B. And more than previous rivals such as AppDynamics, acquired by Cisco for $3.2B.

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5 Interesting Learnings from Box At $800,000,000 in ARR


Box has been an important part of SaaStr almost since the beginning. Aaron Levie was kind enough to come to our first SaaStr Annual in 2015, just a week after their IPO.

Why So Many VCs are Moving to Austin and Miami


Q: Why are so many VCs moving to Miami and Austin? . It’s taxes first — although this isn’t new … and. Quality-of-life second. QOL has declined dramatically during Covid in San Francisco. And third — investing over Zoom is now routine. This is the real new part.

Outbound Always Works. If You Do It Right. And You Put In The Time.


At @Mailchimp , US customers’ email marketing activity is up 15% since the beginning of the pandemic compared to the same time last year. Email will continue to be an effective way for entrepreneurs to connect with their audience and meet them where they are in 2021 and beyond. link].

5 Things a Data Scientist Can Do to Stay Current

DataRobot together with Snowflake – a leading cloud data platform provider — is helping data scientists stay current with the latest technology and data science best practices so that they can excel in an increasingly AI-driven workplace. Five Things a Data Scientist Can Do to Stay Current offers data scientists guidance for thriving in AI-driven enterprises.

The Easiest Ways to Get From $1M ARR to $10M ARR


Ok you’ve finally crossed $1m, $2m, $4m ARR. Now — you just want to get there faster. And that’s where you’ll make a lot of mistakes. The most important thing is not to chase the shiny penny, assuming you are growing at least 60% Year-over-Year. You’ve done the Impossible.

Everything is Sort of the Same at a Given ACV (Annual Contract Value)


As you try to hire up for your SaaS company, you’re going to be faced with a lot of choices and trade-offs. No hire is the perfect package. Do you take a risk on someone a little more junior than you’d like? Someone from a company a little larger than you’d like?

10 of the Most Exciting Sessions at FREE SaaStr University Event THIS WEDNESDAY!


We’re gearing up for our first SaaStr event of 2021 … SaaStr University: Spring Semester. A highly hands-on, tactical event, come learn how: To Raise Your Next VC Round, With Point9’s Christoph Janz. How to Build Your First CS Team , with VPs from AgentSync and Peak Support.

What Order Should You Hire Your Management Team In?


IME, rough order to make hires in: VPM: $0.2m ARR VPS: $1-$1.5m ARR VPCS: $2m ARR VPP: $3m-$4m ARR VPE: $5m-$6m ARR CFO: $10m ARR COO: $20m ARR. More here: [link]. — Jason BeKind Lemkin (@jasonlk) July 21, 2019. The other day I was meeting with a great CEO who had raised a modest seed round.

Testing at Every Stage of Development

Up to 80% of new products fail. The reality is harsh and the reasons why are endless. Perhaps the new product couldn’t oust a customer favorite. Maybe it looked great but was too hard to use. Or, despite being a superior product, the go-to-market strategy failed. There’s always a risk when building a new product, but you can hedge your bets by understanding exactly what your customers' expectations truly are at every step of the development process.