2015

Avoiding Poor SaaS Customer Alignment

Chaotic Flow

When I’m not completely absorbed with my agile marketing software startup , I do a bit of SaaS consulting on the side.

Let Your Prospective Customers Know "This Solution is for You"

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

I'm guessing that at some point before you built your software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution, you thought about who might need this kind of product. Maybe you figured it out through market research, your own personal experience and frustration, or a flash of inspiration.

The problem with month-over-month growth rates

The Angel VC

Most fundraising decks contain a slide with a chart that looks roughly like this: Chart #1 Or this: Chart #2 I’ve also seen charts that look like this: Chart #3 Or this: Chart #4 Chart #3 and #4 are good for a LOL (or a “WTF!”,

Are You Present?

Tom Tunguz

Last week, I was chatting with an old friend who after I told her how busy and ragged I sometimes felt, she asked me, “Are you present?” ” To which I immediately replied, “At work?” ” And she laughed, and said, “I meant at home, but I have my answer!”

An Early-Stage Founder’s Quick & Dirty Guide To Growth

OnStartups

The following is a guest post by William Griggs. William is the Founder of Startup Slingshot , the resource for battle-tested startup strategies. Access the audio interviews of today’s featured growth practitioners, the full 43 page guide, and tons of resources here (free for now). “

Intern stories: What I learned about what makes WePay successful

wepay

On my last day at WePay, I took a final snapshot of the office on my way out, reminiscing everything that had happened. Saying goodbye has never been this hard.

Retention Metrics Explained: Lead Scoring, Pt. 2 [RS Labs]

ReSci

62% of customers churn immediately after signup, which means once these customers go through the registration process they will not make a purchase. The data science team at Retention Science uses Welcome Purchase Probability to help sort out the good customers from the bad so marketers….

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Aligning SaaS Customer Success

Chaotic Flow

SaaS businesses develop intimate, long term relationships with their SaaS customers. Keeping that relationship positive and aligned over the years is a real challenge. In fact, many public SaaS companies have yet to turn a profit.

Aligning SaaS Customer Acquisition

Chaotic Flow

SaaS businesses can be overwhelmingly complex. If the multi-tenant, cloud-based technology isn’t enough, there’s the recurring revenue model which creates all kinds of challenges from accounting to sales compensation to funding. Then, there’s the marketing.

Finding SaaS Product-Market Fit

Chaotic Flow

Finding product-market fit is a central, early stage challenge of every startup. SaaS startups, however, have unique advantages. Unlike consumer Internet products, SaaS products are essential business tools. SaaS customers take them very seriously.

The Missed Opportunity of Agile SaaS

Chaotic Flow

I’ve been thinking a lot about how my SaaS experiences have shaped my thinking on agile management , and visa versa. SaaS and agile present complementary aspects that enable a uniquely symbiotic relationship.

5 SaaS Marketing Myths

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

With 150,000+ people jamming into Dreamforce earlier this year, I think it’s fair to say that this "SaaS thing" is for real. Customers are definitely getting smarter about how to use software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions, and vendors are getting smarter about how to build and sell them.

How to Lose a Customer in the First 90 Days

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

Bravo! You’ve landed a new customer. You've successfully lead someone through the tortuous process from a lead to a qualified opportunity, maybe to a free trialer, and finally to a paying customer. And you’ve been racking up customer acquisition costs all along the way.

The evolution of the SaaS landing page

The Angel VC

When you look at the landing pages (or homepages or marketing sites, however you want to call them) of today's SaaS companies, they usually look quite beautiful. They typically have a clean, simple and friendly look, with very little text and a lot of images or videos.

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Introducing Jenny Buch, Talent Manager at Point Nine

The Angel VC

Once a startup has released the first version of its product, raised some funding, started to get the word out and is getting some traction, the biggest challenge almost always becomes hiring.

As markets mature, marketing gets tougher

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

You’d think that as markets became more mature and people already understood what your solution does, it would be easier to promote and sell. Not exactly. It's true that you don’t need to do as much missionary work, educating prospective customers on the basics.

Good content marketing requires good content

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

Content marketing isn't just a good idea. It actually works. I've seen it work for my clients and I've seen it work for my own business. Most folks find me by way of my blog or my newsletter. When it's done well, content marketing can boost visibility, enhance credibility, and generate inbound leads.

FIve mistakes with free trials

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

It’s common for software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies to offer free trials. That’s because a lot of times they work. Done well, free trials can be a very effective way to attract new customers. But done poorly, they can be an expensive failure.

SaaS Marketing is About Promises, Not Products

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

If you’re a software-as-a-service (SaaS) marketer and you think you’re marketing a product, think again. What you’re really marketing are promises. You’re promising to customers that you’ll deliver value over the life of the subscription.

Customers Don't Really Care About SaaS

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

It wasn’t that long ago that just describing your application as a "software-as-a-service (SaaS)," or saying that it ran “in the cloud” was enough to get attention.

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Avoid random acts of marketing

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

After months or years of development, your software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution is finally ready. Now you just need to find customers. So you put up a website, attend a tradeshow, and produce a video. Then you host a webinar and post to a blog.

Two essentials for SaaS marketing

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

If you're marketing a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution, where should you start? It's obviously something SaaS companies about to bring their solution to market for the first time should be thinking about.

By the time you're at $2-3M in ARR, you need a VP of Sales who's done it before

The Angel VC

For most SaaS startups, the VP of Sales (along with the VP of Marketing) is one of the most crucial hires they need to make. Unless you have a no/low touch sales model and you're growing virally (a.k.a.

6 things to pre-empt 90% of Due Diligence

The Angel VC

The founder of a portfolio company recently asked me what kind of numbers and other material he'll need when he goes into his next round of fundraising. He wanted to make sure that when he starts talking to new potential investors, he'll have answers ready to most of the questions he'll be asked.

Announcing Point Nine Capital III

The Angel VC

Today we’ve announced Point Nine Capital III, our new €55M fund. Investors in PNC III include institutional investors like Horsley Bridge Partners , Sapphire Ventures , Flossbach von Storch and Vintage Investment Partners as well as a number of highly successful Internet entrepreneurs.

Achieving SaaS Customer Alignment | Ebook

Chaotic Flow

When your SaaS business is well aligned, your SaaS customers consistently take positive actions that lead to positive business outcomes: they try, they buy, they upgrade and they refer you to a friend.

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A simple tool to improve your 2016 planning

The Angel VC

In my last post I wrote about the problem with month-over-month growth rates. One of the issues I talked about was that when your revenue plan numbers are based on a constant m/m percentage growth figure (i.e.

Announcing our investment in ChartMogul

The Angel VC

The big guy who's lifting Nick is Michael Hansen, Zendesk's first employee and a co-investor in ChartMogul As reported by TechCrunch, we’ve led a seed round in ChartMogul. We’re thrilled about the investment.

What makes fundraising so stressful?

The Angel VC

Hyper-growth in SaaS

The Angel VC

Following his well-received guest post about cohort analysis , here comes another guest post from my colleague Nicolas. Enjoy! Status Quo From an investor’s perspective, SaaS companies have a lot to love: High gross margins, predictable (recurring) revenues and capital efficient operations.

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Your toughest competitor… inertia

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

It's possible that the competition for your technologically sophisticated, software-as-a service (SaaS) solution is somebody else’s technologically sophisticated SaaS solution. Some markets are jam-packed with SaaS solutions, all scratching each others' eyes out to win deals.

Where Up-Selling Goes Wrong

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

Up-selling can be a very good thing for software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies. It’s a winner on two counts: It boosts revenue per customer It usually lowers the cost of customer acquisition.

The importance of doing reference checks (1(2)

The Angel VC

This is a guest post by Jenny Buch, who recently joined us as a Talent Manager. It's the first in a series of two posts. The second one will appear here soon.

Why (most) SaaS startups should aim for negative MRR churn

The Angel VC

If you've followed my blog for a while, you know that I have a bit of an obsession with churn. Having significant account churn doesn't necessarily have to be a big problem and can't be avoided completely anyway. MRR churn sucks the blood out of your business though.

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In God we trust, all others bring references

The Angel VC

In the last few weeks I talked to two entrepreneurs who both recently made a hire that didn't work out. In both cases I asked how the reference calls went, and in both cases the answer was that they hadn't done any before hiring the candidate.

A closer look at the 6 things to pre-empt 90% of Due Diligence

The Angel VC

Since last week's post about 6-7 things to pre-empt 90% of Due Diligence was liked/shared/retweeted quite a bit, I'd like to follow up with some additional details on what exactly SaaS Series A/B investors will look for when you supply them with the data and material that I've mentioned.

Why we politely ask for a deck first

The Angel VC

When founders reach out to us to pitch us for an investment, they usually have a fundraising deck which they’re happy to send over. But every so often it also happens that a founder wants to set up a call or a meeting before sending over any material. In these cases I usually ask the founder if he or she could send us a deck first, with a view to have a call or meeting as a potential second step.