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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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The Official SaaStr Podcast: SaaS | Founders | Investors
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Now displaying: 2016
Sep 26, 2016

Lawrence Coburn is the Founder & CEO @ DoubleDutch, the category leader for event marketing automation. If you are at SaaStr and have the pleasure of using the SaaStr app, yep that is DoubleDutch! They have raised more than $75m in VC funding from some of the best VCs in the world including Index Ventures, Bessemer, Floodgate and Bullpen. As for Lawrence he is a three time entrepreneur, Lawrence also founded RateItAll, a top ten consumer review property, and LocationMeme, a blog about location based services. Lawrence is also the geo-location editor for The Next Web, is a mentor at IO Ventures, a San Francisco based incubator, and on the advisory board for the Enterprise 2.0 conference.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How did Lawrence made his way into SaaS and then came to found DoubleDutch, the category leader for mobile social events?
  • How does Lawrence look to use SDR as a growth engine and does he think it is important to invest in this early to build the machine?
  • How has Lawrence found the transition in terms of moving upmarket from SMB to Enterprise? How does Lawrence look to differentiate himself in such a crowded market?
  • How has Lawrence seen the evolution of the team? Does he agree there are different people for different phases of the growth cycle?
  • How does Lawrence look to use customer success as a bridge to cover gaps in product?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. Fave SaaS resource?
  2. What does Lawrence know now that he wish he had known at the beginning?
  3. What is the biggest challenge Lawrence faces to this day?

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

Lawrence Coburn

Sep 23, 2016

Michael Cardamone is the Managing Director of Acceleprise, a SaaS focused accelerator based in San Francisco and backed by leading operators. He is also an advisor to and angel investor in early stage SaaS companies. Prior to Acceleprise, Michael was one of the first 30 employees at Box in a business development role and then led partnerships at an EdTech company called AcademixDirect.  

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How did Michael make his way into the world of SaaS and then start Acceleprise in SF?
  • How can founders know when is the right time to ship product? Does Michael agree with Reid Hoffman, ‘if you are not embarrassed by your V1, it is too late’? How should startups look to establish a pricing mechanism at such an early stage?
  • What are Mike’s thoughts on freemium? Before Mike has said founders can charge more than they think. Why does he think this and how can founders know when they have reached their price ceiling?
  • Do founders need to sell their own product? How should founders approach the sales learning process? What questions should they be asking
  • How important is it for a startup to have an ideal customer profile? Should founders be looking for influential customers early or just getting as many dollars in as possible? How impactful can big brands and companies be as customers to early stage companies?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. Scrappiness: good or not as it just simply isn’t scalable?
  2. Most common challenge for Mike’s companies?
  3. Fave SaaS reading material?
  4. Entrepreneur optimism: Let it run or be wary?

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 Cardamone

 

Sep 19, 2016

Eoghan McCabe is CEO and co-founder of Intercom. The customer communications platform that has taken the saas world by storm in the last few years with 116m in VC funding from truly some of the world’s best including Bessemer, Social Capital and Index Ventures. He previously founded Contrast, an award-winning software design consultancy, and co-founded Exceptional, a developer tool startup acquired in 2011 and now a part of Rackspace.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How did Intercom break out in the early days with seemingly lots of competition and an install before you buy process?
  • In terms of category creation, in the early days how did Eoghan convince people of a product that had previously never existed? At what stage did Eoghan and Des stop selling the product themselves? When is the right time to hire your VP of Sales?
  • How did Eoghan establish a pricing mechanism for Intercom? Why is Eoghan such an advocate for value based pricing?
  • Why it is so important for founders and sales teams to have empathy for the customer? How can you practice empathy? How can you cheat empathy?
  • How does Eoghan manage a distributed workforce so well? What does he do to create links and culture between both the Dublin and SF office?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. Biggest advice to SaaS founders?
  2. Fave SaaS reading material?
  3. Most proud moment of Intercom’s journey?

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

Eoghan McCabe

Sep 16, 2016

Louis Jonckheere is the Co-Founder & Co-CEO @ Showpad, the company that enables sales teams by making content, findable, presentable and trackable. They have raised from some incredible investors including Dawn Capital, Hummingbird Ventures and Insight Venture Partners who more recently led their Series C $50m fundraise earlier this year. As for Louis, Showpad is his second company. He and his co-founder, Pieterjan, founded the mobile development agency, In The Pocket in 2010, where Louis still serves on the board. Prior to In The Pocket, Louis was a Strategic Partnership Manager at Netlog, where he first met Pieterjan.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How did Louis come to found Showpad? What was the a-ha moment for him?
  • How did Louis look to build out the core executive team? What have been the big lessons learnt? What have been the big mistakes and how has Louis changed his approach since?
  • How did Louis look to scale the customer success team? At what stage did Louis hire his first CSM? Is $2m ARR the right benchmark? Do customer success teams need to be product specialists?
  • How has Louis looked to build a scalable and repeatable sales process with Showpad? At what point did Louis decide to hire sales reps for the first time? What benchmark was this? Did Louis hire the first 2 reps at the same time?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. Louis’ Fave SaaS resource?
  2. Louis’s biggest advice to SaaS founders?
  3. What does Louis know today that he wishes he had known at the start?

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

Louis Jonckheere

Sep 12, 2016

Tim Kopp, Tim is a Managing Partner with Hyde Park Venture Partners one of the leading early stage VCs in the Midwest. Prior to joining Hyde Park Venture Partners, Tim was the CMO of ExactTarget for 6+ years, leading a global team of nearly 300 amazing marketing leaders. Tim helped grow ExactTarget from $47M to $400M in revenue, through IPO, and ultimately to a $2.7B sale to Salesforce. He previously spent 10+ years in consumer marketing with P&G and Coca-Cola. You can follow his advice for startup executives and marketing leaders at his newly launched website:www.cmovc.com.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Tim made his way into the world of B2B marketing and then made the transition into the world of venture?
  • Why does Tim believe marketing in B2B is unbuilt and uninspired? What would Tim like to see change?
  • What are SaaS CEO’s doing wrong with regards to organisation and scaling of their marketing team? What questions should they be asking?
  • Why does the best B2B marketers come from the world of B2C? What makes them more effective than current B2B marketers?
  • Why is ABM the most revolutionary thing to happen to marketing for the last decade? How can startups and CEOs integrate ABM into their current marketing forecasts?

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

Tim Kopp

Sep 9, 2016

Jim Stoneham is VP of Infrastructure Products @ New Relic and Jim joined New Relic when the company acquired Opsmatic, where he was co-founder and CEO. Prior to Opsmatic, Jim was CEO of Payvment, a social commerce platform for SMB sellers that was acquired by Intuit in early 2013. He joined Payvment from Yahoo, where he led Communities (Flickr, Answers, Groups, Delicious) as well as the integrations of Facebook and Twitter into Yahoo products. Prior to that, he spent several years building consumer products at Kodak and Apple. A huge thanks to Cindy Padnos @ Illuminate for making the introduction, without which this interview could not have happened.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Jim came to found Opsmatic and why he decided to sell to New Relic over other acquirers?
  • Why does Jim have a preference toward hiring senior experienced individuals over young talent to the founding team?
  • At what stage should startups look to bring on fresh, inexperienced candidates who are passionate for the job but in need of mentoring and guidance?
  • Question From Cindy Padnos: John is a master of employee onboarding, so how does John look to onboard new employees in the most effective and fast manner?

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

Jim Stoneham

Sep 5, 2016

Chad Arimura is the Founder & CEO @ Iron.io, where he drives the team to build the world's best cloud infrastructure services. Now they do have some pretty sizeable clients including the likes of Google, Zenefits, Twitter, Whole Foods and they have the backing from the likes of Steve Anderson’s Baseline Ventures, Bain Capital, Matt Ocko from Data Collective and our friends at Sapphire Ventures just to name a few and Prior to co-founding Iron.io, Chad was CIO and founder of AllDorm Inc., a collegiate media and marketing company that provided fundraisers and viral marketing campaigns for clients such as Volkswagen, Domino's Pizza, and Visa.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Chad came to found Iron.io ?
  • With a complex product like Iron, how much of a role does education play in the onboarding process for prospective new clients?
  • To what extent does content marketing play the dominant marketing function for Iron both in terms of educating customers and converting potential customers?
  • How does Chad view the balance of much larger ACV clients with long sales cycles compared to SME’s with smaller ticket sizes and shorter sales cycles?
  • What are the challenges when selling to large corporates and CIO’s in the traditional corporates?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. What does Chad know now that he wish he had known at the beginning?
  2. What is Chad’s favourite reading material?
  3. How does Chad deal with stress as a Founder & CEO?

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

Chad Arimura

Sep 2, 2016

Greg Sands is the Founder and Managing Partner of Costanoa Venture Capital. Prior to founding Costanoa Venture Capital, Greg was a Managing Director at Sutter Hill, where he was an early investor in the likes of Feedburner, AllBusiness, and Return Path just to name a few. Before Sutter Hill, Greg was the first hire at Netscape after its founding engineering team. As Netscape’s 1st Product Manager, Greg wrote the initial business plan, coined the name Netscape, and created the SuiteSpot Business Unit, which he grew from zero to $150m in revenue. He also served as Manager of Business Development at Cisco where he architected a global channel management plan.  

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Greg made his way into the world of VC from Netscape?
  • Why did Greg see the opportunity for an early stage B2B fund like Costanoa? Why did this fund not exist in B2B but was becoming popularised in B2C?
  • To what extent does Greg agree SaaS investing is ‘traction capital’? When investing pre metrics, what are the signs of promise Greg looks for?
  • How does Greg assess product market fit? Why is customer segmentation and customer archetypes so important?
  • What does Greg make of the ‘full stack CEO’? Is it better to be specialised or jack of all trades? When is the right time to specialise?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. Greenfield opportunity in SaaS?
  2. Biggest advice to startup founders in SaaS?
  3. Easier or harder to raise money now than before?

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

Greg Sands

Aug 29, 2016

Jon Herstein is the Senior Vice President of Customer Success at Box where Jon works to ensure that all of Box's Enterprise and Business customers are phenomenally successful. Jon has worked with some of the biggest names in the tech world, including Accenture, Informatica and most recently NetSuite, where he served as VP of Professional Services for North America and EMEA. Before NetSuite, Jon led the turnaround of Informatica's European consulting practice during a multi-year expatriate assignment, which eventually led to a 65% jump in revenue.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Jon made his way into the newly created category of customer success?
  • How does Box define customer success and how does that impact their view and approach to the SaaS industry?
  • Box has gone through the definition of private hypergrowth and is now in the next phase as a public company - how has that affected the CSM strategy?
  • Box now have some very large accounts, how do you distinguish between the role of sales vs CS in large accounts? How do they partner to drive expansion?
  • Jon is renowned for prioritizing career paths for his team, how does he accomplish this and balance this with wider operational and strategic goals of box?

60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What's the most common question Jon hears from CSM leaders?
  2. What's one innovative idea Jon has tested that might be shared with the audience, vis-a-vis Customer Success?
  3. What do you know now that you wish you had know when you started?
  4. The biggest mistake current saas companies are enacting with their CS process?

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

Jon Herstein

Aug 26, 2016

Kristen Koh Goldstein is the Co-Founder @ HireAthena, the on demand workforce specialising in accounting, HR and payroll. Prior to Hire Athena, Kristen was the Co-Founder @ Scalus, where she raised millions of dollars in venture capital from top VCs including Google Ventures and Sherpa Capital. Before that Kristen was the Co-Founder @ BackOps, the world’s fastest growing back office solution. If you enjoy the show with Kristen today and would like to join Jason and I @ SaaStr Annual 2017 next year, then all you have to do is checkout SaaStr and buy your tickets for SaaStr Annual 2017.

In Today’s Episode Kristin Discusses:

  • Why it is that the faster you hire, the longer it takes to build your business? How to make the transition from a family to a village with your team?
  • Why it is imperative to hire slowly and fire fast? How to communicate new hires to the existing team to ease onboarding friction?
  • Why hiring outside of your circle is full of risks? What you can do to mitigate those risks?
  • What happens when you wake up one day and realise you are the problem in your own business?
  • What really is scaling with regards to the product? How important is product consistency in the scaling process?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented you can follow us on Twitter here:

Aug 22, 2016

Matthew Bellows is the Founder @ Yesware and a specialist in helping sales people close more deals faster. Yesware serves more than 750,000 salespeople at companies like IBM, Groupon, Salesforce, Twilio, Yelp, VMWare, and Zendesk. Prior to Yesware, Matthew was the VP of Sales at Vivox. Before that, he was GM at Floodgate (acquired by Zynga) and Founder/CEO of WGR Media (acquired by CNET Networks).

In Today’s Episode with Matthew We Discuss:

  • How Matthew came to be Founder and CEO @ Yesware? What was the a-ha moment for him?
  • Whether sales is an art or a science and what makes Matthew feel this way?
  • Why all founders should do sales until $1m ARR? What were Matt’s personal learnings from scaling the sales team with Yesware?
  • Why a CEO cannot also be a VP of Sales? When is the right time to hire an exec to run the sales team and begin sales specialisation?
  • How Matthew approaches the hiring process? What is the best way to receive high quality candidates? What does his interview process look like?
  • With the array of data on sales activity how can managers balance management with micro-management? What are the inherent problems?

60 Second SaaStr:

  1. If Matthew could do the process again, what would he redo?
  2. How does Matthew deal with rejection in business and sales?
  3. Strategies to optimise email open rates?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented you can follow us on Twitter here:

Aug 19, 2016

Ryan Fyfe is the Founder & CEO @ Humanity, the employee scheduling software that allows you to value your employees. Ryan has built Humanity to serve more than half a million users across 87 countries, with a team exceeding 100 people and continually growing across 3 continents. They have raised funding from our friends at Point Nine and a huge thank you to Christoph @ Point Nine for making the introduction today.

In Today’s Episode with Ryan We Discuss:

 

  • How did Ryan come to be founder and CEO at Humainty?
  • How does Ryan and Humanity use data to affect the marketing decisions they make with regards to customer acquisition?
  • How does Ryan look to integrate customer success into the pre-purchase period to facilitate adoption?
  • How does Ryan view free trials with Humanity? How do they A/B test free trials to optimise for conversion?
  • How can startups ensure efficient time to value in a trial period and what is the role of customer success in this?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented you can follow us on Twitter here:

Aug 15, 2016

Michael Litt is the Founder & CEO @ Vidyard the video intelligence platform that allows you to create, measure and strengthen engagement of your video content. Vidyard are based in Canada and have raised over $60m in VC funding from the likes of Battery Ventures, Bessemer, SoftTech, Salesforce Ventures, some incredible names there and the list goes on but I would like to say a  huge thanks to Matt Garrett @ Salesforce Ventures for making the intro.

In Today's Show with Michael We Discuss

 

  • How did Michael come to found Vidyard, as Paul Graham described, ‘The Google For Business’?
  • How does Michael assess value based pricing and how has his views transition with the growth of Vidyard?
  • What does Vidyard’s internal sales organisation look like? How does Michael look to optimise this structure?
  • How does Michael view the utility of the freemium model? What are the inherent advantages and disadvantages that need to be considered?

In a round we call the 60 Second Saastr, we also hear:

  1. Productivity tips and tricks?
  2. Cool hobbies, what are they?
  3. Fave SaaS material?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented you can follow us on Twitter here:

Aug 12, 2016

Today’s episode is taken from SaaStr Annual 2016, featuring Meagen Eisenberg, CMO at MongoDB and former VP Demand Gen at DocuSign, sharing her playbook for optimizing the funnel at every stage and converting leads into real, paying customers. If you want to join me and Jason @ SaaStr 2017 then head to saastr.com where you can buy tickets.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

 

  • Why you need to think about more than just pipeline? What are the other elements of the funnel you should focus on?
  • How to optimise your forms for data capture to allow your sales team to follow up successfully?
  • How marketing can provide support to sales to attract new customers?
  • How does nurturing align the buyer with your sales team?
  • How do you accurately measure success within email marketing?
  • How can startups on a tight budget maximise exposure through content and social media?

 

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented you can follow us on Twitter here:

Aug 8, 2016

Aaron Ross is the author of the best selling book, Predictable Revenue, providing the framework for the outbound process & sales team Aaron created for Salesforce.com. During his time at Salesforce as Director of Corporate Development and Acquisitions, he added an extra $100 million in revenue in just a few years. In today’s show we discuss his and Jason Lemkin’s fantastic new book, From Impossible To Inevitable, which outlines how hyper growth companies create predictable revenue? If you are a founder asking why aren’t we growing faster, how do we go into hyper-growth mode and then how do you sustain growth then this book really is for you.

In Today’s Episode with Aaron You Will Learn:

  1. How did Aaron enter the world of SaaS and come to be a Senior Director @ Salesforce? What were his biggest takeaways from seeing Salesforce scale into hypergrowth mode?
  2. WHat does Aaron mean by saying ‘nail a niche’? Does this mean go small? How much of a role does iteration play in this process?
  3. How does Aaron assess product market fit? How do you really know when you have that focus? Are there any clear signs that suggest you have achieved product market fit?
  4. Aaron has said before “people at the company will always be busy. they just might not be busy on the right things”? How important is sales specialisation? At what point does the original generalist sales team fragment into specialised elements?
  5. What are Aaron’s thoughts on ownership and how you ensure that a sense of ownership is instilled upon the team to enhance productivity? I have never heard a Founder on the show before saying ‘my team is just achieving too much!’.

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented you can follow us on Twitter here:

Aug 5, 2016

As VP of Sales and Marketing at Atlassian for three years before becoming President, Jay Simons has a broad perspective on what it takes to build a successful company. Sometimes, ignoring conventional wisdom is what will differentiate you from the competition. Bootstrapping from day one, launching and supporting multiple products, and doing it all without traditional Sales team - Atlassian's approach (and wild success) has always been a curious anomaly in SaaS. After 13 years of being an exception to every rule, Atlassian went public in late 2015 with a total market capitalization of $4.37B at the time of the IPO.

In this session, Jay answers our burning questions: 

1.) Why does Jay believe in most cases the best run companies are public companies? What does being public bring to the organizational structure of a firm?

2.) How important is it for early stage startups to have board members and outside perspectives? How should they select those inputs?

3.) How important a role does customer support and success play in the conversion of customers from trial to paid versions?

 4.) How does Jay focus on 4 products with such a differentiated suite of products? Does this not contradict the often cited fundamental, focus.

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 1, 2016

Andy Sparks is the Co-Founder and Head of Sales @ Mattermark. He was previously the Technology Editor at Referly before the company pivoted to become Mattermark. Andy joined the Referly team via an acqui-hire of his company, LaunchGram, by Referly in February of 2013. Now I am going to leave the bio there as Andy does a much better job of it in the show than I do!

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Andy came to be a 1st time Head of Sales with Mattermark?
  • What are the requirements for stretch VPs to be successful?
  • How can Head of Sales clearly and efficiently communicate with their reps? What are the 3 things all sales reps have to be trained on?
  • What are the must haves when looking at sales reps? Are there different types of reps for different stages in the business?
  • How to effectively establish a compensation structure for your sales team that is incentivising to them and to the company?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented you can follow us on Twitter here:

 

Jul 29, 2016

Today we bring you one of the highlights from SaaStr Annual 2016 with Jason Lemkin talking to Kirsten Helvey,  COO of Cornerstone Ondemand, a cloud-based learning and talent management solutions provider. in the episode Kirsten discusses her 11 years of experience with rising up in the ranks from employee #30 to her current position in the company, which is now 1500-strong, it is a phenomenal scaling story and so many insights nuggets of wisdom from Kirsten here.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

Why you should always be thinking about building, no matter the scale?

Why we should all stop talking about company culture?

Why you should forget the MBA and take a psychology degree?

How to give direct and consistent feedback with employees in order to get the most out of them?

Why we should focus more on upsell and less on customer acquisition?

How to build, integrate and scale a customer success team into a 1,500 person organisation?

You can follow us on Twitter here:

Jul 25, 2016

David Yuan is a General Partner at Technology Crossover Ventures, where he has enjoyed no less than 4 IPOs and 5 acquisitions. Some of David’s investments include the likes of Facebook, Linkedin, Exact Target (acq by Salesforce), Splunk and many more incredible companies. He also sits on the board at Act On, App Nexus, Merkle and Site Minder and is an advisor to Pinterest. Pior to TCV, David had stints at JP Morgan and Bain & Company.

In Today’s Episode with David You Will Learn:

  1. How did David make his way into the investing world in 2000?
  2. How has David seen the evolution of SaaS revenue multiples over the last decade?
  3. How can VCs balance the drive for profitability with their need for big wins over a short 5-7 year investment cycle?
  4. How does David approach investing cadence in correlation to market cycles? Does his strategy alter according to down-turns and booms?
  5. Why does David find the monetisation models of the consumerisation of SaaS to be the most exciting?
  6. Does David agree that the original hires might not be the hires as the stages progress? How can founders transition them out without a lack of respect and gratitude?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented you can follow us on Twitter here:

Jul 22, 2016

Today we bring you a highlight from SaaStr Annual 2016 featuring a conversation between Hubspot's Dharmesh Shah and SaaStr's own Jason Lemkin. Prior to founding HubSpot in 2006, Dharmesh was founder and CEO of Pyramid Digital Solutions, which was acquired by SunGard Data Systems in 2005. In addition to co-authoring “Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media and Blogs”,Dharmesh published HubSpot’s Culture Code, which has garnered over 2.5 million views on SlideShare. Named an Inc. Founders 40 in 2016, he is an active member of the Boston-area entrepreneurial community, an angel investor in over 60 startups, and a frequent speaker on startups and inbound marketing.

In Today's Episode wth Dharmesh You Will Learn:

  • What were the biggest growth catalysts in the scaling of Hubspot from Day 1 to IPO?
  • What were the biggest mistakes made and lessons learnt by Dharmesh and the team throughout the journey?
  • How does Dharmesh think about churn? How does he define pre-churn?
  • What is the customer happiness index and how can it be implemented?
  • How can founders inform prospects their product is a must have not a nice to have?
  • Why has the SMB space been so difficult for so long? Why is that changing now?
  • Why Dharmesh and Hubspot focus on consumer behaviour not consumer feedback?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented you can follow us on Twitter here:

Jul 18, 2016

Allison Pickens carries the customer success torch as the VP of Customer Success & Business Operations at the category leaders, Gainsight. Allison’s organization @ Gainsight includes all post-sales functions: CSMs, Support, Onboarding, Services, and Operations. Prior to Gainsight, she started her career in management consulting for Fortune 500 companies while at Boston Consulting Group and later worked in private equity investing at Bain Capital.  Allison decided that she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work at Gainsight when Bain Capital led the Series B.

In Today’s Episode With Allison You Will Learn:

1.) So let’s start with managing customer churn and I think the first and most important thing is assessing what is regrettable vs non-regrettable. How do you approach this?

  • What is the internal post mortem?
  • How do you identify why they churned?
  • Is there a blame game that follows? How do you instill ramifications but not fear?
  • How do you then look to fix the original problem that caused the churn?

2.) To do the above we need to have a great customer success team so iw ant to talk about the process of building this out and with CS being a new category this is an aspect a lot of founders are addressing at this time. So starting with the obvious?

  • When do you need a customer success team?
  • Where in the organization should the team sit?
  • What's the playbook for rolling it out?
  • How big does the team need to be? Does this vary on sector or funding availability?
  • What are the levels of seniority within the team?
  • What's your budget? How do you account for the costs of your team?
  • What teams sit within the customer success umbrella?

60 Second Saastr produced by Nick Mehta:

What surprises you most about customer success now vs a year ago?

Importance of fast iterating team?

Fave SaaS material, book, blog, podcast?

What element of the journey have you found most challenging?

Carrying the CS torch? What is it like do you feel the pressure?

3.) Now I want to finish today by discussing the segmentation of your customer base, so at what point in the company's life do you begin segmenting the customers?

  • Why is it important to segment customers?
  • How do you decide the best way to segment them?
  • Should these segments align with the sales team?

 

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented you can follow us on Twitter here:

Jul 15, 2016

Cindy Padnos is the Founder and Managing Partner at Illuminate Ventures where she focuses on all things Enterprise/B2B cloud and mobile computing sectors. Prior to founding Illuminate in 2009, she was one of three investment professionals at Outlook Ventures responsible for committing the firm’s $140 million fund. Cindy also has extensive experience in the world of operations, where she founded and sold one of SaaS’ first on demand startups in the form of Vivant.

In Today’s Episode with Cindy We Discuss:

  • How Cindy made her way into the world of SaaS and later SaaS investing?
  • Why does Cindy think SaaS is a democratiser for entrepreneurship?
  • Is the proliferation of Sales and Marketing tools not a challenge for startups in terms of competing for the same VC dollars?
  • Is it easier or more challenging for startups to raise VC funding today than in previous years? If so, why?
  • How does Cindy assess product market fit with her portfolio companies? When is the right time to put pedal to the metal?
  • What does Cindy make of the Micro VC market at the moment? How prominent are party rounds? Will we see consolidation?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented you can follow us on Twitter here:

Jul 11, 2016

Fred Stevens-Smith is the Co-Founder & CEO @ Rainforest QA, which if you listened to 20VC with Byron Deeter, you will remember he discussed them and their amazing trajectory. So for QA first, it is essentially QA as a service making it fast and easy to test your webapp in multiple browsers and they are backed by some of the best as we said there Byron Deeter @ Bessemer, our own Jason Lemkin, Y Combinator, previous guest Kris Duggan @ Betterworks and Marc Benioff just to name a few. As for Fred he is the man at the helm as Co-Founder & CEO and absolutely smashing it I might add. In the show Fred mentions his favourite reading material to be Jason Lemkin and Aaron Ross’s new book From Impossible to Inevitable: How Hypergrowth Companies Create Predictable Revenue and if you have not read that, that is a must and can be found here!

In Our Discussion with Fred You Will Learn:

  • How did Fred come to found Rainforest QA? What was his origin story to YC?
  • How did Fred look to establish the pricing model with Rainforest? Why does Fred believe most software companies undervalue their software?
  • What are the challenges of going upstream? How does it affect product? Sales cycle?
  • Does Fred agree with Mark Organ that in a new category, the company CEO must be the category CMO? How much of a role does content play in Rainforest QA’s education funnel for customers?
  • Why does Fred believe you should spend the most time with your best people? Similarly, the least amount of time with your worst people?
  • How has Fred gone about building out the sales team? What did Fred look for in sales reps and Heads of Sales?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented you can follow us on Twitter here:

Jul 8, 2016

Quang Hoang is the Co- Founder @ Birdly, Birdly are convinced by the power of messaging within organizations, they decided to build a broader service that connects your favorite business softwares to messaging apps. It is this vision that has led to them being named one of the hottest startups from YC Winter 2016 batch and has led to funding from some of the best in the industry including our own Jason lemkin, Slack, previous guest Nicolas Dessaigne and prestigious french investors Alven Capital and Partech Ventures.

In Today’s Episode with Quang We Discuss:

  • How did Quang come to found Birdly? What was the a-ha moment?
  • What did Quang learn from pivoting to Birdly? What is it important for founders to consider before a pivot?
  • How does Quang approach the challenging topic of a business model for bots?
  • Why does Quang believe that the whole pricing model for SaaS will change?
  • What were the main benefits of the YC experience and how did it impact his fundraising?
  • When is the right time for European startups to make the move to SF? How important is it to be close to your customers?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented you can follow us on Twitter here:

Jul 4, 2016

Christoph Janz is the Co-Founder and the Managing Partner @ Point Nine Capital, one of Europe’s best early stage venture funds and Christoph himself specializes in all things SaaS at Point Nine and has made more than 20 SaaS startup investments. Prior to Point Nine, Christoph co-founded two Internet startups and in 2008, became an angel investor and discovered Zendesk, which was his first angel investment. Also if you would like to congratulate Jason for the raising of the incredible new SaaStr Fund then you can click here to send him a congratulations tweet.

In Today’s Episode with Christoph We Discuss:

  • How did Christoph make his way into the world of early stage SaaS investing?
  • When should startups consider making the move to the US? Is it always necessary?
  • How important is it for SaaS startups to have a local US investor? What are the benefits?
  • Where are there talent gaps in European SaaS? What can European founders do to find those experienced VPs of Sales and Marketing?
  • Question from Jason: What made Zendesk seem like such a winner and what did that teach you?
  • Where does Christoph see the next wave of the consumerisation of SaaS?
  • Is it harder to get funded as a SaaS startup in today’s environment than in previous years?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented you can follow us on Twitter here:

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