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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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Now displaying: Category: business
Apr 6, 2020

Bhavin Shah is the Founder & CEO @ Moveworks, the cloud-based AI platform, purpose-built for large enterprises, that resolves employees' IT support issues⁠—instantly and automatically. To date Bhavin has raised over $108M with Moveworks from the likes of Mamoon Hamid @ Kleiner Perkins, Arij Janmohamed @ Lightspeed, Bain Capital, Sapphire Ventures and ICONIQ. Prior to Moveworks, Bhavin was the Founder and CEO @ Refresh which was later acquired by LinkedIn and then before that founded Gazillion Entertainment, a company he scaled to over 200 employees. 

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Bhavin made his way into the wonderful world of SaaS and came to found Moveworks?
  • What are the core challenges IT teams are facing as a result of the move to remote work? Where do many make mistakes here? What can one do from a structural perspective to set them up for success when moving to remote? 
  • What does great change management look like in Bhavin’s mind today? Where do so many go wrong here? How does this change in the world of remote? Who should be involved in executing on the change management plan?  
  • How does Bhavin think about the role of customer success today? Why does Bhavin believe that customer success and product should be in one org? How does Bhavin think about the interplay of marketing and customer success? Is marketing moving closer and closer to customer success with their content?      

Bhavin’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What is the hardest element of Bhavin’s role with Moveworks today?
  2. Hardest role to hire for today? Why? 
  3. If Bhavin could change one thing in the world of SaaS today, what would it be?

Read the full transcript on our blog: https://www.saastr.com/saastr-podcasts-for-the-week-with-moveworks-and-bessemer-venture-partners-april-10-2020/

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

Bhavin Shah

Apr 2, 2020

Many people make the false assumption that the path for a highly successful SaaS company is straight “up and to the right”. Of course, for those involved, the reality of the journey is characterized by a series of obstacles that must be navigated. Fmr. Shasta Ventures Doug Pepper will share the key challenges that were overcome to allow Marketo to become a $5B SaaS Category Leader in Marketing Automation.

This podcast is an excerpt from Doug’s session at SaaStr Europa. You can find the full video and transcript on our blog.

Mar 30, 2020

Anthony Kennada is the CMO @ Front, the startup that provides your team with better email so they can treat every customer like your only customer. To date, Front have raised over $138M from some leading names including Sequoia, Eric Yuan @ Zoom, Ryan and Jared Smith @ Qualtrics, Michael Cannon-Brookes and Jay Simmons @ Atlassian and Frederic Kerrest @ Okta to name a few. As for Anthony, prior to Front Anthony was the founding CMO at Gainsight where he and his team are credited with creating the Customer Success category. At Gainsight Anthony and the team developed a new playbook for B2B marketing that fueled the company’s growth from $0 to over $100M of ARR. If that was not enough, Anthony is also the author of Category Creation: How to Build a Brand that Customers, Employees, and Investors Will Love. The book debuted as a number one new release on Amazon.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Anthony made his way into the world of SaaS starting in the sales team at Box and how that led to his entering the world of marketing and creating the customer success category?
  • How does Anthony marketing playbook change when making the move from Gainsight with higher ACV’s and longer sales cycles to Front with lowers ACV’s and much higher volume? How does Anthony think about ABM today with Front given the lower ACVs? At what ticket size does ABM make sense?
  • How does Anthony feel about brand marketing? Why did Anthony and Front decide now was the right time to engage with billboards? How does Anthony think about data and tracking for brand marketing? Does Anthony believe that all marketing has to be tied to a number directly related to revenue?  
  • How does Anthony seeing a changing relationship between customer success and marketing? How is marketing being pushed further into the realms of CS? What is the optimal relationship between CS and marketing? How does this compare to the relationship of sales and marketing more traditionally?       

Anthony’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Anthony know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning of his time in marketing?
  2. What is the hardest element of Anthony’s role with Front today?
  3. Who does Anthony think is killing it in the world of marketing today?

Read the full transcript on our blog.

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

Anthony Kennada

Mar 26, 2020

We’re obviously in a very unique situation today. The pace at which Corona is impacting us all right now is so fast, it’s hard to keep up.

Today is different from other times but in SaaS. It will probably be like ’08-’09 downturn — just faster.

Join Jason Lemkin, CEO and Founder of SaaStr, and Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight, as they take a look back at what happened to them as a SaaS vendor in ’08-’09, and what learnings you can leverage.

This podcast is an excerpt from Jason and Nick’s webinar “What We’re Doing Now. And How We Got Through ’08-’09.” You can find the full replay here.

Mar 23, 2020

May Habib is the Founder & CEO @ Qordoba, the platform that helps everyone at your company write with the same style, terminology and voice. To date, May has raised over $21M in funding with Qordoba from the likes of Upfront Ventures, Aspect Ventures, Bonfire Ventures and Michael Stoppelman to name a few. Before entering the world of SaaS, May was a vice president at one of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds, where she was the first employee on the technology investment team, building a portfolio now worth over $20B. Before that, May started her career in the New York Office of Lehman Brothers raising capital for software companies.  

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How May made her way into the world of startups and SaaS from being a VP at one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East?
  • How does May think about and assess operational survival in times of such uncertainty? Why does this downturn feel so different to prior downturns? Operationally, what needs to fundamentally change about your processes?
  • How does May think about when is the right time to engage with pre-emptive burn cuts? Where does one look first in the organisation when making these cuts? How does one structure those discussions? What is the right way to do it? What is the right way to communicate the cuts to the team, customers and investors? 
  • How does one keep the existing teams spirits high when they have just seen many of their friends be released? What is the right way to manage those discussions? What can founders do to build unity in their team now everyone is WFH? What has worked well for the Qordoba team? Where do many go wrong here?       

May’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What is the most challenging element of May’s role with Qordoba today?
  2. What does May know now that she wishes she had known at the beginning?
  3. If May could change one thing about the world of SaaS, what would it be and why?

Read the full transcript on our blog.

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

May Habib

Mar 16, 2020

Rachel Hepworth is VP of Marketing @ Pilot, the startup that offers the best bookkeeping, tax and CFO services for growing businesses. To date they have raised over $58M from some of the best in the business including Index Ventures, John Collison, Paul English, Drew Houston, Frederic Kerrest, Diane Greene and more incredible names. As for Rachel, prior to joining Pilot, she saw the hyper-growth of Slack firsthand enjoying a couple of different roles including Head of Growth Marketing and then also Head of Self Service and Platform Marketing. Before Slack, Rachel spent 4 years at LinkedIn where she led the product marketing team for content experiences. Finally, before LinkedIn, Rachel spent close to 3 years at Climate Corporation, prior to their $1Bn exit to Monsanto. 

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Rachel made her way from marketing manager at Climate Corporation to VP of marketing at Pilot today? What were Rachel’s biggest takeaways from her time seeing the hyper-growth at Slack?
  • How does Rachel think about organic growth and inciting word of mouth today? How does Rachel think they can be more accurately tracked and measured? How does Rachel think about the optimal ratio of paid to organic in growth? Would Rachel agree in paid, your payback period doubles every $5M you spend?
  • With the rise of product-led growth, are we seeing a fundamental shift in the structure of sales and marketing? How does Rachel see marketing move ever close to the function of customer success today? What is the optimal way for customer success and marketing to work together? 
  • How does Rachel think about the importance of getting in front of your customers? Why does Rachel believe that data tells you the what and customer conversations tell you the why? What is the right way to structure your customer conversations? Where do so many people go wrong here?      

Rachel’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. Hardest element of your role with Pilot today?
  2. If Rachel could change one thing about SaaS today, what would it be?
  3. Who is killing it in SaaS marketing? Why?

Read the full transcript on our blog.

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

Rachel Hepworth

Mar 12, 2020

The startup journey moves in waves—whether you’re ready or not. After finding funding and product/market fit, your next steps as a founder in the hypergrowth phase can determine the future of your company. Harry Stebbings of Stride.VC and Robert Vis of MessageBird will walk through lessons learned to survive hypergrowth and what will make a difference when it comes to scaling. Hear how to navigate fast growth and how to look ahead as you travel forward.

This podcast is from Harry and Robert's SaaStr Europa 2019 session. You can find the full video and transcript on our blog.

Mar 9, 2020

Harry Hurst is the Co-Founder & Co-CEO @ Pipe, the startup that gives you control of your cash flow by giving you access to the full annual value of your monthly subscriptions, upfront. This month they announced their $6M seed round led by David Saks @ Craft and joined by Fika, Weekend Fund, Naval Ravikant and WorkLife Ventures to name a few. Prior to Pipe, Harry co-founded Skurt raising over $11M in the process before being acquired by Fair.com. Harry has also angel invested in the likes of BreathePod and Try.com. 

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Harry made his way from the UK to founding one of Silicon Valley’s hottest SaaS startups with the founding of Pipe?
  • How does Harry think about when is the right time for a startup to raise VC funding? How does Harry stress test the alignment between the founder and the VC/ Opposingly, when is the right time for a founder to take non-dilutive capital from Pipe instead?
  • Pipe’s lending model is so centred around churn prediction, what does their churn analysis look like at Pipe? How does Harry think about the right way to structure churn post mortems? Why does Harry believe investing in customer success is far more important than customer acquisition? 
  • How does Harry think about the importance of brand for enterprise startups today? Do you have to invest in it from Day 1? What mistakes does Harry see many founders make when it comes to investing in their early brand?      

Harry’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Harry know that he wishes he had known at the beginning?
  2. What does Harry believe is the hardest role to hire for today? Why?
  3. What does Harry believe that most around his disbelieve?

Read the full transcript on our blog.

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

Harry Hurst

Mar 2, 2020

Today we deep dive into what startups can learn from the large SaaS incumbents of today. 

Sara Varni: CMO @ Twilio on her biggest takeaways from her time at Salesforce.

Erica Schultz: President of Field Operations @ Confluent on her biggest takeaways from her time at Oracle.

Whitney Bouck: COO @ Hellosign on her biggest takeaways from her time at Box.

Leyla Seka: Partner @ Operator Collective on her biggest takeaways from her time at Salesforce.

Ryan Bonnici: CMO @ G2 on his biggest takeaways from his time at Salesforce.

Ryan Barretto: SVP @ Sprout Social on his biggest takeaways from his time at Salesforce

Tien Tzuo: Founder & CEO @ Zuora on his biggest takeaways from his time at Salesforce.

Paul Albright: Board member @ Clarizen on his biggest takeaways from his time at SuccessFactors.

Jaleh Rezaei: Founder & CEO @ Mutiny on her biggest takeaways from her time at Gusto.

Eugenio Pace: Founder & CEO @ Auth0 on his biggest takeaways from his time at Microsoft.

Liat Bycel: VP @ Airtable on her biggest takeaways from her time at Twitter.

Mark Goldberg: Partner @ Index on his biggest takeaways from his time at Dropbox.

Read the full transcript on our blog.

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

Feb 27, 2020

Starting a company can be daunting, exhausting, and expensive, but with the right focus and idea - extremely rewarding; take it from Andrew Filev, Founder and CEO of Wrike. In this session, he will outline the do's and don'ts that he learned bootstrapping Wrike. Where it makes sense to invest your precious resources when to outsource, and how to save yourself money without cutting corners.

This podcast is an excerpt from Andrew’s session at SaaStr Europa 2019. You can find the full video and transcript on our blog. 

This episode is sponsored by Owl Labs.

Feb 24, 2020

Karl Sun is the Founder & CEO @ Lucidchart, a visual workspace that combines diagramming, data visualization, and collaboration to accelerate understanding and drive innovation. To date, Karl has raised $114M with Lucidchart from some of the best in the business including K9 Ventures, Meritech, Iconiq, GV and Kickstart in Utah. As for Karl, prior to founding the company he spent 6 years at Google in some fascinating roles including Head of Patents, Head of Business Development in China and running Google’s energy investments. As a result of his success, Karl was recently announced as EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year. 

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Karl made his way into the world of SaaS with the founding of Lucidchart having been Head of Business Development for Google in China and Head of Patents?
  • How does one know when we need to hire generalists vs specialists? How does this requirement change as the company scales? How does Karl fundamentally think about finding great talent and keeping top of funnel full? How does Karl think about working with recruiters? What works? What does not work?
  • Karl has been in every interview for every new hire for the first 6 years of the business, why? How does Karl think about doing this at scale? How does Karl structure the hiring process today? Why do they have a hiring committee? What does the process look like? How do they assess and test for culture?  
  • How does Karl think about retaining agility and flexibility with scale? How does Karl maintain employee empowerment with the implementation of process? How does Karl think about the balance between creating accountability without a fear of failure? What are the challenges of this?     

Karl’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What is the hardest role to hire for today? Why?
  2. Hardest element of karl’s role as CEO today? Why?
  3. What does Karl know now that he wishes he had known at the founding of the company?

Read the full transcript on our blog.

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

Karl Sun

Feb 20, 2020

SaaStr CEO Jason Lemkin and EZPR Founder Ed Zitron sit down to talk about all things PR. Who actually gets into these outlets? Is PR just pitching and getting articles? Take a listen for more.

Read the full transcript on our blog.

Feb 17, 2020

David Skok is a General Partner @ Matrix Partners, the firm with a portfolio including the likes of Hubspot, ZenDesk, Quora, CloudBees and more incredible companies. As for David, he started his first company in 1977 aged just 22. Since then David has founded a total of four separate companies and performed one turn-around. Three of these companies went public. David then joined Matrix from SilverStream Software, which he founded in June 1996. Prior to its July 2002 acquisition by Novell, SilverStream was a public company that had reached a revenue run rate in excess of $100M, with approximately 800 employees and offices in more than 20 countries around the world. David is also the author of foreentrepreneurs.com the must read blog in the world of SaaS metrics. 

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How David made his way into the world of SaaS at the age of 22? How David went from founding 3 public companies to entering the world of venture with Matrix? Does David agree, “entrepreneurship does not get easier with time, it just gets different”?
  • What does David believe is the crucial step missing in B@B when it comes to finding product market fit? What is the most common mistake B2B companies make in the hunt for PMF? How should founders think about budget and resource allocation in this search for PMF? When is to early to measure unit economics and CAC?
  • How does David think about scaling sales teams? How does one know when is the right time to hire your first sales reps? What content and learnings should you have in place when you make the hire? How does David think about payback period on a per rep basis? What have been his lessons on optimising payback period for sales reps?  
  • What numbers is David looking for when it comes to payback period? Why is 12 months so crucial? How should founders think about sales rep compensation? What have been David’s learnings on how to integrate sales and marketing so tightly? How does marketing and customer success intertwine to be successful?     

David’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. Who is the best board member David has sat on a board with? Why?
  2. What advice would David have for me having just joined my first board?
  3. What would David most like to change about the world of tech and SaaS today?

Read the full transcript on our blog.

You can find the graphics David references here.

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

David Skok

Feb 11, 2020

Jaleh Rezaei is the Founder & CEO @ Mutiny, the startup that allows you to personalise your website for each and every visitor. Jaleh has raised from some of the best in the early stage business with Mutiny including the likes of Y Combinator, Uncork Capital and Cowboy Ventures on the fund side and then Mathilde @ Front, Henrique @ Brex and Shan-Lyn Ma @ Zola on the operator side. Prior to founding Mutiny, Jaleh spent an incredible 4 years at Gusto seeing their hypergrowth first hand as one of the first 10 employees. If that was not enough, Jaleh has also enjoyed advisory roles at both Google and Y Combinator. 

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Jaleh made her way into the world of SaaS as one of the first team members at Gusto and how that led to her founding Mutiny most recently? 
  • What were Jaleh’s biggest takeaways from her time at Gusto? How did that time impact her operating mentality with Mutiny today? How did her time at Gusto teach her about the right way to build company culture? Where do so many go wrong with this?
  • What does Jaleh believe is the biggest problem in SaaS marketing today? How does Jaleh specifically use ABM to acquire customers and leads effectively? What price points is required for an ABM strategy to be viable?  
  • How does Jaleh approach the issue of determining the success of marketing? Should marketing be held accountable to a number tied directly to revenue? How does brand marketing play into this? Where are the nuances here?     

Jaleh’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What is the hardest role to hire for today?
  2. Hardest element for Jaleh of her role with Mutiny today?
  3. What does Jaleh know now that she wishes she had known when she entered the world of SaaS?

Read the transcript on our blog.

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

Jaleh Rezaei

Feb 6, 2020

Join Bessemer Venture Partners' Alex Ferrara as he takes a look at trends and predictions for the cloud industry in 2019. One of the most popular sessions from SaaStr Annual, this presentation will provide an in-depth look at the cloud computing industry across Europe and globally.

Find the video and full transcript on our blog.

Sponsor message: Remote and hybrid teams aren't the future of work-- they're the present. Owl Labs is embracing this revolution and is here to provide remote workers with a virtual seat at the table with the Meeting Owl. Their 360° smart video conferencing camera can recognize and highlight any speaker at the table using an array of 8 microphones. Check it out for yourself at owllabs.com!

Feb 3, 2020

Karen Page is a General Partner @ B Capital Group with a portfolio including the likes of Bird, Branch, Icertis, Evidation Health and Ninja Van to name a few. Prior to joining the world of venture, Karen was a Senior Director at Apple and before Apple, Karen spent an incredible 9 years at Box as a founding member of the executive team, where she was responsible for defining and leading Box's Industry GTM strategy. Plus, from 2007 until 2013, Karen ran all of Box's business development, partnership, and strategic alliance activities. If that was not enough, Karen is also on the board of some incredible companies including Deputy and Plastiq. 

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Karen made her way into the world of SaaS as one of the first employees at Box and then how that led to her transition to the world of investing with B Capital? 
  • What were Karen's biggest takeaways from seeing the hyper-scaling at Box? How did helping Aaron raise the Series B and onwards inform her view of what it takes to raise funding from the best SaaS investors? How does Karen think her mindset will shift when making the move from angel to now institutionally investing with B Capital?
  • When does Karen think is the right time for startups to think about partnerships? What questions should they ask in the “dating” phase of a potential partnership? What are the red flags? Does Karen agree that signing a massive partner too early can be dangerous? What does Karen recommend in terms of getting in front of the best CIOs? 
  • Is Karen concerned by the compression of fundraising timelines? How does Karen meet entrepreneurs before they go out to raise? How does Karen advise founders when it comes to the question of whether they should always be raising or not?     

Karen’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Karen know now that she wishes she had known entering the SaaS industry?
  2. What is Karen’s favourite book? Why?
  3. Can a partnership be too big too early for a startup?

Read the transcript on our blog.

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

Karen Page 

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Jan 27, 2020

Eugenio Pace is the Founder & CEO @ Auth0, the startup that allows you to rapidly integrate authentication and authorization for web, mobile, and legacy applications so you can focus on your core business. To date, Eugenio has raised over $213m with Auth0 from some of the best in the business including Meritech, Sapphire, Manu Kumar @ K9, Bessemer and Trinity. Prior to founding Auth0, Eugenio spent an incredible 12 years at Microsoft leading the Program Management team in the patterns & practices group at Microsoft.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Eugenio made his way into the world of startups with the founding of Auth0? What were his biggest takeaways from 12 years watching the hyper-growth of Microsoft first hand? 
  • How does being a developer-first product fundamentally change the go-to-market? Who has done this best over the last few years? What have they done that has allowed them to scale faster than others? What has been Eugenio’s takeaways in what works when building developer communities and early developer adoption?
  • How does Eugenio respond to the common thinking that “devs don’t have the budget”? Does this limit your ability to expand into large ACVs once in an organisation? How does Eugenio approach the issue of agency when selling to CIOs but having devs use the product? 
  • What have been Eugenio’s biggest lessons in what it takes to make a freemium product successful? How does one know how much of the secret sauce to giveaway? How does Eugenio approach pricing today through 4 different variables? How does Eugenio adopt a variable pricing mechanism that does not discourage usage?     

Eugenio’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. Quality or quantity of logos in the early days?
  2. What does Eugenio know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning of his time at Auth0?
  3. What is the hardest element of his role today as CEO? What is he doing to really upscale there? 

Read the transcript on our blog.

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

Eugenio Pace

Jan 20, 2020

Dimitri Sirota is the Founder & CEO @ BigID, the startup that provides advanced data discovery and intelligence for the data centre and cloud. To date Dimitri has raised over $145M for BigID from some of the best in the world of enterprise including Boldstart, Scale Venture Partners, Bessemer, Salesforce Ventures and Tiger Global who just a couple of weeks ago, led their latest $50M Series C. Before to BigID, Dimitri founded 2 prior businesses, the first in 1999 being a VPN security company called eTunnels and then the second being Layer Technologies where Dimitri enjoyed an incredible 10 year journey leading to their acquisition by CA Technologies in 2013. Dimitri is also an angel investor with a portfolio including Zume Pizza, Modalyst and TalentClick. 

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Dimitri made his way into the world of enterprise software and came to found BigID as his third company? 
  • What specifically would Dimitri advise founders when the interests of their investor are not aligned to theirs? What is the right way to manage that situation? Does Dimitri believe that founders should always be raising? Does Dimitri believe when the money is on the table, you should take it? What is the right way for founders to think about valuation? 
  • What did the fundraising journey look like for BigID? What situation does every founder want to put themselves in? How does Dimitri think about runway and using fundraising for optionality? What does Dimitri make of the rise of pre-emptive rounds? How does Dimitri determine when is the right time to pour fuel on the fire?     

Dimitri's 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What is his biggest strength and biggest weakness as a CEO?
  2. Who was the first check in BigID? How did the check come about?
  3. What does Dimitri believe that most around him disbelieve? 

Read the transcript on our blog.

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

Dimitri Sirota

Jan 13, 2020

Yousuf Khan is the Chief Information Officer @ Automation Anywhere, the only web-based and cloud-native RPA platform. To date, Automation Anywhere has raised over $840m in financing from Salesforce Ventures, Workday, General Atlantic and NEA to name a few. Prior to Automation Anywhere, Yousuf was the CIO & VP of Customer Success @ Moveworks. During his time at the company, they raised over $108m from Lightspeed, ICONIQ, Kleiner, Sapphire and Bain Capital. Before Moveworks, Yousuf was CIO @ Pure Storage during their period of hypergrowth both as a private and public company. Finally, before Pure, Yousuf’s first role in the valley was with Qualys again as CIO where he owned the entire global IT budget.   

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Yousuf made his way from the UK to the valley and how that led to his becoming one of the leading CIOs today in the rising prominence of CIOs in enterprise? 
  • What are the biggest green lights for CIOs when startups are pitching them? Why does Yousuf believe now more than ever, the buyer experience is more important than the price? What makes for the best buyer experience for the CIO? What are the biggest red flags CIOs see when startups are pitching them? What must startups always remember when pitching CIOs?
  • How does Yousuf advise CIOs to approach pricing strategy when pitching CIOs? What must startups remember about how CIOs think about price? What other elements of the contract should startups really spend a lot of time focusing on? Where do founders make mistakes in negotiation? What can they do to enforce a sense of urgency when signing new clients?  
  • What can startups do to actively work with procurement teams and make the process as fast as possible? How does Yousuf advise founders to think about customised procurement requests to fit certain buyers? What do CIOs really want to see in the form of security and compliance? How can startups clearly and articulately present their plans for security, compliance and change management?     

Yousuf’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. Who does Yousuf think is killing it in the world of CIO’s today? Why?
  2. What is the ideal relationship between the CIO and the CEO?
  3. What are the core reasons buying processes take longer? 

Read the transcript on our blog.

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

Yousuf Khan

Jan 6, 2020

Bob Moore is the Founder & CEO @ Crossbeam, the startup that helps companies find overlapping prospects and customers while keeping the rest of their data private and secure. To date Bob has raised over $15m with Crossbeam from friends of the show including Andy @ Uncork, Matt @ Firstmark, Bill @ First Round and Matt @ Salesforce Ventures, to name a few. Prior to Crossbeam, Bob founded Stitched, a powerful ETL service built for developers that was acquired by Talend in 2018. Before that Bob co-founded RJ Metrics, where he built a global base of online retailers leading to their acquisition by Magento Commerce in 2016. 

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Bob made his way into the world of SaaS and came to found Crossbeam?
  • As an entrepreneur, Bob has previously said, “no one is coming to save you”. What did he mean by this? What were the core mistakes that he made with RJ Metrics? Is it the responsibility of the board to course correct at this early stage? How does Bob determine whether to be visionary and determined vs realising when something is not working?
  • Does Bob agree with the notion that channel sales have completely died in the world of SaaS? Why is this? What are the drivers of it’s death? How important is it to own the entire customer journey? At what scale does that become impossible? In terms of replacement, what does Bob believe will be the emerging trends in SaaS Go To Market that will replace it? 
  • How does Bob think about when is the right time to hire a Head of Partnerships? In the early days, partnerships can be a distraction, how does Bob determine between right and wrong when determining whether to engage in a partnership? Where do most startups go wrong both in hiring for partnerships and in the engagements themselves? 

Bob’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What is the hardest element of Bob’s role with Crossbeam today?
  2. What does Bob believe that most around him disbelieve?
  3. What does Bob know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning?

Read the transcript on our blog.

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

Bob Moore

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Dec 30, 2019

This interview originally aired as Episode 213 on February 26, 2019.

Tom Tunguz is General Partner @ Redpoint Ventures, the venture fund with a portfolio including the likes of Stripe, Netflix, Zuora, Hashicorp and Juniper Networks just to name a few. As for Tom, he joined Redpoint in 2008 and has since led investments in Kustomer, Looker, Expensify and Gremlin all prior guests on the show I hasten to add. He is also the co-author of Winning with Data: exploring the cultural changes big data brings to business. Tom has also been named on the Forbes Midas Brink list. Before joining Redpoint, Tomasz was the product manager for Google’s AdSense social-media products and AdSense internationalization.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Tom made his way from creating software with his father in Brazil to being GP and forefront figure in the SaaS investment community as a GP at Redpoint today?
  • Annual contracts: To what extent do annual contracts dominate today? How does this differ when comparing enterprise to SMB? Why does Tom think in the early days one should be wary of signing too many multi-year contracts? What are the dangers there? How does Tom think about calculating churn when it comes to multi-year contracts?
  • What were the findings on what good looks like when it comes to logo retention? How does this differ when comparing SMB to enterprise? What were the commonalities of leading indicators of churn? Is it fair to always surmise that when serving SMB one will always have a higher rate of churn? What is the right way to conduct a churn analysis?
  • Assisted vs unassisted: What does Tom believe are the leading benchmarks for both? How does this differ when comparing SMB to enterprise? How does the impact of a salesperson change the conversion rate? What time frame from SAL to closed lead suggests product market fit? What one question must all founders be asking in the sales process? 
  • How does Tom think about constructing comp plans the right way today? How should comp plans differ when comparing AEs to customer success? Where should the responsibility for upsell lie, customer success or sales? Should sales commission be paid on renewals?  

Tom’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Tom know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning?
  2. What is Tom’s favourite book and why?
  3. What is Tom’s most recent investment and why did he say yes?

Read the transcript on our blog.

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

Tom Tunguz

 

Dec 16, 2019

This interview originally aired as Episode 229 on April 29, 2019.

Manny Medina is the Founder & CEO @ Outreach, the market leading sales engagement platform that turns your team into a revenue driving machine. To date, Manny has raised over $114m in funding from some great people including friends of the show in the form of Alex Clayton @ Spark, Mayfield, Trinity Ventures and DFJ Growth, just to name a few. Prior to founding Outreach, Manny spent 7 years with Microsoft where he ran the Latin America and Canada business development group for Microsoft’s emerging mobile division, representing $50M of yearly revenue. Befofe that Manny was a Senior Product Manager @ Amazon where he engineered the compensation system for Amazon Associates and Web-Services which accounts for 15% of Amazon's traffic. 

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Manny made his way to found the leader in sales engagement from product management at Amazon and Business Development @ Microsoft.
  • How does Manny fundamentally approach managing top of funnel? What are the 2 big dangers of not managing it aggressively? What can be done to ensure not only full but high quality top of funnel? 
  • Why does Manny believe it is so important to track pipeline coverage as one of your core metrics? What does good look like when it comes to pipeline coverage? How does this change if you are creating vs in an existing market? How does Manny think about specialisation within the sales function? Why are SDR’s 99% of the time not able to carry leads to completion? 
  • How does Manny think about quota construction today? Does Manny err on the side of setting high to be ambitious or setting low to increase confidence? How can managers really empower their reps to be aggressive in hitting their quota and exceeding it? How does Manny think about resource allocation on the individual rep level? What is sufficient? What is excessive?
  • Does Manny believe that the founder should always be responsible for selling their product at one moment in time? How did Manny sell the first $1m in ARR simply through walking the streets of SOMA and selling door-to-door? What were his biggest lessons from doing this?  Why does Manny believe that you should not have a VP before $5m? 

60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Manny know now that he wishes he had known in the beginning?
  2. What does the future of sales prospecting look like to Manny?
  3. What would Manny like to change about the world of SaaS today?

Read the transcript on our blog.

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

Manny Medina

Dec 9, 2019

Yousuf Khan is a serial CIO, start-up and VC advisor. Most recently Yousuf was the CIO & VP of Customer Success @ Moveworks, the advanced AI built for enterprise providing automatic resolution of IT issues. During his time at the company, they raised over $108m from Lightspeed, ICONIQ, Kleiner, Sapphire and Bain Capital. Pre Moveworks, Yousuf was CIO @ Pure Storage during their period of hypergrowth both as a private and public company. Finally, before Pure, Yousuf’s first role in the valley was with Qualys again as CIO where he owned the entire global IT budget.   

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Yousuf made his way from the UK to the valley and how that led to his becoming one of the leading CIOs today in the rising prominence of CIOs in enterprise? 
  • How open and can transparent can CEOs be with CIOs? Do CIOs know the state of early-stage companies in terms of their cash situation, fundraising etc? Does that ever put them off buying? What is the right tone and temperament to take with those CIOs in the first meetings? How does Yousuf advise founders on quality or quantity of logos in the early days? 
  • How does Yousuf advise CEOs approach CIOs when it comes to discounting? Do they make a difference to the buying decision of the CIO really? Should founders offer discounts in exchange for customer testimonials? How can CEOs provide alternative forms of social validity to other CIOs in the ecosystem, other than case studies?  
  • How does Yousuf advise founders approach CIOs when it comes to multi-year deals? Does the mindset of the CIO change when the deal is paid upfront? How should the founders position that? When it comes to implementation, how important is time to value in the mind of the CIO? What is the worst thing a founder can do when discussing implementation?    

Yousuf’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What separates good from great when it comes to CIOs?
  2. What makes the best board members?
  3. What are Yousuf’s biggest strengths and weaknesses?

Read the transcript on our blog. 

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

Yousuf Khan

Dec 2, 2019

Des Cahill is the Chief Marketing Officer for Oracle CX Cloud Suite, an integrated set of marketing, sales, commerce and service solutions that power customer experience for thousands of leading global brands. Prior to Oracle, Des was the CMO @ Kerio Technologies marketing to over 60,000 SMB customers and 5,000 channel partners. Before Kerio, Des was the CMO @ Ensighten, where he helped grow the customer base from 10 to 100 and revenues from $2M to $14M. Des has also spent time as CEO having founded and grown Habeas Inc from 0 to 450 customers, $9M in revenue and raising 3 rounds of venture financing. 

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Des made his way into the world of startups and came to be CMO of Oracle’s CX Cloud suite? 
  • Why does Des believe customers are more unpredictable now than ever before? How is their behaviour fundamentally changing? What are some great examples of how Des has seen companies amend to the changing consumer demands?
  • How does this change the role of the marketer today? How does this change the prioritisation of customer experience for marketers? What are the challenging elements of this change? How does the role of marketing also integrate with the post-sale and customer success with much of their content being used there?  
  • How does Des think about the relationship between marketing and sales teams? What are Des’ biggest tips on how to reduce friction in the handoff from marketing to sales? What works? What does not work? What is the right OKR to measure marketing teams? Does it have to be tied directly to revenue?  

Des’ 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. Biggest breakdown in the working of an efficient funnel?
  2. Who is killing it in SaaS marketing today and why?
  3. Advice in SaaS you commonly hear but disagree with?

Read the full transcript on our blog.

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

Des Cahill

Nov 25, 2019

Allie Janoch is the Founder & CEO @ Mapistry, the startup that makes environmental compliance simple. As for Allie, prior to founding Mapistry she started her career in MIT’s Lincoln Lab before joining IQ Engines (acquired by Yahoo). Post acquisition, Allie integrated the technology built at IQ Engines into Flickr search. 

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Allie made her way from the world of Yahoo to founding the game changer of environmental compliance in Mapistry? Having had both big company, small startup and founding experience, what would Allie advise new graduates entering the workforce today? 
  • What were the biggest mistakes that Allie made when it comes to sales hiring? What were the learnings from those mistakes? How does Allie advise other founders on scaling sales teams? How does Allie think about sales rep payback period? How can one determine the effectiveness of a sales rep when they are engaging in 9-12 month sales cycles?
  • How does Allie think about the importance of focus applied to customer segmentation today? How does Allie measure true customer success? NPS? Churn? Product analytics? How does Allie explain the macro market size to VCs when they initially see the small customer segment?  
  • Why did Allie start doing their own events with Mapistry? How should startups think about whether events are the right strategy for them or not? How should founders think about resource allocation and budget when it comes to events? How does Allie measure the ROI of events? 

Allie’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Allie know now that she wishes she had known at the beginning? 
  2. What would Allie most like to change about the world of tech and Silicon Valley?
  3. What is the biggest challenge for Allie today with Mapistry?

Read the transcript on our blog.

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

Allie Janoch

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