What Order Should You Hire Your Management Team In?

The other day I was meeting with a great CEO who had raised a modest seed round.  Enough to invest, but not enough to go crazy with.  He’d found several good First VP candidates, in particular, a strong first head of marketing and a strong first head of product.  He asked which to hire first. The answer was obvious — both!  If you have a few nickels in the bank, and you somehow find a great VP a half stage or even full stage early, just hire her.  Hiring is so hard as it is.  Don’t try to save a few nickels by putting off a VP hire if you actually stumble into a great one earlier than planned.   But it’s a good question and I thought it might make sense to set out an Ideal VP Hiring Plan for Most SaaS Companies. Continue reading "What Order Should You Hire Your Management Team In?"

How the 2018 Equal Pay Act Stands to Impact Talent Sourcing & Hiring

Last quarter, OpenView hosted a community call with talent leaders across our portfolio to discuss the 2018 Equal Pay Act, which is rolling out in stages across various cities and states in the US throughout the year. Stephanie Walzak, a compensation specialist, led the discussion on how the Equal Pay Act stands to impact talent sourcing and hiring in months and years to come.  Below are our key takeaways from the discussion.

Equal Pay Act Overview

The Equal Pay Act, enacted by various states and cities throughout the US, intends to address the gender pay gap by ensuring that prior low pay does not continue compound as people seek new employment opportunities. For instance, under various equal pay laws, employers are prohibited from asking a job candidate their salary history. If salary history is publicly available, employers are prohibited from using this information to determine a compensation package. However,
Continue reading "How the 2018 Equal Pay Act Stands to Impact Talent Sourcing & Hiring"

Do venture capitalists use Docsend when sending fundraising pitches to LPs?

I didn’t when I raised my first fund. I was in Sell mode. I wanted to make it as easy as possible for the LPs to buy. I sent a PDF and a link to a Google Sheet. I wanted them to Buy. But now … I send protected documents. New LPs get protected documents. Existing LPs get documents uploaded to a portal and protected as well. I also no longer send unencrypted email updates to my LPs. I send a teaser, and they have to enter protected documents. Now, I’m not really selling. And compliance is more important. Time and the context moves on. View original question on quora The post Do venture capitalists use Docsend when sending fundraising pitches to LPs? appeared first on SaaStr.

What is the difference between running a 10 person startup and a 100 person startup?

The biggest structural difference is you have to hire all the VPs by employee 50–100. You won’t be able to scale this far without a full management team — VPs of Sales, Marketing, Product, Engineering, Customer Success at least. But the toughest personal challenge for many CEOs is letting go. By employee 100, you have to let go of things. You have to let go of being the product manager. You have to let go of what you say being almost divinely correct. You have to let go of the many mistakes which will be made. You have to let go of the fact that some important things will be done “worse” than if you were doing them or managing them yourself. You have to let go, and learn to backfill the team you build. View original question on quora The post What is the difference between running a 10 Continue reading "What is the difference between running a 10 person startup and a 100 person startup?"

Retention: How Lessonly Built an Insanely Loyal User Base [Podcast]

While most startups are laser focused on customer acquisition in the beginning, customer retention should always be top of mind. Mackey Craven, Partner at OpenView, explains what “good” retention looks like and how to measure it. Later on we hear from Lessonly’s CEO & COO about how they built (and retained) a loyal user base.     Prefer to listen on iTunes? Click here.
The post Retention: How Lessonly Built an Insanely Loyal User Base [Podcast] appeared first on OpenView Labs.

Unicorn Morning at SaaStr Europa!

We’ll have 3 different tracks and themes at SaaStr Europa on June 15 in Paris:  Unicorn Morning, Founder-to-Founder:  The True Stories, and Scaling Revenue. Fresh off Salesforce’s $6b+ acquisition of Mulesoft, we’ll have founder Ross Mason in an amazing conversation with Harry Stebbings.  Harry runs the 20 VC podcast and the SaaStr podcast and is one of everyone’s favorites, and he does an amazing job pulling the true stories out of the journey. Next, we’ll talk about a true Unicorn that did it the real and hard way — Meltwater.  Jørn Lyseggen will share how you build a billion dollar B2B startup without raising a billion, the challenges getting to $100m in ARR, and much more with Carl Fritjofsson of Creandum, backers of Spotify, iZettle, Mixmax, and more.   We’ll then grab one of the latest Unicorns, UiPath, with a discussion from Accel’s Luciana Lixandru and CMO Bobby Patrick. 
Continue reading "Unicorn Morning at SaaStr Europa!"

Engage Your Funnel, Don’t Just Fill It: How to Attract High Quality Leads

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on the Kapost blog here. Content plays a growing role within organizations as marketers create content that’s more targeted and effective to generate new interest, nurture existing prospects, and ultimately improve conversions. Not surprisingly, Kapost’s recent Content Strategy & Operations Benchmark found that marketers’ number one marketing priority is generating new leads, followed closely by improving conversion rates. While creating a high volume of leads and pushing them down the funnel is crucial to marketing organizations, this thinking of quantity first, quality second is leading marketers to pile their funnels with as many leads as possible, leaving sales reps further down the funnel to deal with the poor-quality leads.

What are the Risks?

Generating lower quality leads is problematic on multiple levels. First, if you are generating poor leads, what does that say about the quality of content and engagement that brought them in
Continue reading "Engage Your Funnel, Don’t Just Fill It: How to Attract High Quality Leads"

What are some strategies for having new clients sign up for all their users rather than 1 or 2 users for a SaaS product?

Raj Khera’s list above/below is a great one and I can’t add any more value to it. Just one meta-learning: guide your customers to buying the right edition for them. Most customers want to be told — in a nice, non rip-off-y, fair way — which edition to buy. Most customers don’t want to be ripped off, but they also don’t have too much energy to game the system. They want to quickly find a fair price for the version of the product best suited to them. Maybe let your F500 prospects know that sure, they can buy a single seat. They can. We still want you. But … the Global Edition (or whatever max edition) is the right one for them and what we recommend. Salesforce below says:

For an Internet startup that secures, say $15m, in Series A funding, how much would the founders typically be drawing as salary?

In the Bay Area, $1X0,000. Once you raise $5m+ it’s time to pay the founders the low or middle end of “normal”. Founders may have different views of which end of normal. The high end of normal may be OK, but it will create a quiet concern among your investors. Adjusting a bit for family size (kids), etc. won’t raise any concerns. View original question on quora The post For an Internet startup that secures, say $15m, in Series A funding, how much would the founders typically be drawing as salary? appeared first on SaaStr.