How to hire more women in tech sales

Throughout my career, I’ve observed that the highest performing teams have a common denominator: diversity. And, gender diversity is an undeniable variable in successful teams. At Workable, we take this to heart, especially as we build our sales team. I’m proud to say these teams are equal parts male and female (and shall continue to be so). This is no easy feat, particularly, in tech sales, notorious for its lack of women. And it didn’t happen by accident. We committed to hiring more women in tech sales, because we wanted our workforce to be gender diverse. To us, hiring women was a deliberate goal, not just a “nice to have.”

Why it’s important to hire more women in tech

It’s kind of simple: you’ll build a better product. I don’t think it’s ever helpful to your culture, or to your output, to have a homogeneous workforce –
Continue reading "How to hire more women in tech sales"

How to hire more women in tech sales

Throughout my career, I’ve observed that the highest performing teams have a common denominator: diversity. And, gender diversity is an undeniable variable in successful teams. At Workable, we take this to heart, especially as we build our sales team. I’m proud to say these teams are equal parts male and female (and shall continue to be so). This is no easy feat, particularly, in tech sales, notorious for its lack of women. And it didn’t happen by accident. We committed to hiring more women in tech sales, because we wanted our workforce to be gender diverse. To us, hiring women was a deliberate goal, not just a “nice to have.”

Why it’s important to hire more women in tech

It’s kind of simple: you’ll build a better product. I don’t think it’s ever helpful to your culture, or to your output, to have a homogeneous workforce –
Continue reading "How to hire more women in tech sales"

What things in SaaS are only obvious at scale?

Some thoughts:
  1. Churn Lurks. Churn doesn’t happen overnight, especially with annual contracts. It lurks. Use customer visits, NPS surveys, and more to root it out before it happens. Oftentimes, you don’t even lose customers until Year 3. More on that here: Why It’s Year 3 When You Lose Your Customers
  2. You Hit a Wall Without VPs. Don’t Underhire Here. Everything in SaaS starts to get pretty complicated around $4m-$5m. Too many customers, too many workflows, too many marketing programs, too many salespeople. Without a VP to head each functional area, you will hit a wall. Exactly when, varies. The faster you grow, the longer it takes to show up in the numbers.
  3. Insanely Happy Customers Carry You Really Far. And Especially, After $10m in ARR or So. An NPS of 50+, a CSAT of 90–100, whatever metrics you use, find out if your customers are really happy. SaaS companies with Continue reading "What things in SaaS are only obvious at scale?"

What things in SaaS are only obvious at scale?

Some thoughts:
  1. Churn Lurks. Churn doesn’t happen overnight, especially with annual contracts. It lurks. Use customer visits, NPS surveys, and more to root it out before it happens. Oftentimes, you don’t even lose customers until Year 3. More on that here: Why It’s Year 3 When You Lose Your Customers
  2. You Hit a Wall Without VPs. Don’t Underhire Here. Everything in SaaS starts to get pretty complicated around $4m-$5m. Too many customers, too many workflows, too many marketing programs, too many salespeople. Without a VP to head each functional area, you will hit a wall. Exactly when, varies. The faster you grow, the longer it takes to show up in the numbers.
  3. Insanely Happy Customers Carry You Really Far. And Especially, After $10m in ARR or So. An NPS of 50+, a CSAT of 90–100, whatever metrics you use, find out if your customers are really happy. SaaS companies with Continue reading "What things in SaaS are only obvious at scale?"

What’s your recommendation for vacations for a founder CEO of a tech startup?

Always take them. When I look back at the many mistakes I made as a 2x founder, both times with some degree of success in the end … and there were so many … one thing I am 100% glad I did was take vacations. And I mean — normal, full vacations. By that, I mean, a full week. In a normal place. And I only checked email once a day, once I had real VPs in place (before that, when I was the VPs, I still had to be on email all the time). It’s tough to take any time off until you have a management team, at least a partial one. In the early days at EchoSign, I did the customer support shift from 11am-6am. That’s an anti-vacation, let me tell you. But once you have a team you can trust, take the time off. You need it. Continue reading "What’s your recommendation for vacations for a founder CEO of a tech startup?"

What’s your recommendation for vacations for a founder CEO of a tech startup?

Always take them. When I look back at the many mistakes I made as a 2x founder, both times with some degree of success in the end … and there were so many … one thing I am 100% glad I did was take vacations. And I mean — normal, full vacations. By that, I mean, a full week. In a normal place. And I only checked email once a day, once I had real VPs in place (before that, when I was the VPs, I still had to be on email all the time). It’s tough to take any time off until you have a management team, at least a partial one. In the early days at EchoSign, I did the customer support shift from 11am-6am. That’s an anti-vacation, let me tell you. But once you have a team you can trust, take the time off. You need it. Continue reading "What’s your recommendation for vacations for a founder CEO of a tech startup?"

What are some signs that your SaaS marketing programs won’t scale well?

You are spending too much — in the aggregate. Let me dig in a bit. Most SaaS companies, once they have a mini-brand, start to get some amount of organic, “free” leads. People hear about you. They come to you. Not a ton, at first, but some. The CPA here is basically $0. All paid marketing is expensive in SaaS. All of it. You’ll wince and cry. A sponsored webinar for $25,000? A trade show for $50,000? Paid lead services at $50 a lead? Adwords at $5 a click, and $1000 an effective lead? But if things are going well, on a blended basis at least, it should all work out. Your marketing costs should be < 3–6 months of your first year ACV, averaged across all sources of customers, including free. Ultimately, all the best software companies get the majority of their new customers from word-of-mouth and referrals. You Continue reading "What are some signs that your SaaS marketing programs won’t scale well?"