SaaStr Podcast #059: Michael Cardamone, Managing Director @ Acceleprise On How to Measure Sales Team Success & Test New Pricing

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Welcome to Episode 59! 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. Thanks to Anthony Kennada for making the introduction today. michael_cardamone

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? Mike has said founders Continue reading "SaaStr Podcast #059: Michael Cardamone, Managing Director @ Acceleprise On How to Measure Sales Team Success & Test New Pricing"

An Alternative Approach to Growth: One Part of the Funnel at a Time

Editor’s Note: This is the second part of a two-part interview featuring Dave Gerhardt. In the first installment, Gerhardt shared tactical details about the strategy he and his team used to nail their product launch on Product Hunt. Singular focus is the basic premise behind Dave Gerhardt’s unique approach to growth at Drift. Tackling the huge task of building your user base can feel like trying to launch a rocket into deep space, but when you break the process down and focus on each part of the funnel separately, it suddenly becomes a lot easier. Gerhardt spent five years in marketing roles with Constant Contact, Privy, and HubSpot, before taking on the role of Marketing Lead at Drift, a messaging app that makes it easier for businesses to talk to their website visitors and customers, which in turn helps these businesses generate more leads, learn about their customers, and deliver
Continue reading "An Alternative Approach to Growth: One Part of the Funnel at a Time"

What are things to be aware of with a co-founder who has sold a company before and has money?

At least in SaaS, it cuts two ways:
  • Second time founders are delusional about how hard it is to achieve product-market fit. It isn’t >any< easier the second time. They think it is. It isn’t, just because you’ve done it before. This is the “no fail” mentality you are touching on. It’s common. And it’s wrong.
But
  • Second-time founders scale much more rapidly once they have product-market fit. They know the VPs to hire — and they get it done. They hire them in advance, not in arrears. They know how to raise the capital. They know how to manage customers and prospects. They scale much more effectively, if not efficiently. Because they don’t waste 1–3 years hiring VPs one after another, and struggling to raise enough money. They skip past all that. They run the whole playbook, in parallel. Yes, and because of that, they sometimes run the company Continue reading "What are things to be aware of with a co-founder who has sold a company before and has money?"

How to Recruit Product Managers in 2016: Advice from Facebook & join.me

Editor’s Note: This is the second part in a series covering best practices for building a great product & engineering team featuring advice from Yoav Shapira and Craig Daniel. You can read Part I here. This summer I sat down with Facebook’s Yoav Shapira and Craig Daniel of join.me to discuss product & engineering best practices. Over the course of their careers, they’ve built and led product teams at companies like HubSpot, CarGurus and join.me. But, regardless of the company, one challenge they faced throughout was recruiting and retaining high-performing product managers. Here, Shapira and Daniel provide insights on how to find, develop and motivate top talent.

Recruiting vs. Developing Talent

Put simply, “Recruiting product managers is hard,” says Craig Daniel. “We’ve had better luck starting with internal team members who are either developers or Scrum Masters who show an interest in the product owner or manager role.
Continue reading "How to Recruit Product Managers in 2016: Advice from Facebook & join.me"

Participate in 2017 AE/ISR Research

Account Execs, Inside Sales Reps - whatever you call them, the metrics that drive the AE role are always in demand. Today, I'm excited to launch our latest research focused on Account Executive teams (ISRs, AEs, AMs, etc.).

This is our sixth round of research, since 2007. The key themes we'll explore include:
  • Rep profiles: experience, tenure, ramp time, career path
  • Compensation: base, OTE, accelerators
  • Quotas: average quotas, % attainment
  • Technology stack: categories, adoption, impact
     
We worked hard to make this year’s survey easier and it will take roughly 6 minutes to complete. If you lead an Account Executive group, please participate. All answers will be aggregated anonymously. We’ll be sharing the results with you in the coming months. 2017-AE-survey.jpg I appreciate that so many of you take the time to participate. We couldn’t do it without you.

What should I do if my co-founder is a complete jerk?

It’s not going to work. The issue isn’t so much that he’s a complete jerk. It’s that you think he is. He’s thus clearly already driving you so nuts that you have a disfunctional founder team. This is un-fixable. You may be wrong, he may be right, who knows. And in other cases, people are OK working with jerks. Sometimes I am OK with it, if their heart is in the right place and their role is constrained. But once you look at your co-founder with contempt. Once you no longer believe. Once every time you see him, 10, 15, 20 times a day, you think … Complete Jerk.

It’s just a matter of time.

Assume one of you will be gone within 180 days. View original question on quora

How important is a recommendation to a VC or Angel?

Recommendations are the life-blood of VCs, at least, for in-bound deal flow. Every VC that has been at it for a little while will get pitched hundreds of deals a year, maybe far more. This is impossible to process. It is way, way too many Unqualifed Leads. At least, not without an army of BDRs, er, analysts. Even then. So you are looking for a “second factor”. You are looking for a lead scoring system. A highly qualify recommendation is a very good one to add to the lead scoring. If that recommendation is also investing — even better. View original question on quora

What are the worst realities of being an entrepreneur?

The worst reality, which is also part of what makes entrepreneurship so visceral — is the true feeling of Failing With 100% Responsibility. You will never, ever feel Failing With 100% Responsibility as a “mere” employee. It’s hard there, too — but it’s not the same. If you aren’t the founders, and the business fails. You pick yourself up, and find another job. You move on. If as a non-founder, you fail at your individual job, that is rough. But the company can survive that. You move on. But as a founder, every day you aren’t succeeding, you are failing. And you will feel it in your gut every moment of the day:

Venture Capital: How often does a VC firm look at a sectoral analysis of the economy?

Every day / week. But mainly from public market comps. VCs are very sensitive to the market multiples in the sectors they invest in. When multiples are strong, they both pay higher prices, and invest faster. When multiples are strong and rising, VCs “lean forward” and pay even higher prices, because it looks like the multiple growth will continue. And when multiples are strong and rising, VCs then often begin to price based on other deals. E.g., $150m pre on $1m ARR may sound crazy. But if Accel just did a “very similar but worse” deal at the same price, well … maybe … When multiples compress (e.g., Q1′16 in SaaS), prices fall, and just as importantly, the investment pace slows down. I use the BVP Cloud Index Byron Deeter as my most convenient first-order analysis: https://www.bvp.com/strategy/clo… View original question on quora