What is the typical conversion from paid pilot to annual contract in B2B SaaS?

I’m not sure there is a “typical” number for only one reason … as you grow and scale and become a bigger player and a more established brand … you don’t need to do as many. By that I mean, most vendors once they are established flip pilots around into “opt-outs”. I.e., allowing new customers to cancel the contract after 60 days for any or no reason if they aren’t happy. Once you have an established brand, a 60-day opt out gives many big customers the confidence to sign a longer-term contract up front, pre-deployment. I can also tell you at a practical level, the “churn” will be much lower from opt-outs that most paid pilots, which are generally “opt-in” by definition and by their terms. But until you have an established brand and can flip this around from opt-in to opt-out … it does certaintly vary. In Continue reading "What is the typical conversion from paid pilot to annual contract in B2B SaaS?"

Going Global: The Top Five Ways to Implement Localized Marketing

Editor’s Note: This post is the final article in a three part series covering global marketing expansion. You can read the first article in this series here and the second here. In the prior two posts, we talked through the advantages of centralized marketing on a global basis, but also the tipping point for when staffing up localized marketing regions makes sense. In this final article, we will walk through how to implement localized, in-region marketing once an organization has hit the tipping point for going local.

1. Co-locate your marketing team with the sales organization

This might seem obvious, but if your sales organization is not in a major metropolitan, or not in a target country for localization, you might be tempted to not hire the marketer in the same location as the sales team. Here is a likely scenario. Your target market for localization where your products
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Learning to Love the Art of Sales (As a Technical Founder) with MuleSoft (Europa Video + Transcript)

At our inaugural SaaStr Europa last June, podcast host-with-the-most Harry Stebbings sat down with MuleSoft Founder and CTO Ross Mason to discuss the organization’s sales strategy, building a strong company culture, how to think about international expansion, and much more. Unsurprisingly, it was one of the event’s most popular sessions — and now, even if you weren’t with us in Paris, you can experience it all for yourself! Check out the full video and transcript below: And in case you haven’t heard, we’re doing it all again — even bigger and better — next June! Don’t miss out on two full days of thought leadership content, networking opportunities, fantastic French food, and fabulous evening events, all in the heart of Paris — snag your Europa 2019 tickets and catch up with us on the other side of the Atlantic next year! Transcript: Harry Stebbings: All right, Ross. Give us some Continue reading "Learning to Love the Art of Sales (As a Technical Founder) with MuleSoft (Europa Video + Transcript)"

As a CRO of a fast growing SaaS series A startup with $3m ARR, how much equity should I ask?

There’s a bit of a rough Catch-22 in VP/C-level equity comp these days. At least in the Bay Area, there has been a ton of inflation the past 3 years. Top CRO/VPS comp has gone way up, at least on an OTE basis. This can be tough to swing, but … if you are well funded, it may not really matter. Most of us aren’t well funded, but with the deluge of venture capital, and bigger-and-bigger venture rounds, paying a bit more cash may not be the end of the world if you have the cash. And top candidates are also asking for a lot more equity. This is the tougher one. Because even with inflation, the equity pie still only adds up to 100%. VPs of Sales and CROs that “asked” for 1% a few years ago sometimes ask for 3%+ today. That may be fair, but the problem Continue reading "As a CRO of a fast growing SaaS series A startup with $3m ARR, how much equity should I ask?"

VC Investor Christoph Janz on How to Scale to $100MM ARR

Editor’s Note: The following article is based on a recent episode of OpenView’s BUILD podcast. You can listen to the full episode featuring Christoph Janz, Managing Partner at Point Nine Capital here. As an early stage-investor, Christoph Janz from Point Nine Capital has an excellent track record of investing in high-growth technology companies – think FreeAgent, Geckoboard and Typeform. Perhaps one of the best-known companies in his portfolio, however, is also the first.
“It really all started with Zendesk. I knew nothing about SaaS, but I fell in love with the idea of the consumerization of enterprise software.”
Christoph got involved with the company when it was about a year old and the product had only been in the market a few weeks. At that time, the fledgling company boasted a whopping fifty or so customers, each paying $100 per month. Today, Zendesk is aiming to hit a billion
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The Top 25 SaaStr Posts of 2018 So Far

We’re half-way through Summer (sad, I know) and I thought it might be fun to look at what the Top 25 posts on SaaStr.com were so far this year.  You may have missed several, or even most, and it’s also just interesting to me to see what truly engages readers:
  1. 2017 Private SaaS Valuation Data (and why your company is probably not worth 10X revenue).   This one surprised me because it’s a sponsored post, but it got 100,000’s of views.  It’s pretty useful, which is perhaps a lesson in sponsored content.  Add value to your readers, over promoting yourself.  Most sponsored posts are very boring commercials, and as a result, don’t perform that well.  Lesson #2: maybe also sponsor a post on SaaStr! 🙂
  2. A Basic Structure for a VP, Sales Comp Plan: 50/50/25+.  This is an Oldie but a Goodie.  I Continue reading "The Top 25 SaaStr Posts of 2018 So Far"

What is the strategic importance of Slack and Atlassian’s partnership?

My strong guess is that it drives much better alignment in and at the two leading independent SaaS companies for developers. Slack’s #1 competitor today? Microsoft, probably. Who did Microsoft just buy? Github, for $7.5b. Which is the #1 competitor for Atlassian’s Bitbucket. Etcetera, etcetera. Atlassian is now saying it won’t intrude on Slack’s core turf, and Slack is probably implicitly saying for now, it won’t intrude on Atlassian’s either. And $5 billion+ Slack is probably also implicitly saying it will now prioritize integrations with Atlassian’s products, which it wanted to do already, because the customers wanted it … Atlassian is the #1 overall player in the B2D space, with a $17 billion+ market cap and several dominant products (of which Hipchat no longer was one of). Everyone wants Trello, JIRA, etc. to work even more seamlessly in Slack, etc. The Hipchat/Stride vector was probably the core disalignment between
Continue reading "What is the strategic importance of Slack and Atlassian’s partnership?"

The legendary executive business coach Bill Campbell believed CEOs should never hire friends. Do you agree and why?

I think this is too simplistic. This friends-from-school partnership seems to have worked out well: https://www.theaustralian.com.au… Obviously, hiring friends, like working with a spouse / S.O., adds several extra elements.

But strength can come from many vectors.

What doesn’t work well in my observations and experience is hiring friends mainly because you already know + trust them. That sounds good, but the problem with that is you tend to ignore their other weaknesses. That’s somewhat akin to hiring just for domain expertise. It’s not enough to make up for not also being great at the role. Yes, if you hire friends you may lose them as friends. That is a real risk. But successful start-ups are all outliers. Hire the best possible people you can find for every role. Friends included. View original question on quora The post The legendary executive business coach Bill Campbell Continue reading "The legendary executive business coach Bill Campbell believed CEOs should never hire friends. Do you agree and why?"