It’s Time To Start Getting an Uber/Lyft Rating for Sales Reps. And Paying Them Based On It.

This year we’ve had a string of fairly terrible experiences buying software at little ol’ SaaStr:
  • With one well-known SaaS vendor, an employee e-signed a 2-year contract without permission.  We never deployed the software, and yet the vendor threatened to sue us if we didn’t pay for Year 2.  Even though we never used the product, paid in full for Year 1, and the signor had no signatory authority.
  • Another vendor, the sales rep was so aggressive it took us 14 months to buy.  We would have bought the prior year, but the rep was so insistent on rip-off pricing we gave up.  The rep also shut off the trial repeatedly before we could even put any data in it or use it. It took intervention at the C-level to get the deal done, and it took more than a year.
  • A third vendor, the rep
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Karen Appleton Page (Deputy): Finding Chemistry With a CEO Before Committing to a Board [Podcast]

It’s imperative to determine that you will have a good working relationship, and share the same values with a CEO, well before you take a board seat. Karen Appleton Page was employee number seven at Box and her role evolved with the booming business over her nine-year tenure. When she began seriously exploring board opportunities this year, she realized that having the right chemistry with the CEO, much like she had with Aaron Levie at Box, would be key in finding the right fit. In this episode, learn how Karen broke boundaries as the first Industry GTM leader at Box and about her recent journey to Deputy’s board. Prefer to listen on iTunes? Click here.
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Are You Hiring for Culture Fit or Culture Add? A 6 Point Checklist to Find Out Where You Stand.

If you travel in HR circles, you’ve probably heard the demands to stop hiring for “culture fit.” Experts like Amplify Founder, Lars Schmidt, say the term has become a weapon for interviewers who unfairly reject candidates who don’t look like them. Then there’s organizational psychologist Scott Highhouse who (after much research) called subjective hiring “the greatest failure of I-O [industrial and organizational] psychology.” And more recently, the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) made a public call for the end of the ‘Beer Test’ in favor of hiring for culture add.

So, you think you’re objective.

Before you go rolling your eyes at the mere mention of yet another HR buzzword, ask yourself this: How many recruiters do you know who have had their dream candidate vetoed for dubious reasons? Fact is, none of us are as objective as we think we are. One Yale study
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Quota Attainment, Morale, and Sales Culture

We’ve just entered a very special time of year. Namely the three weeks (from Nov 1st to Thanksgiving) where it's acceptable to talk quotas for the upcoming year.  Broach the topic any earlier, and it’s like touring colleges with a newborn. Any later, and it's a distraction from finishing the year strong. But right now, is just right. Chorus.ai CEO Roy Raanani posted a whiteboard video on the topic recently. He compared two groups with equal average quota attainment and equal group performance. I've dubbed them:
  • Team Summit with a single peak distributed around 80% of quota
  • Team Camel with two humps at 60% and 100%
 royquota Roy argues Team Summit is preferable. For one, "whenever there is variability [like in Team Camel] it usually means we don't fully understand the process." He continues that reps in the left hump are likely stressed out—as they see how
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LinkedIn Names SaaStr #1 Voice in Startups & Entrepreneurship!

About 18 months ago, we started to invest more in LinkedIn, both in publishing and our feed.  We went from a handful of followers 2 years ago to almost 160,000 in about that time and have learned a lot.  Mostly, it’s been a great place to meet new folks that don’t engage with us in other media.  It turns out, LinkedIn has its own communities and group that have helped expand the SaaStr ecosystem. Probably just as importantly, LinkedIn’s feed has evolved, at least for SaaS, to become a bit of “Twitter for Businesspeople”.  As it has, it’s become a great outlet for SaaStr insights, long and short. So it was great to read today that SaaStr is now the #1 ranked Voice in Startups & Entrepreneurship on LinkedIn!  Read more here Thank you Linkedin!!!
These are the 10 must-know writers and creators driving Continue reading "LinkedIn Names SaaStr #1 Voice in Startups & Entrepreneurship!"

Once your equity vests in a startup, what are the advantages of staying around?

It’s an interesting and subtle question, especially these days in the Bay Area, where many barely stay 1 year to their cliff, let alone the full 4–5 years to vest. For founders, there are three incentives to stay:
  • If you own say 10% of a company, it really doesn’t matter if you own 11% or 12% or 9%. You are strongly incented to make that equity worth something. If you can add material value to the company, you should stay.
  • Legacy. Once you are gone, it’s not yours anymore.
  • More grants. They often are immaterial, but more grants can come over time.
For VPs and folks that own say 1%+, the incentives are similar, just a bit less so. But as a VP, if you have 1% of a company that can IPO, stay as long as you add value. For strong individual contributors though, it’s tough to stay > Continue reading "Once your equity vests in a startup, what are the advantages of staying around?"

Visual Stories that Sell (Video + Transcript)

Well-known storytellers, Jason Katz – Chief Storyteller @ Pixar, and Peter Arvai – Co-Founder & CEO @ Prezi, held a powerful session on all things storytelling at SaaStr Annual 2018. Are you struggling with telling your founder story or pitching to VCs? These two provide valuable insights into actionable ways to improve your storytelling skills. Also, don’t miss out on discounted prices for SaaStr Annual 2019 tickets. Transcript   Peter Arvai: Hello everyone. Great to see you all and thanks for joining this session on visual stories that. My name is Peter Arvai. I’m the CEO and co-founder of Prezi. Our users have created the world’s largest database of publicly available presentations. We’re the only company that’s competing with PowerPoint and Google and Apple version of slides and we do something completely different where you can put all your images on one canvas and show the relationships between the ideas Continue reading "Visual Stories that Sell (Video + Transcript)"

Product Led Growth Maturity Calculator

There is no doubt about it, product led growth (PLG) is transforming the world of SaaS. Here at OpenView we evaluate thousands of software companies every year. We recognize there are varying levels of maturity in adopting PLG strategies. Some businesses have adopted product led growth since their inception. Others are just beginning to take a product led approach to growth by de-laboring their sales process, creating product qualified leads, investing in a delightful user experience and so much more. Unsure where you are on your PLG journey? In just 5 to 10 minutes, we’ll gather a snapshot of your current PLG strategy and rate your maturity. Based on your score, we’ll provide recommendations on how you can further orient your company around PLG in order to increase acquisition, conversion and expansion. As we collect more data, we’ll benchmark your PLG sophistication against similar companies to give you a robust
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Meet VCs from Bessemer, Sapphire, August, Emergence, Creandum, Bain, Scale, Iconiq and Many More at SaaStr Big Holiday Party THIS Thursday

It’s almost here! The once-a-year SaaStr Huge Holiday Party!  This Thursday November 15th from 3pm-10pm.   We’ll start off with mentoring and networking at 3pm, and amazing sessions on scaling your business and getting funding with Bessemer, Mixmax, Gainsight and Cloudflare at 4pm!  Then the band and drinks and more at 6pm. Come early to meet the top VCs in SaaS!  We’ll have investors from Bessemer, Sapphire, August, Emergence, Creandum, Bain, Scale, Next World, Iconiq, Canaan, Foundationand tons of other leaders. See you then!  Come the Big Holiday for the friends and mentors.  Stay for the amazing learnings lessions.  And they don’t go until you are funded! We have over 720 already registered and are at max capacity!  Grab one of the last tickets here. The post Meet VCs from Bessemer, Sapphire, August, Emergence, Creandum, Bain, Scale, Iconiq and Many More at SaaStr Big Continue reading "Meet VCs from Bessemer, Sapphire, August, Emergence, Creandum, Bain, Scale, Iconiq and Many More at SaaStr Big Holiday Party THIS Thursday"

How to Combine Paid Ads and Content Marketing to Drive Sales

Should my business focus on paid advertising or content marketing? This is a very common question from today’s marketers and there is a lot of advice out there arguing for one side or the other (comparing ROI, brand goals, etc.). But not enough people talk about how they can be used together. If you have the resources, the optimal marketing strategy is to use both channels in conjunction in order to amplify your overall ROI. Today, I’m going to show you several ways that you can combine these tools to bring in big results for your company.

Build a Social Promotion Ladder

Most content marketers know that a disproportionate amount of their results come from a small number of articles. It wouldn’t be practical or effective to run paid ads on every piece of content, but running ads on your best pieces can really amplify their reach. But how
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