Squeezing Out That Last 10%-20% Growth

Once you have something in SaaS, somewhere on the path from $1m to $10m where you’re either on your way to Initial Scale or getting past it, you’ll often end up with a subtle choice: Should you go for the extra 10%-20% of growth a year? After a few years, a few management team mistakes, and a few cycles, finally it will be repeatable.  Net negative churn and renewals will kick in.  Your mini-brand will start drive in a regular stream of leads (more on that here).  You’ll be a known vendor, have a decent sales team, a proven product, a steady stream of leads.  You’ll more or less know how you’ll do next quarter and maybe even this year, within a wide variance at least. You’ll finally, sort of, have some of it dialed in and figured out.  Folks will start to get Continue reading "Squeezing Out That Last 10%-20% Growth"

SaaStr Podcast #175: Jason Lemkin, Founder @ SaaStr on How To Approach Long Sales Cycles

Welcome to Episode 175! Jason Lemkin is the Founder @ SaaStr, the world’s largest SaaS event with over 20,000 of the world’s best SaaS founders and investors attending every year. Jason also invests from SaaStr’s debut $70m fund and has made prior investments in the likes of Algolia, TalkDesk, MixMax, Rainforest QA, and many more incredible companies. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:
  • How does Jason think founders should approach long sales cycles in the early days? Why does Jason believe that ultimately long sales cycles do not matter? What can the truly great VPs do to impact those long sales cycles?
  • How does Jason think founders can tackle lead optimization with their team? How can founders determine which leads to send to which AEs? What will the effect of this tailored lead distribution be?

  • When is the right time for the founder to begin to take Continue reading "SaaStr Podcast #175: Jason Lemkin, Founder @ SaaStr on How To Approach Long Sales Cycles"

What I Learned from OpenView’s Product-Led Growth Summit

On May 9th, OpenView convened 100+ SaaS leaders from our portfolio and network for our second annual Product-Led Growth Summit in San Francisco. The event and proceeding ‘Growth Office Hours’ were filled to the brim with new connections, sage advice and in-the-trenches stories from operators. Here are our most important takeaways. Darius Kyle Brian PLG Summit

First off, what the heck is Product-Led Growth?

Not just another buzzword…product-led growth is an important go-to-market strategy that underpins some of today’s most successful businesses. Think Dropbox, Slack, Intercom, Expensify and Datadog. Here at OpenView, we define product-led growth (PLG) as a strategy that puts the product front and center when it comes to how a company acquires, expands and retains customers. Relying on a product-led strategy yields rapid, extremely efficient growth. Although similar to a freemium approach, a product-led growth strategy doesn’t actually require that you offer your product for free. It does however necessitate an
Elena Verna PLG Quote
Todd Jackson PLG Quote
Merci Grace PLG Quote
Tomer Cohen PLG Quote
Brian Blafour PLG Quote
Dannie Chu PLG Quote
Ashik Ahmed PLG Quote
PLG Ashley Tope
Tope Awotona PLG Quote
Andy Wilson PLG Quote
Continue reading "What I Learned from OpenView’s Product-Led Growth Summit"

What I Learned from OpenView’s Product-Led Growth Summit

On May 9th, OpenView convened 100+ SaaS leaders from our portfolio and network for our second annual Product-Led Growth Summit in San Francisco. The event and proceeding ‘Growth Office Hours’ were filled to the brim with new connections, sage advice and in-the-trenches stories from operators. Here are our most important takeaways. Darius Kyle Brian PLG Summit

First off, what the heck is Product-Led Growth?

Not just another buzzword…product-led growth is an important go-to-market strategy that underpins some of today’s most successful businesses. Think Dropbox, Slack, Intercom, Expensify and Datadog. Here at OpenView, we define product-led growth (PLG) as a strategy that puts the product front and center when it comes to how a company acquires, expands and retains customers. Relying on a product-led strategy yields rapid, extremely efficient growth. Although similar to a freemium approach, a product-led growth strategy doesn’t actually require that you offer your product for free. It does however necessitate an
Elena Verna PLG Quote
Todd Jackson PLG Quote
Merci Grace PLG Quote
Tomer Cohen PLG Quote
Brian Blafour PLG Quote
Dannie Chu PLG Quote
Ashik Ahmed PLG Quote
PLG Ashley Tope
Tope Awotona PLG Quote
Andy Wilson PLG Quote
Continue reading "What I Learned from OpenView’s Product-Led Growth Summit"

Why do some startups choose not to sell to other companies, and instead they go for an IPO?

I was just with a founder who owns 40% of his startup. He just turned down an offer for $500,000,000 to sell his startup to a public company. He is 33. I do not believe he has any life savings. I do not believe his parents have any savings, and he did not come from any money. He has never sold a share. 40% of $500,000,000 is just about $200,000,000. Turning that down is nuts. Why? Because he must think those shares are worth at least $1b (5x) to risk-adjust. And maybe, he’s just not done. Also — he is a much better CEO than I was. I was a good founder, but not nearly as good as he is. Who do you want to be? What do you want to do? What future do you see? We’re all different here. Selling often is logical, the highest return on time, Continue reading "Why do some startups choose not to sell to other companies, and instead they go for an IPO?"

Why do some startups choose not to sell to other companies, and instead they go for an IPO?

I was just with a founder who owns 40% of his startup. He just turned down an offer for $500,000,000 to sell his startup to a public company. He is 33. I do not believe he has any life savings. I do not believe his parents have any savings, and he did not come from any money. He has never sold a share. 40% of $500,000,000 is just about $200,000,000. Turning that down is nuts. Why? Because he must think those shares are worth at least $1b (5x) to risk-adjust. And maybe, he’s just not done. Also — he is a much better CEO than I was. I was a good founder, but not nearly as good as he is. Who do you want to be? What do you want to do? What future do you see? We’re all different here. Selling often is logical, the highest return on time, Continue reading "Why do some startups choose not to sell to other companies, and instead they go for an IPO?"

At a $20B valuation, is WeWork overvalued?

Well, goodness since this question was asked WeWork is now worth $20 billion! + WeWork’s $20 Billion Office Party: The Crazy Bet That Could Change How The World Does Business Does this even make sense? WeWork is losing money, its margins are murky and it is crafting brand new financial metrics like “community adjusted EBITDA” we’ve never heard of! WeWork’s staggering growth has run up an $18 billion rent bill Still … maybe it does make sense. First, there’s a $3b public company comp in Regus/IWG. Regus is a slow-growing, but well established player in the market. And WeWork is growing much, much faster. So you can clearly see your way to a much higher valuation than $3b: Secondly, the market itself is very large ($200b+) and is clearly changing. Office space is a huge market and Regus/IWC only carved out a very small space of it. WeWork by contrast
Continue reading "At a $20B valuation, is WeWork overvalued?"

At a $20B valuation, is WeWork overvalued?

Well, goodness since this question was asked WeWork is now worth $20 billion! + WeWork’s $20 Billion Office Party: The Crazy Bet That Could Change How The World Does Business Does this even make sense? WeWork is losing money, its margins are murky and it is crafting brand new financial metrics like “community adjusted EBITDA” we’ve never heard of! WeWork’s staggering growth has run up an $18 billion rent bill Still … maybe it does make sense. First, there’s a $3b public company comp in Regus/IWG. Regus is a slow-growing, but well established player in the market. And WeWork is growing much, much faster. So you can clearly see your way to a much higher valuation than $3b: Secondly, the market itself is very large ($200b+) and is clearly changing. Office space is a huge market and Regus/IWC only carved out a very small space of it. WeWork by contrast
Continue reading "At a $20B valuation, is WeWork overvalued?"

In software sales, which is better: account executive (new business, fewer accounts, and outbound) or account management (existing account growth and revenue analysis)?

“Better” is hard to say but what is clear is that the Account Management role in SaaS is a much more fluid, in transition role. In recurring revenue, the sale is just the start of a multi-year journey. How do you approach upsell and account growth after the “sale”? Boy it varies:
  • Some SaaS companies just do this through Customer Success. There is no sales component at all. This can work well, but it often leaves money on the table.
  • Some SaaS companies partner sales and account management through a long tail, e.g. 1 year. Many API/B2D companies do this in particular. Any revenue through Day 365 after a deal signed is managed by both Sales and Account Management, and then just Account Management after.
  • Many experienced SaaS companies are using much more sophisticated analyses on Account Management. The job is become much more data-driven.
What has certainly changed Continue reading "In software sales, which is better: account executive (new business, fewer accounts, and outbound) or account management (existing account growth and revenue analysis)?"

In software sales, which is better: account executive (new business, fewer accounts, and outbound) or account management (existing account growth and revenue analysis)?

“Better” is hard to say but what is clear is that the Account Management role in SaaS is a much more fluid, in transition role. In recurring revenue, the sale is just the start of a multi-year journey. How do you approach upsell and account growth after the “sale”? Boy it varies:
  • Some SaaS companies just do this through Customer Success. There is no sales component at all. This can work well, but it often leaves money on the table.
  • Some SaaS companies partner sales and account management through a long tail, e.g. 1 year. Many API/B2D companies do this in particular. Any revenue through Day 365 after a deal signed is managed by both Sales and Account Management, and then just Account Management after.
  • Many experienced SaaS companies are using much more sophisticated analyses on Account Management. The job is become much more data-driven.
What has certainly changed Continue reading "In software sales, which is better: account executive (new business, fewer accounts, and outbound) or account management (existing account growth and revenue analysis)?"