SaaStr Podcast #200: Brad Birnbaum, Founder & CEO @ Kustomer Discusses The Right Way To Think About SaaS Pricing Today

Welcome to Episode 200! Brad Birnbaum is the Founder & CEO @ Kustomer, the first intelligent platform for customer experience that enables you to know everything about every customer. To date, Brad has raised over $38m in funding for Kustomer from some of the very best in the SaaS business, including Tomasz Tunguz @ Redpoint, Ed Sim @ Boldstart, Canaan Partners, Box Group and Social Leverage, just to name a few. Previously, he was the Co-founder of Assistly, which was acquired by Salesforce and became Desk.com. Prior to that, he was CTO for Talisma and Co‑founder & CTO of eShare Technologies. In addition, Brad was also the CTO @ Sean Parker’s Airtime and VP of Engineering with Salesforce. In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

What is a typical organizational structure for a SaaS startup with sales reps?

A rough structure from 1–25 sales reps: Early days:
  • CEO acts as VP of Sales.
  • CEO hires 2 reps, in the beginning, each barely pays for themselves, but by months 4–6 they are able to close 3x-5x their total compensation.
  • Once 2+ reps can do 3x-5x their comp, the model gets pretty efficient.
Then:
  • Have to scale from reps 3–8 or so. CEO often struggles to manage so many directly.
  • CEO starts looking for true VP of Sales before $1m, ideally hires one by $1m in ARR.
  • VP of Sales hires next 5–10 reps herself.
After 8–10 reps, you have to add more management:

Why Corporate Innovation Fails: 7 Best Practices Every Company Should Know

Editor’s Note: This article was first published on LinkedIn here For almost a decade, I worked with innovation and transformation teams at four large banks in Canada and the US. As they say, it was the best of times, and it was the worst of times. Prior to the financial crisis, leading change was fun, as it involved thinking about emerging technologies, online experiences, and new ways to generate revenue. In contrast, being on the “change the bank” team during the dark days of the crisis required quick utilization of every method possible to reduce costs while managing risk. Regardless of the time or the bullish or bearish nature of the market, driving innovation inside these behemoths was a daily lesson about what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. Today, I live in Silicon Valley and work in technology. Despite being immersed in this wondrous place
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Did Elon Musk make a good business move in buying trucking companies to ensure Model 3 can be delivered in US by Dec 31 if ordered by Nov 30?

Yes. It will help him make the quarter, and thus keeping the stock price high enough to have a good chance to convert almost $1b in soon-due debt into equity. And it will save customers thousands. View original question on quora The post Did Elon Musk make a good business move in buying trucking companies to ensure Model 3 can be delivered in US by Dec 31 if ordered by Nov 30? appeared first on SaaStr.

Account Expansion: How to Upsell Unsuccessful Customers

Getting your customers to buy more from you is awesome. Remember, you’re in business here and getting customers you’ve already spent money to acquire and serve to then expand their relationship with you – giving you more revenue – just seems like a super-efficient way to grow. And it is. But if you think for one minute you’re going to build a sustainable growth engine off the backs of unsuccessful customers, you couldn’t be more wrong. Stop trying to upsell unsuccessful customers. Unsuccessful customers don’t need – or want – to buy more of your stuff. Obviously, right? Maybe… let’s explore this together. Trying to upsell unsuccessful customers can have a lot of results, but none will involve you actually making the sale (without excessive concessions, undue pressure, and other things that don’t actually help the situation long-term). Rather, by trying to sell more stuff to an unsuccessful customer,
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2018 Private SAAS Company Survey- Part 2

We recently released Part 1 results of our private SaaS company survey in partnership with KBCM Technology Group (formerly Pacific Crest Securities). This is the sixth annual survey we’ve produced together, which provides data to help SaaS companies benchmark their performance against their competition. In Part 1, we covered growth rates, go-to-market trends, and CAC Rations and CAC Payback. We’re excited to share Part...

The Definitive Recap of the 3rd Product Led Growth Summit

On November 7 (yes, the day after the midterm election), we hosted leaders from some of the fastest growing software companies for our 3rd Product Led Growth Summit. Each speaker had their own unique take on the topic. Some came from companies that had been product led from inception (e.g. Trello, Lucidchart) while others have more recently pivoted their businesses to embrace product led growth (e.g. HubSpot). Some speakers rose through the ranks from the product or technical organization while others started in marketing, design or even industries outside of SaaS. Despite these differences in perspectives, one thing was clear. Companies of all types and sizes are becoming much more sophisticated in their adoption of product led growth. They’ve done so not just because it promises more efficient growth (which, by the way, it does), but rather as a matter of necessity. Customer expectations are simply changing.
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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.
The post Karen Appleton Page (Deputy): Finding Chemistry With a CEO Before Committing to a Board [Podcast] appeared first on OpenView Labs.