Blind Hiring: How to Implement Inclusive Hiring Strategies

Hiring is top priority for most businesses – and that’s definitely true for OpenView’s portfolio companies. But, have you ever thought about what your job descriptions say about your company or your culture? Or how the way you write job descriptions might discourage qualified candidates from even applying? Well, according to an internal report from HP, men apply for a job when they meet 60% of the qualifications listed, while women will typically only apply if they meet 100% of the requirements laid out in a job description. HP attributes this phenomenon to the fact that women tend to be ‘rule followers’ – in other words, women will only apply to jobs for which they are certain they have the requisite experience. But as a Talent Manager, I’ve seen plenty of beyond-qualified women who are in fact perfect for jobs despite not having all of the “required” skills or
Continue reading "Blind Hiring: How to Implement Inclusive Hiring Strategies"

Use These Real-world Assessments to Hire Your Next BDR Manager

Hiring successful BDR managers is no easy feat, but it’s crucial to the long-term success of your sales team – BDR managers own the top of your lead funnel, and often the talent pipeline for your company as well. You task them with hiring junior team members and ramping those new hires quickly on your product, market and sales process. They must handle all of that while facing an extremely high turnover rate, competitive market/comp while likely building training, processes and operations on their own. In my experience, few individuals stay in the front line BDR Manager role for more than a few years. The BDR Manager job is a stepping stone to the next thing – maybe a BDR Director, an AE role, or even managing a full cycles sales team. So you have a choice to make in recruiting: Do you take a risk on a first-time manager
Continue reading "Use These Real-world Assessments to Hire Your Next BDR Manager"

How Patience Powers Long-Term Growth: Optimizing the In Between

More and now. These are two words heavily embedded in the mind of anyone in business. For new companies, it’s “how fast can we get more customers?” and “how fast can we grow now?”. Countless articles and publications praise companies that have been able to grow quickly. Their ability to accomplish more, now, is revered. Rightly so. The problem is that when we focus solely on growth, we tend to overestimate the stability of our infrastructure and underestimate the adaptations needed to support new business. We assume our current team and systems are sufficient (and efficient) because they’ve supported previous demand. We neglect to properly plan ahead. One consistently overlooked area is the state and scalability of our human capital – our employees. When companies grow, added pressure is put on the existing team. Not only must they maintain the same level of performance on their
Continue reading "How Patience Powers Long-Term Growth: Optimizing the In Between"

The Next Recession is Set to Reshape Our Economy. Here’s How.

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on Inc. here. It may seem to some that we’re still recovering from the Great Recession of 2008, but the reality is that we’re nearing our 100th month of expansion at the end of this year. With an unemployment rate of 4.3 percent and a bull market (at least at this writing), the late summer of 2017 looks like a Goldilocks economy: There’s steady growth that’s not too hot and not too cold. Inputs (e.g., employees and equipment) aren’t too expensive or too cheap. That means just one thing: a recession is coming. Not to be a killjoy, but historically there have only been two expansions that lasted as long as this one. To match the 120-month boom in the 1990s, we’d need the economy to keep growing past January 2019, an occurrence that The Wall Street Journal deems “a
Continue reading "The Next Recession is Set to Reshape Our Economy. Here’s How."

Pitch Stakes, Not Pain: Transcending the “Doctor-Patient” Approach to Sales and Marketing

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on Medium here. A few weeks ago, a Fortune 100 enterprise engaged me to talk to 20 of its senior leaders about crafting a strategic narrative—the high-level story that powers sales, marketing, product development, everything. During the talk, I asserted that every great company story starts by naming what’s at stake for customers. Later, during a Q&A, one of the company’s executives asked for clarification:
I’m always hearing that we’re supposed to talk about customers’ pain. Is that what you mean by stakes?

The Enterprise’s Most Unhelpful Metaphor: Doctor-Patient

Behind the executive’s question is a metaphor that informs how many executives and entrepreneurs see their relationship to customers. The company (represented on the front lines by its sales and marketing folks) is a doctor, diagnosing prospects’ pain and offering products and services to relieve it. Unfortunately, the metaphor breaks down in a crucial
Continue reading "Pitch Stakes, Not Pain: Transcending the “Doctor-Patient” Approach to Sales and Marketing"

Solving the SDR Debate: Sales or Marketing?

It’s an age-old question: should SDRs report to sales or marketing? Ask five people, and you’ll get five different answers based on individual experience and factors ranging from company stage to the SDR career path to the individual personalities and preferences of a company’s heads of sales and marketing. It’s a complex issue that is always evolving as the marketplace changes. As someone who is often caught in the crossfire between sales and marketing (it’s part of my job description as the VP of Go-to-Market here at OpenView) I was delighted to have the opportunity to host a panel of industry leaders with diverse opinions about and varied experience with this very issue. As part of our Go-to-Market Forum, Casey Cheshire of Cheshire Impact moderated a panel with Natasha Sekket, VP of Demand Generation at ClickSoftware; Frank Ernst, Vice President of Sales Development and Inside Sales at Zuora;
Continue reading "Solving the SDR Debate: Sales or Marketing?"

2017 SaaS Benchmarks: The Pivotal Step from Benchmarks to Action

Last week we released our 2017 Expansion SaaS Benchmarks report. We surveyed 300+ enterprise software companies covering topics like growth rate, sales efficiency, CAC, diversity hiring initiatives, and many more. Ultimately, we identified seven lessons for scaling startups in 2017 (and beyond):
  1. Growth at all costs only works for so long
  2. Figure out where you’re wasting your sales & marketing dollars
  3. Fix your ‘leaky bucket’ before pouring in more cash
  4. You’re probably burning cash without realizing it so figure out your true CAC
  5. Maximize your existing customers before hunting for new logos
  6. Profitability is your lifeline against future funding uncertainty
  7. Commit to creating a culture that’s attractive to diverse candidates
We realize these findings are only half the battle – now that you understand these lessons, what can you do to proactively address these issues in your business? We’ve pulled together a few actionable pieces of advice to help
2017 SaaS Benchmarks
Continue reading "2017 SaaS Benchmarks: The Pivotal Step from Benchmarks to Action"