Unicorn Morning at SaaStr Europa!

We’ll have 3 different tracks and themes at SaaStr Europa on June 15 in Paris:  Unicorn Morning, Founder-to-Founder:  The True Stories, and Scaling Revenue. Fresh off Salesforce’s $6b+ acquisition of Mulesoft, we’ll have founder Ross Mason in an amazing conversation with Harry Stebbings.  Harry runs the 20 VC podcast and the SaaStr podcast and is one of everyone’s favorites, and he does an amazing job pulling the true stories out of the journey. Next, we’ll talk about a true Unicorn that did it the real and hard way — Meltwater.  Jørn Lyseggen will share how you build a billion dollar B2B startup without raising a billion, the challenges getting to $100m in ARR, and much more with Carl Fritjofsson of Creandum, backers of Spotify, iZettle, Mixmax, and more.   We’ll then grab one of the latest Unicorns, UiPath, with a discussion from Accel’s Luciana Lixandru and CMO Bobby Patrick. 
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Engage Your Funnel, Don’t Just Fill It: How to Attract High Quality Leads

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on the Kapost blog here. Content plays a growing role within organizations as marketers create content that’s more targeted and effective to generate new interest, nurture existing prospects, and ultimately improve conversions. Not surprisingly, Kapost’s recent Content Strategy & Operations Benchmark found that marketers’ number one marketing priority is generating new leads, followed closely by improving conversion rates. While creating a high volume of leads and pushing them down the funnel is crucial to marketing organizations, this thinking of quantity first, quality second is leading marketers to pile their funnels with as many leads as possible, leaving sales reps further down the funnel to deal with the poor-quality leads.

What are the Risks?

Generating lower quality leads is problematic on multiple levels. First, if you are generating poor leads, what does that say about the quality of content and engagement that brought them in
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What are some strategies for having new clients sign up for all their users rather than 1 or 2 users for a SaaS product?

Raj Khera’s list above/below is a great one and I can’t add any more value to it. Just one meta-learning: guide your customers to buying the right edition for them. Most customers want to be told — in a nice, non rip-off-y, fair way — which edition to buy. Most customers don’t want to be ripped off, but they also don’t have too much energy to game the system. They want to quickly find a fair price for the version of the product best suited to them. Maybe let your F500 prospects know that sure, they can buy a single seat. They can. We still want you. But … the Global Edition (or whatever max edition) is the right one for them and what we recommend. Salesforce below says:

For an Internet startup that secures, say $15m, in Series A funding, how much would the founders typically be drawing as salary?

In the Bay Area, $1X0,000. Once you raise $5m+ it’s time to pay the founders the low or middle end of “normal”. Founders may have different views of which end of normal. The high end of normal may be OK, but it will create a quiet concern among your investors. Adjusting a bit for family size (kids), etc. won’t raise any concerns. View original question on quora The post For an Internet startup that secures, say $15m, in Series A funding, how much would the founders typically be drawing as salary? appeared first on SaaStr.

5 Tips for Mastering the Art of Sales Knowledge Management

The world of sales is full of dangerous villains – time-consuming administrative tasks, inefficient internal processes, lack of proper tools and resources, etc. – that are weighing your company down. And to top it all off, there is an even greater foe – the leaking of your valuable sales knowledge. Sales Knowledge Management to the rescue!

Knowledge Management vs. Content Management

According to Oracle, “The function of [Enterprise Content Management] ECM is central management of content – the ability to create, share, and control content through structured business processes. [Enterprise Knowledge Management] EKM serves quite a different function: it focuses on the process of finding specific information that is directly relevant to a user’s inquiry.” Traditional Knowledge and Content Management systems have one major difference. Content Management is document or file-based, so you’re looking for information within documents or content. Knowledge Management focuses on creating and allowing direct
Sales Training
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For enterprise and mid-market SaaS, is there a recognizable turning point or do you just slowly realize that your sales and marketing are working?

For me, the turning point for knowing enterprise sales is working is when you get the third one of a category.
  • It took us 18 months to close Google, then 6 months to close Facebook … then 90 days to close Twitter.
  • The same with Aetna, then Cigna, then UnitedHealthcare, etc.
  • British Telecom, Comcast, TimeWarner Cable, etc.
Sales cycles are long or at least longer in the enterprise. But once you get the third big or bigger customer in a segment or category or vertical, you start to know the cadence. By then, you know the objections, the issues, and the needs. And critically, you can start to plan around that longer sales cycle. And more effectively create a target list and get outbound, ABM and marketing going on closing the rest of ‘em! View original question on quora The post For enterprise and mid-market SaaS, is there a recognizable Continue reading "For enterprise and mid-market SaaS, is there a recognizable turning point or do you just slowly realize that your sales and marketing are working?"

What is life like as an entrepreneur and how does one overcome stage fright?

Don’t worry about stage fright. You’ll get over it. I remember the very first time I had to present to a Fancy Board Meeting. I wasn’t a founder yet, but I was told I had to get up in front of a half dozen very famous, very prominent Venture Capitalists. 10 minutes in, I frozen. And walked out. It was terrible. Fast forward to the first time I had to get on stage in front of 2,000+ in a Vegas kick off. I’d done it so many times, I refused to even show up to the prep session. You’ll get better with practice. It’s OK. The secret is repetition. You’ll start to get very good at your pitch, the vision, the value proposition, once you’ve done it a few times. So a few suggestions:

Scale-up Lessons: HubSpot’s Journey from MQL to PQL

One of the best things about working for a scale-up company is you get an opportunity to work on many different challenges. Scale-ups become scale-ups because they’re able to find new growth engines to continue scaling the business. At HubSpot, I’ve been lucky enough to work on two of those growth engines. I initially joined HubSpot as the marketing leader for international. My role was to grow both a team and a marketing funnel of traffic, leads, and MQLs for our target regions. I next joined a small team within HubSpot who had a mission to turn a free chrome extension into a freemium business. Instead of building a marketing funnel, we created a product funnel of traffic, free users, and product qualified leads (PQLs). Freemium is now an integral part of HubSpot’s go-to-market. You can start using our CRM for free, along with features of both our marketing
1. HubSpot Freemium Platform
2. Wats broken out by channel
3. PQL Categories
4. PQL Dashboard
5. PQL HandRaise
5. PQL HandRaise
7. User Success Coach Live Chat
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What is a SaaS company cancelation policy on yearly contracts?

The simple answer “of course” in that yearly contracts can’t be cancelled — per se. That’s the whole point of whatever explicit or implicit discount you give for doing a yearly contract (vs. monthly or quarterly). And the language likely will plainly say the contract cannot be cancelled. But … it’s just one contract. So a few qualifiers:
  • If you haven’t received pre-paid cash, it doesn’t matter. Do NOT threaten to send the customer into collections – period. There is no effective way to enforce a customer contract if the customer doesn’t want to pay and doesn’t need the service any longer. Do not create drama. This won’t work, and it will turn someone who just might be a customer again into someone that won’t be a customer again. Any “annual” contract in fact at a practical level is only as long as the pre-paid cash attached to it.
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Does a CEO have the right to fire an employee down the chain?

Of course. As you scale, you’ll have more formal processes here and in particular, around who and how to terminate an employee. Get a great HR professional on board as early as you can, maybe even by employee #50. But one suggestion when you are small — have whomever is “best” at firing, fire an employee. What I mean is that firing an employee is very hard. Legally, sometimes it’s not hard, especially in places like California with at will employment. But it’s very hard on most people to fire someone. It wrecks them. So if the CEO is the most experienced in terminations, often she or he should consider handling terminations even for non direct reports in the early days. And folks that have never terminated anyone are often unintentionally very hard on the employee being fired. They ramble, they blame themselves, they dredge up mistakes … and they Continue reading "Does a CEO have the right to fire an employee down the chain?"