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.
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.
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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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
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%
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
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!!!
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.
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.
TranscriptPeter 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)"
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