How to Invest in Customer Marketing: The 10+10 Framework

I want to spend a lot of time in the coming year on SaaStr on Customer Marketing.  While the concept may sound old hat to those that have been in the software business for a long time, in SaaS in particular, very little tools, processes, and software are applied to marketing to customers after they are closed. Over the last 5 years, we’ve all started to turn Customer Success into a science and a key discipline in SaaS.  But Customer Success in many ways has been defined as an extension of Sales.  Sales closes, and hands off to CS.  While that’s chronologically accurate in most cases, really CS’s cousin should be Customer Marketing.  If you do it right, you can keep your customers for 10+ years.  Or even longer.  And like retention, a marketing journey should also begin again once a customer closes. Customer Continue reading "How to Invest in Customer Marketing: The 10+10 Framework"

Once you find product market fit in SaaS, what should your next steps be to take the market?

Hire a VP of Demand Gen / Marketing. I say this not because it’s the only step, but it’s likely the most important step you can take to grow faster after product-market fit that basically always work — that you probably haven’t already done. I hired mine at $20k in MRR, and it wasn’t too early. More on the math and why here: I Hired My VP of Marketing at $20k MRR. It Wasn’t a Week Too Early. | SaaStr For most of you though you’ll get all the way to $1m in ARR or more and never have even started to hire a true VP of Demand Gen / Marketing. You’ll figure out how to hire some sales reps, made even a sales lead, a customer success professional. But too often, there is no senior marketer by $1m in ARR. All she has to do is get you a Continue reading "Once you find product market fit in SaaS, what should your next steps be to take the market?"

How many startup investments are not made due to due diligence results?

For me, so far, it’s been 2. Two deals I thought I really wanted to do, that were just about at term sheet stage, but then as we dug deep in diligence, enough flags came up that were inconsistent with what we thought that the deal didn’t work out. Not just one flag, but a bunch. Looking back, though, both these starts-up are doing/did really well! One was already acquired for nine figures, the other is at $50m+ ARR today. Hmmm … Let me compare that to the top 2 deals I’ve made/done that simply didn’t really work out. In those cases, the due diligence was fine. The customers loved the product, the CEO strongly referenced, technology checked out, etc. All boxes checked. But what happened there was I lowered the quality bar a smidge. Not a ton, but a smidge. In one case, I stretched the definition of recurring Continue reading "How many startup investments are not made due to due diligence results?"

SaaStr Podcast #188: Fouad ElNaggarm Founder & CEO @ Sapho Shares The Benefits of Being Old In SaaS

Welcome to Episode 188! Fouad ElNaggar is the Founder & CEO @ Sapho, the only employee experience portal designed for the digital workforce. To date, Ray has raised over $27m in funding with Sapho from some real favorites of ours including Ray @ Caffeinated, Felicis, Uncork, Bloomberg Beta, Clark Landry and Howard Lindzon @ Social Leverage, just to name a few. Prior to founding Sapho, Fouad was the Chief Strategy Officer at CBS Interactive overseeing strategy, operations, partnerships, and M&A. At CBSi, Fouad structured deals with partners such as Yahoo, IAC, and Twitch and acquired premium brands such as TV Guide and Giant Bomb. Prior to CBSi, Fouad was a VC at Redpoint Ventures overseeing the firm’s LA office and helping establish a dedicated fund in Brazil. Fouad has previously founded three venture-backed companies – Marketing Technology Solutions (acquired), Liquid Light (acquired), and Hark. In Today’s Episode You Will Continue reading "SaaStr Podcast #188: Fouad ElNaggarm Founder & CEO @ Sapho Shares The Benefits of Being Old In SaaS"

The Secret Behind Drift’s Viral Marketing Success

Editor’s Note: The following is a transcript of Casey and Dave’s conversation. It has been edited and condensed for clarity. Casey: Hey, guys. I’m here with Dave Gerhardt, VP of Marketing at Drift. Dave: Number one: you lost your phone. Number two: I’m carrying your backpack. Casey: So, that would actually make me the queen. Dave: At least they put the King’s crown on me. Casey: The king’s crown. So, yes. So, because I like to think I know people pretty well, I’m assuming everyone’s wondering why I’m wearing a crown, and why I’m making Dave wear the crown. Dave: Okay. Casey: And so, if you don’t know Dave, you probably are not on any form of social media whatsoever. He’s basically become, or, you are the king of video marketing. Dave: See? Normally I would be humbled and be like, “Oh, no.” But, you know what? I got
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5 Ways to Keep Up with Data-Driven Sales

Every new year brings with it trendy buzzwords related to sales – (like freemium), but one word has show up time and time again: data. With phrases like data analytics, sales data, big data and data sets, the collection of information is driving everything from sales coaching and productivity to predictivity technologies and marketing campaigns. No matter how big your business, if you’re not using data analytics to drive your sales, you’re going to fall behind your competition. Old-school data collection was one dimensional. Knowing how long it took to close a deal after initial contact with the lead was helpful, but not necessarily full of deep insights into the sales process. Today’s big data is so rich with information that it touches every corner of sales – even before a prospect enters the picture! If you’re eager to dig into data-driven sales but feel overwhelmed by the many
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Lessons Redefining a Really Big Category with Coupa (Annual Video + Transcript)

Earlier this year at the 2018 Annual, Coupa Software CEO Rob Bernshteyn sat down with our very own Jason Lemkin to chat about what he’s learned while redefining a big category. To get the full scoop on his observations, insights, and learnings, check out the full session video and transcript below! And in case you haven’t heard, we’re building a completely immersive experience in San Jose for SaaStr Annual 2019! With 3 full days of sessions, featuring over 300 speakers from the best SaaS companies around the world, SaaStr Annual will be filled with actionable thought leadership to help grow your business. Get your tickets to the SaaS show everyone will be talking about! Transcript: Announcer: Please welcome Rob Bernshteyn, Chief Executive Officer and Coupa Value Orchestrator of Coupa Software and Jason Lemkin, founder of SaaStr. Jason Lemkin: Did everyone get lunch? Rob, thanks for joining us. This Continue reading "Lessons Redefining a Really Big Category with Coupa (Annual Video + Transcript)"

4 Years Ago This Week We Decided to Launch the SaaStr Annual. What We’ve Learned.

As we gear up for the 5th SaaStr Annual, with an expected 12,000+ attendees, 100+ top tier sponsors, and 3+ days of content across 5+1 stages (phew!), I was looking back for our team meeting and trying to assemble what we’ve learned, and found this first tweet from almost exactly 4 years ago: Waaay back in 2014, the type of content at, on Quora, and at our events was still novel.  Fast forward to day, and there is an amazing amount of B2B-centric content out there, and many others have put together amazing events around the hard-learned lessons of scaling revenue and scaling SaaS companies.  But all this was pretty novel back in 2014.  No one in the “next generation” had IPO’d yet (Aaron Levie came to the first SaaStr Annual a little more than a week after Box’s IPO), Unicorn rounds were
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