What are the most important qualities to look for when hiring a sales manager for SaaS?

The top 3: #1: Have they hired 2+ quota-meeting/exceeding reps before. This is #1 by far. If they’ve never hired 2+ great reps before, you are taking on a lot of risk. 95%+ of great individual contributor reps have zero experience hiring. Do you want to be the company where you learn if they can? Ideally, no. And this is not the same as simply being given a small team to manage. The question is, can they give the names of 2 reps they hired that hit plan? If they can, they’ll know how to hire 2 and then 20 more. #2. Do they have proven success selling at your price point? Being great at $1k deals is not the same at $10k deal or $100k deals. Don’t gloss over the critical differences. #3. Can they train you? See if they can train you to sell your own product. If Continue reading "What are the most important qualities to look for when hiring a sales manager for SaaS?"

What are the 5 main differences about how sales is scaled in Europe vs the US?

Having invested in 22 Europe->U.S. companies, I am not sure the differences are all that huge, absent cases where there are regulatory differences. But in SaaS, there are fewer veterans in Europe than the U.S. This tends to mean more stretch candidates and more risky candidates for Directors and VPs. It also tends to mean worse training for more junior candidates. Surprisingly, turnover can be just as high in Europe among more junior candidates. This can meaningfully drive up the cost of employees vs. U.S., even if salaries are 1/3d to 1/2 of SF Bay Area. Having said that, there are far more veterans in Europe than even 24 months ago. And the U.S. HQ’d SaaS companies all have bigger outposts and European offices than they used to, that you can poach from. View original question on quora The post What are the 5 main Continue reading "What are the 5 main differences about how sales is scaled in Europe vs the US?"

What are the most important qualities to look for when hiring a sales manager for SaaS?

The top 3: #1: Have they hired 2+ quota-meeting/exceeding reps before. This is #1 by far. If they’ve never hired 2+ great reps before, you are taking on a lot of risk. 95%+ of great individual contributor reps have zero experience hiring. Do you want to be the company where you learn if they can? Ideally, no. And this is not the same as simply being given a small team to manage. The question is, can they give the names of 2 reps they hired that hit plan? If they can, they’ll know how to hire 2 and then 20 more. #2. Do they have proven success selling at your price point? Being great at $1k deals is not the same at $10k deal or $100k deals. Don’t gloss over the critical differences. #3. Can they train you? See if they can train you to sell your own product. If Continue reading "What are the most important qualities to look for when hiring a sales manager for SaaS?"

SAP Buys Qualtrics; 2018 Catapulted to $65B in $1B+ M&A Volume

Another week, another blockbuster software acquisition! This time SAP has agreed to purchase Qualtrics for $8B. Qualtrics is a Utah based provider of experience management software. Qualtrics writes and sells software to ask questions of employees and customers to help businesses improve customer experience, employee satisfaction products, and brand. Qualtrics had intended to go public this week. The company generated $342M in the last twelve months and had grown 27% annually. Qualtrics fetched 23x trailing twelve months revenue multiple. This is the second largest among those I have tracked. The only one greater is the Microsoft/Github acquisition, which is based on press reports of Github’s revenue. Each of the other data points is substantiated through public investor disclosures. It’s the largest ever VC backed software acquisition. Congratulations to the Qualtrics team! Let’s put the 2018 acquisition environment into context. It’s the best M&A market in the last seven years for
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SaaStr Podcast #199: Jon Stein, Founder & CEO @ Betterment on The 3 Key Roles For A SaaS CEO

Welcome to Episode 199! on Stein is the Founder & CEO @ Betterment, the online financial adviser built for people who refuse to settle for average investing. To date, Jon has raised $275m in VC funding with Betterment from the likes of Bessemer Ventures Partners, Menlo Ventures, Kinnevik and Francisco Partners, just to name a few. Prior to founding Betterment, Jon spent 4 years as a consultant at First Manhattan Consulting Group where he really honed his experience in working with banks and brokers including revitalizing a bank in Australia with the launch of a best-in-market auto-finance offering, resulting in 50% lift to revenue. As a result of his phenomenal success with Betterment Jon has won many awards including Fortune’s 40 Under 40. In Today’s Episode We Discuss:
  • How Jon made his way into the world of startups and came to found democratize the world of investing with Betterment?
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What’s Your Loss Rate? You Really Should Know.

A ways back on SaaStr, we wrote a classic post, Beware of the Confidence of High Win Rates.  It’s something I see again and again, especially below $2m in ARR or so.  A start-up says they have a lot of problems, but winning deals isn’t one of them.  That they win every deal they are in.  Well, of course these early stage start-ups win all these deals.  Because they are only invited to just a very small percentage of the dances. So ultimately, it’s healthy and positive to see win rates decline after $1m-$2m.  That means your mini-brand is coming into its own, prospects are starting to hear about you, and that marketing, one way or another, is starting to work.  You are getting into more deals that you aren’t ready for.  That’s OK.  You’ll learn from the ones you lose,
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20 Ways World Class B2B SaaS Companies Grow

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on the New Breed blog here Every SaaS business experiences some challenges as they try to grow. The landscape is constantly evolving, making it difficult to predict the best ways to move the company forward. To help you navigate through this complexity, we identified the top 20 activities best-in-class SaaS companies are doing today to grow their businesses.

1. Cultivate Positive Company Culture

This has less to do with hosting a dynamite office party and everything to do with the perspective and values you cultivate within your workforce. Mutual respect goes a long way toward forging strong and productive alliances. In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the need for esteem and belonging are key motivational determinants of our behavior. Lack of recognition is cited as the number-one reason most Americans leave their jobs (ranking above money, conflicting opportunities or a need for increased
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Top 5 Reasons to Come to the SaaStr Annual 2019


There’s something really magical that happens when you gather with your peers. People with the same interests, the same challenges, the same unknowns.  Folks who not only understand you, but also thrive in a the same state of startup terror or euphoria.  
While SaaStr Annual has massively grown over the past few years, from 1,600 in 2015 to 12,500 in 2019, the core of what makes it great remains the same – gather with your tribe, share that knowing nod, and learn from each other. Unless you’ve been there, it’s really hard to explain how electric the atmosphere is.  It is, after all, a conference with founders talking about the scintillating topic of enterprise software. It should be a snoozefest, and yet it’s anything but.   But don’t take our word for it, check out what your peers had to say below. And though there are many great reasons to
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Customer Growth: Why Lack Of Expansion Is A Really Bad Sign

Customers buying more from you is awesome. I mean, you’re in business here and getting customers you’ve already acquired to expand their relationship with you just seems like a super-efficient way to grow. And it is. So when you have customers that don’t expand their relationship with you, it’s obvious that this is less-than-ideal revenue-wise. But it’s more than that. So much more than that. Let’s dig in, shall we? First, you must understand that expansion is part of the customer’s journey toward success. Think about this… what do you sell customers on initially? It’s most likely “do business with us, and you’ll become a better version of yourself.” We’ve all seen the Mario==>Super Mario meme. So your customers come in assuming, since they bought your product or service, that they’re going to make that transformation. But… most companies drop the ball right there. They don’t follow-through on that
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Account Expansion: If You Want To Grow Fast, Do This…

If you want to grow fast, don’t do what most companies do! When most companies want to eke out some quick incremental growth, they’ll often have their sales people turn to their existing customer base to make some sales. After all, you have a captive audience that you can sell to with little to no real effort, right? Yeah… and you’ll get little to no real results, too. Look, your existing customer base IS incredibly valuable… assuming you leverage that asset the right way. Most companies handle Account Expansion poorly and therefore experience very poor results. If you don’t want to be like most companies and to actually grow fast, leaving incremental growth for the other guys, and doing so in a customer-centric (and therefore sustainable!) way, continue reading. This post could change your business. Seriously. Want to grow fast? Have one team dedicated to bringing in net new
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