Have Even Half-Decent Connect Rates? Double Down on Outbound Sales Early On

We’re going through a quiet revolution in sales processes now, where a combination of specialization, technology, and a segmentation are making the next generation of SaaS founders far better at figuring out and scaling sales than I or my peers ever were. On of the things the best founders are figuring out earlier than ever is how to invest in both outbound and inbound sales early.  In many ways, this was Rob-smiling-on-phonethe core message of Aaron Ross’ Predictable Revenue.  When I first met Aaron, probably way back in ’07, his main point was simply: Add Outbound.  Best case, it can be epic.  Worst case, it will at least add a layer, a new revenue stream at a least (more on that here).  Worst case, if you have happy customers and any reasonably sized ACV, outbound should at least be a way to squeeze another 10-20% of revenue out per year. Continue reading "Have Even Half-Decent Connect Rates? Double Down on Outbound Sales Early On"

At $50k in MRR, Running Out of Money Is No Longer an Excuse

We’ve talked a lot about SaaStr on the challenges in getting from nothing to that first $1m-$1.5m in ARR, “Initial Traction”.  That is takes longer than you think.  That if you get 10 customers, you can get another 10, 100, and so on. There’s a particular moment in time I want to focus on here on the path to Initial Traction.  It’s when there isn’t enough revenue to make it, to get there.  But there’s too much that you just can’t quit.  You can’t.  Period. I think that’s around $50k MRR.  At this point — Money Is No Longer an Excuse. This doesn’t mean money isn’t an issue.  Money really won’t “not be an issue” usually until about $6-$8m ARR, sometimes later.  By that point, you’ll have enough cash coming in to fund the core team of 50-60 you need to properly run a SaaS company.  As you
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All Pricing is Relative. How To Make That Work in Your Favor.

You could spend days reading about pricing and pricing strategies in software on the web, but a lot of this content doesn’t really hit one, basic fundamental point — there is no real reason any particular piece of software should cost anything in particular.  Or something.  Or a lot.  Or anywhere in between.  Because it costs next to nothing to deliver. Facebook and Google are free — and both are better software than anything you’ll ever ship, my friends.  Evernote is dirt cheap.  Dropbox is cheap.  Box Enterprise isn’t.  Salesforce is fairly expensive.  Workday is really expensive.  All seven apps basically cost the same amount to build, host, serve, and ship.  Yes, enterprise software costs more to sell and support and, sometimes, to market than consumer software.  But so what?  Who cares?  The cost to ship the bits every time you log-in or hit refresh is about $0.0000232.  Real software has basically zero core
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How to Successfully Manage Your First VP of Sales (Guest Post)

I was catching up recently with one of my favorite sales leaders, Matt Cameron, and asked him what he thought the #1 thing he’d love to see on SaaStr.  And I asked him to write it :) He put together a great piece below on how CEOs/founders can learn to manage their first VP of Sales hire.  It’s a terrific list of flags to look for, and also, ways to manage a functional role you likely have never had to manage before. Matt was previously the WW Head of Corporate Sales at Yammer, VP of Sales at Kahuna, and a Director of Enterprise Sales for Salesforce.com. He enjoys building sales engines for high growth companies, which continues to be his passion. Jason — ed.

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Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 10.38.04 AMScreen Shot 2015-08-08 at 9.50.14 AMManaging a sales leader for the first time can be quite a challenge for any CEO – This article is intended as a basic guide Continue reading "How to Successfully Manage Your First VP of Sales (Guest Post)"

SaaS Financial Plan 2.0 (from Christoph Janz)

Recently on SaaStr, we did an important post on a simple Trailing Four Month Financial Model.  This is one of my best hacks.  If you average the growth rate over your last four months, and keep updating it — you’ll have a real-time model that keeps you honest.  More on that here. But what about just building a model in the first place?  I’ve seen terrible ones.  I’ve seen 100% Gross Margins.  I’ve seen terrible misunderstandings of the differences between MRR, ARR, and revenue. Get help.  Get at least an outsourced controller that has done SaaS. And if you don’t have a strong core financial model and plan — use Christoph Janz’s model here and below.  Christoph is my co-investor in Great SaaS companies, co-founder of Point Nine Capital, and just as passionate about the operating side of SaaS as any of us. I’m reproducing his post in its entirety
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