How You Can Help Your Sales Team in 2018

Hopefully you are closing the year out strong.  Even if you are coming up a bit short, there’s one thing I do know.  If you have a good sales team, they are leaving nothing on the table.  They won’t go home until 11:59 on December 31.  They’re going to do everything they can to hit the plan, or exceed it. (If they aren’t — you need a new VP of Sales). Then January 2 will come, and the team will be exhausted, at least the managers will be.  I don’t mean physically.  They will rest up over the holiday.  But the fact that the Closed/Won dials in Salesforce will roll all the way back to $0 for the year on Jan 1 … that’s tough.  Oh man.  Whatever great work the sales team did in 2017 will be 100% behind them
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A Deep Dive on Pricing with DataStax, CircleCi, and Fastly @ Heavybit

The other day our great friends at Heavybit invited me to moderate a pricing session at their terrific Pricing Strategy conference. It was a very honest discussion on the learnings of how to get discounting to work, how to roll out additional products, how to align a sales team on the company’s goal, and much more.  DataStax, CircleCi and Fastly are all pretty impressive companies in eight figures of ARR we can all learn a lot from their founders/CEOs. It’s a good one and definitely worth a watch, click below! [p.s. yes i know it was a manel.  there are some other great, and more diverse sessions, to check out as well.  click below for more!] The post A Deep Dive on Pricing with DataStax, CircleCi, and Fastly @ Heavybit appeared first on SaaStr.

The Only Exit “Strategy” Is IPO

A few times a week, I am sent a deck or exec summary that includes an “Exit Strategy”.  The slide sometimes references a nice acquisition by an adjacent company, or a prior competitor or player in the space.  It’s all fine and good, though I recommend just passing on making one of these slides.  They often suggest you aren’t really Going Big.  Which is OK … but it’s not what VCs and investors want to see. But there’s a more important points here.  Exits are rare in general.  Big acquisitions don’t happen every day. For a particularly visceral summary of that, looks at Dan Primack summary of Apple’s top acquisitions here:   This is Apple we are talking about.  Apple is closing in on a One Trillion Dollar market cap.  It can buy anything.  And this is a company founded in
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How to Cope With Long Sales Cycles

Few things will frustrate you more in the early days than long sales cycles on bigger deals.  A great logo will come in … but they’ll talk about maybe deploying at the end of the year.  Maybe.  You’ll feel like you just don’t have the time for a 6, 9 or even 12 month sales cycle when you’re struggling just to put the first few points on the board.  You’ll feel like any customer you can’t close this month, or at least this quarter, is tantamount to a forever. My #1 bit of advice?  Get past it — fast.  You have to think about Going Long even in the very earliest days.  Even when if you’re honest, you’re not even sure you’ll make it another quarter.  Because longer sales cycles are just part-and-parcel of larger checks.  And for most of us,
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Rough Year? Don’t Hide.

We’re in the final stretches of the year, and hopefully, you already met the plan for the year back in November.  Things are good.  Everyone is thinking about the Stretch plan, or even, the Super Stretch plan. I hope so. But the reality is, a lot of you will have had a rough year.  Even a Year of Hell (more on that here).  We all have at least one.  I sure did. And for most of us, there’s one natural reaction: Hide.  Put your head down, and grind it out.  Try and get that one more customer in the door.  Push harder.  Analyze that data more.  Cut the burn.  Lay low and just “focus” until you can get growth back on track.  Stare at that monitor, until you figure it out. It’s natural, but please, don’t do Continue reading "Rough Year? Don’t Hide."

If Nothing Else – Segment Churn

A curious thing happened on the way to SaaS in 2017.  Everyone became an expert in churn. Your churn rate should be 0.123909% per month.  It should be net negative.  You need to retain 118% of your revneue.  Etcetera, etcetera.  You will get a lot of advice here. Most of these insights are directionally accurate, but here’s the thing.  Churn is not a GAAP metric.  It doesn’t have a universal definition.  In fact, Christoph Janz had a great post the other day noting how even public companies define churn differently.  Read it here: I learned this myself starting out as a SaaS CEO.  I compared us to the only public company in our space, and noted a curious thing.  This public company did break out churn in their public documents (not every company does).  But they excluded
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The Top 10 Pieces of Advice I’d Give to My Younger CEO Self

Recently a post on Twitter had my reflecting on the top advice I’d give to my younger CEO self: I missed one of the key Top 10 points — I ran out of 240 characters on Twitter), but thought it might be worth breaking them down in more detail on SaaStr below:
  1. Go Long.
This can be hard.  The first start-up I ever joined as an employee was quickly acquired for $200m, which became $1 billion (!) by the time the deal closed, we IPO’d … and then our acquirer went bankrupt.  Poof.  I lost $12,000,000 on paper in 12 months, and it went to $0.  Boy that was hard.  To lose it all. It was tough to recover from that.  And even harder to think about Going Long.  Instead, it sort of makes you think about taking the First Good
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