It’s Time To Start Getting an Uber/Lyft Rating for Sales Reps. And Paying Them Based On It.

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.
  • A third vendor, the rep
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LinkedIn Names SaaStr #1 Voice in Startups & Entrepreneurship!

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!!!
These are the 10 must-know writers and creators driving Continue reading "LinkedIn Names SaaStr #1 Voice in Startups & Entrepreneurship!"

Meet VCs from Bessemer, Sapphire, August, Emergence, Creandum, Bain, Scale, Iconiq and Many More at SaaStr Big Holiday Party THIS Thursday

It’s almost here! The once-a-year SaaStr Huge Holiday Party!  This Thursday November 15th from 3pm-10pm.   We’ll start off with mentoring and networking at 3pm, and amazing sessions on scaling your business and getting funding with Bessemer, Mixmax, Gainsight and Cloudflare at 4pm!  Then the band and drinks and more at 6pm. Come early to meet the top VCs in SaaS!  We’ll have investors from Bessemer, Sapphire, August, Emergence, Creandum, Bain, Scale, Next World, Iconiq, Canaan, Foundationand tons of other leaders. See you then!  Come the Big Holiday for the friends and mentors.  Stay for the amazing learnings lessions.  And they don’t go until you are funded! We have over 720 already registered and are at max capacity!  Grab one of the last tickets here. The post Meet VCs from Bessemer, Sapphire, August, Emergence, Creandum, Bain, Scale, Iconiq and Many More at SaaStr Big Continue reading "Meet VCs from Bessemer, Sapphire, August, Emergence, Creandum, Bain, Scale, Iconiq and Many More at SaaStr Big Holiday Party THIS Thursday"

The Top 3 Critera for Hiring Your First Head of Sales

We’ve talked a lot on SaaStr about hiring that first VP of Sales.

But what if you can’t find the right person, and you’ve spend months looking.  What risks should you take when you’ve realized Ms or Mr Perfect just isn’t going to happen rigbt now?  At some point, you have to take more risk.  I’d boil it down to 3 factors.  If your risky candidate passes all 3 critera, and you haven’t found your “true VP” after 4-5 months (possibly less), I’d go ahead and make the hire:

#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 making them your director of sales or first “head of sales”. 95%+ of great individual contributor reps have zero experience hiring. Do you want to be the company Continue reading "The Top 3 Critera for Hiring Your First Head of Sales"

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,
Continue reading "What’s Your Loss Rate? You Really Should Know."

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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New This Year at Annual! SaaStr Nights! 10 Venues. 4 City Blocks. 100% All Fun.

We’ve worked out a formula the past 5 years at SaaStr Annual.com, with a “Big Party” for everyone on Wednesday night, and break-out parties on Tuesday night, and smaller evening gatherings on Monday (before kick-off) and Thursday (last day). The Tuesday night parties have always been fun but a bit chaotic as we’ve struggled to figure out how to host them, where, etc.  So we’re rebooting it all this year to make things much better. We’re adding “SaaStr Nights”.  On Tuesday Feb 5, we’re shutting down four entire blocks, the entire San Jose Arts District, which is next door to the venue.  Just for us.  The best and coolest part of the city will be All SaaStr (more or less) and 10+ cool venues all on the same street and block will be reserved just for SaaStr Annual attendees that evening.  Even venue will
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Olivier Pomel, CEO of Datadog: How to Build and Sell a Product that Customers Love (Video + Transcript)

 Co-Founder at Plato, Jean-Baptiste Coger (JB), held a session with CEO at Datadog, Olivier Pomel, at SaaStr Europa. Pomel focuses his talk on making your SaaS startup customer-centric. He talks about how event marketing has helped him integrate his engineering and sales teams. He also talks about product managers and ways to utilize them effectively. Lastly, he provides his piece of advice to all founders that are looking to become customer-centric. What’s your take? Also, if you didn’t attend SaaStr Europa, we’re having it again in 2019. Don’t miss out on the chance to get your tickets. 🙂 Transcript CEO @ Datadog | Olivier Pomel
Co-Founder @ Plato | Jean-Baptiste Coger JB: My name is JB, I’m one of the founders of PLATO. So I start with a simple question. How many of you guys’ product rely on the highly functioning engineering team? Yeah, everyone, right? So that’s pretty Continue reading "Olivier Pomel, CEO of Datadog: How to Build and Sell a Product that Customers Love (Video + Transcript)"

SaaStr Annual 2019 Will Rock! Check Out the Agenda and Sessions

saastr annual 2019 agenda It’s here! The day eager SaaStr superfans have been waiting for — that’s right, we’re giving you the first look at the SaaStr Annual 2019 Agenda and Sessions! For the 5th ever SaaStr Annual, we’re going bigger and better than ever before with more speakers, content, space … basically more of everything you loved about coming to SaaStr Annual in previous years. In 2019, we’ll have 5 stages and a bonus AMA stage, with more seating in +40 hours of sessions at our new space— the San Jose Convention Center. 100 speakers have already been added to our incredible lineup, and we’re just getting warmed up! With so many new Unicorn speakers coming to share their story with the SaaStr community, trust us when we say you won’t want to miss the great content. Here’s how the SaaStr Annual 2019 agenda is shaping up so far: Day 1 will be devoted Continue reading "SaaStr Annual 2019 Will Rock! Check Out the Agenda and Sessions"