SaaStr Podcast #152: Lars Nilsson, VP of Global Inside Sales @ Cloudera on Why SDRs Are The Most Important Role In The Sales Function

Lars Nilsson is the VP of Global Inside Sales for Cloudera, and with over twenty-five years of sales and operations experience, Lars Nilsson is a global leader in enterprise software and selling solutions. As one of Lars many incredible achievements, he and his team at Cloudera built the sales methodology Account-Based Sales Development (ABSD), which has transformed how businesses approach high-value targets. Prior to Cloudera, Lars founded SalesSource, a business services consulting firm specializing in CRM customization and sales process development. Lars has also served in sales executive roles at ArcSight/Hewlett Packard, Riverbed Technology, and Portal Software – all three of which achieved IPOs, in addition to Cloudera (2017). As Special Advisor at True Ventures, Lars helps True portfolio companies develop sales compensation plans from the ground up, implement best-of-breed sales technologies, and rapidly scale sales teams to meet demand. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

Building Your 1st Outbound Team: How To Get It Right the First Time (Video + Transcript)

Everyone wants to know how to build a functioning outbound team that brings in the right leads. So what do you need to know about building your first outbound team in order to get it right the first time? Aaron Ross of Predictable Revenue leads this eye-opening discussion with Ryan Donahue, Sales Development Manager of Venminder; Andrew Berger, Director of Sales Development at Square; and Alicia Anderson, Sales Strategy at Captivate. The panelists delve into how long you can expect it to take to get your team to be productive (it varies greatly!), the mistakes they made that you should avoid, which tools are the best ones for SDRs to use and more. And if you haven’t heard: SaaStr Annual will be back in 2018, bigger and better than ever! Join 10,000 fellow founders, investors and execs for 3 days of unparalleled networking and epic learnings from SaaS legends
Continue reading "Building Your 1st Outbound Team: How To Get It Right the First Time (Video + Transcript)"

SaaStr Podcast #149: Jack Altman, Founder & CEO @ Lattice Shares 2 Fundamental Challenges To Rapid Scaling in SaaS

Jack Altman is the Founder & CEO of Lattice, the #1 performance management solution for growing companies.They have raised close to $10m in funding from some of our favourites in industry including the likes of Miles Grimshaw @ Thrive, Khosla Ventures, Elad Gil, Alexis Ohanian, and YC’s Daniel Gross. Prior to founding Lattice, Jack was the Head of Business Development at Teespring where he saw the firm move into hyper scaling. Jack has also built an incredible angel portfolio including the likes of Gusto, OpenDoor, Instacart, Zenefits, and Soylent. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

SaaStr Podcast #135: Auren Hoffman, Founder & CEO @ Safegraph on Why Raising Prices Is Not A Good Idea

Welcome to Episode 135! Auren Hoffman is the Founder & CEO of Safegraph, the startup that is unlocking the world’s most powerful data so that machines and humans can answer society’s toughest questions. They have backing from likes of Naval Ravikant and prior guests of the show including SignalFire, IDG Ventures, and David Rodnitzky, just to name a few. Prior to Safegraph, Auren has an astonishing 5 successful exits under his belt with one being, LiveRamp (sold to Acxiom for $310m in 2014). If that was not enough, Auren is also a prolific angel investor with a portfolio including the likes of ThumbTack, Rainforest QA, Brightroll, and Groupon. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

Michele Law (Castlight Health, OpenDNS) + Mark Roberge (HBS, Hubspot): Sales Mistakes that Can Kill Your SaaS Business How to Avoid Them (Video + Transcript)

Building a well-oiled sales machine in SaaS is no easy feat. Mark Roberge, Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School and former CRO at Hubspot, and Michele Law, former CRO at Castlight Health and former COO at OpenDNS, take the stage to talk about the top four sales mistakes that could ruin your SaaS business. But what’s more important than understanding what these mistakes are? Knowing how to rectify them, or even better, avoiding them altogether. One of the mistakes that Mike and Michele made was growing too fast. We can all agree that growing too fast can potentially destroy a business, as ironic as it may be. It’s not just about hiring as many sales reps as possible so your revenue balloons uncontrollably, but understanding the stages going into growth, when and who to hire, and more. Check out the video and full transcript to learn more about the other
Continue reading "Michele Law (Castlight Health, OpenDNS) + Mark Roberge (HBS, Hubspot): Sales Mistakes that Can Kill Your SaaS Business How to Avoid Them (Video + Transcript)"

SaaStr Podcast #131: Jens Nylander, Founder and CEO @ Automile Shares The Secret To Selling To SMBs

Welcome to Episode 131! Jens Nylander is the Founder and CEO of Automile, the startup that makes fleet and asset management much much easier. They have backing from some of the best in the business, including the Godfather of SaaS himself, Jason Lemkin, the wonderful team at Point Nine, Justin Kan and Dawn Capital in London. As for Jens, he really is a serial entrepreneur with past endeavors including creating Sweden’s largest music player and founding Jays, the manufacturer and developer of innovative headphones that went public and is listed on the NASDAQ.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

* How did Jens make his way into the world of SaaS and come to found Automile?

* How does Jens look to build a repeatable scalable sales process with Automile? What are the core infrastructure requirements needed to make the process as automated as possible?

* How does Jens evaluate selling Continue reading "SaaStr Podcast #131: Jens Nylander, Founder and CEO @ Automile Shares The Secret To Selling To SMBs"

One Tough (But Rewarding) Job: Being the First Sales Rep at a SaaS Startup

Ah, the first sales rep.

Being the first salesperson into a start-up in a rewarding — but very tough job:

  • Your Founder Boss likely will never have managed a salesperson before. She likely won’t know what you are supposed to do 40+ hours a week.
  • Your Founder Boss may have strong views on what you should be doing. Which may be wrong. Whichever founder was doing sales, likely thinks that may be the way to do sales going forward. Which it may well not be.
  • Your Founder Boss may think you are very expensive. If the founders are making almost nothing, coming in with a high OTE (“on target earnings”) may make you, on paper at least, the most expensive employee in the company. This can create a lot of pressure to deliver, quickly.
  • Your Founder Boss may have unrealistic ramp expectations. Great salespeople should ramp quickly. But they can’t
    Continue reading "One Tough (But Rewarding) Job: Being the First Sales Rep at a SaaS Startup"

SaaStr Podcast #119: Mark Roberge, Former CRO @ Hubspot & Michele Law, Former COO @ OpenDNS Discuss The Sales Mistakes That Can Kill Your Startup & How To Avoid Them

Welcome to Episode 119! Mark Roberge is a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School where he teaches entrepreneurial sales and marketing. Prior to his role with HBS, Mark was the Chief Revenue Officer at Hubspot where he increased revenue over 6,000% and expanded the team from 1 to 450 employees. As a result, Mark has been named Forbes’ Top 30 Social Sellers in the World and awarded the 2010 Salesperson of the Year by MIT.

Michele Law is an investor and advisor specialising in building and executing on go to market strategies, creating new revenue models and the operations to support them. Michelle has sat on both sides of the table having been a Principal at Greylock for 8 years before moving to be COO at OpenDNS where she led the sales and customer success team growing enterprise revenue from $0 to $20M ARR in 4 years, prior to the company’s acquisition Continue reading "SaaStr Podcast #119: Mark Roberge, Former CRO @ Hubspot & Michele Law, Former COO @ OpenDNS Discuss The Sales Mistakes That Can Kill Your Startup & How To Avoid Them"

SaaStr Podcast #116: Tim Eades CEO @ vArmour Shares The Most Important Metric For Your Startup

Welcome to Episode 116! Tim Eades is the CEO  at vArmour, the industry’s first distributed security system that provides application-aware micro-segmentation. Tim joined vArmour as CEO in October, 2013. Prior to that, he was the CEO at Silver Tail Systems until the company was acquired by RSA, the security division of EMC in late 2012. Prior to leading Silver Tail Systems, Tim was CEO of, an SMB focused SaaS company that was acquired by Proofpoint. Tim has also held sales and marketing executive leadership positions at BEA Systems, Sana Security, Phoenix Technologies and IBM. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

Outbound Always Works

These days, it can really feel like the Old Bag of Sales Tricks is starting to just not work anymore:
  • With maybe 500x the SaaS vendors of 10 years ago, there’s so much noise.
  • Emails get blocked, spam filtered.
  • No one even has voice mail anymore.
  • 50 calls a day feels awfully dated.
  • Everyone gets 10,000 drip email campaigns sent to them.
Are there categories where outbound just doesn’t work? Well maybe, but let’s step back a minute. One thing has not changed in SaaS in the last 10 years:
  • Everyone spends 1-10 hours a day in email.  Even more this days as we are glued to our phones.
  • Everyone needs solutions to their top 1 or 2 biggest problems.  Everyone.
send-bulk-email-marketing-2003The 10,000th uncustomized “did we meet at SaaStr Annual?” email is not going to work, at least not 99 times out of 100. But if you know Continue reading "Outbound Always Works"