SaaStr Podcast #038: Fred Stevens-Smith, Co-Founder & CEO @ Rainforest QA Discusses The Transition from Founder to CEO and Firing Fast

podcast-featured-38-stevens-smith1Welcome to Episode 38! Fred Stevens-Smith is the Co-Founder & CEO Rainforest QA. If you listened to 20VC with Byron Deeter, you will remember he discussed Rainforest and their amazing trajectory. So for QA first, it is essentially QA as a service making it fast and easy to test your webapp in multiple browsers, and they are backed by some of the best as we said there–Byron Deeter of Bessemer, our own Jason Lemkin, Y Combinator, previous guest Kris Duggan of Betterworks and Marc Benioff just to name a few. As for Fred, he is the man at the helm as Co-Founder & CEO, and absolutely smashing it, I might add. In the show, Fred mentions his favorite reading material to be Jason Lemkin and Aaron Ross’s new book From Impossible to Inevitable: How Hypergrowth Companies Create Predictable Revenue, and if you have not read that, that is a must and can be found here!Fred_Stevens-Smith

In Continue reading "SaaStr Podcast #038: Fred Stevens-Smith, Co-Founder & CEO @ Rainforest QA Discusses The Transition from Founder to CEO and Firing Fast"

The Official SaaStr Podcast #034: Cailen D’sa, Head of Sales @ Front (Formerly of Dropbox and Box) Discusses How to Master the Freemium SaaS Model

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Welcome to Episode 34! I am delighted to welcome the new Head of Sales at Front, Cailen D’sa, to The Official SaaStr Podcast today. Cailen might just be the Head of Sales every SaaS startup founder is dreaming of having, previously been the first sales hire at Dropbox where he launched Dropbox’s first B2B product. Prior to that he was a director at Box where he helped pioneer and operationalize the freemium land-and-expand sales model, which is now a core SaaS sales methodology. Now if you enjoy the episode with Cailen today and want to hear more from him then you must head over to Front’s blog where you can find Mathilde Collin’s written interview with Cailen.Cailen_DSa

In this episode with Cailen you will learn:
How did Cailen come to be the first Sales hire at Dropbox? What was it about Front that enticed him?
What were Cailen’s biggest takeaways from his time at Dropbox Continue reading "The Official SaaStr Podcast #034: Cailen D’sa, Head of Sales @ Front (Formerly of Dropbox and Box) Discusses How to Master the Freemium SaaS Model"

The Official SaaStr Podcast #030: Harry Glaser, Co-Founder @ Periscope Data On Building & Training a Non-technical Sales Team

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Welcome to Episode 30! I am delighted to welcome my first ever Harry to the show today in the form of Harry Glaser, Co-Founder & CEO Periscope Data, the worlds fast analysis suite providing data analysts with the tools they need to improve their analysis by over 150X,  and an astonishing fact here–they have doubled their revenue every 3 months ever since launch. Periscope’s investors include Ellen Pao, Matt Ocko @ Data Collective, Chad Byers @ Susa Ventures, Wes Chan @ Felicis, Benjamin Ling at Khosla and many more. Also in the show today, we mention Jason Lemkin and Aaron Ross’s new book From Impossible to Inevitable: How Hypergrowth Companies Create Predictable Revenue and if you have not read that, that is a must and can be found here!Harry_Glaser

In today’s episode with Harry we discuss:
How Harry came to be the founder of Periscope Data and what the a-ha moment Continue reading "The Official SaaStr Podcast #030: Harry Glaser, Co-Founder @ Periscope Data On Building & Training a Non-technical Sales Team"

The Official SaaStr Podcast #026: Bill Binch, Former SVP of Sales @ Marketo On How to Hire & Motivate the Best Sales Team

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Welcome to Episode 26! Bill Binch is a leader and expert in the SaaS sales industry. Bill was the Senior Vice President of Global Sales at Marketo for 8 years. He joined when it was a small venture-backed startup with a mission to reinvent marketing automation. It was his sales leadership and expertise that formed a critical component in building Marketo into one of the fastest-growing enterprise software companies in the world, recognized through his being awarded worldwide VP of sales in 2011.

In today’s show with Bill we discuss: What were Bill’s biggest takeaways from his time scaling the sales organisation at Marketo?Bill_Binch Why did Bill find it enticing selling to sales and marketers with Marketo? How can startups go about approaching the topic of the sales cycle? What does the right cadence look like? How can sales leaders look to establish a quota that is achievable and confident? Why Continue reading "The Official SaaStr Podcast #026: Bill Binch, Former SVP of Sales @ Marketo On How to Hire & Motivate the Best Sales Team"

The Official SaaStr Podcast #022: Russ Hearl, VP of Sales @ Datahug On What Makes a Great Sales Leader

podcast-twitter-22-hearl Welcome to Episode 22! I am so excited to welcome Russ Hearl, Head of Sales at Datahug. Datahug is a pipeline management and forecasting solution within Salesforce and backed by the likes of DFJ and Salesforce Ventures. Prior to Datahug, Russ was the VP of Sales at DoubleDutch where he built a sales machine that delivered over 1,500 new customer wins and took the business from $0 to over $20 million ARR in less than three years. A true thought leader in sales optimization and selling velocity. In Today’s Episode You Will Discover:hearl_russ What makes a great SaaS sales leader? How can you spot the BS and the façade of someone who does not have what it takes? How do the best leaders run 1-on-1s with their reps? How can leaders optimize this time and interaction? Is there anything they should avoid in the process? ? How can sales leaders go about Continue reading "The Official SaaStr Podcast #022: Russ Hearl, VP of Sales @ Datahug On What Makes a Great Sales Leader"

When the Player-Coach is Just That. And No More.

We’ve talked a lot on SaaStr about not screwing up that VP of Sales hire.  Done right, it will accelerate your company to the next level.  Done wrong — you can lose the better part of a year, and half of your last round of capital. And we’ve talked a lot about the trade-offs in the hire, including how to think about Stretch VPs … the ones that haven’t quite done it yet, but working for you is their shot. luke-walton The reality is, most of you are going to hire a Stretch VP for your first VP of Sales, or at least, your first VP of Sales that works out.  More on that here and here.  Otherwise, you’ll probably be stuck with a Failed VP, or someone from Too Big a Company that never did it, etc. etc. Once you’ve made the hire, then you have make sure you’ve got Continue reading "When the Player-Coach is Just That. And No More."

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)"