Visual Stories that Sell (Video + Transcript)

Well-known storytellers, Jason Katz – Chief Storyteller @ Pixar, and Peter Arvai – Co-Founder & CEO @ Prezi, held a powerful session on all things storytelling at SaaStr Annual 2018. Are you struggling with telling your founder story or pitching to VCs? These two provide valuable insights into actionable ways to improve your storytelling skills. Also, don’t miss out on discounted prices for SaaStr Annual 2019 tickets. Transcript   Peter Arvai: Hello everyone. Great to see you all and thanks for joining this session on visual stories that. My name is Peter Arvai. I’m the CEO and co-founder of Prezi. Our users have created the world’s largest database of publicly available presentations. We’re the only company that’s competing with PowerPoint and Google and Apple version of slides and we do something completely different where you can put all your images on one canvas and show the relationships between the ideas Continue reading "Visual Stories that Sell (Video + Transcript)"

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"

SaaStr Podcast #199: Jon Stein, Founder & CEO @ Betterment on The 3 Key Roles For A SaaS CEO

Welcome to Episode 199! on Stein is the Founder & CEO @ Betterment, the online financial adviser built for people who refuse to settle for average investing. To date, Jon has raised $275m in VC funding with Betterment from the likes of Bessemer Ventures Partners, Menlo Ventures, Kinnevik and Francisco Partners, just to name a few. Prior to founding Betterment, Jon spent 4 years as a consultant at First Manhattan Consulting Group where he really honed his experience in working with banks and brokers including revitalizing a bank in Australia with the launch of a best-in-market auto-finance offering, resulting in 50% lift to revenue. As a result of his phenomenal success with Betterment Jon has won many awards including Fortune’s 40 Under 40. In Today’s Episode We Discuss:
  • How Jon made his way into the world of startups and came to found democratize the world of investing with Betterment?
Continue reading "SaaStr Podcast #199: Jon Stein, Founder & CEO @ Betterment on The 3 Key Roles For A SaaS CEO"

7 Of The Most Common Mistakes Made Building Your First Sales Team

A few key mistakes I see start-ups making > 50% of the time:

  • Hiring Early Reps (#1 – #3) That You Personally Wouldn’t Buy From. Don’t hire someone with the right resume. Hire someone you’d buy your own product from. Later, once you have a real sales leader on board, she may hire folks you personally wouldn’t buy from. And that’s OK. But it won’t work out while you are Interim VP of Sales.
  • Hiring your first VP of Sales from a Fancy Tech Company That’s Actually Not Remotely a Startup Anymore. They almost certainly haven’t actually done what you need them to do before. A little more here: The 48 Types of VP Sales. Make Deadly Sure You Hire the Right One. | SaaStr
  • Hiring a Stretch VP of Sales Who Has Never Hired Quota-Hitting Reps Before. A stretch VP is fine, but someone who has never hired a Continue reading "7 Of The Most Common Mistakes Made Building Your First Sales Team"

Meet a New Mentor — Mentorship at the SaaStr Big Holiday Party Th Nov 15!

We’ll be doing a Big Holiday Party this Thursday November 15.  We’ll have great cocktails, treats, and terrific sessions from top speakers. But more than that, we’ll kick things off at 3pm with formal mentorship and match-making.  Come meet another great CEO, VP, or even a terrific VC. We’ll be matching attendees up with other birds of a feather and more, so you’re guaranteed to meet a handful of other incredible executives.  Sign up here!   The post Meet a New Mentor — Mentorship at the SaaStr Big Holiday Party Th Nov 15! appeared first on SaaStr.

SaaStr Podcast #198: Maria Pergolino, CMO @ Anaplan On How To Create True Alignment Between Sales and Marketing

Welcome to Episode 198! Maria Pergolino is the CMO @ Anaplan, the company that allows you to accelerate decision-making with effective planning. To date, Anaplan have raised over $299m in funding from the likes of Meritech, Salesforce Ventures, Shasta, DFJ Growth and more incredible names. As for Maria, prior to Anaplan, Maria was Senior Vice President of Global Marketing and Sales Development at Apttus, where she directed go-to-market strategy, sales development, customer advocacy, demand generation, strategic events and communications initiatives. She also has held leadership positions at Marketo, Shunra Software (acquired by Hewlett-Packard), and Chubb Ltd. It’s also important to note, Maria is renowned for building world-class teams that drive growth, product differentiation, and category development. In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

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)"

Growing, But Too Slowly? Try Micromilestones

When I was CEO at EchoSign, I made a big strategic error in Year 1.  I set an insane plan of going from $0m to $2m in ARR in our first 12 months in business.  It wasn’t because I couldn’t build a model — the model was sound.  The mistake was a combination of not knowing enough about SaaS back then, and also having incredible confidence in the team’s past track record.  I thought we had the best of the best and we’d hit the number for sure.  There was no doubt in my mind, in fact. And of course we didn’t get to $2m by Day 365.  But we did hit almost $200k in Year 1.  It wasn’t something, and it wasn’t that terrible, relative to the times, in Year 1 from launch.  But the team was dejected.  It quickly became
Continue reading "Growing, But Too Slowly? Try Micromilestones"

The Road to Building a 100 Year Company (Video + Transcript)

General Partner at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers, Mamoon Hamid, and CEO at Netskope, Sanjay Beri, talk about building your company for 100+ years. Sanjay discusses scaling your culture throughout your journey. He also shares his tips on hiring in the fight-for-talent job market. Also, don’t miss out on discounted prices for SaaStr Annual 2019 tickets. Transcript Mamoon Hamid: Good afternoon everyone. So nice to see you all. I can’t actually see you all because the lights are shining in my eyes. I’m so happy to have here a friend and a colleague, Sanjay Beri. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Sanjay for over five years, maybe even six years now, and got a chance to invest and work with Sanjay right out of the gate when he started Netskope back in 2012. Mamoon Hamid: A few months ago I went off his board, so now I get to see Continue reading "The Road to Building a 100 Year Company (Video + Transcript)"