When You Need a CMO. And The #1 Reason CMOs Fail.

To many of you, “CMO” will seem like an almost silly title.  At say $2m in ARR, when you’re just figuring our demand gen, SDRs and BDRs and all that … why would you need a CMO?  You need a VP of Demand Gen!  Maybe a VP of Marketing.  But the last thing you probably need is a fancy title running around, spouting marketing-ism. But over time, things will change.  Roughly, once you (x) have an established brand, and (y) have a marketing engine that is working, and (z) most importantly, once demand gen has finally become somewhat routine … you’ll need a CMO.  Because you’ll need a marketing quarterback.  Most CMOs aren’t demand gen gurus.  Some are, but even if they were, they’ve often left the details a bit behind.  But you’ll need someone to manage a diverse team of
Continue reading "When You Need a CMO. And The #1 Reason CMOs Fail."

Champion Change: You Gotta Jump On It

One of the most subtly stressful parts of running a SaaS company, or any company with larger customers, is Champion Change.  When the key stakeholder at your customer who brought you in, shepparded the deal, baked you into their business process … leaves. Your champions may on average stay ~24 months (I’m making this average tenure up, but it sounds about right).  Once you have 10 or 20 key customers, then every few months, you are going to be losing a top champion.  That can be tough. But it’s worse than that:  many times, the moment a new stakeholder comes in to replace your champion — you’ve already lost the customer.  Why?  Well, especially if you are in a competitive space, that new Director / VP / CIO whatever may have another vendor she is already close to, that she wants to bring with her Continue reading "Champion Change: You Gotta Jump On It"

Building Customer Empathy Through Storytelling and Creativity with MailChimp (Video + Transcript)

In this session from Annual 2018, MailChimp CMO Tom Klein shares his advice for how to build customer empathy by using storytelling and creativity. And in case you haven’t heard, we’re building a completely immersive experience for SaaStr Annual 2019! With 3 full days of sessions, featuring over 300 speakers from the best SaaS companies around the world, SaaStr Annual will be filled with actionable thought leadership to help grow your business. Get your tickets to the SaaS show everyone will be talking about! Announcer:  Please welcome Ann‑Marie Alcántara, Tech Reporter at Adweek, and Tom Klein, CMO at MailChimp. [music] Ann‑Marie Alcántara: Hello, welcome, everyone. This is very official. Let’s start this off, Tom. Tom Klein: All righty. Ann‑Marie: Tell us about yourself, where you work, your title. Tom: Yeah, I’m Tom Klein. I am the Chief Marketing Officer of MailChimp. That Continue reading "Building Customer Empathy Through Storytelling and Creativity with MailChimp (Video + Transcript)"

A High Growth SaaS Playbook – 12 Metrics to Drive Success

I recently gave a talk at the 2018 SaaStock NYC conference in June. I had two goals I wanted to accomplish, present a simple model to understand SaaS business and to show a simple model of a SaaS business and to show the key levers a CEO can pull to achieve the greatest impact on their business....

Assume the Customer Knows Everything

Recently, as SaaStr itself has turned into a real business, with a real team, and eight figures in revenue, it’s caused me to focus and challenge some prior assumptions I’ve made. There’s one new rule I’ve come up with to help unite sales, customer success, marketing and product:  Assume Every Customer Knows.  Everything. By that, I mean:
  • Make sure your sales team assumes every customer knows everyone else’s discounts.  This ensures they are at least fair, and in the end, which will lead to higher NPS and net revenue retention.  If you are giving Facebook a crazy deal at $50k and quoting Google the same deal at $250k, is that OK?  If it is, so be it.  But assume at your first customer conference, on a webinar they do to help you, on a recommendation call … that eventually at least, they all know.  Continue reading "Assume the Customer Knows Everything"

10 Hacks to Have Happier Investors

We’ve crossed 3,000 posts and answers on SaaStr and I’ve yet to write one on How to Have a Great Board Meeting, or most other VC tropes.  I will write that post, soon, however, just from a founder perspective.  But I thought it might be useful to assemble a “Top 10” list of things that are relatively easy to do, that will make your investors and board happier.  Even if your board is just a tax, even if your investors never help, your life will still be better and easier if they are happier. So here’s my list of Top 10 Suggestions:
  • Send out Monthly Investor Updates — 48 Hours After the Month Ends.  This is your best hack.  The key here is not to spend a ton of time on it.  You should already know your MRR, cash burn, NPS, all your key
    Continue reading "10 Hacks to Have Happier Investors"

From A(ccel) to Z(uora): What Went Down at SaaStr Europa 2018

Last week was a whirlwind in Paris, and it all culminated in the epic event that was our very first SaaStr Europa. And boy, what a trip. There was the spectacular backdrop provided by the historic venue, the 1600+ SaaStr fans taking advantage of a multitude of networking opportunities, the incredible lineup of speakers, the delicious French food, the action-packed expo hall—every aspect of the day came together to create a truly unforgettable experience. saastr-europa-paris From learning about how to grow a startup across the pond to hearing best practices for aligning sales and marketing around the same business goals—not to mention Braindates and hobnobbing with the international SaaSt community at large—there was plenty to soak in at this first-of-its-kind European event. We’ll be releasing photos, videos, and more from SaaStr Europa in the days and weeks to come, but first, here’s a peek at what went down in Paris last Continue reading "From A(ccel) to Z(uora): What Went Down at SaaStr Europa 2018"

From A(ccel) to Z(uora): What Went Down at SaaStr Europa 2018

Last week was a whirlwind in Paris, and it all culminated in the epic event that was our very first SaaStr Europa. And boy, what a trip. There was the spectacular backdrop provided by the historic venue, the 1600+ SaaStr fans taking advantage of a multitude of networking opportunities, the incredible lineup of speakers, the delicious French food, the action-packed expo hall—every aspect of the day came together to create a truly unforgettable experience. saastr-europa-paris From learning about how to grow a startup across the pond to hearing best practices for aligning sales and marketing around the same business goals—not to mention Braindates and hobnobbing with the international SaaSt community at large—there was plenty to soak in at this first-of-its-kind European event. We’ll be releasing photos, videos, and more from SaaStr Europa in the days and weeks to come, but first, here’s a peek at what went down in Paris last Continue reading "From A(ccel) to Z(uora): What Went Down at SaaStr Europa 2018"

Growing and Scaling SaaS Businesses from $1M to $500M in ARR with Intercom (Video + Transcript)

In this session from Annual 2018, Intercom COO Karen Peacock shares success stories, battle scars and practical advice she’s learned from growing scaling SaaS businesses from $1M to $500M in annual recurring revenue. In case you haven’t heard, we’re building a completely immersive experience for SaaStr Annual 2019! With 3 full days of sessions, featuring over 300 speakers from the best SaaS companies around the world, SaaStr Annual will be filled with actionable thought leadership to help grow your business. Use this link to get your tickets to the SaaS show everyone will be talking about. karen-peacock-saastr-annual-2018 Announcer: Please welcome Byron Deeter, Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, and Karen Peacock, COO at Intercom.

[music]

Byron Deeter: Hello, hello. Welcome back from lunch, everyone. Thank you for joining us on the opening day of SaaStr. I’m Byron Deeter with Bessemer Venture Partners, and I’m absolutely thrilled to be with you today, Continue reading "Growing and Scaling SaaS Businesses from $1M to $500M in ARR with Intercom (Video + Transcript)"

Growing and Scaling SaaS Businesses from $1M to $500M in ARR with Intercom (Video + Transcript)

In this session from Annual 2018, Intercom COO Karen Peacock shares success stories, battle scars and practical advice she’s learned from growing scaling SaaS businesses from $1M to $500M in annual recurring revenue. In case you haven’t heard, we’re building a completely immersive experience for SaaStr Annual 2019! With 3 full days of sessions, featuring over 300 speakers from the best SaaS companies around the world, SaaStr Annual will be filled with actionable thought leadership to help grow your business. Use this link to get your tickets to the SaaS show everyone will be talking about. karen-peacock-saastr-annual-2018 Announcer: Please welcome Byron Deeter, Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, and Karen Peacock, COO at Intercom.

[music]

Byron Deeter: Hello, hello. Welcome back from lunch, everyone. Thank you for joining us on the opening day of SaaStr. I’m Byron Deeter with Bessemer Venture Partners, and I’m absolutely thrilled to be with you today, Continue reading "Growing and Scaling SaaS Businesses from $1M to $500M in ARR with Intercom (Video + Transcript)"