The First 1000 Employees: Building Truly Great Teams with Zuora (SaaStr Europa Video + Transcript)

Last month, we took Paris by storm when we hosted 1600+ SaaStr fans from around the world at our inaugural SaaStr Europa. One of the event’s most anticipated sessions featured SaaStr Founder and CEO Jason Lemkin onstage with Zuora President Marc Diouane, discussing the company’s recent IPO, how to approach hiring internationally, and much, much more. Check out the full session video and transcript below! And we’re doing it all again, even bigger and better, next year! Don’t miss out on two full days of thought leadership content, networking opportunities, fantastic French food, and fabulous evening events, all in the heart of Paris — snag your Europa 2019 tickets and catch up with us on the other side of the Atlantic next year! Transcript: Jason Lemkin: What does Zuora mean? I should know this. Where’s the name from? Marc Diouane: We have three cofounders, Tien Tzuo ‑ you can Continue reading "The First 1000 Employees: Building Truly Great Teams with Zuora (SaaStr Europa Video + Transcript)"

10 Things That Would Have Helped Me Go From $1m to $10m Faster with Less Stress

Recently I put together a quick list on twitter of the Top 10 things that with hindsight, I could and should have done to get from $1m to $10m ARR faster — and with less stress.  I thought it would be worth drilling down deeper into each of them, and sharing the learnings and mistakes: 1. Spending less time fixing things, more time recruiting senior folks to own them This is the mistake I’ve tended to make over and over again, and I see so many of the CEOs I work with make.  No one spends enough time recruiting as it is, after $1m ARR or so.  What makes it worse is when you excuse it by doing it yourself and fixing it yourself.  Yes, you can manage the sales team yourself.  You can do the drop marketing campaigns.  You can certainly convince yourself Continue reading "10 Things That Would Have Helped Me Go From $1m to $10m Faster with Less Stress"

Busting the Myths About Startup Success with BlackLine (Video + Transcript)

One of the most popular sessions at Annual 2018, Busting the Myths About Startup Success with BlackLine CEO and Founder Therese Tucker is up at the top of our must-watch list. From her advice on how to not be ‘that guy’ to what she learned while forging her own path through uncharted startup territory, there’s plenty of food for thought and discussion to be found throughout. But don’t just take our word for it — watch the full session below: 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! Transcript: [background music] Therese Tucker: We’ve done Continue reading "Busting the Myths About Startup Success with BlackLine (Video + Transcript)"

Busting the Myths About Startup Success with BlackLine (Video + Transcript)

One of the most popular sessions at Annual 2018, Busting the Myths About Startup Success with BlackLine CEO and Founder Therese Tucker is up at the top of our must-watch list. From her advice on how to not be ‘that guy’ to what she learned while forging her own path through uncharted startup territory, there’s plenty of food for thought and discussion to be found throughout. But don’t just take our word for it — watch the full session below: 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! Transcript: [background music] Therese Tucker: We’ve done Continue reading "Busting the Myths About Startup Success with BlackLine (Video + Transcript)"

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"