SaaStr Podcast #177: Bill Binch, CRO @ On Why Career Paths Are For B Players in Sales

Welcome to Episode 177! Bill Binch is a leader and expert in the SaaS sales industry, currently CRO @,  the startup that helps you understand and guide your users, creating a product experience they can’t live without. They have raised over $58m in VC funding from some of the best in their space with the likes of Battery Ventures, Spark Capital, and Salesforce Ventures all backing them. As for Bill, prior to Pendo, 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 Episode You Will Learn:

7 Simple Tips to Being a (Much) Better First Time Manager

One privilege I get as part of mentoring and investing in a few dozen startups is a chance to work with first-time managers.  The reality is, most start-ups are better off with a Stretch VP than a Never Did It But Has a Great LinkedIn VP.  More on that here. And as part of that, I see a lot of ambitious, driven first-time managers screw it up 🙂  I thought I’d share 7 actionable tips to help you if you’re getting your first big shot now …
  1. Make a firm rule: No Excuses.  This is probably the rookie error most first-time managers make, and many second and third-timers as well.  Excuses actually work fairly well in Big Companies, because it’s often not exactly clear who is responsible for many things in large organizations.  But the #1 reason a VP is hired in a start-up is Continue reading "7 Simple Tips to Being a (Much) Better First Time Manager"

SaaStr Podcast #173: Jason Lemkin, Founder @ SaaStr on What To Look For In Your First Sales Reps

Welcome to Episode 173! Jason Lemkin is the Founder @ SaaStr, the world’s largest SaaS event, with over 20,000 of the world’s best SaaS founders and investors attending every year. Jason also invests from SaaStr’s debut $70m fund and has made prior investments in the likes of Algolia, TalkDesk, MixMax, RainforestQA, and many more incredible companies. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:
  • When is the right time to hire your first sales rep? What characteristics must those sales have? Why does Jason believe it is impossible to poach a rockstar from another fast scaling startup? Should you then hire the stretch VP or the more experienced, potentially burnt out exec?
  • How does Jason think about aligning compensation to company objectives? Within the company, which functions serve as the best test areas for variable compensation? What must you be wary of when installing a system of variable compensation?

  • Continue reading "SaaStr Podcast #173: Jason Lemkin, Founder @ SaaStr on What To Look For In Your First Sales Reps"

5 Traits to Look For When Hiring An Early Marketing Team For Your Startup

hiring-a startup-marketing-team As the CRO at SaaStr, I am doing a lot of hiring these days! A lot. And that means spending countless hours skimming through resumes, taking phone screens, and meeting candidates in person. Quick shameless plug–seriously, I am hiring for a lot of people, so if interested in working at SaaStr–check out our open jobs here. Typically, when I go on a hiring spree, I spend at least 20% of my time screening and interviewing candidates–(if not more time TBH). Because the longer a position goes unfilled the more difficult it becomes to fill, and the more difficult my life becomes because I am trying to do all of these jobs myself. And if I am doing everyone else’s job, it is incredibly difficult to do my own job. Since I do a lot of hiring, I am constantly re-inventing the list of attributes I look for in a new Continue reading "5 Traits to Look For When Hiring An Early Marketing Team For Your Startup"

SaaStr Podcast #169: Kolton Andrus, Founder & CEO @ Gremlin with the Secret to Ensure High Conversion on Trials

Welcome to Episode 169! Kolton Andrus is the Founder & CEO of Gremlin, the failure as a service startup finds weaknesses in your system before they cause problems. To date, they have raised over $8m in VC funding from some of the best in the business including the likes of Mike Volpi @ Index Ventures and Mike Dauber @ Amplify Partners. Prior to Gremlin, Kolton was a Chaos Engineer at Netflix, improving streaming reliability and operating the Edge services. Fun fact: Kolton also designed and built Netflix’s failure injection service. Before that he improved the performance and reliability of the Amazon Retail website. At both companies he has served as a ‘Call Leader,’ managing the resolution of company-wide incidents. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

SaaStr Podcast #168: Ryan Williams, Founder @ SalesCollider Shares Why 70% of Startup’s VPs of Sales Fail

Ryan Williams is the Founder of SalesCollider, the organization that helps technical founders jumpstart sales. Ryan got his start as the first sales manager at Adroll where he grew the team from 3 to 32 reps in just 8 months, a team that was responsible for ARR growing from $4m to $58m in under 2 years. Ryan then became an advisor to the early team at InVision where he coached both CEO and sales reps to close the first dozen enterprise deals. Then his last stop before founding SalesCollider was as VP of Sales at LeadGenius where he grew enterprise sales by over 400% and added clients such as Ebay, IBM, and Google, just to name a few. Ryan is also an Entrepreneur in Residence @ 500 Startups and a Mentor with First Round Capital. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

SaaStr Podcast #165: Harry Glaser, Founder & CEO @ Periscope Data Shares a Step By Step Guide To Building Truly Diverse Teams

Harry Glaser is the Founder & CEO of Periscope Data, the startup that allows you to transform your business with the fastest, most powerful analytics platform. To date, Periscope have raised over $34m in funding from some of the very best in the business including Bessemer, SV Angel, DFJ, Susa Ventures, and Data Collective, just to name a few. With this funding they now serve over 975 customers including Adobe, Flexport, Tinder, NewRelic, and more. Prior to founding Periscope, Harry was a Product Manager at Google. Fun fact about Periscope, it was voted the best small company to work for in 2017. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

SaaStr Podcast #163: Wade Foster, Founder & CEO @ Zapier Discusses Scaling Zapier to $35m in ARR with Just $1.3m in Funding

Welcome to Episode 163! Wade Foster is the Founder & CEO @ Zapier, the startup that moves information between your web apps automatically, so you can focus on your most important work. A couple of incredible achievements from Zapier, they have scaled to a phenomenal $35m in ARR, they have built a time of over 130 people, all without a central office, and they have done this with just $1.2m in early stage funding from the likes of Bessemer, Y Combinator, and DFJ. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

SaaStr Podcast #162: Olof Mathé, Founder & CEO @ Mixmax Shares How To Achieve True Virality in SaaS with $0 CAC

Welcome to Episode 162! Olof Mathé is the Founder & CEO @ Mixmax, the startup that allows you to be a sales pro, providing powerful analytics, automation and enhancements for your outbound communication and a product that has achieved almost the impossible in SaaS, true viral growth and a $0 CAC. As for Olof, prior to Mixmax he led the team that built Inkling Habitat, now adopted by the world’s largest publishers and before that he was an entrepreneur and worked at Skype and McKinsey. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

SaaStr Podcast #161: Brad Feld, GP @ Foundry Group on Structuring Your SaaS Startup For Scalability

Welcome to Episode 161! Brad Feld is one of the world’s leading VCs and Co-Founder of Foundry Group. Brad has made investments in the likes of Zynga, Makerbot, and Fitbit, just to name a few. Brad is also Co-Founder of Techstars, one of the world’s most prominent startup accelerators, whose portfolio companies have raised over $1.3bn in funding. If that wasn’t enough, Brad is also a best selling author having co-authoured Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and VC and Startup Communities: Building An Entrepreneurial Ecosystem In Your Community. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn: