SaaStr Podcast #046: Aaron Ross, Author of Predictable Revenue & From Impossible To Inevitable on How SaaS Companies Scale into Hyper-growth Mode

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Welcome to Episode #46! Aaron Ross is the author of the best selling book, Predictable Revenue, providing the framework for the outbound process & sales team Aaron created for Salesforce.com. During his time at Salesforce as Director of Corporate Development and Acquisitions, he added an extra $100 million in revenue in just a few years. In today’s show we discuss his and Jason Lemkin’s fantastic new book, From Impossible To Inevitable, which outlines how hyper-growth companies create predictable revenue. If you are a founder asking why aren’t we growing faster, how do we go into hyper-growth mode and then how do you sustain growth then this book really is for you.Aaron_Ross

In today’s episode with Aaron you will learn:
How did Aaron enter the world of SaaS and come to be a Senior Director @ Salesforce? What were his biggest takeaways from seeing Salesforce scale into hypergrowth mode?
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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"

Dharmesh Shah of Hubspot: From Day 0 to IPO. What Went to Plan. What Most Certainly Didn’t (Video + Transcript)

In anticipation of the upcoming SaaStr Annual 2017, we’ll be releasing the full series of transcripts and videos from all the awesome 2016 sessions. There are rules in starting an enterprise software company. You will fail if you: 1) try to build a suite of products out of the gate, 2) focus solely on SMBs, or 3) have an MBA. In this session Dharmesh Shah, cofounder and CTO of Hubspot, shares how he and his cofounders broke all of the “rules” and ended up creating an entirely new category of marketing software. Turns out a founding team of six MBAs creating a full suite of products sold solely to SMBs can become a multi-million dollar public company in nine years – and continue growing rapidly ($77.6 million in 2013 to $115.9 million in 2014.) Of course, no success story is without its obstacles. In the candid style we all know and love, Dharmesh
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Salesforce, Dropbox and Slack: Building and Monetizing A Partner Ecosystem (Video + Transcript)

In anticipation of the upcoming SaaStr Annual 2017, we’ll be releasing the full series of transcripts and videos from all the awesome 2016 sessions. We were pretty excited to bring together four industry powerhouses to discuss platforms in this amazing session led by the always charming Narinder Singh, co-founder of Appirio. Neeracha Taychakhoonavudh, SVP of Partner Programs at Salesforce, Ilya Fushman, General Partner at Index Ventures and formerly of Dropbox, and April Underwood, VP of Product at Slack delve into how you can build the right platform strategy, thinking about the problems that it aims to solve, and whether or not your product should even be a platform (like maybe don’t call yourself a platform without understanding what it truly means to be one). The insights on how each of these companies became a platform and the business goals behind those decisions are pretty compelling. They also offer up a healthy reality
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Small Deals at Large Companies. Hooray!! And 100% At Risk.

Every customer you close, the next day, is at risk of churn.  A month-to-month customer can basically cancel anytime.  An annual contract customer can sort of cancel anytime, but really probably won’t for a year, or even 3 (more on why Year 3 is the biggest risk for bigger customers here).  You know this, of course. But the riskiest deals of all are Small Deals at Large Companies.  Yes, the logo looks great.  Feels great.  Is great.  But you start off at almost immediate risk of losing the deal. Why is this?  They are almost always just an experiment. Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 1.11.52 PMImagine a Big Co.  They pay $1.5m a year to deploy Salesforce.  And $1m in consulting fees to deploy it.  And say $300k in CPQ tools and others to get Salesforce to do what they want. And they pay $20k for your little SaaS app to make it all Continue reading "Small Deals at Large Companies. Hooray!! And 100% At Risk."

The Official SaaStr Podcast #031: Blake Bartlett, Partner @ OpenView Discusses Whether Product Market Fit & Customer Value Is Really So Binary?

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Welcome to Episode 31! Blake Bartlett is a Partner at OpenView Venture Partners where he helps identify value and lead investments in product-led businesses driving market dislocation. Prior to joining OpenView, he was a Vice President at Battery Ventures, where he focused on growth-stage software and Internet businesses. Blake joined Battery in 2009 and helped lead 10 investments including the likes of Wayfair, Optimizely, Sprinklr, and Glassdoor.

In today’s show we discuss:Blake_Bartlett
Why Blake decided to invest in SaaS over other sectors?
Whether the rise of the bottoms up SaaS sales model means customer fickleness for SaaS products will increase?
Does product-led growth contradict traditional SaaS sales beliefs? How can they work in unison?
Is product market fit and customer value a binary result? Are there varying degrees of customer value? How important is time to customer value?
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David Cancel (Drift/Hubspot) & Hiten Shah (Quick Sprout/KISSmetrics) Discuss Illusion and Reality in Product/Market Fit (Video + Transcript)

In anticipation of the upcoming SaaStr Annual 2017, we’ll be releasing the full series of transcripts and videos from all the awesome 2016 sessions. In this chat led by Alison Wagonfeld of Emergence Capital, we tap into the combined wisdom of serial entrepreneurs and formal rivals David Cancel, Founder & CEO of Drift, and Hiten Shah, Co-founder of Quick Sprout, on the rocky journey towards product/market fit. As product-focused founders and previous competitors, David and Hiten share their painful lessons, often with differing perspectives, in the pursuit of the illusive product/market fit. As repeat founders, is it better to fundraise before or after finding product/market fit?  How do you know when you’re there, and what are the key indicators that the market has evolved to threaten that fit?  Early on, is it better to keep hiring on the product team or should you build up your sales and marketing teams sooner?  David and Hiten do, however,
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