OpenView’s 2018 Expansion SaaS Benchmarks [Podcast]

Our 2018 Expansion SaaS Benchmarks are live! This year we surveyed over 400 companies, ranging from pre-revenue to $50M+ ARR with 40% of respondents coming from outside the US. Our massive data set gives you insights into trends around how fast startups are growing, the emergence of SaaS companies all around the world and the progress on hiring diverse candidates. Follow along at Prefer to listen on iTunes? Listen here.
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Free Software is the New Marketing

Let’s face it, there are a million and two ways to grow a SaaS business. You could hire an expensive sales team, create a bunch of content or give your software away for free through a free trial or freemium model (aka self-service). In this article, I’m going to challenge you to consider the latter option. If you’ve used Slack, Dropbox, or even Atlassian, you’ve witnessed this go-to-market strategy (something we call product led growth) at play. Instead of spending weeks or even months talking to a sales rep, you were able to test out the product immediately. If the product was a good fit, you could become a paying customer without talking to anyone. But, it wasn’t always this way.

Why free software is changing the way SaaS businesses grow.

If we rewind the tape to when SaaS first came onto the scene, there was no cloud. Solutions
CAC vs Sales Complexity
CAC vs Sales Complexity 2
Price vs Complexity
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SaaStr Podcast #191: Kyle Porter, Founder & CEO @ Salesloft Discusses Pivoting a Product Generating $7m in ARR

Welcome to Episode 191! Kyle Porter is the Founder & CEO @ Salesloft, the leading sales engagement platform delivering a better sales experience. To date, Salesloft have raised over $75m in funding from some of the best in the business including Emergence, Insight Venture Partners, Techstars and even LinkedIn. As for Kyle, he has led the team from 4 employees in 2014 to over 320 today where they have also been awarded Atlanta’s No 1 best place to work. Prior to founding Salesloft, Kyle was the Founder @ B2B camp, a conference focused on B2B revenue generating professionals. Before that he was Vice President of Marketing @ NanoLumens. In Today’s Episode We Discuss:’s Steli Efti on Learning to Say No [Podcast]

Steli Efti, serial entrepreneur and current CEO of, is no stranger to success. But in 2017, when his company focused all departments on understanding their customers better, they quickly realized they’d approach the problem from the wrong angle. Doing so derailed their product roadmap, led to lots of unhappy customers and increased churn. When they shifted focus, got their business back on track. Learn from on when saying no to your customers might just be the right move. For more content like this, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter at Prefer to listen on iTunes? Click here.
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How to Actually Implement a Pricing Change

SaaS companies have finally woken up to the importance of pricing. Nearly two-in-three SaaS businesses we surveyed changed their pricing in 2017, according to OpenView’s upcoming Expansion SaaS Benchmarks survey (sign up here to be notified when the report launches next week). And it wasn’t only small companies that changed their pricing. Even among companies with $20M+ in ARR, more than 60% changed their pricing at some point in the last year. For companies that changed their pricing, these changes had a substantial positive impact on revenue growth – but the impact was far from consistent. The average pricing change resulted in a 20-25% improvement in ARR. But one-in-four companies reported a 50% or greater improvement just from pricing! On the flip side, one-in-six saw less than a 10% increase. After personally leading or supporting 40+ pricing engagements over the past 9 years, one thing has become abundantly clear:
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SaaStr Podcast #190: Ed Sim, Founder & GP @ Boldstart Ventures on Why SaaS Founders Should Not Sell Their Products in The Early Days

Welcome to Episode 190! Ed Sim is the Founder & General Partner @ Boldstart Ventures, one of the leading players in early stage SaaS investing. Their MO is to be a first check VC for enterprise founders and they have backed the likes of GoToMeeting (acq by Citrix), LivePerson (IPO, NASDAQ), Divide (acq by Google), Kustomer, Snyk and BigID just to name a few. Ed is also a cofounder of MState, a growth lab for enterprise blockchain in partnership with IBM. Ed is also a board director/observer of Kustomer, Hypr Biometric, Snyk, BigID, Fortress IQ, Wallaroo Labs and Manifold. If that wasn’t enough, Ed is also the writer behind BeyondVC, a must read blog in the world of SaaS. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

SingleGrain’s Eric Siu on Growth Hacking in the Era of Product Led SaaS [Podcast]

SingleGrain’s CEO, Eric Siu, is no stranger to the term “growth hacking.” His performance marketing agency has helped scale high growth companies like UBER and Amazon. In this episode of BUILD find out how a product first mentality impacts growth marketing and how to increase brand awareness while staying cost efficient. For even more content, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter at Prefer to listen on iTunes? Click here.
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How Zendesk embraced AI without losing its Zen

Editor’s Note: The following article is based on a recent episode of OpenView’s BUILD podcast. You can listen to the full episode featuring Zendesk’s Astha Malik here. In popular culture, “Zen” refers to the ability to remain self-contained and cool despite outward circumstances. This attribute is a key component of the Zendesk brand. Launched in 2007 in a Copenhagen loft, the company recently hit a $500 million run rate. Their ability to live up to its promise of bringing Zen to customer service interactions has prompted that growth. For Zendesk, the risk with any new product is that it will jeopardize that reputation. Astha Malik, VP of Platform and Product Marketing, led the company’s most recent product launch and took the brunt of that risk. Malik joined Zendesk in February 2017. Eight months later, she was behind the launch ofTalk Enterprise, Chat Enterprise and Answer Bot. All three expanded
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Boost Enterprise Sales with Leads from Product Trials

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on Medium here. A majority of SaaS companies that I have built products for have brought their products to market with a sales led go-to-market motion. The sales reps would source new customers through outbound efforts and by engaging their professional networks. These methods were great when we were trying to find product-market fit as the sales reps were close to the customer and we had easy access to interview the customers we engaged with. However, as our business grew we ran into challenges efficiently scaling our efforts. We did all the right things. We invested more into marketing and reduced the size of the sales team and as a result gained some customer acquisition cost (CAC) efficiencies. Marketings goals were to get more customers speaking with sales reps. Once the deal was done, the customer then got access to our product. We thought
Map buyer journey to sales process
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How ZipRecruiter Grew to 7M Active Job Seekers Each Month [Podcast]

Building a sales team is a major point of contention in a product led organization. Where is the line drawn where the product serves the customer versus when sales is brought in? Kevin Gaither, SVP of Sales at ZipRecruiter, answers this question and explains their decision to build out a sales team of over 300 employees to accelerate their growth. Prefer to listen on iTunes? Click here.
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