I Got Catfished By A Candidate: The True Story and How to Keep It From Happening to You

What follows is a true story. Names, places, and companies have been changed to protect the innocent (or not so innocent). I was catfished by a candidate. And not just during a phone screen. This guy made it through a recruiting agency, a phone screen, and three rounds of interviews. We were about to make the hire when everything unraveled. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, a catfish is someone who creates a false identity online. The motivation behind a catfish can vary from tricking someone in an online dating app, seeking revenge, simply playing a joke, or in my case, seeking a job. I learned a lot from this experience (plus it is a pretty good story), so I thought it would be fitting to share with the SaaStr community. Act One: Falling For The Catfish When someone seems too good to be true they Continue reading "I Got Catfished By A Candidate: The True Story and How to Keep It From Happening to You"

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"

5 Ways to Enter a Crowded Market. And 3+ Ways Not To.

In SaaS, usually one of 5 things enable a new vendor to break-out in a crowded space:
  • 10x better at One Important Thing. In the early days, you will be buggy and feature-poor. Maybe even in the not-so-early days ? But if you are 10x better at (x) One Important Thing that (y) customers value and will pay for, that’s enough. Many founders get this wrong however, and build a key feature that is indeed 10x better — but not one important enough to pick a raw new vendor to get. It’s only a subset of critical functionality that customers will pay to have implemented 10x better than an existing, trusted vendor. Usually, the part that is close to the money they make, manage, process, or collect.  A little more here.
  • Dramatically Cheaper. This one’s tough to play. Because businesses trust and value brands they can rely on. But often,
    ?
    Continue reading "5 Ways to Enter a Crowded Market. And 3+ Ways Not To."

Come Visit the New SaaStr CoSelling Space in the Heart of SOMA (303 2nd Street)!

We’ve unpacked, we’ve settled in, the Internet works and we’ve got Wednesday lunches worked out. Now come tour and check out the new 2.0 SaaStr CoSelling Space! It’s bigger (18,000 sq ft) and for most folks, more centrally located (heart of SOMA) than the first CSS.  We have in-building parking and a half dozen restaurants on site, and it’s just a block to Salesforce, LinkedIn, Algolia, South Park VCs, Blue Bottle, and everything else. Want a Day Pass or a tour?  Click here and the team will make it happen! We’ll also have a formal open house and first event there soon.  All of Team SaaStr works out of here, too.  It’s fun and everyone here is a post-revenue SaaS company.  Learning to scale together. The post Come Visit the New SaaStr CoSelling Space in the Heart of SOMA (303 2nd Street)! appeared first on SaaStr.

SaaStr Podcast #164: Mark Godley, President @ LeadGenius Discusses the Right Way To Sell To Enterprise Buyers

Mark Godley is the President of LeadGenius, the startup that provides the power of human intelligence with the scale of machine learning. To date they have raised $16m in funding from the likes of a16z, Initialized Capital, Scott and Cyan Banister, and SV angel just to name a few. As for Mark, he most recently served as Chief Revenue Officer for HG Data and before that was VP of Market Development for ConnectandSell. If that was not enough, Mark also holds advisory roles in the salestech and martech space, including Omniquo, ZenIQ.io, and The Big Willow. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

15+ of The Top Sales & Marketing Mistakes SaaS Startups Make

Recently I assembled my “Top 15” list of Sales & Marketing mistakes SaaS startups make as things start to take-off.  We’ve touched on quite a few of these before on SaaStr (will link to them), but I thought this might be a helpful checklist to challenge your thinking at a minimum. We’ve all made many of these mistakes ourselves, myself included ?  I’m even making a few myself again.  But if you see yourself making any of the mistakes below, it’s fairly easy to make a course correction.  Just do it!  It will help. Sales:

How to Know if a Key Hire is an A or a B (or even a C)

The biggest mistake you are probably going to make is hiring B or even C players for key director and VP positions when you get your startup going.  This will set you back many, many months.  Time and money lost investing in a key individual who simply doesn’t deliver in a critical position.

As a first-time manager, you really won’t have the experience to know really who is an A, B or C player for any position you haven’t held yourself.It’s hard to judge if you haven’t done it before and/or if you are a first-time hiring manager. How do you really know who is a decent director of product management when you’ve never even worked with one, for example?

But there is an easy hack / fix: get an advisor / mentor who has done it before — and well — to interview your final list Continue reading "How to Know if a Key Hire is an A or a B (or even a C)"

Sales AMA with Mark Roberge: Your Burning Questions Answered (Video + Transcript)

Mark Roberge, Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School and former CRO at Hubspot, takes the Deep Dive Stage to answer burning questions that we all have about sales and running a successful sales organization. What’s the ideal churn rate for your sales team? How do you deal with the product team blaming the sales team, and vice versa, when you don’t hit your numbers? Why should you consider account-based marketing? What’s the benefit of choosing coachability over experience when hiring salespeople? Mark answers all these questions and more in this insightful and eye-opening talk. And if you haven’t heard: SaaStr Annual is only two weeks away,  and we’ve made it bigger and better than ever! Join 10,000 fellow founders, investors and execs for 3 days of unparalleled networking and epic learnings from SaaS legends like Jon MillerDavid SteinbergJennifer Tejada, and Eoghan McCabe. If you don’t
Continue reading "Sales AMA with Mark Roberge: Your Burning Questions Answered (Video + Transcript)"

2018-2025: The Golden Age of SaaS Freemium

Way back in 2012, in the early days of SaaStr, we wrote a piece challenging everyone out there who dreamed of going freemium in SaaS.  That’d you’d need at least 50 million users to build a Unicorn, or at least, to build something big.  To challenge you to make sure you can really get at least 10m+ users if you want to truly go the freemium / self-service / no sales route.  More of that math here. Freemium is nothing new.  In fact, it’s where most of us start, or close to it.  And fast forward to today, now there are many SaaS freemium Unicorns and freemium pre-nicorns, from DropBox to Slack to Mailchimp to Squarespace and Wix and so many more. But for most of us, we’re going to make it by going a bit upmarket.  In fact, a good percentage of the
Continue reading "2018-2025: The Golden Age of SaaS Freemium"

2018-2025: The Golden Age of SaaS Freemium

Way back in 2012, in the early days of SaaStr, we wrote a piece challenging everyone out there who dreamed of going freemium in SaaS.  That’d you’d need at least 50 million users to build a Unicorn, or at least, to build something big.  To challenge you to make sure you can really get at least 10m+ users if you want to truly go the freemium / self-service / no sales route.  More of that math here. Freemium is nothing new.  In fact, it’s where most of us start, or close to it.  And fast forward to today, now there are many SaaS freemium Unicorns and freemium pre-nicorns, from DropBox to Slack to Mailchimp to Squarespace and Wix and so many more. But for most of us, we’re going to make it by going a bit upmarket.  In fact, a good percentage of the
Continue reading "2018-2025: The Golden Age of SaaS Freemium"