Managing Change in Hyper Growth Mode (Video + Transcript)

Managing change when your company is going through hyper-growth is exciting and frightening all at once. There’s no set playbook for it since every company is different and the landscape changes all the time. That being said, we can learn a lot from the experiences of three former Salesforce execs who were with the company from $22 million in revenue past IPO to $5 billion in revenue. Matt Garratt, VP at Salesforce Ventures, sits down with David Obrand, COO at Radius Intelligence; Bill Macaitis, Advisor at Macaitis Advisory; and Kendall Collins, CMO at AppDynamics, to discuss how they helped Salesforce survive and thrive in their respective roles. How did they think about hiring the right people? Building infrastructure? Doing experiments, failing and learning from that? We get an insightful look into how Salesforce has gone through an incredible evolution from its early days until now. And if you haven’t heard: 
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Why I Usually (Not Always) Prefer Customer Success to Report to the CEO

Ah, who should Customer Success report to?

It’s not super simple.

There are generally 3 options in the early and middle days:

  • CEO
  • VP of Sales (once you have one)
  • VP of Something Else. Finance sometimes. Product on occasion. Other “business” co-founder.

There are clear Pros and Cons to reporting to a VP of Sales. The Pros are:

  • Usually, a VP of Sales is your best manager. So usually, she can easily also manage Customer Success as well as all her reps.  You have too much to manage as it is.
  • Better alignment with VPS owning an ARR/MRR goal vs. just bookings goal. She’ll be better able to hit your ARR end-of-year goal if she’s also in charge of churn, and all upsell.  It’s always at least a little awkward to ask your VP of Sales to own the year-end ARR number, if she can’t also control churn.  They are Continue reading "Why I Usually (Not Always) Prefer Customer Success to Report to the CEO"

SaaStr Podcast #135: Auren Hoffman, Founder & CEO @ Safegraph on Why Raising Prices Is Not A Good Idea

Welcome to Episode 135! Auren Hoffman is the Founder & CEO of Safegraph, the startup that is unlocking the world’s most powerful data so that machines and humans can answer society’s toughest questions. They have backing from likes of Naval Ravikant and prior guests of the show including SignalFire, IDG Ventures, and David Rodnitzky, just to name a few. Prior to Safegraph, Auren has an astonishing 5 successful exits under his belt with one being, LiveRamp (sold to Acxiom for $310m in 2014). If that was not enough, Auren is also a prolific angel investor with a portfolio including the likes of ThumbTack, Rainforest QA, Brightroll, and Groupon. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

Michele Law (Castlight Health, OpenDNS) + Mark Roberge (HBS, Hubspot): Sales Mistakes that Can Kill Your SaaS Business How to Avoid Them (Video + Transcript)

Building a well-oiled sales machine in SaaS is no easy feat. Mark Roberge, Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School and former CRO at Hubspot, and Michele Law, former CRO at Castlight Health and former COO at OpenDNS, take the stage to talk about the top four sales mistakes that could ruin your SaaS business. But what’s more important than understanding what these mistakes are? Knowing how to rectify them, or even better, avoiding them altogether. One of the mistakes that Mike and Michele made was growing too fast. We can all agree that growing too fast can potentially destroy a business, as ironic as it may be. It’s not just about hiring as many sales reps as possible so your revenue balloons uncontrollably, but understanding the stages going into growth, when and who to hire, and more. Check out the video and full transcript to learn more about the other
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How to Build a Sales Team 1-100 (Video + Transcript)

Going from a one man or one woman band to a full-fledged sales team is no walk in the park. As David Baga, Chief Business Officer at Lyft, tells moderator Will Kohler of Lightspeed Ventures, even after doing it a few times, it’s still extremely difficult. But that’s the beauty of it, that it’s challenging but rewarding when you hit the mark. David shares his experience in building sales teams in small startups to huge, established companies like Oracle. He’s learned that moving onto the next stage of growth isn’t like playing at different levels of the same sport–it’s like playing a different sport altogether. That’s one of the reasons why you have to be extremely adaptable when growing a one-person team to a 100-person team. And you certainly can’t make the same mistake he did by trying to implement one company’s sales playbook into another. And if you haven’t
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CSS Speaker Series 005: Sameer Dholakia/SendGrid + Ajay Agarwal/Bain Capital Ventures (Video + Transcript)

Our fifth event in the SaaStr CoSelling Speaker Series featured Sameer Dholakia, CEO of SendGrid, and Ajay Agarwal, Managing Director at Bain Capital Ventures. If you missed fun and informative hour (or just couldn’t take in all the great advice and need a replay), we’ve got you covered. By the way, did you know that CSS members get free access to Speaker Series events? That’s just one of the many benefits of working at the CoSelling Space. See more and apply here. Transcript Jason:  I think this is the fifth event we’ve done here, plus one in New York. I think what I’ve learned is the secret sauce to them is when the speakers know each other well. I think these guys know each other pretty well. Sameer and Ajay were kind enough to both speak at the SaaStr Annual 2016, and it was a pretty popular session. Ajay Continue reading "CSS Speaker Series 005: Sameer Dholakia/SendGrid + Ajay Agarwal/Bain Capital Ventures (Video + Transcript)"

Twilio: The Inside Story with Jeff Lawson, CEO/Co Founder (Video + Transcript)

Most of us have heard of Twilio but we’re using it the platform a lot more than we realize. Thanks to Twilio, you’re able to do things like make a phone call within the Uber app to your driver, send messages and confirmations with Airbnb, receive alerts from Netflix and more. Jason sits down with Jeff Lawson, CEO and Co-founder of Twilio, to get the inside scoop about Twilio and how they’ve managed to become so successful. Jeff talks about why developers are the key to getting into new markets, the usefulness of billboards, balancing sales and engineering cultures and why focusing on a niche is bad advice. And if you haven’t heard: SaaStr Annual will be back in 2018, 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 Jyoti BansalAaron Levie
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