SaaStr Podcast #175: Jason Lemkin, Founder @ SaaStr on How To Approach Long Sales Cycles

Welcome to Episode 175! 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, Rainforest QA, and many more incredible companies. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:
  • How does Jason think founders should approach long sales cycles in the early days? Why does Jason believe that ultimately long sales cycles do not matter? What can the truly great VPs do to impact those long sales cycles?
  • How does Jason think founders can tackle lead optimization with their team? How can founders determine which leads to send to which AEs? What will the effect of this tailored lead distribution be?

  • When is the right time for the founder to begin to take Continue reading "SaaStr Podcast #175: Jason Lemkin, Founder @ SaaStr on How To Approach Long Sales Cycles"

SaaStr Podcast #174: Timo Rein, Founder & CEO @ Pipedrive Discusses How To Make It Big In The US As A Non-US SaaS Startup

  Welcome to Episode 174! Timo Rein is the Founder & CEO of Pipedrive, the startup that helps sales people focus on actions that close deals. To date, Timo has raised over $30m from the likes of Atomico, Bessemer Venture Partners, TransferWise Founder Taavet Hinrikus, and Andy MCloughlin, and has scaled the team to over 330 people across multiple continents. Prior to founding Pipedrive, Timo was a Partner at Vain & Partners acting in a consultancy role on how to get the best ROI from your sales process and before that was himself a door-to-door salesman with SouthWestern Company selling high-ACV products. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

SaaStr Podcast #172: Jon Lee, Founder & CEO @ ProsperWorks on Why It Is Easier To Start In SMB and Work Your Way Up

Welcome to Episode 172! Jon Lee is the Founder & CEO @ ProsperWorks, the #1 recommended CRM for G Suite. To date, ProsperWorks have raised over $85m in VC funding from the likes of True Ventures, Norwest, GV, Bloomberg Beta, and more incredible names. Prior to ProsperWorks, Jon started in investment banking at Merrill Lynch before moving to run a large operations team at Yahoo. Jon then founded Bazaar Advertising Solutions, a business self funded from a Palo Alto apartment that Jon scaled into a highly profitable $47m business in less than 2 years. Jon then sold Bazaar to Epic Media in 2006. Following the acquisition, Jon founded DNA Games, the number one casino simulation game on Facebook with more than 20 million players, ultimately acquired by Zynga in May 2011. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

SaaStr Podcast #170: Rob Reid, EVP & Managing Director @ Sage Intacct on Scaling Intacct’s Team & Culture To An $850m Exit

New! Prefer to read the transcript? We’ve got you covered! You’ll find this week’s transcript below. Welcome to Episode 170! Rob Reid is the Executive Vice President & Managing Director @ Sage Intacct, the undisputed global leader serving finance teams of any size. With over 10,000 employees and and over 3m customers, their financial solutions generate over $2Bn in revenue. Prior to Sage Intacct, Rob led Intacct over an incredible 8 year journey culminating in their reported $850m exit to Sage in 2017. Before that he was CEO and President of LucidEra, a market leader for on-demand business intelligence. Prior to LucidEra, Rob was group Vice President of industry leading Siebel CRM for Oracle, managing the SMB sector. Fun fact: over his phenomenal 30 year career, Rob has been involved with 8 startups, 7 of which have had successful exits. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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 #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,, and The Big Willow. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

Can You Scale Sales in the Bay Area? $30k ACV is Probably The Cut-Off

Silicon Valley / SF has gotten incredibly expensive. Rents, salaries, and perhaps most importantly, turnover. I’ve invested in 5 French start-ups. SF costs 2x Paris, fully burdened. It’s crazy.

And sales teams have gotten particularly expensive, because they don’t quite scale the same way engineers do.  You can pay great engineers a ton, eventually, because 1000s of folks can use the same software.  But you really do need Y reps for every $X00K of new bookings.  Sales gets more expensive as you add customers.  Engineering generally goes the other way, if you are doing it right. Why have sales teams gotten so exepnsive in SF?  It’s not just salaries and bonuses.  Those actually haven’t grown 2x in the past 5 years.  But the fully burdened cost probably has grown 2x, because:

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 #159: Fred Shilmover, Founder & CEO @ InsightSquared Discusses Why CAC/LTV Is Not The Guiding Metric In SaaS

Welcome to Episode 159! Fred Shilmover is the CEO and co-founder of InsightSquared, one of Boston’s premiere tech startups paving the way in the sales intelligence space. Throughout the InsightSquared journey, Fred has raised over $25m in VC funding from the likes of DFJ, Bessemer, Salesforce, and Atlas Venture. Prior to founding InsightSquared, Fred was a corporate development associate with Salesforce Ventures, and before that he held several key roles at Bessemer Venture Partners, including associate and Director of IT. He is also a board member of TUGG, an organization that brings together tech entrepreneurs with social enterprises that support at-risk youth.   In Today’s Episode You Will Learn: