Why Your Sales Teams Can’t Cross-sell

A CEB Gartner study completely contradicts what has been conventional wisdom in SaaS, that strong customer service is a critical part of a sales team’s ability to not just retain clients but grow and accelerate account revenue. The study titled “Driving Account Growth through Smarter Account Management” found that while better than expected customer service helps retain a sales account, it doesn’t actually impact the degree to which the account grows. Indeed, 88% of account managers that were surveyed believe providing above and beyond service is the surest way to drive growth. The wider research, however, found absolutely no connection between the level of service provided to a customer and the likelihood that the customer will buy additional products or services. In fact, existing sales channels have taken on responsibility for cross-selling newly acquired business products and sales leaders report a 2.3x increase in the size of their sales
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The Double-Stretch Hire Rarely Works Out

Over the past years at SaaStr, we’ve summarized a lot of VP-level hiring decisions down to one strategic choice:  do you pick a Stretch VP, one that hasn’t quite done it before, a Director of Sales to be your VP of Sales, etc. …. or do you pick someone that has the Perfect LinkedIn, and has seemingly done it all?  The choice in reality is often not a choice, but rather an illusion.  Because the perfect candidate, even if she really exists, isn’t going to join your start-up.  Not until you are Coinbase, or Intercom, or Algolia, or whatever.  So that perfect LinkedIn, that seemingly perfect VP experience … well that candidate is usually either a wash-out, or someone that never really did it. A few classic posts on that “choice” here.  They are pretty good and each worth a read:

Saastr Podcast #192: Michael Katz, Founder & CEO @ mParticle Shares Why Multi-Year Deals Are Not All Good

Welcome to Episode 192! Michael Katz is the Founder & CEO @ mParticle, the customer data platform that integrates all of your data and orchestrates it across channels, partners and systems. To date, Michael has raised over $75m in funding with mParticle from the likes of Social Capital, Greylock Partner, GV, Battery Ventures and more great names. Prior to founding mParticle, Mike was the Founder & CEO @ Interclick, where he organically grew revenue to over $140m in 5 years. The company went public in 2009 and was acquired by Yahoo in 2012 for $270m, a 50% premium on existing share price. If that was not enough, Michael is also a board member at Adaptly and Brightline. In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

What to do Better Next Time – A Lesson from Current CEOs (Video + Transcript)

We sat down with CEOs of high-growth SaaS startups across the world on what they would do better next time. Featuring:
PJ Bouten – Co-Founder and CEO at Showpad
Hande Cilingir – Co-Founder and CEO at Insider
Frederic Plais – CEO at Platform.sh
Jason Lemkin – Founder at SaaStr
Joanne Chen – Partner at Foundation Capital Also, if you didn’t join SaaStr Europa, we’re having it again in 2019. Check out ticket prices and keep your eye diversity and inclusion ticket updates. Seriously, who doesn’t want a good FREE reason to fly over to Paris? Transcript Joanne Chen: My name is Joanne. I’m a partner of Foundation Capital and I am super excited to be here. We’re at the best SaaS conference in the world. And, the most beautiful city in the world, look at this venue. So, I think we need to give Jason and his team Continue reading "What to do Better Next Time – A Lesson from Current CEOs (Video + Transcript)"

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:

How to Build a World Class Outbound Team with Aaron Ross, Author of Predictable Revenue (Video + Transcript)

At SaaStr Europa a few months ago, we had Aaron Ross join us in Paris to educate the evergrowing European SaaS landscape. In his session, he talks about growing and building a thriving outbound sales team. To build this team, there are three areas you need to focus on. Check out the session below to see what you could be doing to improve your sales team. Also, if you didn’t join SaaStr Europa, we’re having it again in 2019. Check out ticket prices and keep your eye diversity and inclusion ticket updates. Seriously, who doesn’t want a good FREE reason to fly over to Paris? Transcript Aaron Ross: I’m happy to be here in Paris. It’s been seven or eight years since I was here last with my little family trip. Interestingly enough, my wife was supposed to come here last night with me, but we have a baby who’s Continue reading "How to Build a World Class Outbound Team with Aaron Ross, Author of Predictable Revenue (Video + Transcript)"

4 Proven Strategies For Retaining Your Best Sales Employees

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on the Avenue Talent Partners blog here. If you’ve been in startup leadership for any amount of time, when I say retaining sales employees is especially hard right now, you probably know exactly what I mean. It is PAINFUL when your best people leave you and you’re left figuring out how to rebuild. But if you’ve experienced this first hand, you’re not alone – some of the data swirling around on sales retention for tech startups is a little scary:
  1. The Tech/Software sector has the highest turnover rate of any industry (13.5%)
  2. Salespeople turnover at twice the rate of the rest of the labor force (27%)
  3. The average tenure of a VP of Sales has shrunk to just 19 months
Why is this so hard right now? Can you eliminate or reduce it? Without a doubt, yes. There are ways to combat this
Why professionals leave
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9 Reasons Good Salespeople Fail

In my experience at least, strong salespeople fail all the time in new roles.  Good reps, that could otherwise do well, and have in the past. And it feels like it’s happening more often these days, when in tech at least, frictional unemployment approaches 0%. Why do good reps fail at a new role? Often, they simply pick wrong. And the faster people jump to new roles, and jump around, the higher the odds they may a mis-jump. A quick checklist to help you pick better, in this age of the insta-jump:
  • It’s important first to understand, do you need to be in an environment with lots of training, systems, process, and micromanagement? Big Companies, at least some of them, are generally very good at this. Larger, fast-growing start-ups often become excellent at it. Small start-ups are almost always terrible at it. Don’t join a company of less than Continue reading "9 Reasons Good Salespeople Fail"

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:

Annual Contracts: Maybe Not All They Are Cracked Up To Be

I’ve long been a vocal proponent of annual contracts.  I felt like when I was a SaaS CEO and had to go profitable, they helped saved my rear.  Close say a $125k contract, even after a healthy sales commission, that’s $100k+ in the bank right now!  And if your burn rate is low (ours was probably $100k-$150k at the time we started to close bigger annual deals), that’s like a whole extra month of runway just on that deal.  A multi-year pre-paid contract can be even more magical, and give you months of extra cash in a start-up. This is still true.  But as time has gone by, and I’ve worked with more SaaS companies, I’ve also seen the downside of annual contracts at many start-ups as well: