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"

Sales & Marketing Spend: How Lucidchart Scaled to 10M Users with Zero Burn [Podcast]

Sales and marketing spend is and should be top of mind for sales leaders. On the BUILD podcast, Liz Cain, Partner at OpenView, discusses how and why companies waste resources. Later on we chat with Dave Grow, President & COO at Lucidchart, to learn from his experience scaling the company to 10M users with few wasted resources. Prefer to listen on iTunes? Access the episode here.  
The post Sales & Marketing Spend: How Lucidchart Scaled to 10M Users with Zero Burn [Podcast] appeared first on OpenView Labs.

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:

How the Fastest Growing Startups Build Their Sales Teams

To achieve explosive growth, technology startups need to have world-class sales teams. From smart cities and driverless cars to artificial intelligence, big data and SaaS, 2018 is ripe for companies to achieve record revenue and profits. That is, if they have the right sales team in place. A company’s success depends on the ability of its sales teams to deliver sustainable, predictable revenue at scale. At Peak Sales Recruiting, we have seen seismic shifts in the industry in just the last year alone. The building blocks of developing a great sales team have not changed – recruiting, interviewing, hiring, training and development. However, the nuances within each discipline have modernized, requiring sales leadership playbooks to be updated. Here are 3 ways fast-growing startups build sales teams differently

1. Recruit Customer Focused and Tech-Savvy Reps

While being a good salesperson requires innate characteristics – or what I like to call
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4 Ways to Use Agile Sales to Improve Your Cold Email Conversion

The very idea of sending cold emails may cause you to shy away from even considering it. You may wonder if you’re wasting your time. Does it even work? With the cold email open rate being lower than that of an opt-in email list, and it sounding a little like cold-calling, it’s understandable that some companies aren’t excited about giving it a try. In order to make cold emails convert, there are a couple things we need to reframe as we think about it. First, we need to approach cold emails as a way to start a conversation, not make a sale. When you’re sending cold emails, you can’t come on too strong. Nowhere in a cold email should you be trying to sell the advantages of a product or service. A cold email should always include the ways in which your business can help that person.
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Top Tips to Retain Your Superstar Salesperson

When you consider the average employer spends 3.7 – 5.5 months replacing the role of a salesperson and spends $97,690 in doing so, there’s certainly commercial advantage to be gained by retaining top sellers. On the flip side, a Glassdoor survey reported that “only 19% of sales reps have no immediate plans to leave their companies. Meanwhile, 68% plan to look for a new job within the next year and 45% plan to look for a new job within the next three months.” Given salespeople are notorious for hop, skip and jumping out the door in the hope of so-called greener pastures, now is the time to reconsider all the reasons why this may be the case, particularly if it’s happening within your own business. With statistics like those mentioned above already on the table, you can bet your boots one or more of your very
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The 3 Biggest Factors That Drive Sales Close Rates – And How to Navigate Them

For sales organizations, there’s simply nothing worse than losing a deal during the final proposal and negotiation stages. By that point, significant resources have been invested and the sales professional has dedicated much of her time to building the relationship, asking what she thinks are the right questions, and demonstrating value of the solution. These resources are not insignificant, either. For nearly every enterprise sales cycle, considerable time (and monetary) investments are made:
  • Finance and legal teams work hard on contracts, proposals, and revisit redlines
  • Investment is made for travel, onsites, custom materials, and prospect entertainment
  • The sales professional spends significant time spent on prepping for calls, running meetings, conducting admin work, and sending follow-ups
  • The sales leader spends time on the deal during 1:1 sessions, strategic account planning, and helping to quarterback the deal
Salesforce.com released B2B sales data that shows, on average, only 13% of leads convert
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Cold Meetings Don’t Convert to Sales Wins – Or Do They?

It’s one thing to get meetings. It’s another to generate sales wins. Too many sellers rely too heavily on inbound leads, referrals, and repeat business. However, there often isn’t enough of these to go around to allow you to reach your overall sales target. If you need to drive your own pipeline, you need cold meetings. Unfortunately, many sellers don’t even believe that cold meetings result in sales. First off, if you don’t believe cold meetings can convert to sales, you’re right! It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. For many sellers, it’s their approach to cold meetings that condemns their success. Leading a sales meeting where you’re the one setting the meeting and driving the demand is different than when the buyer reaches out to you and requires its own approach. When you set a meeting with a buyer, there isn’t a stated buyer need. The onus is on you to lead
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Why Great Pitches Come From Customers: 5 Questions for Pinpointing Why They Really Buy

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on LinkedIn here. A few months ago, the CEO of a growth-stage software company on the East Coast engaged me to align his team around a new strategic narrative – the high-level story they’ll pitch in sales, fundraising, recruiting, everything. After a half-day kickoff session with the team, the CEO and I had dinner at a crab restaurant, where he told me he was concerned.
“How are we going to take all of my team’s divergent ideas,” he said, digging the meat from a stubborn claw, “and merge them into one simple, powerful narrative?”
To be sure, judging by the opinions expressed in the kickoff session, you’d think some of his team members operated in completely different markets. Thankfully, experience has taught me that this is almost always the case, and not to panic. Because there was one voice we hadn’t yet heard
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