Founder to Founder: 10 Toughest Lessons Getting to the First $100m ARR with Cloudflare (Video + Transcript)

What’s it really like to scale a business from a few users to $100m ARR and 7 million users? Michelle Zatlyn, co‑founder and COO of Cloudflare, sits down with Laura Bilazarian, CEO, co‑founder of Teamable, to share her 10 toughest lessons that she learned while scaling Cloudflare into the business it is today. Cloudflare provides a content delivery network, DDoS mitigation, Internet security services and distributed domain name server services by acting as a reverse proxy for websites. From hiring to customer growth and everything in between– this session from SaaStr Annual 2018 is a must-see for all founders. And if you haven’t heard, we’re building a completely immersive experience for SaaStr Annual 2019! With 3 full days of content sessions, featuring over 300 speakers from the best SaaS companies around the world, SaaStr Annual is filled with actionable thought leadership to help grow your business from $0 to $100M ARR. Team packs are back for next year’s
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Why We’re All Ready for a CRO or COO Earlier These Days

I used to think CROs and COOs were made up titles until “Late Stage” or so, and in startups, a bit of a sign of weakness.  Giving away a fancy title to someone that wasn’t really willing to do the work.  I used to think there’s no way a SaaS startup needs a “CRO” or “COO” or other C-level Officers Without a Clear, Single Functional Area to Own Until $40m-50m+ in ARR.

But … like many things … my views have evolved ?

Three trends have fueled the rise of hiring COOs and CROs closer to $10m ARR than $50M ARR:

TalkDesk: Top 10 VP of Sales Lessons Learned Scaling to $100m+ ARR (Video + Transcript)

Aaron Ross of Predictable Revenue hosts a panel on something we CEOs and founders all want to do: scaling the sales to $100m in ARR. He’s joined on the Hypertactical stage with Andrew Bothwell, VP of Inside Sales at TalkDesk, Aaron Schilke, VP of Enterprise Sales at TalkDesk, and Josh Stein, Partner at DFJ Venture Capital to talk about how to achieve that milestone and the often painful transformations a company has to go through to get there. What got to $1m in ARR probably won’t get you to 10, and it certainly won’t get you to 100. How do you let go of people that were great for one stage, but aren’t fit for the next? How should you think about building out your sales process? What do you need to keep in mind when communicating and making your board happy? Why should you start up your outbound marketing Continue reading "TalkDesk: Top 10 VP of Sales Lessons Learned Scaling to $100m+ ARR (Video + Transcript)"

Lucid Software: How 10 Million Freemium Users Built Our Enterprise Sales (Video + Transcript)

How do you successfully transition from a freemium model to serving enterprise clients? For Karl Sun, CEO of Lucid Chart, and Dan Cook, VP Sales of Lucid Chart, they had to build an extremely successful freemium business (with 10 million users!) first as it provided the foundation for the shift to selling to the enterprise. Karl and Dan discuss why they chose a freemium model, how they got to 10 million users, and the different evolutions the company experienced as they moved into enterprise sales. The first evolution was migrating from support to sales. The second was evolving from a digital marketing focus to one that was demand or lead gen. The third was an evolution from end user support to a customer success organization. The fourth was going from an end user product focus to an enterprise product focus. If you want to know more about Lucid Chart’s Continue reading "Lucid Software: How 10 Million Freemium Users Built Our Enterprise Sales (Video + Transcript)"

Top 5 Things That Change at $50m ARR (Video + Transcript)

You’ve done it; you’ve reached $50 million in ARR. When you’re at 0 working towards your first million, that number almost feels like an impossible milestone to reach. But when you get there, perspectives and realities change once again. Now you’re trying to hit $60 million and eventually $100 million. In this panel, Tien Tzuo, Founder & CEO of Zuora; Aaron Skonnard, CEO at Pluralsight; Nitsa Zuppas, CMO at Veeva Systems; and Scott Dorsey, Managing Partner at High Alpha, discuss the big changes that companies face as the hit that $50 million mark and how to navigate them. They talk about the importance of having people on your team who have gone past your current phase to help you scale. Not only that, but pricing isn’t really about cost, it should be determined by the value you can communicate to your customers. The bigger you get, the harder it is Continue reading "Top 5 Things That Change at $50m ARR (Video + Transcript)"

10 Unicorns at the SaaStr Annual You Can’t Miss! (And We’re Just 87 Days Out!!)

You may be just recovering from Dreamforce or WebSummit today.  Take a break, relax, get that Convention Smell out of your clothes. But after you’ve rested up, we need 100% of your attention on The SaaStr Annual.  We’re just 87 days out! We’ll have 200+ sessions from the best up-and-coming CEOs, VPs of Sales, Product, Marketing, Engineering and Customer Success, and so much more.  As well as 50+ sessions where the VCs pitch you! We’ll also have our fair share of unicorns.  Now SaaStr isn’t all about $1b+ SaaS companies — even though we now have almost 30 (!) of them!  But having the best CEO and unicorn founders on stage, sharing how they got here and the mistakes they made, is always a special experience when done right. Here are 10 of the 20+ unicorns coming to speak — and meet with you
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Field Sales: When Domain Expertise Does Matter. Just Don’t Over-index.

Imagine you are selling a $100,000+ product and you yourself as CEO/founders have limited knowledge selling to the customer base. You’ll be very tempted to hire someone with a seemingly magical rolodex.

What doesn’t work for sure is hiring someone with (x) no domain expertise who also (y) has also only sold small (e.g, $10k) deals. That’s a Double No.

But as the deals get bigger, the value of domain expertise in the early part of a reps tenure does go up.

Because reps with a lot of industry experience in bigger deals don’t always quite have the rolodex they claim — but they often can bring you at least 1 or 2 strong leads. At $1k a year, so what? But at $250k a year, those two ringer deals can more than justify the hire.

Rarely have I seen a sales rep’s enterprise rolodex from past jobs really Continue reading "Field Sales: When Domain Expertise Does Matter. Just Don’t Over-index."

$3 Billion Is the New $1 Billion in SaaS

A funny thing happened as part of the overall bull run the last 2 years: $3 Billion became the New $1 Billion In SaaS.  So maybe it’s time to change the definition of a SaaS Unicorn. Let’s look at Bessemer’s Cloud Index at the last batch of SaaS and SaaS-ish companies to IPO:  Box, Hubspot, Mulesoft, RingCentral, Xero, Zendesk, etc: They are all now $3 Billion+ companies, or close to it. A lot has changed.  I remember in the Series Seed fundraising deck for EchoSign in 2005 (I know, a long time ago), I put on Slide 0 (the cover slide): “Positioned between eFax ($800m) and Salesforce ($2.6b)” to give investors context. Back then, even Salesforce wasn’t at $3b at yet.  Today, the three poster childen for “on prem to SaaS” (Salesforce, Workday, ServiceNow) are worth $130b+ collectively, and Salesforce has grown 40x in value since
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Catch Up on the The Amazing Sessions from the Summer Social!

Missed the SaaStr Summer Social? Good news: all the sessions are now on-line! We’ve got:
  • The CEOs of red-hot PagerDuty + Algolia, talking about how to scale sales and culture, with customers Small, Medium and Large
  • The co-founder and President of unicorn Medallia with Sequoia Capital + CEO of Clari, on all the lessons learned building an inconic SaaS company
  • The VPs of Sales of newly-minted unicorn Duo Security + LinkedIn/EchoSign/Talkdesk on hiring a Great VP of Sales and more;
  • The CIOs of Uber and Netflix talked about how and why big companies really buy from SaaS startups (you will learn a lot from this one)
  • and more!
These really were great sessions. Check ’em out here:   The post Catch Up on the The Amazing Sessions from the Summer Social! appeared first on SaaStr.