top 5 things a great sales vp does

your #1 mis-hire: the VP of sales

in so many start-ups – especially Software-As-A-Service (SaaS) / tech, the majority of first VP Sales fail. they don’t even make it 12 months (we’ve heard that the average tenure for VP Sales of early companies in the valley averages 18 months – and that includes the winners – ouch!). Read more on top 5 things a great sales vp does…
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Marketo: Winning, IPOing, and Going Upmarket (Video + Transcript)

In anticipation of the upcoming SaaStr Annual 2017, we’ll be releasing the full series of transcripts and videos from all the awesome 2016 sessions. We were super excited to have Phil Fernandez, CEO and co-founder of Marketo, sit down and talk to us about the triumphs (and struggles) leading Marketo from inception to IPO. Phil shares his insights on topics, “How do you react and engage with your competitors in a highly competitive market?”, “Do I need a CFO? What kind should I be hiring and when?”, “What’s the difference between the management team you need at $10m ARR vs $500m ARR? And how do you know who you need when?” and more. Watch the video or read the full transcript below – and grab a ticket for you and your team to the SaaStr Annual 2017!

When the Player-Coach is Just That. And No More.

We’ve talked a lot on SaaStr about not screwing up that VP of Sales hire.  Done right, it will accelerate your company to the next level.  Done wrong — you can lose the better part of a year, and half of your last round of capital. And we’ve talked a lot about the trade-offs in the hire, including how to think about Stretch VPs … the ones that haven’t quite done it yet, but working for you is their shot. luke-walton The reality is, most of you are going to hire a Stretch VP for your first VP of Sales, or at least, your first VP of Sales that works out.  More on that here and here.  Otherwise, you’ll probably be stuck with a Failed VP, or someone from Too Big a Company that never did it, etc. etc. Once you’ve made the hire, then you have make sure you’ve got Continue reading "When the Player-Coach is Just That. And No More."

All Pricing is Relative. How To Make That Work in Your Favor.

You could spend days reading about pricing and pricing strategies in software on the web, but a lot of this content doesn’t really hit one, basic fundamental point — there is no real reason any particular piece of software should cost anything in particular.  Or something.  Or a lot.  Or anywhere in between.  Because it costs next to nothing to deliver. Facebook and Google are free — and both are better software than anything you’ll ever ship, my friends.  Evernote is dirt cheap.  Dropbox is cheap.  Box Enterprise isn’t.  Salesforce is fairly expensive.  Workday is really expensive.  All seven apps basically cost the same amount to build, host, serve, and ship.  Yes, enterprise software costs more to sell and support and, sometimes, to market than consumer software.  But so what?  Who cares?  The cost to ship the bits every time you log-in or hit refresh is about $0.0000232.  Real software has basically zero core
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Continue reading "All Pricing is Relative. How To Make That Work in Your Favor."

How to Successfully Manage Your First VP of Sales (Guest Post)

I was catching up recently with one of my favorite sales leaders, Matt Cameron, and asked him what he thought the #1 thing he’d love to see on SaaStr.  And I asked him to write it :) He put together a great piece below on how CEOs/founders can learn to manage their first VP of Sales hire.  It’s a terrific list of flags to look for, and also, ways to manage a functional role you likely have never had to manage before. Matt was previously the WW Head of Corporate Sales at Yammer, VP of Sales at Kahuna, and a Director of Enterprise Sales for He enjoys building sales engines for high growth companies, which continues to be his passion. Jason — ed.


Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 10.38.04 AMScreen Shot 2015-08-08 at 9.50.14 AMManaging a sales leader for the first time can be quite a challenge for any CEO – This article is intended as a basic guide Continue reading "How to Successfully Manage Your First VP of Sales (Guest Post)"