The Salesforce MBA: What We Learned with FinancialForce, Twilio, StitchFix (Video + Transcript)

We were very happy to have the Salesforce “Mafia,” consisting of four executives–three who have since moved onto their next ventures–on the Strategy Stage so they could discuss some important lessons learned from being a part of the 19-year-old SaaS powerhouse. Leyla Seka, EVP of Appexchange/Salesforce, Tod Nielsen, President & CEO of FinancialForce; Cathy Polinsky, CTO at Stitch Fix; and George Hu, COO of Twilio, share the mistakes they made, what they loved about Salesforce’s culture, the importance of establishing priorities and V2MOM, and how they’ve applied what they’ve learned to their new companies. And if you haven’t heard: SaaStr Annual is less than one week away,  and we’ve made it bigger and better than ever! Join 10,000 fellow founders, investors and execs for 3 days of unparalleled networking and epic learnings from SaaS legends like Jon MillerDavid SteinbergJennifer Tejada, and Eoghan McCabe. If you
Continue reading "The Salesforce MBA: What We Learned with FinancialForce, Twilio, StitchFix (Video + Transcript)"

The Salesforce MBA: What We Learned with FinancialForce, Twilio, StitchFix (Video + Transcript)

We were very happy to have the Salesforce “Mafia,” consisting of four executives–three who have since moved onto their next ventures–on the Strategy Stage so they could discuss some important lessons learned from being a part of the 19-year-old SaaS powerhouse. Leyla Seka, EVP of Appexchange/Salesforce, Tod Nielsen, President & CEO of FinancialForce; Cathy Polinsky, CTO at Stitch Fix; and George Hu, COO of Twilio, share the mistakes they made, what they loved about Salesforce’s culture, the importance of establishing priorities and V2MOM, and how they’ve applied what they’ve learned to their new companies. And if you haven’t heard: SaaStr Annual is less than one week away,  and we’ve made it bigger and better than ever! Join 10,000 fellow founders, investors and execs for 3 days of unparalleled networking and epic learnings from SaaS legends like Jon MillerDavid SteinbergJennifer Tejada, and Eoghan McCabe. If you
Continue reading "The Salesforce MBA: What We Learned with FinancialForce, Twilio, StitchFix (Video + Transcript)"

Aaref Hilaly, Sequoia Capital: How to Manage Up Have Happy a Board, Even When You Miss a Quarter (Video + Transcript)

No matter how great of a company you have, no matter how successful you could potentially become, you will miss a quarter or two…or more. Aaref Hilaly, Partner at Sequoia Capital, knows the gut-wrenching feeling of missing quarters, sometimes even horribly. That being said, he’s been able to come out of it on top and built amazing companies. And at Sequoia Capital, he works with a lot of SaaS companies who’ve gone through the same. Aaref discusses best practices for managing your board of directors and how to be proactive in communicating when things go wrong. For starters, don’t manage your board (even though that’s in the title of this talk), engage with them. The board meeting is there for you, the entrepreneur, not the investors. And contrary to what we often talk about at SaaStr, always focus on product over metrics. Remember, the important thing isn’t the fact that
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David Barrett (CEO of Expensify): Good Intentions, Bad Advice: How to Keep Your Board Aligned with Your Vision (Video + Transcript)

If you want to know about dynamics between members on your board and how to get through the “valley of death,” aka getting from 0 to $1 million in ARR, then you should hear what David Barrett, CEO of Expensify, has to say. Expensify started as what was viewed as a horrible idea and turned into a successful company whose product is used by companies big and small. That was in no small part due to having a board that was aligned with David’s vision. The key to running an effective board is embracing the fact that there are many different perspectives on your board and understanding what drives each person that’s on it. For example, you should understand how a VC actually makes their money – the reality may surprise you. But despite all this talk of boards, you have to remember that while they’re important, nothing of interest
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The Cavalry Finally Came: Breaking Through the $5-$6m ARR Wall (Video + Transcript)

Scaling from $0 to a few million is already tough enough as it is, but many companies face the seemingly impossible hurdle of breaking through that $5-$6 million ARR wall. Laura Bilazarian, CEO at Teamable, leads this session with Louis Jonckheere, Co-CEO at Showpad, and Fred Stevens Smith, CEO at Rainforest QA, to discuss how they scaled past that milestone and the mistakes and triumphs they experienced during their journey in getting there. They get into detail about hiring the right people. For example, the problem with hiring SDRs in the Valley, why you should over-hire for customer success, and why bringing on an HR leader can be a game changer for your business. If you’re trying to break through the wall, you’ll also want to know how to communicate with your board and bringing on board members that understand what it’s like being a founder. One of the toughest Continue reading "The Cavalry Finally Came: Breaking Through the $5-$6m ARR Wall (Video + Transcript)"

The Inside Story of Krux and its $700m Acquisition (Video + Transcript)

In this session, Marc Bodnick, former Business and Community Leader at Quora, sits down with longtime friend Tom Chavez, Co-Founder and CEO of Krux, to get the inside story of Krux starting from its early days to getting acquired by Salesforce for a cool $700 million back in November 2016. Tom discusses where the idea of Krux came from, his problem with the company being called a data management platform, how to deal with investors, and why getting acquired by Salesforce made sense – even though he felt Krux could’ve lasted for another 25 years. And if you haven’t heard: SaaStr Annual will be back in 2018, bigger and better than ever! Join 10,000 fellow founders, investors and execs for 3 days of unparalleled networking and epic learnings from SaaS legends like Jon MillerDavid SteinbergJennifer Tejada, and Eoghan McCabe. If you don’t have tickets, lock Continue reading "The Inside Story of Krux and its $700m Acquisition (Video + Transcript)"

How the Relationship Changes Between CEO and VP Sales After Funding (Video + Transcript)

You know what they say, money changes people. But how does funding change the relationship between a CEO and VP of Sales? Russ Fradin, CEO at Dynamic Signal, and Scott Schnaars, VP Sales at Dynamic Signal, explore the dramatic evolution of the relationship as the company moves from one stage to another. They answer several questions that they wished they had asked but didn’t. How aligned are investor expectations with sales expectations? What does international expansion look like? Do you, as a CEO, know what’s going on with your product and market or are you just delegating that to your head of sales? If you want to learn more about how to navigate the changing dynamic between a CEO and VP of Sales, don’t miss out on this session. You can view the slide deck here. And if you haven’t heard: SaaStr Annual will be back in 2018, bigger Continue reading "How the Relationship Changes Between CEO and VP Sales After Funding (Video + Transcript)"

Nutanix: Going from 0 to $4B (Video + Transcript)

Arif Janmohamed, Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, is joined by Sudheesh Nair, President at Nutanix, on the Strategy Stage to talk about the incredible journey of going from $0 to $4 billion in such a short amount of time. From starting out as a few lines of code written at a Starbucks to becoming the fastest growing public enterprise cloud company of the last couple of decades, there’s so much to learn from Nutanix’s growth. Sudheesh talks about growing and shifting from one gear the next, selling to “misfits” and why they’re beneficial at in the early stages, the best way to support salespeople and how they bring an Amazon-like experience inside the data center. And if you haven’t heard: SaaStr Annual will be back in 2018, bigger and better than ever! Join 10,000 fellow founders, investors and execs for 3 days of unparalleled networking and epic learnings from SaaS
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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)"

Black Friday sale and new agenda tracks for SaaStr Annual 2018… you in?

Bring your team – we’ll have content for everyone!

We’re building out content for your entire team at SaaStr Annual 2018! More speakers are being confirmed every day, and these are just a few of the awesome sessions that you can’t afford to miss: Marketing
  • Customers Come First: Connecting through Emotion with Tom Klein. CMO of MailChimp
  • Email is Still King: How to Prevail through the Noise with Scott Heimes, CMO of SendGrid
  • How to be a CMO for Enterprise and for SMBs with CMO, Cybereason
  • Making SEO Work for You with Sarah Bird, CEO of MozSaaStr Annual 2018 Customer Success and Marketing Panel
Sales
  • Finding Your True Core Customer
  • Nailing Your First Tradeshow or Conference as a Sales Rep
  • Creating Your First Sales Rep Comp Plan
  • Building Your Best Outbound Team with Aaron Ross, author of Predictable Revenue
Customer Success