The Competition You Always Have: Headspace and Budget


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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A common VC-ism is that You Always Have Competition.  This probably is mostly true, especially since 70% of the top SaaS companies are really just new versions of old, established categories.

About 70% of SaaS Unicorns Are New Versions of Existing Categories of Software

But sometimes, you really are something new.  Or so different, that it’s basically new.  Or a new version of a solution in a market that used to be small, so many customers never considered it until now.  So for them, it’s new.

OK let’s stipulate you may not actually have any direct competition.  The type that is in every deal with you, duking it out.

But then you still have at least 2 other types of competition.  DIfferent, but even fiercer competition.  That is hard to see, but real.  Headspace and Budget.

Headspace is probably the biggest competition Continue reading "The Competition You Always Have: Headspace and Budget"

“Top lessons learned from our best and worst marketing experiments” Lucidchart Co-Founder and CEO Karl Sun (Video + Transcript)


This post is by Faith Storey from SaaStr


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Lucidchart has been recognized as one of the most mature Product Lead Growth business models in the market, driving over 700,000 registrations per month, combined with a hyper-efficient B2B business model. It didn’t happen by accident. It happened through experimentation: from extensive A/B testing (with over 500 marketing tests completed in 2018), to testing crazy brand videos (which have garnered over 200 million views and was named the only ad campaign that truly mattered in 2018 by Adweek), to constant iteration and expansion of the business model. Experimental marketing brings together the science and art of marketing, allowing for creativity that drives results. It’s an essential skill in the toolkit of the modern marketer, and one that’s easy to get started with, no matter your company scale. Want to see more content like this? Join us at SaaStr Annual 2020. Karl Sun | Co-Founder and CEO @ Lucidchart FULL TRANSCRIPT
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How Community Content Is Driving Marketing in the SaaS Ecosystem


This post is by Rodney Laws from Openview Labs


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The advent of the SaaS model fundamentally changed how software companies approach customer service. When each piece of software was sold as a high-priced package, the emphasis was on traditional sales tactics: stress the positives, gloss over the negatives, make the sale and move on — make it past your refund period, and you’re safe. But the move to a subscription-based strategy made that approach untenable because assent could no longer be won and forgotten about. Instead, it suddenly needed to be continually earned, with each fresh month presenting an opportunity to keep a customer around or lose them to a more appealing competitor. This naturally had an impact upon how companies presented themselves. Instead of products, they started to sell services, and brand reputation became essential for more than just determining initial expectations of quality. Given that ongoing SaaS marketing now demands great priority, it’s only sensible to ask
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On a growth tear, work trip SaaS TravelPerk adds $60M to its Series C


This post is by Natasha Lomas from SaaS – TechCrunch


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Business travel SaaS startup, TravelPerk, has announced it’s more than doubled the $44M Series C round we wrote about just nine months ago — taking in a further $60M from its existing investors, which brings the round to $104M, and the business’ total raised to date to $134M.

Investors increasing the size of their Series C commitment are Kinnevik, partners of DST Global, Target Global, Felix Capital, Sunstone, and LocalGlobe. A mere three years ago the 2015-founded, Barcelona-based startup had bagged a $7M Series A — with a pitch to take the pain out of business travel booking. Since then it’s been on a major growth tear. Co-founder and CEO Avi Meir says this momentum is behind the Series C expansion. “We grew faster than expected,” he tells TechCrunch. “Unit economics are fantastic. Investors have been pushing us to inject more funding, accelerate our growth, and expand faster. We Continue reading "On a growth tear, work trip SaaS TravelPerk adds $60M to its Series C"

My client pays but doesn’t use the product they signed up for at all. Should I cancel them?


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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No. Instead, what you should try to do is renew them, especially in the enterprise. I’ve had many customers, especially big old customers, get excited, plan and buy … and then for internal reasons, deployment got pushed out. Many of them never used the product at all in Year 1. Yet, almost all (several brand names) renewed! Why?
  • First, they’d already budgeted for it. So the renewal was still realistic.
  • Second, they still wanted to make the business process change and had picked their vendor of choice. So why change, even if deployment was delayed?
So yes, it’s a big bummer when a larger customer buys but doesn’t use. But that may only mean, not yet. Treat them as a much more realistic renewal than your gut tells you. And just go out and ask them what you can do to help to speed up the deployment. View original question Continue reading "My client pays but doesn’t use the product they signed up for at all. Should I cancel them?"

Is it popular for SaaS to offer price lock guarantee?


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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It is popular in enterprise sales, especially as a “trick” to get a customer to sign a multi-year deal. Why would a customer sign a multi-year deal (especially one with cash up-front)? Two reasons:
  • An additional discount. I.e., another 10% off for a 3 year deal, cash up-front. This will sound great in the early years, when cash is king. Later, perhaps less so, as it’s yet another discount you didn’t have to give.
  • Price protection. This is a big deal in the enterprise, where things are budgeted. The last thing I want as an enterprise buyer is to get to start using a new app, budget say $400k a year for it for years to come … and have the vendor raise the price to $600k. That wrecks my budget (and some trust). So in many cases, an enterprise buyer is somewhat happy to do a 3+ Continue reading "Is it popular for SaaS to offer price lock guarantee?"

SaaStr Meet-UP in NYC on Sept 3!!


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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SaaStr is in New York right before a trip to Hubspot’s Inbound event and we’ll be doing a meet-up for 150 or so in SOHO on Sept 3. We’ll put the agenda up soon, but we’ll start at 5pm, have a few informal sessions on scaling SaaS businesses at 6pm, and then talk ARR, NPS, and more until then kick us out (OK probably 7:30-8pm).  We’ll be at Digital Ocean’s super-cool NYC HQ in SOHO. More later, but we only have room for about 100 total open tickets, and 40 are already taken, so grab one now!!  See you there!     The post SaaStr Meet-UP in NYC on Sept 3!! appeared first on SaaStr.

Pricing Insights from a VC Perspective [Podcast]


This post is by Kyle Poyar from Openview Labs


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We’re bringing OV Partner Liz Cain back to the podcast for the third time. On this episode, she and Kyle dive into their experiences with pricing and product led growth. Learn about some of the most common pricing mistakes they see and why they were both hesitant about PLG initially, but came around in a big way. Prefer to listen on iTunes? Click here. The post Pricing Insights from a VC Perspective [Podcast] appeared first on OpenView.

From CIO to CEO – What It Takes and Why It Works


This post is by Yvonne Wassenaar from Openview Labs


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All businesses are becoming software businesses. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in or what size company you are, software is a critical component—a foundational element. Couple that with the emerging trend of applying Agile software development principles to business development, and it’s easy to understand why CIOs who aspire to be CEOs—a career path that’s more common than you might think—are able to make that leap successfully. There are actually quite a few points of commonality between the CIO and CEO roles. There are also some very distinct differences. I have personal insight into how and where they overlap and diverge because I’ve made this transition myself. From CIO at New Relic, Inc., I took on the CEO role at Airware. Today, I am CEO at Puppet, a company that provides infrastructure automation and delivery solutions that enable teams to more securely scale the software that powers
Continue reading "From CIO to CEO – What It Takes and Why It Works"