The Friends You’ll Lose. And The Ones You’ll Gain.

This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr

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Being a CEO changes you.  Not at first.  The first year or two are a lot like “before”, just more intense.  Now it’s all on your back, and your shoulders.  But over time, your brain does get rewired.  You get focused.

And as part of that change, you will lose friends on many levels if you build a successful start-up.

One tough part of that is if you co-found a company with friends, it’s likely one of them won’t go the distance. And it’s likely that will end up souring the relationship, at least partially. Doing a start-up with a great friend can be very powerful. Just bear in mind, it can also make the break-up a lot tougher.

You’ll also start to have less in common with some of your old friends who aren’t on the super intense founder journey. It’s just so much

Continue reading "The Friends You’ll Lose. And The Ones You’ll Gain."

Designing a Sales to CSM Handoff that Actually Works

This post is by Lincoln Murphy from Customer-centric Growth by Lincoln Murphy

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The best place to set up our relationship with the customer for huge success is right from the beginning and it doesn’t get any earlier than the Sales to CSM Handoff.
Of course, the Sales to CSM Handoff is also where we can (and often do) completely drop the ball and set the relationship with the customer up for massive failure right out of the gate.
So what I’ve put together here is just one way to look at making the Sales to CSM Handoff process streamlined and repeatable so no customers “slip through the cracks” ever again.
What I’ve shared below is obviously for a higher-engagement Sales & CSM environment; for self-service or lower-engagement environments you’ll have to make some adjustments.
But even in higher-engagement situations, you’ll still need to take  what I have shared below and transform it to make it your own.

Behind the Round with SaaStr: Raises $45 Million

This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr

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Tom Taulli

Behind the Round with SaaStr: Raises $45 Million This week Chorus announced its Series C round for $45 million, which was led by Georgian Partners.  This brings the total amount raised at $85.2 million. Founded in 2015, Chorus operates a SaaS platform that provides valuable insights from conversations – say with calls, video conferences and emails — for revenue teams.  The technology is based on leveraging AI (Artificial Intelligence) models and algorithms.  And some of the marquee customers include MongoDB, Gitlab and Qualtrics.   The funding comes at a point when Chorus is in the hypergrowth mode.  Last year, the company doubled its headcount, tripled revenue and landed on G2’s Top 100 Global Software list.   “Within this niche, there are other vendors who operate within Conversation Intelligence, but Chorus’s unique mission to harness the customer’s voice and advanced AI stands Continue reading "Behind the Round with SaaStr: Raises $45 Million"

Atlassian and AWS Say: “Maybe Worry a Little Bit”

This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr

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These are crazy times.  The economy has contracted at a record rate of -33%.  Yet, the Cloud is on fire during Work-and-Do-Everything-Possible-from-Home.  Shopify grew 100% at $3 billion in ARR.  Zoom is growing at rates we’ve never seen before in SaaS and Cloud.  And Morgan Stanley has predicted Cloud penetration will be pulled forward 5+ years or more. And yet … the Cloud and the economy can’t be disconnected forever.  IT budgets come from the cash generations from selling end products to people.  And that economy has taken the steepest fall in history. This week there were 2 quiet flags.  Amazon/AWS and Atlassian both had huge Q2’s.  But they also both warned of potential lower growth during the rest of 2020.  The Cloud is on fire, and Amazon eCommerce and Cloud both were on fire in Q2.  The same
Continue reading "Atlassian and AWS Say: “Maybe Worry a Little Bit”"

The Five Important Trends in Data, and the One Megatrend Powering Them All

This post is by Tomasz Tunguz from Tomasz Tunguz

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    Yesterday, <a href="">Dremio</a> hosted the <a href="">Subsurface Conference</a>, the first conference on cloud data lakes. More than 5000 people registered, and more than 2500 attended. If one had doubts that <a href="">cloud data lakes</a> are a strategic area for many in the data ecosystem, those figures should quash them.
I delivered a presentation at the end of the day that I’ll share here. Entitled 5 Data Trends You Should Know, the presentation covers the major trends we observe in the data world. Here’s a quick narrative of the talk. There is a mega-trend underpinning the changes in data design philosophy and tooling: the rise of the data engineer. Data engineers are the people who move, shape, and transform data from the source to the tools that extract insight. We believe data engineers are the change agents in a decade-long process that
Continue reading "The Five Important Trends in Data, and the One Megatrend Powering Them All"

The CEO Doesn’t Have to Code. But She Does Have to Be Great at One Core Function.

This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr

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Q: Does the CEO need to know code? If yes, how much, or to what extent?

I think the founder-CEO needs to be great at at least one core line function:

  • Able to code and ship a sellable 1.0 (engineering); or
  • Able to close first $1m in revenues (sales); or
  • Able to architect and lay out The Next Big Thing (product); or
  • Able to magically bring customers and users to almost any product (marketing).

If the CEO isn’t a bit of a magician in one of the key functional areas, even best case, great people won’t want to work for her/him. Would you?

And without a great team, even just in the founding team, you’ll probably fail. Why would anyone great join you? Only because you are great, at least in some way.

If the founder/CEO is a magician in one area, and is tenacious and driven, she or he can Continue reading "The CEO Doesn’t Have to Code. But She Does Have to Be Great at One Core Function."

SaaStr Podcast #356 with Atrium Co-Founder Pete Kazanjy

This post is by Amelia Ibarra from SaaStr

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Ep. 356: Pete Kazanjy is the Co-Founder @ Atrium, the startup providing proactive, always-on insights for sales operations, managers, and leaders. Stop asking questions. Start getting answers. Alongside Atrium, Pete is also the Founder of Modern Sales Pros, a community of 15,000 focused on sales operations and sales management. Pete is also the author of Founding Sales, the canonical writing on early-stage startup sales. Prior to founding Atrium, Pete founded TalentBin, culminating in their exit to Monster Worldwide in February 2014. Finally, before TalentBin, Pete founded building the world’s first professional reputation clearinghouse and raising funding from CRV and First Round in the process.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:
  • How Pete made his way into the world of SaaS and how he came to be one of the leading figures on sales operations and management that he is today.
  • Why do founders have to sell the product themselves at the start? When is the right time to hire their first sales reps? What profiles should founders look for in these first reps? What are the most common mistakes founders make when hiring their first reps? How should they structure their comp plans?
  • How do the best onboard their sales reps? What can be done to minimize ramp time of new reps? How is the documentation used most effectively? How can sales calls be used for new rep onboarding? How does Pete think about optimizing payback period on a per rep basis?
  • What are the leading indicators that a sales rep is successful? What are the core metrics founders should measure to determine the effectiveness of their reps and sales teams? How does this differ between SMB and enterprise? What are the challenges with enterprise given the long sales cycles?  
If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented, you can follow us on Twitter here: Jason Lemkin
Harry Stebbings
Pete Kazanjy Below, we’ve shared the transcript of Harry’s interview with Pete. Continue reading "SaaStr Podcast #356 with Atrium Co-Founder Pete Kazanjy"

Go-to-Market Motions: How ZoomInfo Responds to Every Lead Within 90 Seconds

This post is by Henry Schuck from Openview Labs

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In horse racing, it’s not uncommon to see a razor-thin margin between first and second place. Take the 2018 Kentucky Derby as an example: Good Magic lost to Justify by just two-and-a-half lengths. That’s a half-second difference. Realizing that there’s such a small gap between good and great can either be terrifying or empowering. At ZoomInfo, it’s what drives us—especially when it comes to our go-to-market strategy.

“Company X has an incredible product, but they just haven’t built a go-to-market motion around it.”

As the CEO and co-founder of ZoomInfo, this is something I hear in a lot of conversations with VCs and private equity firms. Most companies don’t fail because of a lack of ideas, innovation or size of market—they fail because they didn’t build a predictable, repeatable and efficient motion around finding and keeping their next customer. Because of what’s happening within ZoomInfo in the context
Continue reading "Go-to-Market Motions: How ZoomInfo Responds to Every Lead Within 90 Seconds"

Day 1: Who Should Be CEO? A Checklist.

This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr

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SaaStr has now passed 10,000+ pieces of content, and we’ve somewhat gone on a journey from the early days of a SaaS company, through the growth phases, to the Unstoppable phase, and now has time has gone on, even to the Decacorn phase 🙂  We’re not quite done with that journey but if you’ll forgive me going back in time, I wanted to address an interesting question at Day 1:  Who Should Be CEO? I’ve been reminded of this question in several meetings lately where founders are doing pretty well, getting to and past Initial Traction, but with hindsight it’s interesting that the founder that took the CEO gig perhaps was better suited to a different role, say CTO or SVP of Sales or President or COO or SVP Product. Sometimes when you start a company it’s 100% obvious who the CEO should be.  But sometimes whether it’s egos, or Continue reading "Day 1: Who Should Be CEO? A Checklist."