Weekly Walk with Sharon Mandell, CIO at TIBCO


This post is by Casey Renner from Openview Labs


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This week, I “walked” with Sharon Mandell, CIO at TIBCO, to talk about the chief information officer’s role in pivoting a company to a remote workforce, why this could be a good time to put those marketing dollars into your product, and one of the most important remote work questions these days: What’s her favorite Zoom background?
The post Weekly Walk with Sharon Mandell, CIO at TIBCO appeared first on OpenView.

How bad will SaaS churn get in the downturn?


This post is by Alex Wilhelm from SaaS – TechCrunch


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Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between.

This morning we’re talking about churn — the bane of software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies big and small — in the new world we find ourselves in. SaaS companies, from startups to huge public firms, have built their businesses under strong economic conditions. So what happens to the industry now that the global economy has hit pause, layoffs are piling up across national economies and venture capital is slowing? It’s easy to say that churn will go up; some customers will close, cancelling contracts (boosting gross churn) while other customers will slow software budget growth (limiting net retention). But how bad will things really get? To get a handle on what’s next for churn, I spoke to the CEO of CrowdStrike, a public SaaS company; the CEO Gainsight, a quickly-growing Continue reading "How bad will SaaS churn get in the downturn?"

Great Salespeople Are Made, Not Born. But It Does Help to Start Early.


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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Q: Are great salespeople born or made?

I think they are made in SaaS — but made early.

By that, I mean the best SaaS professionals and managers I know have a variety of approaches and temperaments. Some have a very intellectual approach to sales. Some shoot a lot from the hip. Some are aggressive, others are determined (similar, but different).

But all the best ones I know started early. Often, their first job or close to it. As an SDR. As a recruiter. Maybe even outside of technology. But they started there, learning, improving, and growing.

What I do worry about is someone that later in their career that wants to get into sales because they think it pays better, or is more glamorous. I don’t see that work out that often.

Getting 50 No’s before a Yes is tough. Probably best to learn early if that’s you.

The Continue reading "Great Salespeople Are Made, Not Born. But It Does Help to Start Early."

Stocks post worst quarter since 2008 financial crisis


This post is by Kirsten Korosec from SaaS – TechCrunch


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The first quarter of 2020 ended with a whimper  — with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and NASDAQ posting their worst quarter in decades — as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause uncertainty and volatility across all major stock market indices.

At the beginning of the quarter, we were still basking in a decade-long bull market. The global pandemic, and the economic havoc it caused, put an end to those halcyon days. All major American indices dropped into bear-market territory March 12, after shedding the requisite 20% from recent highs. The rollercoaster continued, with equities bumping along the bottom, periodically popping up, only to fall again as the epicenter of the pandemic shifted from China to Europe and now the United States. The number of cases in the U.S. has prompted states to issue stay at home orders, putting the brakes on business as usual. As Continue reading "Stocks post worst quarter since 2008 financial crisis"

How to value a startup in a downturn


This post is by Alex Wilhelm from SaaS – TechCrunch


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The value of technology companies has fallen as the broader public markets have repriced themselves in light of COVID-19-related market and economic disruptions.

And as the public markets sort out the new value of a huge piece of global business, private companies are being shaken as well. What happens in the public markets trickles into the private markets, so if we’re seeing the value of public tech companies fall, startups are going to take a hit. To understand that dynamic, we spoke with Mary D’Onofrio, an investor with Bessemer Venture Partners. She’s the right person to chat with about the links between private valuations and public share prices as she not only helps put capital into growing startups, she also helps run the Bessemer cloud index (now a partnership with Nasdaq, and trackable on a day-to-day basis). As she’s versed on both sides of the public-private divide, Continue reading "How to value a startup in a downturn"

How Successful Remote Teams Manage Mental Health


This post is by Angelina Ebeling from Openview Labs


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“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”
–Wendy Mass

Mental health challenges for remote workers

In Part I of acework’s Remote Best Practices series, we mentioned how remote and dispersed teams have fewer opportunities for in-person discussions, which may hurt team cohesion and productivity. In addition, this may also be a barrier to knowing if a team member is dealing with a mental health challenge. You, a colleague or a direct report could seem upbeat, productive and engaged on a project online, while in reality you’re struggling to cope. We miss non-verbal cues when much of our workplace communication takes place through a screen or even asynchronously. Of the 2,500 remote workers surveyed in Buffer’s 2019 report The State of Remote Work , unplugging after work hours made the number one spot as the biggest struggle employees faced with remote working.
Continue reading "How Successful Remote Teams Manage Mental Health"

When a VC Investment Fails, Does That Mean It Was a Bad Investment? Probably Not


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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With venture capital investments that fail, is the problem most often with the entrepreneur or was it a bad investment by the VC?

There often is no problem.

The earlier stage you invest, the more often some of them just … don’t work out.

Bill Gurley’s answer to How much money did Benchmark capital lose on Webvan?

The above answer on Quora from Bill Gurley sort of sums it all up. He and they are some of the most successful investors of all time.

But some just don’t work out, even with the best CEOs and founders. Especially when you invest early.

Every VC investor has a model for loss ratios. Both in terms of how many start-ups in their portfolio are modelled to fail, and what % of the capital in that fund is modelled to go into losses. It’s often around 40%/20%. I.e., 40% of the Continue reading "When a VC Investment Fails, Does That Mean It Was a Bad Investment? Probably Not"

What To Do When A Customer Wants to Cancel A Contract


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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In today’s crazy world, more and more vendors are seeing customers that want to cancel annual or longer contracts. What should you do? The simple answer “of course” in that yearly contracts can’t be canceled — per se. That’s the whole point of whatever explicit or implicit discount you give for doing a yearly contract (vs. monthly or quarterly). And the language likely will plainly say the contract cannot be canceled. But … it’s just a contract. So a few qualifiers:
  • If you haven’t received pre-paid cash, it doesn’t matter. Do NOT threaten to send the customer into collections – period. Especially now, these days. There is no effective way to enforce a customer contract if the customer doesn’t want to pay and doesn’t need the service any longer. Do not create drama. This won’t work, and it will turn someone who just might be a customer again into someone Continue reading "What To Do When A Customer Wants to Cancel A Contract"