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?
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?"
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 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"
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”
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.
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"