Have You Visited Your Top 5 Customers This Year? Well, It’s June. Book the Flights.


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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A ways back on SaaStr, we wrote an important post on your customer success leaders — The 5+2 Rule. That every member of your CS team needs to visit 5 customers in person a month — and be issued 2 customer badges a year (because they visit in-person so often).  At least the ones that manage slightly larger accounts ($20k+). It’s an even better rule to follow today, now that we know the best customers in SaaS literally last decades:
Want Happy Customers? Implement the 5-Visits-Plus-2-Badges Rule. For Your Customer Success Team — And You.
Forcing your CS team to visit 5 customers in person means “more than 1 a week”, and keeps in-person visits top of mind. But what about you — the CEO? You have your own Bare Minimum Customer Visit Quota.  That’s to visit your Top 5 Customers Every YearAnd to meet them Continue reading "Have You Visited Your Top 5 Customers This Year? Well, It’s June. Book the Flights."

It is Better, All Things Being Equal, If Your VCs are Friends


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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In my first start-up, I had some rough experiences with VC collusion. I remember I went to one top VC’s Monday partner meeting (which went well) in the morning, and then in the afternoon, visited another.  The two firms had not only talked between the meetings, but shared feedback and notes!!  I didn’t even know they knew each other, let alone “authorized” them sharing notes between partner pitches.  Both ended up passing.  I’m not sure they would have without the collusion. Later, when we finally got two term sheets (from different firms), each lead VC talked to the other without telling us to dictate and manage terms.  It was kind of rough.  Those 2 term sheets became 1 worst term sheet.  Not cool. At EchoSign, I had a different, but equally painful experience in our seed round.  We received 4 offers to Continue reading "It is Better, All Things Being Equal, If Your VCs are Friends"

When You Raise Prices More Than a Smidge … They At Least Look At Another Vendor


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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We’ve talked quite a bit about the pros and many cons of raising prices on existing customers on SaaStr.  Our general view, and experience, is that until you are fairly mature, raising prices on existing customer isn’t worth it.  It impacts your NPS and relationships.  And importantly, it will burn up a lot of internal discussion and brain cycles and won’t really matter.  Raising prices on a small group of customers today won’t move the long-term needle.  Focus that energy instead on bringing in new customers, and building new editions for your existing customers.  Find a way for them to organically buy more from you instead. A price increase on the existing base can move the needle when you are at say SurveyMonkey’s size and growth profile … but you aren’t there today:
5 Interesting Learnings from SurveyMonkey. As It Crosses $300m in ARR.
Continue reading "When You Raise Prices More Than a Smidge … They At Least Look At Another Vendor"

Are You Interviewing 50+ Years Young SaaS Veterans? You Should Be.


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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SaaS as we know it probably started in 1999.  Salesforce was founded then, NetSuite just before that.  SurveyMonkey was founded in 1999, one of the few SMB survivors of that era.  There were apps before that (e.g., WebEx was founded in 1995), but Salesforce kicked off the current era, and is the biggest player in SaaS. That means, especially if you are HQ’d in the Bay Area or have or are opening an office there … the market is flooded with folks with up to 20 years of SaaS experience now.   That’s a lot of experience, especially if you are a first-time founder.
SaaS: Maybe Plan for 30+ Years as a Founder
Certainly, the playbook has evolved in the last 20 years.  The software sure looks a lot different: But not that much in terms of overall approaches to scaling has really changed,
Continue reading "Are You Interviewing 50+ Years Young SaaS Veterans? You Should Be."

Meet a Mentor or VC with Braindates at SaaSt Europa


This post is by Amelia Ibarra from SaaStr


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We’re quickly approaching our second ever SaaStr Europa, and this time we’ll have 2 full days, with double networking, a stellar lineup of SaaS all-star speakers and of course, the best Happy Hours. With only 100 tickets left, there’s limited space to join the best of the best on 12-13 June in the heart of Paris, so if you’ve been considering attending SaaStr Europa, now’s your chance to snag one of the very last tickets.  In true SaaStr fashion, we’re scaling up the mentoring this time and making it easier for you to find your tribe. We’ve held Braindates, peer-to-peer mentoring sessions, at two consecutive Annuals, and last year’s inaugural Europa, and every single time it’s been a smash hit with our community. So guess what? Not only are we bringing them back, but we’re making them better than ever!  Now there are three ways you can Continue reading "Meet a Mentor or VC with Braindates at SaaSt Europa"

What Is Relationship Marketing And How You Can Use It To Grow Your Business


This post is by Lisa Foster from Groove Blog


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How to turn existing customers into engaged brand advocates New relationships are always exciting—and the business kind are no exception. Your new customers are thrilled to have found a great solution, and you’re excited about your business growth. The issue is that many companies (especially the ones in their early stages) think they have more […] The post What Is Relationship Marketing And How You Can Use It To Grow Your Business appeared first on Groove Blog.

10 Crystal Clear Signs Your VP of Sales Just Isn’t Going to Work Out


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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We’ve written a lot on SaaStr on how to find a great VP of Sales, what the risks are, what risks to take, etc. We’ve also summarized a few critical factors that will tell you, within 30 days, if your VP of Sales won’t work out.  This post was pretty controversial originally, but I think most folks now agree with its conclusions:
If Your VP Sales Isn’t Going to Work Out — You’ll Know in 30 Days
But given how often folks still don’t pull the plug on a bad VP of Sales hire for up to a year … I wanted to bullet out a longer, 10 point checklist of Warning Signs.  That she or he just isn’t going to work out … at your start-up.  Maybe at a different one, at a different time, or stage, or subject matter they might be successful.  But
Continue reading "10 Crystal Clear Signs Your VP of Sales Just Isn’t Going to Work Out"

5 Things You Need to Do to Create a Category with Gainsight (Video + Transcript)


This post is by Faith Storey from SaaStr


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Building a company is hard enough, but what if there’s no clear market to launch into? That’s the situation Gainsight CEO Nick Mehta and CMO Anthony Kennada found themselves in when they joined the company that would become Gainsight in 2013. There was no playbook for category creation, so they built their own—and catapulted Gainsight into one of the fastest growing private companies in the world.
Join Nick and Anthony for an open and honest look into their playbook to building the Customer Success category: the needle movers, the mistakes, and everything in between. Want to see more content like this session? Join us for SaaStr Annual 2020. FULL TRANSCRIPT BELOW Nick Mehta – CEO @ Gainsight Anthony Kennada – CMO @ Gainsight Nick Mehta: Hi, I’m Nick. Anthony Kennada: Hi, I’m Anthony. Nick Mehta: And we’re here to talk to you about how category creation isn’t something Continue reading "5 Things You Need to Do to Create a Category with Gainsight (Video + Transcript)"

From Freemium to Explosive Growth in a Crowded Market – 8 Years of Learnings with Zoom (Video + Transcript)


This post is by Faith Storey from SaaStr


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Join Zoom Founder and CEO Eric Yuan and SaaStr COO Mallun Yen as they delve into the secrets of Zoom’s success. Eric talks about the early days of Zoom – how he secured his first investors, employees, and major customers – as well as how Zoom maintains a happiness-oriented culture while achieving skyrocketing growth. Zoom has filed to go public and plans to list on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol $ZM. Quick recap:
  • Keep your pricing simple
  • Have your user conference around $10M ARR or earlier
  • Take advantage of your VCs connections
  • Being an engineer can give you the upper hand as a CEO because you understand the product
Want to see more content like this session? Join us for SaaStr Annual 2020. FULL TRANSCRIPT BELOW Eric Yuan – CEO & Founder @ Zoom Mallun Yen – COO @ SaaStr Eric Yuan: Overall, we want to be very open. Flexible
Continue reading "From Freemium to Explosive Growth in a Crowded Market – 8 Years of Learnings with Zoom (Video + Transcript)"