What Happens When You Hire the Wrong VP


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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A lot of classic SaaStr advice has been how to spot the best potential VPs.  When to hire them.  How to interview them and qualify them.  What they really do.  Etc. etc. Because to scale, you are going to need to add a true management team, and then a second one, and then layers of management.  Otherwise, you’re growth will hit a wall. And you’re are going to hire some VPs that … just don’t work out.  It may be more your fault than theirs.  After all, you know Continue reading "What Happens When You Hire the Wrong VP"

That Super-Successful VP of Sales. Great? Or Just Lucky?


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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I get sent this resume to review all the time. Director+ of Sales at Slack / Zoom / DropBox / Pick Your Brand Name SaaS Company. Took Hot Start-Up from $0 to $30m as VPS from Day 0. Was there “early” through IPO and did amazing things. That all sounds impressive, for sure. But were they great? Or just lucky? The thing is, it’s actually hard to know on the surface. Because it’s not ARR growth or even an IPO alone that determines if a VP of Sales him or herself is great. Because so many people were involved in getting Salesforce to $20,000,000,000 in ARR. It’s really how well they did based on a situation. Come into a #2 player and turn it into #1? That’s kind of amazing. Come into Salesforce at $2 billion and help it get to $5 billion? I mean, that’s great … but … Continue reading "That Super-Successful VP of Sales. Great? Or Just Lucky?"

You Don’t Want Your Dream VP Candidate


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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Ok this is a simple post, and one we’ve touched on many times before.  But it deserves its own post because it’s a mistake so, so many of you will make as you go to hire your first VPs.  And even your second VPs. Don’t hire the “Hot VP”.  Not until you are equally hot, at least. What do I mean?  So many founders, especially first-time founders, fall in love with That Great VP They’ve Heard Of.  The one at SaaStr Annual at Home.  The Continue reading "You Don’t Want Your Dream VP Candidate"

Top 7 Regrets in Hiring VPs. Firing Them Is Not One of Them.


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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Q: Have you ever regretted firing an employee?

No.

I’ve regretted, and still regret almost daily:

  • Waiting too long to make a critical hire. You overload the existing team, and progress stalls out.
  • Not closing my A+++ top choice for a role, no matter what it took. This haunts me to this day. When there is a true game-changer, do whatever it possible takes to close them. And then even when they say No, remember, you still have another chance next week, next month, and next year.
  • Underhiring. Not hiring someone experienced enough Continue reading "Top 7 Regrets in Hiring VPs. Firing Them Is Not One of Them."

How To Get Better at Recruiting. (We All Need To).


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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Recruiting is tough. I certainly don’t do it well enough. But to be a great CEO, you need to find a way to force yourself to be a great recruiter.

Let me share some learnings, and what I do now to force myself to be a better recruiter.  And what I wish I’d done better as a SaaS CEO:

  • Force yourself to interview 30 candidates for each VP position. Great things will happen if you do. First, you will budget a ton of time for recruiting. You’ll have to, to get through 30 interviews. Second, you’ll force yourself to spend more time tracking and managing candidates. And third, you’ll be less
    Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 1.53.29 PM
    Continue reading "How To Get Better at Recruiting. (We All Need To)."

How Do You Solve “Hit By a Bus Risk”? With Great VPs


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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Q:  How do you deal with bus factor in a startup? We are losing an employee which had a cornerstone role but he was tackling this area alone.

Goodness this is one of the toughest parts of scaling.

I remember Aaron Levie, CEO of Box, and I discussed this at one of the SaaStr Annuals, when he lost his VP of Engineering. He had no back-up and thought that was it for Box, it was over. We’ve all lived it. I still live it myself!

It’s one of the biggest risks not just in the early days, but really just as you scale. Until you get to at least 50 employees, there’s rarely a second layer of management, a Plan B, a back-up for each role.

All I can tell you is this:

The Top 10 Mistakes Made in Hiring Your First Sales Team


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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I know we’ve hit a number of these points individually before on SaaStr, but after getting asked about the top mistakes hiring your first sales team so many times over the years, I thought it would be worthwhile to assemble a Top 10 List. Because it seems like so many of us just make these mistakes again, and again. And again. Make fewer of them and you’ll scale faster with less stress. Here’s my Top 10 list: #1. You hire a sales rep to sell before you can prove you can do it yourself.  You have to prove it’s sellable first. You can’t outsource this. Yes, you may be terrible at sales.  But you are the CEO.  You know the product cold.  You can do it.  Or you need to find a way to do it.  More here. #2. You hire a VP of Continue reading "The Top 10 Mistakes Made in Hiring Your First Sales Team"

Why Founder-Led Sales Breaks Earlier Than You Think


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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Over the years at SaaStr we’ve talked a lot about hiring a great VP of Sales, when it works, when it does, and how it moves the needle.  Put simply, a great VP of Sales will come in and take whatever leads you have more … and get more out of them.  Close more of them.  And close them for more money, on average.  The combination of the two alone can dramatically increase your new bookings, even with the exact same number of leads.  More on that here. What we haven’t discussed as much is the simple math
Continue reading "Why Founder-Led Sales Breaks Earlier Than You Think"

Forward Stock Splits: Sometimes, Just Having More Shares Does Help


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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Q:  As forward stock splits create further dilution, why would a company want to split?

Forward splits (e.g., everyone gets 2 shares for each 1 share they have now) do not create dilution (nor do reverse splits). Shareholders (and optionholders) receive more shares during a forward split.

Why would you do this?

  • Gets share price down, for public companies. Still an issue today. Apple at $1000+ makes each share hard to buy for smaller investors.
  • Match a typical IPO share price, pre-IPO. Start-ups still like to IPO around $15-20 per share, plus or minus. This gives room for a “pop” and a share price still well under $100. If your private, pre-IPO share price is say $40, then a 2-for-1 forward split will get that down to $20, with the same economics for each shareholder and employee.
  • Optics, for private companies. Just having more shares sometimes really can
    Continue reading "Forward Stock Splits: Sometimes, Just Having More Shares Does Help"

SaaStr Podcast #364 with Figma Head of Sales Kyle Parrish


This post is by Amelia Ibarra from SaaStr


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Ep. 343: Kyle Parrish is the Head of Sales @ Figma, the company that helps teams create, test and ship better designs from start to finish. To date the company has raised over $132M in financing from some of the best in the business including Sequoia, a16z, Index, Greylock and Kleiner Perkins to name a few. As for Kyle, prior to Figma he spent over 5 years at Dropbox achieving some incredible milestones including launching and scaling the Austin, Texas office from 3 to 80 people and being responsible for growing Dropbox’s leading partner ecosystem. Before Figma, Kyle spent close to 3 years as an Account Executive at ADP.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:
  • How Kyle made his way into the world of SaaS and sales and came to be Head of Sales at one of the fastest-growing companies in Figma.
  • Kyle was in charge of creating the Austin, Texas sales team @ Dropbox, what were some of his biggest lessons when it comes to moving sales outside of HQ? What worked? What did not work? At what stage does culture and process really start to break?
  • Why is it so hard moving from 0-1 in sales? How does Kyle advise founders when it comes to making your first sales hire? Does Kyle agree that it has to be the founder who develops the sales playbook? How does one create sales targets that are both ambitious but also achievable? What is the balance?
  • What does it take to create a performance led sales culture? Where do many people go wrong here? How is the best way for sales and product to work together? What can one do to proactively make those discussions with sales and product both frequent and productive?  
If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented, you can follow us on Twitter here: Jason Lemkin
SaaStr
Harry Stebbings
Kyle Parrish Below, we’ve shared the transcript of Harry’s interview with Kyle. Continue reading "SaaStr Podcast #364 with Figma Head of Sales Kyle Parrish"