How Sales and Product Really Should Work Together with MongoDB


This post is by Amelia Ibarra from SaaStr


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When you’re trying to grow your SaaS business, the challenges can stack against you. How can you optimize your market reach while pushing product innovation to carry you into the future?

In this guide, Sahir Azam, Chief Product Officer at MongoDB, and Javier Molina, SVP at MongoDB, share their journey to increasing company revenue through their cohesive sales and product relationship. When sales and product work together, amazing things happen.
Here’s how they scaled their open-source product with a bottom-up and top-down sales motion.

Seeding the Market & Early Monetization
MongoDB is open-source software (OSS) database technology released ten years ago used by developers to build modern applications. Their initial growth strategy was to drive widespread developer adoption, followed by monetization at the enterprise level. The idea was to make money from early adopters through an upsell of their proprietary technology and eventually scale to mainstream enterprise adoption. The MongoDB Continue reading "How Sales and Product Really Should Work Together with MongoDB"

Lessons in Scaling a Low Code Platform with Airtable


This post is by Amelia Ibarra from SaaStr


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How do you scale a company based that can be collaborative for everyone in your org — from finance to marketing? Howie Liu, CEO and Co-Founder @ Airtable shares the strategies he used to gain traction with a low-code platform. Airtable is a low code, bottoms-up business which means that its users don’t have to be in IT or have a technical background in order to build useful internal databases within Airtable. The idea was to create robust solutions that empower business processes within companies.
Here, we breakdown some of the strategies Howie used to turn Airtable into the project-management powerhouse it is today.
Stay True to Your North Star
Howie and team purposefully built Airtable on a Continue reading "Lessons in Scaling a Low Code Platform with Airtable"

How Cheap a Product Can You Have And Still Have Salespeople?


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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Screen Shot 2013-08-13 at 1.07.13 PMOne question I struggled with a lot in the early days was what price points supported inside sales reps.  It was clear to me that our freemium offering, priced at from $0 to $19/month, couldn’t really support a traditional inside sales team.  And it became clear to me that five-figure or larger ACV deals could clearly support an inside sales team, once I handed those off to sales. But how low can you go?  Can you really sustain a sales team around a $299/mo product?  A $2000 ACV?  What about a $199 or even a $99/mo price point? Different companies will have different experiences.  But here’s what I learned.  And do it right, and you can go pretty low. First, at the low end of the market, there are 2 types of sales:  “Real” sales with demos, leads, a sales process … and 1-Call-To-Close.  The latter is basically sophisticated customer
Continue reading "How Cheap a Product Can You Have And Still Have Salespeople?"

Did You Ship At Least 3 Game-Changing Features This Year?


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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As the year starts to wind to a close, one exercise I go through with many CEOs I’ve invested in or am close to is this:
  • Did you ship at least 3 truly game-changing features this year?  Be honest.  What were they, and how did they truly move the needle?
You’d be surprised if CEOs are being honest how many fail this test.  Not just at $0.1m ARR, or $1m ARR, but also at $10m, $20m. $50m ARR and later.  The excuses vary at different stages:
  • “I don’t have enough money”
  • “I don’t have enough engineers”
  • “There’s too much technical debt”
  • “Sales is always selling things we don’t have”
  • “The competition raised so much more than us”
  • “We don’t have a strong enough marketing team”
  • “We need a CTO”
  • “Bob quit”
  • etc. etc.
Not launching 3 Truly Game-Changing Features doesn’t mean you didn’t ship any
Continue reading "Did You Ship At Least 3 Game-Changing Features This Year?"

On Your Next Big Deal? Double Your Pricing.


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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There’s a fun — and very lucrative and rewarding — exercise I like to go through with most of the startups I work with. It’s goes like this:
  • First, who’s your largest customer?  OK.
  • Now, do you have a prospect in the pipeline that’s somewhat similar?
  • You do?  Great.   Now …
  • On that deal … go quote twice your highest price ever. Go try to do that.

This is a terrific exercise to drive your deal size up.

It does >not< mean rip off your customer.

What it does force you to think about is providing a true solution to a big problem (more on that here: A Solution Sale Can Capture 3-20x the Revenues of A Tool Sale. With Almost the Exact Same Core Product.).

$1,000 a month is a lot of money for a widget, even if everyone on my team uses it. But $12,000 a year is

Continue reading "On Your Next Big Deal? Double Your Pricing."

When Should You Add a Second Product?


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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A few years back at SaaStr Annual, we put back-to-back a seemingly very different set of speakers, Jeff Lawson CEO of Twilio (transcript here) and Peter Gassner of Veeva (transcript here). Both are two of the most impressive and inspiring public SaaS CEOs — but their products and companies couldn’t be more different.  Veeva sells eight figure deals to a very small number of very sophisticated customers, while Twilio has a huge long tail and starts at $0.0085 a minute 🙂 But I wanted to pair them for several reasons.  One was to get a sense of what the bar was to pull off a successful SaaS IPO these days (answer = oh man, very high).  Another was to see examples of some relatively capital efficient companies (Veeva raised less than $10m in VC money on the way to $6 billion in value!). And a third key
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Continue reading "When Should You Add a Second Product?"

Should You Build a Feature Just to Close a $50k Deal? Probably, In the Early-ish Days.


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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Q:  Does the wise advice to always say no to sponsored features would also apply to a SaaS startup selling to mid-market (ACV 20k to 50k+) and has yet only 2 clients?

No. This is not wise advice, it is bad advice in many cases. As long as the deal size is big enough.

If a potential deal, is > $20k-$50k-$100k+ in the early days, you should consider one-off features if:

  • the paid feature would also benefit other similar customers, now or in the future;
  • the feature is or should be on your roadmap for the next 24–30 months or so; and
  • your gut and experience as CEO tells you it’s a good, high value feature that adds to the value of the company and worth building.

If all 3 criteria are met and a customer is willing to pay up to push out a feature early, I would suggest at Continue reading "Should You Build a Feature Just to Close a $50k Deal? Probably, In the Early-ish Days."

Check-the-Box Features? You Have to Build Them. Even if Usage is Zero.


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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So finally, after likely trillions of minutes of sessions, Zoom is rolling out end-to-end encryption. And while it sounds great, it’s also sort of a bit, well, almost silly as a feature.  Almost.  Or at least, not really necessary.  Too much form over substance. Why?  Because of course “end-to-end encryption” sounds like something you’d want, and it sounds like a big upgrade.  Who wouldn’t want it?  The problem is, once you understand how it works in practice, it also means a ton of Zoom features won’t work if you turn it on.  And Zoom was plenty secure before this:
“Notably, however, Zoom says that enabling E2EE disables certain meeting features: join before host, cloud recording, streaming, live transcription, Breakout Rooms, polling, 1:1 private chat, and meeting reactions. Phase 2 of the E2EE rollout will occur in 2021, Zoom says.”
Let’s look at
Continue reading "Check-the-Box Features? You Have to Build Them. Even if Usage is Zero."

3 Mistakes Product Teams Tend to Make (And How to Avoid Them)


This post is by Amelia Ibarra from SaaStr


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It’s no secret there’s a tremendous amount of work that goes into balancing your business and customers. Having a functioning product team will make that balance just a tad easier.  It can be easy to make mistakes when you’re going really fast and have multiple projects being worked on at the same time. Here are 3 mistakes Shawna Wolverton, SVP Product @ Zendesk, experienced, and her best learnings on how to avoid them. Mistake #1 You can’t understand something if you think you already do Sometimes as business owners and teams we make assumptions. It’s easy to forget that you aren’t the customer. It’s good to feel like you know things and keep things moving within your business but try not to get too lost.  You can’t understand something if you think you already do. This can give you some major blind spots to what is really going
Continue reading "3 Mistakes Product Teams Tend to Make (And How to Avoid Them)"

SaaStr Podcast #385 with Balsa Founder & CEO Paul Rosania


This post is by Amelia Ibarra from SaaStr


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Ep. 385: Paul Rosania is the Founder & CEO @ Balsa, the company that recognizes that builders move the world forward and so they are building the best second screen for builders, integrating tools you already use like Jira, GitHub, and Figma. Coming out of stealth today with their seed round being led by Andrew Chen @ a16z and joined by former CPO @ Slack, April Underwood, Chapter One’s Jeff Morris Jr and then of course, 20VC Fund. Prior to founding Balsa, Paul was Senior Director of Product @ Slack and before Slack was a Group Product Manager @ Twitter where he was responsible for the home timeline, including timeline ranking.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss: