All Platforms Have Their Favorite Partners. Be One Of Them If You Can.


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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Recently I was catching up with an exec from a SaaS company well in excess of $100m ARR.  One of the key platforms their app integrates with has started to … slow down their access.  Slow down access to new features, to semi-documented APIs.  Slow down access to their team.  In fact, the partner’s sales team appears to have quietly dropped them entirely as a recommended app. Why?  Well, they now sort, a little bit, compete with the “open” platform company.  Not a lot.  But more than a year ago.  Enough to get the partner / platform’s attention. That’s the way it goes.  Because turns out no matter how open a platform looks, there are always favorites.   As well as … folks out of favor. It may look like Slack, Salesforce, Shopify, Twilio, etc. you name it have no favorites,
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If Your Enterprise Customers Want An SLA — Just Give It To Them. You Owe Them That Much.


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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Many start-ups and even larger SaaS customers are reluctant to provide a Service Level Agreement — an SLA — that says they will, well, stay up.  It’s not our fault, they think.  What if Amazon goes down?  Or our email provider?  That’s not our fault.  The lawyers tell you to try to not to do this.  Sometimes, the accountants too.  But they are wrong.

An SLA is most importantly a cultural commitment. That you truly, fully stand behind an enterprise-grade product.

Look at Cloudflare’s commitment in their base SLA -> “1.1 100% Uptime. The Service will serve Customer Content 100% of the time without qualification.”  Is 100% possible for any CDN, and web product?  Not.  But they are committing to doing everything humanly possible to deliver it.  That’s what you want as an enterprise customer, when you

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SaaStr Podcasts for the Week with Matrix Partners, ActiveCampaign, Insight Squared, and Dropbox — June 29, 2019


This post is by Deborah Findling from SaaStr


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Ep 245: David Skok is a serial entrepreneur turned VC at Matrix Partners. He founded four companies: Skok Systems, Corporate Software Europe, Watermark Software, and SilverStream Software and did one turnaround with Xionics. Three of the companies he founded went public and one was acquired.

Jason Lemkin is the Founder @ SaaStr, the world’s largest SaaS community and leading early-stage SaaS fund with investments in Automile, TalkDesk, Algolia and more.

Jason Vandeboom is the Founder of ActiveCampaign, a sales and marketing automation platform that enables small businesses around the world to meaningfully connect and engage with their customers. Since 2013 with their transition to SaaS have grown to more than $50 million in ARR in less than five years, while maintaining profitability.

Dave Kellogg is a leading technology executive, independent board member, advisor and angel investor. In his most recent role, Dave was the CEO @ Continue reading "SaaStr Podcasts for the Week with Matrix Partners, ActiveCampaign, Insight Squared, and Dropbox — June 29, 2019"

Should You Visit More Of Your Prospects In Person? Almost Certainly


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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I remember the first customer I lost due to not showing up in person.  They were a Fortune 50 customer.  We did a CSAT survey, and every user loved us.  The implementation was flawless.  There were zero issues.  And … we lost them at renewal. Our buyer was kind enough to call us and explain why.  “Well, your competitor was in the office last week, and just convinced us that …” Ugh.  We’d done everything “right” … except … We’d never even visited. I hear this story now time and time again.  Here are a few from a recent LinkedIn post I did on the matter: You can see from both my subsequent experience, and all the comments on the post in this thread, that I was hardly alone. You already know this.  If you show up, you close faster
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From Impossible to Inevitable, 2nd Edition, is Out in Hardcover and #1 in New Releases on Amazon!! Get it NOW!!


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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The incredible, muchly updated From Impossible to Inevitable collection of content from Aaron Ross, Jason Lemkin, SaaStr and new case studies is out. It is really good and a big (50%+) update to the original edition. It’s finally out on Hardcover and is the #1 New Release in Business Management Please grab it today here!   The post From Impossible to Inevitable, 2nd Edition, is Out in Hardcover and #1 in New Releases on Amazon!! Get it NOW!! appeared first on SaaStr.

“Vendor Viability”: It’s a Risk Big Customers Know How to Take. Just Be Honest.


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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Vendor Viability … if they will stay around once you buy.  This remains a large risk with start-ups.  But it’s been mitigated to some extent in the minds of customers. With 100+ public Cloud companies, it’s now a bit clearer that at least after a certain point in time, SaaS vendors have a lot of stability. But vendor viability is still a real issue, of course. And large companies know that.  A few thoughts on how customers think about it, and how to approach questions around it: First, large customers have distinct criteria for evaluating and working with “emerging vendors”. They rarely put a small start-up at the true center of a mission-critical operation. They’ll often limit risk by using the start-up first just in one division, or perhaps across the company but in a less-critical segment of operations. Big Companies have different risk standards for start-ups Continue reading "“Vendor Viability”: It’s a Risk Big Customers Know How to Take. Just Be Honest."

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.
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Here’s What You Need to Sell your SaaS Product to Enterprise Customers


This post is by Anna Talerico from Openview Labs


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For SaaS companies, the allure of the enterprise customer is pretty strong. The prestige of a big logo alone can boost your brand’s credibility and provide powerful social proof. And because enterprise customers typically stick around longer, they lower your overall churn risk. Plus, enterprise customers usually spend more—on support, seats, usage, integrations, etc. The LTV of an enterprise customer can be extraordinarily high, making the extra effort to land them well worth it. But as wonderful as selling into enterprise accounts is, it can pull you in a million different directions with new types of requests and requirements. It’s hard to parse what enterprise SaaS buyers want, versus what they actually require. And making decisions about how far you should go to support the enterprise can be gut-wrenching. Often, you are faced with a choice between veering off your product development roadmap to drop everything in support of an
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SaaStr Podcasts for the Week: May 24, 2019


This post is by Deborah Findling from SaaStr


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Ep. 235: Andrew Filev is the Founder & CEO @ Wrike, the cloud based collaboration and project management software that scales across teams in any business. In Dec 2008, Vista Equity Partners acquired a majority stake in Wrike for a deal reportedly valuing the company at $800m. Before this transaction, Andrew had raised over $45m in funding from the likes of Rory @ Scale and Bain Capital Ventures just to name a few. As for Andrew, he started his first software development company at the age of 18 and has been running Wrike for the last 13 years alongside advisory roles with both Ditto and Appulate.

In This Episode We Discuss: