10 Rules for Defining Churn with ForgeRock and Solarwinds


This post is by Amelia Ibarra from SaaStr


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Reducing churn in SaaS, along with increasing new ARR is the backbone to growing your business. In this guide, Andrea Webb, the SVP of Customer Success & Retention at Solarwinds, and Tim Willey, the SVP of Commercial Strategy & Operations at ForgeRock, share their tips for understanding and combating churn. 
Rule 1 – Customer vs. ARR Churn
When you set out to track your churn, it’s vital to pick the correct metric. Often, multiple churn measurements are lumped together, and it’s important to differentiate the areas you are measuring:
  • Customer Churn: This measures how many customers you lose.
  • ARR Churn: This measures how much ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue) you lose.
Rule 2 – ARR ≠ ATR Churn
ATR (Available To Renew) churn is calculated by dividing the amount of ARR lost by the starting dollar amount of the ATR pool. Tim says ForgeRock chooses to focus primarily
churn in saas
churn in saas
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Fighting Churn with Data with Zuora


This post is by Amelia Ibarra from SaaStr


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Churn is when your customers drop out on you, and when it comes to your customer base, it’s inevitable. There are a number of factors to churn, including your business model, the maturity of your company, as well as your business type. Generally, if you have less than 20% of churn per year, you’re doing pretty well; public companies are often 10% or less per year. No matter what, you’re going to have to figure out how to manage churn on the regular. This is where data comes in, and we asked the expert, Carl Gold, Chief Data Scientist @ Zuora, to help us fight churn with data.  
Here, Carl dives into how his method
fight churn with data
fight churn with data
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Going Long: The 20-year Journey of Being a CEO + Founder with BlackLine


This post is by Amelia Ibarra from SaaStr


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SaaStr fan-favorite speaker, Therese Tucker, CEO and Founder of Blackline, recently sat down with SaaStr CEO and Founder, Jason Lemkin, to share her tips for how she has helped her company survive more than one black swan event, and her 20-year journey with Blackline. (ps – if you missed her session from saastr annual, catch up on that here.) Below, we outline some of her advice for going long in SaaS.
When to Move on from CEO
The first step she did was take an honest self-assessment that let herself say “I’m a little tired. I’ve been going full board, working at 200% for a long time, and I’m a little tired.” She also evaluated her skillset within the company and realized she didn’t have the necessary skills to keep moving the company forward. The most important consideration when you come to this realization is finding the right Continue reading "Going Long: The 20-year Journey of Being a CEO + Founder with BlackLine"

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"

The Secret Sauce to Scaling to $1B with Zendesk


This post is by Amelia Ibarra from SaaStr


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Let’s say you’re in good standing in the market. But good isn’t enough. You want great. You want to reach markets you haven’t tapped and meet goals you may not have even thought possible. The good news is, you really can think about $1B. Zendesk’s Sharon Prosser, VP Worldwide SMB Sales & XDR, and Astha Malik, VP GTM Strategy, Planning, and Enablement share some guiding principles about how their company has grown and enriched many markets.
The X-Factors
If you can nail your target markets, an understanding of your real customers, product positioning, your customer acquisition strategy, deal motion, customer success, and your employee programs down you will be able to forge ahead. This means asking questions like: Are you going to expand geographically or target an industry segment? Do you have the right messaging in place for all markets? How are you engaging people in different contexts? You may Continue reading "The Secret Sauce to Scaling to $1B with Zendesk"

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"

A Founder’s Guide on How to Secure Your Company Like a Unicorn


This post is by Amelia Ibarra from SaaStr


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“There are two types of companies, those that have been hacked and those that have been hacked but don’t know it.”  Hacking is a lucrative industry and hackers – good and bad – are constantly looking at creative ways to hack into anything accessible on the Internet. In this quick guide, Johanna Ydergård, Head of Crowdsource @ Detectify, takes us into the mind of a hacker and shares how you can secure your company and users because a firewall just isn’t enough. Keep in mind that hackers don’t target just one company as it’s often automated. Company size doesn’t matter, but how the organization chooses to handle the hack does. Johanna believes there will always be more security outside companies than inside. And that’s where ethical hackers come in — they can knowingly break into your network or platform to test or evaluate its security, rather than doing so Continue reading "A Founder’s Guide on How to Secure Your Company Like a Unicorn"

Four Steps to Scaling to $250M from Stack Overflow


This post is by Amelia Ibarra from SaaStr


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Prashanth Chandrasekar, CEO @ Stack Overflow recently shared with our community the four key pillars he feels are necessary to propel a company to scale upward. The four key pillars he lays out are:
  1. Product market fit & expansion
  2. Go to market approach & expansion
  3. Competitive differentiation
  4. Building a stage-specific team
#1 Product-Market Fit and Expansion
Product. Is your product sound, and does it solve a big problem for customers, enough for you to scale? Once you figure that out, you can expand your scope. 
  • Market Fit. Deliver repeatable value early in the customer’s journey. Measure leading indicators and not lagging indicators like churn.
  • Expansion. Review your customer’s problem journey at pre and post current stages. Can your product solve more of their problems? This will create use cases you can use to expand into adjacent organizations. Figure out what your immediate target group is all about and look
    Continue reading "Four Steps to Scaling to $250M from Stack Overflow"

Buying Patterns in the Enterprise: Who’s Really Buying and Why?


This post is by Amelia Ibarra from SaaStr


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As digital business and collaboration models have been permanently accelerated by the events of 2020, our panel of SaaS experts discusses who’s buying in the Enterprise, and how to drive conversions across multiple business functions. Godard Abel, Co-Founder & CEO @ G2, Mike Weir, Chief Revenue Officer @ G2, and Samantha Destefano, VP Enterprise Sales @ Upwork explore who’s really buying and why in today’s changing market.  As G2 currently has 5 million buyers, 40% of which is from Enterprise accounts, Godard started off by sharing a few trends he’s seen, including: 
  1. COVID is accelerating buying trends because companies have shifted more rapidly to using digital channels to do their work. These channels include webinars, virtual classrooms, video conferencing, HIPAA Compliant messaging, virtual reality platforms, virtual desktop infrastructure, and more.
  2. Online shopping has markedly increased. Ecommerce revenue is up 30 percent for the first half of this
    Continue reading "Buying Patterns in the Enterprise: Who’s Really Buying and Why?"

3 Secrets to Help You Sell Upmarket Faster


This post is by Amelia Ibarra from SaaStr


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We recently brought together a powerhouse panel of ladies in revenue to discuss when, why, and how a company should consider going upmarket.  Kelly Del Curto, Senior Director of Sales @ Lever, joined with Tammy Aguillar, Area VP, Commercial Sales @ DocuSign, Kate Earle Jensen, Head of Platform Sales @ Stripe, and Lauren Schwartz, VP of Enterprise Sales @ Fivetran share the following suggestions about how to move your sales organization into larger markets. # 1 Build Regardless of the size or stage of your company, the “Why” of turning upmarket must be understood and communicated throughout the company. Our panel said it’s crucial to define an initial Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) before building a team for an upmarket effort. Keeping the marketing team aligned with the sales team and product team is imperative before going upstream.  Your ICP will help your org know who they’re selling to
Continue reading "3 Secrets to Help You Sell Upmarket Faster"