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Mark Roberge

53 Podcast Episodes

Latest 23 Mar 2023 | Updated Daily

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SaaStr 594: Optimizing GTM for PLG with Stage 2 Capital Co-Founder and Managing Director Mark Roberge

The Official SaaStr Podcast: SaaS | Founders | Investors

Product-led growth (PLG) is the consumerization of software—a strategy B2B software companies can learn from growth teams at successful consumer tech companies.  Stage 2 Capital’s Co-Founder and Managing Director, Mark Roberge, breaks down what a consumer tech growth team looks like and how they operate. He advises bringing these features to a B2B growth team and then shares mistakes that B2B companies make while adding go-to-market (GTM) to PLG. Full video: https://youtu.be/prLzBINL4tI Want to join the SaaStr community? We're the 🌎largest community for B2B software. Subscribe for weekly updates: https://www.saastr.com/subscribeform Twitter: https://twitter.com/saastr LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/2724976 Quora Group: https://www.quora.com/q/cloud Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SaaStr/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/saastr/ Our North American Event: https://bit.ly/2OXeAYh Our European Event: https://bit.ly/2OZTad8


28 Sep 2022

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The Blueprint for a Sales Dream Team with Mark Roberge

Revenue Builders

In this episode of the Revenue Builders podcast, our hosts John McMahon and John Kaplan talk to Hubspot’s original senior vice president for sales and later Chief Revenue Officer, Mark Roberge. Mark talks about working at Hubspot since day one, building the sales department from the ground up, offering advice on prioritization, hiring, addressing retention and reducing churn. Mark also shares his present journey as a senior lecturer at the Harvard Business School and Managing Director of the VC firm Stage 2 Capital.  Additional Resources:Donate to Build.org: https://build.org/Buy Mark's book: https://www.amazon.com/Sales-Acceleration-Formula-Technology-Inbound/dp/1119047072Listen to More Revenue Builders: https://forc.mx/3bfW5Od HIGHLIGHTSTitles generally do not mean anything You need to learn prioritization as a sales leader The best sales reps don't necessarily make the best sales managers There is no such thing as a universal top sales hire profileDon't take coachability for granted in hiring How Mark addressed employee retention at Hubspot Foray into investing and the lessons learned Is an economic winter coming? Mark's beef with most MBAs  QUOTESMark answers why promoting your best seller as manager isn't the best idea: "The job of salesperson and manager is so different. Salesperson is going out doing great discovery, moving people through a process, being good with your time. Sales management is all about picking people and empathy, understanding, connecting, and coaching and discipline."Mark's advice for success in hiring: "Have the discipline every quarter to sit down and look back on your people that you hired six months ago so that you now know are they doing well or not. And reflect on why and what those attributes are and iterate on your scorecard. And have the discipline to sue your scorecard in your hiring process." Mark's three biggest lessons about retention: "Retention is probably your biggest number, even more than top line revenue growth. Okay, that's learning number one. Number two, the root of retention issues is in sales. It's not in product, usually. Sometimes in product but most of the time the root is in sales. And number three, the best way to fix it is through compensation." Check out John McMahon’s book here: https://www.amazon.com/Qualified-Sales-Leader-Proven-Lessons/dp/0578895064

1hr 13mins

8 Sep 2022

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Founding CRO @HubSpot / Prof @HBS / CoFounder @Stage 2 Capital Mark Roberge: The Science and Psychology of Scaling


Mark Roberge’s first anxiety attack hit him six months after 9/11, and his second hit him in the middle of a big speech while he was an executive at HubSpot. And Roberge, who now lectures at Harvard Business School and co-founded the venture firm Stage 2 Capital, says it’s important to include that anxiety in his entrepreneurial story. “I talk about it because there is a stigma associated with it,” he says. “Society values some of the things I’ve accomplished, but when I admit to everyone that I have severe anxiety, it gives other people comfort.” In this episode, Mark and Joubin discuss the connections between HBS and KPCB, taking the long way around to get to MIT, Mark’s first company PawSpot, the meteoric rise of HubSpot, why it decided to zag when all the competition was moving upstream, being pigeonholed inside of big companies, what to say to reps who are trying to leave, extreme anxiety attacks, escaping to the gym, whether Mark would encourage his sons to work in tech, why customer retention matters more than revenue growth, becoming a VC, and why the best plan can be not having a plan.In this episode, we cover: Mark’s first sales job — selling $2000 vacuum cleaners — and what he learned from his sales coach father (06:45) How he met and started working with HubSpot co-founder Dharmesh Shah (10:24) Should you hire more sales reps, or incentivize existing reps to work harder? (19:40) Why established players can’t embrace product-led growth as quickly as smaller competitors (27:19) The stress of chasing a number and why “it’s always a grind” (36:03) Struggling with — and talking about — anxiety (41:01) Making time exercise and family dinners during the HubSpot journey (46:29) The reasons why someone might not want to join a startup (50:25) Ex-Shopify exec Loren Padelford’s big question for Mark (55:28) Do MBA programs “get” what’s happening in the tech sector? (59:54) Why Mark decided to get into venture capital with Stage 2 Capital (01:02:40) Links: Connect with Mark Twitter LinkedIn Connect with Joubin Twitter LinkedIn Email: grit@kleinerperkins.com Learn more about Kleiner Perkins This episode was edited by Eric Johnson from LightningPod.fm

1hr 9mins

1 Aug 2022

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Finding your Product Fit - Mark Roberge - Revenue Today - Episode # 003

Revenue Today

Today's guest took HubSpot from zero to a hundred million in annual recurring revenue. Mark Roberge is the current Managing Director at Stage 2 Capital, but he's also a sales scientist, MIT quant, sought-after keynote speaker, professor at Harvard business school, and author of the bestselling book: The Sales Acceleration Formula.  Tune in as Jared talks about revenue generation with the first person he looked up to when he started his sales leader journey. Takeaways: Revenue Myth: 95% of teams ignore that customer retention and success is the most important metric over revenue. When most brands look at causes for issues with customer attention and success, they often first look at their product and their customer success teams. While those are intuitive places to look, in most cases the issue lies with sales.  The failure rate of a seed series A, series B, and series C is the same across the board at ~ 75%. Extracting tangible areas of measurement from larger long-term goals is an effective way to lead sales team members to success. Product Led Growth processes offer an exciting peek at how B2B structures will change in the near future. The most successful teams are cross-functional, with the ability to experiment on the entire full-cycle funnel. To see if your product has a good product-market fit, look at the value that your product offers, rather than the revenue generated from the product. Quote of the Show: “We have this cool term called product-market fit, but no one really knows how to define it. And half the people define it as a revenue line, which I couldn't disagree with more. When I have a million in revenue, that's market message fit, you can sell, great. But does your product deliver a value?” Links: Twitter: https://twitter.com/markroberge LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/markroberge/ Website: https://www.stage2.capital/ Book Link: The Sales Acceleration Formula Ways to Tune In: Amazon Music Apple Podcast Spotify Google Podcast YouTube: https://youtu.be/BW9isti41Vc


15 Jun 2022

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The Product-Led-Growth (PLG) Playbook for B2B Startups with Mark Roberge

ProductLed Podcast

Mark Roberge is a leader in the sales world. He is currently co-founder of Stage 2 Capital, the first venture capital firm run and backed by over 300 GTM executives. He is also a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School. Prior to these roles, Mark served as founding CRO at HubSpot from $0 to IPO. He is author of best seller “The Sales Acceleration Formula” which became a guideline for start-up companies in growing their revenue and building a winning sales team.  He’s in the show to introduce to us his playbook which revolves around Product Led Growth for B2B startups. Get ready to learn some insightful lessons from this renowned industry expert.  Show Notes [0:44] On creating a playbook for his PLG startup  [3:32] The best of class teams have to set up a cross-functional team of marketing plus product and put it under the product [8:44] How category creation has become such an important part of entrepreneurship  [12:27] PLG tends to focus the organization on usage first as opposed to revenues [14:03] The reason why free user attention is the hardest metric  [14:49] Pro tip: Find a scalable, cost-effective way to generate users [16:35] Mark talks about the last part of the value metric, monetization  [18:42] You don’t start there as a seek funding business doing growth.  [19:42] What the best class engineerings do is specialize their engineering teams and product teams by roadmap to improve growth [21:22] Create your growth team to be cross-functional with both product engineering plus marketing capabilities [21:36] Set your company up to be data-driven rapid experimentation, an organization that focuses on the Northstar  About Mark Roberge As the SVP of Worldwide Sales and Services for HubSpot, he has led hundreds of his employees on how to apply data technology and inbound selling to every aspect of accelerating sales, including hiring, training, managing, and generating demand. Mark understands the ins and outs of marketing which is also a skill that he loves to share with others.  Links Hubspot The Sales Acceleration Formula by Mark Roberge Profile Mark’s LinkedIn


31 May 2022

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301: Sales Legend Mark Roberge Tells His Story

Millennial Sales

Mark Roberge is one of the most legendary people in the SaaS sales world. He joined Hubspot as their first sales hire and led them from $0 to $100 million+ and a successful IPO as their Chief Revenue Officer. He is now the Managing Director at Stage Two Capital and Professor at Harvard Business School.In this episode, Mark and I discuss: How he first got into sales & startups Was getting an MBA worthwhile? The early days of Hubspot How his spirituality helps him in his career And much more...If you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts? It takes less than 60 seconds, and it really makes a difference in helping to grow this show and find the best guests possible for you.Follow The Podcast:Apple/Spotify: Millennial SalesTwitter: TommyTahoeInstagram: TommyTahoeYouTube: TommyTahoeWebsite: Millennialmomentum.net


17 May 2022

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Uncommon lessons scaling Hubspot from seed to IPO | Mark Roberge, Founder & MD of Stage 2 Capital, former CRO of Hubspot

The Product-Led Sales Podcast

Most traditional SaaS companies will not successfully pivot to PLG.They will disrupted by PLG challengers just like on-prem companies vs the cloud.This was a surprising learning in our latest podcast episode. Mark Roberge runs Stage 2 Capital and was CRO at HubSpot. He's seen how hard it's been for many top-down companies to try to go bottoms-up.  Listen to the episode to understand:Why it's so hard to pivot into PLGThe only way to survive the transition if you are dead set on becoming PLGHow to develop your PLG go-to-market tech stack and why growth stage companies are better off buying tech rather building in-houseFollow Mark on Linkedin for more such content. Also check out Stage 2 Capital's Accelerator programme that just launched! Visit our Product Led Sales blog for more insights, and follow HeadsUp on Linkedin. If you have questions for me about PLG, growth, or marketing, here's my Linkedin. 


3 May 2022

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Playbooks, PLG, & More B2B Sales Insights with Mark Roberge, Co-Founder of Stage 2 Capital

From Vendorship to Partnership

Welcome back to From Vendorship → Partnership, Season 2: Seller’s Journey! Our guest this week is the one and only Mark Roberge: co-founder at Stage 2 Capital, author of the best-selling The Sales Acceleration Formula, senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, and former CRO at HubSpot Sales. To say the least, Mark has a ton of incredible sales insights to share (way more than we could cover in 20 minutes!) Subscribe for more content like this, and check out the Stage 2 Capital Accelerator that Mark mentions in the episode. About Mark: Mark Roberge is Co-Founder at Stage 2 Capital, the first VC fund run and backed by go-to-market executives. He is also Senior Lecturer at the Harvard Business School. Prior to these roles, Mark served as Chief Revenue Officer at HubSpot where he scaled annualized revenue from $0 to $100 million and expanded his team from 1 to 450 employees. Mark is the author of the bestselling book, The Sales Acceleration Formula, and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, Inc. Magazine, Boston Globe, TechCrunch, Harvard Business Review, and other major publications for his entrepreneurial ventures.


20 Apr 2022

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The Science of Scaling From Zero to Billions with Mark Roberge, Stage 2 Capital


On this episode of the Traction podcast, host Lloyed Lobo of Boast.AI welcomes Mark Roberge, Managing Director at Stage 2 Capital. Previously, Mark was the CRO at HubSpot seeing it from the earliest stages through post-IPO. “When to scale?” and “How fast?” are two mission-critical questions for start-ups, yet most entrepreneurs lack a rigorous approach to answering them. After peeking inside the go-to-market machinery of hundreds of start-ups over the last decade, Mark Roberge shares a scientific, data-driven approach to go from zero to billion fast. In this episode, Mark specifically covers: 2:39 - How he met the founders of HubSpot 5:16 - How his role evolved from selling to running sales at HubSpot 7:17 - Moving from being an individual contributor to a manager 14:37 - The time it takes to understand retention 19:34 - Why he doesn't enjoy starting upstream in a company in the early stage 25:17 - When are you ready to scale? 31:20 - How fast should you scale? 37:35 - The different aspects of the go-to-market system 42:12 - Where specifically do you scale? 48:22 - Where's the line on unhealthy growth? 51:21 - Key hires to make during each stage of growth 54:40 - Key traits of a sales leader and when to bring them on board 58:45 - When to go global 1:01:12 - The process for assessing disruption risk for pricing 1:06:09 - How much to spend on marketing Learn more at https://tractionconf.io Connect with Mark Roberge: https://www.linkedin.com/in/markroberge/ Learn more about Stage 2 Capital at https://www.stage2.capital/ This episode is brought to you by: Each year the U.S. and Canadian governments provide more than $20 billion in R&D tax credits and innovation incentives to fund businesses, but the application process is cumbersome, prone to costly audits, and receiving the money can take as long as 16 months. Boast automates this process enabling companies to get more money faster without the paperwork and audit risk. We don’t get paid until you do! Find out if you qualify today at https://Boast.AI. Launch Academy is one of the top global tech hubs for international entrepreneurs and a designated organization for Canada's Startup Visa. Since 2012, Launch has worked with more than 6000 entrepreneurs from over 100 countries, of which 300 have grown their startups to Seed and Series A stage and raised over $2 Billion in funding. To learn more about Launch's programs or the Canadian Startup Visa visit https://LaunchAcademy.ca Content Allies helps B2B companies build revenue-generating podcasts. We recommend them to any B2B company that is looking to launch or streamline their podcast production. Learn more at ContentAllies.com


6 Apr 2022

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SaaStr 498: The Most Common SaaS Sales Potholes and How to Avoid Them with Mark Roberge, Managing Director at Stage 2 Capital

The Official SaaStr Podcast: SaaS | Founders | Investors

Mark Roberge is the Managing Director at Stage 2 Capital, Sr. Lecturer at Harvard Business School, and author of the bestselling book, The Sales Acceleration Formula. In this podcast, he'll outline some of the most common SaaS sales potholes when scaling from $0 to $100 million and how to avoid them. Blog post & video: https://www.saastr.com/the-most-common-saas-sales-potholes-and-how-to-avoid-them-with-mark-roberge-podcast-498-and-video/ Sponsors: https://shortcut.com/saastr https://www.litmus.com/saastr https://flatfile.com/saastr/


19 Nov 2021