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Technology
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The Official Saastr Podcast: SaaS | Founders | Investors

Updated about 1 month ago

Rank #114 in Investing category

Business
Technology
Investing
Read more

The Official Saastr Podcast is the latest and greatest from the world of Saastr, interviewing the most prominent operators and investors to discover their tips, tactics and strategies to attain success in the fiercely competitive world of SaaS. On the side of the operators, we centre around getting from $0 to $100m ARR faster, what it takes to scale successfully and what are the core elements of hiring. As for the investors, we learn what metrics they hone in on when examining SaaS business, what type of metrics excites them and what they look for in SaaS founders.

Read more

The Official Saastr Podcast is the latest and greatest from the world of Saastr, interviewing the most prominent operators and investors to discover their tips, tactics and strategies to attain success in the fiercely competitive world of SaaS. On the side of the operators, we centre around getting from $0 to $100m ARR faster, what it takes to scale successfully and what are the core elements of hiring. As for the investors, we learn what metrics they hone in on when examining SaaS business, what type of metrics excites them and what they look for in SaaS founders.

iTunes Ratings

82 Ratings
Average Ratings
75
4
1
0
2

WhoopSaaS, Inc.

By WhoopSaaS Community - May 01 2018
Read more
I don’t podcast often, but when I do, it’s SaaStr and Harry.

Fantastic content

By Steveo939 - Dec 07 2017
Read more
I’m thru the first 100 episodes, this is a must listen for anyone running a Saas business.

iTunes Ratings

82 Ratings
Average Ratings
75
4
1
0
2

WhoopSaaS, Inc.

By WhoopSaaS Community - May 01 2018
Read more
I don’t podcast often, but when I do, it’s SaaStr and Harry.

Fantastic content

By Steveo939 - Dec 07 2017
Read more
I’m thru the first 100 episodes, this is a must listen for anyone running a Saas business.
Cover image of The Official Saastr Podcast: SaaS | Founders | Investors

The Official Saastr Podcast: SaaS | Founders | Investors

Updated about 1 month ago

Rank #114 in Investing category

Read more

The Official Saastr Podcast is the latest and greatest from the world of Saastr, interviewing the most prominent operators and investors to discover their tips, tactics and strategies to attain success in the fiercely competitive world of SaaS. On the side of the operators, we centre around getting from $0 to $100m ARR faster, what it takes to scale successfully and what are the core elements of hiring. As for the investors, we learn what metrics they hone in on when examining SaaS business, what type of metrics excites them and what they look for in SaaS founders.

Rank #1: SaaStr 237: Rippling's Parker Conrad on How To Clear The Bar of "Not Another System" Thinking in SaaS, Why Your Engineers Should Be Doing Support For As Long As Possible & Why Remote Teams Is The Worst Way To Build A Company, Apart From Every Other Way

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Parker Conrad is the Founder & CEO @ Rippling, the startup that gives you back your time from payroll to employee computers, Rippling makes it unbelievably easy to manage your company’s HR and IT - in one system. To date Parker has raised over $59m in funding from some of the best in the business including Mamoon @ Kleiner Perkins, Garry Tan @ Initialized, Justin Kan, SV Angel and Y Combinator, just to name a few. As for Parker, prior to founding Rippling, he was the Founder & CEO @ Zenefits, the startup he built from $0 to $60m in ARR in just 3 years. Before that he co-founded Sigfig where he grew assets on the platform to over $35Bn across 500k users.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Parker made his way into the world of startups and SaaS, came to found Zenefits and what was that a-ha moment for the founding of his most recent company, Rippling?
  • What does Parker do with regards to operational scaling that is unconventional but works? Why does Parker believe it is fundamentally better to wait for as long as possible before hiring customer support? Why should engineers also be doing customer support?  
  • Why should your engineers be heavily involved in the customer support hiring process? What are the benefits of this? How can one prevent their customer support team from being a wall of protection for the product and eng team? How can you ensure seamless collaboration and communication flow between product and customer support?
  • Stripe last week recently announced their 5th office would be… “remote”, so how does Parker feel about the building of remote teams? What are the most important things when establishing your first remote team? What do you look for in those hires? What can be done to ensure a greater feeling of community and closeness despite the distance? What have been some of the biggest challenges for Parker in building out the remote team?
  • Parker has been a CEO with 3 different companies now and so how has he seen his style and approach change over the years? What has Parker found the hardest to get good at? When advising founders on fundraising, what advice does he give? How can founders know when is the right time to raise? How should they look to build relationships with investors between raises?

60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Parker know now that he wishes he had known in the beginning?
  2. What one thing would Parker like to change about tech and Silicon Valley?
  3. Biggest mentor and what has Parker learned from them?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented, you can follow us on Twitter here:

Jason Lemkin

Harry Stebbings

SaaStr

Parker Conrad

May 27 2019
31 mins
Play

Rank #2: SaaStr 229: The 2 Most Important Numbers For Your SaaS Business, Why You Should Not Have VPs Until $5m in Revenue & How To Manage Top Of Funnel Efficiently But Aggressively with Manny Medina, Founder & CEO @ Outreach

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Manny Medina is the Founder & CEO @ Outreach, the market leading sales engagement platform that turns your team into a revenue driving machine. To date, Manny has raised over $114m in funding from some great people including friends of the show in the form of Alex Clayton @ Spark, Mayfield, Trinity Ventures and DFJ Growth, just to name a few. Prior to founding Outreach, Manny spent 7 years with Microsoft where he ran the Latin America and Canada business development group for Microsoft’s emerging mobile division, representing $50M of yearly revenue. Befofe that Manny was a Senior Product Manager @ Amazon where he engineered the compensation system for Amazon Associates and Web-Services which accounts for 15% of Amazon's traffic.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Manny made his way to found the leader in sales engagement from product management at Amazon and Business Development @ Microsoft?
  • How does Manny fundamentally approach managing top of funnel? What are the 2 big dangers of not managing it aggressively? What can be done to ensure not only full but high quality top of funnel?
  • Why does Manny believe it is so important to track pipeline coverage as one of your core metrics? What does good look like when it comes to pipeline coverage? How does this change if you are creating vs in an existing market? How does Manny think about specialisation within the sales function? Why are SDR’s 99% of the time not able to carry leads to completion?
  • How does Manny think about quota construction today? Does Manny err on the side of setting high to be ambitious or setting low to increase confidence? How can managers really empower their reps to be aggressive in hitting their quota and exceeding it? How does Manny think about resource allocation on the individual rep level? What is sufficient? What is excessive?
  • Does Manny believe that the founder should always be responsible for selling their product at one moment in time? How did Manny sell the first $1m in ARR simply through walking the streets of SOMA and selling door-to-door? What were his biggest lessons from doing this?  Why does Manny believe that you should not have a VP before $5m?

60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Manny know now that he wishes he had known in the beginning?
  2. What does the future of sales prospecting look like to Manny?
  3. What would Manny like to change about the world of SaaS today?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented, you can follow us on Twitter here:

Jason Lemkin

Harry Stebbings

SaaStr

Manny Medina

Apr 29 2019
27 mins
Play

Rank #3: SaaStr 191: Salesloft Founder Kyle Porter on Scaling A SaaS Business to $40m ARR Outside of Silicon Valley, Pivoting a Product Generating $7m in ARR & How To Fundamentally Create Cohesion In A Leadership Team

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Kyle Porter is the Founder & CEO @ Salesloft, the leading sales engagement platform delivering a better sales experience. To date, Salesloft have raised over $75m in funding from some of the best in the business including Emergence, Insight Venture Partners, Techstars and even LinkedIn. As for Kyle, he has led the team from 4 employees in 2014 to over 320 today where they have also been awarded Atlanta’s No 1 best place to work. Prior to founding Salesloft, Kyle was the Founder @ B2B camp, a conference focused on B2B revenue generating professionals. Before that he was Vice President of Marketing @ NanoLumens.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Kyle made his way into the world of SaaS and came to found Salesloft?
  • Kyle made the decision to pivot the product when it was at $7m in ARR, what was the thinking behind that? How does Kyle think about pivots more broadly? How does one know when it is truly not working? How long did it take Kyle to get the core Salesloft product to $1m in ARR?
  • With the pivot, what were Kyle’s core learnings on migrating from a prior product and platform to a new one? What were his big lessons on seeing the change in buyer persona? What does Kyle mean when he says “selling is hard but buying is even harder”?
  • Does Kyle agree with many CEO’s the most important role of the CEO is “management upscaling”? What elements does he find most challenging? What have been Kyle’s big lessons in the building out of his exec team? What is the fundamental element for a successful exec team to function?
  • Salesloft is in an immensely competitive space, what would Kyle’s advice be in standing out in an intensely competitive space? Where do many go wrong? What are the pros and cons of being in Atlanta and not SF? What advice would Kyle give to founders operating their HQs external to the core hubs?

Kyle’s 60 Second SaaStr

Is it important to have early champions? How does one get them?

How has having kids changed your perspective on work?

Tell me a moment in your life that has served as an inflection point and changed the way you think?

When I say success in SaaS who is the embodiment of this to you?

What does Kyle know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning? 

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented, you can follow us on Twitter here:

Jason Lemkin Harry Stebbings SaaStr Kyle Porter

Sep 04 2018
32 mins
Play

Rank #4: SaaStr 156: Most Downloaded SaaStr of 2017: David Skok, General Partner @ Matrix Partners

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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. In 2001 David joined Matrix Partners, who had backed his last two startups, as a General Partner. David’s successful exits as an investor at Matrix include: HubSpot, JBoss, AppIQ, Tabblo, Netezza, Diligent Technologies, CloudSwitch, TribeHR, GrabCAD, OpenSpan and Enservio. David currently serves on the boards of Atomist, CloudBees, Digium, Meteor, Namely HR, Salsify, and Zaius. You can also find David’s amazing blog here!

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How did David make his way into the world of SaaS? What was it about Matrix that made him want to make the transition from operations to VC?
  • Metrics: Why are metrics so important? What role do they play in an organisation? How do good founders respond to questions on not achieving sales targets? What metrics in SaaS really determine the trajectory of the business?
  • How can founders examine unit economics to determine whether they have a sustainable SaaS business?
  • How does David address sales rep productivity? How much in ARR should they be booking in relation to their annual comp package?
  • Negative Churn: What is negative churn? Why is it fundamental for SaaS startups to have a strong grasp of their negative churn? How does negative churn affect the pricing axis? What can startups do if they have no alternative product to upsell to?
  • Upsell: To what extent should founders be willing to engage in customisation in order to upsell a product? What are the dangers? What should founders be mindful of? To what extent is upsell the responsibility of customer success? Should they have a hand in the sales process? What are the dangers and concerns?
  • How important is it for a startup to track their champion with the customer company? Does it matter if your champion leaves? What should you do if so?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented, you can follow us on Twitter here:

Jason Lemkin

Harry Stebbings

SaaStr

David Skok

Dec 18 2017
46 mins
Play

Rank #5: SaaStr 171: How To Figure Out Your Pricing Strategy: The Diminishing Role of The Per Seat Model, Why Open Source Is The Only Way To Get In Front of Today's Developers & Why Capital Efficiency Is Always Key with Chetan Puttagunta, General Partner @ NEA

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Chetan Puttagunta is a General Partner @ NEA, one of the world’s largest venture capital firms in the world with over $3Bn in their latest fund and a portfolio including the likes of Mulesoft, Jet.com, Uber, Houzz and many more incredible companies. As for Chetan, Chetan focuses on enterprise software and has made investments in MuleSoft, MongoDB, Elastic, Heap, just to name a few. Due to his phenomenal track record, Chetan has been named to GrowthCap’s Top 40 under 40 Growth Investors, Forbes 30 under 30 All-Star Alumni List, and Forbes’ 30 under 30 in Venture Capital. 

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Chetan made his from the world of leveraged buyouts to the world of enterprise VC investing with NEA?
  • Why does Chetan have such conviction with regards to open source companies today? Why does he feel the big question of “Can open source product multi-billion dollar companies” has been proven”?
  • How does Chetan think about the underlying business models of open source when comparing the likes of Red Hat with 85% gross margin to Hortonworks at negative gross margins? What does Chetan believe is a healthy ratio between professional services vs closed premium features? Does Chetan believe this is the end for per seat pricing in SaaS?
  • How does Chetan approach market sizing today when evaluating potential enterprise opportunities? Why does Chetan believe there is a mental trap in the VC requirement for large markets? How can founders present the niche market they are attacking, in an exciting enough way to satiate the investor appetite for large market?
  • Chatan has said before, “if you have conviction and vision, you should not be afraid to raise capital and go big”. Does every founder not have conviction and vision in the early days? How does Chetan determine when truly is the right time to pour fuel on the fire and raise that mega war chest?   

60 Second SaaStr?

  1. A moment in Chetan’s life that has changed the way he thinks about the world?
  2. Fave SaaS reading material?
  3. What does Chetan know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented, you can follow us on Twitter here:

Jason Lemkin

Harry Stebbings

SaaStr

Chetan Puttagunta

Apr 16 2018
26 mins
Play

Rank #6: SaaStr 210: Why The Best Sales Reps Are Not Outgoing and Extroverted, Why Sales Reps Are Fundamentally Not Coin Operated and The Right Way To Structure Both Comp Plans and Sales Training with Bridget Gleason, VP of Sales @ Logz.io

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Bridget Gleason is VP of Sales @ Logz.io, the startup that uses predictive analytics and machine learning to provide monitoring, troubleshooting and security. To date, Logz have raised over $45m in funding from the likes of Openview, 83North and Vintage just to name a few. As for Bridget, she has the most incredible track record. Before Logz, Bridget was VP of Corporate Sales @ Sumo Logic where she drove ARR up by a record 237%. Prior to SumoLogic, Bridget was VP of Sales @ YesWare where she increased MRR per rep by 450%. Finally before YesWare, she was VP of Sales @ Engine Yard, where she tripled monthly recurring revenue, over course of 3+ year tenure, in 3 key leadership roles.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Bridget made her way into the world of sales and became the sales leader she is today, having started in the world of marketing?
  • Having led and scaled numerous sales teams, does Bridget agree the best sales reps are outgoing and extroverted? How does the successful profile of a sales rep depend on (1) whether you are selling to SMB or enterprise? (2) The stage of the company? How can one stress test the character type of the candidate pre-hire in the interview stage?     
  • Does Bridget believe that sales reps really are as coin operated as many suggest? Why is that potentially an unfair position to take? How does Bridget think about structuring the right comp plans for her team? What other methods of incentivisation does Bridget believe works equally as efficiently?    
  • Does Bridget believe that you should pay sales rep commissions on services revenue? Should one pay the same or lower commissions on renewals? Should multi-year deals be paid upfront? How does one structure commissions for the sales team with that in mind?  
  • When does Bridget believe is the right time to hire (1) your first sales reps? (2) Your first VP of Sales? Why does Bridget believe that 70% of VP of Sales positions do not work out in the first 9 months? What can founders do to increase the likelihood of success within their VP of Sales role? Where do many go wrong?  

Bridget’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Bridget know now that she wishes she had known when she started in SaaS?
  2. SDR’s are the most important function in the sales process, agree or not and why?
  3. Sales training, what works? What does not?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented, you can follow us on Twitter here:

Jason Lemkin

Harry Stebbings

SaaStr

Bridget Gleason

Feb 04 2019
32 mins
Play

Rank #7: SaaStr 236: Logikcull CEO Andy Wilson on $0 to $10M in 19 Months: The How, When & Why + 10 Mistakes Along the Way

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Join Logikcull's CEO and Co-Founder Andy Wilson as he takes you through the mistakes made going from $0 to $10M in 19 months.

Missed the session? Here’s what Andy talks about:

  • Selling the way your customers want to buy.
  • What you need to know about hiring, firing, advisors, and culture
  • Why SaaS is your business model, not your mission.

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

Andy Wilson

May 23 2019
22 mins
Play

Rank #8: SaaStr 152: Cloudera's Lars Nilsson on Why SDRs Are The Most Important Role In The Sales Function, How To Build An SDR Team From Nothing & How To Construct A Compensation Plan That Drives A Behaviour You Want Other Than Just Revenue

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Lars Nilsson is the VP of Global Inside Sales for Cloudera and with over twenty-five years of sales and operations experience, Lars Nilsson is a global leader in enterprise software and selling solutions. One of Lars many incredible achievements was he and his team at Cloudera built the sales methodology Account-Based Sales Development (ABSD), which has transformed how businesses approach high-value targets. Prior to Cloudera, Lars founded SalesSource, a business services consulting firm specializing in CRM customization and sales process development. Lars has also served in sales executive roles at ArcSight/Hewlett Packard, Riverbed Technology and Portal Software – all three of which achieved IPOs, in addition to Cloudera (2017). As Special Advisor at True Ventures, Lars helps True portfolio companies develop sales compensation plans from the ground up, implement best-of-breed sales technologies, and rapidly scale sales teams to meet demand.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How did Lars make his way into the world of enterprise sales back in 1995? How has Lars seen the industry change so significantly over the last 22 years?  
  • Why does Lars believe that SDRs are the most important role in sales? How does their role of ensuring a full pipe compare to the role of demand gen and marketing?
  • How does Lars think about setting a quota that ensures a desired behaviour beyond pure revenue chasing? What is his framework for setting and optimising the right quota? Why does Lars believe that ales is all about activities? What activities is Lars most eager to measure and test?
  • What is Lars’ biggest advice to someone looking to build out their SDR team from the ground up? What core characteristics should one look for in those initial SDR hires? What is and has been Lars’ biggest challenge in building out his SDR team? Why is building SDR teams in the bay so hard?
  • How does Lars think about setting ideal customer profiles? How big a TAM is large enough to be excited, yet narrow enough  to be achievable and solve a true and inherent customer need?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. What does Lars know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning?
  2. What is Lars favourite piece of SaaS reading material?
  3. Sales rep productivity, what does Lars believe is the scale from exceptional to poor?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented, you can follow us on Twitter here:

Jason Lemkin

Harry Stebbings

SaaStr

Lars Nilsson

Nov 20 2017
30 mins
Play

Rank #9: SaaStr 235: Scaling To 3,000+ Customers Without A Single Sales Rep, The Most Important Trait To Look For In Your First Sales Hire & How To Make Your Customers Your Best Investors with Andrew Filev, Founder and CEO @ Wrike

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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 Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Andrew made his way into the world of SaaS from his starting his first software business at the age of just 18 and how that led to his founding of Wrike?
  • How does Andrew advise founders on the question of whether to start in enterprise or SMB? What are the benefits of starting in SMB? How does the founder know when is the right time to start moving to enterprise? What are those leading indicators? How does the product and what you invest in proactively need to change as you move into enterprise?     
  • Andrew has been the CEO for the last 13 years, how has the role of CEO changed over those years? What has been the most challenging phase? If the CEO is the guardian of the culture, what does a great guardian look like? What 3 elements does Andrew focus almost exclusively on today within his role as CEO?    
  • What does Andrew think are the major breaking points in the scaling of companies? Where does culture begin to breakdown? What can be done to mitigate this? How does Andrew think about using employee satisfaction surveys internally? How can one accurately determine the strength of your manager set?

Andrew’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Andrew know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning?
  2. No man’s land in SaaS pricing, does it exist?
  3. Sales rep productivity, what is good to Andrew?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented, you can follow us on Twitter here:

Jason Lemkin

Harry Stebbings

SaaStr

Andrew Filev

May 20 2019
29 mins
Play

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