Emmanuelle Skala from Influitive joined us in the Bowery Capital studio this week to walk us through her take on the "First Steps To Sales Ops Success" that every early-stage founder should know. Especially for SaaS companies with a driven-driven sales model, Sales Ops has become a discipline in its own right. We're all familiar with traditional SaaS metrics like MRR, churn, CLTV, etc. But for the most part, these are lagging indicators. While important, they don't provide the sort of foresight that modern Sales Ops leaders need in order to optimize sales performance 6 months or more in advance. In our podcast today, we'll not only cover the basics, but dive into other types of metrics that can be the difference between a missed and blowout quarter. In particular, we tackle 3 new categories of Sales Ops benchmarks: sales capacity, funnel metrics and pipeline metrics.
Sean Kester from SalesLoft joined us in the Bowery Capital studio this week to walk us through his strategy for “Aligning Sales Teams Through SLAs.” The modern startup sales team includes a variety of roles, each of which has a different but critical part to play in the sales process. And this doesn’t just include core members of the sales team like Account Executives and SDRs. It’s also critical that Marketing and even Customer Success are aligned with sales and understand their responsibilities. Without extremely clear delineation of exactly who owned which parts of the process when, a sales team can become confused, lose deals from a pure lack of communication, and in the worst of cases, turn into a blame-game where different roles become adversarial. The failure to align sales and supporting teams with a clear process, left long enough, can destroy a startup’s culture. This is where the Service-Level Agreement (SLA) can work wonders. Though it doesn’t have to be long or even over-complicated, a well-structured SLA is a core document that makes clear exactly who owns what in a process. A good SLA determines how a team works together and, as we talk about in today’s podcast, can ensure a healthy and collaborative startup sales culture.
Stu Wall from Signpost joined us in the studio this week to chat about the topic of "Sales Floor Incentives" and how to keep your sales team motivated. Check out the stream above or better yet head on over toiTunesand make sure yousubscribeto the podcast to get all our new content each week. If you have the luxury of building a 100 person sales team then you're going to have to spend a decent amount of time thinking about how to keep your sales team excited, motivated, and crushing sales. Most sales teams use competitions to keep things interesting but there are a number of other considerations you should make when figuring out how to pump up your team. Keeping your team motivated isn't easy, and Stu came on to really dig in and share his secrets for incentivizing sales teams. Stu founded Signpost over 5 years ago and along with being CEO he was the first sales person and sales manager and now has over 100 sales people across 3 cities in the US. I personally love this topic because I'm a competitor myself and I get asked by our portfolio all the time about the best ways to keep their sales team performing at the highest level. If you find yourself thinking about how to keep your sales team energized throughout the entire month then this podcast is for you. Give a listen now and check out some of our other podcasts below!
Zack Kass from Mixpanel joined us in the studio this week to chat about the topic of “Beating Legacy Incumbents” and how to build yourself up to sell into large enterprises. Check out the stream above or better yet head on over toiTunesand make sure yousubscribeto the podcast to get all our new content each week. It is no surprise that there is a war going on out there between old school software vendors and the new breed of SaaS startups. It is only a matter of time before you gowhale hunting. But how do you look bigger than you really are in the early days? Beating legacy incumbents is no easy game, and Zack came on to really dig in to how to package an enterprise solution before your business offers true enterprise features or services. Zack has a wealth of experience on the topic of beating legacy incumbents from CrowdFlower (BPO incumbents) to Shyp (Logistics incumbents) and now Mixpanel (Analytics incumbents). Beating legacy incumbents is his game and he weaves a great narrative in the podcast focused around how to really win in the market against big competitors. We personally love this topic as it comes up a ton with our own portfolio companies and it also was one of the most requested topics this past week from friends who are starting to sell into the F500. If you find yourself thinking about questions like “how do I close my first big deal” or “how do I beatOracleor IBM” or “when can we start selling into the F500” then this podcast is for you. Give a listen now and check out some of our other podcasts below!
Alex Hesterberg from Pure Storage joined us back in the studio this week to chat about "Prepping Your Customer Renewal Strategy" and how your SaaS business should think about getting ready for renewals. Alex has a wealth of knowledge on the topic starting first at CSC and Symantec where he was actually on the line handling accounts and dealing with up-selling existing customers. He then moved on to Riverbed where he took on a leadership role managing and building out the professional service and customer success organizations and from there went to Sailthru to manage client services. He's now at Pure Storage as the VP of Worldwide Field Operations focused on ensuring client success through his professional service team. Pure Storage has a great customer renewal strategy and Alex and the VP of Customer Success spend a fair amount of time strategizing to win repeat business. This topic of customer renewal strategy comes up a ton with our own portfolio founders as well as the broader SaaS community and so we thought we would bring Alex on to discuss. We've coveredcustomer successbroadly speaking but in this podcast dive into more specific topics around a customer renewal strategy like the monetary approach and calculations to renewals and upsells, the tradeoff of asking for the same size contract versus for more money, how to create a playbook and framework for your customer renewal strategy, the specific KPIs that matter most to get a renewal, and finally when to say no and potentially churn an account on purpose. Alex was a great guest and any SaaS founder should value his advice. Give a listen below and we hope you enjoy!