Nearly five years ago, Aaron Ross changed the world of software sales with his bestseller Predictable Revenue. He articulated a sales model that his team used to add $100M+ in revenue at Salesforce. As I’m sure most of our readers and listeners know, that model is centered around a “Cold Calling 2.0 outbound process” that has been widely adopted in the SaaS community since. The Predictable Revenue-based framework we’ll focus on here relies on two key roles: Sales Development Reps (SDRs) and Account Executives (AEs). As we’ll discuss, this SDR-AE paradigm is nearly ubiquitous, but brings with it several serious shortcomings that are rarely discussed. These shortcomings can often increase overall costs of customer acquisition and put key deals at risk, the very things it aims to mitigate.
Our guest today, Loren Padelford, is the Chief Sales Scientist at Shopify. In less than two years, he’s built Shopify Plus (of which he’s also the General Manager) into an 8-figure business, scaling its sales team from zero to 70+ heads. Loren has been a software sales leader for 10+ years, and prior to Shopify held roles with Skura, Active Risk Group and Dyadem. In our podcast today, he’ll share views on why many companies blindly adopt the Predictable Revenue-inspired strategy described above, and explain the alternative sales model that he’s used to great effect.
This podcast was one of the most insightful I’ve had the chance to host to date. Over the next five years, however, I think the framework Loren outlines will become increasingly prevalent as customers are desensitized to inside sales approaches that are over a decade old. I highly suggest every salesperson take a listen. Enjoy and happy holidays from team Bowery!
Growing a developer community is something that many SaaS founders think about in the new age of selling low priced software to line-of-business (LOB) employees at the Fortune 500 all the way down to the hacker in her garage building the next Twitter. There have been great successes already accessing and growing a developer community with companies such as Heroku, Wordpress, Twilio, and Shopify now being household names in this ecosystem. One of the earliest and most noticeable companies to grow this trend was MongoDB. In this week's podcast, we bring on our friend Meghan Gill to discuss exactly how to think about growing a developer community. Meghan is well known in the circles that care the most about building developer communities and was employee #8 and the first non-technical marketing hire at the company. She's spent 6+ years perfecting the art of creating a developer community and now runs an organization that includes MongoDB User Groups, MongoDB conferences, social media, online engagement and education, email marketing, and more. We started the discussion talking about the foundation that any founder needs to put in place before they even think about embarking on growing a developer community. Most folks wing this and just start selling to get some traction without understanding how they are going to grow their community. Meghan gives us the toolkit and playbook for how to correctly think about this. From there, we dive into the first steps and what can be an effective and low cost way of creating an initial developer community. We then dive into actually growing a developer community and touch on some of the specific areas like events, user groups, and marketing efforts that tend to work or not work. Meghan and I close the discussion with some thoughts on what she's learned throughout her lengthy time at MongoDB and how to set yourself up