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Bowery Capital Startup Sales Podcast

Bowery Capital is an early stage venture capital fund that focuses solely on helping portfolio companies with sales related challenges. This podcast is a discussion between the Bowery Capital team and experienced industry friends in an effort to help a younger generation of startups better understand the issues and pain points they will face when thinking about early revenue generation.
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Now displaying: 2016
Dec 16, 2016

This week we welcomed PJ Bouten, the co-founder and CEO at Showpad, onto the show to discuss the importance of Aligning Sales and Marketing teams. We begin the discussion by covering exactly why aligning sales and marketing is essential to business performance. We then move the conversation into how a B2B business can go about aligning sales and marketing, what systems are needed, checks in place, and meetings should be scheduled to ensure and encourage sales and marketing work together. PJ shares exactly how Showpad's sales and marketing teams are aligned, the Service Level Agreement (SLA) they have in place, what's included in the SLA, and how Showpad initially wrote up the SLA. PJ and I discuss the important of compensation when it comes to sales and marketing alignment and he shares how Showpad compensates their teams to encourage teamwork across the entire company. We also dig in on the typical friction that existing between sales and marketing and how to break this down for the benefit of the organization. This episode touches on nearly all aspects of aligning sales and marketing and is worth a listen if you are interested in understanding how your B2B business could be better aligned too.

Dec 9, 2016

This week we welcomed Scott Buxton, VP of Finance at Datadog, onto the show to discuss Customer Lifetime Value: how to calculate it and how to most effectively use it to manage a SaaS business. In today's episode, Scott touches on his experience using CLTV in his current and past roles, sharing his thoughts on how to best put the metric to work operationally. Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV or CLV) is a critically important concept for subscription businesses of all stripes. It seeks to capture the full value (usually some variant of revenue) that an account will deliver over its lifetime as a customer. In addition to price point (usually included as ARPA, or average revenue per account), the key variable in calculating Customer Lifetime Value is churn. Accurate measurement of the likely time period you will be able to retain an account, in addition to the likelihood / pace of any upsells in the meantime, is the cornerstone of an effective CLTV. Armed with a thoughtfully calibrated Customer Lifetime Value, you can gauge acceptable levels of upfront investment in acquiring customers (CAC), including spend on sales, marketing and customer success. This episode will cover other nuances of CLTV calculation and Scott's own tips on how to turn this conceptual measure into a powerful strategic tool.

Scott currently serves as VP of Finance at Datadog, where he makes active use of CLTV and a range of other SaaS metrics. Datadog is a platform for cloud infrastructure monitoring. Before that, Scott spent nearly 3 years in finance at Github, where he gained exposure to the metric from a different angle. He began his career at Deloitte, where he spent 10 years working with a wide range of businesses. As an experienced leader in startup finance, Scott has seen the benefits and pitfalls of working with Customer Lifetime Value. He opined on CLTV and other SaaS finance metrics at Bowery Capital's recent CFO Summit, joining a panel on "Leading Indicators & Customer-Level Finance" alongside InsightSquared CEO Fred Shilmover and Rishi Khanna, the former President of Novus. We hope you'll tune into this episode of the Bowery Capital Startup Sales Podcast to hear him expand on those insights, and learn his tactics for leveraging CLTV to better strategically plan growth and spend in a SaaS startup environment. Please also keep an eye out for a follow-up article next week digging into Customer Lifetime Value and the various ways one can calculate the metric.

Dec 2, 2016

This week on the Bowery Capital Startup Sales Podcast, we had Darren Shimkus, the General Manager of Udemy for Business, in the studio to discuss Building a B2B Business Within a B2C Company. Udemy is an online marketplace for education. It is aimed at professional adults who want to add new skills to their resumes and is also sold to businesses for corporate wide education. On our podcast, we dig in with Darren specifically on the B2B side of the business, which Udemy started about 3 years ago. During the podcast, Darren walks us through everything from the decision making process to ultimately launch a B2B business within a B2C company, to how they executed on it, and he even shares a few blind alleys they ran into along the way. We also dug in on how to think about when the right time is to launch an entirely new business model, particularly when the B2C business is doing quite well, with over 13 million users in the case of Udemy. Finally, we talk a bit about the sales strategy on the B2B side, and specifically discuss selling strategies when the key decision maker is not necessarily the end user.

Nov 28, 2016

Coming back from the Thanksgiving holiday we were back in the studio this week with Liz Young, the VP of Sales at Reonomy, to discuss SaaS pricing strategies that work. We've talked a bunch on the podcast about pricing and in particular have covered discounting and choosing scaling units. However, we have never had someone like Liz on to talk about the broader thinking around product pricing and what strategies work and don't work. Founders go through a lot of pain in thinking about SaaS pricing strategies and for the most part get this wrong out of the gate. Liz came on to the show to talk through the various approaches of pricing that she has seen work. In particular we cover pricing strategies around research to do, pricing strategies around the frameworks to create, pricing strategies around communicating value, and various stories and lessons from Liz and her current and prior companies. Give a listen to learn more below, and make sure to subscribe for a new episode every week!

Nov 18, 2016

This week the Bowery Capital team hosts Sangram Vajre, the Co-Founder and CMO of Terminus, to talk about winning strategies in account based marketing. Terminus enables B2B marketers to target accounts, engage decision-makers, and accelerate marketing and sales pipeline velocity at scale. In our podcast, Sangram and I discuss what account based marketing encompasses, what types of companies it works best for, and how to structure a strategy successfully. He speaks about using the proper metrics to track an account based marketing effort, and the different talent backgrounds necessary to lead the process. We also dig in on what infrastructure and software you need to have in place to measure your success on a per account basis. Finally, Sangram takes us through some account based marketing strategies that have pleasantly surprised him, as well as some examples of what he's seen flop. Listen here, learn more below, and make sure to subscribe for a new episode every Friday!

Sangram Vajre, co-founder and CMO of Terminus, is a passionate Marketing geek at heart and loves to solve problems, both analytically and creatively. In today’s marketing world, when companies need to rapidly adapt to changing buyer-centric communication, Sangram finds comfort in all things technology to keep pace with this challenge. Over the years, Sangram has amassed invaluable experience from his exposure to startups, consulting, and global companies. Most recently, Sangram headed up Marketing at Pardot, which was acquired by Salesforce in 2013. Sangram is putting all that knowledge to good use as he is currently authoring the first-ever “Account-Based Marketing for Dummies,” to be released in 2016. Sangram also has a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Alabama. You can follow him on Twitter at @sangramvajre.

We hope you enjoyed this week's post! Check out all of the latest episodes from the Bowery Capital Startup Sales Podcast here.

Nov 14, 2016

This week, we welcome Naeem Ishaq, CFO of Boxed Wholesale, onto the show to discuss "SaaS Churn Management In Early-Stage Sales Orgs." Boxed Wholesale is an eCommerce company focused on delivering the "big box club" experience (bulk grocery a la Sam's Club or Costco) direct-to-consumer online. We recorded the session live at the Bowery Capital CFO Summit 2016, where Naeem joined us as a panelist on the topic of "Maximizing Customer Retention & Managing Churn" alongside Antonia Pitney (CFO of Handshake) and Bart Hacking (CFO of Bettercloud). In this podcast, Naeem discusses how he has tackled SaaS churn at his various roles, from Salesforce to Square. We also explore the churn issues any early stage founder or CXO should expect to face, and the various quantitative approaches one should use to best measure and manage retention.

Naeem Ishaq has 15 years of experience as a finance and strategy professional in the tech industry, from Fortune 50 companies to early-stage startups. Prior to assuming his current role as CFO of Boxed Wholesale, he spent 4 years at Square, where he most recently served as the company's Head of Finance, Strategy & Risk. Before that position, Naeem spent nearly 5 years at Salesforce, ascending to Senior Director of Finance & Strategy. Naeem cut his teeth in finance at Intel where he spent 6 years, following a brief role at Chevron where he began his career. In addition, Naeem has also advised several startups along the way, including eero, a consumer electronics startup aiming to reinvent the home WiFi system. Having worked across many software business models at 5+ top-tier technology organizations, Naeem brings an excellent perspective on how to think about, measure and manage SaaS churn. Tune in now to hear his thoughts on how to stay ahead of churn and ensure the right people on your team become retention pros.

Nov 4, 2016

This week the Bowery Capital team hosts Georgiana Laudi, the VP of Marketing at Unbounce, to talk about how to build a customer focused content strategy. Unbounce allows users to build, publish, and A/B test high-converting mobile-responsive landing pages for their campaigns without relying on technical teams. In our podcast, Georgiana and I discuss what a customer focused content strategy encompasses, what types of content a company should consider, and how to think about distribution channels early on. She speaks about knowing what will resonate with the audiences you are trying to reach, and whether it makes sense to source content internally or externally. We also dig in on determining the value of your content, and some methods for tracking overall results. Finally, Georgiana takes us through what has worked for her at Unbounce, and some content she has been pleasantly surprised by. Listen here, learn more below, and make sure to subscribe for a new episode every Friday!

Georgiana is the VP of Marketing at Unbounce, one of Canada’s fastest growing startups. Her team more than doubled acquisition, contributing to the doubling of revenue for the company in it’s third year. Prior to joining Unbounce in February 2012, she helped startups and companies like Yellow Pages, AskMen, PartyMart and Sierra Eco launch products and marketing campaigns as a consultant. She also led a fiercely growing community and monthly educational events devoted to inspiring and empowering women in tech.

She began her marketing career in 2003 with Search and Internet Advertising, quickly developed copywriting skills, mastered Social and Content Marketing, and most recently A/B Testing and Conversion Rate Optimization. She has worked with Ecommerce, SaaS, brick & mortar, tech startups, retail and wholesale businesses, for both B2B and B2C markets.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Concordia University.

For more podcast episodes from the Bowery Capital Startup Sales Podcast, go here.

Oct 28, 2016

This week the Bowery Capital team hosted Gabe Larsen, Director of Sales Strategy at InsideSales, to talk about sales cadence strategies that work. InsideSales.com offers the sales industry a comprehensive sales acceleration platform that creates high-performance sales teams with breakthrough technology. In our podcast, Gabe and I discuss a systematic approach to cadence, best practices to manage your efforts, and how to grow and customize an optimal cadence to match your business needs. He speaks about the definition of sales cadence, and how different aspects of the sales process (such a calls, emails, and social touches) can be tweaked to better serve varying sales situations. We further dug into some unique models that Gabe has seen, and what people are using outside of a core cadence to better connect with often busy and distracted decision makers. Finally, Gabe takes us through what has worked for his team at InsideSales, and what a successful sales cadence looks like. Listen here, learn more below, and make sure to subscribe for a new episode every Friday! 

Gabe joined InsideSales.com with over 15 years of experience in revenue generation, from helping financial clients price and trade complex derivatives to helping multi-national organizations penetrate new markets. As Director of InsideSales.com’s Labs, Gabe’s expertise has helped over 200 clients solve the biggest problems in the Sales Acceleration space. After co-founding his own company in partnership with Dave Elkington, current CEO of InsideSales.com, Gabe worked at Accenture and then joined Goldman Sachs as an Equity Derivatives Specialist. He joined Nobel Prize winner and world-famous behavioral economist, Daniel Kahneman, at Gallup and spent four years as an international strategic consultant working with clients like Toyota, Honda, Heinz, IKEA and TD Ameritrade. Gabe helped establish Gallup’s Middle East presence and doubled the region’s revenue in his first year by helping close a ten-million-dollar deal.

Gabe has also established himself as an international expert, speaker and thought leader by writing and speaking about inside selling and its ability to drive predictable revenue.

For more podcast episodes from the Bowery Capital Startup Sales Podcast, go here.

Oct 21, 2016

This week, the Bowery Capital team hosted Steve Bachert, VP of Sales at Uptake, to discuss "Taking a SaaS Account Enterprise-Wide." Uptake is a predictive analytics software company that captures new value for Fortune 1000 companies by connecting and analyzing massive amounts of untapped data. Experienced SaaS salespeople will be familiar with a common scenario: you've landed into a SaaS account somehow, whether through a division, line-of-business employees, or perhaps even just through a beta program. Now you're faced with the challenge of expanding that SaaS account to cover the entire organization (e.g. an enterprise-wide deal). In this episode, we'll discuss the what to expect and how to prep your org to guide those whale SaaS accounts to close.

Things get complicated and burdensome fast when pursuing a company-wide enterprise deal. Especially when that SaaS account is a 500+ person organization, publicly traded and / or in a regulated vertical, you've got a whole new slew of potential considerations: security audits, F500-grade contract review, administrative requirements, regulatory & PCI compliance, DLP concerns, a new SLA / MSA scope, a new set of stakeholders getting involved from finance to IT, and much more. In our podcast, Steve and I started by defining the problem at hand, drawing on his deep enterprise sales experience at Uptake, Cloudera, HP and elsewhere: what does it mean to take a SaaS account enterprise-wide? We then broke down the how Steve has addressed this problem in the past, including amongst other things the common "tipping points" at which a SaaS account might be ready for that enterprise-wide pitch. In this week's episode, you'll have the opportunity to learn from Steve what to expect when selling big, what worked for him and what didn't, and how to best ready your sales organization for the onslaught of organizational overhead courting a F500-level contract can often bring. We finished the session with Steve's key takeaways for startup founders and early-stage sales leaders when first facing the challenge of bringing SaaS accounts enterprise-wide.

Steve Bachert is the VP of Sales at Uptake, and the perfect guest to enlighten us on the subject at hand. Steve has over 12 years of executive sales experience, and over the course of his career has been directly responsible for over $130MM in revenue. Some of his previous roles include: Senior Director of Sales at Cloudera, VP of Sales at Hewlett-Packard, EVP of Sales & Field Operations at Digital Fuel Technologies, and VP of Sales at Parametric. Steve earned his BS from Northern Illinois University and received his MBA from Loyola University.

Oct 7, 2016

This week the Bowery Capital team hosted Allen Gannett, Founder and CEO at TrackMaven, to talk about content marketing for SaaS startups. TrackMaven monitors activities across 15 digital channels to help marketers understand which content drives engagement and conversion. In our podcast, Allen and I discuss how startups should think about content marketing, how mature they should be before implementing a content marketing strategy, and the general guidelines for a successful campaign. He speaks about the issues with content marketing early on, and how a lengthy pay-back period can be off-putting to companies seeking more immediate ROI. Allen dives into what worked at TrackMaven, and how they grew their content catalog and viewer base. With a platform that serves marketing leaders from 100's of the worlds best brands, we are thrilled to have the chance to get Allen's insight!

Sep 30, 2016

This week the Bowery Capital team was joined by Tim Bryan, Chief Revenue Officer at Custora and Brett Robbins, Head of Business Development at Custora, to discuss choosing your scaling units in SaaS Pricing. Custora is one of the leaders in the advanced customer analytics space for the retail industry, providing marketing leaders with insightful guidance they need to deliver results while maximizing profitable growth over the long term. In our podcast, we discussed what exactly scaling units/ "currencies" are and, the difficulty of choosing the proper SaaS pricing model for your company. Every company decides to use different units or currency to determine pricing and breakpoints (i.e users, traffic tiers, number of employees, etc...) we got to hear their take on these and which ones have worked for them, and how they've thought about and addressed this problem. Tim and Brett broke down the process of choosing the proper scaling units in SaaS pricing into five steps: 1) Aligning with Value 2) Aligning with the Product 3) Aligning with the Sector 4) Testing your model 5) Evolving based on experiences. Find out what they had to say on these five steps, and hear how they applied them during their previous and current roles at Custora. What do you think the trends will be in SaaS pricing in 5 years? Hear what Tim and Brett think SaaS pricing trends will be in 5 years. 

Sep 23, 2016

This week the Bowery Capital team was joined by Tami McQueen, Director of Marketing at SalesLoft, to discuss unique marketing strategies at Dreamforce, on a budget. SalesLoft is one of the leading platforms used for sales development and one of the simplest ways to conduct outreach to prospects in order to ensure quality leads and set up qualified appointments. In our podcast, Tami and I discuss her experience attending and running a successful booth at Dreamforce while operating within a budget. Everyone from startups to Fortune 500 companies attend Dreamforce, so having an impactful and memorable booth takes time, strategizing and real creativity. We spoke with Tami about many unique marketing strategies at Dreamforce that SalesLoft has used and ultimately enabled them to make their time at Dreamforce a success. Tami and I finished off with addressing her take on the importance of executing proper marketing strategies prior to and post the event. So we ask, which companies should be attending Dreamforce? How do you know if your company is a fit? Find out what Tami's take is on all of these points, and hear about how she was able to achieve the success that she did at Dreamforce.

Sep 16, 2016

This week the Bowery Capital team hosted Matthew Bellows, Founder and CEO at Yesware, to talk about turning sales failure into sales success. Yesware’s suite of sales tools improves prospecting and tracking abilities, leading to more closed deals with less time spent. In our podcast, Matthew and I discuss identifying failures, crafting solutions to turn them around, and then effectively implementing those solutions. He speaks about the definition of sales success, and how long a startup early in their cycle might need to observe before they can accurately judge their situation. One of the greatest challenges at Yesware was how to tackle sales in a freemium model. More precisely, they struggled with the question of how to convert free users into paying customers. This also raised the issue of how to appropriately evaluate customer acquisition alongside paid conversion. Should every new customer brought in be considered a sales success, or merely those who generate revenue? Matthew takes us through what ended up working for him at Yesware, and how he tested each strategy.

Sep 9, 2016

This week we were back in the studio after the holiday weekend with our good friend Pete Kazanjy of TalentBin to discuss the concept of "Founder Led Selling." Pete was formerly the Founder of TalentBin, a category-defining talent search engine and recruiting CRM that sold to Monster in 2014. In our podcast, Pete discusses the high level concept of founder led selling and how to really understand the gap between having your MVP ready to go and hiring a salesperson to then sell it. This gap is obviously filled by founder led selling but Pete dives in on a specific structure that he created that any founder can use to their advantage. We walk through this structure and each component of it in detail in our chat.

Aug 26, 2016

On this episode of the Bowery Startup Sales Podcast the Bowery Capital team hosted Nick Romito, the Founder and CEO of VTS, to discuss "Perfecting the Sales Script". VTS is an asset management and leasing platform built to provide real-time portfolio analytics to the top landlords and brokerage firms in the world. VTS allows brokers and owners to manage deal activity, identify trends and quantify portfolio performance from their desktop or mobile device.

In this episode, we dig in with Nick on developing the sales script, training your sales team on the script, and modifying it over time to ensure you're staying ahead of the competition. We cover some of the necessary components of the sales script and also some topics to avoid (competition!).  

Aug 19, 2016

The Bowery Capital team hosted Jed Alpert, SVP of Marketing at 1010Data, for a discussion on "Effective Case Studies and White Papers." 1010Data's data insights and analytics cloud platform helps 750+ blue-chip clients make sense of trillions of data points on the regular.

In this episode, Jed details 1010Data's systematized content marketing playbook and his approach to driving organic traffic and mentions with strong content marketing. Content marketing, especially in regard to writing effective case studies and white papers, has changed for the modern content marketer. From getting customer permission to outlining effective channels for distribution, Jed explains everything his team does that goes into effective case studies and white papers in his chat with us.

Aug 12, 2016

Lawrence Coburn, CEO of DoubleDutch, joined us in the Bowery Capital studio this week to discuss "Data-Driven Event Management: The MQL Motherlode." DoubleDutch is a SaaS platform for live engagement marketing, empowering users to manage events of all types and collect / analyze critical data from them that teams can use to drive marketing and sales. In today's episode, we discuss the history and current state of event management, and how technology is finally enabling its evolution into a true marketing channel. You'll learn more about Lawrence and his experience building DoubleDutch, as well as gather key tips on how to build an event management strategy for your company that has a measurable impact on your marketing and sales efforts. What events are effective at driving leads vs. nurturing them vs. bringing active opportunities across the finish line? How much should you spend on each and how to do you maximize your Return On Marketing Investment (ROMI) when it comes to event management? What other data signals can you gather from your events and how can organizers, attendees, sponsors and exhibitors all benefit? We'll cover all this and more.

Organizing events is a centuries-old marketing strategy. As Lawrence describes, however, event management has barely evolved: just get all your stakeholders in one room and talk to them. Event management is logistically challenging, usually requires even C-level executives to invest significant chunks of time, and can be expensive. It's probably the only marketing line item where a large amount of spend without a deep understanding of return is tolerated. Even today, plenty of highly sophisticated companies probably don't have good answer for why they spent $X vs. 20% more or less on a particular summit or conference. In large part, these shortcomings exist because it's difficult to collect the requisite data. With the help of modern SaaS tools, or even just a dedication to collecting key data signals onsite, however, you can take the first steps toward building a data-driven event strategy that can serve as a rich source of MQLs and effective medium for nurturing leads or customers.

In today's episode, Lawrence walks us through his framework for data-driven event management, highlighting the benefits not only for the organizers, but also the attendees, exhibitors and sponsors. Even if you're a pre-Seed startup with few resources to spend on management tools, however, you should build your event strategy from the ground up with a focus on data collection. As we'll learn from Lawrence, that will enable you to better measure the true impact of live engagement on your funnel. Give our episode a listen to learn more. Until next week!

Aug 5, 2016

Darren Kaplan, CEO of hiQ Labs, joined us in the Bowery Capital studio this week to share his best practices on "How To Incent & Retain Sales Talent." hiQ is a people analytics SaaS platform that pinpoints who is at risk and where to invest across an entire workforce, including sales and other customer acquisition roles. In this episode, Darren discusses trends and tips around the issue of retaining quality sales people in a fast-growing team and competitive market. We're all familiar with the typical levers--base salary, commission structure, equity--but if you fail to pay attention to the market and adjust these accordingly, you could risk losing critical salespeople early on, costing you valuable ramp time and sales knowledge. Listen here, learn more below, and make sure to subscribe for a new episode every Friday!

People analytics is quickly becoming a category of its own within HCM software. Google is often credited with developing many of the people-oriented analyses that might help inform their HR operations in a data-driven way. Analysts there built a model to predict churn and guide compensation changes, taking as inputs various factors related to a worker's employment: not only pay, title and last promotion, but also secondary data points like commute time, number of kids at which stage in school, and available work performance figures. For a salesperson, there are even more numbers to consider, as commission structures can be complex and rationale for performance can vary widely, from lead sources, to sales scripts, to regions / customer types covered.

According to Darren, today's comp & retention environment has changed due to an influx of late-stage capital over the last 2-3 years. If large growth-stage / pre-IPO startups that have previously incentivized employees (salespeople included) with equity are staying private longer, that is eventually going to factor into how a worker values his or her options. Vesting aside, if an employee feels there's no light at the end of the tunnel (liquidity event), you're going to face a retention problem. The natural reaction would be for employees to begin valuing the cash portion of their compensation more highly, and those expectations have a trickle-down affect to even the youngest of startups.

In today's episode, Darren shares his thoughts on best practices in retaining sales talents, and the various trends that are impacting that retention consideration in today's market. You'll learn how hiQ is aiming to bring people analytics to the forefront of the CEO's toolbox and hopefully glean a few tips on how to keep your best performers around as long as possible. Until next week, happy listening!

Jul 29, 2016

The Bowery Capital team invited Jimmy Forbes, SendGrid's Manager of Sales Development, to come in this week to talk about "Sales Personalization vs. Automation." In this episode, Jimmy lays out SendGrid's strategy that determines where they sit on the pendulum between sales automation and sales personalization.

Jimmy, an outdoors climbing enthusiast, has built SendGrid's sales development team from the ground up, scaling and optimizing outbound global sales for the company. The relationship between automation and personalization continues to be a topic that gets brought up a lot. Jimmy's experience with resisting that automatic urge has led to unexpected insights validated by data in higher conversion rates and quality of interactions with leads.

 

Jul 22, 2016

Annette Promes, CMO and Head of Customer Success at Moz, came on to the podcast this week to talk about managing customer churn, both proactively and reactively. Annette started at Moz – a Marketing Analytics Software company – in 2013, and has over 20 years of marketing experience. Moz helps companies everywhere with online marketing, offering various products that help companies with everything from content and search marketing to Twitter analytics.

During the podcast, we start by defining customer churn, how it occurs, and how it can impact a company. We discussed many different tactics that can be employed to keep churn and its negative effects as low as possible, and some tips for trying to prevent it from happening in the first place. However, if your company is experiencing significant churn, investigating what drove your customers to churn should be your first step. Next, we covered how to identify the catalyst causing customer to churn and how your company should figure out internally how to minimize the negative effect of the existing issue. If the churn was caused by a specific feature or lack of feature in the product, you must determine whether this needs to be changed. If the issue is product based, then churn could be managed by simply communicating with the product development team exactly what needs to be changed or added. Churn could be caused by a variety of other things specific to your business, but it is always something that needs to be managed to maximize customer retention and overall happiness. Finally, we cover proactively preventing churn, by discussing how to identify high risk customers and alleviate their issues before they churn.

We hope this podcast helps you with managing customer churn!  For more podcast episodes from the Bowery Capital Startup Sales Podcast, go here.

Jul 1, 2016

Heather Morgan, CEO of SalesFolk, joined us in the Bowery Capital studio this week to share her "5 Steps To Sales Emails That Convert." SalesFolk helps B2B companies refine their sales messaging, enabling clients to increase response rates to cold emails by as much as 10x, netting them faster sales cycles and more customers. In this episode, Heather lays out a five-step framework for crafting better performing sales messaging for your startup and institutionalizing its use in a fast-growing sales team.

Heather founded SalesFolk 3 years ago and has since helped a who's who of SaaS startups optimize their sales messaging, including Lyft, KissMetrics, Bluenose and Box. She previously led business development at Tamatem, a mobile gaming company backed by 500 Startups. She is also an economist by training, having worked with various organizations including the World Bank. Her writing portfolio is impressive: Heather has been freelance writing for over 7 years and is a published author with Oxford University Press amongst others. She's written at least one cold email a day for the last 10 years, and over her career has helped 200+ companies refine 10,000+ cold sales emails. If you're interested in benefitting from Heather's expertise, check out SalesFolk's Email Mastery Course which lays out it all out with hours of video, takeaway PDFs, and monthly private webinars.

According to Heather, the gap between the best and worst sales teams is growing in part because people mistake the plethora of new sales automation tools and practices as a substitute for doing the necessary homework, list building, and thoughtful copywriting. Many sales teams are working off the same ineffective, legacy templates that have proliferated for decades. Most, more importantly, don't emphasize the conscientiousness that's critical in getting leads to respond. As a result, most sales emails go straight in the trash bin, or worse yet, a spam filter or blacklist.

In today's episode, Heather shares her five-step framework for crafting compelling sales email copy and her secrets to effective buyer profiling, multi-touch campaigning, and email process best practices. Until next week, happy listening!

Jun 24, 2016

Building your initial Customer Success team can be challenging and time consuming without understanding how to properly manage the process. This week on the Bowery Capital Startup Sales Podcast, we are joined by Allison Pickens, the VP of Customer Success and Business Operations at Gainsight, who sheds some light on exactly how she setup and manages the Customer Success team at Gainsight. For those of you that don't know, Gainsight provides a Customer Success software solution and also manages a community of Customer Success leaders.

Today, Allison spoke with us about all the do’s and don’ts of establishing a customer success team. In the episode, we cover how to define CS, when to create a customer success team, how to manage your first hire, and even some common pitfalls to look out for. We also discuss the goals of CS and how it should fit into a company to maximize its positive impact.

We hope you enjoy learning about “Building your Initial Customer Success Team”. For even more information on Customer Success, visit Allison's blog where she posts weekly on the topic! 

Jun 17, 2016

In the SaaS world, a proof of concept can be a Honey Pot—a quick preamble to a great customer win—or a Bear Trap—a drain on resources without clear end in sight. Ken Pouliot of Gigya joined us in the studio this week to share his framework for a repeatably effective proof of concept. If your customers try before they buy to any extent, we know you'll enjoy this latest episode: "The Proof of Concept Deal: Bear Trap or Honey Pot?"

Ken is VP of sales at Gigya, a customer identity management firm that helps customers turn anonymous visitors into known customers, enabling the collection of rich first-party data. With years of enterprise sales experience, Ken has seen the proof of concept play out both ways at companies like Box, Symantec, Veracode and Verisign. In his experience, a few key structural choices can turn a proof of concept into a startup sales team's secret weapon, giving reps valuable experience and paving the way for lower-friction reference sales. Without the right structure, however, you risk a POC becoming a time-consuming experiment in frustration. In today's episode we'll discuss a framework for structuring proof of concept deals that will ensure all parties are on the same page, with clear milestones, timelines and expectations, helping your sales team turn POCs into Honey Pots that close big deals reliably, rather than risking valuable time, focus and potentially even IP.

In this episode, Ken leads us through the best ways to make the most out of running a proof of concept, with specific pointers around key considerations like length, milestones, and the involvement of sales vs. engineering. Happy listening and make sure to subscribe on iTunes for a new episode every week!

Jun 10, 2016

Prospecting is something that every sales executive thinks about constantly. The goal of prospecting is always the same: Convert prospective customers into current customers. However, successful prospecting methods may differ by industry and today we had Max Spitalnick on the Bowery Capital Startup Sales Podcast to discuss some of the unique prospecting methods for commercial real estate SaaS. Max is a Sales Executive at Hightower. For those that do not know, Hightower is a leading commercial leasing management platform that enables brokers and owners to better conduct their end-to-end leasing workflow. The platform allows CRE professionals to collaborate with their teams, manage important files, and update deals all in real-time from the web and mobile devices.

Today, Max spoke with the Bowery Capital team about some of the unique prospecting methods he has found to be successful for selling into the commercial real estate industry. We cover everything from identifying the target customer, nurturing that customer and even how to navigate through some of the common sales blockers to ultimately close a deal. We also touch on some of the specific industry challenges in prospecting and how Max has been able to overcome these. Lastly, we closed out the discussion with some of the negotiation tactics that Max and his team use when they get stuck in the prospecting phase for too long. We hope you enjoy listening to these unique prospecting methods for commercial real estate!

Jun 3, 2016

This week, Bill Hobbs joined us in the Bowery Capital studio to discuss "Growth Hacking With User Behavior." Bill is the VP of Sales at Totango, a leading customer success management platform and a company deeply steeped in the importance of user behavior.

Growth hacking, no doubt, is an overused term, but we take it here to mean tips and tricks you can use as an early-stage founder or employee to win more customers faster and keep them longer. What we'll talk about today is how to use your existing or past users' behavior in product to drive or improve growth hacking techniques. You might be familiar with the fact that you can use product engagement data to reduce churn, improve trial conversion and drive upsell / cross-sell (if you aren't, I'm sure Bill and his colleagues at Totango would be happy to tell you). But we'll discuss how you can take growth hacking a level deeper through the micro-segmentation of your users or customers by behavior, and also by other potentially relevant factors such as role or industry. These strategies don't apply just to freemium solutions focused on conversion or post-sales efforts (churn / up-sell & cross-sell) either. If collected properly, user behavior during beta and trial periods can be used to increase close rates. That data is equally valuable in crafting your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), sales scripts, ad / content marketing copy, and much more. As Bill will tell us, successful growth hacking requires a deep understanding of your target user and there's no better way to develop that knowledge than product engagement data.

Bill's growth hacking expertise goes back to his first career working with Fortune 500 companies to turn around struggling business lines by restoring rapid revenue expansion. Since then, he's served on the Board of Advisors to several tech companies, founded two businesses, led sales at Chartbeat, had a cameo in film The Wolf of Wall Street, and became a bestselling author with The Work Book: How To Build Your Personal Brand and Get Hired (check it out here). Today, he advises business leaders to help them master the art of growth hacking: expanding into new markets, growing revenues and building sustainable business models. And of course, as VP of Sales at Totango, he heads up business in the Eastern US and EMEA markets. 

In today's episode, we'll explore 10+ growth hacking techniques leveraging user behavior that every SaaS salesperson, marketer, customer success rep and early-stage founder should consider. We hope you'll give the full podcast a listen here. Until next week!

 

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