Most early stage folks who listen to our podcast understand very well the positives and negatives of inside versus outside sales. What is less known tends to be the third model of selling, the partner driven sales model. This model is inherently different than either inside or outside sales and requires a very different approach to hiring, onboarding, training, and sales operations to be successful. To touch on the subject of "Partnership Driven Sales Success" we brought on Bill Tyndall from inDinero. inDinero is one our favorite businesses in the SaaS space and has grown to 200+ people and tons of happy customers. They have a very distinct and unique approach to deploying the partnership driven sales model and Bill's view on the topic was absolutely fascinating. He's been with the company for over 4 years now and plays a crucial role in all elements of the selling model as head of the NY office in sales and success.
We started the discussion on Partnership Driven Sales Success talking definitions and helping the younger SaaS founders think about when to deploy this model and when to not focus on it. We noted and discussed how the model is very different than general partner programs which is more a business development traction channel rather than the core selling model of your company. We then dove in on how inDinero set up their partner driven sales organization and how they have seen partnership driven sales success. We then talk about what has worked and what has not worked and from there move on to some very tactical components of the sales process aligning to this type of selling model. In particular Bill gives the audience some great points on locating and interviewing the right people to be able to sell within this model, how to correctly onboard these people to succeed in your company, and how to train effectively around the same things. All in, it was another great podcast and we hope you enjoy it.
Customer success leverage can sometimes be the difference between a winning and losing SaaS business when operating in low ACV environments. The theory is basically that if you are selling software at low prices you must be focused on extracting the highest degree of leverage out of your sales, marketing, and customer success teams to build a highly efficient business that wins. To discuss this topic we brought on our good friend and ultra-marathoner Jason Mills from Expensify to talk through how his business gets leverage through the customer success team. Expensify is a great example of how to build a wonderful engine here with millions of happy customers already served. Jason has learned a ton about this over his almost 4 years with the company. He was one of the early sales hires and really drove home the notion of gaining a lot of leverage out of the customer success team.
We start the discussion on what specifically we mean by customer success leverage and how Jason and his team think about this topic. We really focus the podcast on how Expensify gains leverage without a substantial amount of money to spend. Jason talks about what makes a great customer success person that can give you leverage and lays out how the team works at Expensify (it is quite unique). We then move into how the founding team thought about this from the beginning of the company and how it has evolved over time. Next, we cover some of the thinking around the CAC / LTV specifics of their business and how Jason thinks about spend within his team here. From there we move into the specific tech stack that Expensify uses on this front and some of the tips and tricks that Jason has learned along the way when thinking about how IT can give his team leverage. You will be surprised to find that the company really only uses two pieces of software to handle all of the needs on this front (talk about focus and leverage!). We move on to some thinking about cadence of customer communication as well as how to train customer success team members to think outside the box and give any SaaS founder leverage. Finally, we close on Jason's thinking about how product and customer success are aligned at the hip in his organization and Jason closes with some tips and tricks on gaining customer success leverage in any low priced SaaS business. We hope you enjoy and thank you for listening.
SiriusDecisions introduced The Demand Waterfall concept in 2006 to create a shared view between marketing and sales to ultimately reveal the health of an organization’s new-business-related activities. We love this concept and recommend it to pretty much any portfolio company that cares about marketing and sales alignment. As demand generation efforts are becoming more and more important to the health of any SaaS company we thought it would be great to bring on our friend Ryan Mettee to this edition of the Bowery Capital Startup Sales Podcast to discuss The Demand Waterfall. While we've discussed marketing and sales alignment and how marketing can drive growth in early stage SaaS, we have not covered this topic with such a level of structure. Ryan has been with SiriusDecisions for over three years and leads the sales effort on the west coast teaching this concept to many early stage SaaS companies.
We start out with a high level discussion of some of the engagements that SiriusDecisions works on around sales and marketing and how they invented The Demand Waterfall concept some time ago. We then cover how it has changed through the years and what any early stage company needs to think about when setting up The Demand Waterfall. We next give a detailed overview of the actual waterfall and each stage within it. For a visual check out this link. Ryan then discusses how to think about the alignment of sales and marketing and some of the critical things to watch out for as an early stage organization trying to build a culture of alignment. We close on some critical things plaguing companies abilities convert leads to revenue and Ryan also gives the listeners some successes that he has seen (100%-700% increase in closed / won business) when companies implement this process. Finally, he gives some wise advice around his three key criteria to early SaaS success in sales and marketing infrastructure. "Adopt" then "Operationalize" then "Optimize." We will let you listen to the podcast to hear specifically about what he is talking about!
Client Churn is a topic of conversation we have not really covered yet on the Bowery Capital Startup Sales Podcast and so today we bring on our friend Kaveh Rostampor from Meltwater to help the younger generation of SaaS founders understand how to think about client churn. Kaveh is the Executive Director of the Americas at Meltwater where he runs a 200+ person team focused on operations, client acquisition and success, enterprise sales, and marketing for 14 offices in North America and South America. He joined the company 4 years after the business was founded as one of the early hires and was instrumental in setting up their sales and customer success efforts. 10+ years later and with help from Kaveh, Meltwater does over $200MM in ARR, has over 1,000 employees, 23,000 clients, and offices in 50 countries around the world. Most inspiring, the founding team did not take any outside capital for the first 12 years of operations.
We start with some high level thinking on client churn and how to understand the three metrics that matter most to Kaveh around client churn. He lays out how Meltwater thought about this from the beginning and how they have grown and changed around these three important metrics through the years. We then move on to some very interesting discussion around the various surveys that the company sends existing clients and what they tend to show the customer success team at Meltwater. Meltwater has some interesting approaches to this and we found the discussion incredibly insightful for any early stage company. We then cover the systems, process, and tools that Meltwater and any SaaS company should be using to understand client churn. Kaveh also gives the listeners some thinking about the reports both at the board level as well as internally to your marketing, sales, and product teams to keep everyone on the same page. Finally, we cover some tips and tricks that Kaveh has learned through the years. Give a listen and we hope you enjoy this week's edition of the podcast.