This week, the Bowery Capital team hosted Brian Kelly, CEO at Kissmetrics, to discuss "Optimizing New Product Launches." Kissmetrics is a behavior analytics and engagement platform that was built to help marketers and product teams increase conversions, drive engagement and grow retention. Over 900 companies, like Unbounce, SendGrid, Outbrain, Lucid Software, and more use Kissmetrics to quickly identify and take action on roadblocks across their growth cycles. In our episode today, Brian joins the podcast to discuss ways for companies to optimize new product launches, something Kissmetrics recently did with their release of “Kissmetrics Campaign” and the rollout of their Customer Engagement Automation platform. He discusses how Kissmetrics goes from ideation stage to the actual release of a new feature or product, and explains that in this process he relies heavily on feedback from customers. Kissmetrics’ latest product launch was a big paradigm shift, from the analytics side to the engagement side, so he explains how first important it was to get internal buy in from team members. After getting buy in, The Company prioritized teaching team members as much as possible about the product, and held internal lunch and learns which included getting and giving demos and going through non formal certifications. Next, Brian focused on how to roll out the product externally. An early adoption beta program allowed Kissmetrics to have a constant feedback loop at the earliest possible stage and helped them optimize features, functionality and design of the product for users. When it was time to figure out pricing, Brian stressed the importance of making pricing models easy to understand as prospective clients can get fed up if pricing is too complex. Brian wrapped up by explaining that getting feedback from prospective users outside of your company on features and products is crucial.
This week, the Bowery Capital team hosted Lincoln Murphy, Customer Success Consultant at Sixteen Ventures, to discuss "Customer Success Driven Sales." Sixteen Ventures is a consulting agency focused on helping SaaS and Cloud vendors identify, acquire and keep more customers to bring about growth and profitability. In today’s episode, Lincoln joins us in the studio to discuss why it’s essential for all companies to be using customer success driven sales. He explains that the idea of customer success driven sales came from seeing that churn was a byproduct of companies selling to customers who didn’t fit their customer profile and wouldn’t achieve success as a client. Murphy says that bringing on “bad fit” customers and sacrificing long term growth to hit short term numbers by signing customers who won't achieve success in working with you will ultimately negatively impact your business. To start doing customer success driven sales, he says first a team must figure out what a bad fit customer looks like through five different inputs: technical fit, functional fit, competence fit, experience fit and cultural fit. He’s seen companies go from struggling with sales to a 40x increase in account size by being deliberate in who to work with, and discusses how using “success milestones” can help your company do the same. Lincoln wrapped up by explaining that customer success driven sales, and customer success in general, are really the reasons companies exist in the marketplace and those who understand this and focus on it are the ones that will reach their desired outcomes.
This week, the Bowery Capital team hosted Jonathon Ende, Founder & CEO at SeamlessDocs, to discuss “Public Sector SaaS: Selling Into Government.” SeamlessDocs' public sector SaaS platform helps government clients not only digitize their existing forms, but also process and track them. The company aims to be “the future of government forms,” bringing modern, intuitive user experience to the government-citizen interface. Though perhaps not the sexiest market, the opportunity is massive: US federal & state budgets alone exceed $10 Trillion. Unlike many software companies that sell into government today, SeamlessDocs is 100% focused on the public sector vertical. Jonathon, therefore, has embraced the idiosyncracies of selling into government, seeing them as potential moats rather than challenges to be avoided.
Think how often you personally face agony over DMV appointments or jury summons. Attaching a service cost to all of those incidents, then multiplying by a 9-figure factor (applicable citizen-users) makes clear the scale & ubiquity of the problem SeamlessDocs is solving. And the buyers are there: efficient, paperless, user-friendly citizen interaction would mean billions in cost savings for under-resourced governments. Jonathon founded SeamlessDocs in 2011 alongside CTO Chaci Camejo. Today, SeamlessDocs employs over 40 FTEs, operating largely out of its New York City headquarters. Customers range from the State of New Jersey to the City of Los Angeles. Since founding, the business has raised ~$17MM in venture financing from Seed through a Series B approximately a year ago, from Motorola Solutions, Govtech Fund, and others. In today's episode, Jonathon will walk us through his framework for successful sales in public sector SaaS. Selling into government isn’t a simple prospect. As many horizontal players who have dipped their toes into government prospects know, budgets can be opaque, sales cycles can be long, and existing systems are often a nightmare. Jonathon and I discuss the realities of public sector SaaS sales today. In short, it may not be as bad as you think. That said, it takes a deep understanding of your customer universe, and Ideal Customer Profile within it, to build credibility early in these sales processes. As Jonathan details, there are absolutely buyer champions out there in government. Ensure your public sector SaaS solution (and sales team) is truly understands prospects’ issues, concerns and limitations, and you can activate them. We cover topics such as: sales strategies, lead qualification, sales team organization, sales team education, and other topics uniquely germane to public sector SaaS.
Jonathon Ende is the Founder & CEO at SeamlessDocs, a role he has held since founding the business in 2011. Prior to SeamlessDocs, Jonathon was the co-founder of The Alley, a technology share space here in NYC. Jonathon served as CEO to two companies even earlier in his career, including LegalLogix, the first business he founded, back in 2010. Few modern, sales-oriented SaaS CEOs client (and prospect) bases are 100% government / public sector; Jonathon, however, is that rare find, making him a perfect guide to today's podcast topic. Happy listening!
This week, the Bowery Capital team hosted Mark Birch, an Enterprise Sales Executive at Stack Overflow, to discuss "Leveraging Internal Champions." Stack Overflow is the world's largest and most trusted community for software developers. A question and answer website for professional and enthusiast programmers, Stack Overflow caters to developers and provides a forum for learning, knowledge sharing, and career advancement. The Company also provides enterprise customers with a powerful database to reach out to a targeted talent pool as well as package reports for corporate customers. Mark joined us in the studio to discuss ways of leveraging internal champions during the enterprise sales cycle. He reflects upon his experiences at Stack Overflow, as well as his background as the Founder of the Enterprise Sales Forum, a 10,000 person global B2B sales community of enterprise sales professions. As a part of our discussion of leveraging internal champions, Mark discusses the process of identifying, coaching, and providing digestible information to internal champions. He also provides insights into the ways that champions can assist with mapping a purchasing path within organization and providing insight into the segments within the business where gaps may emerge. We conclude the discussion identifying best practices and identifying scenarios in which you build credibility and avoid the painful "stall, evade, quiet" cycle of losing a champion.
This week, the Bowery Capital team hosted Michael Katz, CEO and co-founder of mParticle, to discuss "Creating Engineering Urgency During Your Sales Cycle." mParticle provides a single API to connect a company's entire marketing stack, giving customers the freedom and flexibility to build a modern data infrastructure to reduce the complexity of multiple API connections. The Company's technology offers customers access to up to 150 (and growing) different APIs, creating turnkey data connections and providing enterprise-grade security while improving market outcomes and maximizing IT productivity. Trusted by many of the world's leading brands, including Airbnb, Spotify, Jet, EA, and Gilt, mParticle offers a single customer view and the ability to quickly test and coordinate marketing engagements across vendors.