This week, the Bowery Capital team hosted Wade Foster, the Founder and CEO of Zapier, to discuss "Optimizing Your Partnerships." Zapier helps automate the integration of your favorite apps to share data between them, and bring them together. With an app directory of 750+ companies, including Salesforce, Slack, Dropbox, Gmail, and more, Zapier has created a strong network that has become essential to companies big and small that are trying to get the most out of their cohesive tech and tools stacks. Zapier's current customers include industry leaders like Buzzfeed, Spotify, InVision, Adobe, and the company is growing extremely fast. In today’s episode, Wade walks us through the unnecessary ways companies make partnerships hard to accomplish, and some simple strategies to start to build your own network. He explains effective methods for establishing strong partnerships, how to avoid ones that will distract your company, and the ways you can measure success. With the user always in mind, Wade and the rest of the Zapier team are laser-focused on engaging in partnerships for the sake of building relationships that ultimately benefit the end user. Throughout our discussion, he guides us on how to go about tackling this kind of approach. Wade is passionate about entrepreneurship and startups, and as the founder of Zapier, he has spent the past six years finding ways to make life easier for the users trying to connect today’s favorite apps. Prior to founding Zapier out of Y Combinator, Wade worked as a leader and manager in email marketing and customer development for a variety of transforming businesses. Wade attended the University of Missouri, where he received a BS in industrial engineering and also received his MBA.
This week, the Bowery Capital team hosted Ray Carroll, VP of Sales at Engagio to discuss “Developing Culture and Brand at an Early Stage." Engagio is a software company that helps B2B marketers drive new business, expand relationships with high-value accounts, and scale their Account Based Marketing programs. Engagio provides data and operations for an account-centric foundation, analytics, and insights to measure engagement, and an orchestration platform to execute integrated ABM plays that drive revenue at every stage of the customer journey. In today's episode, Ray and I discuss the importance of defining and developing the culture within your organization and a recognizable and respected brand outside of your organization. We begin by discussing why culture and brand should be top of mind for executives in the early days. We then move into how exactly you should think about your culture and who should be in the room as you try to define it. Ray then discusses how you maintain that culture as your team rapidly grows. Ultimately, the conversation shifts to talk about your external brand. We go over the many reasons it is critical to define your brand externally as early as you can. These reasons include everything from boosting your ability to recruit top talent, to shortening your sales cycles because the customer you are pitching has already heard of and respects your brand. We had a great discussion and the chat was action-packed. Ray currently leads all early stage revenue activities at Engagio. Prior to Engagio, Ray spent 7 years at Marketo where he was employee #28 and the 3rd sales hire in the door. Ray helped build framework for the SMB sales organization as a VP, Director, Manager and Individual Contributor. Ray was pivotal in helping grow Marketo from 1M to 10M to 100M+ in ARR. Prior to Marketo, Ray was the 3rd sales hire at Genius.com, a VC-backed SaaS startup that was later acquired by Callidus Software.
This week, the Bowery Capital team hosted Dannie Herzberg, Head of North American SMB Sales at Slack to discuss "Moving Upstream: How to Build a Sales Org in Freemium SaaS." Slack is a team communication application that provides services that include real-time messaging, archiving, and search for modern teams. It offers one-on-one messaging, private groups, ongoing chat rooms and direct messaging, as well as group chats organized by topic. Slack was established in 2013 and went on to be one of the fastest startups to hit the "unicorn" landmark. In today's episode, Dannie and I discussed the ever important topic of moving upstream as a SaaS company. We touch on the relatively new business model of freemium and how it has impacted the SaaS industry today. We first cover companies that are able to build large networks of users and how to think about when is the right time for your organization to build a sales team on top of these free or freemium users. Dannie then gives the audience some great ideas and insights into how Slack thought about this early on and the lessons learned since her time at the company. Third, we talk a lot about the segmentation that Slack uses to determine when someone should move from freemium to her team and cover ideas like “progressive profiling” and other unique insights. Next, we cover the sales process map for Slack and how the demo stage of freemium companies differs greatly from a traditional sales process. We then dive into some of the product features and gating factors that Slack employs in their company. Finally, we close on some of the ideas around metrics, tracking, and the interaction between the marketing, sales, and customer success teams. We had a great discussion and the chat was action packed.