This week we were joined on the podcast by our friend David Appel to talk Increasing Leads Through Customer Segmentation. David is a regular on our show and came on in 2018 to talk through SaaS dashboards and how to build correct metrics for success. This time around, we took the conversation in a different direction and focused on how founders and sales teams can really increase lead volume by doing the basics around customer segmentation. David is currently the Head of the SaaS vertical at Sage Intacct, the No. 1 Cloud Subscription Revenue Management System for growing SaaS companies, and spends his days assisting product, marketing, sales and implementation for the largest vertical in the company. He coaches the concept of increasing leads through micro-vertical customer segmentation and has helped a number of founders through this challenge.
We started the podcast with some foundations and how founders should really think about the podcast. Specifically what they want to get out of customer segmentation. From there, we moved on to when founders need to think about customer segmentation in the company journey. We covered setting the blueprint but David also gave the listeners some great perspective on culture, values systems, and the vision as it relates to increasing leads through customer segmentation. We then discussed set up and implementation of your customer segmentation flows, deliverables, and KPIs to track throughout the journey. Finally, we pulled the lever of how this effort actually increases leads and builds better inbound for any company. David rounded out the discussion talking about what challenges he sees come up when considering customer segmentation.
David Appel is Head of the SaaS vertical at Sage Intacct, where he oversees Product, Marketing, Sales, and Implementation for the Company’s largest vertical. Prior to Sage Intacct, David served as the Head of Direct Sales at Bill.com, where he grew business by 85% and tripled the team over his 18-month tenure. Previously, he held various sales leadership roles at leading software companies including NetSuite, IBM and Oracle. Having spent over 10 years as a startup sales advisor, David has helped many founders think about their own SaaS dashboards directly.
This week, we shifted gears on the Bowery Capital Startup Sales Podcast and discussed transforming your QBR process with our friend Karen Rhorer. Karen is the Customer Success & Sales Strategy Lead at Atrium, a software business building smart analytics to help teams make better-informed work decisions. Prior to Atrium, Karen did tours of duty at LinkedIn Learning and DoubleDutch in sales operations. In short, she knows a thing or two about QBRs. Most listeners are well aware of the quarterly business review in the sales context and we have covered it to some extent on our blog. However, Karen joined us to talk about how to take your QBR from something that is probably pretty good today to something that could be great tomorrow.
We started with a QBR template that she uses with her team and with founders she coaches. Listeners should take a look at that as we use it as a guide in the podcast. It is based on a lot of trial and error about what's worked and not worked doing these for each segment at her prior companies. We jumped in to first principles and how to think about the basics of the QBR. What founders get right and what they get wrong as it relates to the "what?" and the "why?" of a QBR. We then moved in to a discussion around how to augment your existing QBR to really map to Karen's template and flow. Here we covered some basic sales math as well as some undiscovered things like how culture and team plays into transforming your QBR process. We closed on the future and once adopted what founders need to consider as they grow and expand. We talked a bit about delivery models, leaders and followers in these meetings, and finally closed on some tips and tricks that she has learned from years of work in this area. For any founder interested in transforming your QBR process, this podcast was a must listen.
Karen Rhorer is an expert in sales operations and analytics and seasoned SaaS manager and executive. Karen currently manages the Customer Success and Sales Strategy functions at Atrium, where she and her team work with Atrium’s customers to develop data-driven insights about and create strategies to manage to their individual sales motions. Prior to working at Atrium, Karen oversaw sales operations for North America and EMEA for LinkedIn’s Learning Solutions (Lynda) business unit, helping to integrate the Lynda acquisition into LinkedIn and develop the required sales operations structure and process in the new business unit after the acquisition. Before that, she created the sales operations function at event marketing software company DoubleDutch.
This week, we hosted James Weitzman, Director of Commercial Sales at Cockroach Labs, and discussed a new concept he has been working on called “The Why, Try, Buy Method For Open Source Sales.” Building early sales motion in the open source community is hard enough and we have covered the foundations at a high level on our podcast before. However, when you try and build beyond that foundation how do you do it? James has spent a bit of time thinking through the issues and challenges that come up in open source and came on to our show to walk listeners through the details of revenue growth in this ecosystem.
In today’s episode, James and I walk through some of the high level on how he came upon The Why, Try, Buy Method for selling software and how he thinks about it in the context of company building. We talked a bit about when to use and when not to use this method. We then walked through each bucket starting with the why, then moving on to the try, and finally closing on the buy. We talked some technicals around whether to think about this as a discreet marketing activity versus a sales activity and the connection needed between sales and marketing for this to work. Finally, James and I close on companies he has seen do extremely well with The Why, Try, Buy Method.
James Weitzman is the Director of Commercial Sales at CockroachDB. Previously he was an Analyst at Bowery Capital, the Sales & Marketing Lead at Workframe and led Business Development efforts at ActionIQ. James is a Mentor at Acceleprise Ventures and also advises early stage startups. Outside of work, he is a Partner at Social Venture Partners - a philanthropic organization that strengthens nonprofits and invests in collaborative solutions to build powerful relationships and tackle important social challenges. James graduated from the University of Maryland and is a die-hard Terps fan.
This week, the Bowery Capital team hosted Shai Goldman, Managing Director at Silicon Valley Bank in NYC, to discuss “Building Communities to Support BD Efforts.” SVB works with the world’s top entrepreneurs, technology companies, and VCs to offer them best-in-class banking services. A large part of their strategy focuses on community building efforts with these different groups, and given that, we couldn’t think of a better person to host on today’s episode to discuss unique ways to build a community to service your customers! In today’s episode, Shai and I discuss the beginnings of SVB in NYC and many of the community initiatives that the bank has run over the years. One of the more eye-opening insights is the fact that despite being a large bank with tons of clients and programs, SVB’s community efforts are still built from the ground up. If you have a good idea, and it’s to the benefit of the end customer, you’re free to be entrepreneurial and run with that as a team. Perhaps this is the reason that we here in NYC have seen everything from surf days with SVB, to workshops for entrepreneurs in their awesome office, to “Tech Gives Back,” a multi-city effort over the course of one day to enable the tech community to volunteer their skills to the benefit of dozens of organizations. What tech companies are doing a great job of building communities, and how do they measure those? Shai and I also discuss that topic. In addition, Shai provided tons of insight on the tech stack he likes to use to build, and keep track of communities and the events his community engages in. Thank you Shai for taking the time to share a bit more of your world, and how you build communities to support BD efforts at SVB! Shai Goldman is the Managing Director at Silicon Valley Bank in NYC tasked with engaging the local VC community. He moved to NYC from the Bay Area in 2011 to help build out the SVB office and launch a new group serving early-stage founders. Previously, he was a Venture Partner at 500 Startups, where he conducted investing, fundraising, community building and portfolio management. Shai also serves on the NYC Advisory Board for BUILD.org. He graduated from Santa Clara University. Similar to SVB, Shai has a global background, having been born in Israel and growing up speaking three languages. He is married to a California native and helps raise their two children and two yorkies.
This week, the Bowery Capital team hosted Jordan Wan, CEO and Founder at CloserIQ, to discuss "Transitioning To A Repeatable Sales Machine." CloserIQ is a modern recruitment firm that connects top sales talent to the world’s fastest growing companies. Combining industry expertise and innovative technology, they help clients align their sales strategy with talent that produce extraordinary results. CloserIQ is a rare boot strapped business located in NYC and founded by Jordan in 2014. In today's podcast, we begin by hearing a bit more about CloserIQ, and the current sales stage they are in. Jordan further describes where CloserIQ is at in terms of transitioning from founder led sales to a repeatable sales machine. We also dig in on a popular sales term, The Sales Learning Curve, coined by Mark Leslie and Charles Holloway. The Sales Learning Curve defines 3 distinct phases for sales, initiation, transition and execution, and we go through each of them in detail on the podcast. As a startup, it can be hard to know which stage you are in, so Jordan walks us through the distinct characteristics that describe each stage and exactly what that means for your organization. We also spend some time discussing how to prepare for a proper pass off of the sales team, and what should be in place in terms of processes, software, and where you should be at from a product market fit perspective. As Jordan explains, timing is everything when it comes to transitioning from founder led sales to a repeatable sales machine. Jordan shares key insights into where CloserIQ was when he felt comfortable transitioning and even why he retrospectively thinks he could have passed off responsibilities sooner. As part of building up a sales organization, Jordan is passionate about the types of goals you set for your team during the initiation stage. He does not believe that setting OKRs or MBOs right out of the gate is a winning strategy and he goes into exactly why this can be challenging. Jordan believes that a combination of a traditional revenue quota as well as more unique activity-based metrics makes for a more meaningful way to gauge progressions of the sales team. Towards the end of the podcast, Jordan shares his own learnings from scaling CloserIQ and how he ultimately was able to get comfortable transitioning from founder led sales to a repeatable sales machine. Jordan is the founder and CEO of CloserIQ, which he founded in 2014. Coming out of MIT with a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, Jordan began his career at Bridgewater Associates where he was a Trading Strategist. After over 4 years with Bridegwater, he transitioned away from finance and took a role at ZocDoc running sales strategy and operations. He then spent some time running analytics at PayPerks, and ultimately ended up starting CloserIQ.