This week, the Bowery Capital team hosted David Aronica, Business Development Manager at Splash to discuss “Hiring Your First BDR." Splash is an event marketing platform that enables users to create event experiences. The end-to-end Splash platform empowers users to create memorable event experiences through beautiful design, powerful planning and analysis tools, and meaningful integration of email marketing and social media. Splash enables brands like Facebook, Spotify, Salesforce and Anheuser-Busch to attract more of the right people, easily scale out their process and workflow, and capture the 1000's of data points every live event throws off, to inform future events and rest of your marketing mix. In today’s episode, David joins us to discuss hiring your first BDR. He initiated the conversation by providing his opinion on whether managers should spend more time training or hiring new BDR's. In the past, he's spent time hiring too many new BDR's, which led to layoffs due to the fact he didn’t have the time to train them and invest in his team. David discusses hiring veteran versus younger, millennial BDR's and what he sees as the ideal business development representative candidate. Initially, he hired veteran BDR's that he thought could fall in love with the product and wanted to move up quickly in the organization. He allows these more senior BDR's to see the metrics and parameters upon which they are ranked on per month. David goes on to discuss hiring millennial BDR's and the keys to managing them. David looks for solution-oriented, tenacious personalities that are coachable in these younger hires and he makes it his goal to embrace all individual learning styles as a manager. When it comes to both veteran and millennial BDR's, David believes that being completely transparent about expectations leads to relationships where new hires trust him and understand why he does what he does. He touches on the mistakes he's made in scaling out his teams in the past, among them: not training ramped up reps, not providing clarity around what it takes to get promoted, and only looking at numbers instead of investigating the deeper issue. David’s final thoughts on hiring your first BDR are to invest in them, since they are the future of your organization.
This week, the Bowery Capital team hosted Evan Bartlett, Head of Inside Sales at ZocDoc to discuss “Hiring Your First Sales Representative." ZocDoc is an online medical care scheduling service, for end users integrating information about medical practices and doctors' individual schedules in a central location. Each month, millions of patients use ZocDoc to find in-network neighborhood doctors, instantly book appointments online, see what other real patients have to say, get reminders for upcoming appointments and preventive checkups, fill out their paperwork online, and more. With a mission to give power to the patient, ZocDoc’s online marketplace delivers the accessible and simple experience patients expect and deserve. ZocDoc is free for patients and available across the United States via ZocDoc.com In today’s episode, Evan joins us to discuss hiring your first sales representative. The conversation started by discussing when to hire the first sales representative. This included the process of building a sales process and its link to the go-to-market strategy. Next Evan discussed when to identify the market and key factors in this process. Evan then summarized the details around the background and skillsets of a sales representative. Evan discussed his thoughts around the structure of the hiring process and the onboarding and ramp up process for new sales representatives. Next Evan discussed setting benchmarks for the first hire and tying those metrics to compensation. In this hiring process, Evan discussed how he made several mistakes and how he pushed ahead. We then transitioned to expanding the sales team from 1 to 100. Evan discussed how to maintain culture despite high growth. Next Evan described how the hiring process shifts with a larger team and how these sales representatives differ from the original team. Evan then discussed the importance of repeatable sales to the business and how he thinks about that skill in hiring new sales representatives. Evan closed out the session by providing his go-to tactics and tricks in the hiring process.
This week, the Bowery Capital team hosted Jason Dorfman, Inside Sales Manager at Rubrik, to discuss "Sales Recruiting 101 for Founders." Founded in 2014, Rubrik offers live data access for recovery and application development by fusing enterprise data management with web-scale IT, and eliminating backup software. This marks the end of a decade-long innovation drought in backup and recovery, the backbone of IT. Within minutes, businesses can manage the explosion of data across private and public clouds. Rubrik is trusted by some of the world's leading companies, including Driscoll's, JLL, the Tampa Bay Rays and Berkeley College. In today's episode, Jason joins us to discuss sales recruiting 101 for founders. He starts by touching on the importance of building your product and getting market validation before hiring your sales team. He discusses how to think about hiring your first salesperson and whether it should be a lead generating SDR or an inside sales rep with closing experience.He talks about how what he pitches candidates on has shifted as the company has grown from startup to 400+ employees and how his interview style has changed with that growth. Jason tells us his favorite question to ask during the interview process and recommends using recruiters as a resource to fill pipeline. He says he allocates about 30% of his time to recruiting and finds it to be seasonal - spending a lot of his time in interviews and on phone screens. For Jason, when it comes to hiring, the most important thing is finding the right people. He even urges managers to be willing to fall short of hiring goals if you haven't found the right people during an interview process. He says every time you hire a salesperson, you should believe there is a chance they can be the number 1 salesperson at your company. Finally, Jason advises anyone who is hiring to be patient, keep a cool head and think long term - even if you are under intense pressure to fill roles - and he leaves us with a great quote: "good people fix bad process, good process and bad people is not a good situation."
This week, the Bowery Capital team hosted Bobby Long, VP of Sales at Dedrone, to discuss "Insight Selling In The Modern Market." Dedrone is the first automated drone security platform; an extension of physical and cyber security into the airspace that protects a vulnerability gap exploited by the advances in consumer and commercial drone technology. Their most notable references include the Clinton-Trump presidential debates, the Suffolk County prison in New York, the Royal Family of Qatar, Citi Field (the New York Mets' stadium), and the World Economic Forum in Davos. In today's episode, Bobby joins us in the studio to discuss insight selling in the modern market and why he takes this approach. First, he talks about the differences between solution selling and insight selling. He defines solution selling as "Sales 101" where you get a deal by finding customer pain points and fitting your solution to those pain points within your prospect's budget. Bobby sees most companies using solution selling and sees an opportunity to differentiate by using insight selling, which he says allows you to position yourself as a subject matter expert and establish credibility and legitimacy. Bobby says that if you employ insight selling the right way, you form more of a partnership with your prospect or customer, leading to a higher rate of renewals. He discusses the challenges of insight selling and why it's not for every rep, along with some of the difficulties he's faced teaching reps how to insight sell and some solutions for getting around them. Finally, Bobby says not to be afraid of making visionary statements during the sales cycle versus just talking about what your product does, and he recommends reading this Harvard Business Review article.
This week, the Bowery Capital team hosted Grant Halloran, CMO at Anaplan, to discuss "Analyst Relation Strategies That Work." Anaplan is driving a new age of connected planning. Large and fast-growing organizations use Anaplan’s cloud platform in every business function to make better-informed plans and decisions and drive faster, more effective planning processes. Anaplan also provides support, training, and planning transformation advisory services. In our episode today, Grant joins the podcast to discuss analyst relation strategies that work. First, he talks about how the landscape over the last 10 years has shifted from working strictly with Gartner and Forrester to working with newer, independent analysts that produce their own research and blogs, as these smaller guys can be very important to companies serving niche type markets, while continuing to work with the two giants. He says to nail analyst relations, you must start by engaging analysts very early on. He stresses the importance of a CEO or founder working with analysts, as they want to hear why you've decided to enter the market you have, and not to think of analyst relations as a marketing function for a CMO or Head of Sales to figure out. He's helped companies become Gartner Magic Quadrant leaders and touches on ways to help your company get there, including the need to become a paying customer. He gives pointers if you get to a point where you feel you've invested in analyst relations and aren't seeing any traction in write-ups or reports. Grant says that your pitch to an analyst is a level above a normal sales pitch, and that running your sales pitch by an analyst for feedback and to see how you differentiate from competition is a good idea. He talks about quantifying and measuring success with the analyst community and explains how Anaplan does this. Grant wrapped up by urging CEO's to make analyst relations one of their top 3 or 4 priorities and saying that having a good attitude towards the community will resonate with analysts and help you in the long run.
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.
We're happy to announce that our guest Sean Ellis released his new book today, covering customer activation amongst many other growth hacking tips and stories. If you like what you hear in today's podcast, we encourage you to check out “Hacking Growth,” now available for purchase on Amazon!
This week, the Bowery Capital team hosted Sean Ellis, CEO and founder of GrowthHackers, to discuss “Optimizing Your Team for Customer Activation.” GrowthHackers helps companies achieve sustainable customer and revenue growth. The business has multiple dimensions, spanning content, community, training and software. GrowthHackers.com, since its launch in 2013, has grown into the foremost online community for the “growth hacking” movement. Now a well-known destination, the site offers an impressive trove of growth hacking resources both proprietary and user-submitted. All content is surfaced, commented on, and filtered by the community of GrowthHackers members, now hundreds of thousands strong. Last year, Sean and his team dramatically expanded the scope of GrowthHackers’ offerings by releasing “Projects,” a purpose-driven software to help teams achieve and manage their growth objectives. This year, the team launched formal consulting and training offerings for companies seeking to adopt key growth hacking techniques and concepts.
In our episode today, Sean discusses a concept he sees as fundamental to the future of growth hacking: customer activation. Customer activation is best described as that “a-ha!” moment when a customer experiences a product’s true value for the first time. Customer activation, in other words, is a proxy for that “first taste” of product-market fit. Importantly, achieving customer activation is a cross-functional effort: sales, marketing, customer success, and even product must all be aligned and communicating in order to understand what that “a-ha” moment is and how to optimize for it. If your teams and objectives are too siloed, you run the risk of missing this critical org-wide goal. In today’s episode, Sean explains how startup leaders should think about structuring their teams to ensure that customer activation is front and center. He shares several examples of how he helped companies like Dropbox and LogMeIn find and maximize product-market fit by testing for customer activation. Make sure to subscribe to the Bowery Capital Startup Sales Podcast for a new episode every week!
Sean Ellis is the CEO of GrowthHackers. He founded the business in 2010, the same year in which he coined the term “growth hacker” (in this blog post). Sean was also the founder and CEO of Qualaroo, a SaaS voice-of-customer solution serving large companies like Uber, Starbucks, Spotify, Burger King and Intuit. Qualaroo was acquired 2016. Prior to founding Qualaroo in 2012, Sean served as a key early growth / marketing executive at a range of technology businesses including Dropbox, Eventbrite, Lookout, LogMeIn, and Uproar. Sean is also a longtime angel investor, has formally advised many startups (including, most recently, Mavenlink), and has served as a Guest Lecturer at Harvard Business School. Sean holds a BA from the University of California, Davis, and lives in Newport Beach, CA.
I also wanted to share a few resources for anyone that would like to learn more about Sean, GrowthHackers, or the growth hacking strategies they have developed. As mentioned above, we encourage you to check out Sean's new book, released just today: “Hacking Growth.” If you're more of an in-person learner, the annual GrowthHackers Conference is also coming up on May 24th in LA. Finally, if you’d like to explore some of GrowthHackers’ more hands-on training options, Sean suggests you start with their new GrowthMaster Training Course (follow this link for a 20% discount). Happy growth hacking!
This week, the Bowery Capital team hosted Bobbi Jo Price, Head of Sales at ClearCare, to discuss “Organizational Restructuring As You Move Upstream.” ClearCare is a front-to-back office software solution for private duty home care agencies. ClearCare’s web and mobile platform offers scheduling, integrated telephony, two-way caregiver messaging, and marketing tools that help streamline care planning and automate back office tasks. Bobbi joins us to discuss the difficult task of organizational restructuring as you move upstream and how to restructure your sales team for high ACV sales, a process many startups find themselves undergoing as their product moves upstream. She walks us through everything from the differences between low and high ACV selling, the sales team retraining that this transition requires, coordinating sales and on-boarding efforts, and managing expectations across departments. We also talk about when a startup should be looking to hire outside sales talent versus promoting existing members during this transition to enterprise clients. Lastly, we touch upon effective strategies for maintaining employee morale during the ups and downs of this restructuring process. This topic of organizational restructuring as you move upstream comes up a lot and we hope you enjoy it.
This week, the Bowery Capital team hosted Eileen Wiens, VP of Emerging & SMB Sales at Intacct, to discuss "Hiring Sales Generalists Versus Sales Specialists." Intacct is the largest private ERP vendor that provides cloud-based financial management and accounting applications for businesses and CPA firms. The company's applications are used by more than 8,500 organizations from startups to public companies and are designed to improve business performance and make finance more productive. In this podcast episode, Eileen joins us to discuss whether early stage startups should hire sales generalists - individuals with great sales acumen but less experience selling in the specific space - or sales specialists - individuals with very specific knowledge and domain expertise in a particular space - when building out their sales teams. Having led multiple sales teams throughout her career and toying with this question of hiring sales generalists versus sales specialists, Eileen has an in-depth understanding of how a successful sales team operates and shares with us what she looks for in the ideal sales representative. In addition, Eileen shares her insights on the optimal sales interview format, sales team training and motivation, and best practices for new hire on-boarding.
Building out an SDR team is is no easy task in the world of business software. Many founders are curious about the allure of these programs as you never seem to have enough pipeline. Founders have probably heard about amazing resources called Sales Development Reps (SDR) that should generate a ton of inbound for your company. Today, we were joined on the podcast by Shelley McNary, the VP of Sales at Bill.com to discuss "Building Out An SDR Team" as well as the specifics behind how and when do this at your software company. Shelley knows a thing or two about the topic having led inside sales efforts for companies like Taleo, MapR, and SignalFX.
This week, the Bowery Capital team hosted Stephanie Jennings, SVP of Sales at MINDBODY, to discuss “Go-To-Market Considerations In Vertical Software.” MINDBODY provides cloud-based business management software for the wellness services industry, helping studios of all types--yoga, pilates, personal training, dance, martial arts, spas, salons--to better service their end customers. The company serves about 35MM consumers located in over 130 countries and territories. MINDBODY raised over $100MM in venture and growth capital before its IPO in mid-2015. In today's episode, Stephanie will walk us through the considerations that are unique to vertical software companies as they enter the market and seek to build & retain a strong customer base. We cover topics such as: differences between sales & marketing for vertical plays, target market penetration, expansion of vertical focus, achieving ACV growth, building a referral base, moving up & down market whilst avoiding cannibalizaton, and pricing in vertical markets.
Stephanie Jennings is the SVP of Sales at MINDBODY, a role she has held for the last year and a half. Stephanie has been with the company in a sales capacity for 9 years, having started as a Sales Manager in 2008. Prior to that, she worked as an Account Executive at various companies in the telecoms sector. In addition to her vertical software sales expertise, Stephanie is an educator: both in related professional disciplines like technology (Salesforce, Eloqua) and marketing (Google AdWords, social media), but also in health, fitness and beauty. Like many MINDBODY customers, she is a group fitness instructor and massage therapist. Stephanie has seen the evolution of MINDBODY from its earliest days--when many questioned how big a tech company selling into yoga studios could get--to one of the most high-profile success stories in vertical software. Her deep experience selling the product as an AE, an SVP of Sales, and everything in between make her a perfect guide to for today's podcast topic.
This week, the Bowery Capital team hosted Daniel Barber, SVP of Sales & Customer Success at Datanyze, to discuss “the Software Pricing Quadrant.” Datanyze is a sales intelligence platform that arms customers with deep "technographic" data: information regarding companies' technology stacks and changes in its composition over time. Datanyze's insights are leveraged by any type of role in a variety of ways, but they are valued particularly highly by B2B marketers & salespeople seeking the right timing to approach new leads or an edge to help close their best accounts. In this podcast episode, Daniel joins us to discuss the Software Pricing Quadrant, a logical framework he has developed that one can use to weigh various pricing models, and the key factors at play when considering each. Having held a variety of sales leadership roles, he has dedicated an impressive amount of time thinking about the costs and benefits of different software pricing methodologies, and shares with us today his thoughts on how best to understand and apply the Quadrant in the real world.
Daniel Barber is the SVP of Sales & Customer Success at Datanyze, a role he took on after serving as VP of Sales at the company for 7 months. Prior to Datanyze, he was VP of Revenue at Node.io (an account-based sales intelligence platform) and served in various sales leadership roles at ToutApp, including Senior Director of Pipeline Development. Daniel began his career in software customer acquisition at Responsys, which was acquired by Oracle in 2013, about a year into his joining the company. He has also served as an advisor to many startups, including Chorus.ai, a sales call analytics & intelligence tool that has raised over $20MM to "open up the black box of sales calls" using AI and NLP. Daniel's deep experience across a range of SaaS companies and his particular specialization in sales data & intelligence, make him a perfect guide to software pricing considerations, the topic of today's podcast.
This week, the Bowery Capital team hosted Allison Metcalfe, VP of Customer Success at LiveRamp, to discuss “Cohort Analysis for Customer Success.” LiveRamp is a marketing data company that unifies customer data across disparate sources. Large brands use LiveRamp’s identify resolution capabilities to drive true omnichannel marketing at new levels of accuracy and efficacy. At LiveRamp, as well as in previous roles, Allison has explored the full spectrum of analyses a customer success leader can use to track the health of a customer base to increase retention, upsells, referrals, and healthy customer-product engagement overall. Today, she joins us to discuss the importance of cohort analysis as it applies to the customer success function.
Cohort analysis is a quantitative exercise that companies can use to understand how metrics trends differ between various comparable groupings. It can be used across various functions within an organization, such as sales and finance. Sales analysts, for example, commonly use a form of cohort analysis to measure close rates (or other conversion rates through the sales funnel) and sales cycles (time-to-close). By breaking up deals into groups or “cohorts” consisting of the opportunities created in a particular month, we can see how the effectiveness of our sales team is changing over time. Cohort analysis is equally critical for customer success: not only for proper measurement of churn, but also for other customer health metrics. We’ll learn how Allison has used cohort analysis and similar exercise to optimize CS performance at LiveRamp, and how any startup stakeholder can do the same.
Allison Metcalfe is the VP of Customer Success at LiveRamp, where she has worked over over 3 years. LiveRamp is based in San Francisco and employs over 300 FTEs. The company is a subsidiary of Acxiom, which acquired the business in 2014 for a reported $310MM. Prior to that, she served as the Senior Director of Customer Success at Demandbase, where she spent two years. She also brings experience from earlier customer success roles at Jigsaw (now Data.com, acquired by SalesForce) and Equilar. She also serves as a customer success advisor to Entelo. Allison holds a BA from the University of St. Thomas.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.