Church time! It’s @SaaStr annual, again! Simple, raw, unedited, sometimes weird notes. Anyone is invited to contribute, add comments and reframe it. If you’re tuning in, feel free to tweet at me or leave a comment 😉

The Billion U$ ARR club is coming 😉 #revenicorns

The Things Nobody Tells You About An $8B Acquisition with Ryan Smith from Qualtrics

  • Refused to sell for $500m;
  • Raised at 2.5b;
  • Sold to SAP for 8b;
  • 19 years to $35m;
  • 6y to 300m;
  • “I did 300+ media interviews, got bought, and people still didn’t know who we were… Bottom line, people won’t know who you are — just go build a great business and don’t worry about that stuff.”
  • Hey Bill, you just spent $8b in a company nobody knows!
  • Don’t make your decisions solely based on branding;
  • There’s a whole rationale around marketing and PR for founders that you should want people to know you…They won’t. Just focus on building a good business!
  • Sometimes an influx of capital can make you take shortcuts. You need the scar tissue to have the toughness and learnings for hard choices. If we had bought our way through, we wouldn’t have the confidence, or DNA to pivot.
  • “The whole world is going to be competing on experience.”

From Freemium to Explosive Growth in a Crowded Market with Zoom

Annual Contracts 😉
  • Mantra: Seek to create value, not to extract value
  • Build from the persona shoes. Let them start using for months and years and in the future you’re part of person’s life.
  • What can the product answer for itself? When do we need a salesperson there?
  • Support + marketing: Pre sell and post sell are in the same conversation
    . Enterprise and large enterprise
    .SMB (1–500 employees)
  • Make sure the customer grows with you…
  • Make it a company decision — everybody needs to be onboard
  • Segmentation — sell thought segmentation. Map and Jump all the way in!

From Freemium to Enterprise with Slack

  • Meet the buyers where they are;
  • Train with the customer experience;
  • “User interview” with tools;
  • People leave jobs but they don’t leave tools. Build great tools that people will take with them.
WPengine is at U$100m

Building a $100M ARR Sales Team the Second Time Around with WP Engine

  • One of the few founders I know who gave credit to their ceo for making the company successful and sharing entrepreneur of the year award;
  • Founders no one will take away the credit from you. So hire your replacement at the right time to make your company successful because everyone runs out of their sweet spot at some point
  • Startups are always constrained by time more than money;
  • Help build and promote personal stories;
  • Set people free: with c-players, something is not better than nothing;
  • If no one in your company can make as much impact as you, you’re not hiring impactful people — and that’s your fault;
  • Culture = Core values in action everyday. Volunteer your best;
  • Hire the right people and let them do it themselves… Be an editor not be a tyrant set your ego aside remember you will get the credit;

How to Build a CSM Team that Generates 130% Net Retention with Talkdesk

  • Business and pricing models must enable growth;
  • Customer and CSM can’t spend undue time transacting;
  • Customer needs a good reason not to churn: satisfaction, product value, switching cost.
  • Make CSMs: Supported, accountable, Incentivized;
  • Hiring: Define what matters and go for that. Common mistake: over defining the candidate profile.
  • What are the must have, non negotiable characteristics, especially the ones that you cant train for. If the list is longer than 3, it is too long.
  • The customer journey starts before the customer is a customer;
  • Have a pro active support team — mining data, know that the customer is having a problem before having a problem;
  • Create a culture of accountability. Get it right when things go wrong
  • Customer must feel and be heard (trust — loyalty — advocacy)
  • Entire organization is responsible for customer success — make every customer churn an event across all teams: Conduct Post mortens, alerts
  • Incentivizing the CSM team: Non monetary often beats monetary
  • Have more stuff for them to buy;
  • Lower purchasing friction (make buying easy);
  • Hiring (3 core, hard to train criteria) Curious, Scrappy, Likeable;
  • Talk to customers, as much as possible;

Building Consumer Grade Enterprise Products with InVision, Box, Google Maps and Crunchbase

  • Think about the end user, the buying persona. The experience that you deliver.
  • Renewals: Creating a good experience is crucial for that, understand your customer needs but without forgetting the analyst that is using you everyday;
  • The shortest path to understand customers is making champions along the journey

Lessons from Survey Monkey: 7 Tips For Using Customer Feedback To Build Rabid Fans And Make More Money

  1. Inform your biggest decisions, Message clearly: Guess how customers will react — decide on guiding principles, draft key concepts you want to test.
  2. Think of customer feedback as the ultimate data enrichment: What if you could actually know what your customer was thinking? — Map out entire customer journey, insert “listening posts” at moments of biggest risk.
  3. Leverage customer feedback for surprise and delight: Listen for opps to build lifelong fans.
  4. Turn feedback into attention: Generate Content. Your customers care about two flavours of feedback — What their PEERS think and what their CUSTOMERS think;
  5. Inform pricing and packaging decisions with real world feedback: What are your customers truly willing to pay?
  6. Use feedback to create a virtuous customer acquisition cycle.
  7. Use customer feedback to create devoted internal fans too:

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