Hi, I'm a partner at Redpoint
. I invest in Series A and B SaaS companies. I write daily, data-driven blog posts about key questions facing startups. I co-authored the
book, Winning with Data
. Join more than 16,000 others receiving these blog posts by email. Subscribe.
Creating and optimizing a sales plan for an early stage SaaS company is a challenging task. There are lots of different variables to manage and the truth is it's always a work in progress even for massively successful businesses. But at the very earliest days, where do you start?
If your SaaS startup were to trade in the public markets today, what would it be worth? The true answer is we don't know, but we can approximate it by comparing it to the other publicly traded SaaS companies and benchmarking the business by its growth rate.
Jeff Wiss has managed demand generation and corporate marketing for some iconic software companies. MySQL, the most valuable open-source acquisition; Zendesk, the $3B leader in customer support software; DataStax, The business commercializing Cassandra; and most recently Duo Security, an Ann Arbor-based trusted access company that has some of the most sensational SaaS metrics I’ve ever seen.
It's no secret I believe speech is the next input mechanism. We are in the Voice-to-Text Era. I wrote in late 2014 that speech is the fastest user interface, and the newest speech recognition experiments confirm it.
I heard this aphorism in my first year as a venture capitalist having forgotten it. There’s a lot of wisdom to it and I think it’s most applicable when interviewing. I remind myself of the same each time I speak with a candidate for a role.
I met an entrepreneur last week with an amazing command of technology history. He spoke about the way the Xerox Alto has influenced graphical design over the past forty years. I learned a lot. For this first computer's monitor has a portrait orientation, not a landscape orientation? His knowledge of history provides him a huge competitive advantage because he understands why things have evolved a certain way and the assumptions that underpinned previous decisions.
In February, public SaaS companies had fallen 57% from their highs. The enterprise value to forward revenue more than halved from 7.7x to 3.3x. This ostensibly random valuation correction has triggered a wave of consolidation in software, with nearly $70B+ worth of exits year to date in 2016. Over the last six months, however, forward multiples have reverted to the mean.
The next generation of multi-billion dollar SaaS platforms, the startups who will displace incumbents, will do it with event-driven SaaS.
Sales teams are the tip of the spear for SaaS companies. They close accounts and book the revenue. Many sales teams often find themselves confronting the same issues. Mike Anello and Kane Hochster, two HBS students, researched this topic by surveying more than 30 VPs of Sales. Mike and Kane aimed to find the areas where sales teams underinvest across seven key responsibilities - hiring, onboarding, pricing, process, structure, training & development and upsell.
They operated from a clandestine apartment in Harlem, a block from Columbia University at 401 West 118th Street. A cell comprising 18 of the most respected American mathematicians and statisticians spirited datasets up the stairs, analyzed them, and stole to Washington DC on military aircraft to present the results of their rumination to the admirals of the Navy and the Marines, the generals of the Army, Marines, and Air Force during the Second World War. Allen Wallis, Director of SRG said of his team, “This was surely the most extraordinary group of statisticians ever organized.”