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When I first met Jen Grant, Looker's CMO, she told me a story from early days of Box, where she was SVP of Marketing. Jen spoke about the importance of creating tension in the marketing message.
When should you sell your business? There is no universal to this answer because the question is multifaceted and unique to each company. But we can answer another related question. Given a declining growth rate, when is my company's value maximized?
There are four lies managers tell themselves to avoid one of the hardest conversations in business. Things will improve. Someone in the seat is better than no one in the seat. Let's transfer the person to another team where things might improve. The termination will hurt morale in the company or the team. I've told myself all of these in the past. What's the best way to move past these and execute the difficult task of letting someone go?
In 2016, the number of seeds has fallen by a 27.6% reduction in the number of seed rounds. But as the chart above shows, the median amount invested in seed rounds continues to increase at about 40% annually. This trend started in 2014 and has continued through the first quarter of 2017. These two forces in opposition netted a 10% increase in total dollars in 2016.
There are three kinds of software value propositions. Software that increases revenue, software that reduces cost, and software that promises improved productivity. To maximize the effectiveness of your customer success efforts, you need to understand which type of software company you are building.
I once asked a VP of Marketing at a top SaaS company how she thought of content programming. What is the right type of content to create? I asked her. She replied with a brilliant little insight, "I look at way the best content marketers in the world do it. The TV networks."
Most startups go to market with the intent to differentiate their product. Each one of us has an idea what might make a better CRM, marketing automation suite or customer support. Other startups prefer to combine a product innovation with a reinvention of the sales process.
After a SaaS startup has gained traction with SMBs and mid-market customers, they often feel a pressure to move up-market. Sometimes, demand for a product is so great, larger customers the pull the company up-market before they are ready. The startup finds itself in a critical position - both the product and the sales motion must evolve quickly.
Every software company competes with another — if not directly, then at least for budget. With global IT spending flat to down in 2015 and 2016, software businesses are fighting for share of wallet. At this point, the critical marketing imperative is to start a conversation with a receptive buyer, and do it thousands of times per year. But how?
Esquire writer and master storyteller Cal Fussman describes the experience of interviewing his childhood hero, Muhammad Ali, in a podcast with Tim Ferriss. Fussman spends a week with Ali, during which he the Special Olympics and boxes with the great champion. But there's one story that stood out to me.