Our portfolio company released the State of Conversational Intelligence 2020. The report uses data from 5m sales and customer calls to benchmark sales team performance. There’s lots of great data in the report. Some of the data reaffirms rules of thumb. For example, the typical win rate of a sales qualified lead is 19%. Other data points are surprising. For example, the average SDR dials 106 people to schedule one meeting.
18 November / marketing
Last week’s post on The Most Frequent Mishire in Startups generated the most comments on a post this year. In particular, it was this section. Though the startup may have achieved product market fit, the company may not understand the fit. Who is using the product and why? How does the buyer journey evolve with time? How do buyers describe the product amongst each other? Few early stage companies can answer those questions accurately.
10 November / startups / SaaS / management / recruiting
The most frequent mishire in startups is the first head of marketing. Many different disciplines fall under marketing’s purview. The question facing founders recruiting marketers is: which is the most important to prioritize? Marketing expertise falls into three segments: product marketing, demand generation, and brand marketing. Each of these kinds of marketers have critical skills for a startup. But the reason many marketing hires fail is the business doesn’t hire the right expertise at the right time.
07 November / office hours
A few weeks ago, we were fortunate to welcome Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight to SaaS Office Hours. I learned a lot from the session about how customer success has evolved over the last 5 to 10 years. Here are my notes from the session. The discipline of customer success varies widely depending on price point. At the lower price points, some organizations combine the role of an account manager and the customer success person into a CSAM (customer success account manager).
04 November / office hours
Next week, on November 14, Redpoint will host Office Hours with Anthony Kennada to talk about category creation. In the SaaS world, many businesses talk about creating new categories. To achieve this is rare, and it’s incredibly challenging to do. Anthony was a key part of the team at Gainsight that created the category that has just published a book on the topic called Category Creation, that we will talk about.
There’s no doubt we’re in the founder-CEO era of startups. Ten or twenty years ago, hiring a professional CEO to run a business was de rigeur. But today, it’s less and less common. At the seed stage, nearly all CEOs are founders. No surprise there since the company is so young. But at the Series D, founder CEOs helm approximately 70% of venture backed startups in the Bay Area. This is up from 53% in 2014.
28 October /
A few weeks ago, I installed Windows on my Mac using BootCamp. BootCamp allows you to have both operating systems on your computer at the same time and choose the one you want to use when. I was curious about Windows. So I installed it and tried to use it for a few days. Here are my impressions. Just as background, I’ve been on a Mac since I was seven and I last worked on a Windows machine in 2004.
22 October /
In January, we welcomed Travis Bryant to join Redpoint as an Executive-in-Residence. Nine months later, we are welcoming him again as our first Partner of Founder Experience. Travis has always been one to think about ways to change the game. He excelled during his time at Salesforce and helped Optimizely grow to great heights from very early days as the first executive hire. Throughout his many successes, he’s always looking to innovate.
21 October / trends / fundraising / startups
Today is the anniversary of Spotify IPO, which was the first direct listing of a technology company. It was championed by Barry McCarthy, the former CFO of Netflix and the current CFO of Spotify. Since then, Slack has also listed directly. And the combination of these two events has created a groundswell for more of them. In the past few months and quarters, I’ve been learning as much as I can about this topic.
17 October / books / best practices / management
Dr. Daniel Kahneman features on the latest Farnam Street podcast and it’s a surprising episode. Kahneman wrote Thinking Fast and Slow. I admire Kahneman a great deal. Not for his Nobel or for his work, which are both impressive, but for his humility. Some of the key tenets of Kahneman’s work in his famous book were disproved. And he owned up to it, both in print and on the podcast. That’s the hallmark of someone with great integrity, and it’s a sign to trust someone more.