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Join me for my AMA on GrowthHackers Thursday 9/24

I’m excited to announce that I’ve partnered with GrowthHackers to conduct an AMA this Thursday, 9/24 from 9:30-11am PT. I’ll be available to answer all your questions on growth and building a business, cloud computing, sales and marketing. Click here to queue up your questions in advance! I’ve recently written on each of these topics, and […]

Sales and Employee Onboarding Best Practices

An Interview with Andrew Quinn of HubSpot Having a high performing team means: Hiring the right people Creating a structure and culture for them to do great work Equipping them with the knowledge and skills to work effectively These first two topics have received a lot of attention in the startup community. In fact, I […]

A Shockingly Common Way that Sales Misses Plan

It’s just after the end of a quarter, and for VC’s that means many board meetings to review how portfolio companies have performed. Over the years of doing this, I’ve been shocked and surprised how many times I’ve seen good companies with great product/market fit miss their sales targets for an incredibly avoidable reason: they […]

Recruiting – The 3rd Crucial Startup Skill

I used to believe that there were two critical startup skills: 1. Building a great product that has clear product/market fit. 2. Building a sales and marketing machine. I would argue with my partner at Matrix Partners, Antonio Rodriguez about whether you could get away with just having a great product. Or whether you could […]

Sales Predictability Through Data, Science, and a little bit of Glengarry Glen Ross (The ABC’s of selling)…


The following is a guest post by Tim Bertrand. I have the pleasure of knowing Tim since the late 1990’s when we worked together at my last startup. Tim now heads up world wide sales and field operations at Acquia, an Enterprise class cloud computing company founded by the creator of Drupal, Dries Buytaert. In this […]

Using Outbound Prospecting to reach highly targeted prospects

As most of my readers know, I am a big fan of Inbound Marketing. However there are times when inbound leads aren’t either enough, or the right kinds of leads needed to reach your best potential customers. In those situations, one tool worth considering is the use of a dedicated sales team to do outbound […]

Growth Hacking Free Trials: Time to Wow! is the key to success

This article is part of a series titled “The Art & Science of Growth Hacking” that will be published over time. My thanks to Gail Goodman, the founder and CEO of Constant Contact for introducing me to this concept. Free trials and freemium products are two of the best ways to sell your product. They […]

That’s a nice little $40M ecommerce company you have there. Call me when it scales

It will surprise a lot of entrepreneurs to learn that building an e-commerce business with $10 million to $20 million in revenues is not that hard. It also surprises many to learn that it’s not actually that valuable. This is in stark contrast to, say, a SaaS business, which is very difficult to build to […]

Building smarter software: Proactively deliver insights


Three years ago I spent a lot of time looking at SaaS business intelligence companies. I loved what I saw in the demos: easy data connections, slick looking graphs, powerful drill down tools and custom dashboards made the tools look like no-brainers. And then I began my diligence calls. All of these bells and whistles […]

Manage Customer Success to Reduce Churn


The health of a SaaS business is directly tied to its ability to retain its customers and prevent churn. To do this, they have to ensure that their customers are happy. That means making sure they get the promised business benefits they signed up for. This blog post discusses how to measure customer happiness, and […]

SaaS Metrics 2.0 – A Guide to Measuring and Improving what Matters

“If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it” – Lord Kelvin This article is a comprehensive and detailed look at the key metrics that are needed to understand and optimize a SaaS business. It is a completely updated rewrite of an older post.  For this version, I have co-opted two real experts in the […]

Metrics and Compensation for SaaS Inside Sales

The Bridge Group have recently published a report titled: Inside Sales for SaaS Metrics and Compensation Report for B2B technology companies   The report is based on a survey of 197 B2B technology companies, and covers topics such as: Ramp and Retention Compensation and Quota Activity and Infrastructure Inside Sales Management Management’s top challenges They […]

Pacific Crest’s 2011 SaaS Survey


Pacific Crest, an investment banking firm with a strong focus on SaaS, has surveyed a 70 SaaS companies with very interesting results. There is some great data on topics such as growth rates, cost of customer acquisition, churn/retention, expense models, capital efficiency, etc. The full survey, which was put together by David Spitz and his team […]

Why Churn is SO critical to success in SaaS


Summary: Illustrates graphically why churn is a huge problem a SaaS company gets larger. It also looks at a very surprising factor that can massively accelerate SaaS growth: negative churn. (This article  is applicable to any recurring revenue business, not just SaaS.)

Why Sales People shouldn’t Prospect – An interview with Aaron Ross


In this article I interview Aaron Ross, co-author of a new book, Predictable Revenue. Aaron discusses his experience at starting a new group that used an innovative outbound prospecting approach (involving no cold calls) to create new leads. Aaron’s group came up with several important breakthroughs which enabled them add over $100m in incremental […]