“How many mermaid tails do you think are sold every year globally?” It wasn’t a question I expected to be asked by a SaaS founder. I guessed 50 million.
When I launched my company Clarity.fm in 2010, I gave a live demo to an audience showing how the service works. It was my Steve Jobs moment.
“Talent is everywhere, opportunity is not”. This is a quote from my latest Escape Velocity Podcast guest, Marvin Liao, formerly a partner at 500 Startups. 500 Startups is a venture capital fund that runs an accelerator in San Francisco and invests in seed rounds for tech startups.
Your website is polished. Facebook ads retargeting, Google ads pushing your domain to the top of the results page. Traffic trickles through… starting with a sign-up for a free trial. All your PPC ad spend is balancing on a knife’s edge. But here’s the question: Will the prospect convert from a free trial to a paid customer?
Back in 2012, when I raised $1.6M in funding for Clarity.fm, I insisted on squeezing more out of my investors. When I put together the final cap table, I made it clear that I also wanted introductions with other investors and businesses on their portfolio. They told me, “Dan, you’re asking a lot here…” But I put my foot down.
If you want consistent, predictable revenue for your SaaS then there’s one thing you’re going to need to build: A killer sales team. Don’t roll your eyes yet… Let me set the record straight.
Here’s a word that either makes you cringe… or sigh with relief: “Networking”. If you’ve had a bad experience of it, you’ll get that icky feeling of trying to schmooze through fake smiles for business. But if you’ve had a great experience, you’ll think of life-long friends sharing war stories about their businesses and helping each other out. Networking done right is invaluable.
CEOs have it tough. It’s not enough to grow your company into healthy profit margins and then coast along “because it’s working”. I know it’s tempting to kick back and pour the martinis, but comfort is a dangerous position to be in.
In 2011, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal, Peter Thiel, started giving $100k to young entrepreneurs under 22. ...but only if they would drop out of college. $100k paid to 20 applicants per year without taking any equity at all. There was nothing in it for him. So why did he do it?
Take everything you think you know about sales teams… And get ready to throw it out the window. I mean it. Sales, as a concept, is still dragging a lot of dead weight from old-school sales gurus chanting “ABC - Always Be Closing!” The SaaS business model is being polluted by these old ideas that just don’t work. For decades, we’ve needed a fresh new take on sales training strategies...