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TOP INSIGHTS
FROM THE
2016 SAASTR
CONFERENCE
+
Proprietary and Confidential ©2016 OpenView Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved 2
I had the pleasure of attending the SaaStr
Annual 2016 Conference in San Francisco
earlier this month and wanted to share some of
the insights I gathered from that event with you
here. The findings below are arranged by
functional area with attribution. I tried to
compress the content as much as possible, but
there was A TON of great information at the
conference so would highly recommend
spending the time to read through.
SAASTR RECAP
Rene Miller
Business Operations & Strategy
Socrata
SALES AND MARKETING
Proprietary and Confidential ©2016 OpenView Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved 4
Segmentation by type of sale (new business,
upsell, cross-sell, expansion), type of GTM
(field sales, inside sales, or internet sales),
and lead source (website, event, email) is
key to S&M efficiency and scale. The best
sales and marketing leaders understand and
have communicated these different funnels
that they're measuring to the company and
proactively experiment on new ways to
improve those funnels.
Bill Binch, SVP of Sales, Marketo
Proprietary and Confidential ©2016 OpenView Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved 5
Enterprise deals are sold at mid-market price
point when a mid-market rep is running the
deal. Netsuite won a $400,000 dollar deal
but their competitor bid the deal at $80
million; value was undoubtedly left on the
table.
Zach Nelson, CEO, Netsuite
Proprietary and Confidential ©2016 OpenView Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved 6
Pipeline can be a red herring if used
inappropriately.
Dave Berman, President, Zoom Video
Proprietary and Confidential ©2016 OpenView Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved 7
Top-tier investors put pressure on sales
management to make sure they have good
sales training, sales enablement, and sales
operations programs. These are truly what
make a sales team capable of scaling
beyond a few dozen people.
Bill Binch, SVP of Sales, Marketo
Proprietary and Confidential ©2016 OpenView Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved 8
Facial and voice analytics will provide an
order of magnitude impact on increasing
sales productivity in the next 5 years.
Dave Berman, President, Zoom Video
CUSTOMER SUCCESS
Proprietary and Confidential ©2016 OpenView Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved 10
NetSuite has an entire BI team dedicated
to quantifying customer churn and lifetime
value.
Zach Nelson, CEO, Netsuite
Proprietary and Confidential ©2016 OpenView Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved 11
Product usage is undoubtedly the best
indicator of upcoming churn. Marketo has
a “save team” that would engage deeply
with a customer to get them back on track
if they were at risk.
Bill Binch, SVP of Sales, Marketo
Proprietary and Confidential ©2016 OpenView Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved 12
It’s crucial to measure and report on
up-sell (more usage of the same
product), cross-sell (usage of a new
product), and expansion (selling to
another group of buyers at the same
customer) separately.
April Oman, Head of Customer Success, Betterworks
PRODUCT & ENGINEERING
Proprietary and Confidential ©2016 OpenView Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved 14
New Relic has a team specifically dedicated
to the “first minute experience” of their
product. They found that optimizing the very
first part of the onboarding process had a
huge impact on increasing success
engagement and success. It also had a big
impact on building their brand.
Different types of growth require dramatically
different skill sets. This is succinctly captured in
McKinsey’s “Three Horizons” concept.
Lew Cirne, CEO, New Relic
PARTNERS & ECOSYSTEM
Proprietary and Confidential ©2016 OpenView Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved 16
A vibrant partner ecosystem (specifically
around implementation partners) is a key
ingredient to a company becoming hugely
successful. Salesforce, Atlassian, and Box
attribute ecosystems to their rapid growth.
Neeracha Taychakhoonavudh
SVP of Partner Programs
Salesforce
OPERATIONS
Proprietary and Confidential ©2016 OpenView Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved 18
Always consider how you can set the
foundation now for the new level of growth
you’ll experience in a few months.
Lew Cirne, CEO, New Relic
Proprietary and Confidential ©2016 OpenView Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved 19
The three things that lead to longevity of
companies are vision of the company,
financial management, and quality of the
employees.
Efficiently running a distributed-office
company is paramount to growth beyond
300 employees. It’s easier to hire 500
people across 10 offices than it is to hire
500 people across 1 or 2.
Zach Nelson, CEO, Netsuite
Proprietary and Confidential ©2016 OpenView Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved 20
The nature of the relationship between sales
complexity and CAC is exponential.
Decreasing sales complexity (i.e., going from
high touch field sales to high touch inside
sales) will exponentially improve the CAC if
revenue goals can be met with lower cost
GTM.
Another way to think about SaaS unit
economics is a sales person as the unit of
growth rather than a customer as a unit of
growth.
David Skok, Investor, Matrix Partners
MARKETS
Proprietary and Confidential ©2016 OpenView Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved 22
Over-capitalized companies have a lot to
prove. There are many dynamics here, but
companies that have prioritized growth at
all costs will either be forced to take
significant dilution or cut costs dramatically
if they don’t have a viable plan to get
cheap capital.
Lew Cirne, CEO, New Relic

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Top Insights from SaaStr by Leading Enterprise Software Experts

  • 1. TOP INSIGHTS FROM THE 2016 SAASTR CONFERENCE +
  • 2. Proprietary and Confidential ©2016 OpenView Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved 2 I had the pleasure of attending the SaaStr Annual 2016 Conference in San Francisco earlier this month and wanted to share some of the insights I gathered from that event with you here. The findings below are arranged by functional area with attribution. I tried to compress the content as much as possible, but there was A TON of great information at the conference so would highly recommend spending the time to read through. SAASTR RECAP Rene Miller Business Operations & Strategy Socrata
  • 4. Proprietary and Confidential ©2016 OpenView Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved 4 Segmentation by type of sale (new business, upsell, cross-sell, expansion), type of GTM (field sales, inside sales, or internet sales), and lead source (website, event, email) is key to S&M efficiency and scale. The best sales and marketing leaders understand and have communicated these different funnels that they're measuring to the company and proactively experiment on new ways to improve those funnels. Bill Binch, SVP of Sales, Marketo
  • 5. Proprietary and Confidential ©2016 OpenView Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved 5 Enterprise deals are sold at mid-market price point when a mid-market rep is running the deal. Netsuite won a $400,000 dollar deal but their competitor bid the deal at $80 million; value was undoubtedly left on the table. Zach Nelson, CEO, Netsuite
  • 6. Proprietary and Confidential ©2016 OpenView Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved 6 Pipeline can be a red herring if used inappropriately. Dave Berman, President, Zoom Video
  • 7. Proprietary and Confidential ©2016 OpenView Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved 7 Top-tier investors put pressure on sales management to make sure they have good sales training, sales enablement, and sales operations programs. These are truly what make a sales team capable of scaling beyond a few dozen people. Bill Binch, SVP of Sales, Marketo
  • 8. Proprietary and Confidential ©2016 OpenView Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved 8 Facial and voice analytics will provide an order of magnitude impact on increasing sales productivity in the next 5 years. Dave Berman, President, Zoom Video
  • 10. Proprietary and Confidential ©2016 OpenView Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved 10 NetSuite has an entire BI team dedicated to quantifying customer churn and lifetime value. Zach Nelson, CEO, Netsuite
  • 11. Proprietary and Confidential ©2016 OpenView Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved 11 Product usage is undoubtedly the best indicator of upcoming churn. Marketo has a “save team” that would engage deeply with a customer to get them back on track if they were at risk. Bill Binch, SVP of Sales, Marketo
  • 12. Proprietary and Confidential ©2016 OpenView Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved 12 It’s crucial to measure and report on up-sell (more usage of the same product), cross-sell (usage of a new product), and expansion (selling to another group of buyers at the same customer) separately. April Oman, Head of Customer Success, Betterworks
  • 14. Proprietary and Confidential ©2016 OpenView Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved 14 New Relic has a team specifically dedicated to the “first minute experience” of their product. They found that optimizing the very first part of the onboarding process had a huge impact on increasing success engagement and success. It also had a big impact on building their brand. Different types of growth require dramatically different skill sets. This is succinctly captured in McKinsey’s “Three Horizons” concept. Lew Cirne, CEO, New Relic
  • 16. Proprietary and Confidential ©2016 OpenView Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved 16 A vibrant partner ecosystem (specifically around implementation partners) is a key ingredient to a company becoming hugely successful. Salesforce, Atlassian, and Box attribute ecosystems to their rapid growth. Neeracha Taychakhoonavudh SVP of Partner Programs Salesforce
  • 18. Proprietary and Confidential ©2016 OpenView Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved 18 Always consider how you can set the foundation now for the new level of growth you’ll experience in a few months. Lew Cirne, CEO, New Relic
  • 19. Proprietary and Confidential ©2016 OpenView Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved 19 The three things that lead to longevity of companies are vision of the company, financial management, and quality of the employees. Efficiently running a distributed-office company is paramount to growth beyond 300 employees. It’s easier to hire 500 people across 10 offices than it is to hire 500 people across 1 or 2. Zach Nelson, CEO, Netsuite
  • 20. Proprietary and Confidential ©2016 OpenView Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved 20 The nature of the relationship between sales complexity and CAC is exponential. Decreasing sales complexity (i.e., going from high touch field sales to high touch inside sales) will exponentially improve the CAC if revenue goals can be met with lower cost GTM. Another way to think about SaaS unit economics is a sales person as the unit of growth rather than a customer as a unit of growth. David Skok, Investor, Matrix Partners
  • 22. Proprietary and Confidential ©2016 OpenView Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved 22 Over-capitalized companies have a lot to prove. There are many dynamics here, but companies that have prioritized growth at all costs will either be forced to take significant dilution or cut costs dramatically if they don’t have a viable plan to get cheap capital. Lew Cirne, CEO, New Relic