SaaStr Annual 2017: Wrap Up

By Erika Malzberg February 9, 2017

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]And it’s a wrap! SaaStr Annual is over and what a week it was. Our sincerest gratitude and deepest bow to Jason Lemkin and the SaaStr team for founding this community and pulling off such a top-notch event!

From double unicorns to investors, CEOs to sales leaders, we learned about the numbers that actually matter for founders; lessons for scaling, building and managing the best sales teams; how to have a happy board; and the state of the cloud (and where it’s heading in 2017). Plus, with a whole floor devoted to “Show Me Money,” we got a deep dive into a topic near and dear to many founders’ hearts — fundraising.

Continuing in the spirit of “Show Me Money,” here’s some “pure gold” that we collected from today’s inspirational sessions: 

“The trust you have with your customers is critical for your loyalty, for evangelism. This trust is the key growth driver for subscription-based services.” – Mikkel Svane, Founder and CEO Zendesk @mikkelsvane

“You have to make everything as simple as possible for your customers. You have to remove friction from every interaction. This is core to our DNA.” – Mikkel Svane, Founder and CEO Zendesk @mikkelsvane

“Packaging and pricing is a constant exercise for a company today. There are always new things to try, new use cases. Being flexible with your pricing and packaging can be competitively disruptive.” – Mikkel Svane, Founder and CEO Zendesk @mikkelsvane

“I just don’t go in and pitch to a VC. I go in with 3 questions. And some of those are going to make them uncomfortable.” – Josh James, Founder and CEO, Domo  @joshjames

“If you’re going to bring me $100K dollar spend, tell me why I should spend on that instead of on another rep.” – Josh James, Founder and CEO, Domo  @joshjames

“Scale is just about going as fast as you can, but the qualifier is when you choose to do that. You have to be ready to scale. The KPIs help you understand where you are on your journey. To me, you don’t scale until you understand how you’re going to dominate your market. It goes back to a focused playbook. Once you scale, you need to synchronize your investments.” – Hilarie Koplow-McAdams, President, New Relic  @HilarieKM

“It’s important to think about sequencing. Depending on what your size is and what your objective is, that informs your strategy. If you’re a small company and your goal is an exit, scale to you means demonstrating that you can do something, not that you do do something.” – Lindsey Armstrong, COO, InsideSales.com  @ArmstrongLinz

“You never want one thing to be able to take you down as a company: one product, individuals, territories. Nothing should be able to take you out of balance.” – Lindsey Armstrong, COO, InsideSales.com  @ArmstrongLinz

“All you have at the end of the day are your offering and your key values.”  – Hilarie Koplow-McAdams, President, New Relic  @HilarieKM

“Culture is not free snacks or table tennis.Those are bribes. And anyone who confuses that with culture is in real trouble.” – Lindsey Armstrong, COO, InsideSales.com  @ArmstrongLinz

“Churn/expansion/contraction MRR is a lagging indicator of product-market fit.” – Mamoon Hamid, Co-Founder and General Partner, Social Capital  @mamoonha

“What got you to $1M ARR is almost definitely not going to be what gets you to $10M and I can guarantee it’s not what’s going to get you to $100M.” – Josh Stein, Partner, DFJ   @djfjosh

“There’s nothing worse than ramping up your expenses, and then ending up in a hole.”  – Josh Stein, Partner, DFJ   @djfjosh

“Hypergrowth can be challenging. You’re growing so fast that you forget to add some of the plumbing.”  – Josh Stein, Partner, DFJ   @djfjosh

On how sales management should be spending their time: “90% of the time coaching, 10% of the time managing direct.” Andrew Bothwell, VP Inside Sales, Talkdesk @andrew_bsf

“Companies today raise money because they can, but not because they need to. Running a company has gotten much cheaper. It’s a lot cheaper to build a company now than it used to be. If you’ve engineered your company well, you can survive a 10-15 month blip.” – Naval Ravikant, CEO and Founder, AngelList  @naval

“Building out a partnership with potential acquirers is the best way to start. Once you have a product in market and some early traction with customers, don’t hold back on building corporate relationships – it will only help you in the end.” – John Somorjaie, VP Corporate Development, Salesforce Ventures  @jsomorjai

“How can you make mobile be a strategic advantage for your business? If you’re not going to be the best in your chosen category, someone is. And they’re going to leapfrog you.” – Byron Deeter, Partner, Bessemer Venture Partners  @bdeeter

On the “CAC Cocktail” : “What’s more important than the metrics, is the interplay between these metrics: sales rep productivity, marketing, sales support. This will change depending on your customer base.” – Kristina Shen, VP, Bessemer Venture Partners @kshenster

More insights on SaaS growth here![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]