42 episodes

When you Escape Velocity, the perfect exit is just around the corner. Learn how to scale, grow and exit with Dan Martell and some of the top SaaS Founders in the business.

Escape Velocity - with Dan Martell Dan Martell

    • Entrepreneurship
    • 5.0 • 20 Ratings

When you Escape Velocity, the perfect exit is just around the corner. Learn how to scale, grow and exit with Dan Martell and some of the top SaaS Founders in the business.

    Perfecting Onboarding & Activation with Aaron Krall @ SaaS Growth Hacks - Escape Velocity Show #42

    Perfecting Onboarding & Activation with Aaron Krall @ SaaS Growth Hacks - Escape Velocity Show #42

    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?


    If yes, you can wipe away the sweat and enjoy a profitable growth funnel. 
     
    If not, you’re pouring money into Zuckerberg’s pocket without anything to show for it.


    This is why maximizing your trial-to-customer conversion rate is essential to scaling your SaaS. 


    I consider it low hanging fruit. You already have the prospect interacting with your product, now you want them to trust you with their credit card.


    Fortunately, I’m good mates with one of the leading trial conversion experts in the SaaS space:


    Aaron Krall.


    In the past, I’ve hired Aaron to educate my SaaS Academy clients. He seriously knows his stuff!


    So it’s a pleasure to invite him to be a guest on the Escape Velocity podcast and hear what he has to say about onboarding trials that maximize conversions.


    Not only is Aaron a highly sought-after conversion expert... 


    But he also started the biggest SaaS-only Facebook group, now with over 21,000 members.


    In this interview, we talk about:


    - Impressive onboarding strategies
    - Companies who are doing it right
    - How I first met Aaron (and gave him the 5-start treatment)
    - How Aaron went from food stamps to growth hacking
    - Getting fired from L’Oréal
    - The power of niching down (but not staying there)


    I’ve now released 40+ episodes of the Escape Velocity podcast, but never have I laughed THIS hard during a recording session.


    Aaron is hilarious. Wait until you hear him impersonate scammy SaaS founders.


    Tune in with us for a laugh right here.

    • 54 min
    Investing In SaaS Enabled Marketplaces with Christoph @ PointNine.com - Escape Velocity Show #41

    Investing In SaaS Enabled Marketplaces with Christoph @ PointNine.com - Escape Velocity Show #41

    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.


    I knew you couldn’t put a price on leveraging contacts and networking. Every minute I’ve spent growing my network has paid dividends tenfold.


    Since then I’ve realized that investors aren’t just a source of capital…


    They are a gateway to the entire SaaS industry.


    Which is why I love interviewing investors for their unique view of the market.


    My latest Escape Velocity podcast guest, Christoph Janz, is the co-founder of Point Nine Capital, a very successful venture capital firm with over $75M of investments.


    Christoph loves investing in SaaS. If you want to attract rockstar funding, then check out this eye-opening interview.


    In this episode, you’re going to learn about:


    - Why investors have to hustle too

    - How Point Nine Capital was the first to invest in Zendesk

    - How European investment firms are booming

    - The bottleneck of Silicon Valley talent

    - If freemium is right for you

    - How to think critically about your pricing model

    - Creating a built-in SaaS referral system

    - What investors are looking for


    Point Nine Capital has invested in big names in tech, such as Typeform, Algolia, Contentful, Geckboard, Delivery Hero, Revolut and more.


    Christoph was even one the first investors of Zendesk back when it was a team of 4 people making only $7K MRR (now valued at over $2.1 billion).


    His story of cold-emailing Zendesk with an offer is… just crazy. 


    You’ve got to hear it! Tune in to the episode here.


    --


    Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter @danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.



    + Instagram (behind the scenes): http://instagram.com/danmartell
    + Facebook (live trainings + Q&A): http://FB.com/DanMartell  + Twitter (what I'm reading): http://twitter.com/danmartell 

    • 45 min
    The Right Way to Build an Outbound Sales Team with Aaron @ PredictableRevenue.com - Escape Velocity Show #40

    The Right Way to Build an Outbound Sales Team with Aaron @ PredictableRevenue.com - Escape Velocity Show #40

    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.


    In 2008, when I moved to silicon valley, sales teams were considered evil.


    Tech companies pursued the unicorn: A product that would “sell itself”. (Yes, I’m using sarcastic air quotes).


    The likes of Facebook and Instagram fed false hope that you could build a platform with non-existent revenue, burn through rounds of funding and monetize it later for billions.


    The idea of hiring people to sell for you (aka: a sales team) wasn’t cool.


    Times have changed.


    People have woken up from the myth and discovered - surprise, surprise - that you have to work damn hard to make a buck!


    Today I want you to meet Aaron Ross, co-CEO of Predictable Revenue, author of the book by the same title, and co-author of ‘From Impossible to Inevitable’.


    Aaron trains sales teams and tech companies on outbound prospecting.


    He knows the inner workings of a high-performing sales team, and he knows that they ARE necessary. “Build it and they will come” doesn’t cut it.


    I gave him the microphone on the latest episode of the Escape Velocity podcast and asked him to dispel sales myths and talk through every stage of building a sales team that grows with your SaaS.


    Whether you love the idea of a sales team or you still feel like it’s evil, this is a great episode where you will learn:


    - Why even introverted founders MUST work sales

    - Why good sales teams don’t just sell

    - How to minimize translation in a sales message

    - How to handle lead nurturing

    - Working teams for a common goal

    - How buyers need help from sales teams

    - Working up from phase zero (non-existent sales teams)

    - The scary side of success


    The dream of a unicorn tech company still exists today.


    But as a SaaS coach, it’s my job to help founders grow their business and increase zeroes on their balance sheet.


    Which means I help you through the hard truth:


    You need to sell.


    Tune in the episode here and let Aaron Ross, a master of sales strategy, convince you why it’s what you need to do.


    --


    Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter @danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.



    + Instagram (behind the scenes): http://instagram.com/danmartell
    + Facebook (live trainings + Q&A): http://FB.com/DanMartell  + Twitter (what I'm reading): http://twitter.com/danmartell 
     

    • 50 min
    Business Networking Success with Alex Theuma @ SaaStock - Escape Velocity Show #39

    Business Networking Success with Alex Theuma @ SaaStock - Escape Velocity Show #39

    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.


    You might have heard me say it before: Investors don’t want to meet you… they want to be introduced to you. 


    That means you’ve got to get out there and network.


    And the easiest and best way to do that… is at conferences made for SaaS founders.


    So, for this week’s episode of Escape Velocity Show, I’ve interviewed Alex Theuma, the founder of SaaStock, easily one of my favorite SaaS Conferences in the world. 


    (In fact, Alex quotes me on his website… and I’m not getting paid to say that!)


    In this podcast episode, Alex and I chat all about:


    - How SaaStock has grown in record time

    - High-profile founders that have talked at past events

    - The process for starting a networking event

    - The audience-first model of marketing (true for all business types!)

    - Why SaaStock is a great place for startups

    - The afterparties


    I love conferences. I regularly attend them, I’m often speaking at them, and I’ve made some life-long friends at them.


    Starting a business shouldn’t be a lonely venture, and that’s why my SaaS Academy includes multiple live events every year.


    If you find networking difficult, Conferences are like shooting fish in a barrel: It’s impossible not to make valuable connections and learn something new.


    This episode was a pleasure to record. Alex is one of those guys that’s super easy to talk to and once you tune in here, you’ll get his vibe and see why SaaStock is worth checking out.


    --


    Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter @danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.



    + Instagram (behind the scenes): http://instagram.com/danmartell
    + Facebook (live trainings + Q&A): http://FB.com/DanMartell  + Twitter (what I'm reading): http://twitter.com/danmartell 
     

    • 50 min
    The Big Bet: Going From Paid to Freemium with Michael Litt, Co-Founder & CEO @ Vidyard.com - Escape Velocity Show #38

    The Big Bet: Going From Paid to Freemium with Michael Litt, Co-Founder & CEO @ Vidyard.com - Escape Velocity Show #38

    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.


    A great CEO knows this and doesn’t want to be comfortable. 


    They’ll stay on the bow on the ship, in the storm, telescope in hand, watching the changes in the waves and looking out for even the slightest hint of an iceberg in the distance.


    Today I want to introduce you to a great CEO and one of my good buddies, Michael Litt.


    Michael isn’t just the CEO and co-founder of Vidyard, a video hosting platform for businesses… He’s also the co-founder of Garage Capital, a VC firm with over $40M invested in 80+ businesses.


    A lot of SaaS businesses try to move upmarket over time to higher-paying enterprise customers.


    Vidyard did almost the opposite, creating a freemium model with a $0 pricing tier and partnering with brands like Adobe, Marketo and Hubspot.


    As a CEO, steering the ship into a freemium model is… scary. 


    If it goes wrong, your customers downgrade and you’ve just donated your profit margins.


    So sitting down with Michael, I wanted to unpack exactly how and why he did this. I’ve got to say… it was executed brilliantly.


    I’ve known Michael now for nearly 10 years. Being good buds means as soon as I hit record, we got straight to the good stuff chatting about:


    - How Vidyard scaled rapidly as a startup

    - The value of TIME in a commoditized landscape

    - The freemium “land-and-expand” model

    - When to go freemium

    - Getting 2500 PQLs on launch day

    - Building a culture that attracts talent

    - Firing staff if they aren’t a cultural fit

    - The difference in being a founder vs a CEO


    Leadership is discipline. 


    The more you can hear from great leaders, the more I believe you’ll embody that discipline and become a great leader yourself.


    As Jim Rohn said: “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”.


    So get your headphones, tune in and spend some time hanging out with us.


    --


    Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter @danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.


    + Instagram (behind the scenes): http://instagram.com/danmartell
    + Facebook (live trainings + Q&A): http://FB.com/DanMartell  + Twitter (what I'm reading): http://twitter.com/danmartell 

    • 50 min
    Don’t Chase The Wrong Revenue with Christian Owens @ Paddle.com - Escape Velocity Show #37

    Don’t Chase The Wrong Revenue with Christian Owens @ Paddle.com - Escape Velocity Show #37

    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? 

    Thiel believed talented young minds were choosing college instead of building valuable businesses, so he began paying entrepreneurs not to go.

    It was super controversial.

    Whether the idea offends you or not, one thing is clear: The Thiel Fellowship attracts talent.

    Like my latest guest on the Escape Velocity show, Christian Owens.

    Christian is the founder and CEO of Paddle, an all-in-one SaaS commerce platform that is making massive waves in the tech industry.

    Before we praise the Thiel fellowship for supporting Christian, let me clarify something:

    Christian started his first business at 14 years old and grew it to $4M ARR by 17 years old before ever applying for the fellowship. 

    Then he started Paddle when he was 18 (now grown to $14M+ ARR)…

    And has been named in Forbes top 30 under 30.

    Needless to say, Christian is intelligent beyond his years and shares his impressive story and perspective on business in this episode.

    Christian has been so deeply entrenched in the software world since he was a teenager that he speaks with long-lived wisdom.

    In this interview we chat about:

    - How he got accepted into the Thiel Fellowship
    - Paddle’s unique pricing structure
    - How they have a nearly 0% churn rate
    - Front-loading infrastructure for backend profit
    - Pivoting from apps and games to SaaS
    - Right revenue vs Wrong revenue
    - Why it’s cheaper than ever to start a SaaS
    - How to know when to expand focus
    - Why moving to Silicon Valley is a bad idea
    - Supporting $2k MRR up to $100M+ ARR pricing models

    Paddle is quite a non-traditional and forward-thinking tech company.

    They have huge insights into what is and is not working in the SaaS world since they have a direct view of the revenue streams of many companies.

    Christian even considers Paddle as a partner to the tech companies that they work with, often making strategic suggestions so it’s a win-win for everyone.

    This is a fresh take on innovative tech business strategy.

    You’re going to love this episode… lots of value! Let’s kick it off.

    --

    Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter @danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

    + Instagram (behind the scenes): http://instagram.com/danmartell
    + Facebook (live trainings + Q&A): http://FB.com/DanMartell
    + Twitter (what I'm reading): http://twitter.com/danmartell

    • 57 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
20 Ratings

20 Ratings

J. Barshop ,

Invaluable insights

The insights that Dan brings to bear on the problems we all face is still mind blowing every. Single. Time.

It’s like watching one of these street magicians work. I’ll find myself re-listening to snippets several times over and it’s just as impressive every time. Beyond grateful for the amazing content - thanks for all you do Dan! 🙌

Chris Badgett ,

Top Podcast For SaaS Founders

Put this one on your short list if you are a B to B SaaS founder. Dan really knows how to extract the value and learnings from his guests.

vivsharma ,

Learn the secrets of scaling a SaaS company from Dan

Dan’s a kickass host! He does his homework, asks thought-provoking questions, and is incredibly easy to talk to. This gets great interview material from guests and the entire podcast feels breezy.

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