Change is the only constant, so how do you champion it?
At Chargebee's Champions of Change podcast, we unpack the minds of visionary leaders with the help of our host, Vikram Bhaskaran, Senior Director of marketing at Chargebee, to unlearn and relearn tactics to effectively tackle change and thrive in a disruptive environment.
Getting your SaaS Business IPO-ready
Joining Vikram on the podcast today is Tyler Sloat, the CFO at FreshWorks who is championed as someone instrumental in securing IPOs for SaaS businesses. Prior to joining Freshworks, Tyler had taken two companies public, POET Software and Zuora. Today, Tyler shares with us insights on the role of CFOs and how to get your SaaS business ready to go public.
Tyler shares his story of how he took an interest in business at a young age. He then describes the similarities and differences between Zuora and Freshworks when they were going public and how his job as a CFO differed in both organizations based on a number of aspects. Tyler explains that the role of the CFO has dramatically transformed over time, leaning into different roles, and he also shares the metrics he and his team use to determine the readiness of an organization before going public. He also discusses the importance of tracking predictability and forecasting when getting IPO-ready, and throughout the episode, shares useful information for CFOs and others who are on the journey of making the decision to take their business public.
The Finer Details of This Episode:
How Tyler’s interesting childhood shaped his view of the future
The process of taking Zuora and Freshworks public
How the role of the CFO has evolved over the years
What is the operational and executional readiness of an organization?
Achieving accuracy and predictability
Why you should track predictability before going public
Metrics used for accountability
Things Tyler would have done differently
Sales Strategies and Communities with Scott Leese
Joining Vikram on the show today is Scott Leese, a mentor coach, and leader in the field of start-up sales. He is currently the founder of Surf and Sales, an alternative to a sales conference, and the author of two bestselling books on Amazon. In addition, he is the Co-Founder of Scott Lease Consulting, a firm that helps people with sales strategy and processes.
After his 23rd birthday, Scott started battling autoimmune diseases, ulcerative colitis, and a colon cancer scare. After starting his career at the age of 27, Scott quickly moved up the ladder and went on to lead the sales function at companies. As you listen, you’ll learn about Scott’s journey from being a sales leader to starting his own company. Scott discusses topics like why businesses need a playbook and the importance of adding value to your customers. Then, Scott reviews the mistakes firms make when it comes to sales and scaling up their businesses, and he finishes up by discussing his offbeat sales communities and how people can join them.
Crisis Management and Business Growth with Elizabeth Salomon
Joining Vikram on the show today is Elizabeth Salomon, Chief Financial Officer at Xactly Corp. Having chosen finance as her career early on, Elizabeth worked with Ernst and Young, was nominated for the post of Accounting Fellow at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and went on to hold finance leadership roles in the technology industry. Elizabeth has been a CFO at software companies for the past 12 years, and has led multiple merger and acquisition turnarounds, launched multi-unit auditing programs, and driven performance improvement initiatives.
In today’s episode, Elizabeth discusses navigating through a crisis and stresses the importance of maintaining the fine line between cutting down on expenses and making new investments. She also discusses how data can be used to obtain new insights, taking risks, writing down scenarios, as well as making assumptions, and testing whether the assumptions were correct. Elizabeth ends by discussing how a CFO’s role may intertwine with other roles in the future. A true leader in her field, Elizabeth Salomon has a great deal of experience, knowledge, and wisdom to share with listeners here today.
Finding your Product-Market Fit with Laura Marino
Joining Vikram on the podcast today is Laura Marino, Chief Product Officer at TrueAccord, a company that helps people struggling with debt achieve financial health. A teacher, board member at “Leading Women in Technology,” strategist, and mergers and acquisitions expert, Laura possesses a vast amount of knowledge and wisdom gained through extensive experience which she shares with Vikram and listeners here today.
In this episode, Laura discusses the mistakes that companies make during the growth stage of their startup, and the importance of proper processes and hiring the right people for your team. She goes on to explain the importance of communicating efficiently and ensuring that business activities are performed in line with a company’s mission, vision, and goals. Laura also looks at how women have a tendency to shy away from speaking up in the technology sphere, why it is important to have diversity in your team and finishes up by expressing her love for teaching and how it inspires her to apply new concepts to her business. Listen in today to discover the secrets to Laura’s stellar success and learn how they can help your organization reach its goals as well.
Building Your Business Strategy with Peep Laja
Joining Vikram on the podcast today is the number one influential conversion rate optimization expert in the world - Peep Laja. In 2011, Peep founded CXL, a company that brings advanced-level marketing training to next-generation marketers, training them on growth, customer acquisition, analytics, and conversion optimization. He founded Wynter to bring insights to marketing copy to improve conversion rates. Today, Peep is a serial entrepreneur and top conversion expert, having raised three successful businesses.
Peep begins by sharing his journey as an entrepreneur and how he started as a freelancer earning money by doing PPC, SEO, and light consulting. He delves into the growth of CXL and why it was necessary to build a company like CXL. He also discusses how CXL could stand out from the crowd by focusing on the conversion optimization niche. Peep talks about the importance of being innovative to let your company and product stand out throughout the episode. The episode ends with some advice from Peep to budding marketers who are just starting their career or looking to improve: be ambitious, be around ambitious people, and aim to become the best.
Building innovative products with collaborative leadership
Joining Vikram on the podcast today is the CEO of Women in Product, Elizabeth Ames. Throughout her career, Elizabeth has been a strong advocate of women technologists, and has held various leadership positions in marketing and strategy at such companies as Apple, Verifone, Plastic Logic, and RETHINK Partners, where she was Founder and CEO. In her work as Senior Vice President of Strategic Marketing at the Anita Borg Institute prior to her current role, Elizabeth was instrumental in both scaling up their revenue and establishing it as a platform to help women in tech voice their views.
In today’s interview, Elizabeth begins by describing her organization, Women in Product, reviewing the importance of having more women in product and technology, and offering advice to help companies become more inclusive. She then goes on to explain collaborative leadership, fixed vs. learning mindsets, and how to create an inclusive culture and build community. Elizabeth draws the conversation to a close by sharing words of wisdom for those at 3 particular points in their careers. Elizabeth Ames’ extensive knowledge and experience are on full display in her conversation with Vikram here today, rendering this yet another episode you simply can’t afford to miss.
I formerly worked in Customer Success and now I do Change Management Consulting so I fould a lot of relatable parallels.
Looking forward to more
great concept and interview
Enjoyed this interview and the fun banter between the host and Bill - learned a ton in the 40 mins. Look forward to future episodes!