53 episodes

We interview CEOs and CMOs of fast-growing SaaS firms to reveal what they are doing that's working, and lessons learned from things that didn't work as planned. These deep conversations focus on the pragmatic as well as strategic, providing a well-rounded diet for those running SaaS firms today.Moderated by Ken Lempit, Austin Lawrence Group's president and chief business builder. Ken has more than 30 years of experience helping software companies to grow and their founders to achieve their visions.

SaaS Backwards - Reverse Engineering SaaS Success Ken Lempit

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

We interview CEOs and CMOs of fast-growing SaaS firms to reveal what they are doing that's working, and lessons learned from things that didn't work as planned. These deep conversations focus on the pragmatic as well as strategic, providing a well-rounded diet for those running SaaS firms today.Moderated by Ken Lempit, Austin Lawrence Group's president and chief business builder. Ken has more than 30 years of experience helping software companies to grow and their founders to achieve their visions.

    Ep. 53 : Finding PLG Nirvana while avoiding a Hype Cycle beat down with Peter Zawistowicz, Head of Marketing at Pace

    Ep. 53 : Finding PLG Nirvana while avoiding a Hype Cycle beat down with Peter Zawistowicz, Head of Marketing at Pace

    There’s a lot of hype with Product-Led Growth (PLG) with the promise of low-cost customer acquisition and streamlined expansion.

    But as Peter Zawistowicz, Pace’s head of marketing says that when you introduce a PLG motion into an organization with an existing direct sales motion, you get an interesting set of problems.

    Most notably, sellers in a PLG motion are almost always left in the dark while still trying to hit their numbers. 

    Intercede too early and it could artificially inflate price points. 

    On the flip side, self-serve customers that lack proper guidance when problems arise could leave money on the table and lead to churn.

    That’s the problem that Pace is tackling with a new set of tools that are built for customer facing roles that allows them to focus on the users that really need their attention and eliminating the rest of the noise.

    In this episode, Zawistowicz draws on his (and the founders’) background with companies like Gremlin and MongoDB that successfully implemented PLG motions to help Pace customers to find enlightenment—the right mix of sales and customer service intervention to maximize growth. 

    Other notable topics include:
    What to do when you don’t have product-marketing fitNot getting beat by hype cyclesGetting the DIY champion on your sideHow to provide salespeople with actionable insights vs letting them self-serveOther resources to check out:
    Interview with Vinay Bhagat, Founder and CEO of TrustRadius who publish a yearly report about how B2B buyer behavior is changing.

    The Lead Gen Mistake I Guarantee You’re Making – how to create content that better identifies intent from today’s b2b buyer.

    And, if you want an outside look at your content with actionable advice, take advantage of our Content Audit. Valued at $20K in free consulting. 

    • 34 min
    Ep. 52 - CEO Yosh Eisbart talks about how Fulfilld is crossing their chasm

    Ep. 52 - CEO Yosh Eisbart talks about how Fulfilld is crossing their chasm

    It’s estimated that 40 percent of all warehouse worker movement is wasteful. A simple example is a worker having to walk through and assemble 12 items that need to be shipped to a customer. What’s the optimal order of items to minimize the steps

    That’s the problem Yosh Eisbart, CEO of Fullfilld is tackling with their warehouse management orchestration platform. Their system paints a “digital twin” of the physical warehouse, digitizes it, and ingests all that data into the software. 

    So instead of a static image (which doesn’t communicate any data about optimal flow), they’re able to use AI and ML to capture data around the entire buzz happening in the warehouse beehive, analyze the data and calculate the optimal workflow. 

    As compelling as this solution potentially is for warehouses, Fulfilld must overcome problem awareness issues and status quo bias to penetrate new accounts. 

    How are they doing it? 

    Eisbart shares his learnings about crossing that chasm including:
    Getting those first five customers to demonstrate product-market fitHow they vetted “smart money” that could impact business development from the beginning.Overcoming “problem awareness” by launching smaller components and expanding based on use cases.Their strategy for scaling through channel partners.Other resources to check out:
    Interview with Vinay Bhagat, Founder and CEO of TrustRadius who publish a yearly report about how B2B buyer behavior is changing.

    The Lead Gen Mistake I Guarantee You’re Making – how to create content that better identifies intent from today’s b2b buyer.

    And, if you want an outside look at your content with actionable advice, take advantage of our Content Audit. Valued at $20K in free consulting. 

    • 32 min
    Ep. 51 - When status quo bias works in your favor with Tim Riesterer Chief Visionary for B2B Decision Labs

    Ep. 51 - When status quo bias works in your favor with Tim Riesterer Chief Visionary for B2B Decision Labs

    As fans of the Challenger Sale methodology, we know that getting prospects to move off their status quo to make a change is paramount to winning a new deal.

    But as Tim Riesterer Chief Visionary for B2B Decision Labs (and self-professed “research nerd”) talks about in his new book The Expansion Sale, growth for a vast majority of companies comes in retention and expansion. 

    Because most deals start out too small, underpriced, and overserviced, the question is how to keep and grow those customers when it comes to renewal time? (Oh, by the way, the price is going up.)

    In many ways, renewing isn’t just renewing. And upselling isn’t just upselling. It’s all reselling.

    Therefore, challenging their status quo won’t help you—you are the status quo, and you want to leverage that. 

    And there’s more commercial activities in that existing customer interaction and engagement that you need to be savvy about, such as:
    How to defend your position as the status quo biasTransitioning from the decider to the doer and setting up the business caseThe four must-win commercial moments of the client relationshipThe framework and content choreography for having the renewal conversationDocumenting mutual investment so they view change as a loss and view the new vendor as “risky business.”
    Other resources to check out:
    Interview with Vinay Bhagat, Founder and CEO of TrustRadius who publish a yearly report about how B2B buyer behavior is changing.

    The Lead Gen Mistake I Guarantee You’re Making – how to create content that better identifies intent from today’s b2b buyer.

    And, if you want an outside look at your content with actionable advice, take advantage of our Content Audit. Valued at $20K in free consulting. 

    • 36 min
    Ep 50 - What it means to be “buyer centric” for marketing and sales teams with Vidyard’s Head Marketer – Tyler Lessard

    Ep 50 - What it means to be “buyer centric” for marketing and sales teams with Vidyard’s Head Marketer – Tyler Lessard

    Today’s B2B tech buyer has a much greater expectation and appreciation for self-service—they don’t want to have to jump through hoops or talk to a sales rep to find out what the business does. 

    But what to do about it? 

    It’s a difficult shift for traditional marketers and sellers—to be more buyer-centric--which is why we talked with Tyler Lessard, vice president of marketing at Vidyard, a video technology company that provides marketers and sales teams with custom video messaging and analytical tools. 

    Lessard provides an action-packed 30 minutes of tangible advice…stuff you can do right now to have a greater impact such as creating a library of on-demand demo videos (and how to sell it to the hyper-competitive leadership crowd). 

    And, rethinking the “Get a Demo” button that most of you have in the hero image. 

    He challenges you to think about what customers want when they come to your website:
    They want to see what you doThey want to see the products in action so they can really understand how it works. They want to learn about your pricing. They want to understand how you compare to others.And then…they’ll want to talk to sales or do a live demo.

    “It’s not about selling better, it’s about helping customers buy better,” he says.

    Maximize those things, and you’ll be WAY ahead of the pack.

    Other resources to check out:
    Interview with Vinay Bhagat, Founder and CEO of TrustRadius who publish a yearly report about how B2B buyer behavior is changing.

    The Lead Gen Mistake I Guarantee You’re Making – how to create content that better identifies intent from today’s b2b buyer.

    And, if you want an outside look at your content with actionable advice, take advantage of our Content Audit. Valued at $20K in free consulting.  

    • 34 min
    Ep 49 – The single thing SaaS companies must get right for growth with Michael Bertoni, founder and CEO of PhillyTech

    Ep 49 – The single thing SaaS companies must get right for growth with Michael Bertoni, founder and CEO of PhillyTech

    If you want to make good on the promises you made to investors and grow the company the single most important thing the C-suite needs to get right is hiring.

    That’s why we spoke with Michael Bertoni, CEO of PhillyTech.co—a hiring agency dedicated to SaaS. 

    Most startups have no idea how to hire people and build high-performing teams. They think they can do themselves and find out quickly where the mines are buried. 

    With a background in sales and lead generation, Bertoni has developed a method that is 100 steps deep. They’re hunting talent by hyper-targeting, and that specialization, combined with his prowess for lead generation, is what makes them so successful. 

    In this episode, Bertoni shares some of the ingredients to his secret sauce including:
    Finding SaaS specialized help that understand how the business operates and the roles and responsibilities requiredMust focus on hypertargeting – much like Account Based Marketing (ABM)How to optimize the hiring process and provide the candidate a great experienceWhy the best candidates aren’t on the market, and how to attract them.

    • 27 min
    Ep 48 - Aptivio CEO Guy Mounier’s mission to democratize Revenue AI

    Ep 48 - Aptivio CEO Guy Mounier’s mission to democratize Revenue AI

    At the 2019 Ascent Conference in New York, Aptiv.io’s CEO Guy Mounier recalls their informal poll about how well their demand generation programs were working.

    Two-thirds of respondents said, “we’re fine” or “we’re good.”

    Fast forward to the same conference in November 2022 and almost everyone was struggling to cut through the noise to generate qualified leads. Even those with good results were still getting pressure from boards and investors to produce more leads at a lower cost. 

    Effective demand generation has become like Moore’s Law in reverse – you have to double down on marketing spend every year to maintain the same number of leads. 

    To solve this conundrum, companies have gravitated towards AI platforms that identify buyer intent signals to prioritize account focus—a space Mounier calls “Revenue AI” where AI platforms can identify buyer intent signals for accounts potentially entering a buying window. 

    Only a third of the survey respondents knew about the potential of these platforms though—and 90 percent of them said they couldn’t afford it--the value for the money and the complexity didn’t make sense to deploy. 

    The game changer according to Mounier is to have a 360-degree approach to intent signals (versus the siloed approaches that exist today) and do it a quarter of the cost. 

    • 24 min

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