74 episodes

Subscription models are crazy powerful. Savvy small companies can easily deploy them to knock huge Goliaths off kilter. We’ve seen it in entertainment, software, hardware, news, retail, hospitality—the list goes on. In her podcast series, Robbie Kellman Baxter interviews the leaders of this revolution about how they’re using subscription pricing and membership models to redefine the biggest industries and generate predictable recurring revenue along the way.

Subscription Stories: True Tales from the Trenches Robbie Kellman Baxter

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 107 Ratings

Subscription models are crazy powerful. Savvy small companies can easily deploy them to knock huge Goliaths off kilter. We’ve seen it in entertainment, software, hardware, news, retail, hospitality—the list goes on. In her podcast series, Robbie Kellman Baxter interviews the leaders of this revolution about how they’re using subscription pricing and membership models to redefine the biggest industries and generate predictable recurring revenue along the way.

    Lessons in “Service-First Product Leadership” from Ford, PlayStation and Beyond with Ross McGregor

    Lessons in “Service-First Product Leadership” from Ford, PlayStation and Beyond with Ross McGregor

    Building a new subscription model in a large, successful company is hard enough, but when your company's core competency is manufacturing and the subscription involves content and software, you have to do more than build the new business model. You have to change the way the organization thinks about product management.
    With experience, both at PlayStation and at Ford, today's guest, Ross McGregor, will shed light on how to build a service orientation across a product team. Something critically necessary if you're going to build a forever transaction with your customers. In this conversation, he talks about how to put together the business case that merits a strategic bet on subscriptions, how to build support across the organization from the beginning, and when it's time to scale the experiments.
     
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    Subscription Stories: True Tales from the Trenches on Apple Podcasts

     

    • 41 min
    How a Subscription can “Smooth the Lumps” in B2B Services with DDI’s Dr. Tacy Byham

    How a Subscription can “Smooth the Lumps” in B2B Services with DDI’s Dr. Tacy Byham

    You're in for a special treat today. My guest, Dr. Tacy Byham, is the CEO of Development Dimensions International, or DDI, a global leadership consulting firm that helps organizations hire, promote, and develop exceptional leaders. A few years ago, I worked with Tacy and her team as they incorporated subscriptions into their business model. The results have been extraordinary. Three years into the launch, over 50 percent of DDI's revenue comes from subscription clients. I've been asking Tacy to share her journey for quite some time, and I'm thrilled that she finally agreed. In today's conversation, we'll talk about how subscriptions can smooth out the lumps in B2B services, how to put together the right team with the right mindset for subscriptions, and how to keep up the momentum after the initial experiments with subscriptions are over.
      
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    Join the Subscription Stories Community today:

    robbiekellmanbaxter.com
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    Subscription Stories: True Tales from the Trenches on Apple Podcasts

     

    • 40 min
    Subscription Pricing, Metrics and the Changing Role of the CFO with Maxio’s Randy Wootton

    Subscription Pricing, Metrics and the Changing Role of the CFO with Maxio’s Randy Wootton

    The world of B2B subscriptions has changed a lot since companies like Salesforce first paved the way for what would become known as Software-as-a-Service. And while there are hundreds of marketing and sales-oriented SaaS products, it's taken a lot longer for the subscription model to be fully embraced in the CFO's office.
    Randy Wootton has seen the evolution of SaaS and understands the changing role of the CFO better than most. He's led businesses focused on sales and marketing solutions at companies like Salesforce, Microsoft, and Rocketfuel, but more recently took over the CEO role at Maxio, a leading provider of billing and financial ops solutions for B2B SaaS companies.
    In this very rich and full conversation, we talk about why pricing and packaging of subscriptions is so hard, the power of a pricing council, and the changing role of the CFO in a SaaS world.
     
    Love the show? Rate us ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts!

    Here’s How »

    Join the Subscription Stories Community today:

    robbiekellmanbaxter.com
    Twitter
    Facebook
    Robbie Kellman Baxter on Instagram
    Subscription Stories: True Tales from the Trenches on Apple Podcasts

    • 36 min
    Best Practices in Subscription Funnel Management with Ken Houseman, VP, Product at The New York Times

    Best Practices in Subscription Funnel Management with Ken Houseman, VP, Product at The New York Times

    If your subscription uses a freemium model, it can be tricky to decide what’s always free, what’s free for a while, and what’s always behind the paywall. Knowing how to manage people at each stage of the funnel can be really challenging.
    Today’s guest, Ken Houseman, is an expert on both the strategy and the technology required to monetize the funnel for acquisition, upsell, and retention. Today’s conversation isn’t based purely on Ken’s work as VP of Product for The New York Times, and in no way represents the editorial perspective of the organization. Ken’s experience there, as well as his work with organizations, including Oracle, Nike, and even the US military, have shaped his perspective on managing the customer relationship.
    In this conversation, we discuss why retention is the next obsession for subscription leaders, what needs to be different about how to optimize your ERP for subscriptions, and a few of the less obvious things that can go wrong on the path to conversion.
     
    Love the show? Rate us ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts!

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    Join the Subscription Stories Community today:

    robbiekellmanbaxter.com
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    Robbie Kellman Baxter on Instagram
    Subscription Stories: True Tales from the Trenches on Apple Podcasts

    • 28 min
    Season Five Wrap-Up and Season Six Sneak Peek with Robbie Kellman Baxter

    Season Five Wrap-Up and Season Six Sneak Peek with Robbie Kellman Baxter

    Season 6 is launching soon, but while you wait, catch up on our most recent season. Some of Season 5’s most popular episodes include Mighty Network’s Gina Bianchini returning to subscription stories for a second time to share her wisdom about building purpose-driven communities, as well as Dan Zavorotny of Nutrisense talking about blending hardware, software, and services into a single subscription, and Anne Janzer on subscription marketing.
    We went deep on customer success with Rod Cherkas, author of the Chief Customer Officer Playbook, and about scaling membership with Pavilion Founder, Sam Jacobs. We talked a lot about subscription product design with Silicon Valley Product Builder, Tom Willerer, Samsara’s CPO, Jeff Hausman, and Mailin Jappé of Acer.
    I always love conversations with academic researchers with a strong practical mindset, and this season I was happy to host Harvard Business School’s Ava Escarza and Columbia’s Rita McGrath. And we got into the details of two of the trickiest parts of subscription design, pricing and the law, with respectively Mark Stiving, author of Selling Value, and Paavana Kumar of Davis+Gilbert.
    If you haven’t listened to these episodes, I encourage you to check them out. And if you really like them, please be sure to rate and review them on Apple iTunes or Apple Podcasts. I always ask because it helps us get the word out.
    Guests for Season 6 include Ken Houseman, who leads product management for the New York Times, Tacy Byham, CEO of the leadership consulting powerhouse DDI, and Randy Wootton, CEO of Maxio.
    To make sure you don’t miss a thing, follow Subscription Stories wherever you get your podcasts. Just tap on the follow or subscribe button.
    Thanks for your support and for listening to Subscription Stories.
     
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    • 2 min
    Keeping Complex IOT Subscriptions Simple for Customers with Samsara CPO Jeff Hausman

    Keeping Complex IOT Subscriptions Simple for Customers with Samsara CPO Jeff Hausman

    Subscriptions are going beyond software, content, and community, and increasingly are providing access to the physical world. The internet of things lends itself well to providing subscribers’ ongoing benefits, blending data from sensors and cameras with sophisticated software. This type of subscription can be complex to build, but has to provide value that is simple for subscribers to understand.
    My guest today, Jeff Hausman, is the Chief Product Officer at Samsara.
    Samsara provides an integrated subscription-based platform to increase safety, efficiency, and sustainability in the physical operations world. Think trucks, cargo, oil fields, and construction sites.
    I invited Jeff to talk about how his team uses customer input to develop his product roadmap, how they bundle hardware and software to deliver on their forever promise, and how they've partnered across the ecosystem to keep things simple for their subscribers.
     
    Other links and resources mentioned: 

    Jeff Hausman
    Samsara
    Sanjit Biswas, Co-founder of Samsara
    John Bicket, CTO and Co-Founder of Samsara
    Cold Chain Monitoring
    Subscription Stories Episode: Ben Foster, Chief Product Officer of WHOOP
    Chalk Mountain Services of Texas
    Liberty Energy
    Kong Global
    Ford
    Penske
    Navistar
    Fleetcor
    AssetWorks
    Thermo King

     


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    • 40 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
107 Ratings

107 Ratings

Gina Bianchini ,

Practical insights you can’t get anywhere else

While I’m biased, I also value my time. And Robbie continues to be a worthy investment of it. She’s practical and ensures every one of her guests offers concrete insights that you can actually use.

My only knock is that I listen to podcasts when I’m driving, walking, or cooking dinner and regularly want to stop what I’m doing to take a note.

Such good stuff in here.

Dan Z123 ,

Awesome show

Top favorite show for subscription entrepreneurs to listen to!

pamfr ,

Strategic brilliance every single episode

Love this podcast. The guests are top operators and academics, and I get value from every episode.

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