The SaaS Podcast - SaaS, Startups, Growth Hacking & Entrepreneurship
Andrea Waltz is the author of the book 'Go for No! Yes is the Destination, No Is How You Get There'.

There's plenty of advice out there on how to get people to say yes. But 'Go for No' recommends just the opposite. And it shows how focusing on increasing your failure rate can accelerate your momentum towards success.

So I invited Andrea to discuss what SaaS founders and entrepreneurs can learn from this.

In this interview, you'll learn:
* About the old and new models for success and failure.
* How you can apply Go for No to help you achieve your business goals.
* What you can do to overcome fear of failure and rejection.
* And how to get past failures quickly and move on.

So if you're currently struggling to get more people on demo calls, or struggling to close more sales or you're having a hard time getting investors to say yes to your pitch, then you might find this episode useful.

Or if you don't currently have any of those specific issues, but feel like you need to build your mental resilience, then you might get some useful insights here.

So I hope you enjoy it.


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Direct download: SaaS_183_Andrea_Waltz.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PST

Oleg Rogynskyy is the founder and CEO for People.ai.

People.ai is a SaaS platform that uses artificial intelligence to helps sales teams to be more effective by automatically capturing all their sales activities and then giving them giving them clear and actionable insights.

People.ai was founded in 2016 and has raised around $7 million in funding.

But back in 2010, Oleg was doing the 9 to 5 at another company, when he had an idea for a startup. He realized there was a need for democratized, cloud-based text analysis. So he left his job to bootstrap a startup called Semantria.

It took Oleg and his co-founder George about 9 months to build the product and to land their first customer. And Oleg spent the majority of those 9 months talking to prospective customers using a consultative selling approach. He focused on two main things -- listening more than he was talking and providing his prospects with real value before even talking about his product.

And that approach paid off. The founders went from zero to $5 million ARR in just over 2.5 years. And then did no inbound marketing. They just focused on doing one thing -- outbound sales really well.

In this episode, you'll hear about Oleg's story and what he did to build both Sementria and People.ai. And you'll learn some awesome tactics and tips on using consultative selling with your own prospective customers.

I hope you enjoy it and get some actionable insights of your own.



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Direct download: SaaS-182-Oleg-Rogynskyy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00pm PST

Andy Baldacci is the host of The Early Stage Founder podcast and a marketer at Groove.

Groove is a simple help desk SaaS product that's used by over 8000 companies. The business was founded in 2011 by Alex Turnbull. Alex bootstrapped the business and had grown it from zero to over $500,000 in monthly recurring revenue.

For 2 years, Alex and his team tried to make content marketing work for them. But they were getting nowhere. And at one point, he seriously considering shutting down their blog for good.

But after taking a step back, he decided to launch new blog. It was about a startup's journey and sharing everything they learned getting to $100,000 in monthly recurring revenue. At that point they were only making a few thousand dollars a month.

It was a unique approach at the time. And it was a big audacious goal. But they worked hard to publish high-quality, in-depth, transparent content every week. And it started to pay off.

And over the last 5 years, that blog has been the biggest driver of growth. It's helped them to go from a few thousand dollars a month to a $5 million business.

But recently, Alex and his team decided to shutdown the blog -- at least for a few months. Growth was slowing down and they realized that what got them here, wouldn't necessarily get them to their next big milestone of $10 million a year.

In this episode, Andy shares the story of how they used the blog to get to $500,000 in MRR, why they shut down the blog and what they're doing to reboot their content marketing efforts.


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Direct download: 181-andy-baldacci-groove.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00pm PST

Mike Hilton is the chief product officer of Accolade, a healthcare technology platform that partners with large, innovative employers to simplify and improve healthcare for employees and their families.

Previously, Mike was the co-founder of Concur, a travel expense and invoice management product. Mike and his two co-founders launched the business in 1993 from an apartment and self-funded it for the first year and. In 2014 (21 years later) they sold that business to SAP for a mind-blowing $8.3 billion.

They started out with a Windows product which they sold for $69. And eventually became a SaaS business in 2001. And in order to build the SaaS business, they had to bet the entire company and risk all the revenue they were generating from their existing on-premise product.

It's clearly not an overnight success story - the founders put 21 years into the business. And it wasn't all smooth sailing either. They became a public company in 1998 and grew to a market cap of $1 billion and a share price of $60. But within a couple of years, their market cap dropped from $1 billion to $8 million and their share price went from $60 to 27 cents!

They were losing money and hemorrhaging employees. And they were written off for dead. But they figured out a way to keep going and eventually turned things around.

It's a fascinating story and Mike is a great guest who shares it all.

I hope you enjoy it.


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Direct download: mike-hilton-concur-accolade-180.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:07pm PST

Mike Taber is the founder of Bluetick.io, a SaaS product that automates the process of sending follow up emails, while keeping it personal.

Mike is also the co-host of Startups for the Rest of Us podcast and he's the co-founder of Microconf, both of which he runs with Rob Walling, the founder of Drip.

His last startup was AuditShark, a software product that helped regulated businesses such as financial companies to ensure IT security compliance.

He tried for several years to get that business off the ground. It was a long painful effort trying to make it work, but in the end, the business failed.

Mike believes that it wasn't a product market fit issue, but a product founder fit issue. In other words, the business wasn't a good fit for him as a founder.

For example, selling to enterprise customers typically involves outbound sales. Mike wasn't comfortable doing that and probably wasted a lot of time trying to acquire customers in different ways such as inbound marketing, that just didn't work as well.

In this episode, we talk about the lessons he learned from the failure of AuditShark. And how he's making sure that he doesn't make the same mistakes with Bluetick.

I enjoyed chatting with Mike and I think you'll enjoy this episode especially if you're also in the early stages of building your SaaS business.


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Direct download: mike-taber-bluetick-179.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:51am PST

Elizabeth Yin is the co-founder and general partner at Hustle Fund - the seed fund for hilariously early hustlers. She's also the co-founder of Hustle Con, a conference for non technical startup entrepreneurs.

Previously, Elizabeth founded LaunchBit, which was acquired in 2014. She was also a partner at 500 Startups where she led the accelerator program.

In this interview we cover SaaS fundraising 101 for early stage startups. So if you are thinking of fundraising but don't know where to start, this episode will help you figure that out.

We talk about the fundraising landscape in 2018 and the differences between pre-seed, seed and post-seed stages. Elizabeth shares some awesome advice on how to approach investors, how to set up meetings, the do's and don'ts of pitching to an investor, how to think about valuation of your startup and a lot more.

It's an awesome episode, jam packed with actionable insights. I hope you enjoy it.


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Direct download: 178-Elizabeth-Yin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00pm PST

Mikita Mikado is the co-founder and CEO of PandaDoc, a SaaS product that lets you create, deliver, and manage your team's quotes, proposals, contracts, and other sales collateral.

Before launching PandaDoc, Mikita and his co-founder Serge were running another business together in Belarus. They had to send out a lot of sales proposals and contracts.

It was tedious and time consuming for them to create and track all these documents. And after investing hours into putting a document together, they had no idea if their prospective customer had even looked at it.

So eventually, they decided to solve this problem, not just for themselves but also for other people running similar businesses. They built a SaaS product called QuoteRoller and launched it in 2011. The product helped to create and track sales proposals.

They got lucky when they launched and got some initial traction. But soon they realized that they hadn't quite built the product the right way and that they were spending too much time arguing with each other about features, instead of talking to their customers. That was the wake up call for them.

A couple of years later, they built and launched PandaDoc and took it from zero to over 10,000 customers. So in this episode, we talk about the lessons and mistakes they made in the early days. And we dive into the growth strategies that have helped them to grow into a $10 million plus business.

You'll also hear a great story on how Mikita's sense of humor helped them to find an investor in the most unexpected way.

I hope you enjoy the interview.


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Direct download: 177-Mikita-Mikado-PandaDoc.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00pm PST

Oleg Campbell is the founder and CEO of Reply.io, a SaaS platform that puts your email outreach on autopilot while keeping it personal.

Oleg is a developer who grew his previous startup from zero to $150,000 a year. But sales flatlined after that and he couldn't figure out how to keep growing.

He believed that his lack of sales experience was a major factor. So he took a part time sales job where he basically worked for nothing - just commission.

And in the 6 months that he worked there, he didn't make a single sale. But he learned a lot about sales. And that experience helped him come up with the idea for Reply.

So he moved back to Ukraine, where he was able to cut his living expenses. That allowed him to hire a developer who could work with him on Reply.

And this is when his new found sales experience really helped him. Not only was he able to close more sales, but he was also able to understand his target customers (who were mainly sales people) much better.

In 4 years, he's gone from zero to $180,000 in monthly recurring revenue.

We talk about how he acquired his first customers and what he did to grow the business. And we discuss how he's grown a business doing over $2 million a year.

It's a great story with some great lessons. I hope you enjoy it.


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Direct download: 176-Oleg-Campbell-Reply.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00pm PST

Max Armbruster is the founder and CEO of TalkPush, a SaaS recruitment platform that leverages the power of messaging and social media to help businesses that need to hire large numbers of employees.

Max used to interview hundreds of candidates on the phone every year. It took up a lot of his time and at the end of each day he felt drained. He desperately wanted to use technology to make hiring more productive, but he couldn't find anything that didn't create unnecessary barriers between him and the candidate. So he kept calling.

In 2014, he released the first prototype of TalkPush and sold it to a small call center. The product would call candidates and use an interactive voice response service to ask them screening questions.

One day during lunch with his team, someone mentioned that Facebook had launched a platform that enabled you to build and integrate chatbots with Facebook Messenger. Max hadn't heard about this before, but immediately he knew that this was what they needed. So before they finished lunch, Max had already told his team that they needed to stop what they were doing and start focusing on building a chatbot.

From its humble beginnings in 2014, Max has grown TalkPush into a business that's doing over $100,000 in monthly recurring revenue.

We talk about how he took a pain that he was personally experiencing and turned it into a business. And we have a great discussion on the ups and downs of building a million dollar SaaS business and the lessons he's learned along the way.

I hope you enjoy the interview.


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Direct download: 175-Max-Armbruster-Talkpush.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00pm PST

Sri Ganesan is the Director of FreshChat, a modern messaging software product that helps businesses to have marketing, sales and support conversations with customers.

FreshChat started out as Konotor, a startup which Sri founded with a couple of friends. The founders originally set out to build a Whatsapp competitor. But realized that building a platform like that required a lot of capital. So they pivoted and focused on a mobile user engagement platform for 2-way messaging inside your app.

Eventually that product was acquired by FreshDesk and became FreshChat.

In this interview you're going to hear that story and discover some interesting lessons.

Firstly, Sri wasn't happy about how the sales guy on his team was pitching the product to customers. Sri felt that the sales guy was under selling the product by pitching just one basic feature instead of communicating the full value of the product. But in hindsight that turned out to be a smart decision by sales guy and Sri shares what he learned from that experience.

Another great lesson Sri shares is how many customers kept asking them for a feature, but the founders didn't agree. They had a strong vision for their product and felt that this particular feature would move them away from that vision. So they never built it. But years later, after they were acquired, they did add that feature to their product which resulted in significant revenue growth. We talk about what that feature was and the lesson that Sri learned.

It's a great an interview. I hope you enjoy it.


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Need help building, launching and growing your SaaS business? Join SaaS Club Plus and get the insights, motivation and support you need to succeed. Learn more about SaaS Club Plus.

Direct download: 174-Sri-Ganesan-Freshchat.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PST