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Episode 23: How to use Product Qualified Leads (PQLs) to close more opportunities with Elle Morgan, VP of Marketing at Woopra

On Episode 23, I interview Elle Morgan (VP of Marketing at Woopra) on how to use Product Qualified Leads (PQLs) to close more opportunities.

The conversation with Elle is especially relevant for transactional SaaS companies who use a freemium and/or free trial model and do not have access to large sales teams to talk to all prospects 1-on-1.

Elle and I discuss:

  • How customer journey data in SaaS companies is fragmented — marketing has access to some journey data in their tools (e.g. Google Analytics, Marketing Automation etc.), while product has access to others in their tools (e.g. Mixpanel)
  • Why it’s critical to connect the customer journey across all functions to see the true path to paid status for customers
  • How critical behaviours in product can often predict the value of a prospect far better than a lead capture form on a website (e.g. people often download whitepapers from a SaaS company’s blog without any interest in the software)
  • How transactional SaaS...
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Episode 22: How to expand internationally with Bryce Youngren, Managing Partner at Polaris Partners

On Episode 22 of the How To SaaS podcast, Shiv interviews Bryce Youngren, Managing Partner at Polaris Partners, and they discuss how SaaS companies can expand internationally.

Polaris is a Venture Capital and Private Equity firm with ~$4 billion in assets under management in its 8th round and invests in all kinds of early and growth stage technology companies. Bryce, in particular, focuses on more mature and later stage SaaS and healthcare technology companies.

In the episode, Bryce and Shiv discuss 5 strategies he and his portfolio companies have used to expand internationally, which are:

  1. Channel Partners -- finding a partner who already has a local presence and establishing a partnership.
  2. Telesales -- taking the SDR to AE model and expanding it to other geographical markets.
  3. Freemium -- leveraging inbound and referrals as a way to enter more markets.
  4. Local Presence -- finding a way to have someone on the ground, either via hiring or by moving a key (and willing) employee to...
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Episode 21: How SaaS acquisitions work (Wild Apricot's acquisition by Personify)

On Episode 21 of the How To SaaS podcast, I give a behind the scenes look of the Wild Apricot acquisition for the audience and talk about:

  1. Summary of Wild Apricot Acquisition (who we are, who we got acquired by, strategy behind the acquisition)
  2. How to build a business worth getting acquired (healthy unit economics, financials, team, business, future)
  3. What the acquisition process looks like from the inside (LOIs, discovery calls, pitches, financial due diligence, technical due diligence, legal etc.)
  4. What happens post acquisition (integration plans, growth strategy, culture, budgeting)
  5. Emotional side of acquisition from the perspective of (employees, customers, acquirers, myself as the CMO)

 Listen to the episode here:

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Episode 20: How to Build a Product-led Go-to-Market Strategy with Paul Teshima, CEO of Nudge.ai

“In the early days, Customer Success reps are almost like pseudo Product Managers.”
-Paul Teshima, CEO of Nudge.ai

On Episode 20 of the How To SaaS podcast, Shiv interviews Paul Teshima, CEO of Nudge.ai, on how to build a product-led go-to-market strategy.

Paul is one of the most experienced SaaS founders in Toronto and brings a ton of experience to the conversation (he was a co-founder of Eloqua, which was eventually acquired by Oracle). Since then, Paul has gone out to found Nudge.ai, a tool that enables sales reps to leverage the power of relationships and AI in sales conversations.

Paul and I discuss:

  • Why the best product is finally starting to win in the marketplace
  • Why Nudge.ai is hiring Customer Success reps before it scales Sales and Marketing
  • How Nudge managed to raise $5M in funding pre-revenue
  • How relationships and AI will transform sales going forward

We cover lots more in the conversation. Here is my interview with Paul:

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Episode 19: The 5 Critical Factors of Private Equity Investing in SaaS Companies With Zane Tarence

On Episode 19 of the How To SaaS podcast, Shiv Narayanan talks to Zane Tarence, Managing Director of Founders Investment Banking, on the 5 critical factors private equity investors analyze when investing in SaaS companies.

Zane and FoundersIB also host an annual event for SaaS founders, CEOs, executives and private equity investors called Silicon Y’all. This year, I’ll be speaking at this event and talking about growing Wild Apricot to $10MM in ARR without a sales team.

 

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Episode 18: How To Find Product-Market Fit for Your SaaS Company With Will Dinkel, CEO of Nova.ai

On Episode 18 of the How To SaaS podcast, Shiv Narayanan talks to Will Dinkel (CEO of Nova.ai) on how to find product-market fit for your SaaS company, Will’s journey through YCombinator and all the struggles involved in the early stages of a startup.

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Episode 17: Nicholas Kusmich on How to Leverage Facebook Ads for SaaS Companies

On Episode 17 of the How To SaaS podcast, Shiv Narayanan interviews Nicholas Kusmich (www.nicholaskusmich.com) — the go-to expert on Facebook ads. Nicholas has worked with all kinds of industry leaders, including Tony Robbins, Robin Sharma, Joe Polish, and many SaaS companies, including SamCart, Zapable and more.

Shiv and Nicholas discuss all the ways in which SaaS companies could leverage Facebook ads as a new channel of acquisition. A lot of SaaS companies are leaving money on the table by ignoring low-hanging fruit on Facebook. Topics we touch on include:

  • Should SaaS companies be using Facebook ads before Google, Bing, Capterra are optimized
  • Where to start with Facebook ads
  • What kinds of campaigns and funnels work on Facebook and what kinds usually fail
  • Who to show ads for your SaaS product to and how to find them within the targeting on Facebook
  • Keeping unit economics in check when it comes to CAC, ACV and Payback Period

Check out Nick’s latest book: Give –...

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Episode 16: Neil Patel on Why Content Marketing is Not For Every SaaS Company

On Episode 16 of the How To SaaS podcast, Shiv Narayanan interviews Neil Patel, the guru of content marketing. The interview starts with a discussion on how SaaS companies can leverage content as a source of traffic and leads but quickly transitions to Neil’s take on whether or not all SaaS companies should be doing content marketing, especially in the early days or if funding is limited, where other channels can likely produce a more immediate return.

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Episode 15: How To Generate 8K Leads Per Month with 8 Simple Rules of A/B Testing ft. Lars Lofgren

On episode 15 of the How To SaaS podcast, Shiv Narayanan interviews Lars Lofgren, Head of Growth at I Will Teach You To Be Rich and former Head of Marketing at Kissmetrics. Lars has had the unique opportunity of working with 3 marketing all stars in Hiten Shah, Neil Patel and now Ramit Sethi, so he has a ton of experience and mentorship to pull from. Shiv and Lars discuss:

  • How Lars was able to generate 8000 leads per month at Kissmetrics
  • How to generate millions of visitors to your blog
  • Lars’ 8 simple rules of A/B testing that you and your marketing team HAVE to listen to

Listen to the episode now:

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Episode 14: How To Use Your Brand to Say “No” to Good Opportunities With Laura Roeder, CEO of Meet Edgar

On Episode 14 of the How To SaaS podcast, Shiv Narayanan interviews Laura Roeder, Founder and CEO of Meet Edgar, on how to use your brand to say “No” to good opportunities to uncover the story behind the critical decisions that helped grow Edgar to $4MM in ARR in just 3 years.

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