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How to improve sales-marketing alignment with 1 key metric

Have you ever been in a meeting where marketing claims that it is generating all these MQLs but sales isn't converting them, while sales claims the MQLs they're receiving are really not that good? On this episode, I talk about how MQLs are completely the wrong metric to use for alignment. Instead Sales Accepted Leads can do a far better job of bringing marketing and sales teams together to work as one unit. 

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If you prefer audio, listen to the podcast episode here:

1. Why sales and marketing alignment is important: Marketing and Sales share the same objective

Here is the most important truth of all: both sales and marketing share the exact same objective, which is to increase the amount of revenue that we bring into the business to help the...

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How to get more content marketing budget

Have you ever tried to get more content marketing budget for initiatives or team members, only to have your CEO / CFO / CMO tell you there's not money in the budget for that? On this episode of How To SaaS, I talk about how you can go about making sure Content Marketing gets the funding it deserves to help you drive the business forward.

If you prefer audio, listen to the podcast episode here:

This is actually a very common problem that content marketers face, because the business requires content to be produced across all stages of the funnel, right from top of funnel all the way down through to product marketing, advocacy and thought leadership, so content marketers are often stretched thin, short on resources, and they need more budget to do the things that they need to do to help the business be more successful. Unfortunately, most content marketers can't make a great enough business case to get funding when it comes time to figure out which areas of the...

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Episode 28: How to build a platform SaaS company with Eric Thurston, CEO of Personify

On Episode 28, Eric Thurston (CEO of Personify) and Shiv discuss how to build a platform SaaS company, including the strategy, process, challenges, learnings and personal growth that come along with it. Eric is the CEO of the company that eventually acquired Wild Apricot.

Notes from the episode:

Listen to the episode here: 

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Episode 27: How to avoid the pitfalls of being a SaaS founder with Rand Fishkin, Founder of Moz & SparkToro

On Episode 27, Rand Fishkin (Founder of Moz and SparkToro) and Shiv discuss how to avoid the biggest pitfalls of being a SaaS founder, Rand's journey with Moz, his book "Lost and Founder" and the 5 things he is doing differently as a second time founder.

Notes from the episode:

Listen now: 

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Episode 26: How to price your SaaS product with Patrick Campbell, Founder and CEO of ProfitWell

On Episode 26, Patrick Campbell (CEO of ProfitWell) and Shiv discuss how SaaS companies can strategically think about their pricing, including the hot button topic of pricing increases.

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Episode 25: How to build a sales machine with Steven Silberbach, SVP of Global Sales at Clio

On Episode 25, Steven Silberbach (SVP of Global Sales at Clio) and Shiv discuss how SaaS companies can build a sales engine that generates predictable revenue growth.

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Episode 24: How to build an Intent Engine with Dev Basu, CEO of Powered by Search

On Episode 24, Shiv Narayanan interviews Dev Basu, CEO of Powered by Search, on how SaaS companies can build an Intent Engine to attract, engage and convert prospects into paying users. 

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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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