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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: 


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.


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.


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. 


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...

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...

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:


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

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

On Episode 20 of the How To SaaS podcast, Shiv interviews Paul Teshima, CEO of, 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, 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 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:


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.



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

On Episode 18 of the How To SaaS podcast, Shiv Narayanan talks to Will Dinkel (CEO of 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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