SaaStr Pro Spotlight: Chain.io

 An interview with Brian Glick, CEO

Every SaaS CEO knows they need to train their team. But it’s easy to see why team-based training often gets overlooked: there’s always a fire to fight. Code has to get shipped, the product needs to get designed, sales teams need to close, and as a result, training a management team in a structured way is hard to do right. But for Brian Glick, CEO of Chain.io, it was too important to put off.

Why’d you decide to use SaaStr Pro?

“You know, it’s funny. I found myself posting SaaStr posts into our team Slack channel all the time, but I never knew what actions we were going to take as a result, so I thought ‘there has to be a better way to share this content with my team.’ Most of my team doesn’t come from a SaaS culture — we are all shipping and logistics experts — but SaaS was new to us. The idea of bringing in industry best practices and training my management team, together, using an automated training program based on the full SaaStr playbook was very appealing.”

Who on your team is using the training?

“Our entire leadership team is using the training, in addition to our full sales team. On the leadership side, we have two heads of Client Success, the Head of Software Development, Head of Customer Integration, Head of Sales, Head of Administration, and me, the CEO. On the sales team, we have 2 Account Executives plus the VP of Sales. We all go through the lessons together.”

How exactly are you using the training? What does it look like?

“We do a video conference every Friday, and in that meeting, we have a planned discussion — capped at 15 minutes — where we discuss that week’s lesson as a group. The outcome of that discussion is one of two things: we decide what action we want to take based on that week’s lesson, or we decide that it’s not a priority quite yet and we save it for later. Either way, the discussion we have is incredibly valuable, because we are thinking through issues we wouldn’t have otherwise, and the lessons have given us an outside perspective we need.”

What’s an example of an action you took as a result of one of the weekly lessons?

“We have been debating exactly how the handoff should work between sales and client success for a while. Week 15, which is called “Aligning Customer Success with Sales” addressed this question head-on. We realized that we should keep our AE’s involved just a little longer to ensure the handoff was smooth, and to keep the AE incentivized on a successful onboarding.”

Overall, what is your team’s feedback on the training?

“They love it. I’d say for three reasons. First, as I said, they don’t come from SaaS, so they just eat this up. I think it gives validation to many of the things we felt we should do — seeing that it is a best practice gives us confidence. And when we do things differently, it causes us to question our approach. Second, it’s also caused our VPs to communicate more cross-functionally, which is great to see. SaaStr Pro gives us a common language to communicate. Third, it’s great to have the lessons with the terminology to reference back at any time. For example, the frameworks that are discussed, and the definitions of LTV, CAC, many of these things are new to us, so it’s great to have a place where we can reference at any time to refresh our memory. Our team ends up using it in two main ways: there are those who are fanatics and dive in deep every week into other SaaStr content and those who just stick to the weekly lessons to get key points and stay aligned with the rest of the team. Both work well. The last thing I’d say: having one lesson per week — the weekly timing — is good. It’s great to not do too much — without that structure we wouldn’t be getting near as much value and training just wouldn’t happen.”

About Chain.io:

Chain.io is a supply chain specific iPaaS solution that connects logistics service providers, retailers, manufacturers, and logistics software companies for better supply chain collaboration.  Their service helps exchange all of the shipping data between the hundreds of companies involved in manufacturing, shipping, warehousing, and distributing many of the products you use every day.

About SaaStr Pro:

SaaStr Pro is the best way to train your team on SaaS best practices, automatically. It is an online course with 52+ weeks of structured content, relevant cross-functionally. Management teams use SaaStr Pro to learn together, taking one step forward every week, automatically. To sign your team up, go to SaaStrPro.com.

Published on January 8, 2019

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