The Top 25 SaaStr Posts of 2018 So Far

We’re half-way through Summer (sad, I know) and I thought it might be fun to look at what the Top 25 posts on SaaStr.com were so far this year.  You may have missed several, or even most, and it’s also just interesting to me to see what truly engages readers:

  1. 2017 Private SaaS Valuation Data (and why your company is probably not worth 10X revenue).   This one surprised me because it’s a sponsored post, but it got 100,000’s of views.  It’s pretty useful, which is perhaps a lesson in sponsored content.  Add value to your readers, over promoting yourself.  Most sponsored posts are very boring commercials, and as a result, don’t perform that well.  Lesson #2: maybe also sponsor a post on SaaStr! 🙂  More on how to sponsor a post here.
  2. A Basic Structure for a VP, Sales Comp Plan: 50/50/25+.  This is an Oldie but a Goodie.  I guess it says we all are still struggling to figure out how to correctly incent and compensate our first VPs of Sales.
  3. Growth and Burn Rates at $1m ARR for 20+ Fast Growing SaaS Companies.  This was a good one.  I put together the growth and burn rate at 20 companies I’ve invested in.  Take a look if you haven’t read it.  Some of the learnings are non-obvious and a bit counterintuitive.
  4. 10 Great Questions to Ask a VP of SAles During an Interview.  Another Oldie but Goodie.  It’s a great guide if you haven’t made the hire before.
  5. 2018-2025:  The Golden Age of SaaS Freemium.  Well, with the IPOs of DropBox, Wix, SurveyMonkey (coming soon), etc. … this turned out to be fairly accurate 🙂
  6. How Much Does a VC Partner Earn?  A short piece, but I guess everyone is curious.
  7. How to Know if a Key Hire is an A or a B (or even a C).  An important skill to learn.
  8. Why Lead Velocity Rate (LVR) is the Most Important Metrics in SaaS.  Another Oldie.  I updated this one a tiny bit to tie in more recently thinking on MQLs vs SQLs etc.  But the general point stands and is important.  If leads aren’t growing faster than your sales goals … an in-bound strategy isn’t going to work.
  9. Why One Company Raises $25m+ … And Another Doesn’t.  Another good piece, I think.  I had a string of company I invested in all raise $25m+ in almost the same quarter.  I had a chance to step back and really think about what it takes in SaaS to pull off one of these rounds.
  10. If You’re Going to Do a SaaS Start-Up … You Have to Give it 24 Months.  I am glad folks are still reading it.  This is my #1 bit of advice for pre-founders and pre-revenue founders out there.
  11. SaaS Financial Plan 2,0 (from Christoph Janz).  Contributed posts do work, sometimes!  This is a great one on how to build a basic model for your SaaS start-up.
  12. 15+ of the Top Sales & Marketing Mistakes SaaS Startups Make.  Boy, we all make these.
  13. Can You Scale Sales in the Bay Area?  $30k ACV is Probably the Cut-Off.  It took me a while to know where the line was, but $30k ACV or so is about it.  You start a small sales team in the Bay Area.  But a larger one becomes almost prohibitively expensive if your deal size is much lower than $30,000.  The math’s in here.
  14. What Order Should You Hire Your Management Team In?  This is a good one.  TL;DR:  faster that you’re planning, and marketing first.
  15. The 48 Types of VP Sales.  Make Deadly Sure You Hire the Right One.  Another Oldie.  If you’ve recently had a mis-hire for VP of Sales take another look though.  It may make you feel better at least.
  16. 5 Ways to Enter a Crowded Market.  And 3+ Ways Not To.  A lot of SaaS advice is generic and doesn’t take into account if a market is crowded.  This pieces tries to.
  17. What You Think is a “Sales” Problem is More Likely a Marketing Problem.  Maybe this should have been SaaStr post #1 back in 2012 because it might be mistake #1 early-stage SaaS founders make 😉
  18. The 7 Best Pieces of Business Advice I Was Given.  Good list.
  19. From Initial Traction to Initial Scale ($10m in ARR).  The Hardest Phase.  But — The Cavalry is Coming.  Another Classic that somehow still performs.  We updated some of the content here recently.  Hang in there folks, keep at it, don’t chase shiny pennies, and just level up the management team.
  20. The Top 10 Mistakes First-Time Founders Make.  Yup.
  21. Yes, Your VP of Sales Also Has to Be a Great Salesperson Herself.  A classic debate, with a strong viewpoint on the right answer.
  22. The Hardest Part About SaaS Companies, At Each Stage.  A lot of stuff in the Top 25 about how hard it is!
  23. Should I Sell for $50m … Or Push on And Try to Build a Unicorn?  Sounds academic, until it happens to you!
  24. Why SMB and Enterprise Sales Have Nothing in Common.  An important read as you build out your sales team.
  25. What Your First 100 Hires Will Look Like.  A good sense of how it will all look then.

Note I took out a few posts that were redundent or less useful, so I really picked 25 out of about 31.

And for a quick bonus, The Top 3 Most Popular Videos for the first half of the year:

#1:  How the Best Outbound Sales Teams Are Managed

#2:  Jyoti Bansal and the AppDynamics Story:  From Idea to $3.7 Billion Exit

#3:  Veeva: The Biggest Vertical SaaS Success Story of All Time

Published on July 29, 2018

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