Over the years, we’ve hosted hundreds of amazing guests on the SaaStr podcast and our roster in 2020 was no exception. We were fortunate enough to interview CEOs who were in the trenches navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, investors who were advising companies on how best to move forward, and operators who saw explosive growth given the shift to working from home.
Some of the top learnings from our conversations in 2020 were a testament to the agile nature of start-up founders and operators. Whether it was our interview with Podium’s Eric Rea on how he scaled with a team outside the Bay Area before it was really considered an option, or TripAction’s Megan Eisenberg on how to prioritize trade-offs in marketing without sacrificing pipeline, we’ve covered the gambit of relevant topics throughout the year.
Interested in what our most popular episodes were last year? So were we, so we dug into the data and compiled a list of our top 25 episodes from 2020 for your listening (and learning) pleasure. These 25 episodes dive into extremely important topics including how to build a B2B revenue model engineered for rapid growth, how to take care of your team in times of turmoil, and more. Here’s a breakdown of each episode:
1. SaaStr 309: David Skok on The 9 Stage Model To Get A B2B Company To Get Repeatable, Scalable & Profitable Growth
In this episode, David Skok, General Partner @ Matrix Partners, uncovers the crucial step missing when it comes to finding product-market fit for B2B companies, how to set-up your sales team for success early on, and what metrics really matter when it comes to a payback period.
2. SaaStr 305: Lessons From Scaling Box From 5 Employees To IPO & The Right Way For Startups To Approach Partnerships with Karen Page, General Partner @ B Capital Group
In this episode, Karen Page, General Partner at B Capital Group, tells her story about the early days at Box, her biggest learnings from Box’s hyper-growth phase, and when companies should think about finding partnerships.
3. SaaStr 374: 10 Mistakes the CEO of ZoomInfo Made on His Journey to IPO with Henry Schuck, CEO @ ZoomInfo and Jason Lemkin, CEO @ SaaStr (Part 1)
In this episode, Henry Schuck, Founder, and CEO at ZoomInfo, discusses how he built ZoomInfo into one of the most successful IPOs of the 21st century, what mistakes he made along the way, and how your team can rapidly scale your company without making the same mistakes he did.
4. SaaStr 298: Podium CEO Eric Rea on Scaling Outside Silicon Valley: Going from $0 to $60M ARR in 4 Years
Podium’s raised almost $100 million with an annual recurring revenue of almost $60 million, but what made its story truly unique was that it achieved these successes being a non-Silicon Valley company. Out of its headquarters in Utah, Podium scaled from 5 employees to over 300 employees. Eric Rea, CEO at Podium, helps us understand exactly what challenges his team faced, why what your team is doing matters more than where they do it, and more in this episode
5. SaaStr 302: New Relic CCO Roger Scott on 7 Tips and Tricks to Having Happy Customers at Scale
Roger Scott, CCO at New Relic, has seen first hand the importance of customer relationships in effectively scaling your product and revenue. In this episode Roger sits down and shares his 7 greatest tips for not only keeping your customers happy, but doing it at scale.
6. SaaStr 338: Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield on Taking Care of Your Team and Your Customers
Every business goes through its lows, some more than others, taking care of your team while continuing to deliver outcomes for your customers during these times is essential. We asked Stewart Butterfield how he takes care of his team and customers during the low points of Slack’s journey and how those actions played a role in Slack’s zeniths of success.
7. SaaStr 313: What The World’s Largest SaaS Incumbents Taught Me About Founding & Scaling SaaS Businesses with Sarah Varni, CMO @ Twilio
Inspiration and lessons on scaling a SaaS business can come from many different sources. These leaders from the world’s largest SaaS incumbents share their top lessons learned from their experiences growing companies such as Salesforce, Oracle, Box, SuccessFactors and more.
8. SaaStr 308: RevenueCat CEO Jacob Eiting on Managing Millions in Mobile Subscriptions While Growing 20% a Month
Most of us think a lot about standard B2B SaaS and Cloud subscriptions, but we are still new to the issues, challenges, and opportunities in mobile subscriptions. In this episode Jacob Eiting, CEO at RevenueCat, shares his playbook on managing millions of mobile subscriptions while growing 20% month-over-month.
9. SaaStr 320: SaaStr CEO Jason Lemkin and Gainsight CEO Nick Mehta on What It Was Like in 2008-2009 and What We Can Expect for 2020
We’re obviously in a very unique situation today. The pace at which Corona is impacting us all right now is so fast, it’s hard to keep up. With vaccines being distributed, there is hope on the horizon but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare for a longer impact on your business. Jason Lemkin, CEO and Founder of SaaStr, and Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight, take a look back at what happened to them as a SaaS vendor in ’08-’09, and what learnings you can leverage.
10. SaaStr 317: How To Encourage, Grow and Track Word of Mouth Marketing, How The Rise of Product-Led Growth Changes The Structure of Sales and Marketing & The Biggest Takeaways on Paid vs Organic Marketing From Seeing The Hyper-Growth @ Slack with Rachel Hepworth, VP Marketing @ Pilot
Customer advocacy is one of the most powerful marketing tools any brand can have. For Rachel Hepworth, VP of Marketing at Pilot, it was a critical tactic that helped her accelerate Slack’s rise to market dominance and a cornerstone of Pilot’s go-to-market strategy today. Listen in on this episode as she explains exactly how she drove advocacy at both companies and how you do the same at yours.
11. SaaStr 321: Front CMO Anthony Kennada on Adapting Marketing Playbooks To Changing ACV’s and Sales Cycles, The Right Way To Think About Brand Marketing and How To Fundamentally Build a Challenger Brand
Should brand marketing be seen as an effective revenue driver in modern marketing programs? For Anthony Kennada, CMO at Front, the answer is an astounding, “YES!” Learn how Anthony used brand marketing to place Gainsight as the category leader in customer success, how he’s approaching brand marketing at Front, and how you can effectively leverage brand marketing programs in your marketing strategy.
12. SaaStr 322: ICONIQ Capital General Partner Doug Pepper on Key Lessons from a $5B SaaS Category Leader
Many people make the false assumption that the path for a highly successful SaaS company is straight “up and to the right”. Of course, for those involved, the reality of the journey is characterized by a series of obstacles that must be navigated. Fmr. Shasta Ventures Doug Pepper will share the key challenges that were overcome to allow Marketo to become a $5B SaaS Category Leader in Marketing Automation
13. SaaStr 330: TripActions CMO Meagen Eisenberg on Making Trade-Offs In Marketing
The true test of marketers. Are you a revenue driver or a cost center? You cannot afford to be the latter. Marketing leaders must focus their teams on the areas that will drive revenue while they cut costs – the biggest impact for the business. Join TripActions CMO Meagen Eisenberg at SaaStr Summit as she highlights her approach to ensuring Marketing delivers on its mission-critical role even in times of uncertainty or crisis.
14. SaaStr 328: SaaStr CEO Jason Lemkin and Gorgias CEO Romain Lapeyre on What They’re Seeing with SMB E-commerce Customers
Romain Lapeyre is CEO of Gorgias. Gorgias is the leading help center on the Shopify platform, and that gives them a pulse into a large segment of SMBs in particular. They have almost 2,500 customers in segments both struggling (fashion, luxury), and growing (electronics, etc.). They are coming up on $10m ARR but aren’t there quite yet, so a lot like a lot of you, or where you’ll be soon enough. Listen to this episode as Romain explains how his team is navigating both segments and how you should too.
15. SaaStr 337: Scaling A SaaS Business Within A Non-SaaS Business, What CIOs Want To See In Pricing Models and What Great Change Management Looks Like with Head of America’s for Facebook’s Workplace, Christine Trodella
Christine Trodella is Head of Americas for Facebook’s Workplace product, the communication tool that connects everyone in your company, through Groups, Chat, Rooms and Live video broadcasting. Her mission is to scale a SaaS company while being a part of a non-SaaS company. Sounds easy right? Think again… In this episode Christine outlines the benefits and challenges of scaling Facebook Workplace as well as what she would do differently next time. She also dives into how her team has moved to a fully remote infrastructure during COVID-19 and what a fully remote future could mean for the workplace.
16. SaaStr 349: How to Turn Your SaaS Startup Into an Army with David Sacks, General Partner at Craft Ventures
David Sacks is best known as the Founder and CEO of Yammer or the product lead at Paypal. His experience scaling unicorns from the ground up is insurmountable, especially when it comes to turning employees into growth accelerators. Listen to how he turned his small startup team into a force multiplier in this episode.
17. SaaStr 347: Top 10 Questions to Ask a VP of Sales with SaaStr CEO and Founder, Jason Lemkin
Finding the right VP of Sales can be an especially hard task. You need to find someone that not only can sell themselves but can lead a team of top performers. So, how do you find out if the candidate before you really has what it takes? Jason Lemkin, CEO and Founder of SaaStr, shares his top 10 questions to ask a VP of sales candidate.
18. SaaStr 363: How to Make 1,000,000 Customers Happy with Jason Lemkin, CEO and Founder @ SaaStr, and Loren Padelford, General Manager @ Shopify Plus
Customer happiness is key for delivering successful outcomes, but how do you ensure every customer is satisfied at scale? Loren Padelford, General Manager at Shopify Plus, and Jason Lemkin sit down to discuss his playbook for every customer segment and how he teaches her entire team to be customer-centric.
19. SaaStr 367: Zoom’s Head of Global Sales Operations on Sales Ops vs Revenue Ops, The Biggest Areas of Operational and Strategic Debt for Sales Teams Today & The Importance of Documentation and The Dangers of Dirty Data
There is no question that Zoom had an exceptional year in 2020 with their rapid growth due to the shift to remote work across the globe. The question is, how did the Zoom team prepare their sales team to handle such an accelerated sales pipeline? Hillary Headlee, Head of Global Sales Operations and Enablement at Zoom takes us through her strategic decisions that helped her team grow from 6 reps to 60 reps in just 3 short years.
20. SaaStr 408: Going Long and the 20-year Journey of Being a CEO + Founder with Therese Tucker, CEO and Founder @ Blackline and Jason Lemkin, CEO and Founder @ SaaStr
Just because your team can forecast it doesn’t mean it will happen. That was certainly the case in 2020 when the black swan event of a global pandemic decimated even the most well thought out forecasts. Therese Tucker, Founder and CEO at Blackline, discusses how going long can be an effective resilience strategy and how businesses can survive future black swan events.
21. SaaStr 403: Loom’s VP Sales, Sam Taylor on Sales’ Role in a Product-Led-Growth Organization, How Sales Can Most Effectively Work With Marketing & When To Hire Your First Reps When Selling Bottoms Up
Sam Taylor is the VP of Sales and Success @ Loom, the startup that helps you get your message across by making it easy to record instantly shareable videos. Prior to his role at Loom, Sam helped scale the sales team at Dropbox and Salesforce. He shares his perspective on the role of sales in a product-led organization, how to hire sales representatives, and more
22. SaaStr 395: Why Seat Based pricing Will Die and Volume Based Pricing Is Optimal, How To Structure Pipeline Meetings Most Effectively & How To Think Through Demand Gen Strategically with UserTesting CEO Andy MacMillan
Should you charge customers based on usage, seats, or both? Andy Macmillan, CEO at UserTesting shares how he approaches pricing products so that the customer’s success is always placed first as well as his approach to hiring high performing sales teams.
23. SaaStr 406: Notion’s Head of Customer Experience, Kate Taylor on How To Approach Delegation at Scale, How Leaders Can Truly Empower Their Team Members & The Role of Sales in a World of Product-Led Growth
Notion has seen tremendous growth over the last few years, growth that has been only accelerated by recent events. Successfully leading a team during such periods of high growth requires extreme focus and delegation. Kate Taylor shares how she approaches delegation while empowering her team.
24. SaaStr 372: Sales Kick-Off Week: How To Prepare, How To Structure, How To Organise Content, How To Keep Teams Engaged with Latane Conant, CMO @ 6Sense
Latane Conant, CMO at 6Sense, is known in some circles as the wizard of content marketing. In this episode she shares her approach to utilizing content as a sales accelerator and how she keeps her teams focused on the ball during even the toughest times.
25. SaaStr 345: PagerDuty CMO Julie Herendeen on Attribution and Accountability within Marketing Teams, The Optimal Relationship Between Marketing & Product & Why Customer Success and Marketing Have Never Been Closer
Julie Herendeen, CMO at PagerDuty, shares her perspective on building a marketing organization that is accountable for revenue, how marketing and product teams should work together and other hard-won lessons from her experiences in scale.
We hope you enjoy last year’s greatest hits. If you enjoyed these podcasts, you’re going to love what we have in store for you this year. Make sure you’re subscribed to the SaaStr podcast wherever you prefer to listen and have notifications on so never miss an episode. If you think you or someone you know would make a phenomenal guest on a future episode, let us know by filling out this form.