SaaS sales is complex, incredibly difficult business. For the unwashed majority, scaling a successful SaaS organization requires a great product, incredible teamwork and organizational leadership, strategic vision, initial growth through trial and error, perseverance, and determination.
Many SaaS companies start out down one of two roads of misguided thought:
- If we build it, they will come. "We're building a product so obviously awesome it's going to sell itself."
- Fake it til we make it. "We're building a minimum viable product within a unique niche & marketing/selling the hell out of it."
Both schools of thought are wrong. Selling a great product, especially one that's in a competitive or unproven space, is just as hard as building the product itself. And no matter how good your sales & marketing teams, a high churn rate and poor customer feedback is going to haunt someone taking the latter road.
The Top VC Blogs for SaaS Sales
These are our top 5 SaaS Sales Blogs of 2015. We're going to codify the strengths and premiere value-adds of each blog for you in short order, because you have a million better things to be doing than reading this post.
Here are the 5 blogs your sales and marketing personnel should be reading with regularity. (With links to the Blog and to the Proprietor's Quora page).
The SaaStr Blog | Jason Lemkin
Jason Lemkin is a SaaS virtuoso. End of story. I began following him on Quora roughly a year ago and still feel like I'm at the tip of the knowledge iceberg he has dropped on the site answering questions about SaaS, sales, marketing and management.
Almost everything that he prints is actionable, and his SaaStr blog posts both his own thoughts (including a helpful "Best Of") and the best SaaS content from around the blogosphere, updated regularly.No matter what stage your SaaS company is at, Lemkin has some great, directly applicable insight for you.
3 Must-Read Posts:
- How To Hire a Great VP of Sales (Video).
- What the Second Time SaaS CEOs are Doing.
- Why Lead Velocity Rate is the Most Important Metric in SaaS.
The Tomasz Tunguz Blog | Tomasz Tunguz
The erstwhile brilliance of Redpoint Ventures' Tomasz Tunguz lies within a very simple skill - the ability to take the complex and make it simple.The best content Tomasz puts out efficiently distills the complexities behind foundational, "need-to-know" questions like, "How do I benchmark my sales team?" or "What's the opportunity cost of going with an Outside Sales vs. Inside Sales approach?" and breaking it down to a few core principles.
Tomasz is a great numbers guy, who produced excellent visualizations that accompany each of his posts. A favorite of Ambition COO & Co-Founder Brian Trautschold.
3 Must-Read Posts:
- Six Key Benchmarks for Your SaaS Startup.
- A Single Report to Measure the Health of Your Startup's Sales Team.
- The Innovator's Dilemma for SaaS Startups.
The a16z Blog | Andreessen-Horowitz
Not a one-man shop but the terrain of heavyweight sluggers like Peter Levine and Mark Cranney, the Andreessen-Horowitz blog is updated less frequently than others and less-catered towards SaaS than the rest of this list.
The content that is on here is elemental, masterful and carries an Old Testament-esque weight to it. We've gushed over Cranney's treatise on SaaS Sales (the first post listed below) more times than we can count. And there are at least a dozen other posts on here that are required reading for every SaaS executive.
In terms of content quality and cornerstone-level subject matter, the a16z blog has a batting average unrivaled in the SaaS blogosphere.
3 Must-Read Posts:
- If SaaS Products Sell Themselves, Why Do We Need Sales?
- The Price Is Right: And for Early-Stage SaaS Companies, It Needs to Be.
- The SaaS Manifesto Part II: It's Time to Build a Real Sales Team.
Sixteen Ventures Blog | Lincoln Murphy
SaaS ace Lincoln Murphy has a knack for tying it all together.
Whether it's writing an incredible Definitive Guide to Customer Success (the first link below) or offering piercing insights on how to develop honest, accurate perceptions of your customers' desires and your own company's health, Murphy has you covered.
One thing I love about Lincoln's approach to SaaS is his focus on Customer Success as a starting point, not an endpoint, of all SaaS sales, marketing & product engineering and development initiatives.
The overarching mantra of this blog -- Always have the customers' desired outcomes top of mind, in everything you do -- is a pivotal one. Because even when you're creating a truly innovative SaaS product and moving the curve, you should still be moving it towards better achieving a fundamental desire (better organizational culture, smoother communications, more efficient processes, etc.) of your target customer.
3 Must-Read Posts:
- Customer Success: The Definitive Guide.
- Understanding Your Customer's Desired Outcome.
- Your SaaS Metrics are Wrong If You Include These Customers.
The ForEntrepreneurs Blog | David Skok
Updated only semi-regularly but jam-packed with required reading, the ForEnterpreneurs Blog excels at taking macro-level SaaS sales subjects and breaking them down piece-by-piece.
Skok's content ages gracefully -- even his earliest articles, such as his post on understanding the buying cycle and triggers of your customers, contain enough timeless wisdom (e.g. understanding and pinpointing buying triggers) to neutralize the occasional outdated discussion of Facebook banners and free trial mandates.
The best Skok content, such as his Sales Metrics 2.0 post (listed third below) is utterly peerless in terms of comprehensiveness, relevance and applicability. Your SaaS sales leadership should have read it last week, if only to reacquaint themselves with the core pillars of wisdom inside of it.
Great content for SaaS leadership and sales bullpen members alike, the ForEnterpreneuers blog is a hallowed resource.
3 Must-Read Posts:
- Bridge Group 2015 SaaS Inside Sales Survey Report.
- Sales Predictability Through Data, Science and Glengarry Glen Ross.
- SaaS Metrics 2.0 – A Guide to Measuring and Improving what Matters.
The SaaS Sales Performance Management Platform
Ambition clarifies and publicizes real-time performance analytics for your entire sales organization. Using a drag-and-drop interface, non-technical sales leaders can build custom scorecards, contests, reports, and TVs.
Ambition is endorsed by Harvard Business Review, AA-ISP (the Global Inside Sales Organization), and USA Today as a proven solution for managing millennial sales teams. Hear from our customers below.
- FiveStars: Adam Wall. Sr. Manager of Sales Operations .
- Filemaker: Brad Freitag. Vice-President of Worldwide Sales.
- Outreach: Mark Kosoglow. Vice-President of Sales.
- Cell Marque: Lauren Hopson. Director of Sales & Marketing.
- Access America Transport: Ted Alling. Chief Executive Officer.
Watch Product Walkthroughs:
- ChowNow. Led by Vice-President of Sales, Drew Woodcock.
- Outreach. Led by Sales Development Manager, Alex Lynn.
- AMX Logistics. Led by Executive Vice-President ,Jared Moore.
Read Case Studies:
- Clayton Homes: HBR finds triple-digit growth in 3 sales efficiency metrics.
- Coyote Logistics: Monthly revenue per broker grew $525 in 6 months.
- Peek: Monthly sales activity volume grew 142% in 6 months.
- Vorsight: Monthly sales conversations grew 300% in 6 months.
Contact us to learn how Ambition can impact your sales organization today.