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Earlier this week I attended a SalesCollider meetup in San Francisco. It was hosted by our man Ryan Williams at a Breather spot. It was great to see familiar faces like Jane Wang of Optimity and Ryan's wife, Jenny. There were about ten other founders in attendance and I consider events like this my continuing education in SaaS.

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SEE ALSO: My Continuing Education via SaaStr CSS Speaking Series


Sam Trachtenberg: How Big Companies Make Buying Decisions

Sam Trachtenberg: How Big Companies Make Buying Decisions - Paubox

Sam Trachtenberg is VP of Operations at AdRoll, a 500-person AdTech startup in SF. Ryan used to work with him several years ago while at AdRoll. Here are my takeaways from his thoughtful presentation:

  • His team is constantly looking to learn about and experiment with new software solutions.
  • Only 15% of sales tech purchases actually result in increased revenue.
  • Sam hates auto-renewals and product bundles.
  • "The less friction the better. Obviously."
  • Start legal conversations early.
  • He pays attention to G2 Crowd reviews.
  • "If we win together, we're willing to tell the world."
  • "Are we getting value out of this thing?"
  • Start small. Then scale. Similar to land and expand.
  • Soft costs worry Sam. How much employee time is needed to maintain a new product?
  • Think of using a 12-month buyout to replace your solution against an incumbent with a multi-year contract already in place.


Joseph Floyd: The Traction Needed for Series A (Fireside Chat)

Joseph Floyd: The Traction Needed for Series A (A Fireside Chat) - Paubox

After a short break, Ryan and Joe Floyd assembled couches and a coffee table into a fireside chat configuration. Joe Floyd is Partner at Emergence Capital. Here are my takeaways from their fireside chat:

  • "I sell money for a piece of their dreams."
  • 100% focused on cloud B2B companies.
  • Warm intros strongly preferred.
  • "You're too early" is a nice way of saying no.
  • Hates seeing "Machine Learning" in decks.
  • Defines Product Market fit as, "Hey the market is starting to pull us in."
  • Any logo you put on a website, know that a VC will call and talk to them.
  • Churn and engagement are leading indicators.
  • CEO's should talk to a customer every week.
  • Creator of Silicon Heroes comic book.
  • Pick your Series A investor wisely. "It's like tandem sky diving."
  • "Team matters more than anything."


Jane Wang chatting with Joe Floyd - Paubox


About SalesCollider

SalesCollider Meetup Breather: Sam Trachtenberg and Joe Floyd - Paubox

SalesCollider is a mentorship group for technical founders who want to jumpstart B2B sales. Companies are typically very early in evolution, though many have already graduated from an accelerator such as Y Combinator, AngelPad or 500Startups. They host private trainings and quarterly meet ups like the one I attended. Speakers have included sales leaders from Autodesk, AdRoll, Box, Twitter, SumoLogic, and many other fast-growing, sales-driven, B2B companies.

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