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SaaS Growth Stacking - with Dan Martell

How do you end up in rehab for 11 months, discover computer programming, then build 5 tech startups, selling 3 and raising money for the last 2 in 15 years? Tune in each week and Dan Martell will teach you: How he got invited to spend a week with Richard Branson. How he ended up raising money from Mark Cuban. How to hack your productivity. How to focus your marketing efforts. How to get your big dreams funded. How to build, scale and sell your technology company without giving away the control to investors and financial stakeholders. The 3 disempowering “pick me, pick me” mentality that plagues startup founders.. and what you can do to avoid it and fund your startup. Tune in each week and get Dan’s deep-in-the-trenches experience as a father, serial entrepreneur, and investor. Do you want to fund, start, scale and sell your business? That’s the only question that matters here. If the answer is “yes”, then hit the SUBSCRIBE button and let’s make it happen.
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Now displaying: December, 2018
Dec 31, 2018

Exclusive Download: The Weekly Sync™ Format – Run Your Weekly Team Meetings Following This Structure Easy, Fast & Productive - http://bit.ly/2GLiYZX

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If you’re in the software game for the long haul, at some point you’re going to have to disrupt yourself.

This could mean announcing major price hikes, firing most of your customers, drastically trimming your product line, and even shifting core product functionalities.

Scary? Of course.

Necessary? You freakin’ bet.

When I was building clarity.fm, we started off as a utility before pivoting into a full blown marketplace.

This meant HUGE changes for our existing customer base, as well as our team members who were on the front lines of driving the change.

It was also what resulted in 4x growth in a very short amount of time.

But without the full commitment of our team, and the 5 steps I cover in this week’s episode, it’s very likely that we would’ve gotten tripped up along the way, and the pivot (and eventual exit) would’ve never happened.

In short — if you’re planning to initiate a big change in your company (and at some point, you will)…

These 5 steps will make sure you make that transition as powerfully and painlessly as possible.

At a high level, here are the 5 steps for leading a big change in your business:

1. Define the outcome
2. Discuss challenges
3. Review the resources
4. Make it their mission
5. Commit to change

Where most founders totally miss the mark is #2.

Instead of engaging their team around the challenges, they try to aggressively push the changes from the top down.

Not only does this create tremendous friction with your team, but you miss the opportunity to pre-empt big challenges, fast track the change, and most importantly, start getting your team engaged and “bought in” on the pivot right from the start.

If there’s a big change that you’ve been resisting, give this episode a full watch and then let me know in the comments WHAT that change is and when you plan on initiating it.

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Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter @danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

+ Instagram (behind the scenes): http://instagram.com/danmartell
+ Facebook (live trainings + Q&A): http://FB.com/DanMartell
+ Twitter (what I'm reading): http://twitter.com/danmartell

Exclusive Download: The Weekly Sync™ Format – Run Your Weekly Team Meetings Following This Structure Easy, Fast & Productive - http://bit.ly/2GLiYZX

Dec 24, 2018

Exclusive Download: Fundraising Like a Pro - The 3 phases of fundraising - 7 week process for starting & closing your round - http://bit.ly/2Ae0rQl

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We’ve all seen it.

The over-enthusiastic startup founder who hands out equity with the same discretion as a pre-teen using their parent’s credit card to buy front-row Bieber tickets.



*sigh*

And I totally get it.

In the early phases of your startup (especially the idea stage) you might not have the cash on hand to cover the major expenses related to developing your MVP.

Even then, there’s an art and science to extracting the highest amount of value for your equity, without selling your vendors short or setting yourself up for a legal nightmare down the road.

In this week’s video, I cover the 4 steps to setting up win-win equity deals that allow you to get big projects done without giving away too much of your company in the process.

At a high level, here are the steps you want to take to guarantee a fair deal for both sides:

1. Set a valuation
2. Quantify the work
3. Give a bump
4. Allocate the equity

The second step is often the most ignored.

Before you even consider handing out equity, you should be asking your vendors for the actual cost of the services they’re gonna be providing.

Meaning, if they were to draft a proposal and you were to write them a check, what would that look like?

Without that information on hand, you’re essentially flying blind, giving up leverage, and narrowing your options.

Give the full episode a watch here
, and then let me know in the comments if you’ve ever exchanged equity for services, as well as any hard-earned lessons you learned along the way.

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Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter @danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

+ Instagram (behind the scenes): http://instagram.com/danmartell
+ Facebook (live trainings + Q&A): http://FB.com/DanMartell
+ Twitter (what I'm reading): http://twitter.com/danmartell

Exclusive Download: Fundraising Like a Pro - The 3 phases of fundraising - 7 week process for starting & closing your round - http://bit.ly/2Ae0rQl

 

Dec 17, 2018

Exclusive Download: Idea to Exit Mini-Course - Learn How To Build Product Without Spending Money & True Customer Validation - http://bit.ly/2QFaBnr

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If I handed you a blank check and a portfolio of five software companies and asked you to acquire one of them by the end of the day… how would you feel?

Would you panic?

Would you know exactly what to look for to pick a winner?

Or would you go off a hunch and risk picking a dud?

Evaluating a SaaS company for acquisition is a stressful and intimidating process if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

But after exiting three of my own companies, and being on both sides of the acquisition table hundreds of times as an advisor, I’ve distilled the first level filters into 4 simple criteria.

I break them down for you in this week’s episode.

Using this criteria in the early stages of evaluating a company can help you spot a dud BEFORE plunging into an expensive and time-consuming due diligence period.

At a high level, you want to be evaluating potential acquisitions based off of:

1. Numbers (I share the 3 key metrics in the video)
2. Source code
3. IP Review
4. Customer support

The last one is totally underrated as an evaluation tool, and one you need to pay VERY close attention to whether you’re considering acquiring a company or hoping to be acquired yourself someday.

If the support metrics are tanking (ie. volume of issues, time to respond, unanswered tickets, etc.)…

… then even if all the other metrics look favorable, the company could be in line for a mass customer exodus the moment you take it over.

Ouch.

A thorough audit of how well a company takes care of its customers is a critical evaluation criteria I would never risk doing without.

Watch the episode for a complete breakdown, and then let me know in the comments if you’ve ever planned on acquiring a SaaS company (and if so, what you look for when evaluating).

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Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter @danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

+ Instagram (behind the scenes): http://instagram.com/danmartell
+ Facebook (live trainings + Q&A): http://FB.com/DanMartell
+ Twitter (what I'm reading): http://twitter.com/danmartell

Exclusive Download: Idea to Exit Mini-Course - Learn How To Build Product Without Spending Money & True Customer Validation - http://bit.ly/2QFaBnr

Dec 10, 2018

Exclusive Download: Core Targetting™ – Figure Out Where to Invest Your Marketing Resources & How to Scale Companies Using Paid User Acquisition - http://bit.ly/2GeZAnW

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When I started Flowtown, we were treading water in the reddest of oceans.

Social sharing and publishing tools were all the rage, and standing out from the crowd was NOT going to be easy.

Fortunately, we were able to lean into one key differentiator in our feature set for our product called Timely.

It was almost criminally simple — but by being the only social publishing tool that CHOSE the ideal time to post for you (based on our algorithm)… and did it automatically… we were able to successfully differentiate ourselves from the pack.

A similar case can be found with my friend Laura Roeder’s company, Edgar.

Laura and her team have built a multimillion dollar company in the hyper-competitive social publishing space by being the ONLY one to market around the idea of content repurposing (and of course, facilitating it through their features).

But a Product Hook is only ONE way to differentiate in a crowded market.

I shot this week’s episode to walk you through the 5 best ways to differentiate your software company so that you can achieve massive success in even the bloodiest of shark-infested oceans ;-)

At a high level, the 5 ways to differentiate your product are:

1. Nail a niche
2. Product hook
3. Be remarkable
4. Positioning
5. Pricing

Some of these are more long-term strategies,  but if you want a simple yet powerful way to stand out today, I suggest paying special attention to number three.

It doesn’t matter what you do or who you serve — there’s always an opportunity to be more remarkable.

This could be something as simple as sending out hand-written thank you cards to new customers (Wufoo forms did this before getting acquired by SurveyMonkey)…

… or just baking in “mention-worthy” moments and experiences into your onboarding process.

Watch the full episode here, and if you’re up for a fun exercise with your team, take 20 minutes to brainstorm a few things you can do TODAY to start being more remarkable and mention-worthy.

Looking forward to hearing about them in the comments.

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Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter @danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

+ Instagram (behind the scenes): http://instagram.com/danmartell
+ Facebook (live trainings + Q&A): http://FB.com/DanMartell
+ Twitter (what I'm reading): http://twitter.com/danmartell

Exclusive Download: Core Targetting™ – Figure Out Where to Invest Your Marketing Resources & How to Scale Companies Using Paid User Acquisition - http://bit.ly/2GeZAnW

Dec 3, 2018

Exclusive Download: The Rocket Demo Builder™ - Never give a boring software demo again and close up to TWICE as many deals by this time next week - http://bit.ly/2rkvTYk

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Not all leads are created equal.

Even if you’ve dialed in your ideal customer profile and built out your distribution channels to only attract the perfect prospect…

…you’re still gonna have to implement systems and filters to separate your buyers from your tire kickers.

This is especially true in the scaling phase where spending too much time with non-buyers will tax your sales team, inspire bad decisions with “false negatives”, and create a whole slew of crushing inefficiencies.

After taking well north of 1,000 sales calls (and closing millions of dollars in software deals)… I’ve refined the process for sorting the true buyers from the tire kickers.

Best of all, most of these lead qualification mechanisms can be done via automated processes that don’t pull on your team’s already overstretched bandwidth.

I cover my 6 best qualification systems in this week’s video.

As a quick summary, the 6 lead qualification filters come down to:

1. Funnel filter
2. Behavior
3. Challenges
4. Role
5. Authority
6. Product fit

The first one is my favorite as it’s the most hands off.

By asking the right questions upfront on your opt-in forms (webinars, lead magnets, free trials, etc.)…

… you can quickly and easily gauge who’s worth jumping on a call with — and who will just drain your time and energy.

aka: the zoom call from hell

Simple litmus-test questions like employee count, revenue, industry size, and role will go a long way in filtering out unqualified prospects before they ascend into the lesser-automated (and leveraged) phases of your customer acquisition process.

But to get a complete picture of all six lead qualification systems, make sure to watch the full episode, and then leave a comment letting me know which you plan to implement right away to get better leads on the line.

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Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter @danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

+ Instagram (behind the scenes): http://instagram.com/danmartell
+ Facebook (live trainings + Q&A): http://FB.com/DanMartell
+ Twitter (what I'm reading): http://twitter.com/danmartell

Exclusive Download: The Rocket Demo Builder™ - Never give a boring software demo again and close up to TWICE as many deals by this time next week - http://bit.ly/2rkvTYk

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