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Driven newsletter archive

Issue 13. January 12, 2020

Quota club conundrum  | Top SaaS performance metric | Get more done faster | Up your webinar game |  New SaaStr U

Thanks for sharing your topic preferences by clicking links in last week’s email. Your guidance helps so much.

Without it, I mostly guess at which topics you want to read about.

Of the 15 potential topics I listed last week, these 4 receive the most votes:

  • Productivity
  • Quota club
  • Metrics and KPIs
  • Trade shows and conferences

This week, we have a brief article on each of the first three.

What to expect

Topics covered this week:

  • Get more done faster, with less effort
  • 3 questions to ponder about your quota club plans
  • The single most important performance metric for SaaS companies
  • Webinars: Top marketing channel for demand gen and closing sales
  • SaaStr announces online ‘university’ for founders and revenue leaders

Reading time

Your estimated reading time is about 6.5 minutes.


Get more done faster, with less effort

This time of year, it’s hard to avoid pitches for solutions that promise to make you more productive.

But in my experience, too many “productivity hacks,” are either obvious or dubious. Many require more investment of time or money than they’re likely to be worth.

So it’s been challenging to find a few worthwhile ideas for you to consider.

The following list shares the best of the ones I’ve found in the past few months.

If you click on the links that interest you, you’ll show me you want more on related topics.

Dig deeper

How I work. Lifehacker blog. This series of posts offers inspiring interviews with famously productive people.

Manage Lots of Browser Tabs with this Chrome Extension.” Nick Douglas. Lifehacker blog. August 7, 2018. (Workona)

My Most Popular Ideas on Productivity. Ryan Holiday. Undated. [Downloadable PDF. 21 pages. No charge.]

How to Boost a Marketing Workflow Process That Will Reduce Work by 30-50%.” CoSchedule blog. (The advice in this article applies to any repetitive processes. It also works with many tools other than CoSchedule)

Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less. Third edition. Sam Carpenter. 2011(Revised in 2018). 304 pages. Hardcover only. 150 customer reviews on Amazon. Average rating: 4.2.


3 questions to ponder about your quota club plans

With 2019 in the bag, how will your company motivate and reward its revenue heroes of 2020?

In some established companies, quota club or president’s club is a sacred cow whose status few would challenge.

But in many smaller or younger businesses, the purpose and structure of quota clubs is more open to debate.

Here are a few key questions worth raising:

  • At your company’s current stage of growth, how much can you afford to spend on quota club?
  • Who should be eligible for quota club? Increasingly, employees in Marketing, Customer Success and other functions are taking on revenue-related quotas. What added members of your extended revenue team should you also recognize and reward?
  • How can you ensure that quota club effectively motivates and rewards all top performers – especially as revenue teams grow more diverse?

If you haven’t already discussed these topics, this is a good time to do so.

It’s too late to change your plans for this year, but the timing is right for thinking about next year’s club.

That’s because your annual revenue kickoff is around the corner.

You’ll want to get any material changes to your quota club settled soon. Then you can announce the news for maximum effect at your kickoff.

Dig deeper

How Much of Our Sales Team Should We Include in Our President’s Club? Donya Rose. Cygnal Group Blog. Undated.

President’s Club Eligibility – Percent of Top Performers or Minimum Quota Attainment?” Marci McCormack. Executive Group Travel Blog. October 6, 2015.

Should Your Startup Have a Quota Club? And How Much Should You Spend on It?” Dave Kellog. Kellblog. December 3, 2018.

The President’s Club: What’s the Big Deal?” Carl Wideberg. iSalesman Blog. April 2, 2015.

Why I Recognize All My Superstars, Not Just the Sales Team.” David Yarnold. Entrepreneur Blog. August 4, 2014.


The single most important performance metric for SaaS companies

Many investors and serial SaaS entreprenuers say it’s the ratio of Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) to Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC). They call it the LTV:CAC ratio for short.

David Kellogg is among those who consider LTV:CAC the king of SaaS metrics.

Kellogg, who publishes the Kellblog blog, is a serial entrepreneur and former CEO of Host Analytics. He has also been…

  • SVP/GM of Service Cloud at Salesforce
  • CEO at unstructured big data provider MarkLogic.
  • CMO at Business Objects when the company grew from $30M to over $1B.

Kellogg explains the importance of LTV:CAC one of the all-time 10 most popular SaaStr podcast episodes.

Why is LTV:CAC so important?

The ratio answers two key questions about the viability of your business:

  • How much am I paying to get a new customer?
  • And once I get them, how much are they worth to me over their lifetime?

If you’re trying to raise capital, VCs will pay close attention to this number. The higher the ratio, the better.

If you’re not getting at least 3 times what you pay to acquire a customer, Kellogg says, your company may be headed for trouble. That’s because it’s probably not earning enough money to cover its cots other than customer acquisition.

An LTV:CAC ratio of 5 is much more desirable than 3.

For more, look for SaaStr podcast episode 142 on iTunes. September 11, 2017. The segment on LTV:CAC begins at [04:18]


Webinars: Top marketing channel for demand gen and closing sales

For sales and marketing effectiveness, webinars rank right up there with email and events.

B2B Marketers say webinars generate higher-quality leads than other forms of content. And technology buyers say webinars are one of their favorite forms for consuming content from vendors.

So as you plan your marketing priorities for the coming year, webinars should probably have a prominent place in your lineup.

Yet many companies don’t run webinars as effectively as they might.

Why it matters

Effective webinars are time-consuming and resource-intensive to prepare and deliver.

All webinars require prospects to commit substantial time and attention.

Do you serve a small total addressable market (TAM) with relatively few target accounts? If so, you can’t afford to make a poor impression by producing webinars that don’t give visitors a high return for their investment of time.

How to make your webinars more effective

The 2019 Benchmarks Report from BrightTALK offers plenty of ideas. [Downloadable PDF. 29 pages.]

The sponsors analyzed data from 300M email, feed and social promotions and more than 16,000 webinars delivered over their platform. The platform serves about 4M viewers.

Here’s the main advice they suggest:


Offer practical, helpful insights that help attendees solve their problems.

This seems obvious. Yet plenty of companies offer dull, self-serving webinars that don’t help solve customers’ important problems.

Instead, they too often talk about their company’s products or services without referring to the common problems they solve.

6 top things buyers want from webinars

Most webinar viewers are looking for inspiration and actionable insights, the benchmark says. They want:

  • Tips, tricks, and best practices (70%)
  • Industry trends and predictions (62%)
  • How-to / easy-to-understand, basic explanations (61%)
  • Interviews of experts (60%)
  • Solution case studies (59%)
  • Data insights and original research (55%)

Marketers plan to improve the performance of their webinars by…

  • Offering shorter sessions
  • Offering panels of experts
  • Making webinars more interactive with polls and surveys
  • Repurposing webinars after they air

Dig deeper

Online articles:

10 Best Webinar Software Platforms for 2020.” Aaron Brooks. March 13, 2019. Venture Harbor website.

How B2B Marketers Are Using Webinars and Plan to Improve Them.” MarketingCharts. July 29, 2019.

Downloadable PDFs:

2019 BrightTALK Benchmarks: Exploring Webinars and Videos for Content Marketing and Demand Generation.” BrightTALK.” [29 pages. No charge.]

Driving Webinar Registration Best Practices Guide.” On24. [7 pages. No charge.]

The 2019 Webinar Strategy Report.” DemandGen Reports and GoToWebinar. 2019. [17 pages. Registration required. No charge.]

The Art of Becoming a Great Webinar Presenter.” On24. [6 pages. No charge.]

Webinar Organizer and Presenter Checklist.” GoToWebinar. [Downloadable PDF. 2 pages. No charge.]

Webinar Technologies: a Sirius Perspective.” [Downloadable PDF. 4 pages. No charge.]

Webinars (on demand and future):

7 Secrets to Avoid a Boring Webinar.” On24.[Replay on demand. Registration required.]

10 Common Webinar Mistakes to Avoid in 2019. On24. June 2019. [Replay on demand. Registration required.]

10 Tips for Creating Great Webinar Content.” On24. Replay on demand. Download the slides here. [Downloadable PDF. 88 pages. No charge.]

Webinar Marketing Predictions for 2020.” On24. Webinar scheduled for January 15, 2020. If you can’t attend, register here to receive notification of the recorded session afterwards. 


The Ultimate Webinar Marketing Guide. Lewis Howes. 2012. 131 pages. Kindle. 72 reviews. Average rating: 4.5.

The Webinar Way: The Single Most Effective Way to Promote Your Services, Drive Leads, and Sell a Ton of Products. Sheri Rose. Jim Kukral. Mari Smith. 2018. 253 pages in print. Paperback, Kindle. 56 ratings on Amazon. Average score: 4.0.


SaaStr announces online ‘university’ for founders and revenue leaders

SaaStr want you to go to back to school at their expense.

They’ve just announced formation of Saastr University, a learning resource for SaaS entrepreneurs.

Here are 5 good things about SaaStr U:

  • You face no admission test, qualifications, or prequesities.
  • You can attend online.
  • It’s a good place to network with founders, CEOs, and senior executives in SaaS companies around the world. The networking may be more useful than the learning.
  • They offer a smartphone app through Mighty Networks, so you can participate on your favorite mobile devices.
  • It costs you nothing.

Current offerings help you navigate growth for SaaS companies at 3 stages of maturity:

  • Idea stage. For companies with 0 to 10 customers. 100 Lessons and Learnings on How to Get your SaaS / Cloud startup off the ground
  • Traction stage. For companies with $0.1 to $1.0m+ Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR). 100 Lessons on Getting from 10 paid customers to $1m+ in ARR
  • Scale stage. For companies with $1m to more than $10m ARR. 100 Lessons on Going from $1m to $10 m ARR, Better, Faster, Easier.

Together, the three courses provide more than 300 lessons.

Register here at no charge. [Note: This link may work only for a person who SaaStr has invited to join. If it doesn’t work for you, contact me. I’ll sort things out for you.]


Future offerings

Email courses. In the coming weeks, I will offer short, free email courses on topics that may interest you.

Here are two of several topics I’m planning:

If you’re interested in either, please click on the links above.

I’ll start by offering the topic that gets the most clicks.

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I’d rather have a small tribe of people who like these emails than a bigger group who rarely read it.

Just click on the link at the bottom. You’ll be out in a second.


Dave Vranicar


Driven is a free weekly email for time-strapped revenue leaders in business-to-business SaaS companies.

Its goal is to keep you informed about a broad range of topics related to revenue growth.

We scan the horizon for insights and ideas from sources you may otherwise miss.

You can receive your own copy of Driven at no charge by sharing your email address here.

About links, endorsements, and recommendations

When I provide links to articles from vendors, it does not imply an endorsement of their products or services. I link to them because they offer good content.

I’ll make it clear when I’m recommending a product or service. 

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