Understanding SaaS Marketing as an Investor — Appearance on The Novice Investor podcast

Just a quick post to highlight a video / podcast episode I recently recorded with Cillian Hilliard, fellow board member at work management leader Scoro, and investor at Kennett Partners.  Cillian runs a great blog (complete with detailed financial models) at The Novice Investor.

(Understanding SaaS Marketing as an Investor – Dave Kellogg from Cillian Hilliard on Vimeo.)

In the episode we discuss:

  • Pipeline, which is used by investors to evaluate trajectory, and how to evaluate a pipeline and tell if it’s real, which ultimately comes down to what I call pipeline discipline.
  • Common problems in the pipeline including air, rolling hairballs, sudden changes / gaming, squatting, tantalizing pipeline, and excess coverage.
  • Detecting repeatability in the sales model and the validity of “just add water” kind of claims.  How to detect gaming.
  • The floating bar problem.  The thinner the pipeline, the lower sellers sets the bar on acceptance and conversely.    The chick/egg problem with pipeline that results.
  • The risks of math and MBA types becoming over-reliant on numbers / models, and how to manage them.  Remember the George Box quote:  “all models are wrong, some are useful,” which I discussed in my SaaStr 2021 presentation.
  • Mitigating this problem by “just talking” and doing periodic win-touch analysis to keep you connected to reality.
  • The attribution problem and my new favorite mug.  How to present attribution data to avoid problems and over-reactions (hint:  put disclaimers up front).

Thanks Cillian for having me on the show.

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