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Co-Founder and CEO of EchoSign from inception through tens of millions in cash-flow positive SaaS revenue and acquisition by Adobe Systems Inc. Jason then served as Vice President, Web Services at Adobe, where EchoSign was named the most successful acquisition of 2011-12, posting 199% YoY growth.

One response to “Curse of the ‘Middlers’: Why Happiness Officers Can’t Stand In for True Sales Professionals”

  1. chaoticflow (@chaoticflow)

    Hi Jason,

    Great post!

    IMHO there are very few SaaS plays that don’t need to add sales sooner or later. Atlassian is a unique animal, because it sells to a very technically sophisticated target who really don’t like to be sold to in the first place, software engineers.

    However, I think the best SaaS plays grow up form self-serve into sales…because strong SaaS self-serve dramatically increases sales productivity. (see 3 SaaS Sales Models)

    That said…I think its the “salespeople open and close more deals” that makes your case, not the “salespeople can increase ACV” I’ve seen just as many salespeople lower ACV through discounting as increase it through good selling.

    Whereas the “salespeople open and close” argument is simple microeconomics. If your average price point is 5K ARR allowing you to support an acquisition cost of say 5K covered by the first year, then you should spend up to that limit to maximize growth. Self-serve is only one process….in this scenario, you should apply every sales methodology that comes in < 5K up to its limit….so overlaying sales until you hit your max CAC maximizes profitable growth. Self-serve alone would limit growth, whereas sales alone would be lower growth at a higher CAC.

    Cheers,
    Joel