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From Impossible to Inevitable


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Preface: Systematizing Success xv Lessons from the World's Fastest-Growing Companies xv PART I Nail A Niche 1 "Niche" Doesn't Mean Small 3 Are You Sure You're Ready to Grow Faster? 3 How to Know If You've Nailed A Niche 5 Achieve World Domination One Niche at a Time 7 The Arc of Attention 8 2 Signs of Slogging 13 Are You a Nice-to-Have? 13 Big Companies Suffer, Too 16 Case Study: Where Aaron Went Wrong 17 Your Current Strength Can Be a Future Weakness 22 3 How to Nail It 25 Where Can You Be a Big Fish in a Small Pond? 25 Work through the Niche Matrix 27 Case Study: How Avanoo Nailed It 33 Jason's 20-Interview Rule 37 4 Your Pitch 39 If You Were a Radio Station, Would Anyone Tune In? 39 Elevator Pitches Are Always Frustrating 41 They Don't Care about "You": Three Simple Questions 43 PART II Create Predictable Pipeline Introduction: Lead Generation Absolves Many Sins 46 5 Seeds-Customer Success 49 How to Grow Seeds Predictably 49 Case Study: How Gild Dropped Monthly Churn from 4% to 1% 55 Case Study: Customer Service Excellence at Topcon 58 6 Nets-Inbound Marketing 61 The Forcing Function Your Marketing Leader Needs: A "Lead Commit" 62 Corporate Marketing versus Demand Generation 63 Case Study: Zenefits from $1 Million to $100 Million in ~Two Years 64 Inbound Marketing: A Four-Point Primer 68 Heroic Marketing: When You Have No Money and Little Time 74 7 Spears-Outbound Prospecting 79 Where Outbound Works Best-and Where It Fails 82 Outbound Lessons Learned Since Predictable Revenue Was Published 83 Case Study: Zenefits' Outbound Lessons 86 Case Study: Outbound's Role in Acquia's $100 Million Trajectory 89 Case Study: From Zero to $10 Million with Outbound at GuideSpark 91 Case Study: How Tapstream Started from Scratch 93 8 What Executives Miss 95 Pipeline Creation Rate: Your #1 Leading Metric 95 The 15/85 Rule: Early Adopters and Mainstream Buyers 97 Why You're Underestimating Customer Lifetime Value 100 PART III Make Sales Scalable 9 Learn from Our Mistakes 105 Growth Creates More Problems Than It Solves-But They Are Better Problems 105 Jason's Top 12 Mistakes in Building Sales Teams 106 Advice from the VP Sales behind LinkedIn and EchoSign 108 10 Specialization: Your #1 Sales Multiplier 111 Why Salespeople Shouldn't Prospect 111 Case Study: How Clio Restructured Sales in Three Months 114 Can You Be Too Small, or Too Big, to Specialize? 116 Specialization: Two Common Objections 117 Specialization Snapshot at Acquia 119 11 Sales Leaders 121 The #1 Mis-Hire is the VP/Head of Sales 121 The Right VP Sales for Your Stage 122 Jason's 10 Favorite Interview Questions 125 12 Hiring Best Practices for Sales 129 Simple Hiring Tricks 129 When Doing Something New, Start with Two 130 The $100 Million HubSpot Sales Machine: Recruiting and Coaching Essentials 132 Case Study: How to Cut Down on Wasted Interviewing 133 13 Scaling the Sales Team 137 If You're Churning More Than 10% of Your Salespeople, They Aren't the Problem 137 Case Study: Scaling Sales from 2 to 350 Reps at Zenefits 140 Jason's Advice to CEOs: Put Nonsales Leaders on Variable Comp Plans, Too 144 Truth Equals Money 146 Pipeline Deficit Disorder 148 Are Your Enterprise Deals Taking Forever? 151 Five Key Sales Metrics (with a Twist) 153 14 For Startups Only 157 Every Tech Company Should Offer Services 157 What Jason Invests In, and Do You Need to Raise Money to Scale? 159 What the Headcount of a 100-Person SaaS Company Looks Like 162 PART IV Double Your Deal-size 15 Deal Size Math 169 What Jason Learned: You Need 50 Million Users to Make Freemium Work 169 Small Deals Get You Started, Big Deals Drive Growth 171 16 Not Too Big, Not Too Small 175 When You Can't Turn Small Deals into Big Ones 175 If You Have Customers of All Sizes 176 17 Going Upmarket 181 If You Don't Want Salespeople ... 181 Add Another Top Pricing Tier 183 Pricing Is Always a Pain 186 Going Fortune 1000 (by Mark Cranney) 189 PART V Do The Time 18 Embrace Frustration 197 Are You Sure You're Ready for This? 197 Everyone Has a Year of Hell 203 Comfort Is the Enemy of Growth 205 Motivation: How Aaron Reached Escape Velocity 206 19 Success Isn't a Straight Line 209 The Anxiety Economy and Entrepreneur Depression 209 Mark Suster's Question: "Should a Person Learn or Earn?" 213 When a Straight Line Isn't the Shortest Path to Success 216 Change Your World, Not the World 219 PART VI Embrace Employee Ownership 20 A Reality Check 223 Dear Executives (From an Employee) 223 Dear Employee (From the Executives) 224 P.S.: "Dear Senior Executives, Don't Get Left Behind" (From the CEO and Board) 225 Are Your People Renting or Owning? 227 21 For Executives: Create Functional Ownership 233 A Simple Survey 233 "No Surprises" 235 Functional Ownership 238 Case Study: How a Struggling Team Turned into a Self-Managing Success 245 To Turn Things Around 246 22 Taking Ownership to the Next Level 249 Financial Ownership 249 Move People Around 250 The Four Types of Employees 252 PART VII Define Your Destiny 23 Are You Abdicating Your Opportunity? 259 Your Opportunity Is Bigger Than You Realize 259 How to Expand Your Opportunity at Work 261 You Need Some Humdrum Passions 263 Your Company Isn't Your Mommy or Daddy 267 Back to Forcing Functions: How to Motivate Yourself to Do Things You Don't Feel Like Doing 268 Sales Is a Life Skill 273 Sales Is a Multistep Process 276 24 Combining Money and Meaning 279 Meaning Gone Wrong 279 What's Your Unique Genius? 281 Ignoring Real Life Doesn't Make It Go Away 285 Aaron: How the Hell Do You Juggle 12 Kids and Work? 287 About the Authors 293 Index 295

About the Author

AARON ROSS (@motoceo) is married with 12 children (mostly through adoption), loves motorcycles, and keeps a 25-hour workweek. He's a popular keynote speaker and the best-selling author of??Predictable Revenue,??called "The Sales Bible Of Silicon Valley." Aaron cofounded the software company?? JASON LEMKIN (@jasonlk) founded, the largest community of SaaS founders on the planet,??and has invested in SaaS companies worth collectively in excess of $1.5 billion. Jason was CEO of EchoSign, and led it from $0 to $100 million+ in revenues and a sale to Adobe. He is married with two kids, runs every single damn day, and loves anything related to Hawaii.

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