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From Impossible To Inevitable. How Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue

  • ID: 3610200
  • Book
  • 320 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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"If I′d have had this book at my last company, we would have scaled 4x faster. Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin have brought to the masses what only a few extreme experts have been able to figure out. I get asked all the time from people, ′What should be the next book I read?′…this is it. Don′t think twice, just get it, devour it and do it."
—Bubba Page, CEO, QuotaDeck

"Aaron and Jason, I don′t want to freak you out like ′who is this weirdo,′ but you are so awesome that I′d rather meet you in person than anyone famous like Tim Ferriss, James Hetfield or Richard Branson! In your new book, my favorite sections were how to implement Customer Success and Nail A Niche. Plus, the case studies, with real world examples and specific tactics, made this book invaluable."
—Loren Yadeski, COO, Crimcheck

"In the ′Do The Time′ part of the book, Aaron and Jason brilliantly illustrate a message that entrepreneurs and everyone need to hear, see and feel: success is not overnight. It takes brutal hard work but, in the end is worth it."
—Mark Roberge, CRO, Hubspot and Author, The Sales Acceleration Formula

"We used the ′Nail A Niche′ ideas to grow to our first $2 million on inbound leads alone, by hyper–focusing on a specific problem: re–using social existing media content."
—Laura Roeder, Founder, MeetEdgar.com

"Jason and Aaron clearly laid out for me which tactics to use for early stage funnel building versus accelerating pipeline conversion, to avoid wasting my marketing spend and energy. This book offered me plenty of hands–on details to put these concepts into action."
—Lucia Marchese, SVP Global Marketing, SunGard

"As an employee, reading the section on ′Embracing Employee Ownership′ was dead on. I used to think my boss was a jerk. But after reading this section, I realized he wasn′t. He was trying to help me out and challenge me to do my best here. I′ve been a complainer, but this section changed my whole perspective."
—Chelsea Sanchez, Sales, Agility Recovery

Visit FromImpossible.com for Free Resources & "Director′s Cut" Material

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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

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Aaron Ross
Jason Lemkin
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