Topline

Topline

Every week on the Topline podcast, Sam Jacobs, AJ Bruno and Asad Zaman discuss and debate the trends, news and developments impacting the B2B SaaS world. Tune in for hot takes, strong opinions, and dry humor.

Episodes

February 29, 2024 15 mins

In this mini-episode, Sam, AJ, and Asad discuss selecting the right lead qualification methodology and explore the challenges in using the BANT methodology for qualifying SMBs.

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Explore the world of partnerships and ecosystem-led growth with Bob Moore, CEO and Co-Founder of Crossbeam. Bob delves into his journey of building symbiotic partnerships, the pivotal role of ecosystems in scaling ventures, and how his approach to collaborative growth has shaped his successful entrepreneurial career.

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In this week’s Topline Hotline, our hosts discuss a question from the Pavilion Slack surrounding whether a CRO at a Series A company should stay or go, given the challenges and uncertainties they are facing. 

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Our hosts delve into the M&A landscape of 2024, dissecting how economic trends such as stagnant interest rates are hindering IPOs and how the ripple effects of the US election can create market volatility. They also provide actionable tips on attracting acquisition interest. The episode concludes with a discussion on macro-news and how to streamline SaaS metrics.

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In this mini-episode, Sam, AJ, and Asad discuss getting executive feedback. They explore the benefits and challenges of getting feedback as an executive in both large and small companies.

 

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February 11, 2024 53 mins

In this episode of Topline, our hosts recap their time at Pavilion’s CEO Summit in Phoenix. They also discuss the impact of macroeconomic improvements on market trends, the recent wave of layoffs in the tech sector, and a prevailing sentiment among CEOs toward prioritizing profitability and sustainable growth amidst market adjustments.

W...

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For this week’s mini-episode, our hosts discuss a question from the Pavilion CRO Slack channel around the fairness and effectiveness of variable compensation plans for Chief Revenue Officers.

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Carta’s Head of Insights, Peter Walker, joins our hosts to discuss the implications of economic rate cuts, company shutdowns, and the challenges founders face during fundraising. The discussion also covers the best investment opportunities today and the importance of equity for employees and organizational health in companies.

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In this episode of Topline Hotline, our hosts tackle a burning question from Pavilion’s Slack community: where should account managers sit within the organization? Should they report to the new business leader? Or to the customer success leader?

 

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In this episode, hosts Sam Jacobs, Asad Zaman, and AJ Bruno delve into the dynamics of the late-stage tech market, discussing trends in unicorn companies, the venture capital landscape, and the importance of aligning business growth with profitability. They also explore the concept of 'stage appropriateness' in executive hiring and share insights on effectively communicating company valuation and equity to employees.

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In this episode of Topline Hotline, the hosts discuss the balance between inbound and outbound strategies for demand generation in a traditional SaaS business. They explore the effectiveness of different channels and the impact of factors such as interest rates and artificial intelligence, emphasizing the importance of deep empathy for the customer and finding unique approaches that work for each business.

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Our hosts discuss viral moments from the past two weeks, including Carta’s exit of their secondary market business and Cloudflare’s layoff of an AE that went viral on TikTok and LinkedIn. The episode wraps up with a discussion sparked by one of Sam’s most recent LinkedIn posts on how Growth at Any Cost (GAAC) is dead. 

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In this episode of Topline Hotline, our hosts delve into their personal experiences with performance improvement plans (PIPs). Drawing from their extensive careers as sales leaders, they share valuable insights on PIPs and provide practical suggestions on approaching and navigating them. 

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Founder and General Partner of Theory Ventures, Tomasz Tunguz, shares his founder story, his predictions for 2024, and his point of view on artificial intelligence from the changing landscape of AI to Microsoft’s leadership in the AI race.

He also shares insights on the impact of inflation and interest rates on the tech industry, concerns about the size of the venture capital industry, and the metrics that...

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In 2023, we saw fractional leadership become increasingly popular. But will the pendulum swing in the opposite direction in 2024? Or is fractional leadership here to stay? Listen to this Thursday’s mini-episode to hear what our hosts think.

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Our hosts cover a gamut of topics in our first episode of the new year. Since Harvard’s President, Claudine Gay, resigned due to her response towards anti-semitism on campus – should the experiences of current college students be considered when hiring?

Next, we transition to a conversion on the rise of secondary sales to generate liquidity. Wrapping up the episode by exploring the balance between speed an...

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This week on Topline, the hosts talk about the Federal Reserve's update on interest rates, the economic outlook for the tech sector in 2024, a new paper by Winning by Design's that asks whether SaaS has lost go to market fit, and the cancellation of the Adobe and Figma merger.

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On this week’s Topline Hotline, a listener wonders if gift giving is still a thing. Does it build psychological capital? And does it differ between employees vs customers? Listen to hear what Sam, AJ, and Asad have to say.

 

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December 17, 2023 56 mins

This week, our hosts further reflect on 2023 from a business standpoint but also personal. This year was full of economic and individual challenges – including a discussion on business intuition and the skills best suited to survive a downturn with. 

Buckle up though, we also learn that AJ has a past company’s logo tattooed on his chest, Asad once had pink and green hair with lots of piercings, and Sam spe...

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Making informed decisions is critical. In this week’s mini-episode, our hosts discuss how to stay informed about the global economy, specifically when resources are conflicting. 

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