BC Startup Sales Podcast – Moving Upstream: How to Build a Sales Org in Freemium SaaS with Dannie Herzberg (Slack)
This week, the Bowery Capital team hosted Dannie Herzberg, Head of North American SMB Sales at Slack to discuss “Moving Upstream: How to Build a Sales Org in Freemium SaaS.” Slack is a team communication application that provides services that include real-time messaging, archiving, and search for modern teams. It offers one-on-one messaging, private groups, ongoing chat rooms and direct messaging, as well as group chats organized by topic. Slack was established in 2013 and went on to be one of the fastest startups to hit the “unicorn” landmark.
In today’s episode, Dannie and I discussed the ever important topic of moving upstream as a SaaS company. We touch on the relatively new business model of freemium and how it has impacted the SaaS industry today. We first cover companies that are able to build large networks of users and how to think about when is the right time for your organization to build a sales team on top of these free or freemium users. Dannie then shares some great ideas and insights into how Slack thought about this early on and the lessons learned during her time at the company. Third, we talk a lot about the segmentation that Slack uses to determine when someone should move from freemium to her team and cover ideas like “progressive profiling” and other unique insights. Next, we cover the sales process map for Slack and how the demo stage of freemium companies differs greatly from a traditional sales process. We then dive into some of the product features and gating factors that Slack employs in their company. Finally, we close on some of the ideas around metrics, tracking, and the interaction between the marketing, sales, and customer success teams. We had a great discussion and the chat was action packed. If you enjoyed “Moving Upstream: How to Build a Sales Org in Freemium SaaS,” learn more below, and make sure to subscribe for a new episode every week!
Dannie Herzberg is the Head of SMB Sales at Slack, where she oversees Slack’s SMB & SDR sales organizations in North America. Prior to Slack, Dannie spent 5+ years at HubSpot, where she participated in the company’s growth from 100 to 1200 employees and IPO on the NYSE in October 2014. At HubSpot, Dannie held roles in enterprise sales, sales management, and most recently, as HubSpot’s Director of Business Development. Dannie holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.