Posts by: Kurt J. Bilafer

Would You Rather Be Right or Win?

- - Leadership

Shortly after I had just taken the helm at Pilot Software, I came to work one day and found a three-foot long green crowbar on my desk. There was a Post-it note on it that said, “Use it wisely.” It seemed like a very odd thing to find sitting on my desk.

It turned out to be a message from a guy by the name of Paul Volpe, the first sales person I had hired for the company as we transitioned from being a unit of a bigger company to a standalone company based in Silicon Valley. This transition brought about a lot of discussions about how we wanted to run the business.

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Why time to money matters

- - Sales

In my previous post, I talked about why the SaaS magic number is one of my top KPIs. My other top KPI is time to revenue, which is important for all SaaS businesses, but especially so for those that make part, or all, of their revenue on transaction fees. Time to money measures how long it takes to get a customer from initial lead to run rate, the projected usage the deal was predicated on.

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The indispensable SaaS KPI: The magic number

- - Leadership, Sales

As the popularity of Software as a Service has grown, so has the discussion around which are the best metrics and KPIs to judge the growth and performance for SaaS business models, which are based not on monthly or yearly sales, as was the case in the on-premise software world, but on recurring subscription revenue.

Teams I’ve been part of have played around with a bunch of different ways of measuring success. We looked at like CAC, customer acquisition cost. We looked at LTV, lifetime value of customer. We looked at churn. We still look at those things, but I consider those metrics rather than KPIs, because they change frequently.

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How to scale your sales team for growth

- - Leadership, Sales

Many businesses, when they first start out, will sell their product or service to anyone in order to prove product market fit. If you’re successful doing that, you eventually figure out who your best customers are. At that point, you need to get more focused with your offering so you can scale your sales organization.

What I see a lot of companies do at that point instead is simply add more salespeople. Then, it turns into a free for all. You don’t know if every customer is hearing the same value message. You don’t understand why people are buying from you and what’s working.

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Making Payments Work For Platforms (Instead Of The Other Way Around)

- - Payments

The payments landscape is changing rapidly. Back in February, I had the opportunity to chat with PYMNTS.com about the state of online payments today, and what business platforms need to be thinking about as the ability to process payments becomes a requirement. Here is the writeup of our conversation:

As of 2017, platform businesses need payments solutions — they are becoming a less optional part of the business. But turning payments isn’t exactly as easy as flipping a switch — and therein lies the rub, according to Kurt Bilafer, CRO at WePay. Platform businesses aren’t at a payments-optional point in their evolution — their merchants and consumer end users more or less demand them. Commerce in the digital age is built around notions of frictionlessness and seamlessness, and being unable to start and finish a full transaction on a single platform is nothing if not a friction-filled experience.

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