My Top 5 Posts at the 50-Post Mark

Davis Mountains State Park, Texas; photo by the author

This is my fiftieth post. I thought I’d take the opportunity to thank you for reading, and to reflect on my five most-viewed posts, as well as five honorable mentions that I wish would receive more views.

  • Four Great SaaS Visualizations: This is by far my most-viewed post, with more than two times the number of views as the runner-up. Data visualization is hard, so when I find an example that works, I stick with it. Slowly but surely I’m putting together a sequel.
  • How to Structure Executive Compensation: The clear runner-up, with nearly three times the number of views as the third-place post. This post has generated more out-of-the-blue questions than any other, which I think speaks to how little quality information is available on the topic. Everyone seems to arrive at an OTE number pretty quickly, but struggles with structuring the variable component.
  • Leaders, Fillers, and Killers: Creating Bundles That Work: I love this framework (which I didn’t create!) because of its simplicity. The matter of creating bundles that work is becoming even more important as companies shift to a product-led growth model, in which upgrades to higher-priced plans is critical to success.
  • Three Metrics to Gauge the Health of a Growing Team: I’m often asked why I insist on calculating the attrition ratio based on whether an employee departure is voluntary rather than regretted by the company. The reason is that regret is subject to interpretation, whereas the nature of departure is not: the employee either signed a separation agreement or not. I’ve since come across another metric that I love: the percentage of new positions that were filled with internal candidates.
  • Indirect Sales: The Holy Grail of SaaS: Alliances gets a bad rap because it’s easy for it to become a money pit—and it often does. On the other hand, with the right approach it can transform a business. I saw success with indirect sales at Atypon and look forward to seeing it at Brightflag, where I recently hired a new Vice President of Alliances.
  • How a Customer Maturity Model Can Focus Your Team: This is one of my favorite posts because the framework I describe is so broadly applicable, both to a wide variety of companies and to nearly every department. At Brightflag we use a maturity model to shape every aspect of the go-to-market motion, and increasingly the product, too.
  • In Praise of Praise: “Create a praise folder” has been among my most common pieces of professional advice since the early 2000s, when my mentor introduced me to the concept. If there’s ever been a time to create a praise folder so that you can remind yourself of all the good work you’ve done, it’s in the middle of a pandemic, when everyone’s being pushed to the limit and positivity is in short supply.
  • The One Sentence / Paragraph / Page Framework: In the spirit of the post, TLDR: answer a question before explaining your answer.
  • Should You Delegate It?: Most successful people have a natural inclination to dive in and problem-solve. This can be a big mistake for managers, who are paid to have multiplying effects on outcomes, rather than contribute as individuals. I share this post with every new manager under my leadership, and include it often in performance reviews.
  • Three Words You Should Never Say in Sales: If I’m being honest, this isn’t a great post so much as a pet peeve. Confidence does, in fact, breed success, and the words in this post undermine it.

I love receiving feedback on this blog, so please reach out if you have any, particularly if there are topics you’d like to see me cover.

Chief Customer Officer at Brightflag. I write about issues relevant to and situations faced by SaaS companies as they scale.