Mike Preuss's posts

Co-founder and CEO of Visible.vc. Chicago born and IU Grad.

Salesforce Updates – Contacts & Accounts

Contact and Account Objects in Salesforce The Visible product team just updated our Salesforce Integration. We now support the Contacts and Accounts objects in addition to the already existing Leads and Opportunities objects. If you need a refresher on Salesforce, you can read more in our knowledge base. Contact us to send us any feedback or questions. Up & to the right, -Mike & The Visible Team.

Using Variance Reporting in Visible

Use Variance Reports to Determine How You’re Tracking to Your Projections How are we doing? Are things going to plan? Are we overspending? Underspending? Where should we double-down? Cutback? These are all questions that you’ve likely encountered in a management meeting or recent board meeting. Today we are excited to announce new Variance Report module that will be part of our insights layer. Variance reporting will let our customers quickly assign any of their KPIs to a forecasted or budgeted value and with one-click get back a full Variance Report. We’ll calculate the following in your Variance Report: MTD Variance MTD Variance % YTD Actual YTD Variance YTD Variance % YTD Actual prior yr YTD Actual prior yr YTD Variance prior yr YTD Variance % Our budget vs actual and variance reporting will…

[Webinar] How to get Funded in 15 Days

  Lighter Capital + Visible Join Visible and our partners over at Lighter Capital on April 10th and 2pm EST for our Webinar on How to Get Funded in 15 Days. Compressing the fundraising cycle can have a huge impact on a startup and its chances of success. This webinar will help you speed up your fundraising cycle by arming you with the information and data that startup investors want to see. We’ll also cover the best ways to present data to investors using the latest technology and communications. This webinar will cover: The legal and financial data and documents investors need to see. Data sources and technology solutions to communicate with investors. How to use business operations dashboards and metrics to inform your management decisions and fundraising strategy. Head over and Register…

Year over Year Metric Comparison

Great metrics share the same traits. Two of the most important traits are making sure your metrics are comparative & a ratio/rate. The Visible team just pushed a great update to make it even easier to compare your key metrics to a previous year along side the % change from the previous year. Want to jump right in? Check out our Year-over-Year Knowledge base article. A year may seem like a lifetime in a high-paced environment but it’s important benchmark yourself to where you were the prior year. It’s especially useful to take a breath and give your leadership team a chance to make informed, strategic decisions. We love inspiration (aka copying great work) on the Visible team so wanted to share some great ideas you are welcome to use for yourself. Revenue vs…

Slack Your Updates

Send Investor and Team Updates in Slack Today we are launching our Slack integration into beta! You’ll be able to publish Visible Updates to any of your Slack channels in addition to other current publishing methods (email, PDF, shareable link). We’ll show a preview of the Update text and the first chart or image in your Slack channel with a link to view the rest! Instantly collaborate with your team member and other stakeholders in your Slack channel around any of your Updates. Looking for some inspiration? Send your True North Metric to your company wide channel to show progress towards goal with commentary. Show your #sales channel how you are pacing for the current period. Visualize your ARR movements to keep the entire company on the same page. Stay tuned as this is…

Use Storytelling to Increase your Price

This post is Part II or II of our storytelling series. You can find our first post, “Connecting Dots to Tell Your Story” here. The same principles that Pixar uses to craft their hit movies like Finding Nemo and Ratatouille can be applied to your own investor updates and pitch. Awesome right? I recently attended SaaStr and had the chance to see Jason Katz the Chief Storyteller at Pixar and Peter Arai the CEO & founder of Prezi talk about the 3 Parts of Visual Storytelling. Part 1 – Takeaway Message What is the message you want to leave with your audience? For finding Nemo it is faith vs fear, but the same concept can be applied for business. At Visible we encourage you to lead with your true north KPI followed by…

Connecting Dots to Tell Your Story

  Business Storytelling Looking for a New Year’s Resolution? Keep reading! Storytelling in business has become a clear competitive advantage over the past decade. Customers, investors and talent have more choices than ever and are armed with more information than ever. Companies that can effectively tell their story will create emotional engagement with their stakeholders, cut through the noise and ultimately drive growth. In relation to fundraising, storytelling is a crucial component of driving interest and ultimately term sheets. This is especially true in the early stages as checks are written more on vision than traction. There are a lot of great resources for storytelling in relation to fundraising so check back for Part II next week for storytelling specifics. Today I wanted to focus on one often overlooked part…

Pull Levers in your Sales Funnel with Product Qualified Leads

Product Qualified Leads (PQLs) have become a major trend in SaaS companies over the last couple of years. Why the shift to the new framework? I have two thoughts. 1) The way organizations sell and market their products are different and 2) business software continues to look more and more like consumer software. We’ve scaled Visible to hundreds (soon thousands) of paid customers with a lean team through adopting a Product Qualified Lead framework. Disclaimer: Product Qualified Leads may not fit into every business and organization as some solutions may require intensive initial implementation or for strategic reasons the end-user never gets to try the product. Typically these are high ACV products. Regardless of your business, I hope you still get some value from this post and takeaway parts you want…

Our New Contextual Help Guide

Every six months I usually say something along these lines to our awesome product team… “I just went through our on-boarding flow, I think we could be doing a better job. How do we let customers help themselves but also not leave them with a completely blank slate? Can’t we make signing up more frictionless? What if they never know XYZ exists?” Improving Our SaaS Onboarding Our team goes to work, we make some great improvements and then six months later I go through our sign up flow again. Rinse & Repeat. This time around, our team spent days researching what the best companies are doing. We read their blog posts and looked at how they tackled the problem. Then a funny patterned emerged. Whenever we tried out their latest sign up and on-boarding…

Ultimate Report Part 4 of 4: Marketing Demand Gen Funnel

Your Ultimate Report: Sharing Your Marketing Funnel Welcome to part 4 of 4 of our Ultimate Report series. When we talk to our customers and potential customers we love to get an understanding of their “ultimate report”. It’s the report that stakeholders can quickly rally behind and understand how the business is performing, usually to a goal or target. Part 1: Pacing Part 2: Cadence & Operational Metrics Part 3: ARR Movements Part 4: Marketing Demand Gen Funnel We’re wrapping our fall edition of the Ultimate Report series with a report that resonates with the entire Visible team, the Marketing Demand Gen Funnel. What is it? A funnel that is used to track marketing conversions, typically around demand generation and inbound marketing. Who is it for?  Primarily any SaaS business that relies on inbound marketing and trials to…

Intelligent Google Sheets & Our Google Cloud Partnership

Today we are beyond thrilled to be releasing improvements to our Google Sheets Integration and to announce that we are now a Google Cloud Partner. Our application is now available to the Google Cloud and G Suite ecosystem.   What are the improvements? Many of our customers using our Google Sheets integration restructure, manipulate or change their Sheets files over time. Previously it was tedious making sure these changes were reflected into your Google Sheets Dashboards and Updates. Our release today allows for intelligent mapping. As your Sheets change we will understand if rows are moved up, down or removed and automatically reflect those in your Visible account. No action is needed on your part. If you make larger changes to your data set like renaming metrics we may prompt you with a question to make sure…

Startup Insurance – [Infographic]

Insurance is one of those important checklist items that every company needs. Every founder has questions about something that is not a core competency of pretty many businesses. It can also be a nuisance to understand and distract from critical day to day operations that are so vital in the early days of a startup. Insurance is crucial when you need it but usually an afterthought early on. I remember the pain first hand the first time an insurance question was brought up at Visible when we needed technology errors and omissions insurance for a particular client. To save fellow operators, founders and entrepreneurs the headache, we’ve partnered with Founder Shield to provide some more insight into a common insurance type for venture backed companies; Directors & Officers Insurance (commonly referred to as D&O). We hope you…

Zapier + Visible

We’re thrilled to be launching our Zapier integration out of beta and to bring the power of over 700+ applications to our customer base. Even better is you can utilize Zapier’s multi-step workflows and add on the Visible trigger to your existing apps. Not familiar with Zapier? Zapier connects all of the apps you use to automate your workflows. When something happens in a particular application an action is triggered in another. Check out some examples below to understand how you can automate your stakeholder reporting with Zapier and Visible.     Send Sales and Marketing data directly to Visible Metrics. Send KPIs from Pipedrive, Intercom, Mailchimp or any supported CRM and marketing tool directly to Visible metrics. Connect to your database! Want to automatically update Daily Active Users, Transactions Processed or…

An Open-Sourced Financial Model for SaaS Startups

Tracking Key Financial Metrics Back in the beginning 2016 we penned one of our most popular posts ever, Financial Modeling for Startups, then “open sourced” a Total Addressable Market template after building it for ourselves and found that it would be helpful to put in the hands of fellow startups. Through that we met Mike Simmons, the CEO of Credsimple who provided some great feedback and wanted to make some tweaks for his own use. We have kept in touch over the years (we’re also proud to call Credsimple a Visible customer). Mike recently decided to open source his own SaaS model for other companies to benefit. You can find Mike’s original post here. There are a few key point why we love the model and post: Why you need an operating model The…

Most Popular Times to Send Your Investor Update

When should I send my investor updates? We often get asked questions from customers and prospects ranging from: When should I send my investor update? How long should my investor update be? What should I include in my investor update?  While there is no hard and fast rule there are some best practices. (Our first piece of advice is don’t overthink it and just send it! Check out our Techstars presentation for more best practices on Investing in Investor Updates) We have a meaningful dataset at our fingers tip so we brushed up on our SQL query skills to break out some insights with how our customers are using Investor Updates. On average, Visible users are sending investor updates out to ~12 recipients and including ~4.5 charts. Fun fact: The most recipients for a…

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