Mike Preuss's posts

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

Sales Development Rep (SDR) – KPIs Template

A Google Sheet Template for SDRs Last week, we talked about the importance of SDRs. Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) have become an increasingly popular position to hire the past 10 years. Just check out this Google Trend from 2010 to now: If you want to learn a little more about the history and progress of the role, PersistIQ has a great post here. When it comes to SDR teams, the process and metrics always vary depending on multiple factors like company stage, contact sizes, sales cycles and more. There may be no one size fits all playbook and the strategies and processes to get there could vary by a wide amount. But in our research we found one important commonality in success SDR teams: handing off qualified leads to Account…

Visible 3.0 – A Note From our CEO

Today’s feature announcement is relatively minor (yet awesome) but its meaning is much greater. If you just want to read about Shareable Dashboards head to the bottom. If you want to hear what we are up to, keep reading. I’m really excited to share Visible’s focused vision for our product and business. When we on-boarded our first customer almost three years ago (thanks Iron Yard!) our goal was to solve the pain that came with monitoring and managing a privately held portfolio. We constantly heard the same thing from investors over and over again, “I never get investor updates or know what is going on with my portfolio!” We set out with a grand vision to build a product used by companies to provide KPIs, updates and cap tables to their investors in addition…

Recurring Updates – Building Better Habits

We always strive to reduce the friction for letting companies tell the right story to the right stakeholder at the right time. Recurring Updates is our latest step in that direction. Recurring Updates simply let you choose a time period on which you would like your Updates to be prompted to send (think of them as recurring calendar invites but for your data and reports). You can have your investor updates recur every month, team updates every week and board reports every quarter. We’ll automatically grab your new data for the respective period and all you have to do is provide the context. Create a Cadence Utilizing Recurring Updates will get you into a cadence and form a great behavior over time. Your stakeholders will know that they will hear from you in a timely, professional and visual way.…

Why Revenue Per Lead is Really Important to Track

Are you tracking revenue per lead? Sales can fix a lot of problems. As company growing pains continue as a business scales, it’s easier to focus on marketing initiatives or nip product bugs in the bud if your Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) regularly surpasses its goal. Drilling down to the core metrics that drive sales performance is one of the best ways to expose how well a startup scales after reaching initial traction. As we’ve discussed before, Lead Velocity Rate (LVR) is the favorite metric many VCs want to see to evaluate a company’s sales. Jason Lemkin unabashedly loves LVR, calling it the #1 metric to determine the trajectory of SaaS company’s sales. But Lemkin is also an advocate of measuring Revenue Per Lead (RPL), noting it as the second…

When & How to Calculate Market Share (With Formulas)

Raise capital, update investors and engage your team from a single platform. Try Visible free for 14 days. Quick Navigation What is Market Share? Why is Market Share Important to Understand How to Calculate Market Share 5 Things to Consider When Evaluating Market Share How to Expand Market Share Download Our Template! What is Market Share? One of the first steps to building a business is understanding the market and understanding the viability of a successful business. Regardless if the goal is to be a multi-billion dollar company or a local joint that can sustain a few employees — understanding the market, and your share of the market is vital.  As Investopedia puts it, “Market share is the percent of total sales in an industry generated by a particular company.…

Introducing Contact Lists

Get ready… Over the next couple of weeks we will be making some big product announcements. Today, we’re excited to launch Contact Lists. Contact Lists are a great way to easily build audiences for you different Updates without having to invite them to Visible. E.g. your Team, Investors, Potential Investors or Board. Watch the intro video below! Build Audiences with Contact Lists Adding to a contact list is simple! Just copy & paste emails directly into the box or enter them yourself. You can add many at once by separating by comma or one per line. If you provide a contact with the formatting of: John Doe <email@domain.com> We will automatically add their name in addition to email! People can belong to many contact lists. After an Update is sent…

Investor Letters: The Etsy Economy

In the world of business, moving first can be difficult and dangerous. Etsy, the Brooklyn-based marketplace connecting sellers and buyers of handmade and vintage goods, who IPO’d in 2015 is finding this out the hard way. When it went public, Etsy was the largest (and one of the first) B Corporations ever to do so at a market cap of over $3B. Since, Etsy’s value has slipped to under $1B and it is yet to convince investors of its long term viability in light of widening losses and competition from Amazon (“your margin is my opportunity”). In this week’s Investor Letter, which was included as part of the company’s S-1 filing, CEO Chad Dickerson makes the case for Etsy as a public company and tries to push Wall Street analysts…

6 More Great Startup Newsletters

Last year, we put together a list of 17 startup newsletters that people here on the Visible team read and love. In one way or another, each of those newsletters helps to inform our decision-making around strategy and product or features content that we find generally entertaining and insightful. Related Resource: The 16 Best Startup Newsletters In the months since, we have come across a few more newsletters that have quickly become can’t miss material for us each week.   Snippets from Social Capital As a firm, Social Capital focuses on backing companies solving big problems. Snippets, their weekly newsletter surfaces content to help readers learn more about those big areas – like healthcare, education, and technology’s impact on society.   The Ringer While the newsletter from Bill Simmons’ new…

[Investor Letters] Howard Marks on Liquidity

Like Warren Buffett, Howard Marks is a master craftsman of memos on the state of the market, investment psychology, and investment philosophy. In January of 2016 as capital seemed to be pouring out of public and private equity markets – at the time of his post, the S&P was down almost 9% from where it ended 2015 – and liquidity was on the minds of many investors and operators. For people building companies (as opposed to investment firms), his notes on liquidity provide ample learning opportunities to help effectively navigate periods of exuberance and tightening that inevitably occur. Marks framed his thoughts on liquidity well at the beginning of this Bloomberg interview where he states: “The best defense against liquidity is not needing it. It is buying things you can hold…

This YouTube Investment Memo Shows You the Path to the Perfect Pitch

Every company going out to try to raise capital from angel investors or VCs seems to have some derivative of the same question – “What should we include in our pitch deck?” While the outsize clout people give a simple slide deck may seem silly, it speaks the importance of being able to weave a compelling narrative about your business. Roelof Botha of Sequoia Capital is one of the most successful venture capitalists of all time. He sits on the board of companies like Square and Jawbone and led investments in Youtube and Meebo before they were acquired by Google. Recently, he checked in at #18 on CB Insights list of the top 100 venture capitalists. Basically, he knows what it takes to build great companies and how those companies…

Investor Letters: Overstock’s Super-de-Duper Year

Overstock has long been a bit player in the world of Ecommerce. Founded in Utah in 1999 (at the height of the Dot-Com boom), the company grew rapidly and IPO’d in 2002 (a week after Netflix and almost right at the bottom of the Dot-Com bust) on annual revenue of $40mm and at a market cap of just under $350MM dollars. Despite being one of the few companies to come out of the Dot-Com crash alive, its long term growth has disappointed and the value of the company today sits just a few million dollars north of where they IPO’d 14 years ago. Still, the company and its CEO, Patrick Byrne have a way of keeping themselves in the news. There was the battle with naked shortsellers, its rebrand to…

The Momentum Flywheel

“ As a founder, there is no variable more important to manage adeptly than momentum” – Glenn Solomon, GGV Settling on a single definition for “momentum” in an early stage business is difficult. There is product momentum — delivering on the value proposition you promise to existing and potential customers time and time again. There is team and hiring momentum — fostering a culture that effectively attracts and retains great people. There is revenue momentum – building a predictable growth engine that targets the right segment of the market and packages your solution effectively over time. There is fundraising momentum – regularly engaging with current and potential investors to gauge the market and lay the groundwork for future fundraising events. All of these different momentum subsets contribute to the overall…

Investor Letters: Starbucks in the Dot-Com Bust

Starbucks was founded in 1971, was purchased in 1987 Howard Schultz (the man globally associated with the brand), went public in 1992, and opened its first international location in Japan in 1996. By the late 1990’s when the dot-com boom was in full swing, Starbucks was onboard, investing in eventual blow-ups like Kozmo, Talk City, and Living.com. In 2000 – just as the company was taking writedowns on the investments listed above – Howard Schultz and Orin Smith penned the following letter to shareholders which laid out core focus areas and set the table for the massively important technology company Starbucks has become today. All of the charts, images, quotes, and emphasis below were added by us. If you like what you see and want to share Visible Investor Letters with…

Investor Letters: Mark Zuckerberg before Facebook’s IPO

Driven primarily by Mark Zuckerberg’s desire to keep his company nimble, Facebook waited a long time to go public. This brought intense scrutiny from a lot of onlookers who were quick to pile on when the company’s IPO got off to a rocky start. Weeks prior to the actual IPO as part of the company’s S-1, Zuck outlined his vision for the future in a letter to Facebook’s shareholders and made it clear that he was playing the long game. All of the charts, images, quotes, and emphasis below were added by us. If you like what you see and want to share Visible Investor Letters with friends or colleagues, send them here to sign up.   Mark Zuckerberg’s Letter to Prospective Facebook Investors Facebook was not originally created to…

Investor Letters: BlackRock’s Larry Fink to CEOs Everywhere

Today’s letter takes a slightly different approach than most in the past. Instead of a CEO updating shareholders on the present and future of the business, this missive – from BlackRock’s Larry Fink – features a CEO sharing insight (and some harsh realities) with other CEOs…ones he and his firm have invested in. In sharing advice with CEOs of some of the largest companies in the world, Fink touches on transparency, company-specific metrics, and the idea of getting key stakeholders aligned on where the business is heading – all things that are useful to businesses of any size and stage. All of the charts, images, quotes, and emphasis below were added by us. If you like what you see and want to share Visible Investor Letters with friends or colleagues, send…

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