Cover art for podcast The Official SaaStr Podcast: SaaS | Founders | Investors

The Official SaaStr Podcast: SaaS | Founders | Investors

469 EpisodesProduced by SaaStrWebsite

he Official SaaStr Podcast is the latest and greatest from the world of SaaStr, interviewing the most prominent operators and investors to discover their tips, tactics and strategies to attain success in the fiercely competitive world of SaaS. On the side of the operators, we center around getting f… read more


SaaStr 152: Cloudera's Lars Nilsson on Why SDRs Are The Most Important Role In The Sales Function, How To Build An SDR Team From Nothing & How To Construct A Compensation Plan That Drives A Behaviour You Want Other Than Just Revenue

Lars Nilsson is the VP of Global Inside Sales for Cloudera and with over twenty-five years of sales and operations experience, Lars Nilsson is a global leader in enterprise software and selling solutions. One of Lars many incredible achievements was he and his team at Cloudera built the sales methodology Account-Based Sales Development (ABSD), which has transformed how businesses approach high-value targets. Prior to Cloudera, Lars founded SalesSource, a business services consulting firm specializing in CRM customization and sales process development. Lars has also served in sales executive roles at ArcSight/Hewlett Packard, Riverbed Technology and Portal Software – all three of which achieved IPOs, in addition to Cloudera (2017). As Special Advisor at True Ventures, Lars helps True portfolio companies develop sales compensation plans from the ground up, implement best-of-breed sales technologies, and rapidly scale sales teams to meet demand.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How did Lars make his way into the world of enterprise sales back in 1995? How has Lars seen the industry change so significantly over the last 22 years?  
  • Why does Lars believe that SDRs are the most important role in sales? How does their role of ensuring a full pipe compare to the role of demand gen and marketing?
  • How does Lars think about setting a quota that ensures a desired behaviour beyond pure revenue chasing? What is his framework for setting and optimising the right quota? Why does Lars believe that ales is all about activities? What activities is Lars most eager to measure and test?
  • What is Lars’ biggest advice to someone looking to build out their SDR team from the ground up? What core characteristics should one look for in those initial SDR hires? What is and has been Lars’ biggest challenge in building out his SDR team? Why is building SDR teams in the bay so hard?
  • How does Lars think about setting ideal customer profiles? How big a TAM is large enough to be excited, yet narrow enough  to be achievable and solve a true and inherent customer need?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. What does Lars know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning?
  2. What is Lars favourite piece of SaaS reading material?
  3. Sales rep productivity, what does Lars believe is the scale from exceptional to poor?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented, you can follow us on Twitter here:

Jason Lemkin

Harry Stebbings


Lars Nilsson

Educational emoji reaction


Interesting emoji reaction


Funny emoji reaction


Agree emoji reaction


Love emoji reaction


Wow emoji reaction


Listen to The Official SaaStr Podcast: SaaS | Founders | Investors


A free podcast app for iPhone and Android

  • User-created playlists and collections
  • Download episodes while on WiFi to listen without using mobile data
  • Stream podcast episodes without waiting for a download
  • Queue episodes to create a personal continuous playlist
RadioPublic on iOS and Android
Or by RSS
RSS feed

Connect with listeners

Podcasters use the RadioPublic listener relationship platform to build lasting connections with fans

Yes, let's begin connecting
Browser window

Find new listeners

  • A dedicated website for your podcast
  • Web embed players designed to convert visitors to listeners in the RadioPublic apps for iPhone and Android
Clicking mouse cursor

Understand your audience

  • Capture listener activity with affinity scores
  • Measure your promotional campaigns and integrate with Google and Facebook analytics
Graph of increasing value

Engage your fanbase

  • Deliver timely Calls To Action, including email acquistion for your mailing list
  • Share exactly the right moment in an episode via text, email, and social media
Icon of cellphone with money

Make money

  • Tip and transfer funds directly to podcastsers
  • Earn money for qualified plays in the RadioPublic apps with Paid Listens