#316 - Zach Barney, CEO Mobly - on taking on a forgotten market in sales automation.

A story about building a rapidly growing SaaS business by prioritizing pragmatism over being on the edge.

This podcast interview focuses on the entrepreneurial journey to solve a global challenge: helping field sales sell more and faster. My guest is Zach Barney, Co-founder and CEO of Mobly.

Zach BarneyZach Barney is an experienced SaaS sales leader and entrepreneur. He has been building and leading SaaS sales teams since 2010 at companies like Vehlo, Nearmap, Teem, and HireVue. Over his career, he has personally closed over $4 million in ARR and his teams have closed over $40 million. 

In 2023, he co-founded Mobly to reduce the high percentage (+25%) of sales activity that never gets logged into CRM systems.

Their mission: To redefine lead capture and qualification for event marketers.

This inspired me, and hence, I invited Zach to my podcast. We explore what’s broken in the lead generation process at in-person events. Zach explains his journey with Mobly to solve this problem and elaborates on how this fits in a much broader vision. He elaborates on the big lessons he learned around gaining traction and using pricing as a lever for growth. Lastly, he elaborates on how he’s building a moat around his product.

Here’s one of his quotes

We learned that we needed to change our pricing model. Our first handful of customers we were grossly under-charging them and it was largely due to the fact that we were pricing based on the number of seats. Somebody would openly tell us ‘Yeah, well this person can share the license with this person.’  So, we realized ‘I guess we made a mistake on how we price this because this should be like a $20,000 contract and you’re telling me that you’re gonna pay 2000…’

 

During this interview, you will learn four things:

  1. How he and his co-founder managed to get very comfortable doubling down on building a product without hardly spending anything.
  2. What he changed to his pricing strategy to increase average deal-size AND make grow each customer account from there onwards.
  3. What strategic choices he made around phasing his product strategy to ensure they got traction as early as possible – and keep growing it.
  4. Why he’s decided to build defensible differentiation around data and not features. 

 

For more information about the guest from this week:

 

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About the author

Sales Pitch

Ton Dobbe is a former B2B software product marketer who's on a mission to save mission-driven SaaS CEOs from the stress of 'not enough' traction. He's the author of The Remarkable Effect, the host of the Tech-Entrepreneur on a Mission podcast, and writes a daily newsletter on the secrets to mastering predictable traction.