Who is Allison?
Allison Pickens is an enthusiastic partner to product-oriented founders on their go-to-market strategy and scaling. In particular, she is a world-recognized expert on how to grow through your existing customers (through better adoption, retention, expansion, and advocacy), having invented, refined, and/or popularized many of the best practices in that area. As the former COO at Gainsight, Allison scaled the SaaS company from $1M to >$80M in ARR, paving the way for Gainsight’s $1B valuation. Besides building and leading dozens of functions, she pioneered thought leadership for Gainsight’s community on how to drive recurring revenue growth, which drove the creation of the new category of customer success software.
Allison’s content — amounting to 100+ blog posts, many dozens of podcasts, and ultimately a book called The Customer Success Economy (Wiley, 2020) — became a vehicle for her to advise entrepreneurs. She advised CEOs in Bessemer’s portfolio as an Executive-in-Residence and joined two private SaaS company boards and the board of Commvault (NASDAQ: CVLT), making her one of the youngest public company board directors in the U.S. She decided to leave Gainsight in early 2020 to focus on her passion for working with founders, and she launched The New Normal Fund to formalize those advisory arrangements.
Allison is part of the Fortune Most Powerful Women community and was named one of the Top Women in SaaS and Top 50 People in Sales and Business Development. She started her career as a strategy consultant at BCG and later an investor at Bain Capital, and she earned an MBA at Stanford and a BA at Yale. See her LinkedIn profile here.
On weekends you can find Allison hiking in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, discussing topics that range from gut health to climate change.
What’s the New Normal Fund?
I consider myself an operator-angel: advisor first, investor second. One of my greatest joys in life is working with entrepreneurs to help them turn their vision into reality. The fund is simply a way to formalize those relationships.
Given my expertise, the fund focuses on SaaS companies across stages (pre-seed through pre-IPO), as well as digital health, a personal passion of mine. More fundamentally, I am concentrated on working with entrepreneurs who want to create “newer normals” that put our humanity first, technology second.
You can learn more about the fund and my background on AngelList here.
What’s the New Normal Newsletter?
This newsletter follows my journey as a partner to product-oriented founders on their go-to-market strategy and scaling.
In the archives, you’ll see almost every blog post and podcast that I’ve published since 2015. The content from 2015 to 2019 is primarily about how B2B SaaS companies can drive faster recurring revenue growth. The 2020 posts focus on my overall learnings about scaling Gainsight. Going forward, I’ll continue writing and speaking about go-to-market and scaling topics, as well as trends I’m seeing in the tech industry more broadly and companies that I believe are creating beneficial, “newer” normals as they make their mark on the world.