SaaS Companies — Strategy

Many Saas companies can do better. Better, what does this exactly mean?

I interned at a Saas company, currently work at a Saas company, and have met with many Saas companies (vendors).

Here are 6 things I’ve noticed that the best Saas companies in 2022 have done well.

1) Have a Clear Pricing Plan

If you are offering your software as a service, then provide the costs upfront. I’ve researched and met with a large number of Saas vendors and one thing that the majority of them have in common is that they don’t have a transparent pricing model. A larger issue is that no one provides you with costs upfront in the initial call with the vendor.

A great example of what not to do:

Salesperson cold emails a business to discuss their product (Not able to discuss pricing)→ Salesperson knows your interest and this leads to a discovery call to understand the business needs (Still not able to discuss pricing)→ Leads to another call to identify the needs of the company and discuss next steps (No pricing at all) → A demo of the product (Hints the potential costs of the product)

https://creately.com/diagram/example/jkc34kr72/sales-process-flowchart

I’ve met with a large number of vendors and had to go through multiple calls and demos before identifying the costs. At the end of the day, if your SaaS company doesn’t have a clear pricing plan, an option for a demo, and a transparent payment option in place, your company is going to run into 4 problems:

  1. Visitors to your website will have no notion how much your service costs, and you will miss out on turning many leads into customers.
  2. Customers won’t be able to simply submit their payment card information or sign up for a free trial for your product. The only method to pay for it will be to contact the business, which will add a lot of friction, reduce your conversion rate significantly, and waste time for all stakeholders.
  3. Your sales team will operate on a case-by-case basis, always attempting to upsell a customer rather than sticking to the standard pricing model, your sales force will struggle to be explicit about the price in their sales pitch and contracts.
  4. Your lead-to-customer pipeline will be extraordinarily lengthy (sometimes many months) as a result of the three problems listed above, slowing down your scale-up process.

2) Scale-up Tech

Hiring the greatest software developers is a terrific investment, but it comes at a high price. A contented tech expert earns a lot of money, works on interesting projects, and works with a phenomenal team to reach the objectives.

If you can’t find great software devs, then partner up with a staffing agency. If you are having a hard time retaining talent, then look into providing long-term benefits/incentives. It’s easier said than done.

3) Customer-based features Should be Ranked or NOT be Released

I was hesitating to include this part because everyone has their own opinions. But I have seen the nightmares of releasing customer-based features and their impact on all departments. I’ve also seen SaaS companies such as Atlassian’s Jira or Kaseya’s IT Glue do a phenomenal job allowing customers to provide their opinions, vote on issues that need to be worked on, and rank customer-based features.

For example… One of your most important customers informs your customer experience team that they urgently need a feature that you don’t offer right now, but that your competition has. This leads to…

  • The contract renewal deadline for this greatest customer is in six months. The corporation will lose a lot of money if they do not renew.
  • Every meeting with tech and marketing, the customer experience team brings up the feature request: “This, this, this is what we need.”
  • When a senior manager learns about it, then that person places it on a high-priority list and pushes the PMO or product group to set out a project timetable and implement it. This pushes back the original goals on the product map months back.
  • Now tech has just 5 months to work on something they hadn’t planned, the entire team is worried, the timetable has been hijacked, everything else will be postponed, and other customers will feel ignored while others have been heard.

4) Make a significant investment in your online presence.

Choose two or three communication channels maximum. Instead of being concerned about customers leaving, consider expanding your pool of prospects and maybe raising your conversion rate. The more businesses and/or individuals who are aware of your presence, the more likely you are to attract new consumers.

Now, I’m not talking about squandering massive sums of money on Google and Facebook ads with a 1% click-through rate. Instead, consider the following strategy:

  • Concentrate on developing a social media presence that is relevant to your target demographic. Are your consumers and decision-makers on Twitter, Linkedin, or Instagram, liking or commenting on posts?
  • Invest in video gear, video editing software, and someone who has experience with videography and video editing.
  • Video must be one of your communication channels. You can’t afford to communicate with your audience through video, whether you publish on YouTube, post 1-minute videos on Linkedin, or host webinars. According to Cisco, Forbes, and other large media sites by the end of 2022, video content will account for 82 percent of all internet traffic for both enterprises and consumers. This is 15 times higher than it was in 2017. The best method to grow your internet presence is to invest in basic video equipment and one or two marketing experts specializing in video production.
  • Publish high-quality content

5) Look At Your Acquisition Costs: Balance Marketing and Sales

  • The most effective strategy to save these expenditures in 2022 is to optimize your marketing funnel. People no longer buy software because they receive a sales call, whether they like it or not. People buy an online solution because they saw it on social media, read a terrific blog post written by a certain firm, were provided access to a great demo, and/or because they were given a simple way to submit their payment information.
  • Spending a significant amount of money on content production, social media presence, a well-done website, a clear pricing strategy, and an online payment method. Those are some of the things that will propel your company forward, rather than recruiting twice as many salespeople.

6) Hassle-Free Implementation

Employ an implementation framework with standardized playbooks

  • Playbooks make implementation project data visible, actionable, and predictable, allowing you to launch on time, every time, and stick to the project timeline regardless of the customer type.
  • My favorite vendors are the ones who provide an implementation roadmap. This allows us to notify all stakeholders including senior management promptly and allows us to save.

Establish/outline individual roles

  • Who owns what in the implementation process?

Embrace consistent and clear communications

  • Which communication channels work for all stakeholders?
  • What are the next steps?
  • What’s the status of the implementation and when is the completion date?

Solicit customer KPIs

  • What criteria will the customer use to determine success?
  • Internally, how is the customer’s project manager(s) evaluated?
  • What do their senior managers and other stakeholders expect?
  • Budget will be a top priority in certain cases, but finishing the project by the internal winter holiday season freeze will be a top priority in others.

Reliable predictability

  • You will need to determine the headcount for future implementation projects.

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Tech — Running — Chess

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Jad Elahmad

Jad Elahmad

Tech — Running — Chess

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