SaaS business models are like no other, and it’s not easy to make it in this dog-eat-dog world. There are countless business models and strategies that SaaS companies learn about and try, but here are some strategies that have been proven in the field and validated by experts.
5 key strategies that help SaaS startups survive:
Everything must be easy, and on their terms
This strategy is one that all SaaS businesses should employ, and its importance can not be overstated. Everything that happens within your app - whether it’s a feature or a tutorial - must come easy to the end user. Your service should be intuitive, but also customer-driven. Consumers want what they want, when they want it. They need to be in charge of how and when they access the information, and they expect you to have it ready for them when they decide they want it.
Walk before you run
Don’t waste your valuable time and resources trying to close deals with the Fortune 500’s of the world. They have an extremely slow sales cycle, and are being targeted by countless other businesses at this very moment. Focus on the low hanging fruit - the smaller businesses that actually need your product or service and have the ability to jump when they see what they want. You’ll get there eventually, but don’t try to skip over the natural stages of growth.
Never forget about your need to scale
Don’t get caught up in things that will make it difficult or impossible to scale your business, like offering customization in your early stages. If you invest in creating custom solutions, you’re suffocating your scalability. Instead, focus on offering configurations that don’t change the core product but still facilitate customization on an organizational level.
Incorporate Your Cost of Sale Into All Marketing & Budgeting Plans
As you start to grow, you’ll develop different sales channels and mediums of acquiring new customers. Don’t make the mistake of counting all new customers equal. For example, a smaller deal worth $5,000 suddenly becomes revenu-neutral or even revenue-negative if a sales team had to travel to close the deal. A phone call, however, would show a positive ROI. Make sure you understand your numbers so you can continue to make the best sales decisions moving forward.
Create a Customer Success Roadmap
Customer success will play a huge role in the survival of your SaaS business, at every single stage. This is something that will never go away, so you want to embrace it. At the very beginning, when a customer first decides to use your product or service, they have an initial desired outcome that your product needs to meet. The thing is, this is an ever-evolving process. Today’s goal is conquered, and tomorrow there will be a new one. If the business wants to keep the customer, they need to anticipate what the ongoing desired outcomes and goals of their customers will be throughout their lifecycle, and have things in place to meet them along the way.
As you claw and scrape your way to success, remember these 5 strategies - they’ve proven successful for those that have gone before you!