This week, we’re excited to bring you our longest SaaS roundup yet – featuring articles on reducing churn, increasing retention, closing enterprise SaaS deals and more! Let’s dig in…
As Totango‘s Mia Jacobs says, the best way to beat your fear of customer churn is to gather knowledge and use it correctly. In this article, Jacobs breaks down the common reasons for customer churn and shares some fantastic ROI-focused strategies for customer success. Organized neatly into actionable bullets, this light read is brimming with helpful tips and fresh perspectives.
You want to keep your customers happy so they will renew, and in order to do this, you need a comprehensive understanding of your customer. Maintaining a customer success platform is integral to knowing where a customer is on their journey and what form of engagement will suit their needs.– Mia Jacobs
Medium writer Andrei Blanda knocked it out of the park on this one. Though this 9-minute read can feel a bit hefty at times, it’s worth every second. Blanda’s explanation of how essential visual attention is to your SaaS marketing is profound, and the data, insights and advice he shares is simply brilliant. We could say more, but this is one you absolutely have to read for yourself.
Rather than blaming The Distraction Machine, ADD or all those loud mouth marketers, we want to accept that, as humans, we tend to make decisions based on our current schemas.– Andrei Blanda
It’s not that we are distracted, but there are not enough interesting messages to capture our attention.
Geoff Roberts reflects on Outseta‘s early years, and shares some of the great alternative funding options available to SaaS startups. This article is geared toward the early stage SaaS companies who are considering if these new forms of capital make sense for their business, and does a great job of shedding light on some of the lesser known aspects of each. If you’re an early stage SaaS startup, we highly recommend giving this one a quick read.
Rather than being shackled by cookie-cutter financing models, a new generation of entrepreneurs is learning that if you can dream up a new financing structure you can probably make it happen. But more importantly, there seems to be a new emphasis on building real, profitable businesses. I for one believe that’s a good thing that will ultimately result in stronger, more durable businesses.– Geoff Roberts
Continuing our theme of somewhat-lengthy pieces, Neel Bhula of Octopus Ventures published some great thoughts on closing enterprise SaaS deals. Bhula discusses in detail what enterprise customers are seeking form vendors, and explains why companies often fall short of meeting these expectations. Understanding what your customers expect is key to acquisition and retention. This article is a great place to start!
Either the problem you are addressing isn’t that complicated, or they won’t be able to digest everything you throw at them at once — either way, this latter approach puts enormous pressure on your post-sales teams, why not make it easier on your colleagues and make your customer happy at the same time?– Neel Bhula
Product led growth (PLG) is the new norm, and Openview‘s Brianne Kimmel is here to help you understand it. While Kimmel urges readers to take full advantage of the power of PLG, she’s sure to point out that startups can’t rely on PLG alone. With both PLG and sales having their own limitations, it’s important not to view the two as an either/or proposition, but rather as a powerful one-two punch.
PLG is more than just a cost effective go-to-market motion for startups, it’s also a strategy that aligns well with how consumers want to buy software today. The bottoms-up nature of PLG gives more power to the functional experts within a company, which means each team can choose best of breed tools without additional layers of approval.– Brianne Kimmel
Lauren Kelley of OPEXEngine shared a great presentation on the pros and cons of the SaaS SMB and enterprise models. While both models have their own unique benefits and drawbacks – the financial results can be similar. However, operational drivers such as sales ratios, funnel metrics, and R&D metrics are very different. Which SaaS model is a better fit for you? This article will help you decide.
Both models can result in highly valuable companies. Hubspot, valued at almost 9X revenues on revenues of almost $400M last year, is an example of a very valuable SaaS SMB vendor, and Workday, at almost 12X revenue and over $2B revenue last year, maintains its value selling into the enterprise marketplace.– Lauren Kelley
Point Nine Capital‘s Clement Vouillon returns to our weekly roundup series with another great Medium post. This week’s offering discusses how to leverage SaaS app stores for your go-to-market strategy. The tips Vouillon shares in this article are simple yet powerful, making this a very worthy 3-minute read.
Another benefit of leveraging SaaS app stores is that you’ll find different types of well-defined customers on each platform. The users of Intercom are not the same as the users of Salesforce. Companies using Zapier are probably not similar to the businesses using Marketo’s plugin directory. Whether it’s solopreneurs/freelancers, SMBs, mid-market or enterprise customers, you can find a SaaS platform where they already are.– Clement Vouillon
Our very own Anna Talerico shared a great new article with our good friends at Openview last week. This time around, Anna discusses revenue churn, the causes of it, and the importance of reversing it. There’s nothing more important than improving customer retention and reducing revenue churn.
The trickle-down effects of revenue churn are widespread. They impact the P&L, the balance sheet, and company-wide morale. If you have a churn problem, you have a burn problem, and that will make it very hard to grow. I think improving customer retention and reducing revenue churn has to be any SaaS company’s number one strategic priority.– Anna Talerico
Thanks for joining us for this week’s SaaS roundup! We hope to see you back here next Monday.