We all know that Software as a Service (SaaS) is a rapidly expanding industry. If you are an executive leading your SaaS company, growth without churn is critical to its success. There are a number of qualities that most successful CEOs share, but growing SaaS takes an additional set of skills, knowledge, and a true customer centric mindset. Here are a few tips that have worked over my career.
While you are speaking with a prospective partner, make sure you are aware of what problems they’re having so you can provide the right solution and most importantly convey how your software is the best for them. You are not in the business of tech, you are in the business of solving clients’ key issues. When you are discussing your product, put yourself in their shoes and think about how you would fix the issue if it was your company. Get to know their business model to come up with a detailed and personalized solution. Your product features may never even come up in the conversation, but if the client knows you priority is solving their problem, you are on your way to having a new business partner for many, many years.
Build and Maintain Personal Relationships
This holds true for all business, but with SaaS there is a certain level of trust you need to build with a partner. You are providing a solution to something that has been troubling them for some time, and they need to know that you have their back. Your platform needs to be able to do what you said it will do. It needs to be highly secure to protect data, and you must have the support to address any issue (there will be issues) in a responsive, professional manner. Being quick and responsive to a client’s questions, shows them you care and they are a priority. This alone will go a long way to forming a solid foundation. Relationships are not about dinner and drinks. They about a tenacious desire for customer service and wanting to support your client’s goals. Real Relationships are built by trust, keeping your word, action, and results. Not court side seats at the Lakers game.
Learn to Walk Away
When you first start providing an SaaS solution companies make the mistake of wanting to partner with everyone you talk to. DON’T DO IT. BE PICKY! In reality, there is going to be interest in your product from customers who you may not be able to help. If you partner with someone you can’t actually help, you are setting yourself up for failure in the long run. This is the level of business integrity you must run your SaaS company. It is not all about MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue). It’s about providing real value. Once they realize your product is not for them, you will most likely lose them as a client and tarnish your reputation. Not to mention all of the time you spent with them is now wasted. Create an ideal customer profile to help assess who you should be selling to and who you should be parting ways with. Make sure they align with your business strategy and company values.
Building a Billion Dollar SaaS company is not an easy feat. Your organization must put solutions and customer success first, and this business ideology is not for everyone. Follow these three tips and you’ll be on your way to growing your business and making your clients successful which makes your SaaS even more successful because you bring real value.