Is it possible to sell a SaaS product without a well established brand?

My Post (8).jpgWell of course it is 🙂

The question is, how do you get past the brands? Brands are incredibly powerful because they are the default choice.

But there’s good news: there are veteran buyers in every space and category in SaaS now.Veterans who have already bought and deployed applications in your space … and found a critical gap they want filled.

Something they really, really need a core product to do that the leaders don’t do.

And a subset of those veterans will search out an emerging vendor that maybe is pretty so-so at most functions, is quite lacking in some key areas … but solves their #1 gap in the space.

They’ll buy from you if you solve their problem. And if you let these veterans know who you are — through PR, blogs, podcast, press, SEO, SEM, events, tradeshows, outbound, cold calls, emails, WhatsApps, Slack Channels, try everything — some will reach out to you. If you really solve that critical gap in a critical problem / solution. – Read more

4 areas of SMB operation that benefit the most from SaaS

My Post (7).jpgSmall to midsize businesses move towards Software-as-a-Service in a digital-first landscape.

Today’s competitive business landscape has companies looking to technology to find some advantage. Many are compelled to undergo digital transformation to become more efficient in their business processes. But even newer companies often struggle to determine what components ought to comprise their “tech stacks.”

For smaller ventures, this process can be especially overwhelming. With limited resources, leaders and IT officers of these smaller operations have to effectively manage how they adopt and implement various digital solutions. This forces some to keep things analog or make do with the limited functionalities of traditional on-premises and offline solutions.

Fortunately, software-as-a-service (SaaS) and cloud computing have lowered the barriers to powerful features previously found only in enterprise-grade, custom-developed software. Today, the maturity of the SaaS ecosystem allows businesses to simply subscribe online and get immediate access to apps, instead of having to invest significant capital upfront, purchasing the necessary infrastructure, software licenses and setup services.

For legacy SMBs that are especially strapped for resources, or that are especially skeptical about the value of these tools, it’s also possible to incrementally and selectively migrate processes to SaaS. The diversity and functional specialization of the apps available allows companies to experiment with and get accustomed to digital workflows, one operational aspect at a time. This also enables them to identify and cherry pick the business areas where these solutions have the potential for the most dramatic immediate impact. – read more

How much would you pay an affiliate to your SaaS product and for how long?

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A rough rule of thumb is it’s a good deal for both sides if you pay an affiliate what it would cost you to acquire that lead on your own.

An approximately way to think about that:

  • 35%-40% of first year ACV (Annual Contract Value) if they bring you a closed, signed lead. It would cost you that much to acquire and close that lead yourself.
  • 15%-20% of first year ACV if they bring you a true Opportunity. I.e., if they do the marketing part, but not the sales part.
  • 10% or so for a Lead. Much more than this, without deep qualification of the Lead, gets expensive.

And generally speaking, note you probably need to pay your sales teams on even “closed” leads send to you (i.e., the first category), so the real cost will be higher to you.

And of course, this model assumes a long customer lifetime. These numbers are too high in a higher-churn environment. But you can just adjust them there to a shorter customer value (instead of ACV), and keep the percentages about the same.

In the end, affiliates are a marketing channel. Pay them what you’d pay your own marketing team and you probably come out ahead. Tweak from there. – Read more