SaaS Growth Strategy | A Customer Lifecycle Approach

Driving sustainable growth is a challenge for every SaaS business from startups to public companies. In the beginning, the SaaS recurring revenue model seems like a dream compared to the revenue fits and starts of licensed enterprise software. But within one short customer lifetime, every SaaS CEO startles awake to the fact that the churn monster is always looking over your shoulder.

In the short run, SaaS growth scales with customer acquisition, but in the long run churn kicks in and dominates even the most aggressive SaaS growth strategy, creating a SaaS growth ceiling that can be incredibly difficult to break through. SaaS churn naturally scales with the size of your customer base making it negatively viral. Overcoming churn and breaking through the SaaS growth ceiling requires a relentless focus on growth that pushes every available SaaS growth lever.

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Securing and Maintaining Customer References

Customer References are the best way to get credibility for your product. While the eventual decision by the prospect might be more dependent on your value proposition and how painful of a problem the prospect has, references could push the deal past the goal post. Providing references that can vouch for the product has become an integral part of the sales cycle. Most early stage companies sweat bullets when it comes to furnishing them.

Reference CheckIrrespective of what stage your company is at, in its lifecycle, you will be asked for references. Consider it as a certificate of merit for the excellent service you have provided your existing customer. While NPS (Net Promoter Score) serves as an indicator of your customer loyalty (also how good your customer satisfaction score has been), a customer reference is an indicator of  how compelling the value proposition of your product/service is.

If you are a

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Eleven Secrets of SaaS Product Design

saas product secretsSaaS product management professionals should always remember that there are four P’s in marketing, one being product. Unfortunately, software companies have a bad habit of thinking about product in isolation from the rest of the marketing mix. This is a particularly costly mistake in SaaS and is the root cause of many a SaaS Don’t. Unlike other businesses, SaaS creates a real-time, always-on connection between the customer and the company through the SaaS product. Smart SaaS product managers look to establish this connection as early as possible and to leverage it throughout the entire SaaS customer lifecycle.

This is the fifth and final post in a series that explores SaaS marketing strategies that drive growth throughout the customer lifecycle using the three fundamental SaaS growth levers: customer acquisition, customer lifetime value and customer network effects. In the course of this exploration, we’ve encountered numerous examples where the SaaS product itself is the instrument of growth. This final installment explores the product P in more detail providing Eleven Secrets of SaaS Product Design that drive growth at each stage of the customer lifecycle.

The Boundless SaaS Product

What are the boundaries of your SaaS product? Login? Purchase? Mobile? From a SaaS customer’s point of view, there is little distinction between your SaaS product, website, mobile app, support, service and community. It is a seamless online experience…if you design it that way! Great SaaS product management professionals don’t simply specify features and functions, they create online experiences that satisfy business, professional and personal needs. And in the course of satisfying those needs, they drive revenue growth by pushing the three fundamental SaaS growth levers.

Below are eleven SaaS product management secrets for creating SaaS products that sell themselves, one secret for each stage of the SaaS customer lifecycle. Underscoring each secret are two enduring economic themes: Continue reading "Eleven Secrets of SaaS Product Design"

Are you selling an Oven or a Cake?

An oven, no matter how good it is can just be a shiny object. Its value is realized only based on the cake that comes out of that oven. The cake in turn is dependent on the recipe, the ingredients you use and how you cook the cake. A cake bought from a bakery, on the other hand, is ready to be consumed and enjoyed right away. What has an oven or a cake got to do with Software Products?

Product companies sell a variety of solutions ranging from ready-to-use products(i.e. cake) such as CRM, Project Management that anyone can use  to complex products (i.e oven) such as Business Intelligence, Performance Management that need specialists to realize its stated value proposition . As Product Managers, based on where your product falls, a Oven manufacturer or Baker, you should expect different paths to success. The way you build the product, market

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Customer Success in SaaS

Customer Success has become the mantra for software companies in the SaaS space to create a profitable company. I recently did a presentation to group of leaders from the technology space around how Customer Success is changing the very fabric of a software company.

Customer Success is not a new term used for the erstwhile function of customer support or for that matter, account management or client services. Those functions are driven by goals that are self-serving for the company. Customer Success on the other hand should be a passionate focus on customer and the value delivered to them.



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