Here’s What You Need to Sell your SaaS Product to Enterprise Customers


This post is by Anna Talerico from Openview Labs


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For SaaS companies, the allure of the enterprise customer is pretty strong. The prestige of a big logo alone can boost your brand’s credibility and provide powerful social proof. And because enterprise customers typically stick around longer, they lower your overall churn risk. Plus, enterprise customers usually spend more—on support, seats, usage, integrations, etc. The LTV of an enterprise customer can be extraordinarily high, making the extra effort to land them well worth it. But as wonderful as selling into enterprise accounts is, it can pull you in a million different directions with new types of requests and requirements. It’s hard to parse what enterprise SaaS buyers want, versus what they actually require. And making decisions about how far you should go to support the enterprise can be gut-wrenching. Often, you are faced with a choice between veering off your product development roadmap to drop everything in support of an
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5 All-Too-Common Strategy Mistakes You Might Be Making


This post is by Anna Talerico from Openview Labs


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It’s always easier for Monday morning quarterbacks to say what should have been done than to plan for success. However, in the SaaS world there are absolutely some dos and don’ts around building a successful brand and keeping those dreaded churn rates low. Here are some of the most common mistakes SaaS companies make, according to experts.

1. You seem the same as everybody else

Your prospects and customers literally have 6,800 options to wade through in order to find answers to a select few–often industry-specific–problems. If every website they come across is advertising an “Optimized business solution to increase your ROI,” they’re going to get overwhelmed pretty quickly and might even sign up for your product by mistake (more on that later).

2. You’re not onboarding

According to Len Markidan at Groove, there are two “major milestones” in the customer journey: the moment they decide to purchase
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Is It Time Your Customers Got a Health Checkup? (Yes. It Is.)


This post is by Anna Talerico from Openview Labs


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Most of us know that, periodically, even the healthiest people need to go and get a “just in case” checkup. It’s why life insurance companies require a physical. However, when it comes to customers, many SaaS companies rely on an “if it ain’t broke, leave it alone” model. As a SaaS founder who instituted health scoring as soon as we acquired our 25th customer, it’s hard for me to wrap my head around the sheer number of companies who aren’t tracking the health of their customer base. If your customers have gone years without a routine checkup, here are the steps you should take to get back on track.

What does a healthy SaaS customer look like?

This varies for everyone, but deciding what a healthy customer (and an at-risk customer) looks like is your first step toward accurately assigning a health score. Take a look at the various activity,
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In SaaS, Renewal is Everything: Is Your Process Working?


This post is by Anna Talerico from Openview Labs


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Most of us know that one of the keys to thriving in the SaaS landscape is getting customers to renew subscriptions. According to Totango, 56% of SaaS companies treat renewals as a high priority. However, when it comes to actually documenting, streamlining and perfecting that renewal process, far too many of us are looking at courting customers into renewal as a perfunctory obligation, which could be the reason customers are walking away. Renewal should be designed into your sales process, your product, your culture, your values and your mindset. It’s not a perfunctory operational obligation. It’s your lifeblood. Literally. Renewals should be a top strategic priority and should stay at the top of the list in perpetuity. Here are a few ways to make sure you’re seeing results from your process:

Document your renewal process (duh)

It’s easy to get a bit scared by the idea of a
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Customer Churn is Everyone’s Problem: Here’s Why You Should Give Your Customer Success Team a Break


This post is by Anna Talerico from Openview Labs


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Since 30% of SaaS companies report having unacceptable levels of churn, retention panic is real, and it’s tempting to point fingers, namely at the customer success team. As a SaaS founder who led our customer-facing departments when there was a customer churn problem, I fully grabbed it, put it on my team’s shoulders, and went to work. I naively believed we could solve any customer retention problem all by ourselves. I was wrong, of course. And it was an unfair burden to put on my organization. Particularly the leaders of each department, who felt the emotional blow every time they couldn’t save a customer from churning.

Customer success is a business methodology, not a department

According to Gainsight, “Customer Success is the business methodology of ensuring customers achieve their desired outcomes while using your product or service.” This definition doesn’t describe a department, team, or even
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To Get Off the SaaS Growth Treadmill: Avoid Revenue Churn and Burn


This post is by Anna Talerico from Openview Labs


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A recent study by Invesp found that 44% of SaaS companies are focused on customer acquisition, as opposed to just 18% that are focused on customer retention. The focus on landing new customers makes sense to some degree. At launch, we are so focused on getting product-market fit, then gaining traction in the market and putting up good growth numbers. Before there is time for customers to churn it’s just about adding in as many new customers as you can. So, we build great sales and marketing machines. But before we know it, if we aren’t careful, we find our growth being stunted on the top line by customer churn. And when that happens, a considerable proportion of the energy, time and money invested into growth ends up putting you on a revenue treadmill. A SaaS company’s capital must be used wisely to maximize growth — regardless of its source
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11 Simple Questions to Assess the Maturity of Your Sales Team


This post is by Anna Talerico from Openview Labs


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In my experience, at the $1 million ARR stage, most SaaS companies find themselves in one of two buckets. Either their sales organization is firing on all cylinders or falling apart at the seams. You can guess what happens to the companies who have sales teams that are knocking it out of the park. Customer acquisition increases as they continue to execute strategies and tactics that they know work well and shed the ones that don’t. These teams don’t have it all figured out, but they know enough to deliver consistent sales results. On the other hand, the companies who find themselves stumbling at this stage have to act fast. Getting to $1+ million in ARR is a significant achievement, but continued growth isn’t a given if there are severe cracks in the foundation. These teams tend to have stumbled into early success without being able to attribute it to
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How the Growth of SaaS Makes Life More Difficult for Customers and What to Do About It


This post is by Anna Talerico from Openview Labs


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When I was the sales leader at ion interactive, even our smartest customers sometimes asked me questions that, at the time, seemed pretty clueless. For example, I’d often get calls from prospects asking “So wait, how are you different from Google Analytics?” In my head (though thankfully never out loud) I’d be screaming: “I just told you! We’re nothing like them. We’re a software that makes a calculator or a logic-driven assessment without code. You can’t do anything like that with Google Analytics!” I would get off calls like that and immediately go to our homepage. Yes, right there on the home page it was clear. What our product did, the challenges it solved, who it solved them for, the benefits of it. Clearly spelled out. How could a buyer be confused? Then, our martech SaaS company was acquired, and I accidentally became a SaaS consultant. Suddenly I
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Here’s How to Decide if You’re Ready to Bring in Sales Leadership


This post is by Anna Talerico from Openview Labs


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To sell or not to sell – that is the question among startup founders. As a founder and former sales leader, I get asked all the time how I decided to step back from my sales role and add a layer between me and my sales reps. When I founded ion interactive, I just sort of organically moved into the sales role. Why not? I had a strong sales background, and who knew the product better than me? From there, I personally sold and assisted my newly hired AEs with their deals for several years as I built a sales team, and I never had a self-imposed deadline for when I would relinquish my sales role. What I did have was a drive to hire, retain and nurture a high-performing team that would allow me to step back from running my own deals. I stopped selling gradually as I had more
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