The global SaaS market was on track for a $220 billion valuation by 2022, before COVID-19, and competition remains fierce. Founder Vern Weitzman, a seasoned CTO and contender in the space, writes here about the travails of managing his Cira Apps Ltd to a leading position in the corporate-mobile segment -- not without some growling and SaaS-sales pull-out-your-hair moments along the way.
SaaS sales and the IT crowd
Regarding hard-and-fast rules for the sales side of SaaS operations, Weitzman is pragmatic. Given the speed of change and the practically-infinite variety of potential SaaS B2B clients, he suggests, honesty and consistency in pitching and pricing are crucial - but to really understand how SaaS sales can improve the lives of prospects in IT departments, you have to adapt on the fly.
Read Vern Weitzman on in-house builders and one-click SaaS-sales metrics.
“You have more partners than you know. IT departments exist in a web of resellers, preferred vendors, consultants and SaaS solutions architects (yes, that’s a thing) — a whole ecosystem easily uncovered with deep research. I can’t tell you how many contracts we’ve landed just by partnering with our target company’s preferred reseller.
It's important to manage expectations with SaaS, since your product is never really “finished” and requires tweaks, revisions and updates. These updates may include fundamental changes that impact usability. Are you ready to explain why the changes are needed, what they do and how they’ll impact functionality down the road?
It's imperative that you allow customers to change their minds. Once I got a call from an IT head who was upset because our software wasn’t working the way he wanted it to work. Actually, that wasn’t the way it was supposed to work — in fact, the software would be utterly broken and open to hackers if it functioned the way he wanted.”
SaaS sales and leveraging cloud resources
Weitzman has spoken elsewhere about leveraging the cloud to build saleable SaaS products, but here he emphasizes that it’s nearly as valuable in marketing them. If your sales process is like your SaaS offering -- data-driven, inexpensive to operate, easy to upgrade and seamless to your (potential) client base -- then you’re adding real value in the marketplace, and you’re likelier to succeed.