This is a Guest Blog by Neha Khanna, Director, ValPro & Enablers
SaaS is slowly being recognized as the backbone for scaling businesses, both for work optimization as well as enhancing sales and providing better customer experiences.
For every SaaS product, there are three essential stages – onboarding, retaining and growing customer accounts.
The growth in SaaS clients is largely a function of the strength of the product and the sales team. The conversion cycle may be long if multiple stakeholders are involved and customizations may be essential for deployment. However, stickiness of customers can prove to be valuable in such cases given the potential lifetime value that the SaaS provider can get in comparison to the acquisition cost of the customer.
Once entrenched, a deeper understanding of different add on modules is a good way to scale the business without actively spending more marketing dollars. Differential pricing based on size of organizations, module adoption and number of licenses are some of the methods that SaaS companies choose to charge their clients.
An early understanding of key geographies where market gaps exist helps further with expansion. With an easily replicable model for different markets, adoption could be swift if sales channels can be identified. Further, a strong product team plays a key role in identifying localization required for every geography. The right channel partners in different markets are essential for non-linear growth and better access to customers.
Post onboarding, retention is key, given the time and effort invested in the sales lead generation funnel and conversion thereof. A customer success team which helps solve queries becomes an integral part of operational costs for SaaS companies to ensure customer satisfaction. The ease of using the product alongwith a user friendly UI/UX goes a long way, especially with new employees at the client who require orientation of the product.
An important metric for SaaS companies to track is thus, net revenue retention for ascertaining the revenue earned from repeat customers and the potential for expansion.
For expansion, it is critical to think about referral strategies to grow organically. Further, the right pricing strategy alongwith introduction of new products at the opportune time helps in growth of accounts. The fine balance between free trials for getting clients accustomed to new features without committing to an added subscription could be a good inroad into further monetization.
For SaaS, a one size fits all pricing strategy may not be prudent. It is thus advised to identify need gaps and offer solutions at a price that is appropriate for different customer segments. This would help in building a strong sales funnel across a diverse set of clients and maintaining a robust order book for growth.