SaaS Metrics Vision Chart

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How well are SaaS businesses seeing their conversion metrics?

By definition, SaaS companies should be able to see their critical usage metrics clearly and easily – in real time.
However, in practice many companies are experiencing blurry metrics that don’t provide a clear picture for their trial and conversion performance. Use our infographic to learn how SaaS businesses are (or aren’t) using metrics to see the “Big Picture”.

This infographics is based on the SaaS Metrics Survey conducted a few months ago. The survey helped me understand the SaaS industry’s best practices in regards to key business metrics (download full survey results).
Feel free to right-click to copy use this info in your website/post!

How well are SaaS businesses seeing their conversion metrics? - Infographic
Totango – Real Time Customer Engagement for SaaS and Web App

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B2B Sales Predictions for 2012

Computer Mouse Shopping Cart

Lately there is an obvious increasing demand for user friendly cloud based apps and a tendency to prefer low touch and zero touch sales approaches, where there are as little sales involvement as possible.

In my latest article: 8 ways digital will improve b2b sales in 2012, published in Mashable lately, I tried to predict what would be the customizations that B2B sales would need to embrace in order to survive in this competitive and evolving market:

  1. Social Selling Will Go Mainstream – Sales executives will substitute the cold calls with nibbling into the social media networks follow by conducting warm introductions
  2. Companies Will use Facebook as a Sales Channel – Facebook ceased to be perceived as a personal communication channel only and more and more sales people will start using it as a sales tool
  3. Sales Executives Will Adopt Big Data – Wide funnel could increase leads volume, allowing your researches on users behavior and performance during the trial period in order to later focus on the most profitable ones
  4. Customer Engagement Becomes a Top Priority – Since customers nowadays can choose their service on a subscription basis, customer engagement and customer success become a key player in this game
  5. Outside Sales Rep Will Use iPads – Tablets will become a vital working tool as outside sales reps can start using them for shipping, product documentation, demonstration, capture leads at trade shows and quickly research a prospect before a meeting
  6. Most Sales Tools Will Move to the Cloud – The average sales organization is using more than 24 software tools to complete a sales process – most of these services will be available in the cloud in 2012 and that will increase the sales process fluency
  7. Sales and Marketing Will Converge – The boundaries between those roles is becoming obscure as outside sales are becoming inside sales and inside sales is being replaced with self serving website resources
  8. More Companies Will Offer Free Trials – this way the customers could evaluate the service before they decide to purchase and that will also produce more word-of-mouth referrals which are much cheaper than live touch points

Customer Engagement for a SaaS Land & Expand Strategy

PBWorks

I’ve conducted an interview with Chris Yeh, VP Marketing from PBWorks and thought it would be interesting to share.

As you know, I declared more than once that the customers are kings which means companies should be able to understand their customers behavior and trends and interpret it correctly into customer engagement level in order to know which customers to focus on later at the funnel.

Chris explains why customer engagement is so important when using the land and expand strategy – for example once a large company is starting to use their services their goal is to have that company to use them more and more and eventually to spread into an enterprise wide deployment.

So tracking and enhancing the customer engagement level is very important. The metrics to know that could be i.e. how much a user is using the products, how many usage days they have per week, the total volume of transactions, etc.

I agree with using those metrics in measuring customer engagement and every company should pick the right metrics for its business. At the same time, there are acceptable metrics that every SaaS company should use which are elaborated in our SaaS Business Metrics Survey Results. Using those metrics  will not only show the engagement level but the whole business overview which every successful SaaS business should act upon.

Tomorrow I will post another tip by Chris about Freemium Sales Models for B2B and SaaS.

To read the full transcription of the video, click here

 
 

Video Transcription:
I’m Chris Yeh. I’m the VP of Marketing for PB Works, which is a SaaS company that does collaboration software for various markets, like advertising agencies, law firms, and of course general business. Customer engagement is super important to us because a lot of times we have, what we call, a land and expand strategy.

So often times a large company will start to use us in just a small group, maybe just one team that’s using PB Works to be more effective. And what we want to do is to have them use us more and more to bring in more and more people and eventually to spread into an enterprise wide deployment. So what’s very important for us is to be able to track and enhance the level of customer engagement, how much they’re using the product.

We look at things like how many days per week are they using it. We look at things like what’s the total volume of transactions and things that they’re doing and all this is really important for our marketing and for business in general.

Trial Conversion “The Early Days” – Lean Startup Presentation

Lean Startup Meetup

We’ve held yet another very interesting lean-startup meetup on Thursday to discuss free to paid conversion best practices for cloud applications.
First, please find within the presentation I’ve used. It’s a collection of many ideas we’ve been working on at Totango collected into idea presented by this presentation.

I emphasized during the talk the need to focus on the ‘evaluating’ users – the ones that their actions indicate genuine intent to come up with a buying decision.
Many people still wanted to understand what to do with the other group. The short out of the sleeve answer would be: “It depends ;) ”. Seriously, this question deserves a blog post on it’s own which I’m going to write later this week.

In the mean time, please feel free to enjoy the presentation. You will be able to learn a lot also by starting a ‘free trial’ for the Totango trial conversion product. So here’s the link for that as well.

If you enjoy this content, please be kind and share it with your friend. The links are above and below.

Top-of-Funnel Strategy

HubSpot Tip

Another tip from VP sales at Hubspot Mark Roberge at the Sales 2.0 convention re top-of-funnel strategy.

Mark recommends on keeping the top-of-funnel as wide as possible and worry about the filtering and the quality further down at the funnel.

Most companies don’t know what type of a customer will convert and this will allow tracking a whole bunch of data that can be analyzed later.

However, the danger in that strategy is when passing all those customers to your sales team, it could lead to ineffectiveness and waste of their time so it is recommended to use filtering at this stage so that the most quality stuff is being transferred.

As mentioned in my previous post: “Top 3 Metrics to Measure Customer Engagement“, there are ways to set your filters by. Choosing the right metrics and measuring them correctly will assist in screening out the non potential buyers and keep the high potential ones is essential to any successful SaaS business.

Once the data is gathered and there are more and more leads you can continue optimizing this process.

Tomorrow I will publish another tip by Mark Roberge regarding how to pick your sales model – zero touch vs. low touch vs. high touch.

To read the full transcription of the video, click here

SaaS Key Metrics Survey Results

 

Want to know which metrics are usually used in top and bottom of funnel?
Download SaaS Business Survey Results

 
 

Video Transcription:

Mark Roberge. VP of sales at Hubspot.

I highly recommend at the top of the funnel keeping it as wide as possible and worry about the the filtering and the quality further down to the funnel, and the reason being is especially when you are stunning out and most people are starting out with inbound. You actually have no idea who’s going to work out, what type of marketing tactics are going to work, what types of buyers are going to actually work well in your funnel, so keeping it why it is, possible allows you to capture a whole bunch of data to see what actually progresses through.

The danger in that strategy comes when you pass everything to the sales team, because that can lead to a lot of ineffectiveness in recent time by that sales team so with that process you want to have a lot of filtering to make sure that the most quality staff is actually getting down to the sales team.

And as you gather data and gather more and more leads, you will continue to optimize that process.

Tip on How to Reduce Churn (Even in Low-Touch Models)

HootSuite Tip

Another tip taken during Sales 2.0 from Darren Suomi, VP Sales at HootSuite – this time regarding self service model and how to adjust it to reduce churn.

You know how it is that you get many leads and you just don’t know who to refer first? This situation is common in many SaaS companies.

With the right metrics and cohort analysis, it’s easy to decide who are the more engaged customers that are ready for sale and it’s usually more likely that if you’ll approach those customers, they’ll signup for your product.

Darren is also claiming that even in a self service model (low-touch model) like HootSuite, once they find out who are their active users in their service, they proactively reaching them and by that they reduce churn.

Tomorrow I will publish a tip by Mark Roberge, VP Sales at HubSpot who will explain the difference between the hunters and the farmers skill sets.

To read the full transcription of the video, click here

 
 

Video Transcription:

I’m talking to Darren Suomi, VP of Sales from HootSuite.

Bring me a model which where we play, it is a self-service model. So, we’re really trying to look at it from turning down the churn. I guess I’m looking at what people are trying to play instead of going from just a self-service. We’re actually just playing with the model in terms of a little bit of more of a high touch point. So, we are really taking a look at our customer who are quite active on social media. We are actually proactively reaching out of them and seeing where we might be able to help them versus just letting them fend for themselves.