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The Top 10 Must Do’s for Young SaaS Companies

To Do List

I declare this week as the “Top 10″ Practices week in Totango!

After yesterday’s post on Top 10 Requirements for an Effective Client Lifecycle, Today, I’m going to review Jeff Bennet’s top 10 must do’s for young SaaS companies.

Jeff Bennett, who is the founder and CEO of ServiceVantage, has a lot of experience working with SaaS companies in various sizes and being part of the SaaS Industry myself, I see eye to eye with his key strategies and therefore thought it would be interesting to share:

  1. Easily Consumable and User Initiated – have ALL of your customer experience as easy as possible. This includes software trials, sales, on-boarding, training,  support etc.
  2. Hold off on the elephant hunt – Don’t start off with the big shots companies, take it step by step and wait till you’ll have a more mature infrastructure
  3. Configure, don’t customize – Rather than customizing, allow configuration which do not change the core product yet provide some tailoring to specific customer needs
  4. Marketing can close deals – Sales are all about conversion from lead to paid. Incent your marketing to close deals!
  5. Understand your cost of sale – Push deals by their cost – bigger deals to outside sales and smaller to marketing
  6. Understand usage rates – Learn to measure customer engagement and usage data, you can use specified SaaS dashboard to do it for you!
  7. Have a Client Lifecycle Program – Especially important for SaaS businesses that need to ensure customer retention and recurring revenue
  8. Don’t be an island – Aspire to integrate your solution with other solutions to increase dependency on your service
  9. Broaden the impact of your SaaS solution through services – Provide service offerings to compliment your solution
  10. Make client retention a corporate mantra – this is not only the concern of your Support group – have the entire company focus on client retention and reducing churn

For the full version of the tips, please refer Jeff’s post on ServiceVentage blog

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Genuine Customer Engagement

Customer Engagement - Shake hands

Jon Buscall on Be Good to Your Customers believes that most engagement related activities these days are actually lead generation activities and not really about customer engagement.

This article grabbed my attention as I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the whole customer engagement life-cycle for SaaS and other online services.

The main strategy Jon suggest B2B businesses should apply is to provide true value to loyal customers only.

I would argue even further; loyal customers of online services should get specialized treatment. They should receive personalized engagement by their B2B vendors.
This wasn’t possible few years back, when it took few months and even years to create products and later on deliver it to customers. This isn’t the case anymore, and customers do expect this level of service.

For example, SaaS companies basically have all the information required to provide to each and every one of their customer special treatment tuned directly to their needs:

  • They know who they are
  • They know what they are trying to achieve with their service and
  • They have all of their interaction history

Genuine customer engagement is personalized, contextual and timely. This is what customers expect.