The Top 3 Practices That Move the Needle for SaaS Startups
Top 3 practices I see that SaaS startups do that move the needle: Building your email list is one - with free trial users or just people that want to sign up and learn more about your company, then marketing to that list on a weekly basis and just interacting with them, getting to know them, and building some sort of community. That’s really really big - that drive revenue
Two, selling annual licenses. This is huge. Most people just go for the SaaS revenue but in the beginning, you need cash. You want to be able to just bundle as much as possible. Whatever you need to do to have that higher ticket price so that you can get a bunch of cash in the door, do it. Three, there’s usually something off in your onboarding process when you’re a SaaS company, especially when you’re starting off, so I just say skip that entirely and have them hop on a phone call. Have a sales conversation on the phone, ideologically sell them on your product and have them work with you to make it better - versus building out an entire onboarding process, getting to an ah-ha moment, and then having the emails come in.
The 3 things to totally avoid:
One, don't build a bunch of features all the time. There’s this thing called the “next feature fallacy”, you can hear it when founders say “I’m just going to work on product first and then I’ll sell” or “the product’s just not there yet”. That one’s huge, assuming that something that you do on the product side is going to fix your sales process is just never going to work.
Two is pricing too low or giving away like a year free to too many people.
Three is assuming your conversion numbers are going to work. A lot of people do a lot of math in their heads when they’re starting off and think “oh I just need 100 users at $10 each that will give me $1000 and I’ll make $1000 a month, then I’ll get 100 more users..” and fall into this trap of “I’m just going to calculate myself out of this”. Sales and marketing is a people problem, not an engineering problem. You can engineer the numbers, but what goes in between those interactions are really important.