In my technology startup journey, I’ve noticed that buyers choose companies and products for three reasons: 1. Use cases; 2. Competencies; and 3. Credibility
- Usecases or Jobs to be Done: Buyers of your SAAS Products are all humans, just like you and me. We all buy products. We all buy products because Products and Services can help us get a job done! In other words, they can help us to get from point A to Point B. Sometimes, Point B is not even known to the customers. For e.g. before Iphone and apps existed, we just resorted to writing down directions and then driving, but we didn’t really complain. Now that we do have iphones (we have reached Point B), this becomes our stable state (Point A). It’s really important that when we build SAAS products, we think of ourselves as a platform that helps customers to get from Point A to Point B. So basically, we have to demonstrate how we can do that for the customers (with the app). So it is important to do proper customer research, surveys, interviews etc to establish what exact problem we are solving for people with our App! In SAAS, if you took something that’s On-Premise and put it on the cloud, you are already solving a huge problem for the potential customer. Building usecases comes from real life experiences or domain experience, when we deal with the customer personas on a daily basis and know how they use SAAS products (or don’t use). Identifying gaps, recording sessions, asking them questions beyond just what your product offers.
- Competency: If we have a tooth ache, we want to go to the dentist, not just some doctor. Same is true for software development also, especially in Cloud business, which is very vast and complicated. It’s important that we show case our core competency to the customer, which is most important to them. For e.g. if you are expert at migrating databases or launching MVP’s at low costs, then you should position yourself for those tasks. If you are average at few things, but very good at others, you should find out if such a mix of skills is ok to them? For e.g. Zoho is a CRM software with tons of integrations and other secondary software. They don’t have an extensive survey tool, but their customers know that. Their customers are primarily looking for a SAAS CRM solution with a very simple survey tool for their small business. May be your competency is customer support, but you need to identify it, and sell it!
- Credibility: This one is obvious and for different buyer personas, you have to show different kinds of proof (depending on the product). If you are a SAAS development firm who develops iphone apps, then it’s important that you have experience building and launching apps that did well, nothing can establish credibility faster than that! Similarly, you need to collect feedback and publish them often to show other customers what people think about your company and service. This can be especially challenging for app development companies like us 🙂 (because our client projects are protected by Non Disclosures) But don’t worry, for your SAAS business or App, it won’t be a problem.