To say SaaS (Software as a Service) is ubiquitous still feels like an understatement. SaaS applications have spread throughout both enterprise and personal uses, even for applications that have historically been locally licensed, like the Microsoft Office suite. Rather than buying Microsoft Word 20-whatever, you subscribe to Office 365 and receive the most up-to-date product as it’s released. You pay a recurring fee for that privilege. This is great for Microsoft for a few reasons, as it simplifies support issues through fewer supported versions, makes revenues easier to predict, and ensures piracy is much more difficult. And for the personal user, paying on an as-needed basis can reduce the overall cost of the Office Suite.
For an enterprise, there is a multitude of SaaS applications in use today, from solutions like Slack for communications, Atlassian for company wikis, Adobe Creative Cloud for design, and many, many others. These companies are some of the most successful companies in the world, partially due to the benefits that offering a SaaS solution provides.
So while running a SaaS solution company is attractive, it can also be very difficult. Managing subscription revenue, lead nurturing, and support—among many other functions—is a laborious undertaking. But where there’s a problem, there’s a SaaS solution: Salesforce. There are many different ways that Salesforce can help you as you build up your SaaS business, but we’ll focus on some of the most pressing: simplifying a complex sales cycle, streamlining support, and sustaining renewals.
Simplified SaaS sales cycle
SaaS sales, even for simple apps, can be surprisingly complex. To ensure sales you need to be generating and nurturing a massive amount of leads that have different types of touchpoints and interactions. Managing that massive amount of data (or being able to even collect it at all) is so vital; you need to treat the lead that was generated from an Adwords campaign differently than one generated via client referral. Each should have a different path through your sales cycle until you make that sale. Salesforce connects each of the sales and marketing channels together for a cohesive sales journey, ensuring that each potential customer and lead is nurtured to maximize sales potential.
Easier support for customers (and you)
Once the sale is made, SaaS organizations need to keep customer satisfaction at the forefront. SaaS success is achieved through recurring revenue, and a customer won’t re-up if they have a bad experience. A CRM like Salesforce Service Cloud can ensure that you see every interaction that the customer has had with you so each customer service agent knows the entire story. Not only that, but Service Cloud makes it extremely easy to implement a full omnichannel support strategy so that you can be available to a customer via whichever contact channel they want to use. Phone, email, text, and chat are all supported. Salesforce also supports Communities for product guides, FAQs, and forums for heavy users to help other customers. SaaS companies can utilize these communities to understand product usage both at scale and on a granular, one-on-one basis.
Success in sustaining renewals
Salesforce CPQ (configure-price-quote) is set up to handle any revenue model, like free trials, freemium offers, setup charges, one-off transactions, discounts, refunds, and more. It can also manage renewals on whatever terms were established. Any mistakes in the realm of renewals mean lost deals, so you need to be confident in your CPQ process. That starts at the beginning of your deal when the product configuration and pricing are set up and established. When managed by Salesforce CPQ, you can be sure that the pricing is correct and that the product configuration follows your business rules, something you can’t say if your salespeople are still using spreadsheets or emails to stay up to date.
SaaS organizations face interesting and unique challenges for success. Salesforce uniquely understands these challenges as a SaaS company itself, and so it has developed great solutions for handling the sales process, delivering world-class customer support, and managing recurring and unique payments easily.
Contact Simplus today for more details about how you can implement Salesforce to make your SaaS business even more successful.