How To Scale A SaaS Business
You’ve got your SaaS company all set up and launched. Now that you notice stability in the sales, it’s time to move forward and start to scale your SaaS company.
If you don’t, you’re giving leeway for your competitors to overtake.
But just what do you need to do to effectively scale your SaaS company?
If you’re in a pickle about where to start, then you’re in the right place. In this post, we’ll go over 15 actionable steps you can take to bring your SaaS company to the next level.
Enough with the fluff, let’s get right down to business.
Reassess Your Sales Strategy
You don’t always get everything perfect the first time. There’s always room for improvement.
As your company grows there are always 3 Rs that go with it: Rethink, Revamp, and Reinvent.
Just before you start scaling, you have to determine which practices and procedures don’t work well and start thinking about how to improve it or what to replace it with. Constant due diligence is needed.
To start, you can review your sales funnel. Assess if your funnel is patterned to the best sales model for what you offer.
You can do this by doing research on different SaaS sales models, including the ones your competitors use. Find a model that’s repeatable and scalable for the software you offer.
Next, re-examine your team. Do you have enough people on your team? Or are there too many? Do they have the competencies and skills needed to accomplish tasks? Are they putting forth effort in scaling their skill set?
Sometimes, you have to decide between hiring more people, replacing ineffective ones, or providing current team members with the training needed to improve their work efficiency.
Your team doesn’t just have to be optimal in number, it also has to be optimal with how each one works with another.
A well-built team has people with the following characteristics:
- Stars: high-performers that act as role models for the whole team
- Sherpas: operation-focused individuals that keep the team in action
- Strategists: creative and inventive people who think of the long term plans and benefits
- Specialists: experts in certain fields that impart knowledge to other team members
- Supporters: those who are willing to take the extra mile to help with the tasks of others
After reviewing your sales funnel and re-examining your team, it’s time to make both work together in optimizing your sales tactics.
If you see that a new sales model has to be adapted, the team has to re-determine what each one’s responsibilities are. With it, you have to recheck resource allocation and revamp time management.
After the new sales strategy is executed, it’s now time to turn your attention to your marketing efforts.
Strengthen Marketing Efforts
Prior to scaling, your marketing efforts might only be focused on certain marketing channels. With scaling, you have to reassess those channels as well.
You should only retain what works best and scrap what doesn’t to make way for experimenting with additional channels.
If you’re just focused on social media platforms to market your product before, maybe it’s time you consider paid ads or PR campaigns to complement it. If you have an email database this can be one of the best channels to reach your audience and can easily be easily automated.
Two things to always keep in mind when reviewing current channels and choosing new ones to work on is to keep the CAC or Customer Acquisition Cost at the lowest number possible and the CLV or Customer Lifetime Value at least 3 times higher than the CAC.
If the cost to get customers is lower than your previous channels or that of your competitors, you’ll be able to try out other areas where there’s potential for growth.
Explore Growth Hacking Techniques
Nope, growth hacking is no buzzword. It’s a proven technique to help any business, including a SaaS company to scale.
It can be anywhere from creating a rewards program down to offering strategic discounts like what Orizaba Original did.
Coupon codes can also be utilized to offer discounts.
If you want to know everything about it, check out this growth hacking blog that includes examples of SaaS companies that made a success from applying its strategies.
Concentrate On Customer Satisfaction
It’s been said that happy customers are the backbone of a successful business. This rings true for any SaaS company.
When customers are happy, they’ll stick to your brand and even refer it to their network. Satisfaction goes a long way, it’s a subtle but powerful strategy to bring in more revenue for your business.
So how can you improve customer satisfaction?
Here are 3 ways:
- Innovate products to show your interest in customer satisfaction
- Ask for feedback from customers and follow-through
- Don’t dismiss negative reviews, ensure you handle cases of unhappy customers to help solve their problems
These ways communicate how interested you are in keeping your customers happy. When they sense that you care, they’ll be more likely to trust your brand and recommend you to others.
Track The Right Sales Metrics
If customer satisfaction is the backbone for a successful SaaS company, tracking and analyzing metrics is the blood that runs through your company’s veins.
Without tracking and understanding the right metrics, you won’t know where best to direct your energy. Your efforts will be wasted and you’ll let great opportunities for scaled revenue pass by.
Tracking the right metrics will give you valuable insight that will affect the trajectory of your growth, minimize sales costs, and determine the payback period. You’ll be giving your strategies a clear direction, you can pinpoint the blockers in your sales funnels, and you can determine what harms your conversion rates. If you know all these things, you know what’s broken and you know where there’s a need for a fix.
So what metrics should you track? Here’s a list:
- Conversion rates
- Cost per acquisition
- Customer retention rate
- Revenue run rate
- Growth rates and margins
- Customer lifetime value
- Churn rates
- Monthly recurring revenue
Automating processes will speed up the work and your scaling efforts while keeping resources at the minimum.
You can apply automation processes and use automation tools in the marketing, sales, and customer service departments. This way, each department will be able to focus on more complicated tasks that ultimately give customers a better experience with using the software.
Here is a specific list of areas where automation can be applied:
- Funnel Stage: outline your metrics to determine where to allocate resources and to identify where most of the traffic comes from so you can automate processes to drive more conversions from that source
- Customer Life Cycle: understand the journey from visitor to lead to customer, to identify what triggers them to move forward to the next stage. Knowing the process thoroughly allows you to automate techniques and strategies to make the conversions faster
- Marketing Automation Plan: after sorting out the first two on the list, you can now move on to customizing your automation plan and building an automated workflow for it. The guesswork is now out of the picture, so you can preset the workflow so you don’t have to manually do everything
Offer A Free Tool
Customers thrive to get the most value for the brand they are interested in, especially if the brand’s credibility is already built-in to them.
A free tool is much like a lead magnet, it can be in the form of a guide, infographics, checklists, eBooks, and downloadable PDFs.
The success of this free tool largely depends on how well people believe that the information it has will help solve their problems.
But guide-types of free tools don’t work for every SaaS business, in some cases, you have to tailor your free tool to work closely with what your brand offers. Depending on the software, a free tool can be a toolkit of actionable steps, generators for content elements like blog headlines and email subject lines, or calculators.
CartStack is a great example of this, they offer free abandoned cart email templates.
For a product in the graphics or photography niche, a great example to look at is PresetLove, they have free offers put into bundles.
Or better yet, you can make one feature of your software a free tool. Limit the number of use or storage so users will be motivated to purchase the full product. You can simply work with your developer to make this offer possible.
Take Advantage Of The Freemium Structure
This is a bit like the previous strategy, only with this, you give them a taste of the full software for a limited time, much like a watered-down demo of the product.
For many, getting a feel on the whole software will take away their apprehensions and help leads decide if it’s a good fit for their business needs.
If you want to see a great example of this, check out InflowInventory. They offer a free trial for their business transaction automation software without requiring credit card details, providing less friction for leads to try it out.
Even if the user didn’t convert after the trial version, you can still get something out of their experience by incorporating customer feedback so they can access all the features.
With the feedback, you now know what needs improvements and what needs fixing. This can be the basis for creating a better version where those who initially didn’t convert might be interested in.
Don’t Forget To Retarget
Check out this statistic from invespcro.com. It shows that of all the website visitors who are retargeted with ads, 70% went back to the website and finally converted.
This simply shows retargeting is something you shouldn’t miss. When done strategically, this technique can turn warm leads into hot ones.
When a user first visits a website, it’ll be unlikely that they will be ready to buy. There are always apprehensions that need to be addressed and they’d definitely look for better alternatives than what you offer.
But by retargeting them with ads, you will cement your brand in their minds. This way, when they think of the product, your brand goes along with it.
How do you do this effectively?
After their initial visit, target them with ads that remind them of their pain points and prove that your software is the best solution available for them.
But again, this has to be done strategically. This means you have to do thorough research first to know what pokes their emotions and what marketing angles convince and move them to action.
Take Advantage Of Q&A Sites
People don’t just Google answers for their problems. They turn to Q&A sites like Reddit and Quora too.
Your software can solve a problem, but people might now know of your brand yet as a solution. By checking out questions in Quora, you’ll find people who are interested in what your product can do to solve their problems.
You can also use these platforms to pose questions that your product can solve rather than just wait for some random person to ask the crowd about the question.
If you do it yourself, you don’t only give them the answer, you’ll also imprint your brand in their minds.
If your questions are followed through with actionable answers, you’ll be able to build a readership that translates to leads for your SaaS company.
Build A List Of Influencers
With the booming use of social channels, influencers have mushroomed positioned as expert opinion givers in the niche they are in.
Simply said, their audience trusts what they say, including their recommendations. If you tap into this method, you’ll be able to drive more targeted traffic for your SaaS company so you can scale your revenue.
Start off by researching for the right kind of influencers, those who work under your niche.
For example, for a piece of hobby equipment like what a paddleboard company like Gili Sports offer, the influencers to tap are those who like the outdoors and who love water sports or adventures.
Or for time tracking software, the influencers they can reach can range from remote workers to freelancers, to marketing team leaders and members.
Engage with them and try to connect by providing comments and reactions to their posts. This will make their recall of you easier so pitching a collaboration is more comfortable.
Build A Referral Program
After you’ve built a good list of influencers and their audience responds positively to them promoting your brand, these influencers will definitely want to get more out of their effort.
This is where a referral program comes in. By referring your brand to their audience, they can earn a commission for each one that converts. They’ll be more motivated to keep on promoting it.
Improve The Pricing Plan
Improving the pricing plan doesn’t always mean you have to make your products cheaper in price.
It can mean experimenting and optimizing it with packages, additional offers, and catchy names.
With packages, you can try the dummy package approach where you provide 3 packages for a lead.
The first one should be the cheapest but the most limited, this is the dummy. The second one should include all the essential features, this will be your target choice for them. The third plan should include all the essential features plus additional perks like priority on customer support or additional security features, this should be the most expensive plan.
If you want more concrete ideas you can turn to, check out Optimal Workshop’s pricing plan for their product. They named the dummy plan as Starter, the target plan as Pro, and the most expensive plan as Team.
Prioritize Content Creation
Creating content will mean giving a voice to your brand. It can help you connect with leads and help them build trust in you by proving that you’re a thought leader in the industry.
A great example of this is a comprehensive beginner’s guide that Transparent Labs provided for their audience.
Writing blogs will add value for your brand in your customer’s eyes. With it, you can take advantage of the buyer personas you have for the software and create content that caters to their needs, this way, your brand will resonate better with them.
This is exactly how Close, a predictive dialer software provider did with their blog when they positioned it as the best tool for any sales team’s cold calling needs.
When creating content, you can emulate HubSpot’s skyscraper technique. Where you research the content of your competitors and make something better.
Better means an updated version with new statistics and research or a more in-depth article that explains subtopics more thoroughly.
Use Live Chats
Make it easy for website visitors to get immediate answers to their questions and concerns. Many times, they won’t make the effort to check the FAQs section and they’d appreciate a live chat feature better.
This also communicates to your leads that you’re with them whatever page you visit within the website ready to help anytime you need it.
By helping your customers reach you directly and more quickly, their conversion will also be faster.
Scaling your SaaS company shouldn’t be overwhelming. Start by going back to your current strategies and current team members and find out what works and what doesn’t then fix it.
You can then move forward and explore additional growth hacking techniques, creating free offers, building incentive programs, and optimizing your website to position your brand as a thought leader that’s ready to assist anytime they want it.
Follow the steps outlined above one at a time and you’ll be building your blocks towards a scaled business with higher revenue.