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Case Study: Optimizing a SAAS business

“We need help. We feel we are spinning our wheels. We have a great product, follow all SAAS practices and recommendations, have customers, a healthy traffic and sign-ups but we don’t seem to be converting any sign-ups to paid customers.”

I was invited by a SAAS startup to help them out last month. Before I jump on this story, I would like to briefly tell about myself. I advise SAAS startups on product & marketing. I have expertise in software business domain given my 30+ years of background in product and experience of global sales at large companies and running my own software services business for nearly 10 years.

So we setup a deep dive and spent 5 hours reviewing the key aspects of their business:

  • Their Current customers and top use-cases, how they were acquired, what their perceived value gained was, how their relationship had grown and health of the account.
  • Registrations in the last 3/6/12 months and their activity post registration, acquisition channel and positioning, landing page, email experience, product experience for first time users
  • Engagements with the registered users, enquiries and conversion pipeline

The outcome? Even after 2 and half years of being in business, they had not figured out a targeted customer segment, specific offering and a predictable channel which would deliver a predictable sales/revenue metric. No PMF had been achieved!

We could clearly see the immediate gaps in their product, positioning, communications, sales methodology and on-boarding that was leading to leakage from their registered users and possibly getting unrelated traffic / sign-ups on their product. Detailed discussion on these gaps with the founding team and staff verified the assumptions about the gaps and achieved consensus on the need to fix them / address them before scaling the operation.

In last few weeks, we had been analyzing and re-doing many parts of their “made for SAAS’ portions of the product (the marketing and customer on-boarding parts which are separate from the core product but that ride on top of the core product). Here is a list of changes that have been implemented or are in progress:

Product, Pricing & On-boarding

Lead Generation, Social Media Marketing, Feedback mechanism

Once these changes are live, we will kick off the new sales, lead gen and marketing campaigns and measure all metrics on a weekly basis to see the difference, if any, these changes bring to the business metrics.

Stand-by for monthly updates on this real-life case study from the SAAS trenches. Hope it helps you in your own venture.

PS – My thanks to the founders for agreeing to use their pain points and the solution approaches in this document. We will share the names once the metrics for the modified approach are ready

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About author

Arvind mentors various SAAS startups around product road-map, GTM, brand building, some "angel" funds, and ideas. He writes & talks about mobile tech, digital content monetization, clean politics, innovation. Building SAAS community in NCR.
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