26 Feb How Salesforce Gives SaaS Companies a Competitive Edge
Curtis Williams is a Senior Account Executive at Simplus Australia and is one of our manufacturing industry experts. With over 25 years in the IT sector and as a former head of IT for a large manufacturer, Curtis is passionate about business disruption and innovation across the sector and enjoys providing new insights to customers on their business challenges. Curtis is based in our Melbourne office.
It’s hard to believe it’s only been in the last five years that SaaS (Software as a Service) has grown in popularity.
Yes, there was a time when Adobe used to charge hundreds for its Photoshop licenses instead of an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription; and to use Microsoft Word 20-whatever meant purchasing each version instead of subscribing to Office 365 and its automatic updates.
Today, there’s a multitude of SaaS applications on offer for enterprises. Think Slack for communications, Atlassian for company wikis, and G Suite for productivity and conference calls. These companies are some of the most successful in the world, partially due to the benefits that offering a SaaS solution provides such as affordability and flexibility.
While running a SaaS solution company is attractive, it can also be 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.
Salesforce uniquely understands the challenges SaaS companies face because it is one.
In fact, Salesforce was one of the first companies in the late 90s to start offering traditional enterprise solutions, such as customer relationship management, through a SaaS model. And because of this, Salesforce knows how to develop great solutions for handling the sales process, delivering world-class customer support, and managing recurring and unique payments easily.
Salesforce keeps SaaS prospects moving through the sales funnel
The SaaS sales funnel, even for simple apps, can be surprisingly complex, what with sales teams needing to generate and nurture leads from multiple touchpoints. And if your sales team can’t tell the difference between a lead from an Adwords campaign or one from a client referral, then you’re missing opportunities to push prospects down the sales funnel and close deals.
This is where Salesforce steps in. Salesforce connects each of the sales and marketing channels together for a cohesive sales journey, ensuring each potential customer and lead is nurtured to maximise sales potential.
Salesforce improves customer retention for long-term growth
If a customer leaves you, it’s generally not because of the price. According to the 2019 State of the Connected Customer report, 84% of customers say the experience a company provides is more important than its products or services—up from 80% in 2018. And when a SaaS company’s success is achieved through recurring revenue and repeat business, focusing on the customer experience is vital.
To deliver a great customer experience, it starts with seeing every interaction your customer has had with your brand. If your customer has had a bad experience, the service team needs to know this and plan ways to improve and retain the customer. A CRM like Salesforce Service Cloud makes it easy for service agents to know a customer’s entire story as well as offer them full omnichannel support. Be it phone, email, text, or chat, with Salesforce you can be available to a customer via whichever contact channel they wish to use.
And as SaaS companies have a working relationship with their customers, you want your teams to be constantly on top of how customers are using your product. Salesforce allows you to set up communities for product guides, FAQs, and forums for experienced users to help other customers, providing a platform for SaaS companies to understand product usage both at scale and on a granular, one-on-one basis.
SaaS companies can make great first impressions with Salesforce CPQ
There’s no denying that first impressions count when it comes to business, even for SaaS companies. Being able to accurately configure your product pricing is important for starting your customer relationship on the right foot. With Salesforce CPQ (configure-price-quote) you can be sure this happens—something you can’t say if your salespeople are still using spreadsheets or emails.
Salesforce CPQ is designed to handle any revenue model. Free trials, freemium offers, setup charges, one-off transactions, discounts, refunds… you name it, CPQ can handle it. And when it comes to managing those all-important renewals, you can be confident Salesforce CPQ can handle whatever terms were established.
Want to learn the secret to retaining customers in the subscription economy? Register your interest and join us at our upcoming Simplus Sessions roundtable.
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