Keeping track of your processes and progress lets you and your team see your development. In SaaS, documentation may be the last thing on your agenda, making it appear less significant and forgotten. But, it is actually among the most important facets of a business for it to function well.
In this episode of SaaS-Story in the Making, B2B SaaS Sales Coach and host Matt Wolach and Tango’s Co-Founder, Ken Babcock, talk about the importance of efficient documentation for SaaS. Documentation is not merely about having the correct records, but also about the need to be updated and have the ability to share this knowledge with the team. Babcock shared how proper documentation helped his team and company function well and scale.
Podcast: SaaS-Story in the Making
Episode: Episode No. 223, “Document Your Process to Scale – with Ken Babcock”
Host: Matt Wolach, a B2B SaaS sales coach, Entrepreneur, and Investor
Guest: Ken Babcock, Co-Founder at Tango
TOP TIPS FROM THIS EPISODE
Create a High-Performance Team
It is normal for a highly technical software team to go on with their process that gets the job done fast. At the end of the day, they would be required to document their actions for transparency and to help other teams by providing essential information that can contribute to their day-to-day operations. However, it becomes a tedious process having to do this manually.
Sales, customer support, customer success teams, and more can benefit from this information. Not only can it provide adequate findings on certain processes but also help them know which aspect is to be improved. Being able to share this with the whole team can improve everyone’s work with the exchange of information.
However, as Babcock said, “that high performer who’s taking on a lot of work doing it really well. They don’t necessarily want to be distracted by creating documentation.” Those teams with repeatable tasks may find it hard to document their processes manually. This is why having an efficient tool that can work in the background may be a huge help.
Listen to Customers & Trust Power Users
As a startup, you may not have a huge user base that you can rely on regarding the improvement of your product. They may be only composed of the people you know, those who have accepted a trial, or a small market that you have gathered from your launch. But no matter how small in numbers they may be, every feedback from them matters.
In Tango’s early days, Babcock shared that they had 10,000 users in the first two weeks of their launch. And to improve their product and customer service, they asked these users for feedback. Having power users also helped them a lot, they have provided valuable feedback about the product which they applied and massively helped them improve.
Listening to your users and giving importance to their views on using your product is a great way to know how well the product works on their end. They hold a different perspective on product usage which may speak for your market, hence, it should be considered and implemented. At the end of the day, what is important is to provide what your customer needs and build a product that can solve their pain.
Admit What You Don’t Know
Founders have a strong foundation of knowledge about the industry and enough courage to turn it into a profitable product. You have envisioned your way into running your business until it gets successful. But, by the time you are in the game, things may change and will not be the same as you imagined.
As a founder, you must let go of the notion that you already know everything. By this time, you have a strong conviction about growing your business the way you know how, but it is important to keep an open mind and learn from your environment. Babcock said, “The biggest thing, or the trait that has played the biggest role in our success, is just a willingness to admit when we don’t know something, which is really hard.”
It is important to recognize what you lack to provide space for new knowledge. You can ask fellow founders, consult experts, or join a coaching group where you can discuss ideas, share experiences, and learn valuable tactics that can accelerate your growth. From here, you can apply your newfound knowledge to scale your business.
Companies Outgrow Documentation
Documentation is an important aspect as it records your processes and fills your knowledge bank for the benefit of the whole team and the customers. However, it may be a struggle for some companies to employ an efficient process. In the end, they outgrow documentation and have problems with staleness.
When Tango was starting, Babcock asked their potential clients about documentation. He said, “When you look at a piece of documentation, whether it’s, you know, an article or wiki, how old does it need to be for you to say, ‘oh, this is out of date.’ And some people said three weeks, and that’s the aha moment on focusing on the speed of creation.”
SaaS is a fast-paced industry. Companies should learn how to keep up, not only with the trends but also by improving their internal processes, such as documentation. Because of its rapidly growing nature, records are easily outdated as the industry demands constant improvement. The staleness of records resulting from poor documentation processes can heavily affect companies’ growth.
Hence, an efficient system or tool that can work in the background should be used. This way, it can work with your existing tasks simultaneously. And you can effectively provide the needed information for the team.
[06:00] “That high performer who’s taking on a lot of work is doing it really well. They don’t necessarily want to be distracted by creating documentation.”
[20:22] “I think the biggest thing, or the trait that has played the biggest role in our success, is just a willingness to admit when we don’t know something, which is really hard.”
[04:22] “Across the organization, if you’re not systematized and having processes, you’re gonna struggle to really grow and scale.”
[13:39] “In SaaS, you’re changing things so much are iterating on the product and releasing and, you know, after you do that, all of your documentation now is out of date.”
To learn more about Ken Babcock and Tango, visit: https://www.tango.us/
You can also find Ken Babcock on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kenbabcock
For more about how host Matt Wolach helps software companies achieve maximum growth, visit https://mattwolach.com/.