One way to beat the ups and downs of a startup is to follow the data. Data is the most reliable resource in decision-making and formulating a strategy. It gives you a clear view of everything and it allows you to strategize rationally. But to acquire what’s needed, you have to obtain the correct information straight from its source.
In this episode of SaaS Story in the Making, host Matt Wolach and Sonciary Pérez, the CEO and Co-founder of Quala.io, talked about the importance of data-driven decisions that came from building enriching relationships with clients. And how improving your networks can help you with your journey, as it helps others.
Podcast: SaaS-Story in the Making
Episode: Episode No. 203, “How to Beat the Rollercoaster of a Startup”
Host: Matt Wolach, a B2B SaaS sales coach, Entrepreneur, and Investor
Guest: Sonciary Pérez, CEO and Co-Founder of Quala.io
TOP TIPS FROM THIS EPISODE
Ask for Help and Give Value
Conversations are a great way to start building relationships. When building your credibility as a start-up, engaging with different people helps you grow and develop. Enriching your connections can help you understand the journey, find the right way to do things, and even help you overcome initial problems.
As a software startup, you should leverage all the possible relationship opportunities you can. Expand your network as much as possible– connect to other founders, your market, competitors, etc., to get as much knowledge as you can. But they will not give it right away. A give-and-take relationship is essential for it to grow.
In a community, value sharing and collaboration are important. Leverage the chance of having experts on board and never be afraid to ask questions. Because people love to help other people, even if they can’t provide first-hand experiences, they can refer you to someone who can or offer additional resources to be your guide. But just as Pérez said, it’s essential to reciprocate, and “putting that energy out to the universe is important.” Your unique experiences can help them as much as theirs helped you.
Pérez advised that when you know you’re providing value to the market, have as many conversations as you can. It can help you avoid “landmines” and work your way through growth more smoothly. But along with this, you need to have conviction in the product and company you’re building. Continue to cultivate it through acquiring knowledge. “Fortify yourself in your mind and your emotions for the journey. And have as many conversations as possible with the people that you believe are going to see value from what you’re building.”
Enrich Your Network
Being a SaaS founder puts you on an endless roller coaster ride. One day, you are going all out and seeing the best things happen, but you get lost in the process the next day. But there’s always a way to overcome this struggle.
Along your journey, it’s most likely to stumble upon struggles. And venturing into something new and not knowing anything about it can be hard to fix. This is where enhancing your network is essential. You need to connect to experts, other founders, friends, colleagues– anyone in the industry that can guide you. In sharing your struggles, you may find some have overcome those already and be able to discuss what you can do about it. And in return, you’re the one who’s going to provide the advice to others.
It’s also important to discuss your wins. Don’t be bragging or extravagant. Take time to recognize what you’ve achieved. After this, move on and achieve more goals.
Pérez also emphasized that to combat “instability and volatility of starting something new,” have some parts of your life on “lockdown.” Focus on an aspect and set aside those that can be taken care of later. Giving importance to certain areas of life can eliminate waves of pressure and unwanted energy.
Create a Community with your Clients
In the past, it was scary to get your customers together. Many SaaS companies create a community of them, but it has become the total opposite today. It is now one of the most effective ways to engage and build their loyalty to the brand.
Connecting with your clients allows you to understand them better. The first-hand experience of being in the community creates a stronger bond as they can see you as an advisor. Because not only you are getting information, but also providing them value. And by consistently being in the advisory role creates trust and loyalty.
Pérez shared that in Quala, they have communities with their clients and Customer Success Leaders. At the same time, it is important to connect to your market to know what they want. Collaboration with the frontline entities can give you insights into what they want and need as a whole, with their expertise in an in-depth understanding of the client’s needs, instead of looking at a feature that one or two clients probably want. It maximizes your opportunity of serving a greater range.
Make Data-Backed Decisions
Pérez described frontline intelligence as “it’s any team member that’s having a conversation with a prospect or a customer.” This is what Quala does, a frontline intelligence platform that gathers information along those interactions to help you with decision-making. She said, “given the nature of our interactions with customers, we’re amassing a goldmine of insights that are just stored in our brain for those connections.”
In sales, emotion is an important element, but not decision-making. Companies should understand that despite their expertise in the field, the most critical information to improve their product comes from what their clients want. But taking note of every piece of information and applying the trial-and-error process to see which works best can be a waste of time. This is where data-driven decisions are needed. It creates quantified results that can be converted to possible opportunities for your growth.
[05:50] “It can be a sobering yet really important process of constantly listening to what customers are asking for– what the market is telling us. And not necessarily completely blindly just going after what we feel or what we need to build based on our own experiences.”
[13:38] “That give and take is so important since, as startup founders, I feel like we ask so much of our communities, and we take a lot. It’s important for us to spend a little bit of our time, also giving as much as we can to get that out there.”
[20:19] “We fundamentally believe that mining that information will give you everything that you need to understand how to build your product.”
[05:18] “We talk a lot about getting people to buy with emotion. And that’s great in the sales process. But when you’re making decisions for your company, you definitely don’t want to have emotion behind it.”
[12:49] “People love to help people– want to help people. So asking for help is a great way to approach it.”
To learn more about Sonciary Pérez and Quala.io, visit https://www.quala.io/.
You can also find Sonciary Pérez on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sonciary/.
For more about how host Matt Wolach helps software companies achieve maximum growth, visit https://mattwolach.com/.