Research is an important aspect of developing your software business. Finding problems to develop a SaaS product for is already research. Surprisingly, this has been made more challenging not by the difficulty of the process but by the risks that come with it. And so, ensuring you do research right is imperative to protect the growth of your SaaS.
In this week’s podcast, CleverX Founder Sharekh Shaikh talks about the importance of taking your time when identifying problems and how to get that right. He also discusses how utilizing tools like CleverX will help you grow your company with host and B2B SaaS coach Matt Wolach. Eliminate what weighs down your business, and watch it scale faster than ever!
Podcast: Scale your SaaS with Matt Wolach
Episode: Episode No. 259, “How to Grow Your SaaS by Using the Proper Resources – with Sharekh Shaikh”
Host: Matt Wolach, a B2B SaaS sales coach, Entrepreneur, and Investor
Guest: Sharekh Shaikh, Founder at CleverX
TOP TIPS FROM THIS EPISODE
Understand the Problem
Understanding the problem in the industry is crucial for CleverX Founder Sharekh Shaikh. It is important to take the time to learn and understand the industry before starting a business. Knowing the market, the audience, and the competition can help founders develop a unique value proposition and tailor their approach to their audience’s needs.
This also helps founders ensure that the problem they are solving is essential. It helps businesses establish product-market fit faster, find and retain customers, and actually last long in the industry because it is a problem that truly matters. Shaikh also adds that if you struggle to convince people to buy, work on another problem instead.
Focus on Transparency
One of the ways CleverX is standing out in the market is by providing complete transparency to customers. Unlike traditional research panel providers who don’t disclose the respondents’ identity, CleverX’s platform provides complete transparency, allowing customers to know who their respondents are. This transparency has helped the company grow 5.5x in the last year alone.
Transparency is also the due diligence of any kind of provider. We owe it to our customers to make them aware of what they purchase. In the case of marketing research, this is more than a matter of ethics. Data transparency minimizes the margin of error during synthesis. It also allows others to corroborate your data should they decide to conduct the research.
Shaikh had previously worked in the industry before starting his current company. In fact, he actually had another startup before CleverX. He used to be a part of Gartner, one of the world’s leading research companies. This gave him the advantage of understanding the market’s needs, leading to CleverX’s unique value proposition.
So make sure to leverage your experience and expertise when you can. A thorough understanding of the industry is not something that you can easily buy. Use your own empirical data to develop your competitive edge and cut down the obstacles to your company with it. Emerge victorious against your competitors and elevate the very field your company plays in.
Trust Your Gut When Hiring
If Shaikh could go back in time and change his actions, he said he would trust his gut more when hiring. He says he also hired in the past by looking at what’s on the paper just like everybody else. But if there is even a fraction of doubt in your mind, hiring the person is probably a mistake.
He also explained that going with your gut will help you find the right fit for your team. This is because your intuition takes all of your learnings into account that one page of an A4 sheet about a stranger will never tell you. Particularly, Shaikh advises ensuring that your new hire will fit into the culture by having similar values.
Strengthen your Emotional Muscle as a Founder
Starting anything will be hard, but being a startup founder raises that difficulty bar. Either you are disrupting the market or struggling against established titans. But it’s important to remember that the greater what you are creating, the more complex the respective process. And so, it’s vital for founders to develop their emotional muscles.
Just like physically working out, there is only one way to do this. Get yourself out there and lift the proverbial weights. Face the challenges of launching that startup. Take a break when you have to but always get back up; when you do, hit that problem harder. Keep at it, and you will eventually form resilience and the mindset to keep growing, be it in business or life itself.
Fun Fact: 40% of B2B Research Result is Fraud
Shaikh reveals the elephant in the room that an astounding 40% of the outcomes are falsified when it comes to marketing research. He explains that the industry accepts this as a norm because of the use of panel providers, which is the mainstream method of acquiring respondents.
According to Shaikh, many panel providers are unreliable as they need to disclose the identity of the respondents. He clarifies that panel providers reason that this is for privacy purposes, but he also asserts that a paying client has the right to know who their respondents are. This very same problem is the reason why Shaikh founded CleverX.
Marketing Research Costs $70B Globally and $15B in the USA
Marketing research is extremely valuable as this generates actionable insight for your company. Some businesses use these statistics to supplement their case studies to pitch to prospects, while others turn to data to help them find channels for their products and services.
If almost half of that data is compromised, businesses worldwide waste valuable capital. There’s also the collateral damage of acting upon wrong information and making wrong decisions costing companies valuable time or resources that could have been spent elsewhere. CleverX becomes even more crucial as it aims to reduce that 40% fraudulence rate by setting the bar.
Customers Do Not Have the Solutions
One common pitfall companies fall into when talking to their customers for feedback is asking them to provide a solution. They do not know. That is the reason they are there as a customer because they do not have the answer to the problem. This means paying attention to their suggestions.
Shaikh elaborates that asking a customer back in the old days how to solve transportation issues would only garner an answer like getting faster horses. They would need to come up with the concept of a car. That is what founders come up with– innovative solutions born from an intimate understanding of an important problem.
[2:44] “Hopefully, we keep building the stuff users care about– and you want to make their life as easy as possible.”
[09:33] “Customers, who care about the transparency of the respondent and the reliability of those insights, want to know who their respondents are. And I’m spending thousands of dollars; I should know about it.”
[14:24] “It’s your job as a founder to make sure that your customers are really excited and happy about your product, and they’re getting the value that theyspent the money for.”
[11:49] “It’s amazing to me how many people take an undertaking like starting a software company and wanting it to become big but don’t go out and do the work of learning the market… I found those who go through that work and work to understand that actually are the ones who get success and get success the quickest.”
[17:40] “Once I started realizing I can hire for culture, it really kind of revolutionized our team. And the team became much more cohesive-bonded and, really, were much more effective. It was incredible what happened.”
To learn more about CleverX, visit: https://cleverx.com/
You can also find Sharekh Shaikh on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharekh-shaikh-4591874/
For more about how host Matt Wolach helps software companies achieve maximum growth, visit https://mattwolach.com/