In this episode, Matt Wolach and Andrew Butt talked about how Andrew finding a niche has allowed his company to scale. Andrew also spoke about B2B rebates and why SaaS leaders should consider tracking their rebates easier and better.
Andrew is the CEO and founder of Enable, a collaboration platform that allows B2B leaders to maximize the performance of their deals while improving financial transparency.
Software and services are limited for the B2B and supply chain, so Andrew saw the opportunity to build a solution to an often neglected problem of B2B owners: unclaimed rebates.
Podcast: SaaS-Story in the Making
Episode: Episode No. 188, “How to Scale Up by Niching Down”
Host: Matt Wolach, a B2B SaaS sales coach, Entrepreneur, and Investor
Guest: Andrew Butt, CEO, and Founder of Enable
TOP TIPS FROM THIS EPISODE
Manage Your Rebates Correctly
If you’re a SaaS owner, you might have a lot of rebates that went unclaimed. Some SaaS founders lose track of their rebates because they don’t track them correctly. Some keep up by recording the numbers on Excel spreadsheets, but that is prone to errors.
This is why managing your rebates properly is better, and this is where Enable comes into the picture. Andrew’s software ensures that rebate agreements are recorded correctly so that SaaS owners can collect on time, preventing unclaimed rebates.
Focus on Your Decisions
One key thing that contributed to Andrew’s growth is the focus. From his bootstrapped ventures, he transitioned into providing B2B rebate management services. And he was able to identify the path he took by focusing on problems he wanted to solve.
He says most investments have been in the B2C and e-commerce industries in the last 20 years, and the B2B and supply chain spaces have been largely neglected. Technology is somehow behind in the latter sectors, which led him to create Enable, laser-focused on which problems to solve and how to solve them better than any other services.
Focus on the people you will work with. Get a few customers, prove your services, get some success stories. Whether you have five or ten customers, find a way to work with it and get to success. Scaling is about staying focused, looking at how you can replicate, and how you can get from five to a thousand customers.
Prove Your Product’s Efficiency
If you’re a startup business owner, here’s a tip from Andrew on how to attract your first critical customers: have a great team and show that your product or service works very well.
As a startup, they offered trials for their customers. These trials show proof that the software works and helps in hitting his client’s objectives. The risk is low on the client’s side. There is no need to sign a long contract before the trials. There is no significant upfront investment.
The strength of the product is what he had and all he needed.
Build a Team of Good Hires
The best source of finding good people is through internal referrals, according to Andrew. Since Enable has a remote work setup, Andrew gets people onboard by considering referrals.
“The most important thing about Enable and the best way of finding more people is people they know, so that was helpful as a referral source.”
Aside from referrals, Andrew says having great recruiters is also a key and having a structured process to meet people.
Once people are on board, the next mission is to engage and let the employees understand the mission and vision.
How B2B Rebates Work
In the B2C industry, there’s a thing called a customer rebate. It’s a subtype of reward that pays back a part of the consumer’s total price for buying a product or a service from the retailer. In B2B, the same type of reward also exists. According to Andrew, the overall principle is the same, and it’s to incentivize people to behave in a particular way.
Sellers pay another business a reward when they purchase certain products, hit a certain quantity, or hit a particular volume. In the B2B industry, if you don’t do a rebate, chances are you’re missing out on an opportunity to drive behavior.
The Future of Rebate Management
SaaS founders may have a hard time understanding that there is a better way to manage their rebates. It can be a challenge, says Andrew, but all it took for them was good timing.
Nowadays, the target market is getting more educated about services that can help with their operations. Businesses are getting more brilliant with which software to get to make their jobs easier.
Rebate management is the way of the future. It’s effective and essential in driving behavior, says Andrew. For manufacturers, their distributors are their sales teams, and they should consider having that integration to work together.
Educating the Market on B2B Rebates
Like how we educate customers with informative content, B2B leaders aim to enlighten by providing digital content, such as case studies, videos, and ROI models.
Andrew says he and his team guides SaaS leaders in understanding the importance of B2B rebates by doing a comprehensive ROI model, as well as engaging with their target audience, sponsoring industry events, and speaking at relevant events.
Dealing with Customer & Team Challenges
Andrew has seen many obstacles along his way. Still, one of the most notable bumps to him was working with traditional companies that choose to preserve their capital over the opportunity to gain a higher-than-average return.
Another challenge he encountered along the way was building the right team on a remote setup.
“Customers and people are two big groups of challenges,” he says. There were ups and downs, especially when the pandemic struck, and they had to run the business with backup plans.
Andrew’s hurdles were risk-averse customers, hiring promising talents, getting investors, and board management. SaaS founders can note these as they venture into their businesses.
[05:59] “The overall principle is similar [between B2C and B2B rebates], which is it’s trying to drive behavior.”
[09:48] “We’re already talking to a market that understands the importance of [rebate management] and why it needs to be done.”
[11:50] “I think what’s been important to Enable is to be laser-focused on what problems are we solving, how can we solve them better than anyone else, and then developing a great solution for that and being quite narrow and deep.”
[11:10] “Just giving them the content, the videos, all the different ways that they can understand how this is going to make a change for them. That’s huge.”
[15:36] “ I’ve seen that a lot. Enterprise companies, big companies, they don’t really have a lot of trust in a new startup.”
[16:52] “It’s all about taking that risk minimized or eliminated altogether. And that’s when your buyers are going to be able to make good decisions for you.”
[20:42] “Focus is absolutely critical.”
To learn more about Andrew Butt and Enable, visit: https://enable.com/.
You can also find Andrew Butt on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/awbutt/.
For more about how host Matt Wolach helps software companies achieve maximum growth, visit https://mattwolach.com/.