In this episode, I shared the answers to your burning questions about the most common mistakes SaaS founders make. SaaS Story in the Making is a podcast that primarily interviews recognized personalities, but I recorded it solo this time to make sure I get those questions answered for your software business.
To get your challenges out of the way, I touched on the four areas where I see software companies fail, the major pitfalls of SaaS founders, where the potential issues could be, what you can do to overcome them, and how you can scale more quickly than you’ve ever dreamed of.
Podcast: SaaS-Story in the Making
Episode: Where SaaS Companies Fail
Host: Matt Wolach, a B2B SaaS sales coach, Entrepreneur, and Investor.
TOP TIPS FROM THIS EPISODE
Create Multiple Marketing Channels
Most of the time, software companies at an early stage don’t have enough savings in the bank unless they get a massive sum of money from seed funding. Most people don’t have a ton of money to throw around to be able to market.
So what you need to do at this stage is to figure out where you can allocate your time best to get the necessary leads you need to get your brand out there and increase visibility. Yes, you can build your presence. You can create a buzz if that’s your goal. But the main question is, where would you do that to generate a ton of interest that leads to revenue?
If you have a marketing channel that’s working well, and you’re riding it, that’s great. Things that happen in marketing are crazy, but one of the things that happens is that marketing channels fluctuate a lot. Things change. So someday, that channel is likely to dry up.
Then you’ve got nothing left.
The best course of action is to create multiple marketing channels—a lot of them. Get a bunch of different things happening. You’ve got things working here and over there. You need to get four, five, six marketing channels. That way, if one dries up, no worries. You still have many more taking care of you.
Engage with Your Leads
Once you lay the groundwork for your marketing and have those leads, figure out how to keep them coming and engaging with you. However, some B2B software companies fail to see that there are more steps in the funnel. Attracting leads is the first step, but it doesn’t stop there.
You put a bunch of marketing out, you spend a lot of time, or you spend a lot of money. You get these leads, then you realize, “okay, we got the leads, but then we have to call them.” Guess what? There are other steps in between.
You might be getting leads, but you’re not converting them. Why? Because you’re not engaging with them. And if you don’t engage with your leads, or if they don’t engage with you, you lose the chance to convert them.
So what most companies are doing – software companies that are not performing well – they’re missing engagement. There’s a gap between the lead coming in and the lead booking a demo. In that gap is engagement. You’ve got to figure out a way to get them to engage with you. If you can, you’re on your way.
Structure Your Demo
I wish more software companies knew how to run a demo.
The demo is the number one most powerful way to close a software deal. In fact, I had Chad Stewart, who’s a professional software buyer, on the show. He is a fantastic software buyer. Big companies hire him to go by their software. So all he does, all day, every day, is go through software sales processes. Do you want to see an expert on software processes? This guy.
I asked him how important the sales process is and he told me it’s absolutely critical. The company with the best sales process usually wins.
Then I asked him how important is the demo? He said it is make or break, it is the #1 most important part of the sales process, without a doubt.
So, the sales process is crucial, and the demo is the most important part of the process.
So you need to nail it and do things right the first time, or you lose the chance.
Automate To Scale
Now that we’ve come to this, I’m going to share with you the killer tip: automate your business processes to scale. Weed out what doesn’t work and repeat the best practices.
Most software companies who come to me don’t know how to scale. They are lost – they don’t have the answers. They don’t know how to establish a method they can repeat to uplevel their marketing, their demo, their lead generation, and their business in general. In their early days, the founders would care so much about the product, about marketing, about the mission and vision that they forget about the structure.
Not having the proper structure and the right process before you try to scale is one of the biggest pitfalls many founders experience. They take uncalculated risks doing endless trial and error until they realize they cannot get somebody in to do just as well as the competitors, and they burn out.
You have so much passion. You believe in what you’re doing. You believe in your product. You believe in your team. You’re all in. I’ve been there. I know how it feels. It’s an incredible feeling. But it’s not the right path to take. Sometimes, we need to make sure to craft that killer process that would steer us in a better direction and sail smoothly. Or else, it’s going to be a rough road ahead.
Time Is Money, Money Is Time
As software founders, you need to strategize where to allocate your time and money from the get-go to hit the ground running for your SaaS business. Do not just focus on one aspect of your software company. It is essential to pay close attention to what brings more return, but at the same time, finding the right balance and spreading your resources across equally will help you avoid struggling from pitfalls in the long run.
The Software Demo Will Set You Up For Success
Remember the old adage, first impressions last? In the SaaS world, your software demo is that first impression. Make it count!
You want to get calls booked from your prospects, for them to talk to you so you can differentiate your products from the rest of the competition. The best opportunity to be able to close them is through an explosive demo.
[8:08] “If you don’t engage with your leads, or if they don’t engage with you, you got no shot.”
[10:02] “You’ve got to figure out a way to get [your leads] to engage with you. If you can, you’re on your way.”
[10:21] “The demo is the number one most powerful way to close a deal.”
[21:23] “Not having the right structure and the right process before you try to scale is one of the biggest pitfalls a lot of founders bum out.”
For more about how host Matt Wolach helps software companies achieve maximum growth, visit https://mattwolach.com/.
You can also follow him on LinkedIn for more content: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mattwolach/
As part of the founding team in his first SaaS product, Matt owned the sales & marketing processes. But he struggled to sell and gain traction for the company. It took years of learning and tweaking before Matt created The Perfect DEAL Process, an innovative yet easy to implement method for closing more software deals. To find out more, visit https://mattwolach.com/about-matt