Six Ways to Optimize Success with Your Software-as-a-Service Model

Robbie Kellman Baxter
Robbie Kellman Baxter
  1. Know the attributes of your best customers, and qualify your prospects on these attributes. One client I worked with analyzed the differences between their customers who stayed for multiple years and those who canceled at the first point of renewal and found that customers who had strong, powerful, IT departments were less likely to engage. The IT execs did not want the new “low maintenance” offering to drive down their influence, so they didn’t encourage or support it.
  2. Make sure that your sales team is compensated on retention as well as acquisition — perhaps by aligning commission to an 18-month milestone.
  3. Put a little friction into the selling process, perhaps requiring some of the targeted product users to be interviewed to ensure fit, as well as the designated buyer.
  4. Develop an onboarding process that is designed to drive the behaviors needed to drive retention and expansion. Many onboarding processes are designed just to make sure that the software works and is available, but stops short of marketing to end users to encourage usage and to make the transition easy. Consider the ideal post-sales “sales process” to build support among end users and other key constituents that weren’t included the first time.
  5. Track usage and determine which “first day” activities are most likely to signal engagement and retention, and optimize for those. For example, is there a setup process that most users undertake before committing to using the software? How can you design a marketing process to ensure that everyone who has access to the software is motivated to try it, and to make it part of their daily behaviors?
  6. Don’t wait until thirty days before renewal to start working on retention. If you see usage tapering off or you see evidence of “failure to launch” altogether, stage an intervention immediately. Customer success should be paying attention all year round!

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Robbie K Baxter

Robbie K Baxter

Author of THE FOREVER TRANSACTION & THE MEMBERSHIP ECONOMY; Leading expert on membership models and subscription pricing. http://www.robbiekellmanbaxter.com