What Does It Take To Sell SaaS?

Posted on October 7th, by thinkstrategies in LucidERA, SaaS, Salesforce.com, Software-as-a-Service. 3 comments

Sometimes, even a free trial isn’t good enough to convince potential customers to buy a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution.

A case in point is LucidEra’s on-demand business intelligence (BI) solution. Even though the company is undoubtedly the thought-leader in this segment of the SaaS market and has experienced some success selling its solutions, the company has discovered that it takes more than the standard ‘try and buy’ sales approach to get customers to take advantage of its capabilities.

This is because LucidEra is aiming its on-demand BI solution at small- and mid-size businesses (SMBs), as well as those large-scale enterprises, which have not deployed BI products in the past because of their costs and complexities. Therefore, these prospective customers have little experience using a BI solution and need some hand-holding to fully understand how to utilize even a relatively easy solution like LucidEra’s.

To remedy this issue, LucidEra unveiled a new Pipeline Healthcheck Service today which is based on a beta version which was tested over the summer. The Pipeline Healthcheck Service is a free consulting engagement in which LucidEra uses its on-demand BI solution to quickly analyze a prospective customer’s Salesforce.com sales data to identify ways they can generate better sales results and decrease potential sales risks.

While some SaaS vendors and VCs might cringe at the idea of giving away free consulting services in order to sell subscription services, LucidEra has seen a substantial increase in customer ‘take’ rates along with shorter sales cycles during the beta trial of the Pipeline Healthcheck Service. The net result has been greater sales productivity despite the appearance of a more labor intensive sales process. And, LucidEra’s executives are convinced they can automate and streamline the Pipeline Healthcheck Service delivery process to reduce its costs and increase its scalability.

This is a perfect example of the creative sales techniques which a growing number of SaaS companies are going to have to adopt in order to convince prospective customers to adopt their SaaS solutions.

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