Will the Rising Cost of Sales Cost SaaS Companies VC Funding?
My friend Phil Wainwright’s latest blog post re: LucidEra’s new pre-sales program, Pipeline Healthcheck, confirms many of my initial observations when the company first introduced the program in October. Phil’s post includes a number of interesting stats which LucidEra’s founder, Ken Rudin, also shared with me at Salesforce.com’s Dreamforce event.
LucidEra’s decision to move away from the typical free-trial approach to selling SaaS is significant because it exemplifies a subtle trend which is brewing in the on-demand services market.
Although many SaaS solutions can be sold using a ‘try and buy’ technique, a growing number of SaaS vendors are discovering that they must employ other sales tactics to sell their solutions. In some cases, like the LucidEra example, it is because they are trying to demonstrate the power of their functionality to a target buyer who is unfamilar with the basic idea. … Read More »
Measuring the Profitability of SaaS
Last month, Bruce Richardson of AMR Research published a provocative commentary entitled, “SaaS and the Elusive Path to Profitability” that heightened the debate regarding the financial viability of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model.
Bruce’s column elaborated on a presentation he gave at SaaScon 2008 entitled, “Balancing Customer Acquisition Costs and Elusive Profitability.” The talk was driven by a question which Bruce claims to ask numerous software and service companies on a regular basis: “Do you know how much it costs to win a dollar of new business?”
Not surprisingly, Bruce has found that most SaaS companies are losing money acquiring new business in hopes of gaining long-term profitability over the life of the customer relationship. This has always been the logic behind the ‘land and expand’ tactics which are at the heart of almost every SaaS company’s go-to-market strategy.
In order to make his … Read More »