Continuing with the theme of SaaS 2.0, there’s another important concept in that it inverts the sales and marketing process. In SaaS 1.0, a tremendous amount of money is spent on sales and marketing to take the potential buyer on a journey where they have to provide their name and email to download an ebook, watch a video, or get a piece of content. Then, inside sales reps start calling in hopes of doing a demo and taking the person through a sales process. Only, after this experience, and signing a contract to buy the software, does the buyer get to use the product. Finally, the implementation coordinators help on-board the new customer and the buyer gets to use the product, often for the first time.
In SaaS 2.0, the product is the sales and marketing. Everything starts and ends with the product so there are no barriers to begin using the app immediately. Once signed into the free edition of the app (often called the platform), there are marketing videos that explain the benefits of each module. Paid modules are explained and in-app upgrades made clear — the selling is done by the app, in the app. Sales reps are still available, but they’re there as consultants to answer questions and help with change management, not to get contracts signed. There are no contracts to sign.
The most powerful form of service is high quality self-service, with great people to help as a backup. With SaaS 2.0, the product is the sales and marketing.
What else? What are some more thoughts on SaaS 2.0 focusing on the product experience as the center of the sales and marketing?
One thought on “When the Product is the Sales and Marketing”
As an engineer, one of my hesitation of the free→paid app versions is the complexity cost of gating features. When there is a singular user it’s easy to map out all the possible different interactions between features because it’s the same for all users. Once different user classes appear, now every feature planning involves “How will this work with feature X which is premium only”
I’m totally in favor of using a web app as a selling tool for the same web app, but I think its important to talk about the complexity/operating cost tradeoffs that would bring