How SaaS Companies Survive in Quarantine and Crisis – ColumnJohannes Röll 22 / February / 20 Visitors: 46
How SaaS Companies Survive in Quarantine and Crisis – Column
Dmitry Semyonov, co founder of marketing agency Syntropy, wrote for AIN.UA a column on 15 steps that will allow SaaS companies to survive the inevitable crisis. They can help you survive in times when business and users are optimizing costs.
The talk of a quarantine business is drenched in a red thread of tightened belts. This also applies to subscription software: "We unsubscribe from non-critical services" or the softer version of "Switch to cheaper / free tools."
Given the downturn, foggy prospects and buckwheat scarcity, this is prudent. But what can SaaS companies do? We wondered this because we have such clients ourselves.
Have developed steps to help SaaS go through the crisis or use it to increase their market share:
1) Tell yourself about cost savings in times of crisis. For example, you have accounting software. Your product is costed by one accountant, not three. You reduce fixed business expenses - profit!
2) Change the pricing model. A good example is the existing AppsFlyer model, where users pay for the result - inorganic app installs. Customers will be grateful for such a model, as for zooming from 8am to 9. Another option is to extend the trial period. This is not logical in terms of profit, but will help attract more new customers who then convert to customers later. We will mention a recent example of PornHub, which opened a free subscription for the duration of the epidemic, and also developed a separate landing page for this.
3) Offer your software on AppsSummo, StackSocial or Pitchground. These are the kind of "Coupons" for the software. They are visited by millions of users every month - another way to quickly increase market share.
4) Stop developing new features. Leave only the keys that will give you a competitive edge, even during a possible recession.
5) Shift focus to existing features. They generate money for you. You can do what has long been delayed by constant "operation": refactoring, UI / UX optimization, ordering documentation, "human" onboarding, and so on.
6) Decrease staff or cut everyone's payroll in proportion. From a business standpoint, it is advisable to leave key people behind and close the extra load of freelancers. If you are not ready to give in to the team spirit or you can close the tasks with only the current staff, talk about reducing salaries during a crisis.
7) Reduce marketing costs. Yes, we are a marketing agency, and we still recommend that you do so. Clarification: budgets should only be reduced for new users - in times of crisis, the cost of attracting them is increasing.
8) Instead, increase your investment in user retention - focus on those who already pay you. Quarantine also increases the effectiveness of content marketing - people are more at home reading. So it makes sense to redirect resources to content creation.
9) Set up community marketing. Similarly, in isolation, networking in the industry, sharing experiences, and simply being able to communicate are more important. You already have such people, it is necessary to re-introduce them. The community will save resources on support, generate content, and provide feedback. A Facebook group or Slack / RocketChat will be suitable - they are convenient through trades and channels.
10) Bypass the support team - it has a huge impact on user retention. Write scripts, create a knowledge base in GitBook, Confluence or Dinosaurs, connect a chat bot. The better your service, the less customers want you to leave.
11) If you have a sales team, focus on fast sales, small and medium businesses. Corporate decision-making is protracted, and it will take even more time during a crisis - which is a waste of your salespeople.
12) Give up your expensive office or office at least for a while. These are currently non-critical costs. It seems that there are no more believers in quarantine ending on April 3. Fortunately, the specifics of most SaaS absolutely allow remote work.
13) Contact anyone who unsubscribes, find out why. If the reason is in the money - give an anti-crisis proposal, make a reservation. If customers are massively unsubscribed for another reason, such as moving to a competitor, create a strategy to counteract it.
14) Read negative reviews about more expensive competitors. Based on that, create an ad campaign targeted to their users (we didn't tell you that). Suggest a switch to more economical software in times of crisis.
15) Learn how to use your product. Webinars work great, even if you want to roll your eyes at words about online communication. Plus, it's finally time to write all the educational articles that have been spinning in your head before.
The crisis is always a problem and an opportunity. SaaS has the potential to scale quickly - use it at a time when everyone is writing off your competitors. So a fearsome quarantine can actually be a springboard for your company.
Johannes Röll was born 1978 in Brilon,Germany. Graduated RWTH Aachen University. Over the past ten years he worked as Head of the plastic card team, where he was mainly responsible for the development of the distribution, Head of sales Department and Financial Analyst,where he got experience in planning and support sales figures for branches. For the present he works as freelancer