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4 Myths Selling SaaS Into Enterprise

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By Avanish Sahai, Google Cloud VP of ISV & Application Partners

At SaaStr Annual, we’ll be sharing stories of how a few of our SaaS partners enable enterprises to change the way they do business. I am a former CXO and current investor and board member in the B2B software space. For several years, I was also the leader of the Salesforce AppExchange, the first “born in the cloud” ISV and technology partner ecosystem, and saw many companies in their journey from inception to exit. Based on these experiences, here are myths I often hear from early-stage SaaS companies who want to move upmarket and target enterprise buyers.

Myth #1 – Enterprises prefer well-known brands

In the past, most enterprise technology purchases were made through large, powerful, centralized IT organizations working across the entire enterprise. Today, technology spend is distributed across the enterprise with line of business leaders purchasing a few solutions specific to their department. In the past, software companies needed to provide solutions covering a wide range of capabilities to be relevant for centralized IT buyers who would deploy across multiple functions in the company. Today, enterprise buyers prefer SaaS companies that specialize in solving a specific business need, deploy rapidly and have high usability – even if no one outside their department is familiar with that offering or brand. 

Myth #2 – Big wins are required for big enterprise revenue 

Sellers often look at a large enterprise on a target list and aspire for one massive win. While one enterprise can be a large source of revenue, that revenue typically comes from many different departments, geos, and other groups who make up the buyers within that account. The best strategy to win most enterprise accounts is not to pursue a single massive contract, but to start with one influential buyer and scale out within the account – this “land and expand” approach has been at the core of the growth of successful companies like Atlassian, Salesforce, Servicenow, and others.   

Myth #3 – One winner takes all 

Since enterprises rarely buy software through a single buyer, having a competitor already deployed in a target account does not reduce your chances of a win. Larger enterprises are often internally competitive and decentralized in their buying. Rather than trying to replace the competitor, look for other groups within the enterprise doing similar work and prove your product is better than what the other department is using. Help another internal group drive faster and greater value and enlist them as internal champions to help the rest of the company do the same, by using your product instead.

Myth #4 – Selling with partners is risky

Most enterprise processes are deeply connected. Marketing systems connect tightly with sales systems. Manufacturing systems connect with customer service. Human Resource systems connect with Finance.  While your product may solve a specific problem for one of these processes, a partner may expose your offerings to a broader digital transformation initiative or agenda; selling with a partner in an adjacent workload can open even more doors. A trusted partner can help navigate the buying centers and decision-making steps in the account.

Avanish Sahai is Vice President ISV & Apps Partner Ecosystem at Google Cloud and a member of the Board of Directors for Hubspot. He has over 25 years of experience in the enterprise software sector as an executive, investor, board member, and advisor. Previously Avanish held leadership positions with ServiceNow, Demandbase and other VC-funded startups, and Salesforce. He was also a founding co-leader of McKinsey’s Software Practice and started his career at Oracle.   

Published on January 21, 2020

Source: https://www.saastr.com/4-myths-selling-saas-into-enterprise/

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Videoconferencing’s Moment

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I am going to spend much of today in my Zoom room participating in several meetings around the country and around the world.

If you look at Zoom’s stock price over the last month, since the outbreak of the Coronavirus, you will see that the market thinks that I am not the only one who will be doing that.

The combination of limiting travel due to Coronavirus fears and the desire to lower carbon footprints tells me that we may have reached videoconferencing’s moment.

Maybe attending a meeting in person is a thing of that past and video’ing in is our future. If so, we may look back at this winter of 2020 as the moment that happened.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/AVc/~3/8t0bdXDoMZo/

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We’ve Doubled The Capacity For Most Workshops At Annual

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SaaStr Annual 2020 is almost here!!  March 10-11-12!!  Woo-hoo!!

One new element that has proven super popular is a new dedicated wing of just workshops.  We’ve taken over the attached Marriot and turned all of its conference rooms into workshops.  Many of them almost instantly filled to capacity.

So, we’ve reconfigured the space from rounds to chairs to essentially double capacity for most workshops.  If you saw that a workshop was full, check back into reg now and/or later this week and it likely will be open now.

Published on February 23, 2020

Source: https://www.saastr.com/were-doubled-the-capacity-for-most-workshops-at-annual/

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A Preview of SaaStr Europa 2020: 3,000+ in Paris 17-18 June

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We’re heads-down for the biggest, best SaaStr Annual ever!  But right after that, we’re gearing up for the 3rd SaaStrEuropa.com in Paris, 17-18 June.

If you’re thinking of attending or attending again, a few highlights:

  • We’re back at the stunning Maison de la Mutualite, right in the heart of the Left Bank again.   Same great location as in the recap of last year in the video above.
  • Tracking to 3,000+ attendees … so it’ll be packed.  We’ll see where we really end up on attendance, but right now we’re already tracking to almost 2x (!) of last year!  Whatever it is, it will be significantly bigger than last year … and packed.  This is realistically as many as we can possibly fit in this venue.
  • Far more attendees — but same sponsor pricing through March.  If you want to sponsor, do it now.  Even though we’ll be a lot bigger, we’re holding the same sponsor pricing through early March.  This is called deflation!  So sponsor now 🙂
  • More workshops, more braindates, more mentorship.  We’ll add over a dozen new workshops on scaling, even more braindates and mentorship sessions last year, and more VC sessions.  We’re basically adding almost an additional stage each day (3x), so there will be even more to do.
  • 50% of our speakers are slotted, but if you want to speak — apply now.  It is not too late.  Scroll to the bottom here.  We are mainly looking for underrepresented founders, unicorns, and high brand start-ups, but we’re open to a lot of things.  Just apply soon, like really soon!
  • Tickets are still really cheap until March 1.  Not as cheap as a few months ago, but really cheap.
  • Champagne, jazz, parties, and more.  Like last year.  But even better.

If you haven’t been to SaaStr Europa — it’s just really fun.  3,000 folks over 2 days is just enough to meet tons of people, but not so many you get overwhelmed.  Term sheets are easier.  Meeting a top unicorn CEO is easier.  But it’s big enough there’s always tons to do.

Join us if you can!  In Paris!!

Published on February 21, 2020

Source: https://www.saastr.com/an-early-look-at-saastr-europa-2020-in-paris-tracking-to-3000-in-paris-17-18-june/

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