This talk was given by Neeti Gupta, Director of Partner Marketing of GE Healthcare at SaaS Connect 2018 in San Francisco, May 1-2, 2018. Get the slides

It isn’t enough to simply have an idea for a SaaS product. In today’s market, a strategy is needed in order to truly thrive.

Neeti Gupta, Director of Partner Marketing of athenahealth, learned this better than anyone during her time as Director of Partner Marketing at GE Healthcare, a position she held at the time of SaaS Connect 2018.

She gave a very enlightening talk on the subject, outlining 10 questions that SaaS companies should be asking themselves:

1. Who is your customer?

This is a problem that newer SaaS companies run into. Some have a very broad idea of who their customers are, but this is often not enough. Taking time to get specific will make it not only easier to design product, but also to market it.

2. What is your business problem?

If you don’t lead with this, you risk losing the customer’s interest. Customers come to you because they have something they want done, and they won’t care about the finer points of the product if they don’t think it will solve their base issue.

3. What are your use cases?

Knowing very clearly when and how your product is going to be used will help you reach out to potential customers. This also helps your partners more easily connect you with the people who need your product.

4. What are your success metrics?

Focus on metrics that can drive business. This includes customer metrics and revenue. Define what success actually means in your space, then work to reach it. Then, use those metrics to show potential partners your track record.

5. Will your SaaS solution help generate revenue or save money/time?

This is something that partners and customers alike will want to know. What will your product actually add to their bottom lines? Why should they consider taking it on? Sometimes, this means generating revenue, but sometimes it means saving money or time.

6. What are the key ethical, legal, compliance and security considerations?

Some industries and locations have legal-compliance issues to take into consideration. Make sure you do your due diligence so you can be prepared when reaching out to partners. And if you plan on globalizing your product, make sure to recognize that other places have their own regulations.

7. Have you named and described your SaaS solution?

This might seem obvious, but some people get so excited looking to the future that they forget the important groundwork that needs to be done in the present. And some of that groundwork involves a name and a basic description. Make sure that description makes sense if you want your partners to be able to sell your product.

8. Do your customers understand your SaaS solution’s value proposition and pricing model?

If they don’t, it will be that much harder to actually sell to them. They’ll be hesitant to spend money on something if they don’t understand what they’re getting out of it, and even more hesitant if they don’t understand how they’ll be charged for it.

9. Who and how will you sell your SaaS solution?

You need to have salespeople, and you need to make it easy for those salespeople to do their jobs. Decide whether they will have a trial they can offer, and make that policy clear so they can approach prospects with confidence.

10. How will you maintain, support and service your SaaS solution?

Selling a SaaS solution doesn’t stop once the customer receives it. Make sure you have a plan to keep your solution running smoothly, or you won’t be able to keep the customers that you gain through these sales tactics.