Online Sales Readiness in the SaaS Industry

Self-Service SaaS is the most scalable of SaaS business models. Product trials and purchasing is automated through an online store. Pilvi™ conducts assessments on SaaS companies’ digital maturity and online sales readiness.

During the first phase of an assessment the following issues are looked into:

  • Business information and main segment of business (B2B, B2C, B2B/C)
  • Is there a guided product demo available?
  • Application type (Web, App, IoT, or a combination)
  • Is there an automated trial process?
  • Is there a clear Call-to-Action for the product trial?
  • How is the product pricing presented?
  • Number of, quality, and clarity of pricing plans
  • Whether there is a Free Trial, Open Demo, and/or Freemium model
  • Additionally; pricing, discounts, and contract models are evaluated

The second phase is to examine how a product trial begins:

This includes the trial period itself, including all communication and guidance that take place meaning the SaaS Onboarding Process as a whole.

One of the main objectives when assessing a company’s online sales readiness is to examine the functionality of a SaaS trial process in authenticity and level of automation. Pilvi™ assesses whether trial processes qualify as “real trial processes” as in to say, to qualify as a real trial process on the Pilvi™ assessment the trial needs to be one where the user gains full product functionality and access for a specific period of time to try out the features of the product. Through assessments conducted Pilvi™ has noticed the term trial is often either inadvertently or intentionally blended and therefore the term “trial” on a company’s website can mean different things. During an assessment, it is therefore important to determine exactly what type of trial a company is offering. Clear Call-to-Actions offering personal walkthroughs or pre-made demonstration videos and guides prior to granting full access to a product with a unique user ID are preferred. In securing the most straightforward path to accessing a trial, Pilvi™ sees the best presentation to be a clear “Start Free Trial” button present on the companies website directly on the landing page.

The length of a trial period should stray away from a generic set of days and rather be based on the amount of time it takes for the product to generate value. A customer is willing to pay for the value created by a product, and only once the value added by a product is clear will a trial user convert to a paying customer. Trial length leads directly into the type of trial offered, there should be a clear distinction between a trial, meaning a period of time where a user has access to the full product and a Freemium model product, a lesser version of the product that is accessible forever and always cost free.

Pricing, presentation, and productization is key in an automated online sales environment

Concealment of pricing seems to still be a rather popular trend when a company is actively selling any product non-clear or not presented price tags very rarely goes to promote sales. Rather, unfortunately, the clear presentation of pricing seems to still be a challenge for many. A good option is to bring pricing in the form of product cards and tag them directly on the front page or slightly below the main view of your landing page. Well constructed product price plans are the starting point for SaaS companies and service sales. Productization must be clear to the customer, different options can be used to expand your target audience and range so that as many visitors as possible can find a product fit for themselves. Productization is seen as the key factor here, beyond just having various product plans is how well the plans are designed to fit different buyer segments.

Trial quality, nature, and usefulness as well a clear presentation of pricing and product plans are what we see as the two main cornerstones of digital maturity and online sales readiness in SaaS. By following some of the tips and descriptions above you can begin to ensure your SaaS product is ready to begin conquering the world.

Pilvi™ continues to conduct assessments independently on select companies in order to grasp what the state of the SaaS industry is on a whole, and how Pilvi™ can best aid development.

We at Pilvi™ can also conduct a free online sales readiness assessment on your company or product, contact us for more information.

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