Sunday, July 12, 2015

What is the best CRM for SaaS businesses?

Sign-ups, conversions and recurring revenue. There's no business like SaaS business. Yet plenty of SaaS companies are executing their sales processes on regular CRM based on transactional or consultative sales, such as Salesforce, Pipedrive or Insigthly. This leads to following issues:

Lead-Contact-Opportunity vs.

Although it's possible to manage the SaaS sales structure with an old fashioned Lead-Contact-Opportunity model, the limitations are exposed in onboarding automation and opportunity's revenue model. Signup-Customer-Subscription model is more about automated onboarding, user conversions and recurring revenue than cold calling, contacting and transactional fees. That's why a CRM for SaaS must be built on full automation and subscription management - supported with smart sales bots for behaviour based contacting instead of contact or deal database for traditional customer relationship management.

Contact details vs. user's activity profile

Regular CRM process was evolving during the era of cold calling when coffee was for closers only. That's why the most important data in a sales CRM is lead's or customer's contact numbers and conversations. For SaaS companies conversations are also important, but instead of customer's contact details we want to see customer's activity inside our SaaS products. We talk about users, not contacts. User activity information allows SaaS salespeople to recognize and proactively reduce churn already before user leaves trial or cancels subscription.

Transactional revenue charts vs. SaaS metrics

The most obvious difference between regular CRM and SaaS CRM is the revenue model: License based fees vs. Recurring revenue. How to define SaaS metrics if your CRM is based on transactional opportunities or fee based deals? Monthly recurring revenue - that is the core of SaaS business and everything must be built to support it. Otherwise it becomes very difficult to calculate the real value of your customers and growth.
We are on the mission to make the SaaS sales smarter with - a CRM for B2B SaaS companies. Here are the key differences as we see them between regular CRM and CRM for SaaS: