How to Find First 25 Customers? Do Indian SMEs buy SAAS online? Do we need to rethink latent needs?
These (and more) are the kinda questions/discussions happening at NextBigWhat Forum.
If you have to beg…you’re probably not working on the
right leads. [Read]
We announced the QnA Series : Ask Me Manythings on the forum earlier this week. Here are a few questions from the first series where we have Avlesh Singh, WebEngage founder sharing his experience of building and selling SAAS business.
Question : Do Indian SMEs buy service online (like a SAAS payment) or it’s still about annual / monthly contracts?
Answer (edited) : We have a commercial agreement with each one of our enterprise customers – in most cases for a 12 month term. The billing cycles are mostly quarterly and the payment terms command an advance payment. We raise them invoices every quarter – payments and collections with Indian customers take longer cycles. But is not too much of a pain, as long as their teams are glued on to your platform/product.
Bottomline, India is not as bad a market for SaaS as it is perceived to be. We make over 40% of our revenues from India!
Answer: Finding your early adopters is always a pain. I struggled to choose between who to chase – the smaller fishes or the big ones. I chose the latter. The bigger (by size) customers take you a bit more seriously than the smaller ones, when they see a clear value proposition.
The question is how to create a value proposition that’s crystal clear? Depending upon your product it could be simpler workflow, better RoI or just price. Whatever it is, you begin by “knowing” what do they do today in context of the problem you are trying to solve. And that’s one hell of a challenge. Once you have found it is much much easier for you to propose a solution.
And many such discussions.
Do participate/share/learn from fellow entrepreneurs, especially if you are running a SAAS business.
Other discussions include :
Personalization is already becoming a key differentiator in the luxury car market. Taking a cue from this development, we think software product designers should start building in the ability to personalize into their products. In India, we have a long history of personalized services such as from tailors, cobblers and paanwallahs, specially in smaller towns.
One of the many interesting comments following the Bowles piece we referred to in the previous post (Design/ Metaphor/ Literature) was on the rationale for systematic, almost scientific User-Centric Design. Steve G. writes that UCD is linked historically to human factors engineering that arose out of aviation psychology during the second World War.
Thinking about startup valuations and pain points worth solving , we need to rethink on what constitutes pain points and latent needs, I my opinion urge to communicate, connect, share, be entertained, having fun and playing are also basic human needs
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