March 19, 2018
Updated: September 12, 2019

CEO PJ Bouten Talks Today’s Biggest SaaS Challenges on the SaaStr Podcast

Our CEO, PJ Bouten, recently joined Harry Stebbings on an episode of the SaaStr podcast. The SaaStr podcast features interviews with prominent operators and investors to understand their tips and tactics to attaining success if the fiercely competitive SaaS world.

Here’s a quick recap of Harry and PJ’s conversation. Listen to the full episode on SoundCloud or download it from iTunes.

A Great Product Isn’t Enough

Having a great product is certainly important: it’s the ultimate foundation of a great company. But as companies scale, they hit a point – usually around the $10M ARR mark – where real challenges around how you take the company to market really kick in. At this point, the strategic choices you’re faced with – like the vision you set for the organization, your go-to-market strategy, building a team and establishing your culture – become more important and how you execute on those will determine the success of your company.

How to Minimize Sales Cycles

Our biggest challenge in the early days of Showpad was segmenting. While we said we sold to SMBs, mid-market and enterprise organizations, we really took a blended approach and sold to many of these organizations the same way. We had a handful of reps who were doing it all – closing everything from small contracts to enterprise-level deals. And at the time, we weren’t selling to enterprises the way they’re usually sold to and that meant we were leaving money on the table.

For example, our enterprise reps back then didn’t have the resources they do now with pre-sales, post-sales, a robust network of partners and integrations. We’ve found that if you sell to enterprise organizations with an approach they’re familiar with, the initial sales process might take a bit longer, but you’re able to grow and expand those deals much faster. And the same is true for SMBs and mid-market deals as well. The better you’re able to segment and equip your reps to sell to those organizations, the faster you’re able to close those deals.

Consider the Buyer Experience

The way buyers are buying has changed. Today’s buyers looking for more proof, validation and information about your product and many aren’t getting that directly from your sales reps. Because buyers are getting much of their information from other sources, the pressure on today’s sales reps to provide value and a great experience is high. Our vision for Showpad as a company is that we want to help companies differentiate on the buyer experience. For us, buyer experience encompasses every interaction buyers have with the company – from the messaging that marketing puts into the field to how your SDRs are prospecting to the way you enable AEs with the latest information. When we say that a great product is no longer enough in today’s SaaS world, what we mean is that you have to think about the buyer experience and ensure you’re delivering seamless, valuable experience to your buyer at every touchpoint.

Listen to the entire podcast on SoundCloud or download via iTunes.