The Weekly Buzz – Selling “as a Service”
Software as a service (SaaS) is booming. Respondents to a 2017 survey by BetterCloud said they planned to deliver 80% of their applications via the SaaS model by 2020 (next year!). Selling products and services has always seemed to be different, so how does the transition from products to services affect B2B sales?
Products vs. Services
The distinction doesn’t mean quite what it used to. Software developers know that the most-cited downside of selling a product—inventory management—isn’t an issue if your product is a digital download. “Digital fulfillment” can creatively eliminate a lot of inefficiency between manufacturers and retailers. And some of today’s hottest business trends, like meal kits and fashion rentals, feel like services but have major inventory issues to manage.
One of the biggest challenges in selling services is helping prospects understand exactly what your service is and how it will work for them. Software customers seem to be getting comfortable with “as-a-service” and cloud delivery models, but solid demos are also important to help potential customers really feel the benefits of your offering. SaaSX has a handy guide to stepping up your demo skills.
Putting the “Service” in “Software as a Service”
Neil Patel argues that SaaS providers need to think more about the customer service aspect of selling a service. “Service” doesn’t just mean you can expect recurring payments. It also means paying attention to customers’ needs over time.
Got great ideas about selling SaaS or other B2B services? Share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.