When your SaaS start-up sets sail, it’s the norm that you buy at least a handful of software tools. A CRM to collect prospect and customer data. A billing system to charge your customers. Marketing tools, help desk tools - you know the drill.
We’re out to change that, and our approach is about more than just saving time integrating and maintaining your tech stack. Here’s the complete story on the advantages of our approach - our cards are on the table.
Less software = better alignment
When you choose to stitch together a series of software solutions, you and your team are consistently logging into a series of different tools. You login to your help desk software to answer customer support requests, your email marketing software to send an email campaign, your CRM to manage your sales process. Even if these systems are well integrated, some context on your customers and their journey is inevitably lost along the way. And you’ll inevitably have a “Doh!” moment or two when you deliver a lousy user experience to one of your customers because of the context you were missing. We’ve all been there.
Particularly in an early stage start-up, it’s a major advantage to have your whole team living in the same tool day in and day out. When everyone’s in the same tool, everyone’s looking at the same data. Everyone has a single, shared understanding of your business' performance and a more complete understanding of each customer’s unique experience with your company.
When alignment improves, business results follow.
Join a community of founders that rejects “business as usual”
Software is, generally speaking, becoming more of a commodity by the day. This is particularly true if you’re one of the vendors offering software in hyper competitive categories like CRM, email marketing, subscription billing… yup, that’s us.
The companies that use Outseta tend to work with us not just because they like the message of simplifying their technology choices, but because they like how we approach our business. We’re not out for an exit; we’re in this for the long haul. We’re not out to reach $100mm in revenue in X number of years. We’re out to prove that “work” can be so much better and more fulfilling than “business as usual.” A few examples…
This is our idea of a worthwhile industry conference - and a format we’ll look to steal from as we host our own events for our customers.
We're building a self-managed company; one completely devoid of hierarchy; no bosses!
Here's our operating agreement. It outlines how we make financial and functional decisions at Outseta.
We operate basically without budgets, forecasts, or performance targets. Hear us out.
When you become an Outseta customer, you get access to a community of like-minded founders. Call us idealists if you must; we’ll take it as a compliment. We’d argue it takes uncommon ideas to deliver uncommon business results.
Lower financial overhead, more scalability
When you use a series of different software tools, each tool comes with it’s own pricing model. Most CRM systems charge a per user fee. Most email marketing tools charge based on the number of contacts you have or the number of emails you send. That subscription management service probably charges a fee based off of your revenue, and for help desk software you’re likely getting charged a per user fee once again.
Needless to say, keeping track of these costs isn’t easy and as your company grows the costs consistently change as you move through different pricing models and tiers. This is such a problem that there’s even an entire category of SaaS products that help you manage your other SaaS products - just look at tools like Blissfully, SaaSLicense, or Intello.
Great tools, all, but next thing you know you have another SaaS tool in the mix… is there anything lean about that? Does that really make sense for a start-up?
With Outseta you will pay fewer bills and have more predictable overhead. And You can always invite as many team members as you like and send unlimited emails without increasing your costs.
Direct access to our founding team
As an Outseta customer you’ll always have direct access to our Founding team. We’ll give you our emails and we’ll jump on video calls with you when you need help. “Oh, but that can only last so long,” you might be thinking.
We reject that.
A SaaS business is built on the success of its customers, and their is nothing a Founder has to do that’s more important than spending time helping a customer be successful. Regardless of how big we become, we’ll make it happen - and if we don’t, we ask that you hold us accountable.
In the wise words on Michael Monteiro, a SaaS founder we know and love, “Continue to do things that don’t scale for employees, and for customers. It’s part of the special sauce. It’s what makes an experience different.”
We save you time you’d otherwise spend evaluating, integrating, and maintaining software tools
Time saved evaluating, integrating, and maintaining your software tools is absolutely one of the biggest benefits of using Outseta, but guess what… it ain’t sexy. Many of the Founders we deal with are technical folks and don’t immediately perceive much of a challenge in integrating a few software tools. Some even enjoy it.
But ask any CTO or VP of Engineering that you know who has had a successful start-up run a few questions…
How often did you change the tools in your stack as you scaled?
How much time was spent evaluating and integrating new tools?
How often were you asked to pull data from one tool, to support a campaign deployed in another tool?
How often did you encounter issues with data consistency?
The point is, as a subscription business scales time spent evaluating, integrating, and maintaining the tools on which the business relies scales up - not just a little bit, but dramatically. That’s why you see entire IT departments, and full-time salaries devoted to business, sales, and marketing operations teams.
Perhaps most unfortunate is that in an early stage start-up it’s typically a very experienced engineer that’s tasked with doing a lot of this work. Let’s say that a technical Founder’s time is valued at $150,00 per year. If that person spends, conservatively, 3 hours per week managing their tech stack guess what that will cost a start-up in its first year of existence?
$11,249.16. Roughly one month of working time. For further reading, please see: opportunity cost.
How far would that time go if it was spent building your core product? How far could that budget go if it was spent on marketing?
One vendor to deal with
Remember the last time you called customer support to deal with an issue related to your cell phone plan? Or your cable TV provider? Would you rather deal with five cell phone providers? Seven cable TV providers? Or one?
With Outseta if you have a problem with your software tools, you have one vendor to deal with. You can reach us via email, live chat, or our knowledge base. One point of contact is nice and easy to remember… your inbox being inundated with emails from six different Account Managers trying to upsell you on additional features for their own respective products? Not so much.
We provide other “scaffolding” subscription businesses need
Integration and regular maintenance work aside, Outseta also provides other “scaffolding” that subscription businesses need that represents technical work, but not working on your core product. Our solutions for subscription management, account registration and authentication, and forgot password workflows are just a few examples of additional time savings. It adds up.
Accelerate investor diligence and increase the odds that your company is funded
One of the most common misconceptions with SaaS start-ups is that to raise funding from investors you need a perfectly polished pitch. One that accentuates the positive aspects of your business and truly puts your best foot forward.
Investors don’t want the dog-and-pony show - they are too smart for that and if they are going to fork over a large sum of money, they want to understand your business inside and out; the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Ultimately what investors are looking for is transparency, and anything you can to do facilitate that accelerates the fundraising process and your chances of getting funded. You should actually be seeking out investors who very specifically understand the challenges that your start-up faces, and choose to invest anyway. Maybe they see your challenges as surmountable, or even better yet maybe they can help you address them. Regardless, they will have the final say in terms of if any of your challenges are show stopping anyways (and they will find them).
Outseta can help accelerate this process in a few ways. First, our reporting tools are built fully integrated with our CRM, billing system, and other tools eliminating data discrepancies that are common (and need to be understood and explained during diligence) when disparate billing, CRM, and business intelligence tools are integrated together.
Second, we can provide useful benchmarking information to highlight how your company’s performance metrics compare to your peer companies that are using Outseta. This should give you a sense of the strengths and weaknesses of your business’ performance, and also act as a useful barometer in terms of understanding your company’s odds of raising funding successfully.
Best yet? With our pricing model you can easily give potential investors their own login credentials to your Outseta account so they can look at your reports, support tickets, marketing campaigns, and other business data. That additional user doesn’t cost you a penny and the credibility you build by providing that level of transparency... priceless.
If you want to see what Outseta is all about, the best way to do so is to create a free account. If you have a SaaS product or are a start-up with a minimum viable product (MVP), we can help you stand up and operationalize your business in less than a day.