Outseta Sales Pitch
If we've learned anything about sales and marketing over the past decade, it's that this is the age of the empowered buyer. Nobody wants to feel like they're being sold, and buyers are better at blocking out salespeople than ever before. Both Forrester and Gartner predict that by 2020 more than 80% of the buying process will occur without any human to human interaction.
As a result, we won't sell you. We'll consistently update this page with the latest product reviews, demo videos, and other collateral to help you determine if Outseta is the right fit for your business; in a self-service fashion. Our cards are on the table.
Start-ups Are Buying a Slew of Point Solutions
During the course of idea validation interviews, we learned the following by interviewing Founders of start-up SaaS businesses.
- The average SaaS start-up we talked to was using 6-7 different point solutions.
- There was pain in the initial integration and ongoing maintenance of these integrations.
- Founders overwhelmingly felt that their tech stacks were “duct taped together.”
- Despite the use of many point solutions, most founders still struggled to get a clear view of their business’ performance. Manual reporting was the norm.
The 2017 study of SaaS trends published by Blissfully speaks to small companies using 20+ SaaS solutions. These small businesses are most likely larger than the start-up Founders or teams that we interviewed, but this reinforces our findings.
The buy-a-boat-load of point solutions trend is something that we also fell victim to. When Dimitris and I worked together at Buildium, I would often go to him with requests; "We need to buy a marketing automation platform," or "It's time to upgrade our help desk software." Sometimes Dimitris would oblige, but other times he would insist that we use very basic, homegrown tools. We were, after all, a bootstrapped start-up. In retrospect those homegrown tools served us very well - we used several of them until we reached $5mm in annual revenue. The point solutions that we bought more often than not came with unclear costs, significant integration and maintenance overhead, and a realization that we were actually using only about 20% of each tool's functionality.
As we reflected on this experience, we couldn't help but laugh; in an industry that celebrates Eric Ries' The Lean Start-up as gospel, why has the SaaS industry completely rejected "lean" principles when it comes to our software buying decisions?
Point Solutions Chew Up Technical Cofounders' Time
As we considered the technology decisions we made at Buildium, we realized that those decisions were probably bigger than we thought they were at the time. Dimitris spent a lot of time integrating and maintaining point solutions. He spent a lot of time building other "scaffolding" that was needed to support the business, yet wasn't core to our product. We were often surprised when our bills came in at month end.
What is the single most precious resource to start-up Founders? Ask yourself this question, or anyone else, and you'll likely get one of three responses:
- Time (check)
- Money (check)
- Developers (check)
The start-up game is by definition risky, spitting out a few big winners and many losers. In a world where 90% of start-ups will fail, anything you can do to save time, money, and development resources increases your odds of being one of those few winners. Nothing is more damaging to a start-up's chances for success than wasted founder time.
SaaS Companies Have Fueled This Fire
Ironically enough, it's marketers like me within the SaaS industry itself that have perpetrated this problem. Heck, the market even celebrates the more than 5000 marketing technology products that are out there!
Human psychology is also to blame. We all like to buy things. We have all been seduced by tried and true marketing practices wrapped up in some new terminology. We all want to feel like we're getting software with the best feature set out there. But as you start to cobble together your start-up tech stack, stop and ask...
- Does buying 5-20 point solutions really make any sense for your early stage start-up?
- What percentage of each software's functionality are you actually going to use?
- What context are you missing as you try to tie together a slew of disparate point solutions?
Have you ever even seen a start-up with the lifetime value of each and every customer stored on their CRM record? Seriously, have you?
Start-Ups Win With A Reduced Technology Footprint
As we considered the seductive powers of buying a slew of point solutions, we began interviewing additional SaaS Founders on the topic. We came to the realization that Founders really only have four basic software needs as they begin their start-up journey.
- They need a CRM to store prospect and customer data
- They need a billing system to charge their customers
- They need to communicate with their prospects and customers
- They need to report on their business performance
On top of that, as an early stage start-up their true needs in each of these areas are typically pretty basic. They need just enough functionality to operate their business as they continue to validate their business model, but what they need more of is, again, time. And if these four basic needs are met behind a single login, and a single bill, how could that not be preferable?
As we launched Outseta publicly, we began to hear from other start-up Founders that the story we've told you thus far resonated.
The latter comment directly led us to develop Outseta's subscription management widget, which SaaS start-ups can leverage to handle account registration, allow users to "pick their plan," and have the product check to make sure a user has a plan in place before giving them access to your product. Again, "scaffolding" that's necessary but not core product functionality.
We're on a mission to give small companies the technology tools they need, while saving critical technical Founder time. All that hangs in the balance is your start-up's chances of success.
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. And if you need any help importing your data or getting your account setup, shoot us an email at support(at)outseta.com.