We propose you this short article of LinkedIn because we know that differentiating its business and its product from its competitors, a task that’s not so easy! Too many companies limit their ambitions for innovation to the products or services they offer.
Most startups go to market with the intent to differentiate their product. Each one of us has an idea what might make a better CRM, marketing automation suite or customer support. Other startups prefer to combine a product innovation with a reinvention of the sales process.
The four key innovations in SaaS sales strategies I’ve observed so far are:
Bottoms-up. The buyer is very difficult to reach through traditional channels and consequently is prohibitively expensive to acquire at scale. Typically, the buyer prefers to educate themselves, build consensus internally and influence the ultimate decision. Most developer products have sales processes like this: Twilio, Stripe, Heroku adoption starts as a side project or hobby, and then eventually becomes a corporate purchase. Slack and Expensify start in small pockets of a company, until they grow and become the dominant platform. In these models, customer success teams are the de facto the sales teams.
Segmentation. Commodity products dominate the market and consequently,go-to-market differentiation sets the winner apart. Solarwinds leveraged an disciplined inside-sales model with aggressive prospect disqualification in the commodity network monitoring space to build a $4.3B business.
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