In SaaS, it’s virtually impossible to sell someone a lemon, because SaaS customers typically get to try before they buy, and they can walk at any time simply by canceling their subscription. In contrast, traditional enterprise software vendors are notorious for obscure product capabilities and pricing, because up-front purchase creates a short term financial incentive to avoid disclosing any more information than the minimum necessary to close the deal. The enterprise customer thus enters a long and intricate dance with the enterprise sales rep in order to develop the trust required to overcome the risk of signing that fat license check. When combined with the uncertainty of buying a business critical application over the Web, most SaaS startups quickly find themselves between a rock and a hard place by the need to engender an even higher level of trust than their enterprise competitor, while simultaneously having nowhere to hide their shortcomings.
A SaaS marketing strategy of complete and total business transparency
removes constraints to unleash the volume and deal size of online transactions.
Ask yourself how much you spend right now on Google AdWords without ever having spoken to a sales rep. How does this compare to your own average selling price for online transactions? Now, ask yourself why. The answer is transparency, from company reputation to cost-per-click.
PS Trish Bertuzzi from Bridgegroup asked for specific examples, so please see the comments if you are interested in the response. And, feel free to add your own examples of SaaS vendors that are doing a good job at transparency.
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