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Implementation is a Real Choke Point in SaaS

 A relay race where two men are waiting to receive a baton while two men are running

Implementation is a Real Choke Point in SaaS

October 27, 2020
by

Every company wants to grow faster. Of course! No one starts a business to just sit at a computer alone all day twiddling their thumbs while all their money burns down to zero.

So, let's set the scene: you've built a product, found the product market fit (congrats), and you are building out or already have built out a demand generation funnel and team. Maybe you have raised some growth capital, but now it's time to scale. You are going to pound the phones and email. Buy all the ads, and partner with some great companies.

 

In your mind, it's going to be up and to the right from here. I've been there and let me assure you, it won’t go like that. You'll find (if you're lucky) that you have a leaky funnel, or like most companies, you’ll find you were sort of right and sort of wrong. You’ll also realize that you must iterate on the product some more. 

 

Prospects will drop out of your funnel for a myriad of reasons, but you'll get a bunch of folks to sign contracts. What no one will tell you is that THIS is where it gets difficult.

 

You probably just assumed your product will be easy to get live, that customers will pay attention because they want your product so bad, and the pain you relieve is so pronounced— I'm sorry but, they just won't. Your champion has 100s of projects and 5 top priorities. You'll spend endless hours talking with your head of CSM or implementation or services trying to figure out where you stand with big customer X and why it's been 5 weeks and they're still not live.

 

 Implementation needs to be as impressive as your product

 

The problem is that implementation at every company is a black box, and there's no accountability in spreadsheets. The traditional way most companies scale this workflow is to throw more bodies at professional services, but this will only hurt your margins as you grow. You need a system that standardizes your process, creates good hygiene, and helps you gain real-time visibility so you can proactively react when things are about to go off the rails. Put bluntly, you are drastically limiting your ability to scale by not having a platform of record for implementation.

 

My friend Carsten Toma talked about this with us a few weeks back in how he scaled Hybris to a $1.5bn exit to SAP, he said: “I can tell you that we had what we called a success framework...a manual process very close to what Baton is pioneering now as a SaaS company. Brokering expectations and aligning on commitment between customer, partner and vendor. A highly effective way to make sure best practices were applied, certified resources on the job and expectations understood.”

 

Implementation is not the time to hand over a generic, static, and bland spreadsheet. Implementation is your customers first impression of your product, the first time you are truly leaving something behind for them to have all on their own. You want to leave them with a spreadsheet?!?!?

 

Honestly, all a spreadsheet is going to do is make you look dated to your customers. You built an innovative and beautiful product, spent tons of capital building a marketing funnel full of slick ads to get demand, and now you leave the most important part of the journey up to a spreadsheet? Are you insane?!

 

Get running with the right tool designed for SaaS implementations 

 

Baton helps enterprise software companies accelerate revenue, by enabling your team to get customers live 2x faster. That means you show value to the customer sooner and get to recognize that revenue this quarter, instead of next quarter.

Implementation is often overlooked and treated like a foregone conclusion, but it's one of the most important moments of your relationship with a customer. It's your first impression, and if you are not using a purpose-built platform then you are making a poor first impression.

 

Baton helps high growth software companies gain visibility, scale and manage their implementation processes that have traditionally been a black box of spreadsheets, jumbled together generic project management tools and meetings that end with "let me ping them to find out where we stand and get back to you next week". That shit is unacceptable to me, and it should be to you.

 

We built Baton to help remove the glut in enterprise software between bookings and billings. Every company has this problem, and the first step to fixing it is admitting it.

Want to learn more about how to conquer the nine biggest SaaS implementation problems? Get our Guide to Solving the 9 Biggest SaaS Implementation Problems.


 



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