Sales force concept. Businessman think about sales force team.GETTY
Common SaaS business Model AIMATTERS
Network Model for SaaS Companies AIMATTERS
- The skills of the people.
- The KPIs that the company uses to keep itself on course.
- It is likely that any sort of subscription fee paid by the channel partners will be reduced to zero over time to eliminate all friction so that the maximum number of these types of partners are encouraged to join the network, bring their customers while continuing to bring added value to the network.
- For end-customers or consumers, convenience and cost are likely the two most important drivers and so SaaS companies that reach directly to consumers need to make sure that these values are delivered to the end-customers as part of this process.
- Using Uber as an example, the network of vendors (and other businesses) will often become the SaaS’s companies’ most valuable assets and keeping them happy will be critical to their long-term survival. Established platforms are hard, but not impossible to topple.
- Reframe the conversation of the board and leaders which will help to reposition the company with the investment community to be seen as a modern business model.
- Inventory the entire ecosystem and the firm’s capabilities and needs to deeply understand the firm’s assets and the customers’ needs.
- Validate all the requirements and offers. Transitioning to a central network for an industry will increase the number of transactions by one or more orders of magnitude. Often the infrastructure of the SaaS provider will not be able to handle the additional load. The company will need to consider retooling their software with performance requirements in mind.
- Organize around the new capabilities: In most cases, the SaaS company has been able to grow by focusing on one type of customer, possibly a business (B2B) or a consumer (B2C). Serving a central network role in an industry will require development of new marketing and sales skills. Essentially, the company will be running multiple simultaneous marketing and sales programs, each tailored specifically to the category of company or consumer that is a member of the network. Each must be understood in detail, so that a compelling value can be offered, proper media channels can be used, and deals are structured in ways that are acceptable. This transition will imply the need for other new skills as well. If the transition is successful, one will require M&A capabilities for continued growth.
- Track new KPIs to reinforce the new business model: Many of the long-term benefits to the company and the values that it can deliver to ecosystem members of the network are rooted in the data that can be aggregated and analyzed. This implies the need to both collect and analyze large unstructured amounts of data that are often accumulated without a clear understanding of how it will be eventually used. Contemporary Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods, or machine learning, can be used to look for correlations and insights within data that become the eventual strength of the company in its newfound position.