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VISUAL GUIDE 
to 
$ELLING 
SOFTWARE 
as a SERVICE
hi :) 
I’m Frederik, 
the design founder of 
a startup called Prezly
My team is building an online 
service that helps brands pitch 
stories to their media contacts 
Gijs 
Developer 
Jesse 
S...
It turns out that finding users 
and getting them to part with 
their money is no easy task
It took my team years to find an 
efficient way of getting new customers
Now we bootstrapped to a profitable business 
with 20% month over month growth.
Our hard earned approach 
Get organised 
Follow a system 
Work the sales funnel 
1 
2 
3
1 
GET 
ORGANISED
Our team 
is all over the globe 
Oli, sales 
London 
Founding team 
Brussels, Antwerp, Leuven 
David, sales 
Dubai 
Thomas...
Working separately sometimes makes it 
difficult for everyone to stay on the same track. 
Me so lonely :(
We use a dedicated chat 
system where everyone 
that’s working meets. 
! 
It’s our command center. 
! 
Seeing that other p...
A SaaS company has so many moving parts 
that it can be hard to keep an overview. 
Sales 
pipeline 
Payments 
Task 
manage...
For each part we use specific other SaaS. 
The less we have to build and maintain 
ourselves, the better. 
Jenkins 
Get ov...
Jenkins 
To keep an overview we feed most of these 
services in our command center.
Updates from our task management tool
Tasks and updates in the sales pipeline
When people sign up
User activity
Support tickets and their status
Want to save this for later? 
Download the PDF
That’s the foundation 
We haven’t spoken about 
getting clients yet… brace yourself.
2 
FOLLOW 
A SYSTEM
There are so many moving 
parts in a software company 
that we needed a way to 
structure the sales process. 
! 
Pirate me...
Pirate metrics 
5 key stages & 
metrics for 
subscription 
services 
!
Acquisition 
Activation 
Retention 
Referral 
Revenue 
! 
AARRR
It’s a funnel that you need to pull 
people through 
Acquisition Engaged visitors 60% 
Activation Sign up 15% 
Retention T...
3 
WORK 
THE SALES 
FUNNEL
We use tactics & tools for each step. 
Beware, this is only our approach. 
! 
I’ll take you through it in the next 70 slid...
Acquisition 
Hundreds of thousands of people don’t 
know our product yet. Let’s get them on 
our website.
Getting leads 
Content marketing 
! 
! 
Direct sales
Content marketing 
Earning the right peoples’ attention via 
targeted content
Metric: 
referral traffic 
‣ From social 
‣ From other sites 
Google Analytics: 
Filter out bounces so you only 
measure e...
Our stories are 
the main traffic driver
We do monthly brainstorms to generate 
new ideas. Everyone comes prepared with a 
list and we help each other improve. 
We...
Meet the 
Skyscraper technique 
A way to publish content that gets results 
1. Find successful stories. 
2. Make them bett...
Here’s an example. 
We use to find popular stories in 
our niche, Public Relations. 
Popular niche site Popular story
Popular story 
It got shared a lot 
Even though the 
content is a bit… 
Meh…
Our ‘improved’ 
version of it 
See it 
More examples in this 
Skyscraper guide 〉
Damn, that sounds 
like a lot of work! 
It is, and it can be daunting. 
! 
With every story I get better at 
it. What work...
Get a 
content calendar 
It will help you keep a steady pace 
Content calendar tips 〉
Guest posting 
on popular niche sites 
That’s giving us a lot of good visitors and signups. 
! 
Find popular highly target...
Build links 
Use a tool like Buzzstream to assess the value of 
sites and to reach out to the editors. 
Link building guid...
Why would they 
listen to me? “ 
You’re a topic expert or at 
least trying to become 
one. Do your research. 
People are g...
Promote 
the content 
Creating the content is just the beginning. 
The hardest part is getting people to share it. 
! 
‣ C...
Contact 
the original sharers 
They are likely also interested in your story. 
Find the sharers with the biggest reach.
Share it many times 
on social media 
When you publish 
A few hours later 
A day later 
A week after 
A month later 
Six m...
Automate & track 
Next week 
Next month
In summary, 
this is how we do content: 
! 
✔ Know & improve the stories that potential 
clients love 
✔ Tell the stories ...
“When do you sleep? 
At night, just like you. 
! 
After learning how to do this 
ourselves we now outsource 
a lot of the ...
Direct sales 
Finding & convincing leads
Why 
do direct sales? 
‣ Get high profile clients for social proof 
‣ Get feedback about the needs of the market 
and solu...
Selling doesn't come naturally to me. I’m more 
of an introvert. But after a year of trying it has 
now even become fun. 
...
Create a list 
of top prospects 
‣ Start sector by sector based on current 
references. 
‣ Follow them on social media. In...
Expose 
team activity 
‣ Tasks 
‣ Pipeline 
updates
I used to be terrified of 
cold calling prospects. 
! 
What helped get better 
was preparation: 
- Fake cold calls with my...
Make it a 
team sport 
‣ Carve out time to cold 
call together. 
‣ Compare tactics. Listen in. 
‣ Track & celebrate succes...
Manage sales pipeline 
in a CRM 
‣ Track the status of your leads 
‣ Enrich their profiles 
‣ Capture all interactions 
‣ ...
Create a stellar 
sales pitch 
I got a lot of mileage 
out of this book 
‣ Learn how to tell an intriguing 
story about yo...
You love your solution 
so it’s tempting to keep 
talking about it, showing 
every nook and cranny. 
That didn’t work well...
Measure & 
learn what works 
These are just the channels 
for our B2B SaaS. Your 
mileage may vary. In any 
case: measure ...
Activation 
People could be reading our blog or 
visiting a tour page but might not feel 
like signing up yet 
Let’s get v...
Metric: 
% signups 
A custom Google Analytics report 
that lets me track the progress.
Activating visitors 
Test & improve the signup funnel 
! 
! 
Guide visitors via chat
A/B testing 
Test & improve the signup funnel
Fix leaky 
signup funnels 
Whaaat? 
Only 5% of people that visit the 
homepage get to the signup page. 
Not good. 
The hom...
A/B test landing pages 
& pages in signup funnel 
A/B testing guide with examples 〉 
50% visitors 
see variation A 
50% vi...
An example:
It’s easy to forget these tests. 
Again, planning helps. Every month we do 
status meetings where I present the results. 
...
Live chat 
Talk with visitors and learn
Be available 
to chat with visitors 
‣ You’ll learn about their expectations 
& questions 
‣ You’ll be able to help them 
...
Retention 
People might have signed up but it 
might not be a good time for them
Metric: 
% trial users that return 
A cohort retention overview with Mixpanel.
Engaging visitors 
Behavioural mails 
! 
Newsletter 
Evaluate signups 
! 
Stellar support
Evaluate signups 
Find the good fish
The whole team used to be responsible for 
following up signups. 
The result: it didn’t happen. 
People thought someone 
e...
Get event driven analytics 
‣ You’ll see what individual people do. 
‣ Define user actions that are important for you.
Stellar support 
Service is part of the product
Again, it’s imperative to respond well and fast. 
Jesse, our customer success manager, is 
usually the first to help someo...
Get a support system 
To stay sane managing customer feedback.
Get a knowledge base 
Oftentimes support questions can be answered 
with content from the knowledge base. We try to 
put n...
Behavioral mails 
Send emails based on what users do 
… or don’t do
Send users email 
to help them along 
Signed up 
Ask how we can help them 
Hasn’t used core functionality 
Show benefits 
...
‣ You don’t need to build this yourself 
‣ Test email variations 
Email onboarding guide
Newsletters 
Keep sharing good stories
Every time we send a 
newsletter site visits 
go through the roof 
In the stats you can 
discover interested 
prospects 
S...
Referral 
The user likes your product so much she 
refers other new users
Metric: 
Net Promoter Score 
The number of people who would recommend 
your product to a friend. 
To many people this is t...
“How likely is it you would 
recommend my product to a friend 
or colleague? 
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Detractor Passive Pro...
Revenue 
The user pays 
Jay!
Drawing stick figures is what I do well. 
Managing money not. 
! 
Luckily my colleague Jesse is. 
He makes sure we all get...
Metric: 
Monthly Recurring Revenue 
‣ The MRR is omnipresent in our control center 
to remind the team of our progress. 
‣...
Accounting & invoicing 
gets shared with the team 
Good for motivation & to see the behind the 
scenes work that’s done by...
Automate billing 
by integrating services 
Accounting Payments 
‣ Use an accounting system with an API. 
‣ Automate, but d...
In summary: 
The pirate metrics approach 
Acquisition 
Activation 
Retention 
Referral 
Revenue 
!
One last thing..
Meet the pirate 
metrics compass 
All our SaaS tools 
Download
Congratulations! 
We made it. 
That was the Prezly SaaS sales 
story so far. 
What do you think? 
I’m curious to hear abou...
VISUAL GUIDE 
to $ELLING 
SOFTWARE 
as a SERVICE 
Tweet Download
Visual guide to selling software as a service by @prezly
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Visual guide to selling software as a service by @prezly

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It took my team years to find an efficient way of getting new customers. First, I’ll show you how we messed up and then how we got on the road to conversion success using the pirate metrics framework.

Veröffentlicht in: Software, Vertrieb

Visual guide to selling software as a service by @prezly

  1. VISUAL GUIDE to $ELLING SOFTWARE as a SERVICE
  2. hi :) I’m Frederik, the design founder of a startup called Prezly
  3. My team is building an online service that helps brands pitch stories to their media contacts Gijs Developer Jesse Strategist Me Designer
  4. It turns out that finding users and getting them to part with their money is no easy task
  5. It took my team years to find an efficient way of getting new customers
  6. Now we bootstrapped to a profitable business with 20% month over month growth.
  7. Our hard earned approach Get organised Follow a system Work the sales funnel 1 2 3
  8. 1 GET ORGANISED
  9. Our team is all over the globe Oli, sales London Founding team Brussels, Antwerp, Leuven David, sales Dubai Thomas, sales Toronto Robin, content San Francisco
  10. Working separately sometimes makes it difficult for everyone to stay on the same track. Me so lonely :(
  11. We use a dedicated chat system where everyone that’s working meets. ! It’s our command center. ! Seeing that other people are also working helps me stay motivated.
  12. A SaaS company has so many moving parts that it can be hard to keep an overview. Sales pipeline Payments Task management Sales pitching Customer support Social media updates Lead generation Lead nurturing Conversion optimising Servers User on boarding Metrics Public relations Advertising Accounting
  13. For each part we use specific other SaaS. The less we have to build and maintain ourselves, the better. Jenkins Get overview of all our tools
  14. Jenkins To keep an overview we feed most of these services in our command center.
  15. Updates from our task management tool
  16. Tasks and updates in the sales pipeline
  17. When people sign up
  18. User activity
  19. Support tickets and their status
  20. Want to save this for later? Download the PDF
  21. That’s the foundation We haven’t spoken about getting clients yet… brace yourself.
  22. 2 FOLLOW A SYSTEM
  23. There are so many moving parts in a software company that we needed a way to structure the sales process. ! Pirate metrics was the answer.
  24. Pirate metrics 5 key stages & metrics for subscription services !
  25. Acquisition Activation Retention Referral Revenue ! AARRR
  26. It’s a funnel that you need to pull people through Acquisition Engaged visitors 60% Activation Sign up 15% Retention Trial users come back 5% Referral Users refer others 1% Revenue Users pay 2% Not real conversion data. Your mileage may vary.
  27. 3 WORK THE SALES FUNNEL
  28. We use tactics & tools for each step. Beware, this is only our approach. ! I’ll take you through it in the next 70 slides. Hold on, things might get bumpy.
  29. Acquisition Hundreds of thousands of people don’t know our product yet. Let’s get them on our website.
  30. Getting leads Content marketing ! ! Direct sales
  31. Content marketing Earning the right peoples’ attention via targeted content
  32. Metric: referral traffic ‣ From social ‣ From other sites Google Analytics: Filter out bounces so you only measure engaged people
  33. Our stories are the main traffic driver
  34. We do monthly brainstorms to generate new ideas. Everyone comes prepared with a list and we help each other improve. We separate yes moments and no moments. Selection of ideas comes afterwards.
  35. Meet the Skyscraper technique A way to publish content that gets results 1. Find successful stories. 2. Make them better. 3. Promote with people that would be interested. Skyscraper guide
  36. Here’s an example. We use to find popular stories in our niche, Public Relations. Popular niche site Popular story
  37. Popular story It got shared a lot Even though the content is a bit… Meh…
  38. Our ‘improved’ version of it See it More examples in this Skyscraper guide 〉
  39. Damn, that sounds like a lot of work! It is, and it can be daunting. ! With every story I get better at it. What works well is carving out distraction-free time in mornings to write. “
  40. Get a content calendar It will help you keep a steady pace Content calendar tips 〉
  41. Guest posting on popular niche sites That’s giving us a lot of good visitors and signups. ! Find popular highly targeted places with a high Google pagerank. Oftentimes they are interested in running stories by guest bloggers. Guest blogging guide 〉
  42. Build links Use a tool like Buzzstream to assess the value of sites and to reach out to the editors. Link building guide 〉
  43. Why would they listen to me? “ You’re a topic expert or at least trying to become one. Do your research. People are generally friendly and open to get guest posts if you did your homework.
  44. Promote the content Creating the content is just the beginning. The hardest part is getting people to share it. ! ‣ Contact the people that originally shared it ‣ Get high profile people on board ‣ Share it multiple times yourself
  45. Contact the original sharers They are likely also interested in your story. Find the sharers with the biggest reach.
  46. Share it many times on social media When you publish A few hours later A day later A week after A month later Six months later Reposting guide 〉
  47. Automate & track Next week Next month
  48. In summary, this is how we do content: ! ✔ Know & improve the stories that potential clients love ✔ Tell the stories on a popular niche site ✔ Promote the hell out of the stories
  49. “When do you sleep? At night, just like you. ! After learning how to do this ourselves we now outsource a lot of the hands-on writing work.
  50. Direct sales Finding & convincing leads
  51. Why do direct sales? ‣ Get high profile clients for social proof ‣ Get feedback about the needs of the market and solution
  52. Selling doesn't come naturally to me. I’m more of an introvert. But after a year of trying it has now even become fun. ! I now love the hunt.
  53. Create a list of top prospects ‣ Start sector by sector based on current references. ‣ Follow them on social media. Interact. ‣ Send personalised email or even better: call.
  54. Expose team activity ‣ Tasks ‣ Pipeline updates
  55. I used to be terrified of cold calling prospects. ! What helped get better was preparation: - Fake cold calls with my team members to get the hang of it. - Researching the prospects and getting on their radar so it wouldn't be a cold call.
  56. Make it a team sport ‣ Carve out time to cold call together. ‣ Compare tactics. Listen in. ‣ Track & celebrate successes.
  57. Manage sales pipeline in a CRM ‣ Track the status of your leads ‣ Enrich their profiles ‣ Capture all interactions ‣ Set reminders
  58. Create a stellar sales pitch I got a lot of mileage out of this book ‣ Learn how to tell an intriguing story about your solution. ‣ Get a designer to help with your sales deck. ‣ Practice, practice, practice,…
  59. You love your solution so it’s tempting to keep talking about it, showing every nook and cranny. That didn’t work well. Now it’s the other way around. It’ about the problems of the industry. It’s concise. It keeps them wanting more.
  60. Measure & learn what works These are just the channels for our B2B SaaS. Your mileage may vary. In any case: measure what works.
  61. Activation People could be reading our blog or visiting a tour page but might not feel like signing up yet Let’s get visitors to try our service
  62. Metric: % signups A custom Google Analytics report that lets me track the progress.
  63. Activating visitors Test & improve the signup funnel ! ! Guide visitors via chat
  64. A/B testing Test & improve the signup funnel
  65. Fix leaky signup funnels Whaaat? Only 5% of people that visit the homepage get to the signup page. Not good. The homepage clearly needs improvement.
  66. A/B test landing pages & pages in signup funnel A/B testing guide with examples 〉 50% visitors see variation A 50% visitors see variation B Variation A Variation B 5% conversion 9% conversion
  67. An example:
  68. It’s easy to forget these tests. Again, planning helps. Every month we do status meetings where I present the results. That’s also the moment when we come up with new experiments.
  69. Live chat Talk with visitors and learn
  70. Be available to chat with visitors ‣ You’ll learn about their expectations & questions ‣ You’ll be able to help them ! We use It integrates with Skype
  71. Retention People might have signed up but it might not be a good time for them
  72. Metric: % trial users that return A cohort retention overview with Mixpanel.
  73. Engaging visitors Behavioural mails ! Newsletter Evaluate signups ! Stellar support
  74. Evaluate signups Find the good fish
  75. The whole team used to be responsible for following up signups. The result: it didn’t happen. People thought someone else would do it. Now only Jesse does it. It’s done a lot better now.
  76. Get event driven analytics ‣ You’ll see what individual people do. ‣ Define user actions that are important for you.
  77. Stellar support Service is part of the product
  78. Again, it’s imperative to respond well and fast. Jesse, our customer success manager, is usually the first to help someone out. He dispatches to the rest of the team if needed.
  79. Get a support system To stay sane managing customer feedback.
  80. Get a knowledge base Oftentimes support questions can be answered with content from the knowledge base. We try to put new answers in there.
  81. Behavioral mails Send emails based on what users do … or don’t do
  82. Send users email to help them along Signed up Ask how we can help them Hasn’t used core functionality Show benefits Trial about to expire Create urgency
  83. ‣ You don’t need to build this yourself ‣ Test email variations Email onboarding guide
  84. Newsletters Keep sharing good stories
  85. Every time we send a newsletter site visits go through the roof In the stats you can discover interested prospects Story Product Product
  86. Referral The user likes your product so much she refers other new users
  87. Metric: Net Promoter Score The number of people who would recommend your product to a friend. To many people this is the one true indicator that your product will be a succes. We ask it regularly to users via
  88. “How likely is it you would recommend my product to a friend or colleague? 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Detractor Passive Promoter NPS = % promoters - % detractors Net promotor guide 〉
  89. Revenue The user pays Jay!
  90. Drawing stick figures is what I do well. Managing money not. ! Luckily my colleague Jesse is. He makes sure we all get paid. ! Here’s his advice. Hi!
  91. Metric: Monthly Recurring Revenue ‣ The MRR is omnipresent in our control center to remind the team of our progress. ‣ Together with Net Promotor Score this is the main number that we’re working to improve.
  92. Accounting & invoicing gets shared with the team Good for motivation & to see the behind the scenes work that’s done by Jesse.
  93. Automate billing by integrating services Accounting Payments ‣ Use an accounting system with an API. ‣ Automate, but double check manually.
  94. In summary: The pirate metrics approach Acquisition Activation Retention Referral Revenue !
  95. One last thing..
  96. Meet the pirate metrics compass All our SaaS tools Download
  97. Congratulations! We made it. That was the Prezly SaaS sales story so far. What do you think? I’m curious to hear about your approach. Tweet us now Contact us
  98. VISUAL GUIDE to $ELLING SOFTWARE as a SERVICE Tweet Download

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