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Discover the right SaaS customer 
Customer development tips and discovering who to focus on?
What’s in here 
•Attracting your target customer 
•Identifying who to focus on during the customer development activities
Before we begin 
You need to know a couple of things
Startup metrics for pirates? 
If you don’t know this, Google “startup metrics for pirates” before you go through this deck...
How your customers are acquired 
Your SaaS app’s customer acquisition consists of 5 steps 
5000 
250 
100 
50 
5 
Acquisit...
We concentrate only on 
5000 
250 
100 
Acquisition 
Activation 
Retention 
Identifying and attracting the real prospects ...
A little about us 
Just to set the context for this deck
“muHive is a social conversations manager which lets brands discover and reach out to its customers on social, web and ema...
Alright! So, you have a SaaS product 
You are looking: 
1.To acquire customers on the web 
2.Identify the right customer t...
Define your target customer 
Our ideal customers is a : Brand/relationship, Marketing or Customer service executive In a s...
… or 
A small productive marketing, sales or customer service team of an enterprise interested in 
-Social customer data 
...
After this, acquisition is easier 
You need to: 
-Be where they hang out (online, offline) 
-Write content that they can c...
But how do you attract and identify a good prospect? 
Here are some of the tricks we used to help distinguish casual signu...
On the website
Generic product pages don’t appeal to customers 
Our homepage doesn’t talk about the sectors/industries that we cater to. ...
How do we position ourselves for different industries? 
Here’s what we did
Multiple homepages 
We added 3 home pages to start (accessible via URL params) 
Generic homepage 
Travel specific 
E-comme...
The cookie trick 
When a customer lands on an alternate homepages, we add a cookie on their browser indicating their landi...
Share it right! 
We share the right URLs (including the right parameters) with the right audience via these channels. 
-Co...
HTTP Referrer 
Every web server tells you where a customer is coming from. 
Scan that URL for trigger words specific to th...
Figuring out which customers to actually work with? 
We currently have 100+ signed up businesses on muHive. How do we iden...
Contact us form 
•Nobody can deny the importance of a contact us form, especially for an early stage SaaS product. Here’s ...
Website navigation patterns 
•We wrote a fun little plugin on our website that does the following: 
–Captures the user’s r...
Here’s a sample 
IP address 
Geo-location 
Timestamp 
Simple stuff right? Look at the results ..
Who’s a better prospect? 
We found this kind of data really helpful 
Somebody who spent 
1 minute looking at the website b...
On the application 
Post sign up experience on the product
Track navigation paths 
•Prospects who really like the product will be more forgiving of your user experience 
If you have...
Here’s a tip 
Create an ideal goal flow that you believe is your “ideal path” to get onboard your product 
Now see how man...
For our early customers, we conducted personal/online walkthroughs 
Our customers found it hard to understand and use our ...
We would follow this up with onboarding guides post the walkthrough. 
But, 
-It was difficult to scale once we started pub...
Started educating customers about one feature a day, gradually over 5 days, using email. 
Day 2 
Day 1 
Day 3 
#WIN: one o...
Customers like it when people talk to them rather than automated bot mails. We send out an email with the reply-to address...
Track time spent on the product 
Prospects that are looking to genuinely use your product will spend a considerably longer...
Google Analytics 
Before you go and build something to track time, here’s a simple one line hack to get you this informati...
That’s it! 
We hope you will use all these tips in your SaaS initiatives
Team 
Sagar Vibhute 
Co-founder at muHive 
Technology interests: 
databases, information architecture and evolving role of...
Share this deck with friends 
www.muhive.com 
If you think you learnt something from this deck, Click 
on the “Share” icon...
thank you 
@muHive /muHive 
www.muhive.com
Credits & references 
Slide 1: Photo Credit: Robert S. Donovan via Compfight cc Slide 10: Photo Credit: Victor1558 via Com...
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Discovering the right SaaS customer

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Customer development is an essential step when it comes to SaaS companies and growth numbers. For a SaaS product that is marketed well, and which comes with a freemium sign up option, there will be plenty of sign ups by prospective customers. In this presentation, we discuss some tricks we used to identify a real prospect from people just checking us out and solved a touch heavy problem in our sales cycle.

Published in: Sales
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Discovering the right SaaS customer

  1. 1. Discover the right SaaS customer Customer development tips and discovering who to focus on?
  2. 2. What’s in here •Attracting your target customer •Identifying who to focus on during the customer development activities
  3. 3. Before we begin You need to know a couple of things
  4. 4. Startup metrics for pirates? If you don’t know this, Google “startup metrics for pirates” before you go through this deck. Made by this guy! (link to original presentation) which says … Dave McClure – 500hats.com
  5. 5. How your customers are acquired Your SaaS app’s customer acquisition consists of 5 steps 5000 250 100 50 5 Acquisition Activation Retention Referral Revenue Your customers come to your website from different channels Users signup and enjoy 1st visit Users come back, visit site multiple times Users like your product/service enough to refer others Users pay in some form
  6. 6. We concentrate only on 5000 250 100 Acquisition Activation Retention Identifying and attracting the real prospects in these two steps
  7. 7. A little about us Just to set the context for this deck
  8. 8. “muHive is a social conversations manager which lets brands discover and reach out to its customers on social, web and email” We are a SaaS solution looking to acquire customers on the web with digital and content marketing techniques
  9. 9. Alright! So, you have a SaaS product You are looking: 1.To acquire customers on the web 2.Identify the right customer to develop
  10. 10. Define your target customer Our ideal customers is a : Brand/relationship, Marketing or Customer service executive In a small and medium business who is interested in using social media for - Discovering his/her brand reputation -Discovering customers -Gathering feedback -Monitoring competition -Responding to customer queries Someone with a Marketing or a sales background and understands the power of the social web
  11. 11. … or A small productive marketing, sales or customer service team of an enterprise interested in -Social customer data -Understanding competitive strategy -Talking to customers about their new product/service/event -Building long term relationships with customers using a Social CRM
  12. 12. After this, acquisition is easier You need to: -Be where they hang out (online, offline) -Write content that they can consume -Share interesting strategies and product use cases -Push your product to them via campaigns -Targeted advertising to reach this audience
  13. 13. But how do you attract and identify a good prospect? Here are some of the tricks we used to help distinguish casual signups from actual prospects
  14. 14. On the website
  15. 15. Generic product pages don’t appeal to customers Our homepage doesn’t talk about the sectors/industries that we cater to. We decided to focus on e- commerce & travel brands as our initial target.
  16. 16. How do we position ourselves for different industries? Here’s what we did
  17. 17. Multiple homepages We added 3 home pages to start (accessible via URL params) Generic homepage Travel specific E-commerce specific CTA from industry specific pages go to their corresponding resource pages.
  18. 18. The cookie trick When a customer lands on an alternate homepages, we add a cookie on their browser indicating their landing page. For 45 days, whenever that customer visits muHive.com they will always land on the alternate home page. But, how do we get people on to these homepages? ->
  19. 19. Share it right! We share the right URLs (including the right parameters) with the right audience via these channels. -Cold emails & newsletters -Social media updates -Relevant blog posts and content -Blog & forum comments Ensures that the folks from the right industries see only the homepage that they can relate to. One last trick when it comes to automating entry to alternate homepages
  20. 20. HTTP Referrer Every web server tells you where a customer is coming from. Scan that URL for trigger words specific to the industry and land them right http://shopping.indiatimes.com http://lonelyplanet.com/blog URL has words shopping, cart, ecommerce, retail, flipkart etc. URL has words travel, trip, tour, adventure, OTA, flights etc. muHive for Travel muHive for e-commerce
  21. 21. Figuring out which customers to actually work with? We currently have 100+ signed up businesses on muHive. How do we identify which customer to pay attention to?
  22. 22. Contact us form •Nobody can deny the importance of a contact us form, especially for an early stage SaaS product. Here’s our form •In our experience prospective customers usually tend to fill out most, if not all, fields in a contact us form. •If there are 2 or 3 intended uses for your product, then adding that category as a choice in the form helps tremendously. Necessary evil?
  23. 23. Website navigation patterns •We wrote a fun little plugin on our website that does the following: –Captures the user’s requesting IP address and maps it to a geographic location –Adds a breadcrumb trail about the user’s page visits and their timestamps into a database. –When a visitor clicks on the button, sends an email to us with these data values.
  24. 24. Here’s a sample IP address Geo-location Timestamp Simple stuff right? Look at the results ..
  25. 25. Who’s a better prospect? We found this kind of data really helpful Somebody who spent 1 minute looking at the website before signing up Or somebody who spent 30 minutes looking at the site and then came back the next day and took 5 minutes to sign up.
  26. 26. On the application Post sign up experience on the product
  27. 27. Track navigation paths •Prospects who really like the product will be more forgiving of your user experience If you have a self configuring product with an open signup, you can identify good prospects by looking those customers that have explored a good % of your product. Understand goal flows in your analytics tool!
  28. 28. Here’s a tip Create an ideal goal flow that you believe is your “ideal path” to get onboard your product Now see how many customers follow that path. You will be wrong and might need to change your product usability/onboarding to get customers to follow your ideal path.
  29. 29. For our early customers, we conducted personal/online walkthroughs Our customers found it hard to understand and use our application initially
  30. 30. We would follow this up with onboarding guides post the walkthrough. But, -It was difficult to scale once we started public signups -Onboarding sessions packed too much information Few customers would come back to the application even after the session
  31. 31. Started educating customers about one feature a day, gradually over 5 days, using email. Day 2 Day 1 Day 3 #WIN: one of our customers saw our day 3 mail and tried signing up again! Now this is a serious customer Simplifying onboarding
  32. 32. Customers like it when people talk to them rather than automated bot mails. We send out an email with the reply-to address of the founders welcoming people and asking them to reach out to us in case of any queries, feedback etc. #WIN: lots of customers have written to us thanking us for our email, asking us queries about the product. Great conversation starter Welcome mail from CEO Trick: it’s still automated!
  33. 33. Track time spent on the product Prospects that are looking to genuinely use your product will spend a considerably longer time using your product.
  34. 34. Google Analytics Before you go and build something to track time, here’s a simple one line hack to get you this information using the Events feature. •Events: Add this line and replace the username and page with values to identify your customer and the page they are accessing. onClick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', ‘access', ’username‘,’page’]);" Gives you a nice report on total pages accessed and the username
  35. 35. That’s it! We hope you will use all these tips in your SaaS initiatives
  36. 36. Team Sagar Vibhute Co-founder at muHive Technology interests: databases, information architecture and evolving role of social tech Twitter: @biggfoot Ritesh M Nayak Co-founder at muHive Technology interests: social software, information retrieval, distributed systems and ICT4D Twitter: @itsmeritesh
  37. 37. Share this deck with friends www.muhive.com If you think you learnt something from this deck, Click on the “Share” icon below to share this with your friends and colleagues.
  38. 38. thank you @muHive /muHive www.muhive.com
  39. 39. Credits & references Slide 1: Photo Credit: Robert S. Donovan via Compfight cc Slide 10: Photo Credit: Victor1558 via Compfight cc Slide 11: Photo Credit: kevin dooley via Compfight cc Slide 33: Photo Credit: eflon via Compfight cc Slide 29: Photo Credit: TonyHall via Compfight cc Slide 18: Photo Credit: AMagill via Compfight cc

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