SAAS 2.0 Trends - Creativity Through Process

People. Process. Product. I’m a big fan of the CNBC show, The Profit, where this phrase originates. The alliteration may seem glib, but when I hear the now infamous catch phrase of the host/investor, Marcus Lemonis, I picture him diplomatically, but firmly explaining how inventory should be warehoused in square footage maximizing shelves and sorted by category. As Marcus explains, products should be sorted by category and season to optimize for throughput and efficiency. The concept is simple in practice, yet requires a systematized process that can be enabled by software.

Process is just as important in technology as it is for small businesses. Many of the SAAS 1.0 era companies (e.g. Salesforce, ServiceNow) found success because they automated pain points around routine processes. Customer information that lived on scraps of paper could now find a home in the Salesforce cloud. A worker impatiently waiting for her hard-drive to be remapped could check on the status by clicking on a ServiceNow IT ticket link.

Time-savings or cost reduction come to mind when you think about process optimization. However, agile software-enabled processes can enable creativity in all functions, especially in marketing, customer success, and product groups. For example, when clever processes exist to support customer touch-points or customer support teams, there is more opportunity for upsell and higher customer satisfaction. When a process has been established around software release cycles and feature requests, engineers spend less time facilitating and more time creating. Software can support all of these workflows. As you build customer-facing workflows, consider how you can build those processes to make it easier not just on your employees, but also your customers.

Here are a few links sorted by product/sales stage to help you think about how the right SAAS tool can impact drive speed to market, close sales, retain customers, and generate unique customer insights all in a scalable format.

* Product development: Webflow. Why Weblow is the best design program right now.

* Marketing - Top of funnel phase. Lead enrichment software. 5 Best Lead Enrichment Tools

*Sales - Late funnel phase: Gainsight makes finding customer references easier - How we run our customer reference process through Gainsight. No more mass reply emails asking if anyone has a customer who sells widgets to welders in Antarctica.

* Customer success phase: Onboarding. How top SAAS companies create customer centric onboarding.

It is truly the golden age of process oriented SAAS products that go beyond cost reduction and time savings value propositions.

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