The secret ingredient for SaaS startups to accelerate their growth journey

The pandemic has proven to be a game changer in a number of ways. Technology-led solutions have been in the spotlight, paving the way for several new trends to emerge. As the field of technology solutions has expanded, the Software as a Service (SaaS) industry has also grown exponentially, and it is touted that it will grow even more in the future.

According to statistics, the number of new unicorns in India’s IT business increased by 267 percent from 2020 to 2021. This can be attributed to India’s large pool of engineering talent and low recruitment costs as well as a ready group of customer service representatives. However, to move to the next level, there is still a lot to do.

This is where SaaS Central, a two-week hybrid program of Prime Venture Partners and Amazon Internet Services, in partnership with Your history stepped in to help accelerate the growth journeys of early-stage SaaS startups.

The third edition of SaaS Central saw focused sessions from SaaS founders on company-specific use cases and interactions with some of the best startups on the same journey.

SaaS Central 2022 Highlights

Since a hybrid model was followed, the experts exposed the selected cohorts to both virtual and offline sessions. The launch of the program was initiated by Amitabh NagpalHead of Startup Ecosystem (India), AWS, which was then followed by training sessions Amit Somani – Managing Partner, Prime Ventures and akshay patelPrincipal SaaS business leader, AWS SaaS Factory.

“About 300 to 400 companies submitted applications, of which a few startups were selected for the cohort. At Prime, we have been investing in SaaS for a long time. SaaS startups make up almost 25 percent of our portfolio, and “We continue to invest in it. We want to help you in any way, whether it’s about the product, the go-to-market dynamics, the right pricing, fundraising, SaaS storytelling and metrics, etc,” Amit shared.

The selected startups then introduced themselves and discussed what sets them apart and their vision for the future. Some of the names include Kloudmate, Tydy, Propeller.ai, Humalect, Luru, and Datazip, among others.

The next day’s agenda was in charge of it’s abel – Co-founder, Jellyfish, who discussed Ideal Customer Profiling: Finding Your Ideal Customer and Understanding Their Motivations. The session delved into identifying the ideal customer profile and understanding their pain points, and where they are focused today.

“The founder-led sale is a prerequisite for finding a product-market fit in the US market. There are three key milestones that founders go through with respect to expanding into the US and identifying the product-market fit. product-market. and sales efficiencies. It’s important to understand what works and what doesn’t work. The longer you wait to get into the US market, the more risk you’re introducing,” he explained.

The third day of the event included a session of Ashwin Ramesh – CEO, Synup, in ‘Inside a Sales Engine: How to Build One’. Synup is a digital marketing SaaS company founded in 2014 that grew from an SMB to closing ACV deals of $250,000. Even with a fully remote, distributed sales team, they manage a $4 million a year bag.

“When we started the company, shortly after Freshworks, there were two ways people described their SaaS: ocean green and ocean blue. Ocean green was a fairly new category, there weren’t many competitors in that space, and ocean blue it had a lot of competitors but also more space. For a lot of early-stage startups, you’re doing sales in a red ocean space,” he shared, adding that there are a ton of SaaS apps coming out every day. However, what made some of them more successful than the rest was his GTM.

The session of the fourth day, SaaS adoption and challenges, was headed by akshay patel, SaaS Senior Business Leader, AWS SaaS Factory. Citing examples of successful strategies being executed at Amazon, he shared that 85 percent of new products fail because the wrong solutions were created.

“When we started as founders, we had a strong feeling that our solution may be the best. But when you think about creating a solution for your customers, it’s important to understand that sometimes they don’t know what they want. Ask the ‘five whys’ and be an idea of ​​what their customer needs,” he said, adding that if the teams and organizations were aligned on his vision, the customer experience would be far superior.

The fifth day witnessed two energetic sessions: the first on associations by aditya tulsian, GM, accounts receivable and co-founder of Numberz. He talked about his experiences with different types of partners and how, over time, they have acquired more than 50,000 small businesses and 50 companies.

“In the early days, we partnered with Nokia to package our CRM product with the small business phone. It was a mistake! Even before launching the product, we focused on how to integrate it with their phones. The actual product was never in hands of the client. When you think about partnership, timing and type are very critical,” he shared.

He also talked about how they partnered with accountants as influencers to recommend the product during the QuickBooks launch, adding that the strategy with accountants didn’t work as they couldn’t empower users.

“You have to know your partner, the same way you know your client,” he said. “There are two types of partners you can have: one is the GTM, the other is a product partner. Before getting into the product side, always try a lighter way to see if the partnership will work or not,” he added.

The next session was for amethyst venkatramana from AWS on ‘Technology Architecture: Building the Right Multi-Tenant Architecture for Your SaaS Product’.

Apart from the online sessions, the offline sessions held in Bangalore were equally revealing. Some of the highlights included Customer Success: Why your Startup Needs it by AWS’s Amitabh Nagpal; US GTM: Get your first 50 companies in the US for Vijay Rayapati, Founder and CEO, Minjar Cloud Solutions Pvt Ltd; Global M&A: Navigating Cross Border M&A in SaaS by pallav nadhani, Founder and CEO, FusionCharts; Pricing: How to price your SaaS product by Shripati Acharya, Advice to Prime Venture Partners; and more.