Whatfix CEO Khadim Batti shares lessons on building a global enterprise SaaS business

The SaaS (software as a service) industry is growing rapidly. The Indian SaaS sector is expected to account for nearly 7-10% of the global market, with domestic revenue in the industry witnessing 20% ​​annual growth, according to the EY-CII Research Report.

According to BetterCloud, SaaS applications account for an average of 70% of the company’s total software usage.

Businesses today spend at least a billion dollars or two every year buying software. However, they may not have visibility into return on investment (ROI) unless employees use the software efficiently and effectively. This is where Whatfix comes in with its digital fitting solutions.

“We’re trying to build an experience layer, a guidance layer on top of an underlying software stack, whether it’s CRM, ERP, custom software, or whatever employees are using internally in the organization.” Khadim BhattiCo-founder and CEO, whatfix tells the managing partner of Prime Venture Partners Shripati Acharya in an episode of Prime Venture Partners Podcast.

“In short, they get the right nudges, the right guidance at the time of need, on demand in the app, making them more productive and ensuring the organization gets ROI,” he adds.

whatfix

Khadim Batti, Co-Founder and CEO of Whatfix

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Finding product-to-market fit (PMF)

For Whatfix, finding the PMF happened in stages.

The first stage was to have a clear statement of the problem: how clients resonated with the solutions and what tone they proposed.

The second stage was to implement and use the product. As the company targeted small businesses, it experienced a lot of turnover; Although the team was able to sell the product, it was unable to retain the SMEs.

“That’s why we went to a slightly larger segment, let’s say a company with 500 to 1,000 employees. And they started to see the benefits because they could put in the effort and they can see the ROI. That’s the reason, I would say we were able to find the PMF when we change the segment,” says Khadim.

Creation of a sales force in the USA.

For Whatfix, the journey to the US has been a bit different as they initially started selling in India. The model worked at the national level because it was a new category; there was hardly any competition and people wanted to start small.

When Whatfix began to land in large companies where thousands of software are used, the opportunities expanded and, over time, evolved from India out of India.

“I have 30 or 40 territory sellers sitting out of India, selling in Europe and the US. They’re mainly landing and acquiring those at $50,000 to $100,000. But once we land, we have account managers or account managers in different parts of the world who own six to eight logos. Their job is just to build relationships with these logos, identify new projects and new budgets, and keep expanding. So that’s the model that has evolved beautifully for us, and it is paying us very good dividends”.

Sensitization

Khadim has been experimenting with different ways to create and raise awareness of digital fitting solutions, both on the market and within Whatfix. He shares some of them, starting with thought leadership.

Whatfix has been exposing people to broader problem statements such as digital transformation and chain management. The company does not intend to convert the audience, but to make them understand how it is a crucial piece of digital transformation.

Second, Whatfix created an analyst engagement program in which it conducts 40-45 briefings each quarter. In addition to just focusing on DAP analysts, it started to focus on other analysts like CRM, ERP, etc. This helped the team recommend services other than their own.

Third, it’s hosting a lot of events, virtually and physically, to generate contacts and leads. Lastly, focus on building a proper output engine.

“We have a team that does a lot of outbound work. They also start their cadences not by selling Whatfix directly, but by sending companies white papers and case studies about the category,” says Khadim.

You can listen to the full episode here

Timestamps:

03:00 – GPS for programs

09:00 – Finding FAQs and the right customer segment

15:30 – Prices and products for companies

9:00 pm – Creation of sales cycle and sales force in the USA.

29:00 – Four Pillars of Category Consciousness

36:00 – start selling to the company