6 ways to make more money from your existing SaaS customers

December 26, 2017

SaaS companies

6 ways to make more money from your existing SaaS customers

As you grow your company, your focus is probably on getting new customers signed up. But it may also be worthwhile to see if you can increase the TCV (total contract value) and thus the LTV (life time value) of your existing customers. Here are 6 ways to make more money from your existing SaaS customers, without increasing your prices !

1. Upsell

Upselling is all about selling more to your existing SaaS customers:

  • Sell more licenses (more of the same)
  • Sell other products (assuming you have more than one product)
  • Sell a higher value license (e.g. convert customers from a Standard to a Pro license)

Upselling is typically done by Account Managers, because it requires a good relationship with your customer. AM’s know what’s going on at the customer and are in a good position to spot Upsell opportunities. This brings us to number 2: hiring AM’s.

2. Hire (more) account managers

If you don’t have account managers (AM’s) in place, consider to hire your first one. AM’s may typically manage a handful to 100 or more accounts. For smaller companies, AM’s may also do onboarding of new customers, customer support and act as a customer success manager.

If you already have AM’s, make an analysis of the workload they have, do they get to spend at least 1 hour per account on a monthly basis ? Knowing that they cannot be on the call back to back, this means they should probably by handling less than 100 accounts. If that’s not the case they may not have enough time to efficiently upsell.

3. Introduce special offers for renewal

You may put a special offer in place to have SaaS customers renew early and/or renew for a longer commitment period.
Why not offer a 20% discount for a 2 year commitment and 30% discount for a 3 year commitment, with upfront payments per 12 months.

4. Sell services, consultancy, training

Software companies can typically step up the value chain by selling services around their software licenses, so called “Professional Services”, to their customers. ProServ may consist of a wide range of things that may help customers to better use your software:

  • Initial setup
  • Configuration
  • Production work (e.g. entry of data, setting up reports etc.)
  • Project management
  • Customizations
  • Integrations
  • Premium support
  • Etc.

ProServ opportunities can be spotted by your account managers or the more fancy role of Customer Success Managers.

5. Get introduced to other business units

Are you selling to large accounts ? Ask your existing contact to get introduced to colleagues in other departments or business units. Customers want to share their successful use cases. In many cases, they will be happy to try and convince other departments to adopt the same software. By doing so, they get more exposure for their own success.

6. Build an ecosystem

Open up your customer base to partners by building an ecosystem. I like to think of 3 types of partners, and for each type, a separate partner program is appropriate:

API partners

  • Who ? These are typically suppliers of your customer, that need to do a one-time integration with your SaaS platform, e.g. to exchange data.
  • What’s in it for you ? You can make money by selling a separate API license, and by selling Professional Services to support the customer or its supplier in setting up an API integration correctly.
  • What’s needed ? Typically these partners are supported via a developer portal, e.g. developers.yourdomain.com, which in most cases describes your REST API and has sample code in common programming languages.

Technology partners

  • Who ? SaaS companies that have a product which is complementary to yours.
  • What’s in it for you ? An ecosystem makes your offering more powerful. But it’s also a risk-free method to expose various partners to your customers. You can identify the ones that are successful by monitoring your ecosystem, and change the partnership model when it becomes interesting, e.g. by reselling your partner’s product pro-actively and getting a margin.
  • What’s needed ? Build a partner portal, which lists your technology partners, categorized by topic. Launchpoint from Marketo is a good example.

Certified agencies/resellers

  • Who ? Companies that sell your product to their end-customers and typically deliver services around it.
  • What’s in it for you ? You can setup a certification program and charge companies to get certified or to get listed on your website as being certified.
    Of course resellers can also scale your business faster, or allow you to penetrate niche markets.
  • What’s needed ? A certification program, described on a partner section on your website.
    And finally, keep focussing on acquiring new customers too

And now back to acquiring new customers !

Now that you have some ideas on how to increase the TCV of your SaaS customers, I’ll let you focus on acquiring new customers again. Did you know that MailMine is a smart tool that will provide you with hundreds or even thousands of new leads instantly ? Mailmine mines your mailbox, to discover relevant contacts for you to prospect on.

Your email history contain hundreds or thousands of individuals that you are probably not aware of or forgot about. Think about contacts from your previous job, people you once communicated with, but also people that were in cc of email threads and you don’t know at all.

Your mailbox obviously does not just hold names, but also email addresses, in many cases email signatures with contact details and above all, context ! Your old emails provide context and allow you to get in contact with a concrete story: “Hi, last year we were both involved in project X” or “I’m a friend of your colleague Bob”.

There you go, 6 strategies to increase revenue from existing SaaS customers, plus one heck of a tool to get instant new leads ! Happy prospecting !

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