Podcast 15: How to Stay Unique in the SaaS World
Watch Ofer Yourvexel, Pepperi CEO as he shares his unique experience in the SaaS world with Matt Wolach, a B2B SaaS sales coach, entrepreneur, investor and host of ‘SaaS-Story in the Making’ podcast. Each week, Matt chats with business leaders who have succeeded and inspired in the world of software to find out how they did it, what advice they have, and what’s coming in the future with new innovations.
TOP TIPS FROM THIS EPISODE
Run a Democratic Business
Your business and the solutions that you market should be customer-centered. As a SaaS company, your business should be of the customer, the pace of its growth should be largely dictated by the customer, and it should exist solely for the customer.
Ofer understands that sometimes, there could be a clash between a company’s goals and customers’ needs. Yet, Ofer recommends that businesses make their solutions fit the needs of customers. Ofer thinks that startups could stand out in a crowded market if they associated their solutions to the customers’ needs and if they make their solutions to difficult problems easy to access.
Flock with the Right Brood
No other factor changes the dynamic of business other than people. People could sail or sink your business and that is why Ofer recommends that you invest time and resources into getting the right people for your team.
Working with the right people positively affects every aspect of your business. Your team should be your family. Your team should be a strong unit staying together like a pack of wolves. Ofer says you should focus on getting the right people and not the right features. Most importantly, you should understand that discord in your team subtly rubs off on your output – a depreciation in quality customers would immediately notice.
Relax the Reins
Of course, you are the founder and you should be involved in every decision being made. As a startup, you should let your passion fill every cadre of your business. You should not let go and very soon, you should be on your way to a mighty fall.
Relax. Yes, relax. You should delegate authority to other members of your team. Do not try to be everything. Hand the baton to other team members and empower them to take responsibility. That way, you get your team attached to your business.
Understand that Uniqueness Could be Temporary
Having a unique selling proposition is great. It distinguishes you from your peers in the market and sets you apart for success. Yet, uniqueness is ephemeral. Competitors are working hard too.
Ofer thinks that one of the ways to lose uniqueness is to be wide in reach; to try to belong to many niches, to do too much at a time. To keep being unique, Ofer advises that startups clearly define their strategic direction and focus more on markets that are big but narrow in terms of requirements.
The Customer is the King
Ofer says startups and enterprises will “run into situations where customers tell you the way they want it, the way they think the system works. You should not tell the customer the way to do it although you have a lot of knowledge and you can recommend.”
Ofer advises that “if the customer has certain business logic and the customer wants to run his operation in a certain way, you should adapt the solution to the customer’s needs.”
Empower Your Team to be Autonomous
Ofer says “you cannot and should not be involved in everything. You will run into situations when things are coming to you and the only thing you need to do, from time to time is delegate authority.”
“Do not always be the ones driving things, just be there to steer things. If you want to grow, it has to be your team that makes it happen. Too many times, especially in the early days, leaders exercise too much control. Once you get to the scale phase, do not try to keep too much control.”
Tom Might be worth it, Harry Might not
Ofer emphasizes that “not every customer is fit for you. Do not be too desperate for big deals. Do not be a slave to big deals. Do not waste resources trying too hard to satisfy a “big” customer.”
“While you should get customers who can push the envelope of your products, try to strike a balance. Make sure you get the right pay from them.”
Opt for Narrower Paths
“When you are in the beginning and you are doing something innovative, think long term and understand that you will not stay unique for too long, and being a small company, you might lose your uniqueness if you continue to be wide.”
“From the get-go, try not to be too predictive about the future of your competitor. Try to set yourself on a market that is big but narrow in terms of requirements so you can get your momentum going. Try to clearly define your strategic direction.”
[13:45] “The company is the people.”
[14:58] “You would not grow if you do not let your team be autonomous.”
[15:17] “Do not always be the one driving things, just steer things.”
[23:30] “Do not sound good to a lot of people, sound great to your perfect customer.”