Executive Coach & Entrepreneur
Dan Martell is a serial entrepreneur who’s built several multi-million-dollar technology companies, his first at the age of only 17. He’s since become an award-winning angel investor, having invested in companies like Intercom, Udemy, Hootsuite, Unbounce. Today he’s an executive coach focused exclusively on software-as-a-service (SaaS), helping the founders of startupslike ClickFunnels, Proposify, and Carrot, to scale their businesses. He spoke with Mediaplanet about how businesses can benefit from software-as-a-service (SaaS).
What is SaaS?
SaaS stands for software-as-a-service. It’s any application on your phone or site online that you pay for monthly. Things like Dropbox for storage, Trello for project management, and Canva for design are all examples of a SaaS.
This is a relatively new business model. Before the cloud, business software required you to buy the hardware it would run on, be responsible for maintaining it, and pay upfront for at least a year, if not longer.
Now with SaaS, you can try out most solutions before paying in the form of free trials and only pay monthly beyond that.
Quite simply, this is a win-win for everyone. The cost to support customers has come down, making the software available to smaller businesses ensuring they have the same level of power as the big companies.
What are some ways that people are already interacting with SaaS, even though they might not realize it?
As a consumer, you could consider Netflix a SaaS since it’s an application that delivers value on your TV or mobile devices. Other examples include Spotify and Apple Music, or any applications like meal tracking or weather forecasting that offer monthly or annual subscriptions.
In the business realm, it’s pretty much any software you use to help run your business from accounting (Xero), email (Front), or video conferencing (Zoom).
With work-from-home proliferating virtually every industry, how can SaaS help make this transition easier?
There’s a lot of tools remote workers can use to make their lives better. I would suggest applications like Be Focused Pro to set time blocks to complete work, or Krisp.ai to allow them to work from a loud coffee shop while having their audio come across clearly.
With so many options on the market, how can business owners decide which services fit their needs?
The best way is to use a review site like Capterra or G2Crowd to search for different solutions, easily compare competitors, identify specific features needed, and determine which product delivers that solution at the most effective price point.
There’s no point in paying for an Enterprise-grade email marketing solution when something simpler like Mailchimp will work for your needs.
How can SaaS help even the playing field in the digital economy?
Since SaaS now lets you access powerful business solutions for a fraction of the cost paid monthly, it allows small companies to leverage automation, insights, and collaboration that wasn’t previously available unless you could commit to a full year through a five- or six-figure check.
For example, solutions like Zapier allow you to connect all your systems so you can get a 360° view of your customers. This creates the opportunity to build deeper relationships and identify ways to serve them better.
The SaaS has enabled anyone to deliver better services and experiences to their customers at a pace that bigger companies can’t keep up with — provided you’re willing to invest the time into learning the software.