Last week I attended the second ever Southern SaaS to learn more about the best current thinking on how to run a SaaS business.
As a fanboy of last year’s conference I went in with high expectations for this year’s event. Southern SaaS 2019 did not disappoint. It was a sold-out crowd, had world class speakers and plenty of SaaS insider nuggets were dished out.
Next up was Georgia Robertson from Kiwi startup Humanitix, which is redefining what it means to be a non-profit company. They are disrupting the ticketing industry by giving 100% of their ticketing fees to educational charities. What struck me was how disruptive it can be when you have feature-parity with your competitors but offer your customers services which have a social impact. Humanitix gives the event organiser the kudos for the positive social outcome, which acts as a compelling reason to choose them over a standard ticketing company.
Toby Littin, my co-founder in Parkable, spoke about the mistakes we have made going from startup to scale-up. He shone the light on a big mistake I made while scoping our China project (quite embarrassing) and also spoke about how not all revenue is created equal - you need to focus on the revenue that is scalable and repeatable.
The SaaS Sales theme was continued by Matt Cameron from SaaSy Sales Management, whose opening line made me laugh: “Salespeople weave the blanket of revenue that keeps you warm at night.” Matt’s view was that pipeline generation needs to lead headcount addition as it is inefficient to recruit salespeople if there are not enough qualified leads for them - regardless of what the resource plan dictates.
Following on from the focus on sales, Kirsty Traill, VP of Client Advocacy at Yext, spoke very knowledgeably about having customer success conversations at the leadership level. In her view, brand is happening more and more off your website. Brand is now turning up in services such as search tools, staff communication, and video conferencing software, which means it is vitally important to develop a knowledge graph - which is everything that you know about your brand. This way you have a central place where you can control how your brand is expressed, leading to greater brand consistency and discoverability across new services which could potentially be voice or chat based. Kirsty referred to this as an “answers ready strategy.”
Finally Justin Wilcox from Teaching Entrepreneurship gave a great practical demonstration of how you can use a process called stream of consciousness usability testing to identify weak areas in your sales funnel and increase conversion. The process starts by finding someone unfamiliar with your product and coaching them to “share what they are feeling and thinking” as they go through the process of signing up. It's important to record everything as you go, so you are focussed on what the tester is saying and feeling and can dive in with follow up questions when the tester reveals something of interest.
Those are all the tips that resonated with me from the speakers that I saw. It was a great experience with a lot of lessons, so the last tip from me is to make sure you get tickets early for Southern SaaS 2020 as it will definitely sell out again!
Parkable has been solving problems for businesses in Auckland for two years. It's an app that dynamically matches your parking real estate with parkers.
I flew to Melbourne to attend and speak at the 2020 Facilities Management Summit, where the focus was on digital technology and human experience. Here are my four top takeaways from the conference.
Calling all electricians and EV charger installers! Get an edge on the competition by pairing smart EV chargers with Parkable's EV charger software. Offer easy payments and management to your clients.
At Dentsu Aegis’s Diversity & Inclusion Council meetings, parking was continuously brought up as a source of frustration among staff. Not only was parking impacting staff satisfaction, but it was impacting workplace efficiency as well.
Aurecon has around 250 staff at its Newmarket office. However, with just 58 on-site parking spots, staff and visitors were struggling to park. Aurecon has now launched Parkable to improve their parking experience!
Post-Covid, what does the future look like for the sharing economy? CEO Toby Littin shares his thoughts on why recessions are great for the sharing economy - at least in some industries.
When RB had its staff car park reduced, it was concerned they would have to remove access from some employees, or find another to lease. With Parkable, no employee misses out on parking, and RB has no additional lease costs.
When Fulton Hogan in Brisbane changed their office lease, parking spots were suddenly scarce. To increase staff satisfaction and optimise their car parks, Fulton Hogan launched Parkable.
You can only do better with what you measure. This mantra is true in all lines of work, and with all kinds of resources - including car parks.