What small business look for when considering SaaS

More and more, small and midsized businesses (SMBs) are turning to cloud-based software to help run their business. Yet many are hesitant to make the move, worrying about safety and cost. So what can Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) providers do to woo SMBs and allay their concerns? Here are eight suggestions on how to make your cloud offering attractive to a smaller business.

1. Make sure your software is easy to use – and easy to understand. “Business owners and their employees expect [cloud-based] business apps and services to be as easy to use as their personal consumer apps,” says Ken Oestreich, director, product marketing, Cloud Services, Citrix. “Cloud services and apps need to be intuitive, so people can begin using them without training. The easier your apps and services are to use, the more people will use them, and since service revenues are based on usage, you want customers to use those services frequently and for extended periods of time.”

“Avoid using buzzwords and jargon [in your marketing],” says Michele Neylon, founder & CEO, Blacknight, a domain registrar & hosting company. “Small business owners aren’t stupid, but the technology sector has an awful habit of using buzzwords and jargon and not plain English. So use simple, plain language to describe what your service does and why people should buy it,” he advises. “If people can understand quickly what you’re selling they’re more likely to buy it.”

To demonstrate why small businesses should purchase or license your service, “make training [and explanatory] videos [that show] people how to use your product,” and feature them on your website and YouTube, says Steve Benson, founder & CEO, Badger Maps, a sales routing software for field salespeople. “A lot of people would rather watch a video on their own time than schedule a demo with a sales rep.”  

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