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The ultimate SaaS buyers guide – The Final Chapter

The ultimate SaaS buyers guide – The Final Chapter

SaaS growth rates are astonishing; just between 2015 and 2017, the number of SaaS apps averagely used by organizations doubled up from 8 to 16. This upward trend will continue as 73% of businesses have said all of their apps will be SaaS by 2020.

I wrote this SaaS Buyer’s Guide to help you understand what needs to be considered when purchasing a SaaS solution. You are about the read the last part of this series “The ultimate SaaS buyers guide”

To recap, read the previous 3-part: Getting Started, Selection Process, and Technology Aspect. In this part, we will be discussing the Product and Governance aspects.

The Product

Many SaaS organization offers 14-day or 30-day trial. So, you have got enough time to check if the product matches the business requirement. As part of the POC check the following.

SaaS Model
Cloud Service Model


 Deep dive into the critical features set like this should tick the checklist of must-haves and deal breakers. Don’t compromise on the deal-breakers


Business needs the ability to drill down the stats and make an informed decision down for the organization. Ensure that the product meets complexity of your reporting need.


When you have offices across global check the capabilities around internationalization and localization.


Your application is not only for desktop or laptop devices but also on various mobile devices. Task reminders as push notification make more sense and add value.



Data Center

Mostly, data centers belong to a of third party. Verify the data center credentials and particulars. Check the policy terms with respect to who can access the data center? Does the vendor team has access to it?


Apart from the physical and data center security, you need to consider the encryption methodology during rest and transit. Strict password policies need to be enforced. Does it comply with your org, country policy such as GDPR

Data Compatibility

Does the vendor allow customers to import data on to the tool and export data outside? If no, there is a big chance of vendor lock-in and it is a high risk.

Data Seggregation

Most of the time, the data is on the public cloud. So, check with the companies on how data is segregated from other business. Get the architecture plan.


The application should provide an audit trail of every changes made to the application. Also, SaaS provider has typically to comply with norms and also undergo detailed audits to ensure that sensitive data is completely protected at all stages of storage, processing, and transmission.

Data Protection

Check for the best security practices followed by the SaaS vendor to ensure that your application stays unaffected by attacks. How would they facilitate business continuity in case of attacks such as ransomware attacks and denial of service (DoS) attacks.

Disaster Recovery

When things go awry, it’s important to have a robust, targeted, and well-tested DR plan. Pay details to the RPO and RTO. Also, a few recent SaaS applications provide options for individual businesses to take their own back from the application.

Finally, we conclude

If you’re just starting your search for a SaaS product and wondering which products would fit your need, this guide is for you. Even if you’re midway or towards the end product selection, you may still want to check this guide. I have captured to the best of my knowledge all that I know about buyer experience and customer satisfaction.

Coming soon, DoyenThoughts will release a “The Ultimate SaaS buyers guide” pdf guide compiling all critical points for buyers to make their buying experience enjoyable and smooth.

5 elements to look for in a product support aspirant

5 elements to look for in a product support aspirant

Professional life, personal life – Balanced or Mixed?

Most professions in this world are not oriented with the personal attitude and personality of a person. For example, a civil engineer may be excellent at his job – planning, constructing, and so on. But, in real personal life, he may be liberal, relaxing.

There are a very small number of professions that involve great personality influence also. We can even say it this way, “these professions rely greatly on the real personality, the attitude of the persons being in those professions”. One concrete example of such a profession is “Product Support”. This role needs no personal, professional life balance because it’s already a mix of both.

What we are not talking about in this blog?

So, let’s tell you right here – This blog is not going to have keywords such as empathy, inquisitiveness to learn, problem-solving etcetera, that are used as constant keywords for product support roles.

So, what are we talking about?

This blog is going to encompass 5 elements that a product support person should have in his real life, which has a great impact on his profession. In short, it’s all about understanding the real personality of a person who aspires to become product support.

1) Thirst for winning the game.

Customer support is a game. It’s the game of happiness. An ideal product support person should have the capability to first understand the mindset of the customer, how he is talking. Normally, customers would come frustrated with the support person. This person should make his mind that the frustration is not with him but with the problem in the product. As said, it’s a happiness game. Now, it’s in the hands of the customer support to listen, grasp, find solutions for the customer. At the end of the day, he should make sure that he has turned the frustration into happiness.

So, the recruiters should look for this tendency in a product support aspirant. One who loves to bring happiness in people surrounding them, one who works to change the unhappy mindset of a person to a happy mindset is good to score.

Rating – 20% Done.

2) Lover of the product.

What? Love? Does it sound weird? Then ask these questions to yourselves, “Do we fight for what we love?” , “Do we work hard for a thing we love?”. If the answer is yes, the same ideology applies here – One who loves the product, will support it and play the happiness game for it.

Though it’s not mandatory for the aspirant to be well-versed with the product, it’s important that the recruiter should understand why the person wants to support their product. What are the things he loves about the product? How he heard about those products and so on. It’s one of the very crucial elements that the recruiters should look for in a product support aspirant.

Rating – 40% Done.

3) Being a friend or being friendly?

Would you like to be a friend or friendly to the customers?

This is another question to be asked to a product support aspirant. Though sound similar, there is a big difference to the context. If the support aspirant likes to be a friend of the customer then there is a high chance that they may get hurt during a rough stint, may be biased about picking tickets, apprehensive about giving solutions. Ideal product support should be friendly to all kinds of customers and all types of customers. Asking this question helps the recruiter understand the emotional intelligence of the aspirant and move it forward.

Rating – 60 % Done.

4) Proper/prompt communicator in general.

Normally, product support persons are required to be efficient communicators. Though it’s valid, it’s essential to first know whether they are proper and prompt communicators.

Want us to show real-life examples? How many times would we have got emails saying, “We will update you on this regard” but never would’ve got one?

Remember what we said in the beginning? The professional side of the product support person lies heavily on the personal side of them. Now, coming back here, it’s crucial to study this in the aspirant – “Are they a prompt communicator in their general life?” If this question may trigger the consciousness of the aspirant while answering, we may tweak this to be indirect. “Tell me about any incident where you were the point of contact to perform activities”, “Tell me about any event when you needed to collaborate with your friends/colleagues to complete a task”. Some questions like these will help us find and understand whether they have been a prompt communicator.

Rating – 80 % Done.

5) Affinity toward hearing stories.

Product support person would need to listen to a lot of use-cases, workflows, business models in a day. Forget about working on that. First, they should have big ears to listen to. Now, putting this into account, the recruiters should find the tendency of the support aspirant. Do they like to hear stories? Do they have an interest in knowing more about general stuff? The recruiter may tune the questions like, “Who are your friends?”, “What are their parents doing?” etcetera. This will extract the mindset of the aspirant and help the recruiters move the needle forward.

Rating – 100% Done.

You’ve got complete product support person. Now, score high on customer happiness and satisfaction with the team.

If you have reached here, then you may be also interested to know the “5 key ingredients to become a successful presales engineer”. Check this blog

5 key ingredients to becoming a successful presales engineer

5 key ingredients to becoming a successful presales engineer

Presales are an integral part of the Sales team. With the rise of digital transformation and SaaS, the role of Presales has become pivotal to business. Presales are SMEs who add value to the business (both to the customer as well as the organization) by providing expert technical advice throughout the Sales Process, thereupon influencing Sales.

In our previous blog, I have discussed the importance of presales. In this one, I would like to share the five key ingredients to become a successful Presales Engineer.

Understand the product from Customer’s perspective

There has been a tremendous shift in buyer’s behavior in recent years due to tighter budgets, increased competition, mobile habits, social media influence, unknown natural disasters and pandemics, and so on. To combat these, you need to understand why your customers buy what you sell, the value the product is going to provide, and how they make buying decisions.

So, understand your customer’s business and their respective industry trend. Assume, you are interacting with an E-commerce company, it is imperative to provide examples from their industry to establish rapport and then offer them the proof of concept on how your product could help their business.

Analyze the business with a ‘Why’.

Personally, I start any interaction with a Why?  I attribute this behavior of mine to Simon Sinek. I believe that if the WHY question is addressed, then it is easy to get to the core of their business structure and requirement. 

Analyze “Why” your customer needs a product like yours. This would help you to understand their requirements better and achieve the goal sooner. Having addressed this, you should be in a better position to pitch how well it will solve the challenges faced by their business.

Plan the roadmap

You have got the opportunity to get to the core of their problem by answering the WHY. Now, it is time to set the agenda right and plan the route.

Before the meeting, prepare an agenda to set the expectations right with your customer. This will help you to gather the information you will need during the business. Start working on a flowchart or mind map. This will help you, deep-dive, into your solution and keep you aligned with their customer business.

Converse with your customer

I love this great article by Sanjeev – Ban Product Demo’s

In today’s world, it is not possible to ban product demos. Customers have reached out to you to know more about the product and your organization. They want to see what the product offers. But, it doesn’t mean you have to spend the next hour or so boasting what your product can offer.

Break the ice with pep talks and try to find a common ground where you both get comfortable. This helps your customer to get into their comfort zone. Now, make demos successful by addressing the use case that was talked the most during the discovery phase. Show what is critical for their business instead of showing all features. 

Winning demos begin with the most valuable part instead of building up to it.

Create your customer playbook

After the demonstration, every customer will have the question on “What next?”.  Surprise them with “The Playbook”

A well-developed “Playbook” empowers and engages customers at every step of the buying journey and increases the likelihood of them reaching that winning moment. It prescribes corresponding workflows and sequences that have the highest likelihood of driving positive responses and business outcomes.

The sales playbook is a vital resource to help maximize sales efficiency. 

In studying companies internationally, HBR came to this conclusion: Companies who were determined to have strong presales strategies consistently gained win rates of 40 to 50 percent in new business and 80 to 90 percent in renewals — significantly higher than average rates.

When you have presales with the above skills, you build a strong platform for the organization and helps the business grow.

If you want to discuss more on this topic, you can drop your comments. We will definitely get back to you.