SaaS Product Tenacity & Revenue Durability
SaaS has changed the way businesses operate over the last half century. There’s no question that markets of all kinds - from consumer products to logistics have realized benefit from B2B software in some way, shape or form. Entire curriculums & books now document the impact of software productization and its global economic impact. Examples are plenty; ERP and CRM solutions have transformed the way businesses plan, execute, and sell their products. Slack, Discord, and Microsoft have changed the way teams and organizations communicate. Zoom, GSuite, and Cisco have evolved the way businesses meet and develop partnerships. Even LMS products like Blackboard or WorkRamp are dismantling the way we traditionally educate in universities. The list goes on and on and will continue to grow in terms of both impact and number as SaaS products persist to proliferate in business types all over the world.
As a SaaS company ourselves, we at PortPro are not only a part of this trend, but feel as if we’re leaders on the subject in an industry that has - up until this point - been largely overlooked by product driven entrepreneurs. The purpose of this blog post is not to talk about TMS, however, but to vet the realities of technology companies - specifically B2B SaaS providers - in today's market. The headlines are plenty painful enough between layoffs, selloffs, shrinking projections, dreadful quarterly earnings calls, etc. And, to be sure, this is more of a market correction on the backend of pandemic highs where software and technology took previously unprecedented leaps. Things are, by most measures, still good overall in the world of product oriented companies. We’re also proud to be among industry leaders who not only survive, but thrive in challenging market conditions.
This article (source below) in the WSJ does an excellent job outlining why certain companies are lacking the resiliency to remain dominant in their various market segments. The most salient points are related to tenacity and durability of maintained revenue. PortPro is unique in this capacity because we’re not only serving an underserved market; but we, as supply chain and logistics experts, know what it takes to run a tenacious business. The TMS we provide coincides with the realities of logistics. Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight, points to the concept of ‘durable revenue’ in the article as being the new indicator of success in today’s market - a stark change from the ‘growth at all costs’ mindset. The days are gone where predictions merit investment at the VC or PE level. Companies must prove and illustrate tangible growth, tenacity, and stability.
How is that accomplished, you might ask? That depends on the industry a given B2B SaaS company operates in and who their customers are. Everyone is in a ‘people’ business at the end of the day. Conversion ratios, ticket response, and similar metrics are important KPIs to measure, but lasting relationships in business are built on foundations of customer support and loyalty - especially in logistics. SaaS based companies should be religiously product oriented, but they should also hold those same truths for customers they service. This is, as mentioned, especially true for supply chain and logistics providers where word is often bond. There are only so many ways to haul a container around - and the right TMS enables a carrier to do that job well - but the back half of the relationship is so critical as most business is won or lost on customer service. Our carriers live this and thus, so do we.
A product then, like a TMS, needs to have tools that enable customer service, but so too should the SaaS provider develop tools and methods for keeping their customers operating at high degrees of efficiency and throughput. Taking time to understand your customers needs and then getting those needs into features and then those features into products keep your customers loyal and your product sticky. That, in turn, results in ‘durable’ revenue and the ability to derive meaningful investments and long term success. The culture and philosophy of the company should be in line with product and customer success as well. Sales, marketing, and leadership should put the customer first through the development of quality products. In the aforementioned WSJ article, Mr. Mehta also points to the development of community around SaaS products. Integrations and ease of communication are good ways to develop that, but so too must realized effort be put towards that in terms of communication, customer events, customer advocacy groups, etc. These things all compound and work together to create sustainable and long term success for the company.
These are things we feel quite compelled about and how we think about our place in the supply chain and logistics world. It is our philosophy that each customer is important to our shared success. When you buy from PortPro, you're not just buying a TMS - you're becoming a part of our combined solution to supply chain woes. We’re partners in modernizing the industry together. Not yesterday, nor tomorrow, but today.
-Walker Banks, VP of Strategy & Business Development