October 7, 2021 — Company
6 steps to find your SAAS sensei
There is too much underused and under-appreciated SAAS software in the world. But you can ensure you get the SAAS support you need by asking these questions.
Are you getting the most out of our software?
This is a question that would give aneurysms to the management teams of many software as a service (SAAS) companies. Research shows that SAAS companies are making good money off customers that aren’t using their services to the max.
Research from IT services company Gartner in 2020 shows that over one quarter of SAAS services go completely unused. That software has become ‘shelfware’.
Meanwhile, Ping Identity has reported that 71% of organisations have more than one orphaned SAAS subscription. This is where a subscription was taken out by someone who has subsequently moved on. Usage stops but payments continue.
This shows that companies routinely invest in SAAS services that they don’t need or don’t use. That’s before we even mention the huge numbers of companies that don’t use all the functions of the SAAS services they do engage with, even where there is a business benefit to doing so. I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of that one!
But the responsibility here doesn’t sit with the user. It’s the SAAS provider’s job to provide the onboarding, training, and support that their users need.
At Greenbyte, we work very hard to provide this support. Our Customer Success Managers help customers with onboarding, and then provide regular training and support. We are also investing in improving the quality and quantity of our training and have just appointed Diego Coronado as Training Specialist to oversee this.
You can click here to read a Q&A interview with Diego.
Finding your SAAS sensei
While it is the responsibility for SAAS providers to get users get the training they need, there are steps users can take too. Primarily, this is about asking the right questions when you are comparing providers.
Here are six questions for providers:
1. What are your plans for onboarding and training?
It might seem like an obvious place to start. However, in our experience, very few prospective users ask about the onboarding and training that we’ll provide to help ensure they get the most out of the Greenbyte Platform. You want to ensure that your preferred supplier has a detailed onboarding and training plan with dates.
2. Are you going to own the planning and execution?
Once you know that an onboarding and training plan exists, then the next step is to make sure you know who’s in charge of delivering it. Will it be you – the user – or the SAAS provider? This is a job that should sit with the provider, as they will have the most experience of which functionalities that users typically need.
In addition, as a user, we’re aware that making your SAAS software work for you is only one of a host of ever-changing business priorities. If your SAAS provider owns the execution of your training plan, they can help to keep you on track.
3. What sort of resources will you provide?
Increasingly, SAAS providers are looking to provide training materials to users in multiple formats, including written documents, videos and other website content. That is in addition to learning directly from their training or support teams.
Another question worth asking here is whether they can customize their training materials to take into account differences in language and user competence. In the renewable energy sector, companies have operations all over the world, but they need to ensure their people in each country are trained to the same level.
4. How big is your support team and how do I contact them?
If the SAAS provider has a large support, training and account management team then it gives you a good indication that it takes the responsibility seriously. Size is not the only metric, of course – having a big team is no guarantee of competence – but at very least it suggests that you’ll be able to contact someone if needed.
It’s also worth checking out how they provide this support: email, phone, chatbot or something else.
5. How do they perform on key customer service metrics?
Now we get into the nitty gritty! Every sales representative will say that their firm has a ‘world-class’ support team, but you should ask what this means and what evidence they have to support their claims. This includes asking for information about key areas such as tickets, user engagement and response times.
If you ask these questions, then it will also show you how open and honest your prospective SAAS partner really is. It can be very revealing.
6. How much is additional support going to cost me?
This one is self-explanatory, but the SAAS world can be confusing. It’s always a good idea to make sure that you’ll get the right level of support you need in the package you’re buying. There is nothing more frustrating as a user than signing up at one price and then being hit by repeated fees further down the line.
This goes to the heart of the issue. When you buy SAAS software, you don’t only want to know you have the right tools. You also need to know you’ll have a good teacher – your ‘SAAS sensei’ – there to make sure you can use them. It is in this combination of technical and personal skills where you get the biggest benefits.
How will Greenbyte help you get the most out of the Greenbyte Platform? Get in touch to find out about our approach to onboarding, training and ongoing support.