When you ask customers to switch from an existing vendor to you …
Do you offer to do ALL the work?
The data mapping?
If not, imagine all the friction you could remove if you did
— Jason ✨Be Kind✨ Lemkin (@jasonlk) September 22, 2023
The longer you do SaaS, the more you realize you really can get folks to switch from the competition to you. I
At first, you see it around critical 10x features. The Bigger Guy may be more established, but you launch some critical integration, some critical workflow, and customers switch to you to get it.
That works for a while, but eventually, the competition copies that 10x feature.
After those initial wins, ripping out the competition, it often gets harder. Why? Even if your app is “better” than the existing vendor a prospect is using, it’s too much work to switch. It’s just not worth it. It might seem worth it in theory. The discovery calls, the demos, even a tiny pilot. But the work is just too much for many customers to switch from one vendor to another.
But if you get great at this .. magic can happen. And it takes magic. You generally have to invest a lot to make switching from one competitor to another as easy as one click:
* Can you automatically map all their data schema to yours? This is hard. I almost never see it work even 95% in practice.
* Do all the integrations they used before work with your app, too? Maybe.
* Who will do the business process change management? Will you do it? Training end users on the differences in UX/UI and functionality between two competitors is real work. A tear sheet alone doesn’t cut it.
* Can you 100% guarantee all data will map over? Really?
It gets even more complicated from there.
My only suggestion is this: Do it Yourself. For Real. Be a “Switcher” as a Prospect for Your Own App. I bet you haven’t done this for real.
Switch to your own product from the competition for real. Can it be done in a click? In a day? Even, really, in a month? And what does it really cost, both in dollars but also time and people? Be honest. And watch how hard it is, especially once you factor in all the soft costs.
And then create a checklist and have product own it, and work through in the coming quarters. Whittle it down each quarter. Make it easier and easier to switch.
Because if you Go Long in SaaS, making it easier to switch is a huge win. Deals you lost will come back. Not this month, or even this year. But they’ll come back again. Enough of them. And your competition will stumble, and stop innovating in certain areas. That will bring prospects to you, right there.
But most can’t do all the work themselves. Do more of it for them.
Finally, look at this data from G2. Small businesses care #1 how easy a tool is to implement. And big enterprises care #1 about how easy it is to … implement.
What each means is a bit different. But imagine how magical it would be if you product really was both so much easier to implement. And … to switch to.
And a related post here: