Editors Note: This post was updated as of May 8, 2019
The need for speed. That can mean speed in download time, transfer time, time to market, and more. Time to market is arguably one of the most vital aspects of business success and high on the list of priorities for SaaS companies.
The Clock is Ticking
Here are six reasons why time to market means so much to the survival and success of SaaS companies:
1. Customer Acquisition: New customer acquisition is still a leading priority for companies -- for two years running, it is the foremost challenge for companies per our State of AppExchange Partners report. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is a leading metric for SaaS companies with many articles discussing tests and hacks to drive your strategy forward. None of these things matter if you cannot get into market quickly. Getting to market faster and first means more time to focus and acquire those new customers. It will afford more time to build relationships and earn their business. Increasing your customer base is important, but that doesn't mean our current customers can go ignored...
2. Customer Retention: Of course no company would be anywhere without their customers. Closely tied to CAC is the idea of Life Time Value (LTV) and Churn. Churn is costly, and SaaS winners work hard to retain their customers. Time to market means keeping your current customers up-to-speed on the latest, greatest and best.
3. Customer Confidence: Customers pay attention, they know who is leading -- and who is following. Your time to market will either win or lose customers, and their confidence. Customer confidence also pays dividends in building long-lasting relationships, and it will enhance the perception of your company too.
4. Image: Continually being third, fourth or fifth to market will prevent your SaaS company from being perceived as a leader. The power of perception plays a role in every business, and for those in the technology industry, fast means first and that equates to real (not perceived) success. Having a strong image will also attract new customers and reinforce that level of confidence you've worked so hard to build.
5. Increased Revenues: As a result of improved customer retention, greater customer acquisition, and an established leadership image, your SaaS company will see increased revenues. Time to market totals dollars and cents when all is said and done. The faster you get to market combined with the more options you give your customers -- will be recognized in your sales numbers and revenue.
6. Marketing Tools: Being able to tout your company's time to market as a selling point is a very effective marketing tool. Your current customers want to be reminded about your accomplishments, and potential customers are seeking the best. Promoting your strength in getting product to market could be a deciding factor. None of this happens, however, unless you are getting it done - and quickly.
Accelerate Time to Market with the Salesforce Platform
Plan, build, test, and distribute now! When it comes to your MVP, we recommend you aim for Minimum Loveable Product: a product compelling enough that people want to buy it, not just sample it. Get there faster by leveraging the Salesforce platform -- you're peers are already there. Looking at our State of AppExchange Partners report, we see that time to market was the primary reason noted when asked, "why did you join the AppExchange."
If you don’t have deep in-house Salesforce expertise, reach out to someone who can help you understand what Salesforce can do out-of-the-box before you start coding. If you continually leverage native Salesforce functionality, you will save significant time and effort. When developing on Salesforce, always follow the mantra of ‘click, not code.'
Potential Customers Abound
The AppExchange is the world's leading marketplace for B2B applications. It provides an incredible forum for SaaS companies to find their audience and expand their market opportunity. With more than 5,000 apps, 6 million installs, and over 150,000 customers worldwide, this is a proven ecosystem. But you need to be ready to compete for mindshare.
Are You Ready?
The race is on and every second, idea and decision counts. Have you evaluated every resource available, reviewed every step of your operation and done everything necessary to keep up and get ahead?
None of this discounts the expected quality, service, and support of your SaaS but all of those concerns are a moot point if your company isn't competitive. Recognizing and using the benefits of the AppExchange makes your company opportunistic. Realizing and responding to the fierce competition in this environment is smart - and necessary.