The following guest post is contributed by Thomas Oriol, who is the co-founder and CEO of online sales analysis and forecasting application Salesclic. You can follow him at @ThomasOriol as well as his company at @Salesclic. Don’t forget to check out the first post of this article series, “Is SaaS heaven on earth for B2B Software startups? Startup development & the platform dilemma“
As a SaaS entrepreneur in B2B, choosing the right SaaS application for your online platform is one of the first and most important decisions you will have to make. It will affect everything. To understand why, let’s review the three integrations of SalesClic, with their upsides and downsides.
So which platform would you have started with? We started with Google Apps, then integrated with Salesforce and then with Highrise. Although we discovered most of the information listed above en route, with hindsight we should have started with Highrise, because of the following combination:
- Greatest impact for our Minimal Valuable Product
- Steady flow of low-cost leads
- Straightforward pricing
But then again, our biggest licenses are SalesClic for Salesforce licenses, and we can charge them upfront. The Salesforce database is a goldmine for us. We can deliver tremendous value to SalesClic for Salesforce users by tapping into it intelligently. Finally, I continue to believe in the Google Apps Marketplace. We will crack that nut!
The most important conclusion for your startup is to take the platform dilemma into account as early as possible. Based on the use case of your application, consider the selection criteria listed above and take an educated guess. Like us you will discover a lot of useful information down the road – hopefully not too late.
This is part of the customer discovery and validation cycles of the customer development framework. It is definitely part of your startup risk, so be prepared!