Several topics and themes have been persistent during the course of producing the Tech Adoption Index program for the LSA, as well as the Above the Cloud podcast. Chief among these is the debate over the “full stack” vs. point solutions.
There are many layers to the debate — including whether software that does everything can be as good as software that is focused on doing one thing very well.
Another layer to this conversation is whether the clear benefits of selling the full stack (lower churn being one of these) are offset by the difficulty of selling multiple products in a single sales call. This is a worry for those closely monitoring their sales metrics. Longer sales calls and more calls to close is not the direction any manager wants to see its sales organization move.
A new LSA White Paper commission by Camilyo takes on this question of whether selling the full stack is worth the challenges it presents to a sales organization. The paper, “The All-in-One Sales Challenge“, shares best practices from a variety of experts on SMB software sales, as well as front-line execs at media companies that are finding their way in selling all in one SaaS platforms.
As the report notes, demand for the full stack has been demonstrated consistently in small business survey research, including the LSA’s Tech Adoption Index program. The latest TAI wave shows that 65% of SMBs would rather run their businesses through a single SMB software platform.
While the demand is there, the paper makes clear that selling the full stack successfully involves some strategy. The paper shares these insights in order to help sellers gain the benefits of selling the stack (more revenue and higher retention) without suffering any of the potential downside (longer sales cycles and poor customer experience).
Here are a few examples:
From SurePath Capital Partners Founder (and former Freshbooks exec) Mark MacLeod:
- Invest in service, even if it doesn’t seem to make economic sense
- Use discovery to upsell after bringing customers on with one or two key features
From Localsearch (Australia) CSO David Holihan:
- Verticalize the sales message, not the sales force
- Find the sales hook for each category (plumbers, hairdressers, etc.) and tailor the message to them
You can read more of the ideas and best practices in the full report.
The following video features a talk based on the White Paper that I gave on behalf of Camilyo at the recent AsiaComm conference in Thailand.