Evaluation-criteria of system landscapes for B2B SaaS-startups & -scaleups

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ValueWorks is an analytics company that integrates SaaS-systems across all company domains. Therefore we have unique insights which systems are used by B2B SaaS-startups & -scaleups from customers and sales discussions. We also have a clear perspective which systems make sense at which company stage.

In this blogpost, we will introduce the evaluation criteria a startup or scaleup should have in mind when purchasing a SaaS-solution.

As most important evaluation criteria we find:

  1. ease of implementation,
  2. ease of use & maintenance,
  3. content richness,
  4. total cost of ownership (TCO)
What should a startup or scaleup look at when purchasing a SaaS-software? From our perspective there are 4 things that should be considered when purchasing a SaaS-software in this company stage.

1. Ease of implementation

How much time do I need to invest to get the solution running? How complicated is it to set the system up properly, including automations? Can I (as a founder) do it by myself or do I need consultants?

Why? As a founder you don’t have the time or resources to invest endless time to understand and set up a system. In addition, you don’t want to have a system where you can do a lot of “wrong” things if you are not an expert. Setting systems up in a wrong way will very likely lead to data quality issues and will not allow any insights in an automated manner.

2. Ease of use & maintenance

How much effort do I need to invest to properly use the system and sustain a proper data quality?

Why? Some systems are complicated to use and are made rather for expert users than the standard founder. Even when systems have been set up correctly, e.g., by a consultant, systems will then often be used in a wrong way, leading to bad data quality and limited insights. This amplifies if someone from the sales team leaves the company. Even though for corporates with plenty of consultants and internal systems specialists that might be less of a problem, the reality of startups and scaleups is that a founding team should focus on more important things.

3. Content richness & scope

How much content is already embedded into the software, so I do not need to be an expert to run the business in a proper way but am rather guided by the software on standard procedures?

Why? Actually, this point is also related to the other points. The better a software is adapted to your specific industry with relevant content, and the more of the functionality you need is covered, the better for you as a founder, because you need to do less to set up the system and it usually also costs less time to maintain the system. It also makes things easier regarding data quality and insights you can generate.

4. Total cost of ownership (TCO)

How much does the implementation and running of the software cost me including internal and external cost like personnel, consulting, and subscription?

Why? For a startup liquidity plays an important role. Therefore, startup programs can help to reduce subscription fees. In addition a system should be easy enough to be set up by the founding team of a startup.

What system landscapes make sense for B2B SaaS-startups or -scaleups

If you want to get a full perspective on what system makes sense for you as a B2B SaaS-startup or -scaleup, download the ValueWorks whitepaper “What system landscapes make sense for B2B SaaS-startups or -scaleups”

Cover Whitepaper System Landscapes


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