Ecommerce MarketingWhy We Created a Slack Neighborhood for SaaS and...

Why We Created a Slack Neighborhood for SaaS and Software program Professionals


Estimated learn time: 16 minutes, 17 seconds

In our first put up about our on-line group, we talked about launching the International SaaS Leaders Slack group as a result of we noticed a necessity for the type of software-and-SaaS-focused group we’d need to be part of. That features:

  • A worldwide focus.
  • Extra established professionals and companies (much less college students and early-stage startups).
  • Skilled moderation.
  • Much less deal with enterprise capital or funding rounds.
  • A really supportive group, with no tolerance for disrespectful or unprofessional conduct.

That’s true: Components reminiscent of a world enterprise focus and skilled skilled moderators (that’s me!) are what we wish to have in a web based discussion board.

That put up touched on what’s in it for members, particularly as in comparison with different on-line teams.

However you would possibly nonetheless be questioning, “However what’s in it for FastSpring?”

Legitimate query, and I’m going to reply it — as a result of the explanations (plural) we now have for investing on this initiative is probably not so simple as essentially the most cynical amongst us assume. 

As a enterprise individual your self, you know the way it really works. Corporations don’t simply put money into new packages to profit random enterprise individuals on the web; they do it as a result of it serves their personal enterprise ultimately. 

And sure, having a profitable on-line group is an effective way for FastSpring to develop its model recognition and perhaps even usher in some leads from time to time.

However advertising is simply one of many causes we’re doing this. And whether or not you’re a FastSpring buyer or not, we first need members to profit from the group, or it received’t succeed anyway.

On this put up, we’ll go over a number of the advantages of becoming a member of International SaaS Leaders (GSL), and for transparency, I’ll clarify what’s in it for us, too.

Whether or not you’re already in lots of software program and SaaS communities or contemplating becoming a member of your first, we expect you’ll love our Slack group’s deal with worldwide SaaS and software program companies. The group is professionally moderated, there’s no price, and also you don’t have to be a FastSpring buyer to use. Learn our FAQ or join right here.

Our Guiding Precept: Our Software program and SaaS Neighborhood Should Be Good for You in Order for It to Succeed

That is fairly self explanatory, however the backside line is that when you don’t discover our group a helpful and energizing place to be, you received’t truly dangle on the market. 

So it’s key to its success — for you and for us — that we at FastSpring try to make it a extremely cool group to be part of. 

(And if we appear to be deviating from that in any means, or if in case you have concepts on how we will make it higher, please tell us. Extra on that beneath.) 

There needs to be one thing on this for FastSpring or we wouldn’t be doing it, proper? 

After all. However we wish our objectives to be forthright.

Right here’s what we’d like to perform with this mission. 

Studying What Issues to Your Enterprise

One of many issues our CEO David Nachman advised me throughout a one-on-one in regards to the goal and course of the group was that this group is a chance to minimize the transactional nature of our relationship with prospects and different software program and SaaS companies

It’s a legitimate concern: We assist facilitate literal transactions for on-line companies, so it’s simple for all of us to fall into the rut of getting a — effectively, transactional relationship. 

We offer a service; you generate income; repeat on autopilot.

However permitting that sample to proceed can deprive us of the power to enhance our B2B enterprise in a means that can immediately assist your enterprise — and serving to on-line companies succeed is a precedence for us.

That is in fact true for our current prospects, however it’s additionally true for software program firms which are contemplating utilizing FastSpring. When you’re undecided if FastSpring is the suitable cost system and service provider of document (MOR) on your B2C and/or B2B SaaS firm, we need to know what questions and issues you have got so we will take that into consideration as we proceed constructing out our options and merchandise.

And for individuals who have little interest in FastSpring, we nonetheless need to create a public model for FastSpring of curiosity, helpfulness, and experience (in addition to being often called a platform and MOR that helps companies go farther, sooner). 

To listen to extra about how David is hoping to get to know your online business, take a look at his member interview video, by which I interviewed him as a member himself (skip to three:13):

That’s additionally why we expanded our imaginative and prescient for this group to have a person contributor, govt, entrepreneur, and founder membership base — as a result of we all know we will study extra about companies (and serve them higher) if we now have a various layering of group members.

This mission of accelerating the personalness of FastSpring’s relationship with companies (and naturally, the individuals who discovered or work for them) can be a part of why we do issues like interview our members. In addition to bettering how members can get to know one another, it additionally helps FastSpring get to know members and their present enterprise issues. 

Strengthening Buyer Relationships

Studying extra about your online business is an effective way for us to strengthen the connection we now have with you, whether or not you’re a buyer or not. 

However our buyer relationships may also be strengthened by giving members extra entry to these of us at FastSpring.

FastSpring already gives a various, responsive assist crew for patrons and their consumers, and we now have buyer success managers for a few of our prospects with significantly giant or advanced companies. 

However we all know most firms can all the time improve the methods they assist prospects and additional strengthen these relationships. 

Ninety-nine instances out of 100, making a ticket is one of the simplest ways to get FastSpring assist. That helps our assist crew correctly route a request based mostly on the sort or urgency of the problem, and it helps us hold monitor of a enterprise’s assist wants over time. 

(That final half additionally helps us get a greater, extra complete understanding of a enterprise’s wants.)

That stated, it is likely to be useful to often attain out to FastSpring leaders immediately, particularly if somebody has a enterprise want that doesn’t essentially contain a technical query about our platform. We now have a various group of FastSpring specialists in the neighborhood, not simply end-user technical assist specialists. 

Product managers, taxes and funds specialists, buyer operations execs, and even the occasional gross sales supervisor or two are in there and may reply associated enterprise questions. They might even have the ability to weigh in on what’s coming down the pipe for FastSpring’s platform. 

(Word: As we are saying in our sign-up web page FAQs, this group is supposed to be a cushty area for its members to get to know one another and share information sources, so undesirable solicitation is prohibited. Tony Markov and Todd Stellfox occur to be a gross sales crew lead and a gross sales supervisor respectively, however they’re in the neighborhood as a result of we lately featured them in our Pricing Methods to Fight Stagflation dwell interview webinars with CPO Kurt Smith.) 

We wish prospects’ experiences with FastSpring to be the type of constructive experiences they’re telling their colleagues about, and we expect making ourselves extra out there will improve these probabilities. And when you’re a buyer who’s not having that type of expertise with us but, the group can be a channel the place you possibly can tell us that. 

Sure, Leads

That is the a part of the put up the place we now have to get actually clear. 

Sure, we’d like it if a few of our members who aren’t already utilizing FastSpring as a service provider of document would join our companies. 

Fortunately for them, that isn’t our solely aim for this group. 

As a result of we even have the objectives of strengthening buyer relationships and studying as a lot as we will about SaaS and software program enterprise’s wants:

  1. You possibly can relaxation assured that signing up new prospects is simply a small a part of our objectives for this group, and we’re not going to solicit anybody who hasn’t expressed curiosity to us first.
  2. We now have significantly better odds of promoting FastSpring to new customers if we’re nailing the primary two objectives we talked about above, so we’re going to work lots more durable on attaining them. 

We all know if group members see us taking good care of prospects and earnestly asking for suggestions, they’ll be much more serious about FastSpring as a commerce platform and service provider of document — as a result of they’ll have the ability to see the work we put in and the eye we give members firsthand. 

And, when you’ve thought of FastSpring prior to now, this is likely to be a great place to start out your relationship with us considerably informally. Neighborhood members can join with different prospects, learn conversations that happen between prospects and FastSpring, and (remotely) get to know the individuals who make FastSpring the corporate it’s. 

Clearly I’m biased, however I’m a fairly large fan of FastSpring. And I’m a fairly large fan of our worldwide Slack group for SaaS and software program professionals, International SaaS Leaders. When you’d like to hitch in on the networking, information sharing, and world enterprise strategizing, please apply right here

Above, I discussed our first put up about this initiative and hit the highlights of what it entailed. 

However whereas it targeted on a number of the options of the GSL group, it didn’t fairly cowl the precise advantages you acquire from becoming a member of a group reminiscent of this one. 

Whereas we now have large plans for International SaaS Leaders — and we’re regularly engaged on group constructing — listed here are a number of the advantages we have already got to supply for software program and SaaS founders, executives, entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs, engineers, builders, and plenty of extra.

Community With Software program Professionals All Over the World

There’s a purpose the primary of our group pointers is to “Be world.” We wish this group to be composed of members from all around the world as a result of that can drastically improve the worth of this group to all members.

Whether or not you’re a SaaS marketer attempting to enhance your search engine optimization by area, a individuals and tradition director involved with worldwide onboarding and in-person meetups, or a SaaS founder searching for recommendations on promoting into particular international locations, having quick access to the those that a global group supplies makes “going world” lots simpler.

Up to now, we now have member illustration from over 50 international locations throughout 17 time zones.

Study About New Markets You Need to Enter or Increase Inside

A specific benefit to having a world community is with the ability to faucet into it for recommendation if you’re engaged on breaking into new markets. 

You possibly can put up in the neighborhood asking for members from particular international locations that can assist you out, or you possibly can attain out to me, principal moderator, and I can attain out to relevant members in your behalf. 

You can even regulate discussions in the neighborhood for prior questions related to the SaaS markets you’re working to develop into.

Or you possibly can view our member profile movies, which we’re recording on a rolling foundation with those that’d wish to take part (like our instance above with FastSpring CEO David Nachman). 

One of many questions we often ask interviewees is, “What’s one thing individuals don’t perceive about promoting software program in your nation?” The aim of this query is to assist you study in regards to the cultural or enterprise variations which may have an effect on how simple it’s to promote software program there.

Study From SaaS Firm Leaders and Consultants

Whereas our membership is unfold throughout numerous roles and seniority ranges, there are loads of executives, SaaS founders, and division heads in International SaaS Leaders who’re completely satisfied to share their experience with different members. 

Some members are software program and SaaS founders who’ve a number of SaaS startups, some have labored for internationally recognizable firms, and a few are entrepreneurs who’ve pivoted careers or industries and have a variety of expertise to assist inform their recommendation.

Moreover, a number of FastSpring executives and leaders are additionally out there, reminiscent of our Chief Govt Officer, our International Tax Director, and our Vice President of International Buyer Operations. They’re current in the neighborhood as a result of they need to assist members nonetheless they’ll. 

For instance, Chief Product Officer Kurt Smith loves to speak about pricing and development and the way software program companies can leverage one to extend the opposite. When a member lately requested the group methods to greatest determine and check pricing earlier than altering their promoting mannequin, Kurt was throughout it:

example of answer in the Slack community

(For extra from Kurt on this matter, take a look at his standing-room solely presentation on SaaS Pricing Methods that Work: Methods to Design an Optimum Pricing Mannequin at SaaStr Europa earlier in 2022.)

We like to reply questions like this, and we’re completely satisfied to supply an area the place matters like this may be mentioned amongst worldwide friends.

Place Your self as an Knowledgeable

When you’re already often called a SaaS business influencer or professional, nice! We’d like to have you ever contributing to the group whilst you proceed to develop your private {and professional} model by way of information sharing. 

Or, when you’re nonetheless engaged on creating your individual model within the first place, collaborating in an expert discussion board is an effective way to take action. We don’t all need to be SaaS founders to be specialists in our personal areas, and actively sharing that information with others establishes every of us as not solely educated, but in addition approachable and magnanimous — and that’s a fantastic public picture to domesticate. 

We launched this software program and SaaS group in March 2022, and it’s rising steadily. However as a result of we wish it to be a super place for you to nearly “hang around,” this area continues to be malleable and open to ideas. 

For instance, a member lately prompt we add a channel for a selected sort of use case. 

We then turned that request right into a ballot asking all members to weigh in on what channels they’d wish to see added to the Slack workspace:

example of poll to members in slack community

So whether or not you’d wish to quietly vote on group updates or confidently counsel your individual, we’re open to ideas! 

When you’re serious about particular discussion board channels, service supplier ideas, LinkedIn and social media connection alternatives, a podcast, a fb group, in-person meetups, webinars and templates, or simply extra software program and SaaS development hacks on the whole, we’d like to listen to about it.

Voice Your Opinions

There are extra methods for members to voice their opinions than simply in relation to the group, although. One of many latest questions we had for members was to tell us what sort of benchmarking knowledge and metrics they’d wish to see FastSpring launch. 

(An instance of benchmarking knowledge seems in our latest Recession-Proof Pricing report, by which we focus on pulling knowledge from a sampling of 271 FastSpring prospects after which analyzing that knowledge to learn how these companies had been affected by elevating — or not elevating — their SaaS product costs over a set time interval.)

Having these sorts of metrics may also help software program and SaaS business companies higher kind methods to extend their ARR.

Since FastSpring needs to supply related and useful knowledge to rising and profitable software program and SaaS firms, we got here to the group on to ask what benchmarking knowledge we should always think about compiling subsequent:

example of opinion question about benchmarking data

A number of the responses included retention charges in a selected business, MRR development in a selected business, failed funds metrics (unintentional churn), churn and conversion charges throughout completely different areas.

Word that this ballot was open to all members, no matter their FastSpring buyer standing. 

As we talked about above, figuring out what actually issues to software program and SaaS companies is necessary to FastSpring, and we wish the International SaaS Leaders group to be someplace you possibly can specific what you really want to take your online business to the subsequent degree. 

The ballot above was posted within the FastSpring-specific channel of the group, which exists so discussions about FastSpring (versus basic business-related discussions) might be posted in that channel and stored out of the principle feed. 

That’s as a result of we don’t need members — particularly members who aren’t FastSpring prospects — to really feel like we’re consistently selling FastSpring. As a result of as we’ve talked about already, a software program and SaaS group needs to be one thing you get worth from to ensure that it to succeed, and we expect being overly salesy would make this a spot you don’t need to be. 

With that stated, when you’re not a FastSpring buyer however you’ve thought of checking us out, becoming a member of GSL is an effective way to seek out out extra in regards to the firm, by viewing buyer interactions with our management, seeing what sorts of questions and feedback customers have in regards to the platform, and extra. The FastSpring-specific channel is open to all members.

And if in case you have little interest in FastSpring? Be at liberty to go away the FastSpring-specific channel unread. There are many different issues so that you can do in the neighborhood with out seeing posts a few platform you haven’t any curiosity in.

We’re actually pleased with the International SaaS Leaders group already, and we’re proud to supply a global networking and dialogue area with options reminiscent of dwell interview occasions, member intro movies, and various professional enter.

As FastSpring continues to deal with group constructing, and as our membership grows, we plan to roll out extra options. We’d wish to facilitate extra one-to-one networking connections, launch a podcast, host extra real-time occasions, and have social media tie-ins down the highway too.  

However when you be a part of now, you can affect what it grows into, too. 

Whether or not you’re already in lots of on-line communities or contemplating becoming a member of your first, we expect you’ll love our Slack group’s deal with worldwide software program and SaaS companies. The group is professionally moderated, there’s no price, and also you don’t have to be a FastSpring buyer to use. Learn our FAQ or apply right here.

To take care of a top quality of membership, I’m personally reviewing all new member functions — there are not any automations to let in spammers or bots. That’s why submitting your LinkedIn hyperlink is so necessary. Thanks on your endurance as I overview your utility, and please be at liberty to e-mail us if in case you have any questions earlier than making use of!

About FastSpring

FastSpring’s safe cost system has every thing SaaS builders have to securely course of world funds, gather and remit taxes, handle subscriptions, and way more. Plus our enterprise mannequin consists of being a service provider of document that stays on prime of always-changing world tax laws — so that you don’t need to. Join a FastSpring account or request a demo to study extra.

Katie Stephan

Katie Stephan is the Social Media and Neighborhood Supervisor at FastSpring, and he or she moderates the International SaaS Leaders group. She has an MFA in artistic nonfiction writing and has additionally served as a school writing teacher.


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