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Top SaaS Success Stories in 2016

SaaS companies distribute software and make it available to customers over the Internet. Cloud-computing technology is at the core of what makes things move. As SaaS becomes more popular, more companies will get on board in favor of this type of business model.

SaaS offers some definite benefits to customers too. The SaaS model is easy to administrate as software and managing patches are easy to auto update. Customer and host collaboration has gotten a lot easier. And global accessibility makes remote work so much easier as well.

It’s a business model that helps reduce costs while boosting performance. As such, there are many SaaS companies in 2016 that continue to be major industry successes. They are considered disruptors of the SaaS industry.

Major SaaS Success Stories That Made the List

Zuora

Zuora started when two Salesforce and WebEx executives teamed up. They caught a creative vision of offering a superior product for subscription-based billing. Located in Foster City, California, the company is making big waves.

They are selling software that’s helping other businesses beef up their subscription-based revenue models. The company provides smart, forward thinking tools for accounting, billing, and analytics. Even Zuora sells its own product on a subscription based model.

There are reasons why the world is starting to warm up to subscription based businesses. The fact is, there are many cases where buying a subscription makes more sense than buying the product. It also allows customers to customize things to their own wants and needs.

Netflix is the perfect example. People love buying monthly memberships because they cost less than purchasing a DVD. They’re not even required to move from the couch. They can create perfectly designed watch lists for themselves. They love the free trials that Netflix offers as well.

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Twilio

Twilio is worth mentioning on the list. Developers love this company because they can build the type of experience they want. Communication is fundamental to the human experience. This is what Twilio bases its product on. Developers can receive text messages and carry on video chats in a way never accomplished before.

Small app developers can add small communication features to the apps without breaking the bank. Based in San Francisco, Twilio runs with some high profile companies like Nordstrom and Home Depot. Uber uses the company to fuel communications between drivers and riders. The company can only grow as more and more players come on board. The company is truly an SaaS disrupter.

saas success stories Twilio

Intercom

Intercom also knows the value of being able to communicate better with customers. Any business can benefit. Businesses can access information that shows how customers behave on the company’s website. Improved website analytical dashboards are the key.

The company’s product has been called a unique “Social CRM” tool. At present, they’re closing in on Salesforce, SAP, and Oracle. They’re “in it” to “win it.” Intercom is definitely a company to watch.

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Vend

Vend happens to be a disrupter that’s changing the nature of “point of sale.” In fact, it may even put the cash register concept completely out of business. The company offers a point of sale they consider to be elegant with a great design and is easy to use.

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Dropbox

Dropbox is still going strong with file Sync that makes everything simple and seamless. The company can boast 300 million users. That’s nearly as many users as  the nation’s population.

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Zendesk

Zendesk gives customers a whole new meaning of what customer service is supposed to be. This is a pretty amazing SaaS customer helpdesk tool that reinvented helpdesk and CRM. Now, customer service is no longer boring, expensive, or complicated.

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Hubspot

Hubspot is the company that coined the phrase “inbound marketing.” Before, customers were buried in marketing spam. It was difficult for marketing messages to get through. Hubspot allows for the creation of great content. The content is hosted by a vendor, who’s hoping to find a new customer.

Businesses can place emphasis on high-quality blogs, podcasts, e-books, whitepapers, and social media. It makes things easier for both companies and their customers to communicate. Hubspot offers users many benefits.

Companies looking to attract new customers have every marketing tool they need in one location. Now, hot leads can convert to loyal customers.

Hubspot customers are privy to a professional blogging platform. They also offer great marketing tools for email and website management. Tools are available to drill down on SEO and tools to manage their social media networks. Who could ask for more?

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Slack

Slack picks up the “slack.” They say that Slack may put Skype out of business. They may also be the newest craze for collaboration tools and might just be the death of email.

It’s described as being instant messaging on steroids. You have access to private channels, direct messaging, file sharing, search, and much more. You can also use it to centralize all your notifications. This would also include sources like sales, tech support, social media, and much more.

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Zenefits

Zenefits is a human resources SaaS success. It just happens to be online payroll and benefits all wrapped up in one. It can boast being the fastest growing SaaS in history. The company has a serious marketing plan. They give away cloud platform space for free. Then they contract with businesses to be their health insurance broker.

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What Does It Take to Become an SaaS Success?

First, SaaS successes are change agents, educators, innovators, and are experts in their field. It’s impossible to be on that level without having knowledge about industry problems and solutions.

What you’ll notice about those involved in SaaS success stories, is that they are knowledgeable about everything. Not just their own industry. This is why they have such amazing insights and unheard of solutions to fix problems that no one has even imagined.

These guys and gals are spotters. And here’s data on those fortunate souls who made it on the billionaire’s list. According to an article by Entrepenuer.com referencing research provided by weathx.com, 62% of all US billionaires are self-made. 20% of all US billionaires inherited their money, and 18% are a combination of inheritance and self-made. There is a total of 585 US billionaires. Research may reveal that not all of these billionaires went to a special school to learn what they know, and the fact remains that everyone has the same 24-hours each day in which to achieve. Some, or even a large percentage, may have not even attended top colleges.

What these people understand is that the first disruption must occur within themselves. There are definite patterns that limit personal success and growth. So, if anyone studies and understands these principles, they too can possibly become a disrupter. Failure can become a part of our thinking processes from an early age on.

Parents, teachers, friends, and relatives all have a say in what children “can” and “cannot” accomplish. It’s as simple as putting on blinders and then allowing society to bind us in shackles. In truth, we’re completely malleable. We can be molded into something amazing, or not.

SaaS companies can take their concept to the next level, but it means rising to the level of being an expert in any field. And, it’s all about leadership. You never know where the next amazing idea will come from. So give your employees an opportunity to brainstorm—and learn to listen.

In conclusion

Every one of the companies mentioned is run by exceptional people. They’re not just normal people. They matter, just like everyone does, but they’ve disrupted the process that holds most people back. Are you constantly innovating and using the latest industry tools? Of course, being a disrupter doesn’t mean that one must be “disruptive.” If you’ve got a good thing going, it doesn’t mean you have to stake out the latest software and incorporate it at the start of each new year. But it does mean keeping an eye on trends and always learning more about yourself and the world around you.

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Gene Krause

Gene has been consulting businesses of all sizes for 18 years and providing them with strategic payments and gateway integrations.

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