SaaS Breakthrough – Featuring Aaron Krall Take 2

About Aaron Krall:

Aaron Krall helps SaaS businesses who offer a trial get more trials and convert more trials into paid users.

He is the the creator of the SaaS Growth Hacks Facebook group.

Aaron is also a short distance noncompetitive bike rider and an executive gold card member of Costco Wholesale Incorporated.


Show Notes:
02:55
Welcome Back
03:25
Specific Type of SaaS and Specific Expert Interviews
06:30
The Next Necessary Action Towards a Sale
09:30
Different Pain Points for US and Non-US SaaS
10:34
Non-US SaaS: The Lack of Conversations With Customers on an Ongoing Basis
13:15
What Kind of Business do You Want to Build
14:30
Implementing a Feedback Loop During the Signup Process
19:50
Problem Discovery Questions and Product Discovery Questions
22:25
The Onboarding Email Formula
29:05
Biggest Roadblock: Having Dev Team Take The Time to Implement this All
30:00
The Small Things That Will Have The Biggest Impact
31:15
The Secrets Behind Growing and Monetizing a Facebook Group
37:15
Automation and Customer Focus
38:10
Sell a Second Glass of Water to Thirsty Customers
41:50
Lightning Questions
Transcript:

DA: 02:55
Hey Aaron, welcome back to the SaaS breakthrough podcast. So excited to have you back. Over a year since the last time you've been on the show. Incredible. It's funny to think, and I was just talking about this with you, that you still have one of the top ranked episodes on the SaaS birth, your podcast, your last episode was just fantastic. So much great content, but welcome back. How you doing today?

AK: 03:17
Dude, I'm awesome. Super, super stoked to be back, man. A year again and believe it not, I can't even believe it.

DA: 03:23
Time flies. It's absolutely, yeah. Well what's been going on since the last time we had you on anything different in your business, in your life?

AK: 03:32
Yeah. Yeah. So, so yeah, I've, you know, I'm, I'm probably a little bit different from, from most of your listeners because I don't personally own a SaaS. I help SaaS companies. But, so the main, the main thing that, main changes that I've made have just been kind of like refining my offer, and narrowing in on a specific type of SaaS company that I can help. And then, getting results. And so that's, that's kinda been my main focus the past, the past year actually. It's kind of narrowing that in its, I'm just really surprised how long it takes, for, for, for me to just kind of narrow in and figure out on a really specific market to help, and how hard it is for me not to decide to just help everyone, you know, cause that's kind of my default. So that's, that's been kind of fun. It's been fun to kind of like refining it and being able to say to people, you know, no, I can't, I can't help you. I'm not, that's not what I can do. That's not my expertise. to kind of like a relief to be able to say that. And so that's been a big thing. The other thing is I've been doing a lot of expert interviews with people, I don't really have a podcast or anything. But, sometimes in my group, one of my things I've been testing is posting in my group a question that I would really like to have answered and then figuring out people in the community who are doing it and solving the problem and then interviewing them and figuring out how they're doing it. So I call these like specific expert interviews. And those have been really fun too. Stuff that ended up, problems that I don't know how to solve really well, that I can, I can learn how to solve just from people that are solving them. So that's been a lot of fun too and have some really good conversations there.

DA: 05:16
Sounds like you've got a book content written for you.

AK: 05:19
Yeah, yeah.

DA: 05:20
On the, on the customer segment side of things, I totally relate. I know how hard it is. We've just spent like the past year and a half going through that really defining it, building into it, marketing for it, you know, building a product around, you know, that very individual segments. So I know what that's like. I know the pain behind it. Who is that segment for you now?

AK: 05:38
So we've identified like the person that we can help the most is, is a, B 2B SaaS with a trial model. So either free trial, credit card first or like a freemium model. Any if you, if you fit into one those and you're currently, if, if, if they're currently stuck, either in unable to get more traffic, and they already have significant traffic, that's like the perfect customer. That's somebody we can help definitely. We can definitely help because our focus is, is taking whatever assets they currently have, which is traffic, you know, leads that are coming in and either and converting more of those and then increasing the lifetime customer value. So that's, that's kind of what we narrowed down on.

DA: 06:27
I love it. Any major wins with companies that fit that persona, even consulting with, why, why that, that specific group?

AK: 06:36
Yeah. So, so typically when, there's, there's no one out there who's leveraging all of their assets, right? There's, there's just no way you can, you can, it doesn't matter how big you are, there's always going to be something that you're not leveraging to its fullest capacity. So we just decided, that the thing that we want to leverage is current traffic that's coming to the site, we're not traffic experts. We don't specialize in Facebook ads or any of that stuff. What we're really good at is any traffic that lands on your site, getting them to take the next necessary action towards a sale. So, so when we, we just finished working with the company, and they're a B2B website builder, which is a really competitive market. There's a lot of website builders out there. Yeah. And, and, one of the challenges was, is we were going through this product, we noticed that we didn't really know what actions people needed to take in the tool for them to really see the value. So we had some assumptions. And what's interesting is the founder and I were talking and we came up with a list of assumptions and then we install the tool to track that. And we found out that we were, we were wrong in our assumptions. We just, we weren't, we were tracking the wrong stuff. Were getting people to take the wrong action. And then, so we adjusted that. We kind of, implemented a checklist into, to the APP. We kind of removed some of the walkthroughs, which were, you know, kind of annoying people and people were skipping. And we, we saw the activation rates. So the activation rate is the number of people that from the, from those that sign up for a freemium account to a trial account. So it's not trial to paid, but it's freemium too to trial, which is how they had it set up. Went from 20% to 80%. So pretty pretty, that's about, was out a 400% increase in activation. So 400% more people were signing up for a trial while they sign up for the premium. That's kind of a hard jump to make cause with a freemium here's not a lot of ins. You know, there's, there's not a lot, they don't have a lot of invested, in a, in a freemium account. Right? You don't get your credit card in, there's no trial, there's no deadline, there's no scarcity. So it was a big one for us. It was really cool. So we, we, we're excited about that.

DA: 08:49
That is a huge win. That's a monster change just from really just testing, learning assumptions. That's freaking awesome. And I think we talked a lot about like some of those more onboarding frameworks on our first call. We can talk about, you know, some of them today, but really, really powerful. When you're joining these different companies and you're coming in, whether it's the new target market that you have now or it's some of the past SaaS companies you've seen over the past year. Has there been anything that's stood out concerning you when you're jumping in there? Things that you, you know, have to try to clean up when you get in there to give the optimal results, something that people are overlooking in the SaaS industry that you, you're like are immediately locking onto?

AK: 09:31
There's, there's a few things and really I found it depends on, it depends on the location of the company, where the founders are from. I found that usually American companies, have a very specific different set of pain points and challenges than, than non American companies. It's like American and then not American or United States and for, for each free section there's, there's like different stuff. And, and one that I've noticed, in the non us market is the biggest thing that's concerning to me is the lack of conversations that founders or marketing people are having with customers, on an ongoing basis. Not to sell them, but to go through a pain exploration process to kind of readjust the, the compass to make sure they're headed in the right direction. What I see a lot is a lot of brainstorming around whiteboards and, notes on napkins and then kind of executing those ideas without having a sound foundation of customer feedback. And that's, that's, waste so much time. And it's really concerning when I, when I talk to people and I hear things like, well, we're not tracking that or we're not sure. We assume. At the beginning it's fine. But really there's no excuse not to have these conversations on a regular basis, assuming you know, what questions to ask and yet the frameworks and all that stuff. We have like a pain exploration process that we use and to get a conversation started and what questions to ask, how to organize the data. You know, we put it into a spreadsheet and we organize. We actually like, we actually recommend everybody record the conversations they have with the customers. Sometimes I'll go to a park and I'll just print out all the conversations and, and highlight parts of the conversation that are really interesting that bring me insights and then there's tons of ways to do it. But those conversations I think are so important. And what's really concerning when I don't see them happening on an ongoing basis. So that's probably like the main thing.

DA: 11:49
Do you think there's a correlation on why it's non us based companies, do you think it's like a language barrier or... ?

AK: 11:56
I think definitely. I think definitely part of it is a language barrier and there's kind of like, just just self awareness, or, or confidence. I think a lot of founders don't feel like they're confident enough to talk to people or that are, that you know, US customers won't want to talk to someone who, who is not from the US and I think there's, I think that's a huge issue. I have found that it doesn't matter who you are or where you're from. If you, if you're trying to solve someone's problem for them and you're and you're doing a good job, it doesn't matter where you're from. And so that's an unfounded, totally unfounded, thing is if you're outside the US you're trying to talk to US customers, as long as you have a framework to go through, it doesn't matter how big, how, how strong your accent is or, or whatever. it's just, it's just one of those confidence things that we need to get past. Once we do that, then, it becomes easier to have those conversations and you start getting a lot of great insights from them.

DA: 13:01
I think that's critically important feedback for SaaS companies to hear, especially in marketers and stuff like that. Don't fret too much about the accent. It's about the framework, about the strategy and about the value and how you're solving that problem. So I love it. Well, let's talk about specific strategies. What are you seeing as a constant conversion strategy that seems to be working in B2B? You talked about an onboarding method. Maybe there's something there through, you know, a freemium model. Is there something that you're seeing working across the board?

AK: 13:34
Yeah, definitely. And, and this is kind of, I've, I've spent like a long time refining these strategies and I have yet to find a strategy that works for every SaaS Company. It's kind of like, like if you're, if you're, if you're building a car from scratch, depends on what kind of car you want. Every piece is going to be totally different. Like, if I want to a racer, then I'm going to have to put in totally different parts then I would if I wanted something like a cruiser or a family car. So first of all, we identify what is the kind of business that they want to build, kind of kind of business do they want, do they want something, do they want sales people, they want really, you know, big sales enterprise level deals where they have sales people or do they want kind of like a scalable model where sales happen automatically? So once we identify that, then we, then we, every decision we make is really based on what we find from, from customer feedback. And so what we've, the best strategies that we have implemented have all come from implementing some kind of feedback loop, in the process during, during the signup process. So for instance, when, when somebody signs up, doesn't it matter how small the LTV is, we always suggest getting on a conversation with the users to find out why they signed up, what tools they're using that aren't working. I think there's this idea that because you know, my product is only a, you know, $100 a month, that I can't afford to do demos. Well we, we suggest doing those demos no matter what initially to kind of figure out that data. And then you can start scaling it out once you've been able to, have conversations with customers. If you can't sell the product like one on one, there's no way you're going to be able to sell it, at a, at a scalable level. So, so that's, that's a really big thing is every strategy we come up with is really different based on the customer feedback. Now we have all the pieces, so like, you know, if we need to integrate some type of like sequence, like we can just plop in the sequence, we've got to have it created, we just edit it. But, we're not gonna put in a bunch of stuff without, you know, knowing what needs to be fixed and what the customers want. So that's like a, that's like a big thing, that we continue to find is, is when we, when we give out frameworks for these conversations and have customers start talking to the founders, or marketing people, these insights are coming out that we would have never ever thought of or considered before. So that's like, that's like the main one. And and, and that, that's kind of goes along with, with kind of like the idea of getting outside of our heads. I, we are so often as founders get trapped inside our own heads and think that we have to come up with the best ideas and we have, we have to be the one to, to come up with all this stuff.

DA: 16:36
We're the superhero.

AK: 16:37
I mean, we have to be the superhero, right? We're the founder, you know, we have, Elon Musk and Steve jobs and all these, all these one man bands that are like, you know, we, we have, we put them on a pedestal as the folks that have all the answers and that have done everything themselves. And the reality is like, we're not, you know, you and I aren't, I'm not Steve Jobs. Steve jobs is like a one in a billion, you know, like I, I take it the easy way. I, I just find out what customers are struggling with and then I try to provide a solution to them and I test it and make sure it works and then, and then we roll it out. You know, like that's, that's kind of like the easy way to do it. But some of us think it's easier just to come up with the idea ourselves, implement to kind of onboarding, redo the whole webpage without kind of testing stuff based on customer feedback, you know, add chats, all that kind of stuff is, it should be a little kind of like, you know, when you're driving, pilots, when they're, when they fly a plane, the plane is always off course and so they're having to make thousands of tiny adjustments along the path. And if they just let the plane go, there's so many factors that influence the trajectory. And if they just let go there, the plane, we'll end off end up thousands of miles off course even by just like a half a degree. So, if we're not constantly making small changes and editing things and like improving things, the right things, we can end up being way far away from where we need to be for our customers to have success.

DA: 18:13
I think you just went through a lot of great stuff. Some of the strategy stuff I think is spot on being data driven and understanding that, you know, a specific tactic may not be, you know, the silver bullet for every company, but the overall understanding that you need feedback from your customers to make a strategy that will work because it's based on the pain point you're solving based on the marketplace you're in. I love it. It's fantastic. It just reminds you that the fundamentals mean a lot. I think on the other side you kind of mentioned like the psychological game with being a founder and I think so many of us fall into a comparison mindset or we start to idolize, like you said, the founder role and I think it's, I know for myself it's easy to look at great companies and be like, oh man the founders must be geniuses but and many times they are right. I'm not, I'm not taking that away from them, but I think a lot of times you forget that they're surrounded by great people. They had a million conversations with their customers, they took it step by step. They probably didn't even pick all the things that they're talking about, or the things that help them get to where they are may not have any relevance with them. They may not have even been the ones that have done it right. It could be all marketing or a different team member. We put our own like thought process on how it should be. And then a lot of times we create our journey crafted around that when we just have to understand that if we're data driven and we focus on the customer, what they need, the value that we're trying to provide for them and we put on those blinders, it can be so much easier. But I know I'm so guilty of that oftentimes myself. So it's really valuable what you said.

AK: 19:50
I don't know if this is helpful. You know, for me it's frustrating to hear a lot of this stuff but not have any actionable advice. Do you mind if I just lift off some of the questions that we ask people during some of these interviews?

DA: 20:02
Yes.

AK: 20:03
I think that'd be helpful for some of your listeners to kind of like listen to that. So the first thing that we ask is what's happening in your business that caused you to start using Xyz product in this case, Demio right. That, that is, that's a great question to identify what the trigger was that caused them to start using the product. Either that could be, sometimes it's because this product didn't solve this problem or is because we, we, we have enough of this pain point. And then we have, we have two different kinds of categories of questions. We have problem discovery and product discovery. And the problem discovery has nothing to do with the product you're selling only to do with the problem that they're trying to solve. So I'm only going into like the problem discovery questions right now. but once you identify like, okay, so the problem was x, y, Z, then you ask, here's a few more. What is the most frustrating thing about this problem that you're having? What have you tried in the past to solve this problem and what did you not like about it? And then, tell me about the last time you had that specific problem before you started using this, our product or whatever product they're using currently? Those are like, so once, once you dig into that, the two most important questions after each of these by the way, is, awesome. That's awesome. Great. What else? What else can you think of? And if they say, Oh, the most frustrating thing about it is, you know, I can't, my webinar's never recorded or or perhaps, people don't show up to the Webinar. Then you ask, well, what is, tell me more about that? Tell me more about that specific problem. What is, what is frustrating you about that? Oh I spend all this money on ads and no one comes to the, the people register but they don't sign up. and then once you start to identify all that stuff, that becomes like just a gold mine of content. Not only content but like ways for you to position your product and the marketing and the messaging on the homepage and landing pages that really speak the words that your customers are using to explain their problem. So anyways, I hope that was helpful.

DA: 22:23
I love that. No, that's freaking awesome that you read those off. What about other frameworks? So that is just one part of your frameworks. I know you have another onboarding email formula framework. Something that's been really great for you to see. huge conversion rate increases. Something that I, I think we work together on, if I remember correctly, we actually utilize some of this in Demio. What is the onboarding email formula?

AK: 22:50
Yeah, that's by the way, this is totally free. The onboarding email formula. If you just go to my site, you can download it, but, I'll explain like the, the main points, which will kind of supplement that a little bit. So the first thing is, in this there's five steps. One is we want to identify what is the customer's desired outcome and what is the promise that you as a company can deliver on. So a lot of times it's what they really want is not something that you can deliver on as a SaaS company. For instance I just use, I use booking tools a lot because it's just easy to understand. So their desired outcome might be to, to, to schedule more sales calls. And because, because having to go back and forth in email means that they lose the momentum from customer conversations, so the real desire is get more sales calls. What can you promise? Well, the only thing that you can promise as a booking tool is you can promise that there's no more back and forth and that scheduling is easier. But that doesn't mean that doesn't solve the problem of your offer, right? Like what you're offering to sell it doesn't solve the problem of the follow up emails or the sales conversation. so that's called a success gap. I didn't make this up by the way. This comes from (inaudible) Murphy. I've just kind of augmented it a little bit. So once you identify what your desired outcome is for the user and what, what it is that you promise to deliver, then you know how to position your product and you know what you need to provide to your customers in order for them to close that success gap. Meaning if your focus is on booking tool to help salespeople book more meetings, you can offer, guess what, you can offer like a, a training on how to do, how to have a great sales call. Email follow up templates. All this stuff you can provide to kind of bring in the right customers as content and as bonuses for them when they sign up. So that's, that's the first thing. Once you identify that, then you want to create a map. Like what are the steps that a customer needs to take for you to, for them to find out that you can deliver on your promise. And oftentimes I see SaaS companies putting in everything. I call it putting, putting in the whole kitchen sink. Like, here's all the tools that you can use and here's everything we want to make sure you can see all of it really. But really what you want to do is just get the five to seven steps that the user needs to take to see that you can deliver on the promise and for them to see the value of the tool. And then, and then you do that, it's a, it's a matter, there's like a UI element to it, right? To make sure that they can, they can see those parts of the tool and they have success right when they sign up. And then there's the external onboarding, which is like emails and, most, some people are going to sign up and they're not going to go in. So the third step is to make sure to bring people back into the product by, by tying all of your features to benefits and not focusing on, on features. So for instance, we have, an example in the, in the onboarding formula, a subject line, which I see a lot stuff like, hey, you haven't connected your calendar yet as a subject line. We, instead of doing that, we send out emails that say, never worry about double booking again or let your customer's schedule with you on your own time or, virtually eliminate meeting no shows. And how they achieve that benefit is by, by taking action in the APP and connecting their calendar. So that's like a huge, that's like a huge, a huge thing, for, that, that SaaS can change pretty, pretty easily is instead of focusing on what action to take, focus on the benefit of the action and then make the action they need to take the last part of like the email correspondence. Yeah. And then, and then in the email we, we suggest to making them really, really effective focusing on one specific action. So in the email of connecting your calendar, it's, hey, you haven't connected your calendar yet. And then the emails like, Hey, David, you know, we're excited to have you. you know, if you're struggling with double bookings and, you have all these problems trying to balance your calendar or you have no shows, the best way to do that is to, connect your calendar to x, y, z tool, because that will prevent that from happening from now on. You'll never have a double booking again. Here's how to connect your calendar. And then, here's another kind of, technique is, the link to that email, goes into the app where the walkthrough is a step by step process for connecting their calendar. If it's not super simple, in the APP. And that's how we use walkthroughs. I won't go into a ton about walkthroughs, but that's one of the best ways to use that. and then, and once you've done all that stuff, then you just make sure that you have triggers set up to make sure that if somebody didn't schedule their calendar or a connector calendar be, after like five or six days, they get an email that says, hey, they get that specific email about connecting their calendar. Just make sure that they accomplish the steps. and then if you do all that stuff together, you'd be like miles ahead of most SaaS companies. Of course, a lot of that really depends on what your customers are saying, and customer data. So it's hard to kind of like say, you know, these are the exact emails you need to have, but if you follow that basic formula your onboarding will, increase significantly.

DA: 28:36
Mind blown I think. I mean I've gone through this with you and just hearing it again just puts a huge smile on my face. It's fantastic. One of the reasons why I wanted you to walk through it. I just think it's so, so valuable. In a really, I mean, it really does work out. Again, I think the key thing that you said is it has to be based on your customer data, what those key things are. So it all goes back to the first points you were saying, which is you got to have the feedback from them and you got to know what are their pain points, what are their frustrations? What are the aspirations that you want to get done with them that you need to put through that onboarding formula? That's fantastic. Any major roadblocks that you see people hit while they're trying to put this together that stops them from getting that process like set up properly?

AK: 29:15
You know, I think the biggest roadblock is having your Dev team take the time to implement this all.

DA: 29:25
Hey, that's us right now.

AK: 29:26
Yeah. Yeah. And you're not the only ones. I talked to founders all the time that are like, yeah, we know we need to get this in, we have the framework, you know, like, now it's just a matter of getting it all, setting it all up. And a lot of times it just becomes so overwhelming that there's there, it's just like, well, where do we start? We can't have our DEV team, but there's a lot of small stuff. And this is what we tried to do initially when we work with the founders is we try to figure out what are the small things we can put now that'll have the biggest impact. One because it shows that, oh yeah, these are going to make an impact on conversions and that increases the priority. And the second thing is you get to see quick wins. So, so anyways, I think the biggest thing is probably developing this into the APP. There are some ways around that. Like there's a couple of tools that we use for our clients where they actually implement that. A lot of this stuff for them. So they don't have their Dev team, spending a ton of time implementing this. And and some really simple flows we can get in right away. We have a sequence called the sales sequence and all that is, is, it's just triggered based on one action. If, if a user does one specific thing, they get moved into a sequence that kind of gets them into a sale. And so those are things that we can implement quickly. The big thing is if you could just, you don't have to change everything and fix everything right off the bat. The real, the real win here is progress, not perfection. So the more progress you can make on the small things and not be perfect, you're going to be way further ahead than people that are trying to do everything perfect right off the bat.

DA: 31:05
For sure. I always see it as a step by step. Just if you can just move forward every day just a little bit over time, it makes a big difference step by step.

AK: 31:13
Yes. Little things.

DA: 31:15
One of the things I wanted to talk about today is your amazing Facebook group, the SaaS growth hacks, and it's actually been mentioned a couple of times by people like as far as like resources and stuff online to talk about marketing, learn about marketing. You get almost 14,000 members. It's fantastic. How are you leveraging this? How's that working for marketing, you know, running a group like this?

AK: 31:35
Well, that's a, that's a great question. I actually, I just put together a training on how I did that. And because it's a really detailed question, there's a lot of stuff that goes into it, but really the main, the main secrets behind growing a group like this, I'll just try to give you as much as I can, in the next like three minutes. First of all, build a group around a problem. Don't build a group around your product. If it's a product group, keep it product focused. If you're trying to build a group for lead gen, build a group around a problem. The second thing is move them off Facebook as quickly as possible. Facebook owns all that data. So if you can move your customers off of Facebook quickly into your own list that you own, then you can nurture that relationship any way you want to and you don't have to worry about Facebook's algorithms and rules. One of the best ways to do that is ask a question in signup process. And, what are those questions? Is, would you like a copy of our free guide or a checklist, a cheat sheet, and give them your email and then use a tool called Groupconvert. It's a plugin to get those emails right into your autoresponder. The third thing is treat every user as, a golden egg. And I'm sorry, not as golden egg as the goose, as the goose that lays the golden eggs and just like a VIP member because one, people, one thing people really miss a lot in life is just appreciation. And, being recognized. And so, when you have group members join, just give them, give them like a VIP experience for joining. One thing we're doing right now is we're sending physical letters out to people in the group who have contributed a lot just to thank them for it. And we're not getting anything in return from it necessarily. but we're just trying to show appreciation and yeah, and so once you do that, the really, the last part is, is, you know, once you start getting members into the group is a whole another conversation to keep it engaging is to, is to make it really clear what the rules are and, encourage conversations, and and ask questions that get people to express their opinions. People love sharing their opinions. I love sharing my opinion. And so if you can ask people to share their opinion on things that they're passionate about, you can see an engagement. Your engagement will increase just like tenfold. So those, that's like a real quick, a quick, quick like a class on how to grow your group. And monetization, I didn't even get to monetization.

AK: 34:15
You want, want me to talk about a little bit about monetization?

DA: 34:18
Yeah. Yeah, definitely.

AK: 34:19
Yeah. Yeah. So, so in the group, when we have people, when we invite people to the group, we ask for their email and then they automatically go into a sequence using Active campaign. All this is automated by the way. And then in that sequence we have a, we have an opportunities to educate them and provide a lot of value, but we also ask if they need help solving a specific problem. So that's one way we monetize it. The other way is because you're the group owner really like you can post whatever you want. And I found that the best posts that we've had, in the group, like I'll post some times, you know, hey, I'm, I'm getting a new case study group together, looking for a few founders who want to add an extra 10k to their MRR, would you be interested? And just those posts generate hundreds of leads. We can't even keep up with the amount of leads that we get from, from those posts. We've actually had to like, start disqualifying people from, from posts because we don't, we have, you know, we get too many people that aren't qualified or that aren't in the right position. And, and honestly, it's just a matter of, oh, here's another, here's another thing that, that'll, that's really cool. So when we, when we get people into the group, we ask them, what's your biggest challenge around growing your SaaS or scaling your SaaS? And then Groupconvert puts all that data into a spreadsheet for us. And we just go through the spreadsheet and we just categorize the answers. And we found out, like, we know what the biggest problems are that our customers are having in the group. And so that gives us like, we know exactly what they, what they want. And so if we can position an offer or the same offer in a different way that addresses their, their concern or their pain point, then we've just, we've, we've done this numerous times too, and it's really, really effective. I mean, we bring in people into are program all the time just by, somebody will say, my biggest problem is how do I get more Facebook traffic? How do I convert more Facebook traffic into, into, into leads or traffic truck traffic to trial? And then we'll ask a question, hey, if anybody needs help converting more, Facebook leads into traffic to trial, we putting a group together to help you out with that and then we get the comment. So anyways, that's how we generate leads. There's a, there's a few more ways we do it. but, really it comes down to experimenting with your group and just figuring out what they want and then asking if they want help solving a specific problem and that leading into a sale.

DA: 36:50
That was a masterclass in Facebook group management right there.

AK: 36:55
Yeah, there's a lot of stuff.

DA: 36:56
That's fantastic. I mean, I hope everyone's taking notes, listening to this, cause that was literally pure gold from experience, from watching you. I mean I've watched you over the past basically two years, grow this group and people love it. There's so much engagement. I am definitely trying to learn myself because we have a group and is nowhere near as great or as powerful as yours, so I absolutely love it. And I guess just kind of look forward in 2019, hopefully we'll have you on and in 2020, and we can learn about what you learned in 2019, but where do you see marketing changing over the next few months, the next half a year?

AK: 37:31
You know, you know, I see a lot, I see automation as a big, as a big thing right now. I see, especially with customer engagement. I think, first of all, I think automation works to a certain extent. I think there's a, there's too much of a focus on automation and people are tired of talking to bots and in a lot of cases they just want to talk to a human. So in some cases, I think that this automation is going to drift away a little bit, pun intended, and it's going to be, it's going to be more customer focused. The second big thing that I think is going to happen is, is that more and more, SaaS companies are going to realize that their current customer base is not being utilized, efficiently. So you get a customer for $100 a month or $300 a month and you don't sell them anything else to solve their problems. They are leaving, I would say millions of dollars on the table depending on how big your audience is, by not going to that same person and solving another problem for them or solving that same problem better. And one of the...

DA: 38:45
Is that like a back end, like done for you type of offer, consulting offer for the same problem?

AK: 38:51
Anything yeah. I'm going to use Demio as an example, but let's say you guys are, I mean, you have a great webinar software. And you know, you're focusing on a specific market. Remember what I talked about, their desired outcome, right? Their desired outcome is to convert. Maybe it's to convert more trial users to paid at scale, right? So, one of the problems that they have is once they sign up, you know, like what, how do we create a really good demo video for them and how, you know, to get them to use the tool. And so you can either create like a small course on how, how, how you can use a video to solve another problem that you're having. I mean, literally anybody that runs a SaaS company is going to have hundreds of problems and once they have one, you can solve pretty much any other, other problems either through another product that you can joint venture with, right? You don't even have to create a product. You can, you can interview like 20 experts who've done really, really well, on one specific thing. So not necessarily like Webinars, right? Cause you're, you probably want to give that content for free, but, maybe it's another problem. I just think people are going to get more and more creative on how to sell a second glass of water to thirsty customers. Cause there's, once they trust you and they know that you can solve one problem, they're much more likely to trust you to solve another problem. And I think there's so many SaaS companies just leaving money on the table because they think, well we saw that one problem. There's nothing else we can do.

DA: 40:29
It makes sense. Yeah. Especially if you have a really good brand that you have a customer base that know, likes and trusts you and you know, just wants to do business with you and enjoys your customer service and knows that you're going to back up your product.

AK: 40:41
Yeah. It makes so much sense. I mean you look at, look at, look at all these companies like Amazon, Paypal, Wayfair, like they all started out doing one specific thing and now Amazon selling like interactive home speaker systems, Cloud (inaudible) started selling books, you know like (inaudible) Yeah, yeah. So like just because you're selling, you know, a booking tool or an app management tool, there's so many of their problems you can solve. Not even in the same market. You know, I would much rather, if I had a list of like if I have like five, 10,000 customers, I would much rather find an offer to sell those current customers than go find another five to 10,000 customers.

DA: 41:25
That makes sense. It's much cheaper, much cheaper and easier. And again, you've built rapport and relationship.

AK: 41:31
Yeah, exactly. And they can tell you what they want. Like they'll just say, you know, I wish somebody would solve this problem for me. And then you go solve it. There's like a process for that. Right. And then you come back and say, we saw this, would you like to try? It works great. Then you push it out to all your other customers. So.

DA: 41:48
I love it. That's really good advice. Well, for the sake of time, I want to jump over to our lightning round questions. And the first time you were on the show, you did it. You had some really profound thoughts, but let's see if anything has changed over the past year. You want to get started?

AK: 42:01
Yeah, sure.

DA: 42:03
All right, let's do it. What advice would you give for early stage SaaS companies starting marketing today?

AK: 42:10
Get customers anyway that you possibly can. Go to their house, go to their business, call them, do Zoom, send them, send them gifts, like get, get as many customers as you can, anyway that you can and find the customers that, that are super passionate about you solving their problem and get more of those customers.

DA: 42:36
Interesting. I like it. What skill do you think is vital for marketing teams to improve and build on today?

AK: 42:42
I think it's conversations. Having, having problem focused conversations with customers and and then, making decisions based on that feedback.

DA: 42:54
What's the best educational resource you'd recommend for learning about marketing or growth?

AK: 43:00
Oh, man. Best educational resource for learning about marketing and growth.

DA: 43:05
SaaS growth hacks, you know?

AK: 43:09
Yeah, yeah. Oh yeah. You know what, go to SaaS Growth hacks and type in any question you have and you'll find you'll find dozens of responses from people that have actually done it. And then, here's a little tip, reach out to them and say, hey, I'd like to buy you lunch with Ubereats and I want to chat with you how you, how you did this and just, I just love to learn from you.

DA: 43:28
I love that idea. That's awesome. So if you guys want to buy me Ubereats anytime. Reach out. DM on Facebook. I do love Ubereats. (inaudible) Every day. Nonstop. What's a favorite tool you can't live without?

AK: 43:47
Oh, man. Jeez. There's a lot of them. There's a lot of them right now. I think for me it's probably ActiveCampaign. My email marketing tool. We do, I would say all of our sales come through. 90% of our sales come through email.

DA: 44:04
That's incredible.

AK: 44:04
Without who I would be totally, I would be totally stuck.

DA: 44:07
Wow. That's incredible. They're great. We absolutely love them here at Demio. Highly recommend them as well. And they're, they're awesome, ActiveCampaign, we use them as well. What about a brand business or team that you admire today?

AK: 44:20
That's a good question. You know, I, I'm not sure if I have one, a specific one in mind. I remember what I recommended last time and I still think (inaudible) with reply.io is, is amazing. I really, I really respect, Sujan Patel and I have conversations quite a bit. And the way that he approaches marketing and growing SaaS businesses is really amazing and I really respect, he has, I think he has probably like three or four conversations with just customers per month. And he's, you know, he's a busy guy. But, but he is, my, my thought, and I, I, you know, I, I tell everyone this, that will listen. Your job as a founder is to become an expert in your customer. And the more that you know your customer and understand your customer, the more success you're going to have. So anybody that's any, any brands or teams that are, that are making their customer a focus, I think are doing some amazing work and they're solving that problem and making their customer focus.

DA: 45:25
I love it. That little line you just said from the last episode, you said that as well, and that's actually part of our top 10 moments, our new special download from the SaaS Breakthrough podcast and you made it with that line itself, that powerful line right there. People need to know it.

AK: 45:42
Nice.

DA: 45:42
I love it, but awesome.

AK: 45:43
I'm honored.

DA: 45:44
You should be and it's incredible to have you back. I love having you on the podcast. You always go through so much great tactical content. I always write a lot and this is why your episode is so highly ranked. So thank you so much for your time today, Aaron. It's been such a pleasure to have you on and thank you again.

AK: 46:01
Sure. My absolutely pleasure David. Thank you man.

DA: 46:03
No problem. We'll talk to you soon. Have a great day.

AK: 46:06
All right. Sounds good. See Ya. Bye.

DA: 46:09
Awesome. Another incredible episode by Aaron. Every time he comes on this show, he just really drops tangible tactical nuggets of knowledge I think are just so critically helpful for SaaS marketers and education teams, especially those doing any work in onboarding. In his last episode, he dropped so much again that it's one of our top rated episodes right now (…)

Resources:
Get Aaaron's Onboarding Email Formula:
https://aaronkrall.io/
SaaS Growth Hacks Community:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/SaaSgrowthhacking/
Connect with Aaron:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/aaronkrall/
Follow along on Our Journey to $100k MRR
A shaky start? No doubt. Yet, three years later, we've got our eyes set on $100k MRR. We'll be sharing everything along the way.