Thought Leadership

How Embedded Integration Platforms Help Win Rate and Velocity

How Embedded Integration Platforms Help Win Rate and Velocity

It would be great if you could win every deal. But that's not how SaaS sales work. At times, you are probably pitching deals to potential customers who aren't a good fit for your app. Or, you may struggle to engage with actual decision-makers early on in the process.

Similarly, the faster you move from "Hello" to contract, the better off you will be. The longer it takes to make a sale, the less profitable the deal becomes. But other factors affect sales velocity, and one of those is the sale size. SaaStr notes that a 5K SaaS deal takes only a few days, but a 20K sale could be two or three months.

Before we look at some steps you can take to increase your win rate and sales velocity, let's examine the challenges in more detail.

What lowers SaaS sales win rates?

We touched on one factor that affects win rates: the target market. If you don't know who your customers should be, you will waste time pitching your app to prospects who either know they don't need it or figure that out after they've already subscribed. In either case, these are customers you don't want to have.

But perhaps the most significant factor contributing to low win rates for SaaS products is a need for more functionality. If your app has functional gaps – not just superficial differences – they can cause your prospect to cut the sales process short. How often do you lose a deal because your competitors have functionality that you don't?

If your SaaS app doesn't integrate with a prospect's critical applications, the prospect will find a solution from another vendor that does. Do you have enough integrations to stay competitive in the long term? How often do you lose a deal because you don't have the integrations your prospects need? Related to that, how often do you lose a deal because your competitor has specific integrations that you don't?

A recent Harvard study notes that users spend 9% of their work time switching between applications. Integrations are huge time-savers because they allow data to be aggregated in a few critical apps instead of spread across the enterprise. As a result, users can spend less time switching between apps.

And, while there was a time when integrations were nice-to-have rather than need-to-have, that time has passed. Customers with five employees or 5,000 employees – each expects your app to have integrations with the rest of that customer's critical apps.

You are probably losing deals because you don't have integrations or can't build them quickly enough to make a difference.

What reduces SaaS sales velocity?

We've already seen that the larger a deal is, the slower it moves. But even when we adjust for size, prospect uncertainty is probably the most significant factor slowing down sales.

If you are selling an off-the-shelf product with a simple setup and configuration, that sale tends to move more quickly than were you to sell a product with heavy customization and configuration. The more work your customer and your onboarding team must do before the product is ready to use, the more uncertainty a prospect has concerning timelines and responsibilities.

Uncertainty also comes into play when a prospect needs help to determine your app's capability for integrating with the prospect's other apps. It's great if you have an in-app integration marketplace that lists all your integrations. But if you don't already offer the exact integration a prospect needs, that often leads to more questions for your team. Can we build this? Do we want to build this? Do we modify something we already have? How long would it take? How should we price it? Is there something else we can do instead?

Prospects often don't understand what they need beyond "An Integration with System X." It's often too early or too slow to pull third-party vendors into the loop during the sale. As a result, you can struggle to balance defining integration expectations with keeping an eye on time-to-close while ensuring the deal isn't derailed.

Even if you don't lose a deal because of a missing integration, that lack may still create additional friction in the sales process and slow down the time-to-close.

How can you avoid issues that slow sales and reduce wins?

You may have a fantastic sales team and plenty of good marketing material and yet struggle to bring prospects across the finish line quickly.

What can you do? We've talked about how expectations set early in the sales process can either help or hurt. They help if your product and team can fulfill all those expectations. They hurt if it turns out you are overselling functionality or glossing over functionality that you don't have.

Providing native integrations to your customers is a great way to help your sales process. Customers need integrations between critical systems. If you can provide integrations as an integral part of your product and show prospects that you can quickly create other integrations when required, you've successfully addressed a significant functional concern.

An embedded integration platform can help you build those native integrations quickly and increase your win rate and sales velocity.

Sales benefits of an embedded integration platform

Unlike a traditional approach to building integrations, an embedded integration platform allows you to create reusable, configurable integrations in days or weeks instead of months. This moves integration development from "We'll have to plan that for some time next year" to "We should be able to fit that in before the end of the month."

Let's look at how an embedded integration platform can benefit your sales cycle – giving you tools to close more deals and do it faster than ever before. With an embedded integration platform, you can:

  • Meet many integration requirements upfront
  • Define high-level requirements to set the integration scope
  • Include new integrations in the initial onboarding process
  • Use integrations to offset functional gaps in your product

Meet many integration requirements upfront

With an embedded integration platform, you'll quickly be able to close the gap between the integrations you have and the integrations your customers need you to have. From that point, when dealing with prospects, you'll often be able to say, "We have that" when discussing specific integrations.

If you don't have it, you'll be able to build it quickly or give a relatively short timeline for its development. That flexibility on your part, coupled with a robust embedded integration marketplace, should reassure prospects and customers alike that you are invested in native integrations for your app and understand their importance.

Define high-level requirements to set the integration scope

When you use an embedded integration platform to build your integrations, some non-trivial portion of that integration is ready before you start. Depending on the integration, this could be 30%, 50%, or 90% due to the pre-built API connectors, integration designer, and infrastructure.

Once you've built a handful of integrations, you know what building an integration with the embedded integration platform requires.

By talking through the desired integration with your prospect, you should be able to help the prospect define the requirements for a new integration in sufficient detail to lay it out for the contract, thereby keeping the sale moving along and ensuring a win in the end.

Include new integrations in the initial onboarding process

It is common for prospects to include desired integrations in the initial contract. Unsurprisingly, they also want them to function on day one of onboarding.

You may already have a list of integrations, and your prospect can pick from it. But what if the integration the prospect wants isn't on the list? With an embedded integration platform, you can quickly build a prototype of the integration as part of the sales process.

The prototype won't be perfect, but it should be functional enough to demonstrate your integration capabilities to the prospect's satisfaction. Then, when the prospect says "Yes," you should be able to refine the prototype into a production-ready integration that can be enabled at onboarding or very shortly after that.

Use integrations to offset functional gaps in your product

A customer or prospect almost always wants an app to do more – even if that additional functionality doesn't align with the app's purpose.

And it's not the customer's job to define the roadmap for the app and determine what functionality should be added and what should be handled with integrations. That's the role of the product team.

But, if there is functionality that the prospect needs, and you've either determined that it should be excluded or added later, addressing that functionality via an integration could move that deal back into the win column.

Sales fly when you are solving problems

Prospects are looking for products that meet their current needs and can scale for future needs. In addition, they need to know that your product has the flexibility to fit their processes rather than requiring them to rework their processes for your product.

An embedded integration platform for your B2B SaaS app can help in these categories (functionality, scaling, and flexibility). You can always add product functionality, but having the integrations your customers need makes a huge difference.

Don't overlook the capabilities of an embedded integration platform when it comes to building, provisioning, supporting, and maintaining all of those customer integrations.

Contact us for more information on how an embedded integration platform can help your sales team win more often and do it faster.

Download the Embedded Integration Platform Guide

Download the Embedded Integration Platform Guide

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About Prismatic

Prismatic is the integration platform for B2B software companies. It's the quickest way to build integrations to the other apps your customers use and to add a native integration marketplace to your product. A complete embedded iPaaS solution that empowers your whole organization, Prismatic encompasses an intuitive integration designer, embedded integration marketplace, integration deployment and support, and a purpose-built cloud infrastructure. Prismatic was built in a way developers love and provides the tools to make it perfectly fit the way you build software.

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