Barriers to sales in a B2B SaaS startup: Qualitative case study.
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School of Business | Master's thesis
Information and Service Management (ISM)
AbstractSaaS and other cloud products have been dominating the software market in the past few years, attracting customers through their ease of use and deployment and minimal initial investments. However, many such startups face enormous struggles in the early stages failing to find enough paying customers. This paper aimed to examine the possible barriers to selling a B2B SaaS product to large enterprises. The research employed is a single-case study method conducted with an early growth stage startup. The qualitative research data is gathered through semi-structured interviews with senior-level IT people from the companies in the target clientele. The key findings of the research outline the following as primary reasons for limited sales activities: the difficulty of positioning for startups and the security issues that cloud applications pose. While both are in line with the existing literature, the research brings forth more details that are B2B specific and have not been discussed before. The thesis was able to find the specifics of B2B sales and procurement processes for SaaS products, as well as discover the challenges that have been decelerating the revenue growth of the case company. Despite the growing popularity of the topic, most of the literature is focused on B2C companies. Therefore, the findings and suggestions proposed by the research contribute to the existing literature by widening the scope of the theme.
Thesis advisorHekkala, Riitta
B2B, SaaS, B2B sales, software-as-a-service