SaaS Sales: Case Studies
While there is no publicly available information to capture sales force-related case studies for SaaS companies in the online ordering and back-of-house solutions sector, available data does allow for details to be shared about Toast, a SaaS provider focused on all-in-one management systems for restaurateurs. Below is an outline of the research strategies used—presented to provide a better understanding of why the exact information requested is publicly unavailable—as well as a deep dive into the findings.
- This company is a growing Boston-based SaaS startup that provides culinary business owners with an all-in-one restaurant management system that includes a fully-loaded point-of-sale (POS) system along with features that measure critical restaurant metrics in real-time, giving business managers instant, remote access to the actionable insights they need to run their operations more efficiently and cost-effectively.
- Toast is a company that works with all sizes of restaurants.
- The company also has a wide-ranging customer base in the United States and includes an array of restaurant business models, from small cafes and food trucks to chain restaurants with hundreds of locations and fine dining establishments.
- In addition to its exclusive focus on restaurant tech and dedication to its consumers, Toast has grown its business by successfully selling to reluctant buyers (i.e., people who don’t have much experience buying technology products and/or simply aren’t immediately willing to invest the time and money needed for a technology upgrade).
- This case study highlights how Toast overcame the challenge of selling SaaS to 'the Reluctant Buyer' in the restaurant industry. The successful sales tactics used by their sales team are given below.
1. Know The Buyer
- A successful sales conversation requires clear insight into the barriers to purchase. By being very transparent about Toast's SaaS technology, its sales team ensures customers are up to par with its features and uses.
- Toast’s sales and marketing teams approach this challenge by being very intentional about educating their audience on the benefits of the SaaS model.
2. Build Personal Relationships
- The sales team at Toast strives to deliver a personalized experience that complements the hands-on approach many restaurant owners tend to take.
- Sometimes, local reps bring examples of the Toast product to a potential customer, and sometimes they will bring the prospect into another restaurant that is already running on Toast.
3. Demonstrate The Product’s Real-World Value
- Another way that the Toast team demonstrates value is by comparing the 24/7 technical support that’s included as part of the SaaS model. This is presented as less costly compared to the expense of having to hire an IT person to support a piece of technology that was bought outright without any service package.
After an extensive search for relevant case studies detailing restaurant online ordering and back-of-house SaaS solutions, the research team determined the information is not available. This is likely because SaaS companies within the restaurant space, specifically related to online ordering and back of house solutions are not keen to share such proprietary details and information with the public for fear losing positioning. The team started by reviewing related case studies on SaaS within the restaurant space. During research, we came across portals like Finaltech, Exceptionaire, FastCasual, Openview Venture Partners, and Groove; these sources had some case studies that had potential but each of them was missing critical details (e.g., most of them were outside the US, none of them had any data that could be used to define them as the most successful).
We pivoted and focused on SaaS providers that are related to online ordering and back-of house-solutions by looking at Toast's competitors. The idea was to check the companies individually to find out how these companies are constantly working to improve their sales overall and what are the changes they are bringing in their sales team. However, after checking through companies like Square Point of Sale, NCR Aloha POS, TouchBistro Restaurant POS, Lavu, Upserve, and Revel Systems, we were unable to find any such data that cited how they are working towards improving their sales within the restaurant space.
We moved on to check news sources and industry reports that may have provided relevant qualitative and quantitative details, in general. We came across articles from TrustRadius, Capterra, SinglePlatform, and Gainsight but while the information covered SaaS for restaurant management, POS solutions, and cloud computing for restaurants, none of these covered anything from the perspective of the SaaS company's sales force. Hence, no relevant data was derived. We also checked for expert interviews in sources like process.st, Livestorm, Tech Sales, and UserIQ looking to locate executives and other thought leaders that shared details of their sales successes; however, no relevant statement or info was shared.