How millennials choose SaaS solutions (Part 2)

In this blog post, we’ll take a deeper look at what point millennial business owners are willing to upgrade their DIY solution to an offering where digital service providers can add value through service and expertise as digital advisors.

This blog post is a follow-up from last week’s post where we discussed millennials’ demand for a self-service or do-it-yourself (DIY) offering. While DIY is a great and common way to get started, there is still a need for a trusted digital advisor to help millennial business owners. So when do they want, need or even expect service?

From DIY to a service-based offering

In our survey of nearly 500 small businesses (in cooperation with the Local Search Association) respondents were asked to share when they want help from a sales rep, and 39% of millennials said they’d purchase via a sales rep if the solution was “too complex to buy online”. This was significantly higher than the overall sample where only 25% of respondents gave this answer.

So that poses the question - why are they having such difficulty buying online? A logical explanation could be that because millennials have tried a wider variety of self-service solutions (see part 1 for more on this), they’ve also experienced that buying a SaaS solution online is not always straightforward. This indicates that for a self-service option to be successful, it is key that online purchasing experience is a seamless.

This is an important consideration for digital service providers that want to offer a DIY SaaS solution. The offering behind DIY customer experience needs to be simple, and if digital service providers know that an offering is complex for a business owner to set up and manage, it’s probably better to offer it as a service-based offering.

Millennials do want service (sometimes)

There is still great potential for digital service providers to provide a level of service to millennials, and this was clear in the millennials’ other top answers of when asked what would convince them to choose a service-based offering. Similar to the rest of the sample, they still valued service when “given a certain level of spend” (35% vs. 38% for full sample) and when “service was too important to just buy automatically” (31% vs. 33% for full sample). So while millennials are more likely potential DIY customers, they are equally important buyers of DIFM services when the scenario is right.

Another interesting observation from the results was when millennials needed less service, as was the case with only 31% of millennials “required service for customization”, versus 44% for the full sample. Once again, this is indicative of millennial business owners’ desire to be more proactive in managing and setting up their digital presence when possible, and thus needing less help on customization than the average SMB. And this engagement from millennial indicates that millennials are not opposed to a service-based offering, but that they do need to feel like they really need the help before looking for help from a sales rep or customer agent.

The willingness of millennial business owners to engage provides a unique opportunity for service providers to take a “do-it-with-me” (DIWM) approach in their service offering, and highlights the opportunity for digital service providers need to position themselves as the trusted digital advisor for the small business owner.

Key takeaways

Service providers need to focus on a wider go-to-market strategy that includes a self-service/DIY option, a full service/do-it-for-me (DIFM) option, and most importantly to millennials, a “do-it-with-me” (DIWM) option where service providers play a guiding role. It is by providing tips, tricks and tools on digital marketing and investing in an engagement-driven model that service providers will win over millennial business owners to purchase a SaaS solution with corresponding service.

To summarize, the digital presence market is, as such, no longer about a one-size-fits-all SaaS solution, but about which service provider can deliver a flexible SaaS solution that meets the needs of the small business owner, no matter their preferred level of service or needed digital offering.

At Mono, we invested in delivering a truly flexible technology platform that allows our partners to undertake a dynamic go-to-market approach. Want to learn more? Book a demo with us or reach out to your Partner Success Manager.