I think every SaaS company that can do a self-service plan well, does it. Even if it’s a minority of your revenue, at least it’s a way to bring more revenue in and expand your brand and long-tail.

But should you?

Self-service only works if:

  • You can offer an inexpensive version, either < $99 or so to start. Sometimes you can scale much larger, especially with API/B2D products, but the entry point has to be credit-card appropriate.
  • The self-service experience is great, or at least, very good. Many enterprise products simply aren’t very good without a human-driven on-boarding process. If there is any real business process change, if the product can’t be deployed in under an hour … self-service usually won’t work well. You need humans.
  • You have the DNA. Folks they have been very enterprise their careers want to do freemium, but they lack the DNA. You need folks on your team that have worked in SMB and freemium and self-service.
  • You can provide sufficient support. This is what wrecks a lot of “blended” models (with self-service and enterprise). Free customers and $5 a month customers will ask just as many questions as the big guys. Can you afford to support them, one way or another?

If you don’t meet these criteria … do more traditional sales.

More SaaS companies do that. You need higher price points usually to support it, but it also allows a lot more flexibility in pricing, deployment, and support.

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