SaaS’s hidden gem — Communities

The SaaS industry is growing tremendously thanks to the versatility, affordability, quick implementation & flexibility of these solutions. There is so much happening in this space that there are multiple sources out there you might need to follow to keep yourself updated on SaaS news, trends and information.

Communities have been there for a long time. Salesforce Trailblazer Community is the best example for a tech community, closely followed by the likes of Microsoft and IBM.

Of late, we have a rise in SaaS communities around the world. It is heavily speculated that they are the next big thing in the market and community selling is what SaaS companies are looking to leverage.

While the recent acquisition of The Hustle by Hubspot created a buzz about the Community approach being a potential game changer in SaaS Marketing, it is interesting to note that Outreach acquired Sales Hacker back in Aug’18. So, this cements the fact the SaaS communities are here to stay.

We chose to strike the iron when it is red hot and put together a list of general SaaS communities from across the world catering to the audiences worldwide. You will learn what each of the communities do and why you could potentially follow them so that you get a better picture of what is happening in the market.

How can we talk about SaaS communities and not start with the one that started it all, SaaStr from California. Founded in 2012 by the legendary Jason Lemkin, SaaStr is the world’s largest community of SaaS executives, founders, and entrepreneurs dedicated to sharing the best learnings, insights and practices around building and scaling SaaS businesses.

Hosting 5 major global events namely, SaaStr Build, SaaStr Enterprise, SaaStr Money, SaaStr Annual and SaaStr Scale, it is a dream and honour for anyone in SaaS to talk at their event.

Without a community, you are simply a commodity .

Sangram Vajre, Co-founder at Terminus

With the USA in the picture, can Europe be far behind? Alexander Theuma’s SaaStock has been creating ripples since its inception in 2016. SaaStock is a community of SaaS trailblazers from around the world to support and educate one another. It is interesting to see how a community, with under 50 employees, has built themselves a name this big.

Watch out for their remote and global events. SaaStockRemote, SaaStockBlueprint, SaaStockLatAm Online, SaaStockEMEA Online, SaaStockAPAC Online. With life slowly, but steadily coming back to normal, we are eagerly waiting for their physical events to start.

Watch Alexander Theuma (Founder and CEO, SaaStock) express his thoughts on the future of SaaS Communities

It is undoubted that India is on its way to become the global business hub. SaaS is not an exception. From the world’s second oldest corporation, Chennai, we have SaaSBOOMi, a community of SaaS Founders and product builders shaping India’s SaaS industry. In the summer of 2015, they came together as an informal group of SaaS founders looking to network and learn from each other. Since then, India’s SaaS industry has grown multifold. The community was started by the superstars of Chennai’s (and India’s) startup arena Girish Mathrubootham (Founder & CEO of India’s first SaaS unicorn, Freshworks), Suresh Sambandam (CEO of Kissflow and a visionary) and Krish Subramanian (Co-Founder & CEO of Chargebee).‍

New age brand building is no more about million dollar billboards and ads. Community unlocks a whole new inbound marketing channel that helps B2B SaaS companies build brand and in turn drive exponential growth. Community drives two way engagement with your customers like no other marketing channel.

Yasasree Nerayanuri, Director of Customer Marketing and Community, Freshworks

The newest community which looks promising is SaaS Industry from the Bay Area. Launching in February 2021, SaaS Industry has started to establish its presence amongst communities. That is no surprise as it is run by Joseph Abraham (Founder & CEO at SaaS Industry and COO at tsteps, a Global Millennial Technology Community) and Benjamin Cherian Mathew (Co-Founder at SaaS Industry | Senior Marketing Consultant at Growthfluence), who share almost four decades of experience, in the software industry, between them. A lion’s share of their experience comes from consulting and solutions firms helping other businesses.

Amsterdam is known as the land of canals, clogs, cycling and coffee shops. But did you know that Niels Pas is building SaaS Community from there? Started in Jan 2020, they are on a mission to help all SaaS entrepreneurs and enthusiasts learn, explore and grow. They also have job listings that give you a wholesome experience in addition to exploring SaaS investors and companies.‍

Smart companies were always big on communities. So many SaaS companies fail because of no market need. Building your own community while you are building your product is important. While other marketing channels will not be disrupted because of community marketing, communities best work for retention, loyalty, engagement, and advancing relations.

Natalie Luneva, CMO of DepositFix and Podcast Host of SaaS Boss

Up next, we have a community from the Great White North. They have a large network of partnership leaders across SaaS with an extensive network of strategic advisors. Their knowledge resource is vast and to top it, they host SaaS Connect, an annual conference that brings together the industry of cloud software partnership leaders to network, learn, and close deals. Sunir Shah, CEO at AppBind, started Cloud Software Association in Ontaria, Canada and has been running it for the last twelve years. This is incredible given that this community existed from before the SaaS industry even started. Here is a shout out to Sunir and his team!

With an aim to share knowledge and dig deep into what keeps a SaaS business up and running, this community aims at helping people understand what one needs to possess in order to understand the business. Chameli Kuduva started SaaS Insider in April 2020, right in the middle of the pandemic. After establishing a stronghold in India, SaaS Insider is gearing up to go global.‍

Community has always been the most important. It’s just that now it’s the only defensible moat your business has. Competitors can hire your developers, and rip off your code. They can easily get capital to do it. Today, your community is your only moat. It’s the only asset.

Nathan Latka, Founder of Getlatka.com and Founderpath for SaaS companies

A big shoutout to all the contributing team members of these communities that strive day & night to help us know more about SaaS.

T‍his article was first published on SaaS Insider’s Blog.

P.S. If there is any information to be modified/added, please feel free to add them in the comments. I would love to know your feedback as well.

I write casually and I'll go to any extent for the perfect sandwich. I idolise Shashi Tharoor.

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