What is the link between Excel, Star Trek and SaaS metrics? Emotions of course!

This amazing graphic put together by Ben Murray, the Saas CFO (a great follow for any of you in the SaaS world), shows that the vast majority of companies still rely on spreadsheets to build their metrics, regardless of their size or possible budget. This is very much in line with what we’ve identified in our own market approach. When validating our product-market-fit, we initially thought that only small to medium companies had to rely on Excel for their metric calculations with the biggest barrier to getting a 3rd party solution being current size and budget.

But what we quickly found out and what this graphic is highlighting is that the rigid quantitative-based factors only tell a small portion of the story and in many cases, it has a lot more to do with emotions than size and budget… While a business may be ready for a new solution, its people aren’t (unless they’re from the planet Vulcan 🖖).

And because people are the ones that choose your solution not an inanimate business entity, you have to be ready to address reasoning based in emotion – across all sizes, budgets and personas. 🎵 cue the classic Bee Gees tune 🎵

😱 Emotion-based reasoning can sound like:

“We have always done it this way, so it has to be the best way”
“I’ve already spent so much time building our current solution, I don’t want that to go to waste”
“I’d rather just keep doing it this way because it may be manual, but at least I know the ways it sucks and how to mitigate it. The devil you know…”
“I don’t want anyone in the org to know that I don’t know a better way to do this”
“Our teams maxed out, I don’t want to create more work from them”
“I’m new to this role and don’t really want to rock the boat too much yet”

I haven’t met one person raving about Excel or other spreadsheet software, and especially how they love making pivot tables and vlookups to tabulate their most critical financial data. They will surely have plenty of emotions linked to Excel, but love isn’t one of them…

Logically, they will agree that exporting data into spreadsheets automatically makes it stale and obsolete, and they know that calculating ever fluctuating SaaS metrics will be costly, time consuming and error prone at any business level. But you can’t fight emotions with logic. 💔

And in the business world, it’s what leads to poor relationship building because it lacks empathy. ❤️‍🩹 So we had to dig deep and uncover those emotions to relationship-build in a way that we can speak to these emotions, and suggest a path that takes them into consideration: whether it’s how the solution is implemented, the level of support and collaboration provided, or our expertise on the subject matter.

Remember to keep your ears pricked for signs of emotion-based reasoning and adjust your response accordingly. Acknowledging and anticipating their feelings can be almost as impactful as how you solve their actual problem.