I have been at SaaStr last week, the worlds leading enterprise SaaS festival. My main takeaway from the many conversations I had is that procurement of B2B software follows more and more the patterns of consumer purchase behavior. This is very much in line with this HBR article from earlier this year.
While this might seem to some like a "duh" insight, it has profound impact on how companies, and especially B2B SaaS startups, should think about customer acquisition. The often repeated mantra of "founder-led sales" still holds for your first customers. Clearly, you want to get into conversations to understand whether you are actually tackling a significantly important enough problem. But as soon as you start seeing signs of product-market fit, you should shift gears to some form of product-led growth. Does this need to be a fully-functional freemium model? Maybe not. I think the focus still has to be on building the core product in such a way that it provides value to your customers. But should potential buyers be enabled to experience your product - in some form or another - on their own, without needing to schedule a demo call? Definitely. In today's self-serve world the "aha moment" will not occur during a random Zoom call with your SDR, but during a self-guided discovery process on the buyer side.