SaaS was on full display at two recent conferences that have their roots in the Yellow Pages industry, a clear indication of just how much change is occurring among companies that sell digital products and services to small businesses.

First, at the SIINDA conference of European local search publishers in Dubrovnik, Croatia, multiple speakers focused on the shift publishers are undergoing from selling advertising on annual contracts (which SMBs are increasingly resisting) to seeing software as a service on a subscription basis.

Many companies that have previously sold website fulfillment or digital marketing services are now offering SaaS platforms that publishers can sell to their SMB customers that perform a variety of marketing and back-office functions. Many of these platforms are built around customer relationship management systems designed for use by small businesses, with additional services (booking, email marketing, social media management) hanging off the core CRM.

One of the big challenges in offering these “full stack” solutions is selling them effectively with a direct sales channel.

Most direct sales channels are focused on making sales as efficiently as possible, and having to unpack each element of an all-in-one SaaS product can make sales calls unwieldy and unprofitable. This objection has made many companies wary of offering all-in-one suites, even though the demand for them is pretty clear. In the latest wave of Tech Adoption Index survey data, 65% of respondents indicated they preferred to work with a single source for all the SaaS tools they need to run their businesses vs. picking and choosing individual point solutions.

The LSA and the Tech Adoption Index will soon publish a paper commissioned by Camilyo on this topic, tapping into a variety of voices for their views on how best to go to market with full stack solutions.

At last week’s AsiaComm conference in Hua Hin, Thailand, the theme of moving the industry to a SaaS-based business model was as prevalent as it was in Dubrovnic.

I personally gave three presentations at AsiaComm related to the Tech Adoption Index and the movement to SaaS as the predominant model for going to market in the SMB market going forward.

One of the three talks summarized the findings of the upcoming LSA-Camilyo white paper on “Selling the Full Stack”. Here are the key takeaways from the report, which will be published later this month on TheLSA.org website.

You can watch the entire AsiaComm presentation on “Selling the Digital Marketing Stack” here:

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