#308 - Slava Libman, CEO FTD Solutions - on selling value

A story about turning a Service business into a SaaS company.

This podcast interview focuses on do’s & don’ts that matter if you want your Service business to become successful in SaaS. My guest is Slava Libman, CEO of FTD Solutions.

slava libmanSlava is a driven innovator with +25 years of international experience and thought leader in the space of environmental sustainability in industrial facilities. He has a PhD in Environmental Engineering, and has spent his entire career focused on water technology and its impact on the industry. 

He leads teams in Ultra Pure Water, industrial water treatment, and facilities technology development, thereby challenging conventional thinking to drive progress.

In May 2017 he founded FTD Solutions – a Digital Twin platform with embedded expertise to enable new standards of sustainability in industrial facilities

Their mission: To redefine the way these industrial facilities approach solving problems and drive sustainability performance.

And this triggered me, and hence I invited Slava to my podcast. We explore the seven-year journey of transitioning from a consulting firm to a pioneering B2B SaaS company. Slava shared his big lessons learned on the importance of aligning product development with market needs and the sequencing and focusing of his go-to-market strategy. He elaborates how traction changed when they shifted from a transaction-oriented approach to a value-/outcome based approach. Last but not least he shares how emphasizing mission, principles, and value helped with alignment and keeping the organization lean.

Here’s one of his quotes

When we try to help companies minimize their expenses, they ask the question, ‘Okay, so what does your enrollment mean from the expense point of view?’ 

So, our focus is on value creation. We believe that if we can create significant value for our customers, then the question of monetization and expenses will not be a roadblock. And in reality, that’s the case.


During this interview, you will learn four things:

  1. Why he decided to focus the business on the most complex type of customer segment first and how that paid off.
  2. Why it’s so beneficial to search for unique dynamics at your customers when seeking ways to differentiate your SaaS product.
  3. What approach he’s using so that everyone in the company lives the company values – every single day. 
  4. Why he does’t deal with weaknesses in his business.


For more information about the guest from this week:


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About the author

Sales Pitch

Ton Dobbe is a former B2B software product marketer who's on a mission to save mission-driven SaaS CEOs from the stress of 'not enough' traction. He's the author of The Remarkable Effect, the host of the Tech-Entrepreneur on a Mission podcast, and writes a daily newsletter on the secrets to mastering predictable traction.