SaaS means Software-as-a-Service. It is a popular process used for ensuring process delivery along with licensing within which the software gets accessed online through a subscription model rather than being purchased & installed on dedicated computers. The business model is useful in delivering a wide range of benefits for both users as well as developers. It is estimated that around 33 percent of organizations are leveraging more SaaS-based applications than what was done back in 2015.
What is a SaaS Application?
SaaS applications can be regarded as software applications that are offered online instead of in the form of desktop applications. For instance, Apple Mail and Microsoft Outlook are conventional desktop-based email applications. On the other hand, Gmail serves to be a SaaS application.
The concept of Software as a Service serves to be a relatively new model for software distribution -offering customers access to a wide range of applications on the Internet. There is no requirement of physical media or custom installation. SaaS products tend to be centrally hosted by some provider -responsible for maintaining and updating the software automatically. Customers are able to access as well as utilize the same through mobile and web browsers.
There is no denying the fact that SaaS has been successful in revolutionizing the modern concept of software delivery. Earlier, it was quite a complicated process to launch a new application within the working premises of an organization. From longer sales process to complicated on-site installation, custom development, training, and so more -it took several weeks. Therefore, employees got the chance to try out the new tool after several weeks.
With the help of SaaS, all these processes are possible within a span of some days or even less. Due to this, SaaS is rapidly becoming the highly sought-after model when it comes to the delivery of crucial business applications.
What are Types of SaaS Products?
SaaS applications are made available in a wide range of shapes and sizes while serving different purposes. However, most of them tend to fall under one of the following categories:
- Packaged SaaS: These are products that help in managing a particular process within an organization -enhancing employee engagement, customer relations, strengthening, and boosting marketing effectiveness.
- Collaborative SaaS: These are applications that help in improving how teams tend to work together. From video conferencing to messaging to collaborating on documents, these platforms are helpful in supporting collaborative efforts.
- Technical SaaS: These applications help in providing tools for improving and managing technical and development processes.
SaaS Sales & Marketing -How Will SaaS Brand Attract Users?
For any new SaaS organization to take off, it will require finding, attracting, and convincing new people to try the respective products. However, all these processes should be executed quickly. As per a study report, it is expected that SaaS companies should aim at achieving annual growth rate of more than around 20 percent if you wish to survive.
In a typical sales-driven approach, a customer is expected to go through a major part of the process on their own. During the last stage, however, they will engage with a sales team for guiding and recommending the best-available plan. SaaS companies usually follow specific principles:
- Attracting the Right Audience
To accelerate its growth, SaaS companies are expected to connect with prospective users while bringing them to the site first. However, there should not be any visitors. On the other hand, there should be individuals who are already going through a particular problem that your product aims at solving.
Therefore, the primary objective is understanding what challenges you are solving for the users. Then, it is recommended to come up with a dedicated strategy to generate their interest to learn more about the particular product.
- Building a Relationship with Leads
Marketers should aim at nurturing leads. With a combination of email, relevant content, and other useful channels, a new SaaS company should aim at positioning itself as ultimate authority while convincing leads to test the respective product.
- Removing Roadblocks for Signing Up
In the concept of SaaS, marketers are known to optimize conversions across different website goals -right from trial to sign up, onboarding, and even converting free users into paying customers.
- Engaging Users
For most SaaS applications, users are expected to sign up for its free, demo, or trial services for the product. It is the job of the marketers to make sure that they convert such users into paying customers. Usually, marketers can achieve this by optimizing both trial and free plans for helping an individual reach the activation point for realizing the true value of the product.
- Improving Customer Lifetime Value
As most SaaS organizations are known to charge customers based on the subscription model, it is important that the individual will remain its users for a longer period. SaaS marketing campaigns or strategies are mostly aimed at improving customer lifetime value by minimizing churn and shifting customers to highly priced plans.
What are the Most Effective SaaS Marketing Channels?
SaaS organizations usually have a wide range of opportunities as far as introducing their products to potential users and achieving initial traction are concerned. Some of the most effective SaaS-based marketing channels that help in creating initial growth are:
- Inbound Marketing
Inbound SaaS marketing strategies are aimed at attracting strangers to the new range of products while converting them into new customers. All of it tends to start with content. Guides, blog posts, resources, and other types of content help in attracting new visitors and converting them by adding ample value at every stage of the journey of buyers.
- SEO or Search Engine Optimization
In the modern era, almost everyone out there looks forward to using search engines to search for anything. Whether an individual is looking for guidance or product recommendation on a particular problem, they know that they will find the solution on the search engine. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) serves to be a practice that helps in positioning your website as well as content in front of the prospective users at different stages of the buying cycle.
- Content Marketing
Delivering and publishing top-quality, informative content can help in positioning your product or brand as a reliable and credible authority or some helpful resource in the existing industry. In turn, you will end up building meaningful relationships that can help in converting potential leads into paying customers.
- Online Advertising
SaaS organizations tend to position online ads towards attracting and enticing potential visitors to sign up. Most organizations also make use of PPC or Pay-per-click channels and social media ads to drive prospective users to lead generating sources or the product sign-up.
In the modern era, PR is much more than only distributing and publishing press releases. Modern PR or Public Relations is more focused on improving almost all aspects of the online visibility of the brand. From brand mentions to search results, online reviews, and so more, PR helps in strengthening brand recognition and awareness.
- Viral Marketing
Viral marketing strategies are known to focus on getting existing consumers refer as well as promote your products to other consumers. These programs are focused on getting the users to invite the respective family, friends, and even connections to consider signing up and trying out the product. Some of the common types of viral marketing strategies used in the modern SaaS space are affiliates, referrals, viral loops, and programs.
SaaS Customer Services
When you are working within the customer care or support team in a SaaS organization, the complaint types you will receive will appear different than they might for other types of businesses -including an e-commerce brand.
For instance, with e-commerce, you will primarily have to deal with customers who might be unhappy with the respective purchases or would like to ensure exchanges, or require help with the purchasing decision.
In case of SaaS-based customer support, you will be helping customers who are using the organization’s product to solve their specific problems or challenges. Therefore, you will be assisting them -both pre- as well as post-sales journeys. Usually, reliable SaaS customer support services tend to either make or break the overall success of the particular business. It is because most SaaS customers will usually require advanced support services to observe whether or not the results are obtained from the software.
Moreover, SaaS businesses can look forward to receiving a higher churn rate than normal. SaaS customer care and support services can help in minimizing the churn rate and improving customer satisfaction by communicating the mission and values of the brand to the customers, depicting empathy, and going beyond the scope for the end customers.