By 2021, 73% of organizations will be mostly or entirely using SaaS-based applications. Every year, more companies are becoming aware of the unique benefits and flexibility that SaaS solutions can offer. Low upfront costs, flexibility, no maintenance, and a high level of versatility are just some of the advantages that it comes with.
But even though the industry is booming, not everyone is enjoying success, as most markets are becoming saturated.
Whether you want to build a company from scratch or looking to put your SaaS business for sale, knowing how to put in on a path to success and separate it from others is now more critical than ever.
With that in mind, let’s look at the essential strategies for growing your startup SaaS company in 2021 and beyond.
Talk to Your Audience
Communication is vital in every part of life. But that’s also very much true in the SaaS world, where every insight you can get might turn out to be the deciding factor between success and failure. As a startup, you will usually be entering a relatively unfamiliar market and will have to compete against companies with years worth of interactions with customers and an abundance of real data to work with.
Meanwhile, when developing a new solution, you are likely working on assumptions and your own insights about what other providers might be lacking. And that won’t always be enough. However, by talking with members of your audience, you can quickly bridge that gap and start learning the real challenges that your prospective customers are facing, getting ideas on how to solve them better than others in the process.
And that process is actually much simpler than it can seem at first.
For instance, you could generate leads with quizzes while simultaneously gaining invaluable insights about some of the biggest challenges that your visitors face. Some of the insights you could gain include the type of business they represent, their biggest obstacle right now, the reason they are considering you, and anything else that might be relevant.
You could also go to your customers directly and schedule an interview over Skype or Zoom. Talking to your customers for an hour can provide you not only with tangible insights about their challenges and preferences but also help you learn the language that they speak, which will help you develop your brand voice.
Define What Makes You Different
One of the most important questions you should aim to answer when launching a SaaS startup is this:
What makes your product or service different from everyone else in your market?
If you don’t have an answer to this question, you’ll have a much harder time breaking in because people will usually choose a company that’s more established, has a bigger following, and has a proven track record of delivering.
If you want to have a chance of luring away customers, you must have a strong unique sales proposition, which will serve as your primary argument for why people should take the time to give you a chance.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be anything groundbreaking. For instance, if you could solve the main problem faster or easier, provide a more cost-effective solution, or offer additional functionality that your audience needs, that might be all that’s necessary to break into even the most competitive markets.
Revamp Your Email Marketing
Email marketing has been around way before SaaS even became a mainstream industry. But that doesn’t mean it’s any less effective today than it was two decades ago.
In fact, it might have even become more powerful, as today’s tools allow you to take email marketing to a whole new level, providing targeted and timely solutions to each member of your list.
But if you want to meet the expectations of your subscribers, you must be willing to adopt modern email marketing practices, as email blasts are simply no longer a viable strategy, at least if you don’t want to end up in the spam folder.
Instead, you need to figure out how you can segment your list into smaller pockets of people based on their actions, origin, and other data.
By understanding how you can cater to different segments of your list, you can ensure that every message your subscribers receive will be relevant to them at that time and will have a maximum probability of being successful.
Pleasing customers is hard work. You need to provide a consistently good service, match expectations, and be there to help if anything goes wrong time after time.
Therefore, once you gain a happy customer that’s raving about your services, you should make sure to leverage them into a growth opportunity for your SaaS business.
Since these people are happy with what you have provided, why not make them your brand ambassadors that will spread the message to their peers, colleagues, and business partners?
Most companies are afraid to be aggressive with referral marketing because they don’t want to seem pushy. But the truth is, if you are confident in the services you provide, you should not be afraid to ask people to vouch for you.
And if you want your customers to be more eager, you could even incentivize the referrals, offering rewards for every new customer that they bring in.
Become a Thought Leader
Succeeding in the SaaS world is just as much about authority as it is about marketing. You can have the most appealing offer, but it will only matter if people actually trust you enough to believe it.
And when dealing with very sophisticated audiences that you will typically find in SaaS, the only solution is to showcase your expertise as much as possible.
And that’s where a comprehensive content marketing strategy can be so helpful.
If you can showcase your knowledge in your field on blogs and publications that your audience reads, you will quickly become a respected public figure whose opinions and voice will carry a lot of weight.
What’s more, you can also use content to address some of the most pressing challenges your audience faces and offer ways to solve them that eventually lead to creating a desire for your product or service.
Provide Exceptional Customer Service
Customer service remains at the very heart of any successful business. And SaaS-based companies are no exception.
No matter how good your product might be, your customers will have questions or even problems, which you will need to address quickly and effectively.
Think about how you can provide a seamless experience for your audience and where they are the most likely to ask questions.
If they frequent your social media sites, use the chat function as a customer support hub. Your website should also have a chat function that can help you provide answers and even serve as a lead generation tool that qualifies your leads in the process.
Succeeding in the SaaS world is not an easy task. Even though there are plenty of opportunities, breaking into most markets is becoming more difficult each year.
But if you follow the strategies outlined above, you will have a much better chance of attracting customers and achieving success in 2021 and beyond.