With a considerable portion of modern and well-established businesses transforming into SaaS, this concept is by far not peculiar anymore. A software-as-a-service company relieves you from installation and management-related hassles by providing simple access to a chosen software through the internet and acting as a service provider. B2B SaaS, however, is the next step in this type of software distribution, and not everyone may still be aware of its meaning and distinctive features.
What Is B2B Saas?
There are two main supply groups of SaaS products - B2C and B2B. Business-to-customer is a more conventional type of distribution where a company prioritizes an individual client and sells software for personal use.
Business-to-business Saas sells to other companies, management teams, and organizations. B2B is not a one-and-done deal in which a company sells a product, provides minimal obligatory customer support, and that’s it. SaaS B2B is often a whole package that begins with marketing and business solutions aiming at success and continuous support. Success is crucial in this case since this is how you acquire a long-term loyal client. Look at the typical customer journey in this case.
A Typical B2B SaaS Customer Journey
SaaS B2B elements
- Necessary integrations with other ecosystems for supreme information exchange;
- Accessibility and flexibility regarding mobile and different OS versions;
- The ability to quickly evolve for ever-changing customer needs;
- User onboarding automation with customization and performance support;
- Application development using AI, Big Data, and Machine Learning;
- Client retention and success programs.
B2B SaaS examples
- medical software solutions for healthcare;
- marketing automation;
- CRM software;
- budget and inventory management;
- business communications;
- cloud storage;
- enterprise management automation;
- data analytics;
- a few personal accomplishments from our team.
The list of B2B SaaS ideas has become pretty much limitless as the need for different services is constantly evolving along with technological advancement.
SaaS B2B elements
B2B marketing primarily focuses on other businesses and their needs. The lack of emotional attachment to the product, like in personal possessions, forces marketers to concentrate on how certain features will help the company.
The standard marketing strategy, in this case, consists of:
- target audience and marketing channels analysis;
- messaging and branding;
- focus sales and marketing alignment;
- user onboarding and retention channels.
Despite this, there isn’t a universal SaaS B2B marketing strategy either. Even with general similarities, such as emphasizing both features and business outcomes, the audience segmentation, the scale of distribution, and the market may drastically differ.
Before learning some tips for effective B2B marketing, let’s explore a couple of notable dissimilarities from B2C.
B2B and B2C marketing differences
The difference in marketing approaches is pretty understandable. The B2C market is large, while B2B SaaS operates more in the niche. It is essential to conduct thorough research of your audience to minimize the chance of hit-and-miss. Apart from the clientele difference between these types, B2B and B2C products also substantially vary in marketing strategies and business development.
Two key differences:
- Relationship between business and client - B2B is built on a long-term business relationship that starts even before the purchase. Branding and raising company recognition also focuses on relationships rather than delivering a message and first impression.
- Decision-making - while B2C purchase may take a few minutes, B2B is a longer and more complex cycle of departmental chain-of-command participation in SaaS procurement. It’s not about making one person happy but rather about the well-being of a whole organization and its clients.
B2B SaaS marketing tips
- make yourself more visible in the search engines using Google Ads and other tools, and position your product against your competitors using branded and comparative keywords;
- it’s better to stick to a lesser amount of marketing channels and tactics than to get overwhelmed;
- build meaningful connections on the road of promotion - you never know when you may need them;
- based on our experience, customer retention is as valuable as acquisition;
- try to offer free trials of your software, especially if your primary competitors don’t have them. If they already do, make your offer more attractive - longer, more features, easier sign-in, etc.;
- another great option is freemium tools, which attract 25% more customers than free trials;
- collaborate with other platforms;
- pitch to a team, not an individual.
B2B SaaS Development
The apparent reasons for such skyrocketing popularity of SaaS products are their convenience for clients and the tremendous profit expectancy for a vendor. By 2022, the industry’s market share prospect is believed to be $220 billion.
Although it’s not as easy as business owners may think, B2B SaaS development has a few more benefits over other software start-ups. It’s much simpler to manage a cloud-based centralized platform than a traditional one or hardware, not to mention quicker updates and lesser piracy incidents.
Basic steps to build your own B2B SaaS
- Identify and study your niche, target audience, and competition. Craft a few “business profiles” (in B2C, those are called buyer personas) to accurately analyze the behavior, needs, and decision-makers of companies you’re planning on selling to in the future. Market research will help you know more about your industry and niche.
- Establish the core features of your future product. Even though the customers’ demands constantly change, there are a few necessities you need to provide. Company privacy, confidential information protection, and thorough encryption are a must! Another essential requirement is third-party integration.
- Determine your software’s technical requirements, programming languages, frameworks, etc., and plan your budget accordingly. You may want to hire a professional software development company to help you with building your product. If you don’t have the necessary amount of developers, engineers, and designers, it is preferable to seek assistance from the outside.
- Plan your subscription option (monthly and yearly) and price points - free demo, small, medium, and big enterprises plans. You can also have different prices for different features.
Helpful tips for successful saas B2B development
- To test the market and the audience, it might be preferable to introduce the basic demo version of your product (or the MVP, which stands for Minimum Viable Product) before presenting the final software.
- Make an in-depth analysis of your competitors’ products and strategies to avoid obvious and hidden mistakes.
- Offer personalization options for companies - either your customization or adding their branding, or even both.
- Make sure your UX is user-friendly, otherwise even with all the technical perks, it can be impossible to have a pleasant experience using your software. Don’t skip on usability, QA, and performance testing. Plan for feature adjustments after each testing.
Top B2B SaaS Companies
Determine your software’s technical requirements, programming languages, frameworks, etc., and plan your budget accordingly. You may want to hire a professional software development company to help you with building your product. If you don’t have the necessary amount of developers, engineers, and designers, it is preferable to seek assistance from the outside.
As a helpful addition to business communication, Slack elevates teamwork to a whole new level with instant messaging, voice and video calls, numerous integration options, and productivity enhancers. It has a free version, which in some cases is more than enough and is beneficial not only to companies but freelancers as well.
This B2B SaaS company is a respectable business helper that’s both a CRM and marketing solution, as well as a 100% free digital academy for needed business skills. Hubspot is believed to be one of the best inbound software tools for marketing, sales, and service alignment.
Shopify is now one of the best eCommerce platforms on the market, requiring minimal technical effort from its users. You can establish your store and begin selling immediately while the platform takes care of hosting and features. Shopify is also known for its automation integrations - just add a plugin, and you’re all set.
One of the most popular B2B SaaS companies, Dropbox is a cloud storage and collaboration tool with years of experience in business workflow optimization. This platform can maneuver and synchronize files of all shapes, sizes, and formats. Dropbox prides itself on secure and functional data management.