What is a SaaS company?
As technology is evolving, different forms of services and platforms are available. One of the fastest-growing platforms is SaaS or software as a service. As the name suggests, it’s all about software that users get as a service. But the term may not be totally clear. To clarify SaaS, we can say: software as a service or Saas is a term that defines a situation in which a company provides service on its servers so users can run it remotely over the internet.
But it’s not the end of the story. There are many interesting things you may not know about the term and here are the answers about how it works and why it is important in our lives.
Here is a way to discover.
- What does it mean to be a SaaS company?
- Types of SaaS
- SaaS marketing
- Goals of SaaS marketing strategies
- SaaS marketing channels
- What are some examples of SaaS?
- How are SaaS and CRM related?
- Importance of SaaS for your business
- How can I know if a SaaS CRM is appropriate for my business?
- SaaS company
What does it mean to be a SaaS company?
SaaS also known as software as service or software on-demand is the process of carrying the software application through the users. Software as a service company is a company that hosts an application and provides it for users via the internet.
This means that the software is settled on a software as a service company’s server and is remotely accessible for users. This eliminates the need for physical media and custom installations.
Your saas provider must offer automatic maintenance and update installations for the software. Saas has had a huge impact in the software delivery world, introducing a new product to companies wasn’t an easy task due to the difficult sales process and the need for on-site installations plus the time for training the employees. The whole process could’ve taken several weeks to complete.
However, using SaaS can take a few days or even less, that’s why more companies are using Saas business models for delivering their core business software. And more software companies are on the path of creating software products by involving Saas companies.
So, what’s a software as a service company? A saas-based company focuses on creating and developing software with the main purpose of giving service-based products.
One of the most important benefits of SaaS business is that you have instant access to global markets.
Types of SaaS
saaS products come in every form, shape, and have different purposes. We can divide the majority of SaaS products into three main categories:
- Technical SaaS: technical SaaS are applications that offer management tools, improvement tools, or help with the technical process.
- Packaged SaaS: packaged SaaS applications are mainly used for doing a specific task or run a specific process. Such as custom relations improvements, engaging the employees, boosting efficient marketing.
- Collaborative SaaS: these applications are used for teamwork improvements. They usually contain features like messaging, video conference, or document collaboration.
SaaS companies that are new to the business, need to find and attract different groups of people to try their products. Statistics show that SaaS companies need 20% growth annually to make it in the market and since the Saas business and marketing process is different from other marketing plans, it can be a difficult process.
In the following, we’re going to see how does SaaS marketing differ from others:
Promoting the product
In SaaS, your product doesn’t have a physical aspect, and your customers can’t feel it or hold the product in their hands. That’s why you’re going to need convincing marketing. Your marketing efforts should ensure your potential customers that your product has the ability to solve their issues and it’s going to work. So not having a tangible aspect can make it a little difficult.
Users decide whether to try a SaaS product or not real quick. They start their decision-making process by conducting a quick search, after that, they start comparing different SaaS solutions to make a decision.
Since your potential customers tend to decide in a blink of an eye, your marketing team needs to come up with a strong plan that guides your users through every step of their journey and provides your potential customers with relevant information to persuade them to try your product.
Not all customers are aware of new tools nor try to discover new tools. Some users install the SaaS product and don’t come back. This leads to users not understanding your product’s full potential and they might just jump to another solution before giving your product a second chance.
The way you promote your product must give the users the impression of capability and users must understand the value of your product.
In SaaS, you have the opportunity to engage different sales models. Most of the SaaS sales process can be done by users themselves. And this self-service buying process doesn’t take much time.
Users are able to complete the majority of the process themselves. However, in the last stage, your sales team can guide them through picking the most suitable plan. This process is going to take a bit longer than the rest.
Goals of SaaS marketing strategies
We’ve talked about the challenges that might occur during the sales and marketing process of SaaS in the above paragraphs. Now let’s take a look at the common objectives and goals of SaaS marketing strategies:
The right audience
To start the growth process of your software as a service company, your saas-based company needs to attract users, and to do so you need to bring them to your company’s website first.
You don’t want these users as plain visitors, you need to show them that you’re the absolute solution to their problem from the first encounter.
That’s why one of your primary goals must be understanding your user’s challenges and what steps you’re going to take towards solving them. So your strategy must be engaging and lead users towards learning more and in-depth about your product.
Hunt the leads
Your marketing team has the responsibility to follow up the possible leads and nurture them towards being a win-win situation. The following-up process requires a well-thought combination of different channels of communication, relevant content, and emails.
So software as a service company needs to give their users and visitors the impression of being the authority and be convincing enough for customers to try their product.
As a saas-based company, your marketing strategy needs to optimize your conversions around several website objectives. These goals can contain the range of trial registrations to turning free trial users into regular customers.
In SaaS applications, users tend to register for a free trial at the beginning or download the demo version of the app. In these cases, your marketing team’s responsibility is to make sure that free trial users will convert to paying customers.
Most of the time the marketers guide users through reaching their trigger point by offering them free trials, which leads to users gaining an understanding of the product’s true value. Therefore paying for the SaaS product.
Most SaaS products are subscription-based, so it’s important to give your users reliable customer service so that you can have them as long-term customers.
Your saas-based company marketing strategy must aim for increasing customers’ lifetime and leading them towards more expensive plans rather than free trials.
SaaS marketing channels
There are lots of opportunities for any saas-based company to promote their products to their potential customers and gain initial appeal. In the following, we’re going to take a look at efficient SaaS marketing channels and how they can gain growth for your business.
In today’s digital world, searching for answers has become a culture, people turn to search engines for almost any issue. Whether the user is looking for recommendations or guidance for a problem they always search Google first.
By using SEO your product can be the solution to the user’s problems and you can use it to outstand your saas-based company’s website. Which will show users that you are prepared for every step of their journey.
Placing online advertisements is part of any software as a service company’s marketing strategy to attract users to sign-up.
Paid per click channels such as turning AdWords into social media advertisements have popularity among software as service companies since they increase the possibility of leading users into registrations.
Posting relevant content that engages your users, will lead to users accepting you as an authority and a trusted reference that guides them through issues. This way, you can build a trust-based relationship with your users and turn potential customers into registered customers.
The main goal of inbound marketing strategies is to attract visitors to try out your application and in the process convert them into paying customers. The first step of this strategy is relevant content. You can try blog posting, becoming a reference on their issue’s topic, and guide them through solving it. You can also try other types of content like videos and images just for the gaining visitor’s step and then convert them into customers in the next stage.
Viral marketing strategies are mainly used to get existing customers to recommend and reference you to their Acquaintances and get your product promoted.
The goal is to get your users to invite their friends and family to sign-up for using your product. affiliate or referral programs or viral circuits are common types of using viral marketing strategies in saas.
Nowadays, Public relations has a different meaning from the press release. In the digital world, public relations is aiming towards building more online brand awareness which contains online reviews, search results to brand mentions, etc. public relations can enhance brand awareness and recognition.
Using app markets such as apple store or google play is a smart strategy for any saas-based company. saas-based companies can use this strategy to promote their products.
Some companies are using affiliate or reseller programs and give bonuses to the users who are willing to promote their applications by payment.
What are some examples of SaaS?
Still unsure about SaaS? Here are some examples of the softwares, that we believe everyone should know of. Of course, you might be already using some of them as well, which further shows how popular and innovative these softwares are:
- Google Apps
Once simply a search engine and a place for advertisements, Google has expanded its horizons by developing apps such as G-mail, Google Drive, and shared video massaging and calendars. These Apps offer so much to companies, such as a customizable professional email with spam protection. Even as an individual, you might already have a G-mail.
Google Drive is essentially a cloud storage system, given to each Google user. The free storage given to each user is 15 GB. Since this service only requires a google account, many choose it as they already have a G-mail.
During the pandemic, video massaging has gained popularity. By having this option available, Google is able to satisfy its users even further. And no matter if you’re simply sharing a birthday calendar with your family or are adjusting deadlines for your co-worker, a shared calendar seems to have many uses as well.
- Microsoft Office 365
Microsoft Office is well known for its productivity applications, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. But Microsoft takes their products to a whole new level with Microsoft Office 365. This version of Microsoft Office offers a cloud-based service to its users, making it possible to create or edit your projects from your android, iOS, Pc, Mac or Windows, in real-time. Also, it is possible to share your work with your colleagues and friends, while having the ability to contact them with many tools, such as video conferencing or e-mails. These connections are kept private and encrypted, providing a safe environment for your projects to be held and shared.
Upload and access all your files from anywhere. This SaaS allows you to access your files through your phone, tablet, or PC, and edit them anytime anymore. Also, it is possible to share your files with your co-workers or make password-protected links for important documents. Even if an emergency strikes, a remote wipe option is available to prevent data leakage.
Arguably one of the best of the best, Salesforce is still a pioneer when it comes to the cloud computing industry that it helped perfect. A single online platform is able to collect all customer information, prospects, and leads via its customer relationship management. Employees with appropriate access are able to access critical data at any time, anywhere. This Saas claims that it is responsible for a 37% boost in customer sales, as well as increasing customer loyalty and satisfaction.
This Cloud-based software helps companies by providing customer service and support ticketing platforms by any means of conventional communication; such as social media, e-mails, phones, or even chatting. With this SaaS, you have the option to design your customer service answers in many forms, such as:
- Automatic answers: Interprets and solves client questions and requests with the help of a machine learning-powered tool.
- Zopim: Provides the ability to chat with your clients in real-time
- Zendesk Voice: This phone support solution is cloud-based, and it claims that positive ratings for customer interactions are more than 86%.
This cloud data storage system supports more than 120 file types, allows professionals to collaborate at any time, anywhere, and with anyone. Large files are easily uploaded and shared via custom URLs or a simple traditional link, and it is possible to preview a document before downloading. Safety is guaranteed since you can simply set passwords or permissions. A central file is used for discussions, sharing, and editing, and real-time notifications will notify users of any edits that are being done to their files. This service helps reduce abbreviating review cycles and repetition by automating tasks such as contract approvals, employee onboarding, etc.
Travels and their expenses have always been a headache for on-the-go employees and finance departments. Concur is able to alleviate this process by automating travel and expense management. This service is web-based and is phone-friendly, allowing employees to book flights with their preferred conditions and terms, as well as making sure their expenses are well fitted into the company budget.
DocuSign brings digital signatures and transaction management to your company, as it supports the exchange of digital documents and other e-signed documents. Documents are easily shared, discussed, and signed within minutes, from anywhere, on any digital device. Documents shared and signed in DocuSign are legally binding for most personal transactions and businesses, almost anywhere in the globe.
Ever since its appearance in the 1960s, SaaS has been the subject of many debates regarding its innovative methods of tackling issues and responding to demands in the business world. We’ve already spoken plenty of SaaS and have given examples of these services, which already show how CRM and SaaS are related, but for a deeper understanding, we have to first give a brief summary of CRM:
A brief look at CRM
CRM stands for Customer relationship management and is a process in which all interactions a business has with its present, past, and future customers are managed by this technology. It provides a general concept, set of rules, and procedures for the company to follow for their external interaction in all sorts of mediums the company might use; such as E-mail, phone, Chat, etc. CRM typically uses data analysis to study large information gathered from the customers, so it can improve business relationships with their customers, leading to business growth and customer satisfaction.
Nowadays, when people speak of CRM, they are usually referring to CRM tools, which actively help businesses with customer contact connections, sales connections, agent productivity, etc. These tools will help each business have full control over every level of customer interaction, from marketing and sales to customer service.
Who will benefit from CRM, and how?
If you have any sort of interaction with your customers, from business development, recruitment, sales, customer service, or any sort of external interaction, CRM can be very beneficial to you. These tools will help you manage all your interactions efficiently while ensuring profit from potential fruitful interactions. These tools allow you to store contact information from prospects and customers, record issues with services, identify possible profit-bearing interactions, and marketing campaign management.
All of the data acquired by a CRM tool is centralized and available to every company employee with the right authority. It is possible to track and troubleshoot every single customer interaction, as well as use data analysis to analyze large quantities of data gathered through time. With all of these abilities present in one tool, it is no surprise that many invest in a CRM tool from the first days of their business development, as it is possible to start using a strategy from scratch, and further develop it into a mass strategy.
CRM and SaaS
Now that we have a great understanding of SaaS and CRM, it is rather obvious that these two are true, not the same. SaaS companies can provide CRM services to business owners for a fee, similar to how you’d buy a Netflix account. A subscription fee is paid and a variety of services are provided, of which are CRM tools.
So, SaaS can provide cloud-Based CRM, to any business of any scale. Long gone are the days that only large corporations were able to use CRM to their advantage, and the complexity of CRM has been simplified by user-friendly SaaS that is readily available.
Advantages of SaaS CRMs
- Fast and easy to use: You can begin CRM for your company as soon as possible. It is easy to rapidly deploy a SaaS as your CRM.
- Minimal initial cost: Many services even begin with a free trial. Try looking into SaaS as your CRM system for an economical approach
- Regular and automatic updates and troubleshooting: Since these services are bought on a monthly basis, they will try their best to obtain customer satisfaction. Regular and across-the-board updates are to be expected.
- Appropriate at any scale: From a beginner company to a huge corporation, these cloud-based services are easily adaptable to the vast numbers of customers you may encounter.
- High accessibility: Cloud storage systems are easily accessed from anywhere, at any time. Employees and the employer can all view their CRM strategies and discuss them virtually or in person.
- Adjustable pricing: Depending on the scale of the services you require, you can simply pay for what you know you’ll need. Also, it is possible to calculate your long-term expenses for these tools.
- Up-to-date and centralized data: All of your data will be saved in one place, ready to be analyzed when needed. Nothing needs to be adjusted and the dates of your data will always stay organized, as everything is updated by the second. This can be extremely beneficial when trying new strategies, where you need rapid data and an analysis of the new data with the old data is readily needed.
Importance of SaaS for your business
As we mentioned earlier, using the software as a service company CRM is going to have a noticeable impact on your business’s success. So using the saas business model can be beneficial for taking your business to the next level.
In the following, we’re going to talk about points to consider while choosing a SaaS CRM and some of the top benefits it could have for your business:
Controlling the sales process
Well, software as a service company CRM can bring you a productive and profitable sales chain by quickening the sales cycle and bringing back the transaction processes that have a tendency of getting out of hand back to the cycle. This ability is one of the main benefits of using SaaS CRM.
Using software as a service CRM can also assist you for easier management, you can start managing several industries through multiple sales channels which helps with managing continuous sales transactions.
There are other ways that SaaS CRM can benefit your sales process:
- conduct transactions at different stages if there’s a demand
- escape stalled transactions by putting downtime in the sales pipeline
- Pursue potential customers
- Pursue the deals you already have and potential deals with constant follow-up to convert them into regular customers
Automate your data entry
Another good reason to consider using a CRM for your SaaS business is that it has the ability to automate your data entry. Meaning that it can reduce the workload of putting the data in manually for several business activities.
Automated data gives your marketing team, sales team, and customer service team the advantage of accessibility to the same data since they are using a centralized system, you can also recover missing data within seconds or minutes because of the centralized database.
In addition, it gives employees customized and personalized information and they can use this information in the process of promoting the saas business products and services and deletes the duplicated data on the way as well.
Efficient data management through a centralized system
Consider this, you are in a situation where you need to gather data from offline sources, this will take a noticeable amount of time and most definitely affect the productivity and profits of your business’s sales plus your sales and support team will have a difficult time restoring the older information.
However, saas CRM can fix this issue by creating a centralized system for data management for your saas company. So how does this centralized data management system work?
The data will be stored in cloud storage and sales, customer service staff, and marketing team will have access to the data at the same time, and this system has real-time data updates for proper function.
So the centralized data management system will provide all-time access to data and ensures employees that they have the correct information.
Businesses are rapidly growing due to technological progress and development, considering this, the integration of several tools is becoming a necessity for companies.
If you want to use several built-in tools for each project, you will be facing huge expenses plus it will take a long time to complete each task.
CRM’s rule is providing seamless integration, with a considerable number of tools. This will help businesses to simplify their process and make it easier for them to operate.
Combining CRM and saas doesn’t require a lot of investment, and you can invest the remaining money in the updates, backups, and maintenance.
With CRM saas you don’t need to install other hardware since your software as a service company will do it for you.
The only payment from you will be for the services used to manage the data that will help you with your business function’s core activities.
The importance of CRM saas shows itself in the above points, CRM is a cloud-based system that saves you the trouble of installing, managing, and maintaining software products. Saas CRM is ideal since it does push your business to the next level.
How can I know if a SaaS CRM is appropriate for my business?
Long story short, read the description of the System you’re buying in great detail. Terms and conditions should be read thoroughly, as tempting as it is to just press accept all without doing so. Furthermore, there are some questions we recommend you ask your SaaS CRM provider:
What features are you providing?
First, have a general idea about what you want from your CRM tool. Ask about them in great detail, and make sure you’ll get what you need. Also, ask about additional features and their uses. You might even learn a few things, further helping you seek exactly the features that will benefit you and your business. Some questions that we recommend you ask in this category are:
- How does the lead management feature work? How will it track and visualize changes?
- How many and which metrics will the CRM reporting function provide automatically?
- What are the latest technologies, such as AI, does the tool offer for better customer experience, sales prediction, etc?
What is the total cost of the CRM?
Always know your costs. Making a benefit is only possible when you have a tight grip on your expenses.
Which forms of communication do you provide? To what extent?
It is natural for you to know about the type of customer service you want to give. Choose your SaaS wisely, as some forms of communication need a capable AI, and others might need round-the-clock customer support. Be sure that you’ll get what you need, and check for the costs on premium plans if need be.
How customizable is your software?
If you have a strong IT team or you simply need out-of-the-box programming and interactions with your customers, looking into this option might be beneficial. But, if you don’t plan on tweaking your SaaS, this option might just be a luxury.
There are many forms of services that nowadays are being presented through SaaS platforms. Some of them are CRM (Customer resources management), ERP (Enterprise resources planning), Web hosting and e-commerce, etc. If you have a company and you’re looking for new ways to enhance its performance or to develop a new business plan alongside the current one, we can help you. Count on Dewzilla.
Using SaaS brings extraordinary business opportunities for your company. People are more accepting of saas business model nowadays. This leads to the rapid growth of the saas business. Due to this popularity, the competition is high and you need to have an in-depth understanding of complex marketing dynamics and try to gain a competitive edge by offering unique solutions. As you work your way through the saas business make sure you consider these as your primary objectives