The B2B SaaS industry has witnessed a substantial influx of new industry players over the last two decades. At present, more than 30,000 SaaS companies cater to millions of clients, with thousands of new SaaS releasing every year. The availability of funding, evolving customer expectations, and the drive for innovation have fueled this growth.
B2B SaaS (business-to-business software as a service) has undoubtedly transformed the way companies work. No more CDs and unpacking software locally. SaaS has shifted software delivery to the cloud, making work more efficient, flexible, and cost-effective.
Today I want to take a closer a look at the landscape of B2B SaaS: what it is, how it works, what the future holds, and how exactly you’re supposed to market such a solution.
B2B SaaS is cloud-based software that businesses can access from anywhere as long as the users are connected to the Internet.
B2B SaaS offers many advantages:
Both B2C (business-to-consumer) and B2B (business-to-business) SaaS deliver software as a service, but there are some major differences.
In my role, I study the pricing models of many B2B SaaS companies. Pricing creates expectations and informs customers about your service evolution. While there are several pricing models to choose from, the main takeaway is to keep things simple, without limiting customer choice. Your pricing should be a vehicle for conversion, not a negative experience for the user.
Naturally, different pricing models work for different SaaS. Here are the three main models compared, to make it easier for you to create a good customer experience.
Projections indicate that the SaaS market will continue to surge, surpassing $232 billion by the end of 2023. Many things contribute to this growth, such as:
In 2022, users spent over $167 billion on SaaS products, with a year-over-year increase of 179%. However, the competitive landscape and challenges in customer acquisition and retention during economic uncertainties have forced SaaS providers to define their offerings and value more clearly.
Companies have become more financially cautious. This has contributed to a slowdown in B2B solution adoption in the last few years.
In response to these challenges, B2B SaaS providers are adapting by refining their product messaging – it now emphasizes the value products bring. B2B SaaS providers are also experimenting with new strategies for customer retention, such as targeted marketing.
Vertical SaaS solutions are gaining prominence by addressing industry-specific challenges. These solutions offer off-the-shelf applications without the need for extensive customization and plugins.
According to Apptension, the vertical SaaS market will surpass $157 billion by 2025, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.9%. The healthcare, insurance, and finance industries are leading the adoption of vertical SaaS solutions, changing how businesses work in their sectors.
As B2B SaaS continues to evolve, several emerging technologies and trends are shaping its future. Here are some key trends that will play a significant role in the B2B SaaS landscape.
B2B SaaS platforms are integrating AI and machine learning to offer predictive analytics, automation, and personalization. Customer support software using AI-driven chatbots provides efficient responses and enhances user experiences. These AI-driven insights help businesses make data-driven decisions and automate routine tasks.
Example: Touchpoint leverages AI to provide predictive analytics and automation to enhance customer experiences and facilitate data-driven decision-making.
The evolution of B2B SaaS in omnichannel capabilities has also brought improved scalability. Businesses can efficiently expand their omnichannel operations to cater to a growing customer base without substantially increasing resource requirements.
Omnichannel is now all about personalization and targeting options. Companies can tailor their communication strategies to individual client preferences, delivering more relevant content and engagement.
B2B SaaS solutions increasingly support real-time engagement with clients across channels. B2B SaaS solutions often have live chat and chatbots. They also organize and prioritize incoming queries from different channels.
Vertical SaaS allows for better customization and personalization, addressing the specific requirements of businesses within particular sectors. Specialization, integration, technology advancements, customization, and a strong emphasis on industry-specific needs mark its future.
Customer experience management (CXM) software is evolving to provide integrated solutions that track and manage the entire user journey. This includes CRM and support tools.
Integrated CXM solutions help businesses reduce customer churn and improve retention. By providing a comprehensive view of customer interactions, these tools provide personalized support.
Example: HubSpot is an integrated CXM platform that offers CRM, marketing, sales, and service tools. It provides a unified view of customer interactions.
Additional trends include:
As technology advances, businesses can expect greater flexibility and innovation in their software solutions. Here are a few notable examples:
Let’s look at key marketing trends and best practices in the B2B SaaS sector.
B2B SaaS companies allocate approximately 50% of their revenue to sales and marketing efforts. Of this allocation, about 60%–70% goes into sales activities, while the remaining 30%–40% is earmarked for marketing. If they make $10 million a year, the sales budget could be around $3–4 million annually.
On the other hand, product-led growth (PLG) SaaS companies dump their budget exclusively into marketing activities.
The average customer acquisition cost (CAC) for the SaaS industry is $702. The CAC payback period is the time it takes for a company to recoup its investment in acquiring a new customer. This investment includes sales and marketing expenses aimed at bringing in a customer, being measured against the revenue generated from that customer over time.
Increased competition, market saturation, and economic factors contribute to higher CAC and more extended payback periods. That is why traditional methods that focus on demand capture – pay-per-click ads and sales funnels – no longer serve B2B SaaS companies.
SaaS companies spend a lot on marketing and have high customer acquisition costs. This is because they aggressively promote their solutions to an audience that is ready to buy, but also small – only 5% of the market.
In contrast, demand generation strategies open the door to the remaining 95% of the market. They create awareness and position your software in the minds of potential users.
These strategies are not mutually exclusive, but complementary. Here are some actionable tips for blending demand generation with demand capture.
Building and fostering a community around your SaaS solution is crucial for market differentiation. Here are some actionable strategies to build a thriving community.
Pure PLG engines, which focus on self-service and viral product adoption, are no longer the silver bullet, especially when targeting large clients.
Hybrid growth models like product-led sales (PLS) are gaining momentum because:
From pricing models and marketing techniques to community-building and personalized sales strategies, B2B SaaS companies are redefining their client communication.
Companies that offer vertical solutions tailored to specific industries will have a unique opportunity to meet the distinctive needs of businesses in those sectors. By leveraging hybrid growth models, B2B SaaS companies can serve a wider range of clients.
Start bringing together marketing, sales, and customer success teams and witness the change in your client interactions.
Marketing manager for TextMagic. I like figuring out how things work. Passionate about fitness and video games.
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