The Complete Guide to B2B SaaS
SaaS or (Software as a service) is defined as any software product that a company intends to produce for its customer as software on the internet, rather than offering the product to download. Often SaaS companies give freemium or paid versions of their models that can be used on both smartphones and computer systems.
While selling their products to customers, SaaS companies adopt a number of sales and marketing strategies to increase their sales. This method can include both traditional and modern methods. It depends upon the company’s goals, needs, and process on how you want to adopt a particular strategy.
In this article, we will be taking a complete look at B2B SaaS. We will be covering:
- What is SaaS
- What is B2B SaaS
- Examples of B2B SaaS companies
- What are B2B SaaS sales
- B2B SaaS sales model
What is SaaS
SaaS is selling your digital applications over the internet. In this case, the application can be accessed freely online, and there’s no need to download the software.
Sometimes, SaaS applications are also known as hosted software, web-based software or on-demand software. All these SaaS applications run on their own servers. The dedicated servers provide extra security, boost performance and increase the availability of the software.
Some of the examples of SaaS companies include Netflix, Amazon, Shopify, LinkedIn, etc.,
Before diving into B2B SaaS, it’s essential to understand the characteristics of SaaS.
Understanding SaaS characteristics
The best way to understand the characteristics of the SaaS model is to see it as a bank. Like, For how a bank provides service to its every customer while protecting their privacy at the same time on a large scale while proving trustworthy and reliable at the same time.
Customers of the bank use the bank’s services without worrying about anyone taking their information unless they give permission. Some of the characteristics of SaaS are:
A SaaS software can quickly get customized
Being an owner of the SaaS software gives you the added benefit of customizing your software as per customers’ needs and your requirements. And you don’t have to release a new version of the software with every update, which in turn saves you a lot of time and costs.
Provide better access to your customers
Using SaaS software lets you give access to your application to anyone and any time without the need to download the software. It also makes it easy to monitor data usage and manage privileges, and everyone gets to view the same information simultaneously.
What is B2B SaaS
B2B SaaS means selling your SaaS software to other companies. This includes cloud-based software used by different businesses to complete different work, like, customer relationship management (CRM), productivity, accounting, learning new skills, etc.,
This software is often available as a free or paid subscription model to solve their B2B SaaS needs.
Examples of B2B SaaS companies include Hubspot, Slack, Microsoft, etc.,
Using B2B SaaS software to solve their business needs is most popular among both SMBs and MNCs.
Many companies use B2B SaaS tools to increase their productivity, reduce manpower, automate processes and improve the work process of their sales, marketing and customer service teams.
Some of the advantages of using B2B SaaS products are:
They are cost-effective
Since SaaS products reduce the need for manpower, it also contributes to lower down the cost. Plus, almost all of the SaaS tools only cost a low amount as compared to how much it costs to handle human resources.
They offer flexible payment options
SaaS tools don’t cost thousands of dollars. Since there is no need to download them, many B2B SaaS companies offer flexible payment options in the form of monthly and annual subscriptions. And they also give the option to cancel the subscription service whenever you like.
They provide an auto-update feature
A big advantage of using SaaS tools is that they get automatically updated and controlled by app providers. The updates don’t affect the working process of users, and they get to use the new features or the updated version of the product in real-time.
Examples of B2B SaaS companies
The following examples of B2B SaaS companies are taken from the G2 crowd report, and the list has been prepared from customer reviews, online sources and social media.
Adobe is a famous B2B SaaS product that provides printing, publishing, online marketing, and digital media services. It has over 50 computer software tools, like, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Dreamweaver, etc.,
Adobe was ranked 86 in market presence, 92 in satisfaction and had a total score of 91.
MailChimp is a top marketing platform for SMBs. It provides solutions in marketing automation, transactional email, and email marketing. It lets customers send emails automatically, trigger-based emails and helps them improve their marketing strategies. MailChimp has an overall score of 94.
Microsoft is another popular SaaS application that offers more than 100 products in different industries. Some of the products are Windows Phone, Skype, SQL Server, Azure, CRM, Xbox, SharePoint, Exchange, etc.; the overall score of Microsoft is 94.
Slack offers solutions in productivity bots and communication tools. It’s a collaboration and chat tool that lets you quickly message your team, AI bots and video conferencing. It has a total score of 94 and 100 in satisfaction.
What are B2B SaaS sales?
SaaS sales are defined as the process of selling SaaS tools to your customers. The aim is to reach your goal by solving your customer’s problems and giving them the best possible experience through your product. Solving problems can include saving time or helping them to increase their revenue.
Since a SaaS product is different from normal software, it’s essential to educate your customers about the product before asking them to purchase your product. When a customer doesn’t know enough about the product, it would be difficult to convince them to buy it. That’s where sales reps play an essential role in bridging the gap of educating the prospects, figuring out their problems and offering a solid solution through the product.
There are six steps in a SaaS sales funnel to qualify the prospects and close the deals.
- Prospecting: find people who are interested in your product and add them to your sales pipeline.
- Qualification: here, you will qualify the leads whether they actually need your product or not. There are various tools which you can use to qualify your leads.
- Figuring out the needs of your prospects: in this stage, you will need to find out the problems which your prospects face and the required solution that your product can solve for that particular problem.
- Handling objection: answer all the questions that your prospects may have after the demo and meetings.
- Closing the deal: once all the questions are answered, and the prospect is satisfied with your product, now is the time to sign the contract and close the deal.
- Nurture your customer: the last step is to upsell and cross-sell by providing excellent customer service, solving any issues that they can encounter and checking in with them from time to time.
B2B SaaS sales model
Depending upon your goals, product and who your customer are, you can choose to employ any one of the given SaaS sales models:
- Traditional sales: in this method, every marketing method is adopted to build brand awareness and generate leads.
- Enterprise Sales: The sales team prefers to reach out to their target companies instead of pitching their product to individuals. The enterprise sales method is used to close big deals to sell complex products and bring in large revenue.
- Customer self-service: in the customer self-service model, all the sales are generated from the company’s advertising and marketing efforts. This is a great model for SaaS companies whose products don’t cost much.
You can use any, all or a combination of the above-based method to increase your sales and reach out to new customers.
Suggested reading: SaaS sales tips
SaaS is a billion-dollar industry, and it’s crucial to create the right SaaS sales strategy that can contribute to growing your business. It all depends on how you position your brand and market your products while overcoming challenges that come in the way.