B2B SaaS or Business to Business Software as a Service, is a cloud-based software distribution model where companies sell access to their software to another business. Rather than downloading software to a desktop PC, businesses can access SaaS products through an internet application or web browser. B2B SaaS products can include any kind of software such as office management, customer support or communication software used within a business.
Here are some advantages of SaaS that make it valuable to a business:
- First comes accessibility. Being able to access the software from any web browser allows businesses to effectively manage operations without the need to be at a specific location or an operating system.
- As a cloud-based service, SaaS businesses can automatically update the product without impacting the user’s operations. Additionally, with cloud-based applications, there is no requirement for storage or hardware on the end-users side. So that's one amazing feature that a SaaS product carries within itself.
- Since SaaS software is centralized and automated it is easier to capture data and provide in-depth analytics. In fact there are many SaaS businesses that provide unique softwares in same light.
- As SaaS is a cloud-based application, they eliminate the need for businesses to own products, systems and hardware that can be costly.
Overall, B2B SaaS allows businesses to run smoothly and efficiently, and automate internal functions and operations of the business at a relatively low cost.
Examples of some B2B SaaS Companies
- HubSpot: A cloud-based inbound marketing and sales platform, HubSpot is used among businesses that need to generate leads, manage customer relationships, and nurture prospects. HubSpot offers tools for CRM, web analytics, content management, SEO, and social media analytics.
- Google: Famous for its search engine, Google also owns and operates more than 130 different SaaS products. Some of Google’s services include a search engine, online advertising, document creation, digital analytics, and other services. Though people with Google accounts can use these services for free many enterprise companies upgrade their accounts and pay a fee to get additional features, including customer support or unlimited cloud storage.
While B2B Saas and B2C SaaS sales and marketing share the same end goal -- helping customers -- there are many differences in the process that make the need for a strong sales strategy important.
The B2B SaaS sales cycle is much longer and more complex than the B2C SaaS sales cycle. Primarily, businesses generally have more than one buyer on a team communicating with many sales reps and maybe even sales teams, where consumer purchases are usually done between one customer and one sales rep. With B2C SaaS, a user can directly input their credit card information and start using the product - while a B2B SaaS deal often requires a demo and onboarding process.
As B2B SaaS companies grow, they usually deploy an enterprise sales team that enables them to effectively target enterprise-sized companies who have unique needs.
B2B SaaS Selling Tactics
For startups finding the right marketing strategy that will attract new sales and build brand awareness can be challenging. From targeting the right audience to preparing sales teams for a competitive market, marketers may find it challenging to get their SaaS product in customers hands.
Some of the sales tips and marketing strategies used in B2B SaaS sales that can help any startup succeed.
- Position your software around competitor brands.
The SaaS market is incredibly competitive. To meet company sales goals, marketers need to elevate their company above the competition. To do so, this often requires positioning your software above and against your competitors. Use data-based metrics to prove why your SaaS products are the superior choice for meeting your clients needs. This could mean using case studies or conducting surveys.
- Focusing on customer retention
As business needs and software solutions are constantly changing, building a strategy that includes customer retention could set your business apart from others. To ensure that your business is well-positioned, continue to prove to customers why your software fits their needs. To encourage customer retention SaaS sales reps should incorporate upselling to meet a changing demand for more advanced software and create a customer experience that is unmatched in the industry.
Product trials are becoming an integral aspect of lead generations for businesses. Product trials offer potential customers a limited-time self-serve experience of your service at no cost. Product trials also help determine qualified leads, as there is a direct correlation between product trails and a customer's intent to buy. By incorporating this marketing strategy into your startup, you can better position your SaaS business in the industry.
- Buying or Selling B2B SaaS
Cloud commerce has completely transformed the way people buy and sell almost everything. For businesses, the change has been dramatic, particularly when it comes to software. Procurement processes that used to take months can now be completed within minutes using a credit card and just a few clicks.
It may be easier than ever for companies to buy software, but that doesn't guarantee success for providers. In today's digital economy, software is sold, not bought, meaning providers must take an active role in educating, engaging, and supporting their buyers.
Best practices for how to sell B2B SaaS effectively
- Curate a small, but targeted portfolio
When you walk into a store and see the shelves stocked with products, it may seem like you’ve hit the jackpot; after all, the store is almost certain to have what you’re looking for. That experience for B2B SaaS buyers, on the other hand, is completely different. When there are too many apps in a digital marketplace, buyers will quickly become overwhelmed.
That’s why you need to start small with software that is highly targeted to your potential customers. By curating the choices that your buyers have, you are acting as an expert advisor, steering them to the solutions that will most effectively address their pain points. As you evolve your software ecosystem with services that are targeted to different buyer segments, you can significantly increase the revenue generated by your marketplace
- Value for app
Never take the value of your app for granted. What may seem like an obvious benefit to you may not be as clearly understood by a potential buyer. Customers will understand the value of your B2B SaaS offerings when you clearly communicate why they are relevant to them and why they are different from competitive offerings.
- Bundle apps with core services, not other apps
Buyers love a good deal, which is why bundles are always popular. When it comes to B2B SaaS, however, multi-app bundles often complicate both the sales message and the sales cycle.
Instead of bundling apps together, a better approach is to package apps with your core services. For example, a telecom provider packaged a mobile broadband subscription—a core service—with a tablet device and Microsoft Office 365. This bundle generated 1,500 active users in only a few months.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, another large telecom provider offered a package that included several apps with its core services. However, the bundle attempted to solve too many challenges simultaneously, making the offer too complex and the business use unclear.
- Use a human touch to sell
We have been programmed by consumer devices to believe that apps will sell themselves. When it comes to B2B SaaS, however, it’s simply not true. Buyers need human assistance.
- Sell solutions
Selling SaaS requires a different mindset. Instead of ticking off speeds and feeds, sales teams need to put potential customers, and their challenges, first. How the SaaS product will effectively help the customer curb their issues and further growth for both the company and customer.