To be successful, founders need to plan their SaaS go-to-market strategy before they launch. They should consider who their target market is and how the product will reach them.
Let’s move to explore a SaaS GTM strategy that is best executed with these practices.
SaaS go to market strategy: The Specifics
Most SaaS businesses offer a trial period before they require payment so that people can try the product for free.
The Close has found that SaaS providers can keep their trial periods to under 14 days in order to prevent user procrastination and churn.
The shortest sales cycle time is three weeks. This shortens the customer acquisition expense as well.
One of the benefits of a trial period is that it allows potential customers to educate themselves on your SaaS solution without having direct contact with sales representatives. Research by Forrester states that 3 out of 4 B2B users prefer this selling method over communication.
The process of bringing a SaaS go-to-market strategy isn’t becoming any easier.
SaaS companies are struggling to compete in the global market. The costs of acquiring new customers have increased by 55% during the last five years.
In this period, consumers are less likely to make a purchase. That’s why it is so important for you as the seller to plan out your expenses and B2B strategy in order to get what you want.
Avoiding a Mistake
When starting a new company, it is important to include your mission statement and what you are selling in the GTM strategy. However, for those that have just started out with their first product launch – keep things simple.
Before you can expect your team to implement a saas go-to-market strategy, make sure that they understand it. Having multiple tactics in place will only distract them and not reach any goals.
HubSpot has created a free template for startups to use in developing their SaaS go-to-market strategy. This guide covers the process of formulating and executing your plan, as well as some examples from other successful companies.
Using Mailchimp as an example
Mailchimp is a freemium email service that offers 12 000 emails per month and lets you have less than 2000 subscribers for free.
Mailchimp is an affordable alternative to expensive email marketing tools because they offer a large portion of their features for free.
Mailchimp is perfect for small businesses that are on a tight budget. To start, you can use the service without paying anything and after some time, it will limit your features until you upgrade to paid.
Mailchimp is a company that has been around since 2001. They originally started with an email marketing tool and they used word-of-mouth to get customers in the beginning.
As the company grew, they found that it was necessary to adjust their pricing policies for more flexibility.
Mailchimp is a great example of how to go about building up your product-based B2B SaaS startup using SEO, PR, and digital marketing tactics.
The new software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies that are more prevalent these days use this approach to increase their customer base. Slack, Grammarly, and HubSpot all work with customers by providing valuable features first.
Your SaaS GTM approach revolves around the Audience-Sales Matrix.
SaaS businesses should understand their target personas to be able to better cater to marketing campaigns and sales pitches. For B2B products, these can include:
- Small companies
- Middle-size business
- Large enterprises
- The mix of the above
If you know who your target audience is, it’s much easier to offer them what they want and need at a price that fits their budget.
Depending on the type of person you are selling to, there is a strategy that will work best for them.
We will explore each of these concepts in detail, but remember that different strategies and target audiences produce varying results.
The mission matrix is a mix of different types of rewards.
Low-touch sales combined with a small business
Cost-per-acquisition: low. This means that you can minimize the work of your sales team in the initial purchase stages and make it easier for them to close a sale by taking out any difficult, time-consuming steps before they start pitching.
The phrase “self-serve” is often used to describe a situation where customers interact with your product without the help of sales representatives. In this case, it means that they sign up for a free trial or buy something from you directly.
The automated sign-up process may be a good way to make sure that your customers do not feel bombarded by sales calls and cold emails. It also works well for products with long-term value, like SaaS solutions.
Use-case for Typeform
Typeform is a unique case study for SaaS go-to-market strategy because it takes the low-touch approach. It focuses on inbound marketing and provides value fast enough to convert users.
The first purchase happens automatically without your input. It’s easy to use and it can be used for various purposes, such as passing quizzes or getting feedback from employees.
You can have up to 10 questions per survey with the free plan. The design of your webpage is also included.
Once you outgrow the free version, there are two paid options at $35 USD per month. The Essentials plan has all of the features that come with Salesforce for 30 users and up to 500 contacts. Professional is an enterprise-level package that includes everything in Essential plus much more.
When it comes to a company’s growth, there are many things that must be considered. One of the most important is an easy and fun onboarding process.
Once a user clicks on the “Get started free” button, they are taken to an informational video that teaches them about all of the features and benefits. Even if users aren’t registered yet, they can start using it right away.
Typeform made its product the best lead generator by providing value in its free plan and adding a Typeform signature at the bottom of every survey. This SaaS company saw viral growth that ensured steady customer flow.
The user experience was so good that they upgraded to Premium.
2. Huge corporations + high-touch sales strategy
High-touch sales mean that your team will be spending a lot of time on the customer’s side and even after they convert. This model usually relies on partnerships and trust between both parties.
Large companies are more likely to stay with your product because of the decision-making process, which is much more complex than small businesses. On top of that, they make up 80% (or close) of all software vendors’ income.
Case study of Salesforce’s go-to-market approach
Salesforce is a CRM solution that provides an easy-to-use interface, integrates with other software programs flawlessly, and has a quick setup.
Salesforce is starting to offer aggressive marketing tactics in order to win back customers. They are also looking into simplifying their software.
The SaaS company had a clear mission to create an accessible, fast-functioning product. They organized events and conferences in order to build their community.
Salesforce was able to grow from $5.00 a share in 1999 by using strong marketing and an excellent product.
When it came to using the product, many customers decided that they would enjoy its benefits and upgraded quickly.
The agency also offered two ways to expand the usage of their service: one for each team. Later on, they started building other products that supported and added additional streams of revenue.
If you want to be successful with larger companies, make sure that your SaaS go-to-market strategy is focused on the stakeholders who have the final say in purchasing decisions.
Then, you can tailor your marketing and messaging to the individual person so that they are more likely to use your product.
Marketing and sales should work together to create a SaaS go-to-market strategy that will help you enter the market. This means understanding who your target customer is, what marketing channels they use most often, and how these two departments can collaborate with each other.
3. Sales with a middle touch + medium-sized businesses
The SaaS go-to-market strategy, which has both autonomous user onboarding and salespeople support in place, is not without its challenges. You need to find the right balance of customer service to help with self-managed purchases.
To grow your business, you need to master a hybrid strategy. This includes partnerships, free trial periods with flexible pricing for simple setups, and inbound marketing.
Atlassian is a great example of how to effectively market your product or service.
Atlassian focused on building a product that would sell itself, so they made their SaaS offer to be easy-to-use and self-explanatory.
- Easy to find and try
- Affordable enough to buy without approval by C-level executives;
- Simple to use and scale later.
Atlassian realized that people were using their product in different ways, so they created API extensions to help it grow. This made the software easy for customers and Atlassian too.
Later on, the company created a marketplace that enabled users to explore Atlassian’s software. This brought in $300 million of sales per year.
Atlassian has invested in SEO to make their products easier to find and grow brand awareness. Users can also access the solution via Jira, Bitbucket, and Confluence applications.
The onboarding process is as easy as it can be. You don’t need to create an account or enter any data before you get started.
There are three main methods for planning a go-to-market strategy: trial periods, freemium models, and the enterprise model.
When hiring salespeople, you have to be very careful. You need to look at the company’s goals and objectives, then choose someone who has a personality that fits with your needs.
- your ideal customers
- your product mission
- your market.
The amount of money you are willing to invest in sales and marketing.
The most important thing to know when you are starting a company is how much each customer will cost. You need to calculate the costs of marketing, sales, and time.
Implementing a quality software package with the right value proposition can make your go-to-market successful. However, you need to have qualified professionals on board before starting.
Plan your SaaS GTM strategy and customer acquisition to maximize revenue. Without this, you will not be able to grow the product.