Super Successful SaaS Application: 10 Commandments to Build One
SaaS (Software as a Service) has been nothing less than a revolution for customers and software makers alike. The SaaS market is expected to value $220.21 Bn by the end of 2022. No wonder both the big and small players are scrambling to capitalize on this growing and highly profitable market. So what’s the reason behind the success of the SaaS model? How is it better than the conventional software business models where the customer would have to pay a one-time fee to get the software they could install on their local computer? Read the post to find out the answers and learn more about a successful Saas application.
Successful SaaS Application Advantages
Well, one thing that’s for sure is that it is a combination of advantages for both customers and vendors that makes the SaaS model so desirable. Let’s quickly explore these SaaS advantages.
Hassle-free Deployment and Configuration
Do you remember the days when you had to see if your system is compatible and capable enough to install the new software you’re planning on getting? The SaaS model has thrown such questions out the window. The software is hosted on the cloud, and all that the client needs is an internet connection and a web browser to be able to use the service. It has eliminated the time required to purchase and install the software, and the client can start benefiting from the service in no time.
Easy on the Pocket
The SaaS model gives makers and clients all the advantages of a flexible revenue model. Instead of making the customer pay a hefty sum of money upfront, most SaaS applications rely on a subscription model. It reduces the burden on clients’ pockets significantly and also generates recurring income for developers. Clients also enjoy the freedom which comes with the subscription model. They feel confident in trying out new tools since they won’t be stuck with it if it turns out to be wrong. And this also pushes developers to provide the best service possible—a win-win situation for everyone.
Regular Updates and Upgrades of Successful SaaS Application
Upgrades are a cake-walk to deploy on any successful SaaS application. Before SaaS, developers used to work throughout a year to upgrade their existing software and then launch the software’s upgraded version in the market. Usually, it used to be a matter of debate if the upgrade was worth the effort and money to switch. However, developers are now able to increase the frequency of updates drastically. Moreover, the clients need to only layback and enjoy the updated version of the software. The seamless transition to updated versions is a big plus in favor of SaaS applications.
It’s something that both developers and clients desire. The cloud-based nature of SaaS applications lets developers scale as per requirement. The SaaS ecosystem’s giants, such as Netflix, use this freedom to add or remove many servers in no time. For clients, they can choose from different subscription packs to decide the extent of the service they use. Such easy scalability was nowhere to be seen before the advent of the SaaS model.
With such great benefits, the SaaS model has attracted a lot of attention and interest. Even companies like Adobe have jumped on the SaaS train. And it’s quite likely that you are reading this article because you already have or are planning to launch a SaaS application yourself.
Tips to Build a Successful SaaS Application
Building a successful SaaS application is no easy feat. There are so many things that can go wrong and will go wrong if you ignore them. To leverage the unusual benefits of SaaS applications, you need to keep a few things in mind, and this article is all about those. So let’s jump right into the tips to create a successful SaaS application:
1. Validate Solution, Not the Price
The SaaS model has allowed developers to offer their services at a much lower price compared to what used to be the case. Even though it’s a great offering, product desirability should not rest on the sole pillar of a low price.
SaaS makers often get lost in the bid to highlight the competitive price they offer instead of showcasing how their product is the best solution for whatever problem the customer is facing. This gets even more important in the case of B2B SaaS applications. An enterprise won’t mind shelling a few extra bucks if you can objectively solve the problem they have been facing.
Always push your SaaS application as a valuable product that addresses a specific problem the target audience faces. Lucrative pricing alone would take you only so much ahead. The low pricing should only be a bonus, while the product’s capabilities should propel it forward.
2. Do Not Create Solutions in a Vacuum
Continuing on the idea from the previous point, your successful SaaS application should solve real-world problems that real-world customers face. Many SaaS applications try to reinvent the wheel, but they end up with no or a relatively small customer base.
It’s alright if your SaaS application draws inspiration from others. But if you strive to give the world a unique SaaS application, then make sure you don’t end up creating it in a vacuum.
3. Stay True to Customer and Market Research
So how do you know your application is desirable and will have a significant target audience? Well, who better to answer this question than prospective clients themselves. Carry out comprehensive customer and market research before you start creating the product. You have to make research an integral part of your application building process and bring it in at every critical development stage.
There are multiple ways to get such useful opinions. You can create landing pages for the product to see if the target audience shows any interest. B2B projects can benefit a lot by interviewing industry executives and seeing if the product ignites any excitement. Lastly, surveys are an excellent means of conducting product research.
And it’s not just before you start the development that you need to seek validation from prospective customers. Alpha and beta testing phases are also fantastic means of unearthing possible roadblocks of the future. Please pay close attention to the inputs you get during the research and testing phase and work on it. In the end, it’s going to be people like these who you will ask to pay for your SaaS application anyway.
4. Remember about MVP First to Get a Successful SaaS Application
Many SaaS developers get so tangled in everything around the MVP that they lose track of their north star. You need to identify a singular MVP, to begin with. Try not to get lost in the bid to pack multiple functionalities as MPV just because you can do it. There are a lot of SaaS offerings already doing that without any substantial improvement in product desirability.
There might not be a need to contact a mobile app development services firm yet if you are still building up a significant user base. Channel your efforts towards improving the core functionality of the product instead.
Once you have a strong-enough MVP to provide some traction to the businesses, the opportunities to include additional features and functionalities will present themselves naturally.
5. Choose Revenue Model that Best Matches Your Product
The SaaS model provides a lot of flexibility when it comes to the revenue model. Which one should you choose- subscription-based, freemium, or the conventional one-time-payment model? While the third one is out of the equation for most cases, things can get a bit tricky when choosing between the first two.
The freemium model does a great job attracting new leads, but it isn’t always the smartest decision to go with it. Not everyone can afford it, and you’d be betting against yourself by choosing this model if your target user base is already relatively small.
On the other hand, the subscription model isn’t that good at shaking up things when you first launch the SaaS application, but it’s the one you’d want to have under ideal circumstances. The subscription model guarantees constant recurring gains, which does a great job of keeping the developers’ morale up.
Let your product, as well as the target audience, decide which revenue model suits you best. Refer back to those research logs and see what customers are willing to pay for the successful SaaS application.
6. Ensure Smooth Onboarding of Your Successful SaaS Application
SaaS applications are usually free of all the headache that comes with conventional software setup. The client doesn’t need to install it or worry if their system would be able to handle the load of running the application. However, there is a lot that you can do to improve upon the satisfactory onboarding experience.
Onboarding takes center stage, especially when it comes to B2B SaaS products. The enterprise-level solutions usually come with many moving parts and expect some technical knowhow from the client’s side. Use all the tools at your disposal to provide a friendly and seamless onboarding experience to clients. The first impression matters a lot, and you should always try to put your best foot forward in this regard.
7. Pick the Right Tech-Stack and Team
SaaS applications are all about leveraging new technologies to solve real-world problems. All the decisions you make regarding the tech stack of the application will have a lasting impact on the business. It would be best if you always kept the future in mind while deciding upon things like the programming languages for front-end and back-end, the cloud service provider, the database management system, etc.
For instance, when it comes to choosing the cloud platform, you’d want to pick the one which provides the right balance of security and functionality for when you have merely started the business and also when you scale up the services. Similarly, you might want to choose a seasoned firm providing mobile app development services if you lack the resources for it inhouse.
8. Offer Free Trials of Your Successful SaaS Application
You’ll notice that free trials are a common feature across the board for successful SaaS applications. It’s apparent that a free trial would help any business in general. But since it’s much easier for SaaS developers to let clients try out the application without spending a single dime, every SaaS application should avail it in one form or another.
Another advantage of a free trial is that it is the most organic way to get leads. Not everyone is straightaway to going to subscribe to your service after using the free trial. However, you will end up with a list of prospects that are more likely to convert compared to leads gathered from other sources.
9. Create Valuable and Informative Content around Your SaaS Product
SaaS applications exist on the internet, and therefore, there is no better place to market your successful SaaS application but the internet. And we are not even talking about ad campaigns. SaaS businesses benefit a lot from creating valuable content around the application’s niche. Rich blogs, informative videos, etc. are among the most effective strategies to give SaaS applications some quality exposure.
There are even free lectures from experts and free certification courses on popular SaaS platforms. It doesn’t mean businesses are giving away quality content for free. It helps them build a faithful audience, which in turn brings in more customers and revenue.
10. Build a Robust Customer Support Strategy
Even though the SaaS model doesn’t present many roadblocks, it can’t hurt to have a quality customer support system in place. Both subscription and freemium models demand continuous effort from the service provider’s side to deliver the best possible experience.
Quality customer support is a great help for businesses pursuing this endeavor. If your business is still too young to afford full-time customer support representatives, you can employ a customer self-service model. Provide a comprehensive knowledge base section, such as FAQ pages, deploy smart chatbots, provide omnichannel support, and more.
The right kind of customer support can breathe life into your SaaS business in the long run. Make sure you don’t miss out on this critical element for any online business.
SaaS applications are raging right now, and there is an excellent chance that they will stay here for a long, long time. While these applications have been quite successful in general, the ecosystem is getting increasingly competitive as we speak.
Even if your SaaS application is experiencing a lot of success at the moment, you need to stay on your toes and start preparing for future challenges. The tips laid down in this article apply to fresh SaaS startups as well as to the veterans. Work upon these and improve the chances of prolonged success for your SaaS application.