B2B SaaS Landscape- The Changing Story

b2b

When was the last time you bought an on-premise enterprise software product? We are sure you or your organization still buys them but look at the number of such instances? It has gone down as years have gone by. B2B enterprise software can never be done away with but it has metamorphosed into something else now.

Earlier when Agile Methodology for product development came into the scene, people used spreadsheets to track sprints and velocity. Now, products from companies like Rally have taken over. Do you get our drift? Yes, we are talking about SaaS.

Earlier due to lack of options or the innovation gap, deployment model was never a consideration when choosing a software product. Now we have come to a point wherein even for a business-centric product like ERP, the selection process heavily depends on the deployment model.

The positive perception of organizations on the overall effectiveness of SaaS ERP is the outcome of several technology shifts and mindset re-orientation. Few of the deciding factors that affect SaaS ERP selection are the usual suspects:

  1. Lower Total Cost of Ownership
  2. Lower Up-Front Costs
  3. Ease of Implementation
  4. Reduced Cost and Effort of Upgrades

Never have traditional B2B software business models faced irrelevance in their faces as they are doing now and all because of the rapid transition to the cloud. Some business models are extinct while new ones are rising to replace them. Neither did this change happen overnight nor was it driven by providers. It is in large parts driven by customer demand for this class of enterprise applications, the platform and headache-free infrastructure.

All that we said above is just a prelude to our main point of this discussion: Customer Journey Mapping for SaaS products. If we look closely at the persona of the enterprise customer, they engage with products and solutions across multiple channels and devices in what has become a true Omni-channel environment. Today customers have access to more than one channel through which they are now able to interact with a brand in multiple ways. This also means that the customers’ purchasing paths have become increasingly non-linear. And what better way to walk a mile in the customers’ shoes to experience your product and brand than to use Customer Journey Map? But more on that in our subsequent posts. For starters, let’s focus on the marketing effort that needs to be tailored depending on what stage of the sales-cycle the potential buyer is in. Needless to say, regardless of the type of service your SaaS product offers, customers will come to you through the marketing life-cycle (Awareness > Learn > Try > Buy).

Documented research shows that interactive & personalized content in SaaS product selling is very critical to drawing and converting potential buyers during their purchasing journey. And why is interactive content important, you ask? It cuts through the increasingly disjoint and copious content that the marketing landscape is infamous for. Be it Social Media, Blogs, Videos, Articles, White Papers, Case Studies, Newsletters, Webinar/Webcast or In-person Events, interactive content is much more useful and personal leading to personalized brand engagement and relevant experience delivery. And needless to say, each prospect wants to be treated in a very special manner. And that’s why marketing should focus significantly on ‘personalized’ content. So next time, you send that lead an impassioned email – focus on what the prospect has been using during the trial and how those features can help them rather than a generic email for all prospects.

Stay tuned to know how the marketing life-cycle is undergoing a metamorphosis in the SaaS product environment!