Moving Your SaaS Business Towards Success

The SaaS industry has experienced immense growth since its inception.
4 min read

In the early stages, SaaS was treated with so much skepticism. Adobe lost almost 35% of its net income in 2012 when it launched the SaaS version of the Creative Suite. As people started to see the benefits of SaaS, the industry grew and the tide turned for SaaS companies.

The SaaS industry revenue has grown from $5.56 billion in 2008 to over $150 billion in 2020. This is not about to stop anytime soon. In fact, SaaS business success is projected to keep growing over theyears. It is estimated that 80% of companies will have adopted the SaaS business model by the end of this year.

Market revenue forthe SaaS industry from 2008 to 2020. Source: Statista

This is the best time to move your SaaS business towards success if you want to be part of that growth. We will look at tips on how you can grow your SaaS business and get a slice of the industry pie.

Tips For Moving Your Saas Business Towards Success

While the future of SaaS looks bright, it doesn’t mean that you will find success by simply adopting a SaaS business model. There are numerous challenges such as a change in organizational structure and sales culture among others. Here are tips that can help you realize SaaS business success.

1. Create a buyer persona

Define your buyerpersona. Source: Deepa Joshi/ Flickr

Having a general target audience for anyone who might be interested in your product is a big risk of failure. It makes it difficult to come up with a pricing model and a customer acquisition strategy. The first step to SaaS business success is to create and define your buyer persona.

It means creating a detailed profile of your potential customer. This needs extensive market research to pull off. It will help you to understand your target audience’s needs, market gaps, and how your product will provide a solution to their needs.

Defining your buyer persona also helps to have a better understanding of your target clients and how you can tailor your products and documentation to their preferences.

It will help you to determine which features will be most valuable to your customers and therefore come up with a product your target audience would be willing to spend money on. Some of the most important factors to consider when determining your buyer persona include:

  • Customer demographics such as age, gender, and geographical location among others.
  • What would place your brand and product above that of competitors?
  • How does your target audience make purchasing decisions? For example, recommendations from family and friends, online reviews, etc.
  • What are the top priorities for your target audience?
  • In what way will your target audience use your product?

If your SaaS business targets other businesses, then you should ask the following questions:

  • How big is the client’s company?
  • Which industry do they operate in?
  • What are the day-to-day work challenges that they face?
  • Which product features will be most valuable to the business?

You can create as many buyer personas as your business needs.

2. Come up with a suitable pricing strategy

Once you have defined your buyer persona, you will be in a position to come up with a proper pricing strategy for your product. The three most common types of pricing strategies are flat-rate pricing, usage-based pricing, and tiered pricing.

i) Flat-rate pricing

This is the simplest pricing strategy. It usually means having one price for a single set of features in a product. Buyers pay a subscription fee. The downside of a flat-rate pricing strategy is that it limits the number of buyer personas you can have. An example of a SaaS business with flat-rate pricing is Grammarly.

ii) Usage-based pricing

In this strategy, users only pay for what they get. It is most common among SaaS companies that provide infrastructure-based products such as data, payment, and computing services. Its major disadvantage is that the revenue is unpredictable. Google’s Firebase Blaze plan is an example of usage-based pricing.

iii) Tiered pricing

This strategy allows you to offer multiple product packages with different features and prices. You can build as many buyer personas as you want. It is the most used pricing strategy in the SaaS industry. An example of a SaaS business with tiered pricing is Hubspot. Some SaaS companies use a tiered strategy where the basic tier is usually free.

3. Pay attention to customer service and user experience

The success of your SaaS business depends on how well you can retain your customers. It helps to reduce customer acquisition costs (CAC) and improve profitability. When you are just starting out, it is normal to experience challenges such as software lags and user experience weaknesses. This doesn’t mean you have to lose your initial customers. Some SaaS user experience factors that can help retain early adopters include:

  • Be transparent about the issues with your product and make timely improvements. Let your users know when the issues have been fixed. You should also investigate and eliminate critical bugs before launching.
  • After acquiring clients, seamlessly onboard them n how they can get the best out of your product. Provide detailed tutorials, send them welcome emails, and assign them a member of the customer service team to attend to any issues they might have. Remember that SaaS implementation leads customer success.
  • Maintain regular communication with your clients. It makes your customers feel appreciated while helping you gain valuable feedback and insights.
  • Every member of the team should take proactive steps to ensure customer satisfaction.

4. Tailor your marketing strategies to the SaaS market

SaaS products have no physical presence and are constantly changing. While standard marketing strategies can bring you a measure of success, it is important to have dynamic marketing strategies that are SaaS-specific. practices that have been proven effective. Some of the strategies you can employ are:

  • Offer free trials
  • Create customer referral programs and reward people who make use of it.
  • Enable customers to leave product reviews.
  • Create content that provides industry education and value to customers.

5. Plan any integration with third-parties early enough

It is unlikely that your customers will be using your products in isolation. The world is moving towards ubiquitous connectivity. Your SaaS business success may be hindered if you have poor integration with the services your buyer personas use on a regular basis. Integration goes beyond adding social media buttons to your site and synchronizing with Google Calendar. Some of the considerations you’ll have to think about are:

  • Manage data synchronization
  • Streamline the data import process
  • Consider having a browser extension
  • Research the SDKs of services that your customers are already using
  • Carefully decide your payment integration and payment options.

This will make it easier for customers to onboard your product and transfer their data from other platforms easily.

6. Keep track of key metrics SaaS business

You have to constantly measure and understand the key variables that will drive the success of your SaaS business. This is because the CAC will be higher than the revenue generated in the initial stages. As your business picks up, you will start to realize a return on investment. Failing to understand the key metrics can make you give up just as you are about to break even.

Some of the metrics you should pay attention to include:

  • Customer acquisition costs and lifetime value
  • The Churn rate
  • Customer billings and revenue generation.

This will make it easier for customers to onboard your product and transfer their data from other platforms easily.

There are a number of other metrics that can help you to measure the success of your SaaS business as you grow along. It is advisable to start off with a few that will actually help you to understand how your company is performing.

7. Go for a multi-tenant architecture

Single-tenant vs multi-tenant architecture. Source/ Medium

You will have the option of choosing between single-tenant and multi-tenant architecture patterns for your SaaS business. It determines how data is shared on the same platform in your company. Each pattern has its own pros and cons. For example, the single-tenant architecture allows you to keep customers’ data separated hence enhancing data security.

However, it is expensive to have a dedicated server for each customer. On the other hand, the multi-tenant architecture enables to lower your development and maintenance costs as the database is shared. The downside is that you will have to invest in sophisticated security systems to prevent customers from having access to each other’s private data.

Most SaaS businesses for multi-tenant architecture because it is cost-effective and easily scalable.

8. Enable offline access

Offline access is often overlooked in the current world of constant connectivity. However, research by IDC shows that unplanned downtime costs businesses between $1.25 to $2.5 billion every year.

You don’t want to be part of the statistics. More importantly, you don’t want to lose clients because your product experienced downtime and they didn’t have offline access. Besides, enterprise mobility is growing and people want to be able to work wherever they are. You can ensure that your customers enjoy offline access in the following ways:

  • The Offline mode should be the default. Then you can include a manual or automated updated function for syncing when a connection is available.
  • Store locally any information added offline and sync as soon as a connection is established.
  • Users should be able to delete or edit information even when offline.
  • Provide an export feature that allows users to download important files in the event of downtime.

Enabling offline access will ensure that your clients can easily get important information and data they are working with whenever they need them. This will put you ahead of the competition.


Before you start enjoying the predictable and recurring revenue of a SaaS business, you have to brace yourself for the struggles and challenges you will experience when starting out. It is a business model that requires patience and grit. Embracing SaaS-specific practices can help you overcome these challenges.

Always remember that SaaS implementation leads customer success. Customer success doesn’t just mean sales. It means a positive and profitable interaction with your product for the customer.

That is what determines SaaS business success.

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