Unlocking the Benefits of B2B SaaS Customer Research:
Best Practices and Key Strategies

B2B SaaS Customer Research


As a SaaS founder, you know that customer research is vital to ensure that your product meets the needs of your target audience. 

Getting feedback from customers and using it to make business decisions can keep you ahead of competitors by providing valuable insights into the wants and needs of current and potential B2B customers. 

In fact, data show companies that invest in regular customer research are capable of experiencing growth that is 2–3 times faster than those who don’t.

However, when it comes to integrating those insights into an effective strategy for growth, many SaaS founders find themselves stuck or unsure how best to go about doing so. 

To help address this challenge, we’ll focus on how to leverage B2B customer research in order to validate your assumptions, fill knowledge gaps, prioritize new features and resources, and improve engagement with users – while optimizing key opportunities for long-term success.


Understanding Customer Research in B2B SaaS


Customer research is an essential part of the process when creating a B2B SaaS tool. It is the practice of gathering data about how prospective users interact with products, where their preferences lie, what their feelings are on related topics, and more.

By carefully analyzing customer research data, you can establish a blueprint for your SaaS tool, ensuring that it will meet the expectations and desires of its target demographic when released.

The importance of conducting customer research cannot be understated, as it can provide a competitive edge to any organization looking to stand out from its competitors. In fact, a study found that those who conduct customer research are 466% more successful than those who do not.

Businesses that invest time in customer research gain insights about their target markets, allowing them to better refine product offerings, improve user experience, focus spending on marketing activities that yield results, design persuasive lead generation strategies, build trust through better-tailored messaging, and differentiate from competitors.

By understanding customer needs deeply and taking these insights into consideration when building or refining products, you can increase revenues and grow quickly.


Key components of B2B SaaS customer research


When conducting customer research for B2B SaaS, there are several components you need to consider. This research should involve:

  • Gathering data from a variety of sources, such as current and former customers, competitors, industry experts, and analysts, to get an in-depth understanding of the market needs.
  • Evaluating the success and failure of existing products in order to find opportunities for improvement. This could include analyzing customer feedback surveys as well as seeking feedback from actual users.
  • Conducting detailed interviews and focus groups can be extremely helpful in uncovering hidden insights. To get the best results, it is also important to have dedicated resources committed to monitoring market trends and researching new technologies or disruptive forces that may impact the product or service being developed. Ultimately, a combination of these techniques will result in informed decisions that understand customer needs on a deeper level.


Key Benefits of B2B SaaS Customer Research


In brief, conducting B2B SaaS customer research is invaluable in helping businesses to better understand their customers’ needs and preferences. Through customer research, the following key benefits can be achieved:


Better understanding of customer needs and pain points


B2B SaaS customer research provides insight into your customer needs and pain points. It can give you valuable data about the expectations customers have for your SaaS tool, potential gaps in customer service, as well as customer feedback on existing operations. This helps to shape strategies for better engagement with customers, ensuring that their needs are met.

Through careful B2B SaaS customer research, you can create a tailored approach to customer satisfaction that leads to increased lifetime value and strong business performance overall.


Development of new products and features


By getting direct feedback from customers on their needs, expectations, and preferences, you have the opportunity to invest in exactly the kind of products that offer the most value.

Through customer research, you can also gain valuable insights into how customers use their existing services, which could lead to developing innovative solutions to solve any problems users are having. Furthermore, customer research is not limited to just interviews and surveys – you can also track users’ behaviors with analytics tools to better understand usage patterns and optimize product design accordingly.


Improved customer satisfaction and loyalty


B2B SaaS customer research can be an invaluable tool for understanding who your customers are and what they need. By engaging in in-depth customer research, you can gain valuable insights into customer preferences, their behavior, why they choose your product over competitors, and more. This data is invaluable when it comes to developing strategies to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. Understanding exactly who is buying your product will allow you to tailor marketing campaigns and products with more effectiveness, so that customers feel understood and respected.

Additionally, customer research can keep you abreast of any potential industry changes or new technology, so that you can be sure you’re providing the most up-to-date services as well as ensuring that any current offerings remain relevant and useful in a changing digital landscape.


Increased revenue and growth opportunities


B2B SaaS customer research helps you understand the expectations, behaviors and needs of customers on a deeper level. By conducting customer surveys, interviews, and focus groups, you can gain valuable insight into how your product provides value to them. Knowing what problems your product solves is crucial in providing innovative solutions and staying ahead of your competitors.

Additionally, you can use customer research to get feedback on new product developments or marketing strategies, resulting in more successful campaigns that will drive referral business. Plus, using data collected from customer research allows you to personalize offers to target audiences and increase conversions.

Ultimately, B2B SaaS customer research is essential for generating new revenue streams and maximizing growth potential.


Conducting B2B SaaS Customer Research


Now that you’re more familiar with the importance of customer research, it’s time to put your newfound knowledge into action.

To start conducting B2B SaaS customer research, there are four primary steps:


Identifying the right target audience


Identifying the right target audience is the first step in the customer research process and it must be done on a regular basis. A study found marketers who are the most successful are 242% more likely to conduct audience research at least once every three months. Additionally, 56% of the top-tier marketers actually carry out this research on a monthly basis.

The best way to identify the right target audience for your B2B SaaS customer research is to first pick and stick with a few key demographics like location or industry.

Your target market should be based on your preferences, budget and the data you have available.  Once you’ve identified your initial criteria, start narrowing your focus by looking at who you’d really like to target-the decision makers and people who will actually be using the product.

Don’t forget to also consider previous customers when putting together your target audience; their feedback can provide invaluable insights that regular research may not uncover.


Choosing the right research methods


Finding the right methods to conduct customer research is essential in driving successful business decisions. In particular, when dealing with B2B SaaS customers, it’s important to be proactive and creative when crafting an effective research strategy.

Surveys are a good starting point in understanding customer preferences, as they provide insights into feature usage as well as overall satisfaction among users.

Additionally, interviews offer a more in-depth exploration of customer experiences and can help uncover specific needs and goals that need to be addressed with product changes or developments.

Lastly, for the most comprehensive approach, combining both surveys and interviews is likely to give the most valuable feedback required for making informed decisions. Taking time to properly choose the right research method will go a long way in enabling your business to understand its client’s needs better.


Gathering and analyzing data


Gathering and analyzing data when conducting B2B SaaS customer research is an important step in helping businesses to understand their customers better, as well as improve their software service.

One of the best ways to do this is by interviewing people who use your product, either through surveys or face-to-face conversations. Gathering qualitative feedback like this gives you deeper insight into what customers really think and how they are using your SaaS product.

It’s also valuable to review website analytics, app usage reports, and customer service records for useful insights.

You can also track customer success metrics like onboarding completion rates or time to time-to-value. By understanding your users’ behaviors and preferences, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions about how to optimize usage and build features that satisfy demand.


Implementing changes based on research findings


When it comes to conducting B2B SaaS customer research, it is essential to consider the various changes that could be implemented based on the findings of your studies. This means gaining a deeper understanding of what customers need and expect, including their preferences for products and services.

To achieve this, you should focus on obtaining comprehensive feedback from customers through surveys, interviews, and other methods. Furthermore, analyzing the data received can provide valuable insights into how your business can better meet customers’ needs.

Once you have identified areas requiring improvement and have put plans in place to address them, it is important that you implement these changes promptly and transparently so that customers will be confident that their views are taken seriously by your organization.


Challenges of B2B SaaS Customer Research


B2B SaaS customer research can be a complex and time-consuming task, but the rewards are well worth it. Below are a few of the challenges faced when conducting B2B SaaS customer research:


Limited access to customers


Limited customer access means that customer feedback is often difficult to acquire on a wide scale. Asking customers directly for data or feedback may not always be feasible due to time constraints, the cost of the research and resources needed, or the lack of customers being available at any particular moment.

Furthermore, customer responses can be highly subjective, so interpreting them in a meaningful way can be tricky.

The limited access to customer data makes it difficult for companies to gain valuable insights into user trends and behavior, ultimately hindering their ability to accurately determine how best to move forward in terms of product roadmap optimization and feature development.


Difficulty in gathering accurate and representative data


Difficulty in accurately and representatively gathering data stems from the fact that many factors can affect the results; among them, the timing of questions, sources of information, the structure of the research, and interactions between participants.

Furthermore, customers use a business’ software differently depending on their company size, industry sector, technical expertise, and the number of resources available.

To truly get an accurate and representative picture of customer experiences with B2B tools requires taking all these elements into account during the data-gathering process.

Consequently, it can be difficult for researchers to realistically identify trends in user sentiment without having enough pertinent customer data.


Balancing quantitative and qualitative data


Balancing quantitative and qualitative data is a key challenge in B2B SaaS customer research because there are limitations in interpreting the results.

Quantitative data provides objective measures of the customer experience such as customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction.

However, it is challenging to identify the reasons behind those numbers by solely relying on quantitative methods.

On the other hand, qualitative data is more effective when it comes to understanding customer needs, preferences, and experiences as this type of information empowers companies to gain comprehensive insights into their customers’ opinions.


Incorporating research into the product development process


Incorporating research into the product development process for B2B SaaS customer research is an important step for companies as it provides valuable insights and data that can inform more informed decisions. It requires careful coordination between different departments such as customer success, product teams, support teams, marketing, and sales teams.

It is not only important to collect the right data but also to figure out how to effectively utilize them to make well-rounded decisions that would serve business objectives and create a better customer experience. Without taking adequate steps, there might be inconsistencies between user needs and product features leading to the limited success of the product in the market.

Therefore, executives should ensure they have an effective plan in place to enable the successful inclusion of customer research into their product development strategy.


Best Practices for B2B SaaS Customer Research


Customer research should be conducted regularly in order to properly inform product development, marketing and sales decisions. Here are some best practices that you should consider when conducting effective B2B SaaS customer research:


Setting clear research goals


Conducting customer research for B2B SaaS products can be daunting when there is a lack of clarity around what is being sought.

To set clear research goals, it is best to:

  • Start with an internal audit of processes that support the product, as well as an analysis of customer behavior in order to identify any potential challenges or opportunities.
  • Once any challenges have been identified and explored, they can be assessed against the organization’s goals and objectives.
  • Next, short-term and long-term goals must be determined that are measurable, specific, attainable and relevant.  Increasing customer loyalty could take the form of setting a goal to increase NPS scores by 10 points within a six-month period.
  • To ensure success, progress should be measured against predetermined benchmarks throughout the process in order to adjust tactics where necessary and stay on target for achieving results.


Communicating research findings across the organization


When conducting customer research for a B2B SaaS organization, it is important to ensure that the findings are effectively communicated across the organization.

Gathering feedback from stakeholders at all levels of the organization can help track progress on meeting customer demands and unmet needs. Internal surveys or workshops should be organized to enable open conversations between departments, leading to increased understanding and effective dissemination of information.

Experiential learning activities such as hands-on demonstrations can create an immersive experience of how users interact with the product, ensuring better comprehension by all. Additionally, utilizing interactive formats such as videos or infographics to explain complex notions in simple terminology can help ensure that teams are up-to-date on recent developments.

Ultimately, disseminating research findings in a timely manner will lead to better alignment among stakeholders, promote cross-functional collaboration within the organization, and ultimately help make data-driven decisions based on customer insights.


Analyzing customer data strategically


When conducting customer research for a B2B SaaS organization, it is important to analyze customer data strategically.

Data should be gathered from multiple sources to gain a comprehensive understanding of customer behavior. This can include surveys, interviews, focus groups, customer feedback, and customer support tickets.

Once the data has been gathered, it should be analyzed with a critical eye to identify any trends or patterns that can inform product development decisions. This analysis should take into account the overall customer experience, including usability, features, and pricing.

Finally, the data should be used to identify opportunities for improvement, both in terms of product features and customer service. By strategically analyzing customer data, executives can ensure that their organization is making decisions based on accurate, up-to-date information.

By implementing these best practices when conducting customer research, B2B SaaS organizations can ensure that their products are meeting customer needs and staying ahead of the competition. By understanding customer behaviors, preferences, and needs, companies can make informed decisions that lead to increased customer loyalty and profitability.


Final Thoughts


Customer research is an essential component of success for any B2B SaaS company. 

By utilizing best practices such as conducting an internal audit, communicating research findings across the organization, and analyzing customer data strategically, companies can better understand their customers’ needs and make informed decisions that lead to increased customer loyalty and profitability. 

With the right processes in place, you can ensure that your products are designed to meet customer needs and stand out from the competition.

By taking the time to understand customer needs, you can position yourself for success in the long run. Implementing a comprehensive customer research strategy is the first step to ensuring a successful future for any B2B SaaS organization.

If you’re looking for more tips on growing your SaaS business, be sure to visit our blog.


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Ken Moo