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How to Choose and Build The Right B2B SaaS Go-to-Market Strategy

B2B SaaS Go-to-Market Strategy

As a SaaS founder, you understand the importance of launching your product quickly and efficiently; after all, time is money! Unfortunately, data show 45% of product launches are delayed. This only means one thing: the go-to-market (GTM) strategy needs to be carefully planned and executed.

But having an effective GTM strategy isn’t as easy as it sounds. It takes forethought, planning, and dedication to ensure that you generate successful results from launch day onward.

The strategies we’ll discuss in this post — from market segmentation and customer education to messaging strategy and sales enablement — will guide your B2B SaaS business toward maximum profitability. So if you’re ready to create a winning plan for success, let’s dive into what it takes for creating an innovative go-to-market Strategy for your B2B SaaS journey!

 

What Is a B2B SaaS Go-To-Market Strategy?

 

 A B2B SaaS GTM strategy is a plan of action intended to increase the chances of success when bringing a SaaS product to market. It starts with market research, focusing on understanding customer segments, competition, and pricing models.

Next comes the development of a sales and marketing plan with tactics that focus on generating leads and converting them into life-long customers. This includes tactics such as advertising, email campaigns, partner programs, webinars, content marketing, and more.

SaaS GTM strategies aim to develop relationships with potential customers early on in order to help shape the product’s future roadmap by continually gathering feedback from the user experience.

 

Why Do You Need a B2B SaaS Go-To-Market Strategy?

 

Did you know even the best products could still fail? The very best product could still fail. According to a study, only 35% of SaaS companies survive for longer than 10 years, and only 40% of these ever turn a profit. Worst, over 90% of these startups fail.

One of the main reasons for SaaS failure is launching without a product-market fit. This only means one thing: the GTM strategy needs to be carefully planned and executed before launching.

Having a clear GTM strategy can help you better understand what buyers are looking for, how to best position your product in the market, and where to focus your sales and marketing efforts.

Here are the reasons why a B2B SaaS needs a GTM strategy:

 

1. It increases efficiency

 

By centralizing all of the data and tools that a company needs to market and sell its products or services, a B2B SaaS GTM strategy can help to reduce the amount of time and effort that is required to get things done.

 

2. It improves customer relationships

 

By providing customers with a centralized platform where they can access all of the information they need, a B2B SaaS GTM strategy can help to build trust and foster communication between a company and its customers.

 

3. It provides greater scalability

 

By using a subscription-based pricing model, companies can easily add or remove users as needed, without having to worry about the upfront costs associated with traditional software licenses. This can be particularly helpful for companies that are growing rapidly or that have seasonal fluctuations in their business.

 

4. It provides better data management

 

By providing a centralized platform for storing data, companies can more easily track customer information, sales data, and other important business metrics. This can help businesses make better decisions about their marketing and sales strategies.

 

5. It allows easier integrations

 

Finally, a B2B SaaS GTM strategy can also help to simplify integrations with other software platforms. By using APIs, companies can more easily connect their B2B SaaS platform with other tools that they use, such as CRM systems or accounting software. This can save businesses time and money by reducing the need for custom development work

 

B2B SaaS GTM Strategy vs Marketing Strategy

 

SaaS requires a unique approach to marketing and go-to-market strategy because it calls for companies to be constantly innovating and updating their application or service. SaaS products are built with continually updated features and capabilities, so the marketing strategy needs to also be consistently evolving accordingly.

Additionally, SaaS users expect more frequent updates, so traditional long term goals in marketing may not work under this model. With SaaS, instead of spot campaigns, marketers should focus on developing a comprehensive holistic plan that is informed by real-time usage data and user feedback in order to be successful.

Both marketing and GTM strategies are essential parts of any SaaS company’s growth plan but have distinct nuances from each other that help achieve successful SaaS growth. For instance, SaaS products are typically distributed through a digital medium, meaning the target audience must be reached with digital advertising campaigns and marketing tactics instead of through physical media.

Additionally, customers often expect SaaS systems to be user friendly, automated by design and updated frequently – criteria that traditional marketing services don’t necessarily have to meet. Understanding these differences is essential for businesses to effectively market their SaaS offerings and reach their desired audience.

SaaS Go-To-Market strategy is more focused on onboarding customers quickly and ensuring their success with the SaaS product and staying loyal. It requires a deeper understanding of the customer, their needs and motivations. GTM strategy also requires identifying channels to reach customers through pricing models, messaging, support, and customer success initiatives.

On the other hand, Marketing Strategy is about creating demand for a SaaS product– by driving awareness amongst potential customers, demonstrating proof of concept, collecting customer feedback, converting sales, reducing competition, and increasing brand loyalty. It is more focused on getting customers to try the product and build a relationship with them.

 

Types of B2B SaaS Go-To-Market Strategy

 

When it comes to creating a B2B SaaS GTM strategy, there are several different approaches that can be taken. The most important factor is to pick an approach that aligns with your business goals and budget

 

Product-led go-to-market strategy

 

A product-led go-to-market (PLGTM) strategy is particularly suitable for SaaS businesses that cater to an existing, highly competitive market with well-known incumbents. It emphasizes creating a minimal viable product that quickly captures the attention and provides a solution to the needs of customer segments who stand to benefit most from it.

Instead of using a sales team to drive customer acquisition, SaaS providers using a PLGTM strategy can open up the trial phase of their services and products to end-users – allowing them to explore the solution without any contact with salespeople.

This approach gives customers the autonomy to explore a service in its entirety and become familiarized with it on their own terms before committing to a sale. Not only does this bring trust into SaaS products, but it leads to more active users, lower churn rates, and higher customer lifetime values.

Additionally, this PLTGM gives SaaS companies an opportunity to carry out marketing campaigns that were previously not considered viable options due to cost concerns. For example, digital advertising and custom content creation are two approaches that enable SaaS companies to further target their intended audiences in a more personalized way.

In addition, email automation tools such as MailChimp or SendinBlue allow for highly targeted messages at lower costs than ever before, making it easier for SaaS companies to deliver the right message without requiring a large financial investment.

Moreover, with the help of influencer marketing platforms like BuzzSumo and Klear, SaaS companies can partner with popular influencers or celebrities to promote their product powerfully while saving on costs.

Ultimately, this approach will allow SaaS companies of all sizes and shapes an opportunity to capitalize on modern digital creating reach and profits with reduced costs and improved efficiency.

Nonetheless, PLGTM strategies may not be the right fit for all B2B companies. SaaS products typically require large investments of time and money to get up and running, and PLGTM approaches rely on customers’ direct engagement with a product for success. Companies that are not in a position to make these investments may find it difficult to benefit from a PLGTM strategy, as their products may not perform as expected or garner the levels of interest necessary for success.

Additionally, SaaS PLGTM strategies don’t always leave much room for momentary changes in focus or planning. Instead, SaaS companies must focus on long-term goals when it comes to their products and customer engagement, which can be difficult for organizations that don’t have extensive resources available.

Ultimately, PLGTM strategies can be effective if the B2B SaaS company is able to invest properly, but those without the resources should consider other go-to-market avenues before deciding on this approach.

In modern business, SaaS product-led growth companies have been some of the most successful in terms of exponential revenue growth and customer acquisition.

Examples of leading SaaS product-led companies include Slack, Zoom, and Hubspot. These companies build products that cater to ripe markets with a keen focus on user experience and ease of use. This transition from a traditional sales-led approach to a product-led growth approach ultimately allowed these SaaS companies to scale their revenue quickly by enhancing the product itself rather than relying solely on a strong sales team.

 

Sales-led go-to-market strategy

 

A sales-led go-to-market strategy for B2B SaaS is one that focuses heavily on sales and distribution channels. This involves engaging prospects through personal interactions, such as one-on-one demos or face-to-face meetings, as well as leveraging enterprise software sales teams to close deals on a global scale.

The potential benefits of this approach are numerous:

  • A more direct connection with customers and prospects
  • Greater personalization of solutions in response to customer needs
  • Quicker lead times
  • Higher closing rates among key accounts
  • Increased revenues
  • Improved retention

A sales-led go-to-market strategy is a reliable and effective way for SaaS businesses to gain an initial foothold in the B2B market. However, some SaaS companies have found it to be disadvantageous as they lack an established brand name and presence, as well as limited resources for training staff.

Consequently, their cycle of selling becomes more complex which leads to a slow and lengthy go-to-market process.

Additionally, SaaS companies may struggle to reach wider audiences due to limited account coverage and increased competition from larger vendors. At times, this means SaaS players risk entering markets where customers may not be ready for SaaS solutions yet.

Ultimately, SaaS companies need to plan strategically when choosing a go-to-market approach and understand the risks associated with a sales-led strategy.

Companies like Dropbox, Slack, and Intercom have built successful SaaS models that provide ongoing value to customers who pay periodic subscription fees for access to products and services.

 

Hybrid-go-to-market-strategy

 

A hybrid go-to-market strategy can be an effective tool for B2B SaaS companies that are looking to expand their customer base and drive growth. This approach combines traditional direct sales methods with indirect (third-party) channel sales, such as SaaS resellers and partners.

By using a hybrid strategy, SaaS companies can benefit from the expertise of experienced local partners in international markets, while still capturing key customer data that could otherwise be lost through indirect channels.

Additionally, SaaS companies can reach target customers in more cost-effective ways with tools like pay-per-click advertising or targeting influencers on social media. 

A potential disadvantage of a hybrid-go-to-market strategy for B2B SaaS is that it can be difficult to effectively manage the cost and performance of both an inside and outside sales team. When a SaaS business has both an in-house team and an agency representing them, it can become complicated to track who is responsible for driving leads, closing deals, and generating revenue. This means that SaaS businesses may need to spend more time ensuring that their practices are aligned across multiple teams, which could come at the cost of less time focusing on daily operations and growth opportunities.

SaaS models combine the benefits of short-term, transactional pricing with longer-term subscription plans for recurring revenue. This enables SaaS companies to keep an up-front focus on customer acquisition and retention, while also accommodating scalability over time from organic growth, reducing customer risk and operations costs.

SaaS models have seen tremendous growth in the tech industry over the past decade, with SaaS companies often investing heavily in infrastructure development to prepare for larger investments down the road. This has enabled SaaS companies to more easily expand upon existing services once their presence grows. 

 

How to Choose the Right B2B SaaS Go-To-Market Strategy?

 

Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of each go-to-market strategy, the question remains: which one is right for your B2B SaaS business?

The answer to this question will depend on several factors, such as:

  • the size and complexity of your product offering:
  • your current customer base:
  • your goal for the next year or two
  • the resources available to you in terms of sales teams and marketing budgets,
  • the amount of time you’re willing to devote to each strategy.

The most important factor to consider when selecting a go-to-market strategy is how it will enable your B2B SaaS company to reach its target customers, generate leads and close deals as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

Ultimately, your go-to-market strategy should be tailored to fit your unique needs and objectives.

In general, choose a product-led go-to-market strategy if you have an existing customer base who is familiar with your product and willing to pay for it, or a sales-led go-to-market strategy if you are looking to target new customers in unfamiliar markets.

You also choose a product-led go-to-market strategy if you have the resources available to invest in marketing and operations to scale up quickly, or a hybrid go-to-market strategy if you need to combine direct and indirect sales methods for maximum reach

It is important to keep in mind that each of these strategies can be used as part of an overall growth plan, so it is also wise to consider multiple strategies and experiment with different approaches. By doing so, you can gain valuable insights that will help you make more informed decisions about how best to optimize your B2B SaaS go-to-market strategy for maximum results

To help determine which approach is right for your business, consider talking with a trusted advisor or industry expert who can provide guidance on what works best in your particular market. This can help you make more informed decisions and adapt your go-to-market strategy to meet the needs of your business as it grows

 

How to Build a Go-To-Market Strategy?

 

Building a go-to-market strategy requires a deep understanding of the competition and customer needs.

Here are the potential guidelines on how to build a go-to-market strategy.

 

1. Identify the right audience

 

Having a successful SaaS go-to-market strategy requires a deep understanding of the customer profile, needs, and expectations. Identifying the right audience is the first step to building a successful SaaS plan.

Particularly for B2B SaaS, companies should start by researching their potential customers, understanding their job roles and challenges, and then creating solutions tailored to those specific roles.

Other elements that should also be considered include customer segmentation, such as size or industry segment of organizations, geo-location, or competitors already in play in these segments.

With this data in hand, businesses can develop messaging focused on demonstrating how SaaS can provide superior solutions to address customer needs. All these factors help identify the right target audience leading to achieving market success with SaaS products and services.

 

2. Identify the right product/ market fit

 

Identifying the right product and market fit when selecting a SaaS go-to-market strategy can be a daunting task. To make sure you select the right one, you need to:

  • First, understand the needs of your ideal customer more deeply. The more you know about their problems and opportunities in the market, the better prepared you are to find the best SaaS solution for them.
  • Secondly, it is important to have an understanding of who represents the target market for your SaaS. This could mean researching competitors or analyzing why customers utilize SaaS solutions.
  • Lastly, having a complete understanding of which SaaS features are most relevant and desirable in this particular industry will ensure that you match SaaS benefits with the needs of your customers to increase adoption rates and build successful relationships with them.

 

3. Create value proposition and messaging

 

Creating an effective value proposition and messaging is vitally important as it sets the tone for how different customers will perceive the SaaS offering and whether or not they’ll decide to try it.

To create an effective value proposition and messaging, you must focus on delivering a product that meets customer needs while communicating the value your SaaS provides to those customers. Doing so will help create trust among prospects who may have hesitations about investing in SaaS technology.

Moreover, your messaging should be clear, and concise and demonstrate why your SaaS offering is the best choice for their business needs. With careful thought and consideration of how you frame and present your SaaS product as well as defining who it is meant for, you can build an impactful go-to-market strategy that resonates with prospects.

 

4. Decide on your pricing strategy

 

A SaaS GTM strategy requires an effective pricing model that allows businesses to maximize profits, while also providing customers with value.

SaaS companies typically establish their price points depending on the software features they provide and the level of service they offer. They also will often employ volume discounts and subscription plans in order to incentivize larger customers, while also making sure smaller companies have access to SaaS products at a lower cost.

Additionally, SaaS businesses may experiment with freemium models or promotional pricing tactics in order to drive initial customer acquisition.

Below are the 5 most popular SaaS pricing models used by SaaS companies.

 

Pay As You Go

 

The pay-as-you-go, pricing model, is the most common pricing model used by SaaS companies. Under this model, customers are charged based on their usage of the software.

This could be measured in terms of the number of users, the number of transactions, or the amount of data storage used. The pay-as-you-go model is flexible and allows customers to only pay for what they use.

 

Flat Fee

 

The flat fee pricing model is a simple and straightforward pricing model where customers are charged a fixed monthly or annual fee for access to the software.

The flat fee model is often used for lower-priced products or products with low levels of usage. It is also popular among companies that offer free trials, as it provides a way to transition customers from a free trial to a paid subscription.

 

Tiered Pricing

 

In tiered pricing, customers are charged different rates based on their level of usage. For example, a customer who uses the software 10 times per month would be charged a lower rate than a customer who uses the software 100 times per month. The tiered pricing model allows companies to increase their revenue as customers increase their usage of the software.

 

Usage-Based Pricing

 

Usage-based pricing is similar to the pay-as-you-go pricing model, but instead of being charged based on their overall usage, customers are charged based on their specific use case.

For example, a customer who uses the software to manage customer data would be charged a different rate than a customer who uses the software to manage inventory data. The usage-based pricing model allows companies to tailor their prices to specific customer needs.

 

Freemium

 

The freemium pricing model is a hybrid of the free trial and pay-as-you-go models. Under this model, customers can use the basic features of the software for free, but they are charged for premium features or higher levels of usage.

The freemium model is popular among companies that offer complex products with multiple features.

 

5. Choose a marketing distribution strategy

 

SaaS products can often be difficult to market, as there are multiple elements to consider such as budget, target audience, and product features. When deciding on a SaaS marketing distribution strategy, the most important factor is understanding your target audience. Research what marketing channels they use and what type of content resonates with them.

Additionally, when assessing your SaaS go-to-market strategy, determine what kind of budget you have available and which channels will be most effective at reaching your desired goals. If you have a limited budget, you should focus on organic methods such as SEO and content marketing.

Finally, make sure your website is optimized for conversions. Ensure the content you create is clear, engaging, and optimized for user experience.

 

6. Choose a customer experience strategy and customer funnel

 

When building a SaaS go-to-market strategy, the most important step is to identify how to maximize the customer experience. To do this effectively, it is necessary to choose an appropriate customer experience strategy as well as establish a customer funnel that will optimize lead generation and conversions.

Some customer experience strategies that can be used to optimize the customer experience include providing quality customer service, offering personalized content, and creating a positive customer journey.

To establish a customer funnel, it is important to provide customers with a clear path to follow in the customer journey. This includes offering timely messaging and creating content that encourages users to sign up for product trials or purchase subscriptions.

 

7. Choose metrics to track the success

 

During the development process, you must consider which SaaS metrics will provide insight into your model’s performance and give an indication of how successful your product launch has been.

Several measurements that are key indicators of progress include:

  • Daily active users: the average number of users who actively use your product each day
  • Total monthly revenue: the total amount of money generated in a given month
  • Customer conversion rate: the percentage of users who convert from trial to paying customers
  • Retention rate: the percentage of users who remain active and engaged with your product
  • Customer acquisition cost: the amount of money spent to acquire new customers
  • Time to conversion: the time it takes a user to go from trial to paying customer
  • Churn rate: the percentage of users who abandon your product

By carefully monitoring these metrics, you can gain valuable insights into how successful your go-to-market strategy is and make adjustments accordingly.

 

Final Thoughts

 

Deciding on the right go-to-market strategy for your B2B SaaS product can be a daunting task. However, by taking the time to understand your buyer and build a solid foundation, you’ll be well on your way to choosing a strategy that will help you grow your business successfully.

Whether it’s a product-led, a sales-led or, a hybrid go-to-market strategy, make sure the one you choose is tailored to meet your business objectives and customer needs. Finally, track key metrics that will provide insight into the effectiveness of your strategy and keep tweaking it until you find the perfect fit for your B2B SaaS product.

On the other hand, by focusing on defining target customers and understanding their needs/wants/pain points; identifying channels of communication; tracking performance metrics, and optimizing according to results; businesses can craft strategies that enable growth while also helping ensure lasting success in the long term.

Take the time now to build a comprehensive go-to-market strategy tailored specifically for your B2B SaaS business – it could mean all the difference when it comes time for launch.

For more tips on growing your SaaS business, check out our blog.

 

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Ken Moo
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