B2B SaaS Meaning, Explained
Nowadays, if a company is using an app, there is a good chance they’re using a SaaS. In fact, more than 80% of all business apps are based on the SaaS model. These products can be used when working with customers or other businesses.
B2B SaaS has become the benchmark of online business software. These platforms help your company communicate with customers, partners, and other stakeholders. B2B SaaS can help you gain new leads and improve conversion but also regulate other aspects of sales and marketing.
What are SaaS products? What do SaaS companies do?
SaaS is a term that refers to Software as a Service. It is a business model where a software company creates an online app that can be utilized through a browser. In most cases, SaaS products are based on a subscription model.
Software is completely under the control of a SaaS company, meaning they’re responsible for creating, hosting, and updating the application, while you can access it from anywhere in the world via the internet. The software is especially great for big teams, as well as teams with lots of international freelancers/employees.
Another reason why this is such a great solution is that you don’t need to download the program. A SaaS can be accessed via any browser and depending on a particular product, you can use it on various devices. This provides you a lot of flexibility when working and accessing data.
All clients have access to the same source code. In other words, when a company updates the app, it will be updated across the board for all the users, regardless of the location. Customers’ data will be stored locally, placed on a cloud, or by using both of these methods.
One problem with SaaS products comes in the form of internet connectivity. While normal apps will always work on your personal computer, as soon you download and install them, SaaS requires an internet connection. That doesn’t make them ideal in every situation. But, as the world becomes more connected, it is an issue that is easily circumvented.
Another issue is of course security. Not everybody is ok with having their corporate data saved on a server within a 3rd party company. But if Amazon can use Salesforce…chances are that you can do it too 🙂
What Are B2B SaaS Companies?
As the name implies, B2B SaaS companies are organizations that create business-to-business SaaS products. Unlike B2C SaaS, which is common among regular users, B2B will is mainly focused on helping companies.
B2B software has a lot of different functions and perks, but most of them come down to automation. Based on your ability to process data and utilize it, you will be able to grow your business at a slower or faster rate. B2B SaaS can also help reduce human error and overall costs associated with human labor.
These applications have numerous features. For example, they can help companies generate new leads, increase conversion, streamline communication, help with the onboarding of new partners, analyze data, and so much more.
B2B SaaS Advantages
Here are some of the main reasons why B2B SaaS had gained such huge popularity:
Easy to access
When analyzing these tools, you should always start from accessibility. As long as you have an internet connection, you can access your favorite toolset with a click of a mouse. It is also a good way to connect all users through one platform. SaaS products have proven their worth during the time of COVID. They are the main reasons why big businesses are still able to operate without having a coworking space.
No need for data storage
A major benefit of SaaS tools is the fact you don’t have to think about data storage. Most of these tools rely on Cloud computing to store data. In fact, you have SaaS products that provide the whole hosting, thus eliminating the need for your own servers.
They can significantly reduce your costs
Besides data storage, a company can also benefit by not having to worry about software maintenance and hardware purchase. Among others, by using B2B SaaS, you can also reduce costs on staffing as you will need fewer people to maintain the infrastructure.
B2B tools are automatically updated and improved over time. You won’t lose time on updating and performing other tasks that are related to traditional apps. B2B SaaS will always be up to date, which means less downtime for a company.
Flexible plans and payment options
The software companies offer lots of different plans to their users. Almost every B2B app has a custom plan allowing you to formulate a price according to your needs. Sometimes, they can be charged based on consumption/number of users. You can also choose between monthly and annual subscriptions.
B2B SaaS Disadvantages
Though SaaS had revolutionized many industries and changed the way how business is done, there are a few drawbacks.
You are accessing a platform that is in “the cloud”, so if there are any kind of complications with your connection – your work is pretty much paralyzed.
Mistakes can also happen on the side of SaaS providers. While nowadays everything seems to be always working 24/7, there might be situations when your SaaS provider will be offline. In the last 5 years, it happened to me just a couple of times that I could not access my services, and usually just for 10-30 minutes.
There are two points of view concerning security.
The first one is that you are essentially moving all your data to servers that are owned by a third party. For some bigger corporations, this transition may be hard to imagine – but still, it is highly efficient considering all the advantages.
The second point of view is very pragmatic. Let’s say that you are considering moving your documents to Google Suite, but you are worried that your data are with a third party. Ask yourself this question: where are they more secured? On your servers or on Google servers?
Chances are that B2B SaaS like Salesforce, Google, Dropbox, Airtable, and many more – have much better security than you do.
As you would expect, customization is limited on B2B SaaS platforms. These platforms will provide you with a wide range of settings and options, but it may happen that you will want a small feature that will be missing. Nothing much can be done in that case, but in comparison to all the advantages that these platforms bring – it is a small price to pay.
What is the difference between B2B and B2C SaaS?
I’ve already mentioned that B2B products are focused on companies while B2C on individual users. But let’s clarify that a bit more. Both of them are similar in terms of subscriptions, lifetime metrics, and even some features. But, here are some of the things where they’re different:
Companies have different strategies for marking the products
Advertising of B2B products is completely different from advertising B2C software. B2B users are companies that understand business terms. Individual clients, on the other hand, prefer relaxed language. As a result, marketing campaigns will be completely different.
B2B software can yield much more money
If you manage to land a big B2B company, and you sell them a custom plan, they can generate a lot of profit for your SaaS organization. B2C customers often have smaller needs and don’t have such a major sway as bigger corporations.
B2B SaaS is harder to sell
Unfortunately, this also means that B2B tools are harder to sell. If a company decides they need specific software, they will be very patient and will experiment with various tools until they find the optimal solution. They want to implement the app on all levels of an organization. This is why their decision-making process takes more time, making it also harder to sell a SaaS to businesses.
Using B2B SaaS For Marketing
These platforms have numerous uses. However, the biggest emphasis is on marketing and sales. Companies use the software to analyze their respective markets, segment them, and find ideal leads. Here are some of the main ways SaaS can help you market products:
They can be used for SEO
Successful companies are able to generate enormous amounts of traffic via Google and other search engines. However, you cannot optimize a site without analytic tools such as Ahrefs, Google Search Console, and SEMRush.
SaaS for emailing campaigns
Tools can be great for email campaigns. They can help you track open rates, schedule sending, and perform other functions. MailChimp and Boomerangs are nice apps from this category.
Creating gated content
Every website visitor is a potential client. Because of that, you need to create a great first impression. Software that would allow you to create webinars and downloadable guides is a good way to tackle the issue and leave an impression.
Using B2B SaaS for sales
B2B can also be a great ally in generating sales and converting traffic. While online sales are somewhat different from the direct approach, similar rules still apply. You need to leave a good impression and persuade potential customers that your product will solve all their issues.
Here is how SaaS products can help you create sales pipelines that will generate a steady stream of leads:
Use them for cold emailing
Cold emailing is a common strategy among digital marketers. It is an approach that everyone’s using, and you should definitely consider it for your business. Email tools like Hunter.io can help you scrape contacts and use them for sales campaigns
LinkedIn inbounding and outbounding
If you’re a business person, you will probably rely on LinkedIn for connecting with other people. Sending a message to a potential lead is not unusual, and oftentimes, it can be better than approaching them via email. Furthermore, LinkedIn tools can help you keep track of leads, partners, and other stakeholders.
SaaS for cold calling
Tools such as Zoom and Skype can be used to communicate directly with new leads. Although cold calling through the internet might seem a bit strange, it isn’t any different from traditional cold calling.
10 SaaS Companies Examples
B2B software can be used in numerous ways. These programs can help your social media, sales funnel, communication, emailing, online inventory, etc. Furthermore, a customer can implement several of these services at the same time, thus automating the majority of their business processes.
Here are some of the best SaaS companies in the world:
Shopify is one of the best platforms for e-commerce. It allows you to categorize all your products in one place and to showcase them in a nice manner. The platform provides features such as sales, shopping cart, hosting, and so much more.
This is one of the most popular email tools in the world. The app has a lot of features that would help automate the emailing process. You can use it to build email lists, postcards, landing pages, etc.
Yes, Google is also SaaS! Almost every webmaster in the western world relies on a Google toolset. Apps like Google Analytics will give you a lot of insights regarding web traffic and other relevant stats. But, you can also use it to create documents, share files, advertise online, and perform many other functions.
Google toolset is free to use for both companies and individuals. But, if you choose to go with the paid version, you will also get unlimited data storage and customer support.
Slack shows its true potential for larger businesses. It is a communication platform that allows employees to chat between themselves (or slack off), create video conferences, but also, to share data. Another great feature is the ability to create separate channels. That way, you can create internal groups that will be dedicated to specific projects.
This is probably one of the best SaaS companies in the world, and I’m not only referring to sales and marketing. Salesforce can be used for every small thing that your company does. It has amazing shopping, employee, partner, learning, marketing, sales, and other features that will make a significant impact on your daily operations.
If you’re a western company, there is a good chance that you’re using tens of different Microsoft programs on a daily basis. Of course, the majority of companies use Windows and Microsoft Office, but you can also benefit from Azure or Office365 which are some of the SaaS and PaaS solutions that Microsoft offers.
Like with Microsoft, you can’t imagine a modern company that doesn’t rely on Adobe products. Adobe Acrobat Reader is one of the most important apps that businesses use on a daily basis. But, the company also offers other graphic and digital tools such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver. Its SaaS tools are much better for graphic design companies, but almost every organization can benefit from at least one of Adobe’s programs.
HubSpot is one of the best all-in-one platforms for businesses. It has a lot of great features that will help you at every step of the way. The app allows your company to assess customer behavior and profit off of it. HubSpot has a great analytics suite and has features such as sales performance management and marketing automation. Lastly, you can also access their amazing landing page builder.
SurveyMonkey is a great platform that can help you in numerous ways. As the name implies, its main focus is on online surveys. The company allows you to perform marketing research on a high level, but it also has other analytic features.
Twilio provides a wide range of communication tools, allowing companies to easily make tools that will receive phone calls, send text messages, and much more.
B2B SaaS FAQ
Business to Business software as a service. Online applications primarily for business clients.
Compare with your competition, your internal costs, and client acquisition costs. Create 3 pricing packages.