4 Ways Your SaaS Can Stand Out in a Saturated Market

Zac Harris    By under SaaS Marketing.

SaaS markets are becoming increasingly saturated, and it's no surprise that competition is fiercer than ever. A survey showed that in 2012, each SaaS company only had roughly three competitors. In 2017, each SaaS company had about nine competitors. That number has since risen further and will continue to grow as companies become increasingly digital.

While SaaS companies are happy that more and more businesses are embracing SaaS products, it's popularity has also saturated many SaaS markets.

However, that doesn't mean a new startup can't succeed. Here are some expert tips you can use to survive even in the most saturated SaaS markets.

Identify Your Unique Selling Point

Hopefully, you built your company to solve a pain point in the marketplace that people are willing to pay money to fix. If this is the case, you should be able to survive regardless of how saturated the market is, because nobody else offers a solution to that specific problem.

For example, positioning consultant April Dunford tells the story of how one CRM company she consulted was failing until it discovered what made it unique... At the time, the company was essentially just a "cheaper and crappier version" of its largest competitor, Siebel. However, they were able to identify one unique selling point: it could model to many relationships, unlike its billion-dollar competitor.

Investment bankers found this valuable. Once they learned to capitalize on that one value proposition, they grew and were eventually acquired for $1 billion.

Start by finding the one unique selling point you offer. Figure out the exact market its valuable to, understand why it'ss valuable to that market, and sell that one feature in your sales pitches.

Build a Brand Name

The level of quality between Nike and other shoe brands is likely quite similar. Sure, it might be a slightly better shoe, but the real reason Nike makes a profit margin of roughly 45 percent is that they built a strong brand that is synonymous with top athletes like Lebron James, Tiger Woods, and many others. 

Additionally, 81 percent of consumers say that they buy from brands they trust. Because a SaaS inherently involves an ongoing relationship, trust is even more critical.

Therefore, to develop a stronger brand, develop relationships with influencers your potential customers already trust. 

If you have a budget, you can do this by hiring influencers to promote your product. If you're on a shoestring budget, write guest posts on relevant industry blogs, and collaborate with influencers to create groundbreaking industry research.

For example, the  Content Marketing Institute credits most of its brand awareness to its annual Benchmarks Budgets and Trends report, which they create alongside Marketing Profs

Finally, creating amazing content consistently will establish a strong brand over time. Moz's Whiteboard Friday is a prime example of steady content production that has helped build a brand over time.

Provide a Better Customer Experience

Surveys show that roughly 80 percent of customers say that they are more willing to work with a company that offers personalized experiences, while only 52 percent of marketers claim to use customer feedback to improve their strategies. 

Which means customer experience offers yet another gap in the marketplace. 

A great place to start is by having a friend or family member purchase your own product anonymously and discover how difficult or easy it is for them.

The Conversion Rate Experts released a study showing that by purchasing the client's product, they were able to uncover and fix major problems in the buyer journey. This helped them achieve a 10x ROI.

In addition to purchasing your own product, survey your customers. Get on the phone with them and have a live conversation to understand how you can create a better experience.

Talking with them in person will also give you a better understanding of why customers buy your product, and it might also give you ideas on both key points and language you can use in your sales pitches.

Create a Community

Churn is a SaaS company's enemy, especially if you offer an enterprise SaaS product. One of the best ways to avoid churn is by creating a community with your customers. 

A SaaS company that does a great job of creating a community is Ahrefs. In addition to their fabulous video and blog content, they also offer a closed Facebook group for Ahrefs members

It was originally built to help people better use the tool (which ties in with customer experience), but it also helped develop a strong sense of community where members receive world-class SEO advice.

Community engagement at that high level reduces churn and helps people make the most out of the tool.

Final Thoughts

If you have a product and happy customers, great! You'll be able to compete regardless of how saturated the market is. It's often a game of endurance rather than speed, so keep your expenses low and don't depend on venture capital to grow your startup.

Rather than thinking about short term tactics, like Google AdWords, think about broader strategies, like branding, and obsess over your customers. Keep your eye on the long game and don't give up!