The SaaS (software as a service) market is seeing a solid and stable growth over the last few years. According to Statista, the global revenue generated by SaaS companies estimates to approximately 152 billion US dollars for 2021. And it is not expected to slow down any time soon.
Quite a tasty dish to miss out on, isn’t it? Of course, seeing such growth implies that the number of SaaS start-ups and scale-ups is also on the rise. However, relying on scattered technologies, outside vendors, and outdated methodologies, impose limitations and frictions that slow down scale-ups’ growth. This, on the other hand, pushes many of these companies to look for alternative ways to sustainably grow their business. They embrace trends and implement various practices which not only boost their sales but build a comprehensive revenue growth engine.
In this article, we’ll discuss the dominating 5 trends that will transform your SaaS scale-up and also, we’ll take a deeper look at this revenue engine that unifies all of them, or ‘The Master Trend’.
Table of contents:
- Roadmap Your Scale Plan from Day 1
- Consumption-driven Pricing and Sales
- Level-up On Tech Infrastructure
- Join the Low-code/No-code Movement
- Big Data vs. Big Ops – the Transition
- The Master Trend or The Rise of RevOps
1. Roadmap Your Scale Plan from Day 1
The high-revenue prospects and the vast applicability of their service products, makes SaaS companies and SaaS scale-ups the perfect business to dive into. There is one critical factor you should be aware of though. Yes, exactly – we are talking the fast-paced, competition-brimmed digital environment.
Constantly fluctuating market needs, changing customer expectations, new and new technologies springing almost daily, and just as vigorous competitors – all these are factors that make the SaaS industry less predictable and less stable than ever.
This is why, it is vital for any start-up and scale-up to plan growth and customer expansion from the very beginning. SaaS companies need to outline flexible and agile roadmaps that allow them to be adaptive to the ever-changing digital jungle. Such roadmaps predict possible swifts in the market and leave room for quick transitions and adjustments to accommodate these swifts.
In addition, apart from integrating the possible ‘’bumps on the road’’ in your growth roadmap, it is just as critical to have vision for expansion beyond your near eyesight. Think prospects in perspective. What new target groups can you include to your customer base in a year-time? Are there features of your product that can be developed into a whole new range of service? Which niche market segments can you cover and do they have the potential to transform into larger ones? These are just few of the question that a SaaS scale-up companies (and even start-ups) should ask themselves and incorporate in their scale plan in order to catch-up with the fast pulse of the digital heart.
2. Consumption-driven Pricing and Sales
A veggies wholesaler cannot track directly which of his products are most sold in the different shops he delivers to. He doesn’t know if his potatoes are more likely to be sold-out quicker than the cucumbers. Or if the customers usually buy more kilos of tomatoes at once compared to aubergines.
Luckily, you are not selling veggies but software services which makes monitoring your customers’ usage behavior way easier. Doing so, you can adjust the subscription pricing, cost per usage, cost per location and so on, based on the customers’ interactions with your product or its features. You can further develop and tailor these specific features to accommodate their needs and sell your product more efficiently both digitally and through direct engagement with a salesperson.
If we go back to our veggie-man analogue, by focusing the pricing and selling on the actual usage of the product, he may end up delivering 2 extra crates of potatoes, at a slightly higher price, to a specific shop down town where the consumption is greater compared to a similar suburb shop.
Remember we spoke about being agile and flexible? Well, this product-usage orientation is in absolute accordance with it and is an intrinsic part of building an adaptive roadmap.
3. Level-up On Tech Infrastructure
We just briefly touched upon new technologies as part of the digital SaaS environment in the introduction. This, however, is yet another trend train to jump on right away. And that is not only the tech related to your product.
On the contrary, more and more SaaS top companies are embracing the introduction of new tech features in the processes of running their marketing, sales, customer success, and finance operations. The advantages of boosting your tech arsenal are numerous – frictions in data transfers between departments can be eliminated, manual processes can be automated and therefore more efficient, big amounts of data can be collected, used and stored to increase product value, customer experience can be optimized etc. All of these provide your SaaS scale-up with better positioning on the market and with a well-oiled, value-propelled revenue engine.
Fast growing SaaS companies are using various smart tech solutions, for instance, to minimize data loops between the sales and marketing operations to build a more holistic lead generation strategies; to provide quicker and more efficient customer response platforms; or to provide more adequate onboarding to their staff.
There are heaps of opportunities, so just handpick the solutions best suited for your business.
4. Join the Low-code/No-code Movement
While on tech vibe, let’s take a look at the next low-code or even no-code platform trend. In the past few years, we are seeing a rapid surge in the use of low-code and no-code tools among professionals. The market value of no-code software companies has risen up to billions according to Forbes. Why is that?
Firstly, while in the past you needed an experienced (and quite costly) programmer to create your website, or an app, or to add new features to your buyer platform, with the no-code tools you can get just as any non-tech professional to do these tasks (at lower overall cost).
It’s cheaper, easier and more accessible than ever.
Secondly, low- and no-code solutions allow more flexibility in terms of targeting and responding to the market fluctuations. In matter of days or even hours, you can launch new features of your product or build a new website to meet your customers’ needs. And we already emphasized how important it is to stay agile.
So, cheers to the no-code/low-code solutions and join the movement.
5. Big Data vs. Big Ops – the Transition
Collecting data for your market and customers is crucial. We discussed, for example, orienting your pricing and selling towards product usage data. Now think about all the other processes that evolve handling data and then organizing it so that it can be properly treated and targeted. Selecting, analyzing, modifying, clustering, altering, and re-using big data are several of the mechanisms a modern SaaS company needs to perform.
In order to keep up with the digital business battlefield and provide adequate, valuable customer experience, it’s important to successfully navigate and coordinate all the operations involving big data. Or to it put simply, adapting a BigOps approach – a software-driven, automation process that helps big data organization and its smooth flow through the company pipeline.
Think of BigOps as the orchestra leader that oversees and directs all the musicians through a symphony. He sets the pace, shows where the brass sections need to enter, sets the volume and intensity of the violins playing etc. This what your data operations are for – to orchestrate all the complicated and interdependent data processes in your company.
6. The Master Trend or The Rise of RevOps
Looking through this list of trends we cannot neglect one overarching progression – we see a narrow relation and codependence between many of the systems in a SaaS company. We spoke about sales operations being tightly associated with customer services, or marketing operations relying on customer data and technologies to generate revenue.
This unification of sales, marketing and customer service operations in order to achieve sustainable revenue growth is the so-called RevOps, or revenue operations.
This is namely our master trend. It bonds and lays the foundation for all of these specific ones we’ve listed. Each one of them is focused on stimulating your SaaS business to achieve a stable revenue, rather than just big number of sales. Each one implies the need for incorporating technology, data, human resources, and processes in a collective revenue-driven operations system. These trends show us that revenue operations is ‘the new black’ in SaaS industry.
According to Gartner, by 2025, as much as 75% of the companies showing highest growth will be deploying a RevOps model to match the dynamics of the fast-paced digital market.
So if you are thinking which trend to adapt in order to obtain growth and transform your SaaS business, whether it being a start-up, scale-up or a mature company, try going deeper into the essence of RevOps.