Whether you're just beginning product development or finalizing your service options, creating a B2B SaaS market strategy is crucial for ensuring your product's success. We created this guide to help you develop an effective go-to-market strategy so you'll be in the best shape possible when it's time to launch your SaaS product.
What Is a Go-To-Market Strategy?
A go-to-market (GTM) strategy is essential for the success of any product launch. A B2B SaaS GTM strategy plans out how an organization will deliver its unique value proposition to customers to drive sales and gain a competitive edge in a market.
The ultimate goal is to bring sales, marketing, and product development together to create an effective plan for entering a market and establishing a solid foothold.
Is a GTM Strategy Really Necessary?
Absolutely. A go-to-market strategy guides you through the launch process and improves your chances of success. When you know who you'll be marketing to, you'll have a clear direction for building your product and breaking into the market.
Other reasons you need a GTM strategy include:
Improved audience connections: An effective strategy will help you identify common pain points in your target audience, which can help you pinpoint how to turn your product into an effective solution. You'll also understand whether your solution fits your target market or needs a few extra adjustments.
Realistic expectations: Growing amazing sales takes more than a few months. Developing a GTM strategy can help you understand what to expect when you finally launch your product.
Sustainable customer acquisition: Traditional product launches often involve aggressive advertising and heavy discounts, which can get expensive fast. Get the heavy lifting done ahead of time by mapping out marketing, sales, and product functions, and you'll avoid wasting precious time and resources on your launch.
Easy scalability: Any successful startup needs to be scalable to adjust to growing demand. A solid GTM strategy can help you quickly scale to meet your business's changing needs.
Developing a Go-To-Market Strategy
Successfully launching a B2B SaaS product is a very different process from launching and marketing B2C SaaS. Important factors to consider when building your B2B GTM strategy include:
Marketing method: Because you're marketing to companies rather than individuals, you'll need to use more general marketing techniques. For example, outbound marketing tactics like cold calls and direct mail are usually more effective for B2B marketing than for B2C.
Nature of product: Marketing a SaaS product is unique because, unlike traditional products and services, yours is wholly digital. You'll need to gather information about your customers to provide the best customer experience, which will be a key selling point.
Company size: The type of company you target will significantly affect your GTM strategy. Targeting a small startup requires a completely different approach from targeting an established enterprise.
The following steps can help you get started on building your GTM strategy.
1. Determine Your Unique Value Proposition
You have a much better chance of winning customers if you can clearly show how your product will benefit them. Your value proposition describes these benefits, how your product will address your customer's needs, and what sets your company and products apart from your competition.
The following factors can help you find your value proposition:
The job to be done
Your target audience
Your product's benefits
What sets your product apart from others
Customer and market data
Once you've settled on a proposition, include it across all your customer touchpoints. Incorporate it into your web design, social media posts, and cold call scripts — anywhere customers will engage with your brand.
2. Study Your Competition
Your product likely has competitors in the market already. With B2B SaaS competitor research, you can gain an edge over the competition by studying their approach to the following:
This information will help you gauge your brand's position within your chosen market, making it easier to identify what sets your product or service apart from the competition.
If you have a more specialized product, you can also use your observations to find and develop your niche. By creating a niche in the market, you can position yourself as the go-to solution for the specific problems your customers face. If you plan to take this approach, focus on a niche you can master — one with a viable customer base that has growth potential.
Evaluating your competition can also help you determine the best way to approach pricing and marketing. You want to choose a pricing model that will entice potential customers while maintaining the value of your product. Similarly, you need to promote a message that appeals to your customers and avoids overly salesy language.
3. Present Your Product as a Solution
A traditional sales strategy is all about numbers, which ultimately affects customer lifetime value (CLV). Customer lifetime value measures a customer's total value to your business during your relationship. For example, if you have a monthly subscription to a video streaming service, your CLV would equal the price of your subscription multiplied by the number of months you remain subscribed.
Solution selling — presenting your product as the solution to your customers' problems rather than a simple product — is an effective way to increase CLV for B2B companies. Your customers are more likely to return when they view your product as a methodology, especially once they try it out.
4. Develop Market Growth Strategies
The jobs-to-be-done theory is the idea that customers purchase products that will help them get a job done. If a product presents customers with an easier, more affordable way to complete their job, its chances of success increase significantly. This theory informs your B2B SaaS market strategy and your growth strategy.
There are four main B2B SaaS growth strategies you can use:
Dominant: As the name suggests, this growth strategy involves establishing dominance within your chosen market by providing a better product than your competitors. It's effective for proving your product's usefulness to different industries, which can win over many different types of customers.
Differentiated: A successful B2B SaaS differentiation strategy essentially boils down to creating a specialized product with a compelling message. Because you're targeting a specific niche within your chosen market, you can afford to set higher prices — customers are often willing to pay for the best solutions.
Disruptive: This strategy involves disrupting the B2B SaaS market by providing a simpler, more affordable alternative to the complex products already available. You may even be able to expand your chosen market by snagging new entrants, like startups or other small businesses, through free trials or freemium offerings.
Discrete: Success at B2B SaaS discretion is difficult for most products since it involves targeting customers who face restrictions in completing a job. Typically, customers choose these products because they are the only way to get the job done.
It's a good idea to experiment with this step — develop all four strategies to discover the one that works best for your business, your product, and your goals. Once you know which strategy you should choose, stick with it.
5. Set Your Pricing Model
New companies typically price competitively, meaning they set lower prices than their competition to attract customers. While this strategy can work, you can still win customers over without losing out on sales.
B2B SaaS price modeling depends on what makes sense for your product and fits with your GTM strategy. Possible pricing schemes include:
Flat rate: With flat-rate pricing, you set a single price for all your product's features. It's a simple strategy, which makes it easy to market, but this simplicity also makes it difficult to extract value from different users.
Usage-based: This strategy, also called Pay-As-You-Go, charges customers based on their usage — the more they use your product, the higher their bill. Usage-based pricing is advantageous for your customers because it enables them to save money during periods of low usage, but this aspect also makes it more difficult for you to predict incoming revenue.
Tiered: Tiered pricing allows you to offer your customers different packages of features at different price points. By offering multiple tiers, you can appeal to more than one customer persona, which will expand your market. You can also add tiered options as demand for your product increases.
Per-user: The more users your customer registers, the higher their price will be. It's a simple strategy that makes it easy for customers to calculate costs, but it does cap adoption to a maximum number of users within an organization.
Per-feature: Similar to tiered pricing, per-feature pricing bases the price of your product on the number of features included in each package. Customers will have an incentive to upgrade, and you'll be able to keep your costs low by restricting delivery-heavy features to higher tiers.
Freemium: Freemium pricing involves providing a free-to-use product that users can enhance by paying for supplemental features like extra storage space. This strategy is also similar to tiered pricing in that it offers your users several different packages, except with freemium pricing, the core product is totally free.
Before choosing one, evaluate how each model could fit into your strategy. Consider your own operational costs, your product's value, and your target audience.
6. Set Success Metrics and KPIs
KPI stands for key performance indicator — it's a quantifiable metric that helps you measure how well you're meeting your goals within a given period. For example, if one of your organization's goals is to improve customer service, you could measure the number of unresolved support tickets remaining at the end of every week.
There are two types of KPIs you can track:
High-level KPIs: These metrics focus on your business's overall performance.
Low-level KPIs: These metrics focus on internal departments and processes, such as sales, human resources, and marketing.
Essential elements to setting KPIs include:
Measurement: Your KPIs need to be quantifiable — that is, you should be able to measure them.
Target: Set a target value for your KPI that matches your chosen measurement and goal timeframe.
Source: Clearly define where your data is coming from for each KPI you monitor. This way, you can avoid confusion in tracking and measuring.
Reporting frequency: The reporting needs of each KPI will vary depending on what you're measuring, but reporting on them at least once a month is a good rule of thumb.
If you're still unsure about monitoring business performance through success metrics and KPIs, you might consider working with a team of financial data experts. They can take care of the leg work for you while helping you make sense of your data — you'll be able to make informed business decisions while saving time and money on internal data processing.
More Tips and Best Practices
Consider the following when drafting your GTM strategy:
Stick to the basics: A GTM strategy should only outline how you're going to get your business off the ground. The results will ultimately depend on your business model, goals, and pricing strategy, but keeping your strategy simple will make it easier to stay on track.
Start early: Marketing should be an essential part of your product development strategy. Think of it like a road map — when you have a clear path to follow, you'll have an easier time reaching your destination. You can find this direction by analyzing customer data through market research and KPIs or by creating different buyer personas to determine who has the greatest need for your product.
Maintain one focus at a time: Many SaaS companies fail when they try to cover too much ground — to improve your chances of success, target one specific audience, market, and acquisition channel at a time. Similarly, if you need to establish a social media presence, stick with one platform. You can always expand your strategy once you've got some momentum going.
Remember the customer: The customer should always be the central focus of your strategy — after all, they're the ones who will use your product! Understanding the jobs your customers need to complete and common pain points they experience in the process will show you exactly how your product can improve their processes.
Preparing for Long-Term Growth: Diversify Your Offerings
Your GTM strategy will get your business off the ground, but you need to have a plan in place for the long term. A B2B SaaS diversification strategy opens new revenue opportunities for your business, which can improve your chances of success long beyond your initial launch.
Here are some ideas for diversifying your business:
Offer multiple product tiers: Expand your customer base by providing different versions of your product. For example, if your current market consists mainly of small businesses, you could add more specialized features to appeal to medium-sized or enterprise companies. If you choose to follow this strategy, make sure you set a reasonable price for each tier.
Widen your market: Many startups are successful because they target a specific niche. However, as your company grows, you may find opportunities to target new audiences. A retail POS software service, for example, could also market to restaurants. You could also try targeting new geographical regions.
Make Sense of Your Data With KPI Sense
At KPI Sense, we're more than data experts — we're data storytellers. We strive to help you optimize and understand your business's financial data, and we work closely with all our clients to ensure accuracy and value.
If you want to learn more about how using SaaS metrics can help you better understand your company, you can download our free e-book. You'll get a breakdown of 14 crucial metrics, important benchmarks, and how you can use them to optimize your business performance.