Software as a service (SaaS) has become the preferred way individuals and corporations consume IT solutions. SaaS products are scalable for developers and the best way to deliver quality services to customers. However, that’s only possible if customers choose and stick with the product.

But how do you build a successful SaaS product? What can you do to successfully introduce a SaaS product to the market and have customers subscribe to it? This article discusses strategies for building a successful SaaS product.

1. Carry Out Market Research and Analysis

Before building a SaaS product, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of the market. Essentially you should find out if your product can meet the market’s needs. Does the market need your SaaS product? What is your target audience?

Prepare a business plan for your product and prepare a detailed SWOT analysis to establish that your SaaS product has a chance. That’s important in avoiding wasting precious capital on a product you can’t sell.

In some cases, a developer can be so sure about the chances of their product succeeding that they cannot wait to build it. If the product resembles one from the competition, clearly define its unique selling point. What would make customers choose yours over the competition?

2. Aim to Solve Real-World Problems

What’s the purpose of your SaaS product? Essentially a SaaS product should seek to solve real-world problems. It should have something new to offer to succeed. Given how rapidly SaaS product development has evolved, it might be hard to create something unique.

SaaS developers can capitalize on the disadvantages of existing SaaS products to make improvements. That makes it possible to differentiate your products and win the hearts of customers who didn’t like the older products.

That doesn’t mean dismantling a competing SaaS product and rebuilding it. Instead, the problem could be as simple as overpricing. Build a high-quality product at a more affordable price. Since customer needs keep changing, build your SaaS product as soon as possible before consumers shift their preferences.

3. Start Small with an MVP

There’s no need to build a SaaS product with all its features. Start small. Build the minimum viable product (MVP) with the essential features. That’s important when it comes to testing the market for the product ASAP. It makes it possible for potential users to understand the SaaS product, its purpose, and how it works so you can get proof of concept and begin monetization.

In addition, we don’t recommend bombarding users with too many advanced features that require time to learn. Besides, they might not even need some of the advanced features. Therefore, a good MVP should focus on the target users’ main pain points. Clear communication on how the SaaS product meets these pain points should follow.

Importantly, you should launch your product on the market as soon as possible. Any delay and there could be dozens of similar or better products from competitors or you could lose you first mover advantage. From the initially simple platform, you can start scaling up based on the needs of your users.

The general idea is to carry out stringent user testing and take time to test the MVP in the market and validate your idea. Analyse the SaaS product to find out how profitable it can be. You should have a product that solves a real-world problem that users can pay for and from which you can realize a profit.

Once your idea is validated, start building the product. Keep it lean and infuse new features as soon as they become available. On top of the MVP, you can add advanced features based on customer feedback.

Eventually, you should have a fully-functional SaaS product with all the core functions. You can iterate the testing-feedback process repeatedly until you have a stable product. Finally, when you fully understand the ideal customer, you can find ways of reaching out to them.

4. Build in Small Feedback Loops from Users

Although you built your SaaS product to meet real-world customers’ needs, it might fail to meet customer expectations sufficiently. Customers might have adverse reactions, misunderstand, or get disappointed with the product.

You can avoid these issues by clearly understanding the customers and their needs. During the development phase and later, when the SaaS product is in real-world use, you can build in small feedback loops from users. From the get-go, use the feedback to make necessary improvements to the SaaS product.

Essential to that is building the SaaS product in line with a dynamic user-centred design process, ensuring you include customer feedback at every stage. After all, you want to keep the current stack of customers and gain new ones! If customers feel they are being heard, they are more likely to stay.

Here the focus should be on the product. There’s no need to waste money pushing the product through marketing campaigns. If you do not have a great product, the customers will not stay and your churn will be high. So, use your first users’ feedback, and work on improving the product.

5. Use Prototypes to Get Stakeholder/Investor Feedback

Before building the final SaaS product, make prototypes to share with stakeholders and investors. It can be challenging to convince other people to buy into your idea if they do not know how the final product looks.

Prototyping helps create a sense of clarity for you and the other stakeholders you need to onboard. For you, it is the start of a roadmap for bringing your vision closer to reality.

It can be easier to convince stakeholders and investors through the SaaS product’s visual representation created by the prototype. Besides, those who wish to test the product can have first-hand experience.

Whether or not the stakeholders buy into your product, they can provide helpful feedback for improving the product. By showing the SaaS product prototype to potential users, you can understand their interests, attitudes, and engagements.

6. Choose the Right Pricing Model

Building a successful SaaS product is not just about having the right features. You also need to get your pricing model right. It helps to research what your competitors charge for similar products at the onset. Do they have low, middle-level, and high price points? Use that information to choose a pricing model for experimental purposes based on your own features.

So, how do you come up with a suitable pricing model? You can start by offering a free or trial version of the SaaS product. But that’s only necessary for products whose value is difficult to prove. You can skip the free trial stage if you have an exceptionally good SaaS product or it solves an immediate problem.

With a unique product that creates an entirely new category in the market, you can go for an aggressive pricing model. However, if you’re competing with other products in the market, it’s necessary to have a comparative pricing model.

Since you have a new SaaS product, the pricing model you choose should scale as the number of your customers grows. For example, you can have a pricing model based on the number of users. As users increase, you can ask your customers to pay more to use your SaaS product.

7. Get Your Tech Stack Right

There is no “best” programming language or framework when building your SaaS product but making some good choices early when selecting your tech stack can ensure longevity, ease of updates and access to staff later.

It can be critical to your products long-term success to choose frameworks that are supported by, or written by, the big tech companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon because it is unlikely that these companies will go out of business any time soon, and they have a vested interest in keeping the coding language alive as it benefits their brand.

This “Big Tech” backing means that support is ongoing and the frameworks are updated regularly which keeps them current, useful and popular.

One of the main frameworks we use is the Angular programming language which is built and backed by Google, who have been around for more than two decades and are likely to be around at least the same in the future.

We also recommend you choose a tech stack that has an abundance of people who work in the programming language. This ensures you have a large pool of talent to draw from as your team expands or as you outsource feature development. Angular, React or Vue are popular and are used widely by many developers

8. Build an Audience in Your Target Market

This point supports the one on identifying the customers for a SaaS product and their pain points. Once you have a good idea of the ideal customer, you can build an audience around your product. That way, you can start making steps to get reliable paying customers.

Meet potential customers in the places where they hang out online. Whether it is social media or any other place, these serve as effective marketing channels to reach out to your customers. It is essential to validate and rank marketing channels by potential. Then prioritize the channels with the most significant potential.

You can also use search engine optimization (SEO) for organic traffic to your website. However, ranking among the top SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) can take a while. If you choose the SEO route, you should be ready to wait 3-6 months depending on competitiveness before you see results.

With a marketing plan, you can define your marketing channels in terms of traditional, PR, and digital channels. Incorporate marketing technology to create agile messages that can attract prospects and turn customers into loyal users of the SaaS product.

Monitor the effectiveness of your marketing channels through attribution and analytics. With that, it’s possible to quantify key metrics, adjust, and streamline the approach to marketing your SaaS product.

9. Use Effective Customer Service to Understand and Solve Product Concerns

There’s no perfect SaaS product! Customers will raise issues right from when you launch the product to its entire lifetime. Ensure your customer service is excellent and good enough to address your customer’s concerns personally. You’ll not only make your customers happy but also understand that which they can spend money on.

From the customer feedback, you can understand the areas you should improve. Work on these aspects to make your SaaS product better. That way, customers would know that you listen and are ready to handle their issues.

The Bottom Line

With the strategies for building a successful SaaS product, it should be possible for you to create a program that customers would be engaged when they use it. It should not only meetthe customers’ needs but also help them stay for the long term. You can either build your SaaS product yourself or involve a dedicated software development company. It all depends on your team’s level of expertise and what you’re willing to set aside in your budget.

If you’re looking to build a successful SaaS product, reach out to us here.