Indians love to SaaS! The B2B SaaS industry in India has grown over 30 % annually and believe it or not but this figure is much higher than the growth spurt one has seen globally. Why do we love SaaS?
The Indian SaaS story is a narrative of disruption and innovation that has led to creation of products that are successful global brands today. A Bain & Co report estimates Indian heritage SaaS companies to reach $18 billion to $20 billion in revenue and capture 7% to 9% share of the global SaaS market by 2022.
Examples of top B2B SaaS companies
This includes Freshworks, Zoho, Vymo, Predictivu and Kissflow. Let’s look at these 5 exciting companies in detail, along with a key aspect of their marketing strategy.
What is SaaS?
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) empowers its users to scale up and down and manage costs effectively and pay for only what you use unlike the traditional models where one got tied to unwieldly contracts and even if there were less usage and more wastage, the companies or individuals could not do anything about managing those. While cost gives flexibility, another undisputable winner is cloud access that comes with most of the B2B SaaS products.
What is a B2B SaaS product?
For B2B, SaaS has been the game changer bringing action to the somewhat sedentary life that these companies were leading. Along with SaaS for B2B comes the newer metrics like the ARR, MRR, ACV, CAC which are more competitive and redefining the way marketing has been done in this space until now.
Here’s my list of top 5 B2B SaaS products that are homegrown Indian brands but making a splash across the globe.
How to market b2b SaaS?
Each of these companies has an unique offering and a perspective on marketing. So let’s take a look at these five examples of successful B2B SaaS products from India and use them to understand an element of marketing.
Freshworks keeps your business fresh
Started as Freshdesk and later evolved to Freshworks, the company has come a long way in marking its brand presence as a successful B2B SaaS product. The business and customer engagement software pitched for SMBs and mid-market enterprise has transformed over the years to only become better with its ever-increasing paying customer base around the world. There are talks of the company going public with the IPO and was last valued at $ 3.5 billion.
Ever paid attention to its logo? Well, it signifies dew drop which symbolises freshness.
Taking on the competition!
Freshworks started with a clear focus on a single competitor – Zendesk. It has grown even while not losing this sharp edge. They ran a successful “fails force” campaign against Salesforce.
Kissflow enables a digital workplace
Keep It Simple Stupid. That’s Kissflow, a B2B SaaS product that boasts of 10000 customers in 160 countries. A digital workplace, that is known for its ease of use reflected aptly in its butterfly logo signifying simplicity and smart work that the brand is synonymous with. In keeping with its narrative, the company recently launched its campaign #Thepowerofsimple that highlights the need for one solution instead of fragmented digital tools for an effective digital workplace culture.
B2B SaaS profits from Partner Marketing
Kissflow is looking to partner with large IT companies such as Tata Consultancy Services and Cognizant. They want these corporations to use Kissflow’s software when they sell their technology products globally.
PredictiVu gives marketers retail data in near real-time
This AI enabled business intelligence tool offers real time campaign data that the marketers can use to tweak and move around their ad spends to maximize RoI. The brand has made confident strides in the global market along with a value proposition that strikes a chord with any marketer who wants to get more from each dollar spent today.
Positioning: How can thought leadership help B2B SaaS credibility?
PredictiVu is using its superior access to market data and analytics to create compelling content that appeals to its key target audience.
Vymo is a sales acceleration platform
You may have a lot of leads in your CRM, but what good are they if sales can’t use them effectively? Optimizing the sales funnel may sound like a genie’s work, but automation through technology is no less magical. Vymo has positioned itself as a personal assistant for your sales. The company received $18 million in series B funding last year and is rapidly growing. This Indian success story is being written by YaminI Bhat, the company’s co-founder.
Strategic Narrative Building: Video testimonials are a great way to build trust in the product
Vymo has made an investment in producing customer videos that demonstrate how its products function. What better way to sell than having your customers do it for you?
Zoho helps your business run smoothly with an integrated suite
Zoho has clearly carved a niche for itself in the global arena as a frontrunner in the race of competitive SaaS brands from India. Surprisingly, the word Zoho was derived from the phrase “Small Office Home Office.” Zoho now has 45 million users in 180 countries and a sales growth rate of 39% year on year. Interestingly, Zoho Corporation is 25 years old and has unicorn status, and the company is maturing into a legend-making name.
B2B SaaS Marketing Strategy:
Core Branding Can Help You Slowly and Steadily
Zoho takes the lead with its offering, believing that a successful product can sell itself. It deviates from the conventional stereotype of aggressive marketing practiced by many SaaS companies. Zoho is fiscally conservative, and it has no debt.
How to market B2B SaaS
B2B SaaS Marketing follows the same rhythm as B2B marketing in general but for some key differences. These are:
- Sales is often remote and so marketing plays a larger role in demand generation and purchase decision
- Customer retention – measured through renewals – is intrinsic to success
- Success is dependent on scaling so awareness is a high priority
- Customer Acquisition Cost is critical to profitability and requires a very efficient go-to-market strategy
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The author is on the strategic advisory council of Predictivu.