The pandemic has drastically changed every aspect of business including sales, software, and customer service. Covid-19 has caused one of the worst global economic crises we have ever seen. While the whole world is working on recovering from the pandemic, it is important to know what is in store for the future and how business is changing. One major industry this pandemic will affect is Software as a Service or SaaS and, SaaS marketing. SaaS is a forever growing and changing type of software especially with more businesses going fully remote. What changes are we expecting to see in businesses moving towards fully remote SaaS software in 2021? Read on to find out more.
What is SaaS?
SaaS, which is short for software as a service can be a strong tool that many digital marketers use every day. The main factor that makes SaaS different from other types of software is the fact that it uses cloud-based apps (online) via mobile and the internet. This means this type of software is not tangible and can seem more complex than your average software. SaaS is all about automation, which means no events, samples, or long journeys in order to get the sale. SaaS is all about online, quick, and short sales cycles. With the current state of the economy and all the changes businesses have made because of the pandemic, SaaS is more important than ever.
Since the pandemic, it is not safe for people to host events or even do any business in person. Because of this, we will likely see a major rise in mobile-based sales and marketing. For the past 6 months, we have seen a major rise in SaaS, specifically in switching to mobile-based software. People want to remain safe and do most of their tasks and shopping online without being around other people. Studies show 50% of B2B search queries are made on smartphones and are expected to rise even higher. Because of this, we will most likely see a rise in companies investing in mobile-based SaaS software in 2021.
2. Renewal Rate Decline
As most of us are aware, the pandemic has caused an economic downturn. This results in many people losing their jobs, getting hours cut, and overall spending less money. When people make less money, they spend less money, which is bad for business. As a company, you will most likely see a major decline in renewal rates for your business. This applies to companies that provide subscription services, annual services, or something that normally has repeat business. This may be a good time to perhaps alter your packages or offer certain deals. This would also be a good opportunity to research more about what your customers value the most in your business and shift your focus to that. Ways you can alter your business to relieve the economic crisis would be:
- Offer payment splits: You can do this by offering a payment plan cut into quarter or monthly payments rather than all at once.
- Special deals: You can offer a discount for renewal or a free month.
- Offer customizable plans: If one is suffering from a financial crisis, they might not want to pay for unnecessary services. Let them customize your packages to get what they value the most. Providing options and more a la carte services will give you a greater chance of customer renewal.
3. Remote Workers
Because of social distancing guidelines and safety issues, many companies were forced to have their workers work remotely during this pandemic, But, while remote work seemed temporary at first, we are now seeing more and more companies moving to a fully remote workforce. Well-known companies, like Twitter, announced they will now be fully remote from here on out and closing their main office. A lot of companies, big and small, are following in their footsteps and have begun the transition to having all their employees work remotely full time. This will change how businesses operate and they will have to use more SaaS programs to communicate, such as:
- Microsoft Teams
- Persist Software
Because of the future increase in remote work, we will most likely see a rise in new SaaS software and tools during 2021 to help with the efficiency of work at home, communication, and security. Furthermore, companies will save money and reduce overhead expenses by not having a physical office location. Therefore, with the extra budget, we will most likely see a rise in SaaS software investments made by companies that want to improve the way they streamline their business and become more efficient.
4. Adjust for the Future
As stated previously, we will most likely see vast changes in SaaS software in 2021 with more people and more companies converting to remote work. Because of this, we will see a very large shift in the way business is handled, specifically by adding more online software systems to the business processes. This is good news for SaaS platforms because we will now see more investment in SaaS software.
As a company, we do not know when things will go back to “normal” or if it will ever be the same again. Therefore, it is important to adjust for the future accordingly and anticipate what the ‘new normal’ will be. Things to expect as a business post COVID can include:
- Online presence: Your online presence is now more important than ever. If consumers need a product or service, their first instinct will be to look at your business online.
- Mobile friendly: As previously stated, most people search for businesses online, more specifically using their mobile devices. So, make sure your site is also mobile-friendly.
- Communication: It is important to have a way for consumers to contact and speak with you easily, using their preferred method of communication. Most people search online or contact a company rather than visit a physical location and so will most likely call, email, chat or text to get more information.
- SaaS Communication tools: As previously stated, you should have an easy way for clients to speak with you. Great communication SaaS tools include:
- Chatbots/Chat boxes
- SMS texting
- Customer Service via email
- Contact software
5. Focus on Current Clients
While most businesses focus on acquiring new clients, we respectfully disagree. Right now, in this sensitive time, the most important thing is to focus on your current clients. Customer retention is one of the most important aspects of business, pandemic or not. While you should continue to market your business in every way, this is the time to give extra attention to your current customers.
The pandemic has affected many people’s income in a very negative way. Because of this, people are looking to cut costs wherever and that means cutting their spending on things they may not necessarily need. A good way to combat this is to go the extra mile and give your customers a reason to continue to spend money with your company. The ways you can do this include:
- Reach out: Reaching out to customers via email, social media, or postal mail to offer guidance or support can make consumers feel appreciated.
- Offer plans/discounts: As stated previously, a great way to keep customers on board with your company is by offering them discounts or other ways to pay for your services.
- Be interactive: Being interactive and communicative on your social media sites can give a personalized touch to your company that consumers will not get from other companies. Engage your clients.
- Additional features: Now is the perfect time to add additional features to your business that will help entice consumers to stay and others to join.
If you are finding it difficult to reach out because of time or volume, investing in SaaS communication software will make things run smoother and improve your customer retention.
6. Cut Ad Costs in Any Way
Consumers are not the only ones who have been negatively affected financially post COVID. Businesses have suffered tremendously, which is why budgeting is so important. One thing you can do to cut your marketing costs is by taking advantage of cheap ads.
Because of the pandemic, many businesses have completely cut their ad budgets which create a large decline in purchased digital ads. As a result, the cost of paid ads has dropped massively, depending on the platform. Digital ads to invest in, that is also considered SaaS include:
- Google AdWords
Now is the time to get creative and develop new relations with your customers by taking part in paid digital advertising. This will be a great way to boost your exposure without breaking the bank.
Because SaaS software is used through the web, an increase in use poses security concerns. With most businesses going fully remote, there are bound to be network security and privacy concerns with sensitive information. An excellent way to combat this and prevent any data breaches is to invest in a cloud-based network security system. Cloud-based network security systems are useful SaaS software programs that can make your business run smoother during 2021 all while protecting vital information. There are many benefits to investing in Cloud-based network security systems including:
- Data Security: Cloud offers security solutions that require access through passwords, keywords, and other forms of protocols to protect sensitive information.
- Flexibility: Along with security, through the cloud, you can protect your servers from crashing.
- Protect Against Attacks: Cloud systems can protect against various cyber-attacks including DDoS (Denial-of-service attack) by monitoring cloud servers.
- Digital Support: A good cloud-based system will offer 24/7 support if any issues arise because cloud-based systems are accessed through the web and can be fixed remotely.