The SaaS market has been growing annually. By the end of 2023, the sector is likely to expand by 18% pushing the total dollar valuation to $623 billion. While there are other cloud-based models, like PaaS (Platform as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), businesses find SaaS (Software as a Service) products to be the better investment.
So if you’re planning to go for SaaS application development, that’s great! However, before jumping in, be aware that SaaS products need proper planning. In the same way, you need to understand the common SaaS types to build a successful application.
So, in this article, you will learn about the 7 essential steps to building a successful SaaS solution and well-recognized SaaS product types.
What does SaaS look like these days?
Past or present – SaaS application development has always helped people by making their lives easier. While new developments have taken place, the concept of SaaS remains the same.
So what is SaaS actually? In simple words, SaaS is a software development model. It allows you to use applications without downloading them on the computer. Instead, you can use SaaS-based programs online. That is why SaaS is also called “web-based software,” on-demand software,” and “hosted software.”
SaaS applications work on the provider’s servers. The provider gives access to the application and offers security, performance, and availability. Yet keep in mind, you are not the only user of a SaaS application. Multiple users, including product owners, product managers, and scrum teams, can access a SaaS solution at the same time.
7 Steps for Developing a Successful SaaS Product
“Don’t find customers for your products; find products for your customers.”
– Seth Godin
We can’t agree more with Godin when it comes to SaaS application development. Though, you cannot achieve this goal without comprehensive market research.
The internet is full of guidelines on building a victorious SaaS product, but we prefer sticking to our favorite approach as the ROI speaks for itself.
Step 1: Do an In-Depth Market Research and Find Your Niche
The first step in developing a successful SaaS product is market research. Deep market research will help you determine a roadmap for expeditious SaaS application development. An in-depth market analysis will make you understand more about your industry’s current state. Also, it will help you learn more about your competitors and target audience.
For example, market research will make you explore the latest SaaS application development trends. You will understand the necessity of Artificial Intelligence implementation (just as Oracle embedded AI into SaaS applications), and the benefits of vertical SaaS and micro SaaS products.
Next, it will help you identify what consumers want and their pain points. You can find solutions they are currently using to overcome their problems. You can know the primary functions of those solutions, and you can learn about the pricing models your competitors are using.
Market research for SaaS application development will also allow you to know the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. Plus, you can offer a unique selling proposition in your SaaS product.
All this information will take you one step further to a successful SaaS application development. As a result, your end-users will enjoy valuable product features which can provide you a consistent income stream.
Step 2: Pick the Most Suitable Pricing Model
One of the trickiest parts of SaaS application development is choosing a suitable pricing model for your product. Yet before deciding on various options, keep the following facts in mind.
- The revenue model should give your product a competitive advantage
- Don’t just follow the revenue model of your market rivals; instead, set a price that customers are happy to pay
- Keep the customer acquisition cost (CAC) lower and customer lifetime value (LTV) higher for customer retention
Let’s uncover the most popular pricing models we suggest for SaaS application development.
- Per-User: This is a standard pricing model for team-based SaaS products, like project management solutions and CRMs. It charges customers based on the number of users
- Tiered Pricing: You can make different packages where each package will offer different or additional features available at different pricing.
- Feature-based: It allows you to price your products or services based on different functionality levels.
- Per Storage: Customers pay the price according to their storage needs.
- Pay As You Go: In Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) model, users pay for the services they consume.
- Freemium: You allow customers to use some features of your SaaS product for free. Users who want to use advanced features will have to pay for the services.
- Ads Supported: You make revenue through advertisements.
- Subscription: You offer a single product with various features at a fixed price.
Step 3: Choose Primary Functions Carefully
To ensure your SaaS application development is a huge success, try to add features absent in your competitors’ products.
You can start with the competitive analysis to understand what customers really want. Once you find that emptiness, try to fill the space with your SaaS product before your rivals do. In this way, you can also become a market leader.
Usually, features are divided into two categories:
- Must-have features
- Additional features
So it depends on the type of product you are building. For instance, if you are developing video conferencing software, the must-have feature in it should be screen sharing. In the same way, the app should include HD video calling, instant messaging, and unlimited recording.
When beginning with SaaS application development, it is thoughtful to add core features to your product. Remember, the “version 1.0” will help you get users’ reactions. So use them to improve version 1.0 of your product by adding new features.
Step 4: Choose the Right Technology Stack
You always need a proper technology stack if you desire successful SaaS application development. Since many options are available these days, it becomes challenging to pick the right stack.
So it is suggested to select the most suitable technology. Because it will help the SaaS application development team to build a reliable, expandable, and secure solution.
When it comes to SaaS application development, your stack must include technologies to support:
- Back-end (libraries, programming languages, frameworks, etc.)
- Front-end (graphics, links, page elements, etc.)
- Cloud hosting
Step 5: Find a Reliable SaaS Application Development Company
Hiring a freelancer seems inexpensive at the beginning for SaaS application development, but it causes trouble at the later stages. Since monitoring and communication are difficult between owner and developer, the product often fails.
In the same way, SaaS application development by hiring an in-house team will cost you a fortune. Apart from the salaries, you will also need to pay for the software licensing, hardware, taxes, and much more.
Therefore, choosing a reliable SaaS application development company is your wisest decision. Why so? Simply put, a company works together to deliver a high-quality SaaS product.
There are many advantages of outsourcing your SaaS project to a professional development organization, such as:
- It will save your operating expenses
- You will get a highly-skilled team of SaaS professionals
- Your SaaS product will be under the supervision of project managers, quality assurance engineers, and UX/UI designers
- Your cloud solution will have all the key features that will make a great positive impact on the industry
- Product delivery will be right on time
- The team will quickly eliminate and fix problems when the product goes live
At Slash, we assure delivering top-notch SaaS products to our customers. We have been developing digital products since 2016 for various industries. We acquire the industry-leading technology stack to make your SaaS solutions highly competitive and valuable. Our expert engineers and professionals are always ready to help you with powerful and reliable SaaS application development.
Step 6: Product Building and Testing
SaaS application development walks through different stages.
The process begins with a discovery session. It helps the development team unearth your subject area, requirements, functions, and expected problems/bottlenecks. Besides, this session also identifies the completion time and estimated cost.
The UX/UI design team begins working on the prototypes, which are later changed into UI design. Once you approve the UI design, the SaaS application development process starts by adding one or two features to the product.
Once the SaaS product’s initial version (V 1.0) is developed, it is provided to users to gain feedback. This testing phase helps developers add, remove, or modify features to meet customers’ demands. Your product also goes through various manual and automated tests to ensure no glitches.
When your product passes all the tests, it goes live. That means the app becomes available for real users.
Step 7: Post-Launch Maintenance and Support
The after-launch maintenance and support is an integral part of SaaS application development. It helps find and solve bottlenecks once the product goes live. One of the reasons why people choose a SaaS application development company is because they have a specialized team to overcome bugs and glitches instantly.
Types of SaaS Products – What Kind of SaaS Solutions can Your Organization Build and Offer that People Will Love
Now that you have refreshed your memory on the meaning of SaaS. Let’s begin understanding the popular SaaS application development with examples. Below are some well-known SaaS products for inspiration so you can give better service to clients and grow your business.
a. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Solutions
A customer relationship management (CRM) is software to help manage your organization’s interactions and relationships with existing and potential customers.
b. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Solutions
ERP solutions help big corporations manage their core business activities. That includes sales, supply chain, accounting, procurement, reporting, and more.
Example: Microsoft Dynamics 365
c. Invoicing and Billing Solutions
SaaS billing tools simplify the accounting process through automated billing. It helps you get rid of manual invoicing, and makes recurring payments and payment tracking quick and easy.
d. Project Management Solutions
Project management software is a SaaS application development for managing projects from beginning to end. These tools usually provide a dashboard, a space for online chat rooms, virtual meeting rooms, and more.
e. E-Commerce Solutions
SaaS E-Commerce tools allow users to build and host e-commerce stores. Users can also add payment options and manage inventory, taxation, and shipping.
f. Vertical SaaS Solutions
Vertical SaaS is a software as a Service built for a specific industry, such as real estate, healthcare, etc.
Example: Zillow and ZocDoc
g. Remote Collaboration and Video Conferencing Solutions
With the help of SaaS application development, file sharing and time-tracking have become simple. Additionally, there are many SaaS products for high-quality video conferencing.
Example: Google Drive and Zoom
For effective SaaS application development, you should not skimp on your market research. Your pricing model should be sensible for the customers. At the same time, your SaaS product should match users’ demands.
In the same way, successful SaaS application development is impossible without a proper technology stack. Therefore, finding an experienced SaaS development company will help make a winning product due to the abundance of technology. Also, the company will help you with the product’s maintenance.
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