4 SaaS growth strategies that can give your organization a competitive edge

Organizations in the SaaS space may be experiencing lower growth than anticipated.

According to BMC, the annual, compounded growth rate of a SaaS company is projected to be merely 12% through 2022.

How can your SaaS business grow faster than this rate in the short term and in a way that’s aligned with your long-term interests?

We’ll review 4 wide-ranging growth strategies that can help, and share specific examples of organizations that have implemented them successfully. That way, you’ll get a sense of what it takes to apply each strategy effectively.

Related: 4 SaaS retention strategies that can delight your clients

1. Grow your brand by providing a community for professionals in your niche 

Building a professional network independently can be a daunting and challenging endeavor.

It often involves picking out the people you want to connect to and crafting cold outreach messages, only to get ignored time and time again.

This presents your organization with a significant opportunity: providing your target audience with a place to meet potential mentors and peers who can provide the professional guidance and feedback they need to improve at their jobs and advance in their careers.

Aside from benefiting your target audience, the community should indirectly help your business grow its brand awareness. Why? Because members will likely be split between clients and prospects, leading the former to bring up your brand organically in a variety of contexts, both in online community forums and at physical events. 

We’ve experienced this first-hand since starting our community for business technology and RevOps professionals, Systematic. There have been countless spirited conversations between community members, many of which revolve around our platform. This has naturally given non-users visibility into our platform, including the various features and benefits it provides—all without the need for involvement by our team.

2. Aid your sales efforts by launching a customer referral program 

Your satisfied clients can elevate your business in a number of ways, from offering up upsell and cross-sell opportunities to fueling your marketing assets with punchy testimonials.

But perhaps an under-utilized and equally important opportunity they present is referring prospects who can benefit from using your product or service.

These references can help your sales reps close more deals, but their value extends beyond that, as a study by Wharton found the following: referred clients have a 16% higher lifetime value for the business than non-referred clients.

So how can you motivate clients to provide references? To help you brainstorm, here’s a look at what several SaaS companies are currently doing:

  • Gusto offers both referrers and referred clients a gift card
  • Dropbox provides referrers extra storage space
  • Evernote gives referrers points (which they can use to access a premium subscription), and referred clients get a free month of the premium subscription

You can play around with different incentives to see what works best, and in doing so, likely give your organization an effective and enduring growth channel.

3. Scale your business cost-effectively by embracing content marketing 

Most marketing efforts only yield returns if you continue to spend money. 

This holds true for all types of digital ads—from video ads on Youtube to native ads on media sites to social ads on platforms like Instagram. And it applies to event marketing—where your organization needs to pay a fee in order to host a booth, or engage in other activities that can give your brand recognition during the event.

Content marketing offers a fundamentally different approach to client acquisition via search engine optimization* (SEO). 

*SEO is simply the process of gaining traffic to your site from the pages that appear in organic results in search engines.

Using a content marketing strategy that’s SEO-driven, your organization can receive a steady stream of targeted traffic at no additional cost once the content gets published.

There’s several SaaS companies that see a strong ROI from their SEO-led, content marketing strategy. One of which is SurveyMonkey. 

Just search for keywords that have a high search volume and that closely relate to SurveyMonkey’s business—like “anonymous survey” or  “screener questions”—and you’ll find their blog posts at the top. As these posts continue to rank at or near the top of the search results pages for months (if not years), they’ll continue to earn significant traffic from prospective buyers at no additional cost to the business.

4. Make your product stickier by investing in embedded integrations

You can ensure the stickiness of your product and free up time for developers by using embedded integrations that are powered by a third-party iPaaS provider (otherwise known as an Embedded Platform). 

An Embedded Platform can offer your clients out-of-the-box connectivity with hundreds of SaaS apps, allowing clients to quickly and easily expand their use of your platform; all the while, the Embedded Platform allows your developers to focus on other business-critical tasks, as they no longer have to spend a lot of time building and managing integrations natively.

Workato, the leader in integration-led automation, offers an Embedded Platform that offers these very features and more—such as letting your clients build end-to-end workflow automations via ready-to-use templates. 

To learn more about Workato’s Embedded Platform and to better understand how it can help your organization grow, you can schedule a demo with one of our automation experts.