As the new year begins, the SaaS market is becoming more crowded and competitive. There are nearly 5000 companies with marketing-focused SaaS companies alone! How do you keep pace and differentiate yourself from both established competition and new services looking to jump in? Weave these 5 SaaS trends into your product roadmap for 2018.

Guiding Customer Success is Everyone’s Job

Lead your customers to success and provide feedback to reinforce results. Guide users through the process of accomplishing goals. Give users reporting on progress, work done, and return on investment. Your core customer success teams – support, client management, sales, marketing – must work in lock-step with product development to create a cohesive guided customer success strategy. Implementing your cohesive strategy will turn your satisfied customers into a key growth driver, since upgrades and second orders make customer success 5x more valuable than sales.

Going Deep with Vertical SaaS

Specializing in niches with massive pain points will be one of the largest SaaS trends this year. The strategy counters the severe overcrowding in the one-size-fits-all horizontal SaaS space. SaaS businesses laser-focused on a vertical have 8x cheaper customer acquisition costs and nearly 2x total valuation compared to horizontal SaaS. The most successful products are providing a comprehensive, robust solution with continuously delivered features to these specialized markets.

Amplify with Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence offers massive opportunities. AI and machine learning can automate tasks, learn user tendencies, and optimize processes. Improve your customer support with chatbots. Hyper-personalize your customer success process. Ensure product availability and security with intelligent monitoring and repair of your online infrastructure. As SaaS trends go, 81% of IT leadership already developing AI systems, this trend is coming in hot.

Mobile and Beyond

This year marks a pivotal moment for implementing a mobile strategy. According to comScore, mobile makes up nearly 70% of digital media time. Beyond mobile, SaaS trends indicate that users of voice-based personal assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri are forecasted to increase to over 1 billion this year. Finding ways to vastly improve your customer experience through non-desktop devices is essential to being competitive in 2018.

First Class API Integration

Seamless and secure SaaS integration with other systems is an expected requirement of every major IT project. APIs are also lucrative, with companies including SalesForce and Expedia generating over $1.5 billion in revenue each from APIs alone. The trend in past years has been to outsource integration or quickly provide resource intensive short term solutions. SaaS providers must embrace APIs as a first-class feature to retain existing business and grow new business in the year ahead.

Do You Need Help Getting Up to Speed on SaaS Trends in 2018?

Don’t be left behind in 2018. Shoot me an email now at ryanb@atomicgarden.com to begin plotting your course toward leading your market.

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