SaaS leaders: Use customer insights to accelerate growth during a downturn

Many startups are feeling the pressure in today’s uncertain economic climate, but for SaaS companies, the next 12 months could present major opportunities for growth: 70% of small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) globally are reporting higher investments in technology this year, according to Gartner Digital Markets.

But businesses are changing where, how and why they invest in technology. Companies are making buying decisions faster, too: In 2021, 35% of SMBs took three to six months to complete software evaluation and purchase; that figure jumped to 47% in 2022.

Buying decisions have also become more self-driven as businesses refer to multiple sources to research software. This means startups need the right insights into buyer behavior to create more growth opportunities in 2023.

To maximize growth at every stage of the buying journey, here’s what you need to know about how your potential customers are purchasing software:

Understand why a business starts searching for software

About 54% of businesses that bought software in the past year opted to pay more for a customized solution instead of buying an off-the-shelf product.

Productivity improvements, outgrowing current technology and security concerns are the top reasons SMBs are purchasing software in 2023.

Keep in mind that at the awareness stage, businesses are looking to solve a problem or challenge using technology. Therefore, it’s essential to clearly communicate the benefits of your product and develop use cases tailored to the challenges businesses are facing.

Your messaging should reflect the features your prospects care about and the type of purchase they want to make whether they’re expanding current capabilities, replacing existing software or buying software for the first time.

Identify the sources businesses trust when evaluating software

Businesses are turning to rich, analytical sources for advice. More than one-third of SMBs seek advice from industry experts, but they don’t stop there. Free consultations with software analysts, websites or magazines of professional or trade associations, feedback from peers and colleagues, and product trials play an important role during the consideration phase.