When you consider that SaaS companies are shifting toward cloud-based operations, they are all global by nature. A great thing about SaaS is that it dissolves international and geographic borders as if they don't exist.
This means that capturing international markets and chiseling out revenue should be easier than ever before.
Easier said than done! One must realize there’s a difference between qualifying as a global business and conducting business on a global scale. If your business is truly global, it means you have a reach that spans the world. Your product and content will reflect the way your customers live and do business.
Here’s what you can do to capture more of the global market by paying attention to your loyal customers.
1. Sell more to existing customers. Whether your business is B2B, or B2C, there is a strong likelihood that some of your customers live in other countries. You also have customers in the U.S. who speak English as a second or third language. Why not make your SaaS products available in other languages?
You may be thinking, “Why didn’t I think of that before?” Don’t beat yourself up. Like thousands of business owners, you’re focused on what’s right in front of your face—as it should be. The fact is, providing software offerings in a customer’s own language can make a huge impact on their buying decisions.
2. Consider charging more for your global offerings. Yes! Customers are always willing to pay for a premium product or service. We all learned that in Marketing 101. Many will be willing to pay an additional cost for the access. It also positions your company as a forward-thinking company.
Capitalizing on the Things You Already Know
Keep your users’ experiences at the top of the list. Most SaaS customers subscribe to the philosophy they’re going to be offered something free. They’re mostly correct. Your first order of business is to get customers to try your product.
With all your efforts, the goal is to create an exceptional user experience. Meeting their expectations will always be the first hurdle down that rocky road to success.
Validate Your Software Offerings Early
It’s easy to get caught up in selling and forget the software you’re selling has a purpose—to solve a customer’s problems. Or, to enhance and improve what they’re already doing. Not everyone has a problem. If you address them as such, you can lose a valuable customer before you even begin. If you’re pushing a prototype, make sure it delivers on a promise. Keep following up with your customers to make sure they’re happy and satisfied.
Release Your Products and Release Often
Fast software development can keep your company on the cutting edge. Releasing a product that fails to hit the mark can also place you on the “cutting edge.” The goal is to develop and ship a relevant product that gets the job done.
The launch and timing of your product is critical. Know your market, its holidays, people’s lunch break habits, what they read, and where they can be reached when your product hits the market.
Keep Your Offerings Simple
No matter how complex, keep your software offerings simple. There’s actually no contradiction in this. Simple things, explained poorly, can seem complex. Complex things, explained well, can appear to be simple.
One of the best ways to lose your hard-fought-for customers is to make things complicated. They’ll stop engaging with your product and look for an exit. And they won’t be back! Keep in mind as well that everyone has a network they follow or that follows them. They’ll be sure to pass along the information, good or bad, that your company lost them in the mix or gave them a way forward.
Develop a Process for Collecting and Analyzing Feedback
Analytics and data can deliver some amazing insights about customer behavior. And customer behavior is what you want to be an expert on. Don’t rely too much on just collecting data. Talk to your customers. They’re the best source for letting you know that whey feel at any point along the way.
When going global, user feedback can be invaluable. This allows you to put protocols in place to adapt your product to user needs. However, it you’re not planning a major fact-finding mission, there are a number of things you can do to find out what’s on your customers’ minds.
Send out a mass survey. A survey is the basis of all feedback collecting efforts. Plan your questionnaire carefully. There are tools like SurveyMonkey that can be quite useful for such a project. Keep the survey simple and to the point. Remember, people are on the move. Ask only relevant questions that will allow you to gain quick, effective insights.
Additional feedback tools can help with user feedback. The whole idea is to “automate” your operations. Let software help speed up the business and marketing process.
Contact your customers directly. Remember, this is where you’ll likely get your most profound feedback from. Talking to customers can help clarify their absolute needs and wishes. Incentives driven by customers is the way to go. And of course, don’t forget to send out a “thank you” to customers. This lets customers know that you appreciate the time they spent on the survey.
Europe Is in the Cloud
Nearly 70% of Europe is in the cloud. Europe is progressive in this manner. Cloud-hosting makes it easier to take your product global. You may already have an idea about those benefits, but here’s a list just to reinforce your own impressive knowledge.
Work in the cloud and work from anywhere. SaaS clients can communicate and access information from anywhere. There are no regions to cross or limitations to impede.
The cloud lowers the cost of entry. There’s no need for users to buy hardware or software, which keeps their investment at a minimum.
Upgrades are free of pain. Any updates in their software are processed and accessed immediately.
Immerse Your Offerings in Languages
We spoke of this earlier, but they’re a must-have in today’s connected world. Yes, there are more than 2,700 languages actively spoken in the world. So, what languages to choose? Start small, gather information and analyze it, then branch out.
Tackle the major spoken languages first. For millions, perhaps billions, of people in the world, English is a barrier. Just think of all the customers you’re not reaching because you chose not to communicate with them in their own language.
The following languages should reach 80% or more of you overseas SaaS customers: Spanish, German, French, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, Korean, Arabic, and Russian. Translate! It will help you make more money than you can imagine.
Try Localizing Your Prices
Easier said than done but anything worth doing is worth overcoming hurdles to make it a reality. Think of the country and what customers can afford as a fair price. Think British Pound, and the Euro. This covers the currency of over 700 million people. That’s a lot. There’s no reason why a portion of this vast population can’t be your customers.
Up through 2016, SaaS revenue was expected to grow from $14 billion to $32 billion.
Cloud prices will drop significantly. Google is a significant reason why. Google is rumored to have a program that can help early state startups take advantage of the cloud. The program will allow them to launch quickly, and scale their ideas by receiving as much as $100,000 in cloud platform credits, 24/7 support, and access to a Google support tech team. This has some interesting implications.
SaaS Is the Future
SaaS is the future and here’s why. SaaS applications are available from any computer or device—from anywhere in the world. SaaS, because of this, has high adoption rates and the learning curve is minimal.
Lower costs to subscribe make it popular. SaaS providers who manage infrastructures means customers don’t have to buy expensive software or worry about managing things.
Upgrades are automatic. There aren’t any patches for customers to install or download. It’s the same for availability as well. Customers can even integrate with other business productivity systems.
There’s an old saying that the “world is your oyster.” This is fundamentally true. You simply have to grab hold of the possibilities. There are customers all over the world looking for your products and services. When they find you, it’s a win-win for everyone.