Entering New B2B Markets: A Mini Walkthrough Guide for SaaS Startups
April 29, 2021 8 min. read
If you are reading this article, you are probably considering expanding into a new market. And we’re pretty sure that you have a lot of open questions. When’s the right time to break into a new market? What do you need to consider? What data do you need, and where can you get it from? How can you be sure a market is even worth entering?
Uff, getting into a new B2B market is challenging. But it can be advantageous too. Luckily, practices that will consolidate your SaaS go-to-market strategy do exist.
We’ve created a comprehensive guide to help you get ready for expansion based on our own experience. So let’s get into it!
1. Research the Market
Whether you came up with a completely novel idea or your product has add-ons that no one else offers, a thorough competitive market analysis is a good starting point. In other words, before stepping into the unknown, take a close look at the environment you are going to compete in.
Chances are there’s a company that is already providing a service similar to yours. That being the case, identify the key players in the market. Start by picking 2-3 competitors, and go with further analysis from there. Try to understand what their strong and weak points are. Maybe you can do better?
It’s also possible that there are no close competitors and your SaaS product idea is brand new. But don’t start celebrating yet. Is there even demand? Do customers need your product? To understand whether this is the case or not, note industry trends. One great idea is to look at companies with similar products.
Under any scenario, questions worth finding answers to are the following:
• What are their products or services?
• What is their target audience?
• How do their customers respond to their products?
• What is their competitive advantage?
• What is their marketing strategy?
• What is their market share? Are they expanding?
Answering these questions will help you define an effective unique selling proposition in the future.
2. Double Check if You Still Want to Enter the Market
After you’ve done the market research, you may find out that your product is not as novel as you thought, or that the market is already flooded with products similar to yours and you simply don’t know how to stand out. So ask yourself again if this is even a market worth getting into.
Don’t worry if it turns out it’s not worth the game. An epiphany like this is totally fine. In fact, it’s much better than investing a lot of money and energy into a product, rushing into a market, and being spit back out. Don’t you think?
3. Analyse Your Target Audience
Knowing your buyer persona is the key to any marketing strategy. Understanding who you want to sell to is particularly critical for a SaaS startup. Why?
Whether you are entering a new market entirely or your new product is close to the market you currently work in, the needs of your future customers might be completely different. Does your product meet their needs? Believe us, you want to know that before expanding.
And more than that, your entire marketing strategy might be based on their needs too.
The only way to find out is to research your target audience. But how can you get to your potential leads if you are new to the market? Here’s how:
Conduct in-depth interviews
These interviews will give you hyper-relevant insights into their pain points and problems, so you can see the market from the customers’ perspective and fine tune your product value proposition and marketing strategy accordingly.
Launch Online Surveys
Online surveys don’t require a lot of time (to create or take part in) and help you reach a larger, more diverse audience.
Use Industry Reports
Industry reports require even less effort than online surveys but give you no guarantee that the data is relevant.
Find Feedback From Your Competitors’ Customers
Sometimes customers leave feedback about products online. And that can be a gold mine! Find out what they like and what they don’t like, and think about how your product can improve their experience.
Information from your target audience will allow you to add those product features you need to stand out. After that, you can work on your positioning and marketing content. That is to say, how to sell your product.
4. Seek Advice From the Industry Experts
Apart from researching your customers, you can also get valuable insights from consulting industry experts. Your goal is not to sell to them but to tap them for information. So don’t pitch.
Through market leaders, you can get direct access to the inside of what’s happening in the industry sector. You need honest feedback about your product and advice on ways to promote it. Be open and ready to accept criticism.
Having this, you can further adjust your product and your go-to-market strategy.
5. Test and Finetune
After you have gathered and analysed data from all your possible sources, you can move on to the next step — testing. Because let’s be honest, you might not get it right the first time.
But don’t worry, that’s not a bad thing. On the contrary, it’s a great way to set you on the right path because the more mistakes you make, the more trends and correlations you notice and the better your product can become. So keep it flexible and be ready to make adjustments.
While testing, change only one variable at a time. This way, you’ll be able to validate the impact of a particular factor on the campaign’s outcome.
Ensure you have all the analytics installed, and the right key performance indicators (KPIs) picked to track your progress.
The sequence is like this: test, analyse the results, improve and repeat.
Entering a new B2B market is as exciting as it is terrifying. Be critical of your product and market opportunities. Use data and track metrics. Stay open and flexible to any changes, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
Remember, there’s no recipe for success. Learn throughout the process and use these insights to develop an agile go-to-market strategy that will guide your B2B business growth. And most importantly — play to win!
Have you done all that? It’s time to find leads and start turning a profit! 😉
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