saas marketing messaging benefits

SaaS Messaging: How to communicate SaaS benefits

Liz Fieno
Sep 16, 2021

The biggest messaging mistake B2B SaaS companies make is writing with self-centric messaging.

Instead of talking about yourself as a company, you should be talking to your prospects and target customers. 

An important part of a marketer’s role is storytelling: setting the stage, illustrating the conflict, and introducing a hero to save the day. 

SaaS Storytelling: Pains, claims and gains

At Kalungi, we use the ‘Pain-Claim-Gain’ framework to tell these brand stories. Our prospects are the hero, their current situation is the conflict, and the SaaS product is the outcome.

pain-claim-gain

SaaS buyers often experience pains and challenges that lead them to explore a new software product--from lack of feature functionality and the right workflows to poor navigation that leads to lack of digital adoption. 

As a B2B marketer communicating highly technical product specs and features to a non-technical audience, it’s important to connect your persona’s pain points with your ‘claims’ and what they eventually gain. 

Communicating the pains and the claims is straightforward. Sharing the gains, however, gets a little more complicated.

You can’t just tell your prospects your SaaS product is essential. You have to say why and how your product is essential to them because without the “so what,” you can’t connect the dots between your claims and pains. 

Communicating the Gains of SaaS products

Simply put, the ‘gains’ are the key outcomes and benefits of your SaaS product(s) and services. What do your customers get from your SaaS products? 

Product and copywriting professionals know how to make promises, and reinforcing these claims with actual results helps you provide reassurance and confidence (making the buyer’s journey easier and smoother). 

Three types of B2B SaaS Gains

Our pains-claims-gains storytelling aligns with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

maslows pyramid-1

With this in mind, we categorize gains into three categories: Financial, strategic, and personal. With each of these, you should be moving closer towards the top of the pyramid. Financial gains align with safety, strategic improvements align with esteem, and personal gains align with self-actualization. 

Examples of these in your marketing communications might include: 

  1. Financial. Does this tool or platform deliver an ROI? Is it saving you money and resources? 
  2. Strategic. Does this software address the problem(s) I selected it for? Is communication easier? Resource management? Reporting and forecasting? 
  3. Personal. Can they sleep easier at night? Do they feel more confident in their roles? Are they seen as thought leaders at their organizations? 

How to communicate the gains of your SaaS products

We use ten main ways to prove and validate SaaS product claims that you can implement throughout marketing messaging, from one-pagers to blogs. Let’s explore why each one works and how these gains might sound. 

1. Testimonials, reviews, certifications, and awards

Marketing can get a bad rap, especially when it comes to misleading customers. 

That’s why one of the most powerful tools in SaaS marketing is testimonials from happy customers. To figure out what real-life gains your SaaS users experience, set up a 30-minute call and let them do the talking. 

Your three SaaS personas will care about different things: 

Personal (P1)

  • This solution saves me time and money
  • This tool makes my job easier.
  • Quotes from individual users sharing their excitement.
  • Testimonials from people in the same role as your target persona.
  • Using this tool makes me the hero in our team/my community.

Financial (P2)

  • Case studies showing time/money saved.
  • Customer quotes about ROI.
  • Research studies from third parties comparing price, total cost of ownership, and impact on the bottom line.
  • This solution saves the company time and money.

Strategic (P3)

  • Testimonials specific to your customer’s industry and job-to-be-done.
  • I have a competitive advantage by using these tools.
  • Logos on your website showing momentum and category leadership.
  • Analyst endorsement (Gartner Magic Quadrant etc.) making you a safe bet.

 

If your company doesn’t have any social proof to pull from, start now. You can use Kalungi’s testimonial question template to guide your interviews and record the meeting for a voice of the customer testimonial.  

2. Product demos

Talk is cheap, and more and more prospects are distrustful of marketing communications. Show your prospects (and current customers) how and why your product will make their work and lives better through product demos, free trials, or freemium versions. 

Product demos will likely showcase the benefits of your SaaS product across personal, financial, and strategic like: 

Personal (P1)

  • The reporting is done so much faster.
  • Show the product in a “live” setting that matches the use case.
  • Show that the product provides a great experience through videos, webinars.
  • Live trial of your training academy.
  • Trial of your software service.
  • Show how easy something is to use.

Financial (P2)

  • Things are done cheaper, on time, and more accurately.
  • Terms and conditions that show real commitment to the Service Level Agreement.
  • Quality of your proposal, materials, and follow-up during the sales process.
  • Use charts and graphs to communicate numbers. Compare them to benchmarks.
  • Drive credibility that the product does what you say it does through a demo.

Strategic (P3)

  • Show your product roadmap. Make it real with timelines, video, and pictures.
  • Demonstrate your long-term partner program in action.
  • Content on your website that shows your mastery of the solution category (blogs, insights).
  • Show onboarding speed, solution adoption success stories.
  • Proof of Concept/Pilot projects

3. Meaningful metrics

When demos and social proof fail, turn to hard numbers (which are more credible than words). Don’t make empty promises, and back up your claims with hard statistics that have been proven over time. 

Personal (P1)

  • Proof of individual productivity gains.
  • Average time saved on individual tasks, shown with real numbers, graphs.
  • Turn the data backing up the value proposition targeted at the persona instead of the company.
  • Show personal opportunity for impacted people vs. potential loss of relevance.

Financial (P2)

  • Show proof of your claims (i.e., productivity gains, output, time of implementation, uptime).
  • Show accurate, real numbers vs. estimates (i.e., from “Many customers have done XYZ.” to “73 customers have done XYZ at least two times.”).
  • Benchmark your performance and show it relative to competitors and the market over time.
  • Show data that uncovers the cost/pain of inertia and staying in the current state.

Strategic (P3)

  • Proof of security of the solution
  • Credentials of the cloud platform your solution runs on (availability, security, privacy)
  • ISO and other certifications
  • Your financials and public record as a stable, well-run company.

 

If you don’t have specific ROI statistics, consider what other numbers you can use to your advantage. Instilling trust through proof such as total number of customers, countries served, people managed, or years in service can establish your expertise and credibility just as well. 

4. Thought leadership

The final category of communicating gains is through consistent and clear thought leadership. Assert yourself and take a stand on your industry, market, and best practices. Have an opinion now and on what’s next, and you’ll become an influential voice that your prospects and current customers get value from. 

Through thought leadership, you can position your company and SaaS product(s) in a unique way that demonstrates both your credibility and as a problem-solver for your marketplace. 

Personal (P1)

  • Have an opinion on tackling tool and process deficiencies that impart the individual users.
  • Be an advocate for innovation with users at the center of the value prop.

Financial (P2)

  • Use value-based pricing. Don’t follow the competition.
  • Drive innovation and leadership in your pricing and business model.
  • Don’t be shy about raising prices.

Strategic (P3)

  • Predict the future savings possible by using your solution and the innovations you are working on.
  • Show how analysts are using your product and innovation to analyze the category.

 

If you’ve never experimented with thought leadership before, that’s ok -- make a list of questions you or your customer-facing roles are frequently asked, challenges you (or your customers) run into, and 

You can turn these ideas into valuable content like webinars, blogs, social media posts, infographics, short video clips, and whitepapers. This adds value to your users and prospects that build trust and get them closer to their personal, financial, or strategic goals. 

Nail your SaaS messaging with our free template 

If you don’t have any messaging guide in place, you can get started with Kalungi’s free messaging guide template. Plus, check out the following blogs to get started with positioning your SaaS company in your market: 

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