Success goes beyond common metrics like MRR, customer churn, and customer lifetime value. To be successful, SaaS companies need to have a deep understanding of their competitors.
That’s why SaaS competitor analysis should be a part of any SaaS company’s strategy.
Competitor analysis done well provides vital information to your sales team, product team, and marketing team. Knowing exactly what the competition is doing – and how they’re doing it – gives you a major advantage in the market.
But SaaS competitor analysis is more than just a list of features. It’s about understanding the entire customer journey, from awareness to purchase to retention. And it’s not something you can do once and forget about – you need to keep tabs on your competitors on an ongoing basis.
That’s where we come in. We at Common Ground can provide comprehensive, actionable intelligence on your SaaS competition. We have provided a useful template that goes beyond the usual SaaS competitor analysis strategies.
What is SaaS competitor analysis?
At its core, SaaS competitor analysis is the process of researching and analysing your SaaS competitors.
Done right, it will reveal critical information about your top competitors – their product, marketing strategy, sales strategy, business model, etc. – that you can use to your advantage.
Below are just some of the data we include in our SaaS competitor analysis report:
Details about your competitor’s SaaS products
Before you can make a better product than everyone else, you need to know what everyone else is offering.
Our SaaS competitor analysis report will give you an in-depth look at your competitor’s products, including features, the tech and tools they’re using, and how they compare to your product.
This information will be invaluable to your product development team as they work on new features and enhancements for your own SaaS solution.
A breakdown of your competitor’s marketing strategy
Your marketing team will also benefit from a thorough competitor analysis report. They’ll be able to see how your competitors are positioning their products, what marketing channels they’re using, and what kind of messaging they’re using to reach their target customers.
For instance, how many followers do they have on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other relevant social media platforms? How engaged is their community, and what tactics are they using to drive engagement? Are they running sponsored ads? If so, what kind of messaging are they using?
This high-level look at your competitor’s marketing strategy will give you insights into what’s working for them and how you can adjust your own marketing strategy to compete better.
A deep dive into your competitor’s sales strategy
Having an outstanding SaaS product is just half the battle. The other half is getting it in front of the right people.
To that end, a competitor analysis report will also provide insights into your competitor’s sales strategy. For instance, what kind of discounting and pricing strategies are they using? How do they drive awareness and demand for their product? What kind of sales channels are they using – direct, indirect, or a mix of both?
Arming your sales team with this kind of information will help them to close more deals and drive more revenue for your business.
A look at your competitor’s online reputation
It’s important to monitor what people are saying about your competitors online. This however is something that you will often find businesses will overlook.
Are they getting positive reviews? Negative reviews? Or no reviews at all? What kind of complaints are they getting, and what do people love about their product?
It’s like getting feedback directly from your competitor’s customers. And this feedback can be invaluable in shaping your own SaaS product, marketing strategy, and sales strategy.
Your competitors’ customer retention strategies
Customer retention is one of the keys to SaaS survival. If you’re not retaining your customers, you’re not going to be in business for very long.
That’s why a good competitor analysis report includes a section on your competitor’s customer retention strategies. How are they keeping their customers happy? What kind of loyalty program or other incentives do they offer to keep people using their product?
You can then use that information to polish your own customer retention strategy and keep more of your hard-earned SaaS customers.
Why SaaS competitor analysis is essential
Many SaaS sectors are oligopolies, which means they’re dominated by a small number of large SaaS companies. These are the ones who already have a significant market share and are difficult to compete against.
So, if you want to be successful in the SaaS space, it’s essential that you understand which sectors are oligopolies and which companies dominate them. Otherwise, you’ll be swimming upstream from the very beginning.
In addition, the SaaS arena is highly competitive. There are many reasons for this, including the following:
- Anyone can enter the SaaS marketplace thanks to the low barrier to entry
- Large-scale funding available for SaaS startups
- A wealth of information, guides, and tools on how to build new software solutions
The result is an insanely profitable but brutal marketplace in which only the strong survive.
A SaaS competitor analysis template
In general, SaaS competitor analysis involves breaking down the details of multiple organisations at once.
We’ve distilled the process into easy-to-understand sections that you should cover when conducting your own competitive analysis. This allows for the following:
- Saves time without compromising quality
- Allows for quick and easy side-by-side comparisons of key metrics
- Is highly repeatable, so you can use it over and over again with different companies
The only thing you need to do is establish the competitors you want to cover and follow what each of the sections includes.
These are just some of the key fields you’ll need to follow in order to conduct a thorough competitor analysis:
Not just their current name but other names they have as a result of the rebranding, mergers, and acquisitions, or expansion into new markets.
This includes an overview of their business, such as their head office and anywhere else they have a physical presence.
Look to list their employees and where they are located, their website, blog, and social media accounts. This section also includes how old their organisation is, as well as their areas of business if they’re a diversified company.
Investors & funding
List down all of their current and past investors, as well as how much funding they’ve received to date. On top of that, break it down into their funding rounds so you can examine their growth trajectory.
This metric gives you a snapshot of how much of the SaaS market your competitor controls. Also, include any relevant details about their share price and recent stock movements.
SaaS products & solutions
Here, you will record an overview of the different SaaS products and solutions they offer, along with any relevant details about each one.
For instance, mention if they have a free trial or money-back guarantee. In addition, also give an overview of their target market and the industries they serve. Wondering what technology they use to power their products?
We’ve got you covered there too.
SaaS product features
In this section, you’ll discover the key features of your competitor’s SaaS offerings. You should also include any add-ons or extras they provide, as well as any integrations they support.
Unique selling points (USPs)
What makes your competitor’s SaaS products and solutions stand out from the crowd? List their unique selling points here, as well as any awards or recognition they’ve received.
Pricing model & details
Knowing your competition’s pricing strategy will help you optimise your positioning in the market.
For this section record details about their pricing model – what’s included in their free trial? Do they have a subscription model? Pay-as-you-go?
Aside from the pricing model, also include any discounts or promotions they’re currently running, as well as how their pricing strategy has evolved over time.
Customer support is where the best SaaS companies shine. In this section, you should record everything you need to know about your competitor’s customer support offering, including how it’s provided (e.g., live chat, email, phone) and what people are saying about it (e.g., customer satisfaction ratings).
Another cornerstone of our SaaS competitive analysis template is a detailed breakdown of your competition’s target market.
Are they gunning for enterprise-level customers? Small businesses? Freelancers or solopreneurs? Moreover, you should investigate their target market’s geographic locations and all of the industries they serve.
Website SEO status
Your competitor’s website is one of their most powerful marketing channels. In this section, you should list their URL and related metrics like domain authority, which will give you an indication of their online visibility and reach.
On top of that also include their keyword rankings, so you can see which keywords they’re targeting and how well they’re ranking for them. Plus, provide an overview of their organic traffic so you can use the data to inform your own SEO strategy.
Are they running any paid search campaigns? If so, begin to research their targeted keywords, ad copy, and landing pages. You can also gather information on how much they’re spending on their PPC campaigns, as well as any relevant conversion rate data.
Social media properties
Our template includes an overview of all of the social media platforms they’re active on. Besides that, keep track of their follower count, as well as their level of engagement (e.g., how many likes, comments, and shares they’re getting).
What kind of content is your competitor publishing? How often are they doing it? Gather information that gives you the answers to these questions and more in this section, including an overview of their blog, articles, eBooks, infographics, webinars, and other types of content.
In addition, look into how they’re promoting their content (e.g., through social media, email marketing) and whether people are engaging with it (e.g., likes, shares, comments).
Your competitor’s brand reputation will have a big impact on their success – and by extension, your own. In this part, provide an overview of their brand reputation, including any awards or recognition they’ve received.
Apart from that, provide data on their social media mentions and web traffic, as well as customer satisfaction ratings.
Our template also includes a section on product reviews, where you can learn about what people are saying about your competitor’s products and solutions.
In addition, include data from popular review sites like Capterra, G2 Crowd, and Trustpilot, as well as any relevant customer testimonials we come across.
Gather the latest data on your competitor’s company growth, including any new funding they’ve received and their current employee headcount. This information will provide you with a good sense of their health as a business and their likelihood of success in the future.
User base growth
A critical indicator of a SaaS company’s success is its user base growth. Dive into this metric in-depth, including data on their active monthly users and any recent changes in user growth rate.
In the final section of our SaaS competitor analysis template, provide a high-level overview of everything we’ve covered. This will give you a quick way to digest the most important information about your competition.
Uncover the Secrets of Your SaaS Competition
SaaS competitor analysis is one of the most powerful ways to get an edge over other players in your industry. By analysing every element of your competitors’ strategy, you can adapt and improve your own offerings to better meet the needs of your target market.
The template sections above are just an overview of our SaaS competitor analysis offering. If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help you outsmart your competition, book one of the few remaining spots on our call calendar today.