In every day and age, new business challenges require new tools and solutions. Today, we’ll go over the tools that SaaS startups benefit from immensely, starting with tools you could add during the pre-deployment stage to SaaS tools for any product need - from marketing to monitoring and analytics.
The SaaS tools we’ll mention in this article are great for any size or type of startup and will be equally effective in ensuring a higher quality of user experience, promoting growth, and maintaining a proper order of internal processes.
Let’s begin with a quick overview of a few primary challenges that SaaS startups face. Check out our recent blog post if you've ever wondered how to create a landing page that converts.
Main challenges faced by SaaS startups today
Offering software as a service to other businesses comes with a few specific challenges. Some issues, like not understanding the market entirely or building a network of connections, are pretty universal and applicable for most startups, not just SaaS.
Lack of experience and knowledge. One of the major difficulties that a lack of knowledge and experience can cause startups is improper scaling. When facing rapid growth, many companies cannot adjust, neither to competition nor to change in internal processes.
Technical challenges. Technical issues for SaaS startups include the wrong technology stack (check how to choose the right one in our previous SaaS blog), lack of technical expertise, a mismatch between your tools and your audience’s needs, etc.
Weak management. Poor management with no experience in how to run not only a SaaS business but also a startup can lead to severe mistakes and hinder your company’s growth altogether.
Technology adoption. For SaaS, it’s crucial to stay up-to-date with the latest trends, even if you don’t adopt them all. The knowledge of what technology best suits your business only comes from educating yourself on what is considered cutting-edge today.
Lack of operational efficiency. The lack of efficiency in handling such complex processes as customer service, performance tracking, security of both your company and your clients, etc., can cause SaaS startups to fail.
Many of the challenges mentioned above are easily manageable with professional oversight and the introduction of the following tools that will help you run your SaaS startup more efficiently. Let’s start with a few handy tools back at the SaaS development stage.
SaaS development tools
For SaaS products, a few tools are known to effectively accelerate the development process and, at the same time, cut costs and improve product cycles. One of them is a server-side framework called Ruby on Rails.
Easy setup, an enormous amount of open-source libraries, and an overall developer-friendly process make this framework an excellent choice for creating SaaS applications. The tool’s variety of ready-made solutions speeds up development and ensures a more secure product.
The next thing we have are Django, NodeJS, and AngularJS. Similarly to Ruby on Rails, Django is used for its security capabilities. It also allows developers to quickly and easily create APIs and develop reusable modules and applications.
With event-driven NodeJS, SaaS applications can get more scalable, and with AngularJS, you can develop much more complex and data-reliant applications.
SaaS marketing tools
Next, we have marketing automation tools for SaaS startups. The market these days has tools for almost anything marketing-related, from sales optimization by modifying your sales funnel to lead quality improvement and customer retention.
We’ll start with Hotjar, a handy tool if you want to step up your game with behavioral analytics and gain more insights into your SaaS product’s usability. It lets you access the heatmaps of any of your pages, tracking how well they do with the visitors - what they click or interact with.
Then we’ve got TrueNorth, a growth marketing platform for marketing forecasts, smart planning, and tracking for SaaS companies. What it does is take the guesswork out of the equation by letting you calculate the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.
A few other helpful tools are called Intercom, Semrush, and VWO. Intercom is an automated lead generation and customer support tool that also offers chatbots that can even be programmed to be triggered only after a customer displays indecisive behavior.
Semrush is a complete marketing toolkit primarily used for SEO optimization through keyword research, and VWO is a conversion rate and customer experience tool for SaaS, where you can even run experiments and tests on your product without impeding performance.
SaaS reporting tools
Reporting tools are a variety of software, tools, and programs that use analytics to display and report data that’s valuable for a business. Reporting software also allows you to analyze and present that data to your clients in a way that’s easy to understand.
First up is Zoho Analytics, a tool that not only offers advanced analytics and reporting services but also lets you share and collaborate on it with your team in real-time. You can also combine different SaaS data sources, efficiently organize them, and transform them into impressive reports.
With the tool called Sprout Social, you can effectively manage and report the condition of your SaaS product’s social media, performing mainly qualitative analyses of keywords, hashtags, and popular topics.
Another comprehensive reporting tool, JReport, allows you to almost instantly create thorough data charts, detailed insights, dashboards, and other data analytics visualizations simply by using their drag-and-drop feature and extremely helpful sorting and filtering elements.
SaaS monitoring tools
In general, monitoring tools are the software that helps to continuously monitor and control the status of your system, in this case - of a SaaS product, to react timely if there are any bugs, failures, or any other issues. Tools like these are used to keep track of performance, databases, servers, networks, security, etc.
For example, a tool called Sematext is an all-in-one monitoring software for SaaS-related infrastructure performance, logs, API, frontend, uptime, and other vital metrics. It features both synthetic and real user monitoring, as well as performance tracking for both cloud and on-premise SaaS.
For monitoring SaaS applications, there’s the next tool on our list - New Relic. It also offers customer experience monitoring, comprehensive analytics, and queries against your collected and monitored data, plus data from third-party sources.
Another helpful tool called Sumo Logic is a log analyzer, letting SaaS startups and regular companies promptly sort and study the log files. And last but not least, Elasticsearch - a full-text search engine tool also used for log analysis, as well as log retrieval and pre-processing.
SaaS management tools
SaaS management tools, or, more specifically, SaaS operations management tools, let SaaS companies effectively govern and secure their products and services by handling the team and user access, regulating internal workflows, providing process automation, controlling integrations and data security, etc.
The first tool on our list is BetterCloud - a well-known management tool for SaaS operations that offers professionals a variety of features for upgrading the employee experience, elevating the operational efficiency of your product and organization, and streamlining data protection.
Next, we have a management tool called Torii that gives companies the means to automate and manage their entire SaaS ecosystem, offering insights into spending, waste, and utilization patterns, plus helping with onboarding, off-boarding, security, and compliance.
Finally, the management tool, Zylo, is considered one of the leaders in today’s market for SaaS management and optimization, enabling both startups and more established companies to organize and control their product’s spend, licenses, and usage.
SaaS analytics tools
And last but not least, SaaS product analytics and web analytics tools. Their main purpose is to help product owners or managers to analyze the performance of the SaaS in question by going through essential metrics such as customer engagement, behavioral patterns, interactions, page views, time per page, etc.
For SaaS web analytics, one of the most popular and well-established tools is Google Analytics, which is also free. You can track the performance of any of your SaaS web pages and receive comprehensive reports about your visitors - from demographics to most-used devices.
The following tool, called Adobe Analytics, works similarly, letting you turn all your analytics data into actionable insights, optimize your marketing campaigns, visualize your clients’ interactions, and many more exciting features.
For more product-focused analytics, a tool named Mixpanel would be a great idea. It offers event-based SaaS product analysis, which allows you to track specific user interactions happening in real-time to identify behavioral patterns.
Another analytics tool, GoodData, will come in handy when you need to increase your ROI (return on investment) by upgrading your product design and data strategies. This Business Intelligence platform offers numerous customizable data visualization tools, plus integrations with extensive databases.
These are just a few of the helpful tools meant to give SaaS startups a way to streamline their internal processes, gain valuable insights into how their users think and feel, jumpstart product development, and optimize their marketing campaigns.
In reality, there are many more where these came from.
Overall, we know that managing startups, especially SaaS ones, is not easy, but with the help of even a few of the tools mentioned above, it will become much more effortless and rewarding.
We bid you farewell for today, and stay tuned for more SaaS-related articles coming your way.