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What is B2B SaaS? 16 Examples of B2B SaaS Companies

Perry Steward
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September 1, 2022
What is B2B SaaS? 16 Examples of B2B SaaS Companies

Feeling overwhelmed by all the business terminology, especially stuff like B2B, SaaS, and B2B SaaS?

As a full-service SaaS SEO and link-building agency, we use these terms daily when speaking to businesses about their marketing strategies.

B2B SaaS stands for Business-to-Business Software as a Service.

With 86% of organizations planning to move almost all their operations to SaaS after 2022, this term is going to enter the mainstream soon.

What is B2B SaaS?

B2B SaaS involves businesses selling cloud-based software to other businesses on usually a subscription basis. The main purpose of B2B SaaS is to solve the pain points of businesses and help them operate more efficiently and effectively.

Some common examples of such tools are:

  • Project management software (Asana)
  • Team collaboration software (Confluence)
  • Invoicing and payroll software (Zoho)
  • Inventory and logistics management tools (Fishbowl)
  • CRM and digital marketing tools (Salesforce)

Instead of downloading them on your computer (like Adobe Acrobat Reader), you subscribe to these tools (like Trello) through the website or an app by paying a monthly or annual fee.

B2B SaaS Vs. B2C SaaS

While B2B SaaS products are exclusively meant for businesses, B2C caters to consumers. Let’s quickly look into the subtle differences with an example of budgeting tools:

B2C

EveryDollar is a B2C budgeting tool that helps individuals keep track of their personal finances. The site’s tagline and visuals make it clear that the tool is directed toward individual customers.

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B2B

PlanGuru is the budgeting equivalent tool for businesses. Again, their site makes it very clear that it’s aimed toward businesses and not individual customers.

PlanGuru

The subtle differences between the two examples:

Even with these differences, you’ll find overlap between B2B and B2C products. For example, Canva, a design tool, is used both by individuals and businesses. These tools then differentiate by offering professional or team pricing plans for businesses.

Advantages of B2B SaaS Products

Here are some of the advantages of B2B SaaS products:

Easy access

Unlike traditional software, B2B SaaS products don’t require any installation. They can be easily downloaded through the internet. This is perfect for teams who work remotely or in different time zones as the tools can be accessed anytime on any device by just entering the required credentials. 

Simpler upgrades and feature addition

The best part about B2B SaaS tools is you don’t have to wait years for new upgrades and feature addition. They offer you several plans and you can easily upgrade to a higher plan by just clicking on a few buttons. These companies also come up with new feature additions that are automatically provided to you when they go live.

Avenue for cost reduction

These tools are comparatively cheaper than similar ones that need on-site installation. Ever wondered why? It’s because these tools run on a single cloud infrastructure. Every time they need to resolve a bug or add a new update, they just need to make one change and it gets applied to all customers.

Easier to solve customer concerns

10 years back, businesses had to send employees over to resolve customer problems. With the advent of tools like Zoom and AnyDesk and the entire tool based on the cloud, customer issues can be resolved within minutes.

Cost predictability

With traditional software, you had to pay a huge upfront fee. Add to that the huge maintenance fees over the years and the cost shoots up. With B2B SaaS tools, your costs in terms of the monthly, quarterly, or annual subscription fees are fixed. This helps you manage your budget and financial resources better.

How do you do B2B SaaS Marketing

A B2B buyer’s journey is unique which calls for a different marketing strategy than the ones B2C companies follow. Here are some strategies you can adopt:

SEO

More website traffic means more avenues for conversions. SEO is what makes that possible.

B2B SEO is a strategy that focuses on placing your website in front of people who are looking to buy the products/services you are selling. This eventually helps increase your search engine rankings and traffic.

Wondering how important that is?

The first result on Google has 10 times higher CTR than the tenth result.

Image source: Backlinko

Want to skyrocket search engine rankings for your B2B SaaS website? Get in touch with a SaaS SEO agency.

Paid ads

Pay-per-click advertising is on the rise and for a good reason. Running a strategic PPC (Pay Per Click) campaign is one of the easiest ways to get your business noticed by your target audience. You can use Google Display and Text ads, Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, etc. to generate significant results.

Instead of just advertising your product, you can boost your brand’s personality, content your user persona relates to, and your brand’s tagline.

Email marketing

Apart from blogs, ebooks, and tutorials, 81% of B2B marketers say that email newsletters are their most used form of content marketing. As B2B customers look for logic and ROI, email newsletters can be a great way to answer questions like, “How do I implement strategies that will increase my revenue?” or “How can your tool help my business grow?”

Here’s a killer email newsletter example by LiveChat, an online customer service software.

Social Media Marketing

There’s a misconception that social media marketing is only meant for B2C companies.

The statistics prove the same.

55% of B2B buyers use social media for research.

If you’re not making use of this platform, you’re missing out on many opportunities to connect with your target audience and spread awareness about your brand. While B2B marketers majorly focus on LinkedIn and Twitter, some are even stepping onto TikTok, YouTube, and Pinterest to build an audience.

For example, Shopify has made it big on TikTok by having over 100,000 followers. Business owners and entrepreneurs turn to their accounts to get tips, reviews, and advice.

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Top 16 B2B SaaS companies in the world

There are currently over 25,000 SaaS companies in the world. While some of them are still trying to make a name for themselves, some companies have already reached the top. Let’s take a look at the top 16 B2B SaaS companies in the world and what makes them unique.

#1 Google

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Google Workspace which houses a bundle of productivity tools for businesses recently crossed a whopping 6 million customers. They provide over 15 tools for all types of businesses: small businesses, startups, and enterprises. They also target a range of different industries such as manufacturing, retail, life sciences, and different departments like marketing, HR, finance, and so on. The best part about Google is that it has become an everyday tool for businesses around the world so there’s almost no learning curve associated with these tools.

#2 HubSpot

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Run a quick Google search on marketing and content creation and you’d find at least one top-ranking result to be a HubSpot article. That’s the kind of knowledge hub they have created over the years. They were the first to coin the term inbound marketing which helped them grow from 0 to $200 million in revenue. The HubSpot platform offers a range of tools that helps businesses improvise their sales, marketing, service, content management, and operations processes.

#3 Slack 

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Slack is the most adopted B2B SaaS communication tool, after maybe Gmail. It was founded in 2012 and within 2 years of launching, it became the fastest ever startup to achieve a $1 billion valuation. Today, Slack has over 169,000 paying customers with over 1285 customers spending more than $100,000 in annual recurring revenue. The way Slack reached these heights is by offering a freemium model. The tool delivers value right from the beginning and then encourages teams to upgrade to the premium version.

#4 Xero

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Xero, a cloud-based accounting system that was launched in 2009 quickly acquired a customer base of 135,000 customers within 3 years. It is geared toward small business owners to help track expenses, pay bills, manage projects, and payrolls. The one thing that makes this tool unique is its dashboard which gives business owners an idea of how much money is coming in and going out. The tool now boasts 3.3 million global subscribers.

#5 Workday

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Founded way back in 2005, Workday started with a human capital management solution and soon expanded to the finance domain as well. The tool has also achieved a 98% customer satisfaction rating, a great feat for any application enterprise vendor. The one reason why it has managed to gain so much popularity is that it provides one single platform for finance, HR, payroll, recruiting, and planning.

#6 Atlassian

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If you have not heard of Atlassian, I bet you at least know of Jira and Trello. These are just some of the tools that Atlassian has under its belt. It is known to develop tools for project management and software teams and has over 4000 applications to date. With over 180,000 customers and 83% of Fortune 500 companies using Atlassian products, it sure deserves a golden spot on this list.

#7 AppSumo

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With the tagline, “Stop overpaying for software”, AppSumo is a limited software deals marketplace where businesses can showcase their tools and get users to try out their offerings at deep discounts or Lifetime Deals. One thing you might not know about AppSumo is that they make more revenue per employee than tech giants like Facebook, Apple, and Google.

#8 Salesforce

Salesforce

Salesforce is one of the oldest B2B SaaS companies that also holds the record of reaching a $10 billion revenue rate faster than any enterprise software company. It proclaims to be the best all-in-one platform for sales, marketing, service, and more. Its most popular tool is CRM which the users love because of its customization capabilities. It also has one of the biggest ecosystems in the SaaS market.

#9 Shopify

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With Shopify, many startups and small business founders have managed to take their stores to the global level. The added ease, customization capabilities, affordability, and merchant support give the tool an edge over others. It has gained over 1 million customers across 175 countries to date making it the 3rd largest ecommerce player in the market. One reason why Shopify has grown so fast is because of its successful affiliate program. Just in 2019, approximately 26,400 ecosystem partners referred merchants to Shopify.

#10 Adobe

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Adobe is a familiar name for all businesses. Whether one wants to create animations for a website, conduct real-time content reviews, or edit videos or pictures, Adobe makes that possible. In the past year itself, Adobe surpassed the 26 million paid members on its Creative Cloud platform. The best part about Adobe is that it offers free tutorials to ensure users don’t feel overwhelmed with all the different types of tools, features, and capabilities it offers.

#11 Mailchimp

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Email marketing has become one of the widely used strategies by marketing professionals. Whether one wants to create engaging emails, conduct automated email campaigns, or track campaign insights, Mailchimp does that all. It owns 72.68% of the email market share and has amassed over 16 million users. They have also recently expanded from email to a full-fledged marketing platform. 

#12 Ahrefs

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Ahrefs positions itself as an all-in-one SEO toolset and rightly so. From researching content ideas, and finding linking opportunities, to exploring different keywords, it offers 5 different tools for your content team. Ahrefs has managed to bag big clients like Netflix, Facebook, Shopify, and many more making it one of the most trusted brands when it comes to SEO. You might not know this but Ahrefs has been one of the very few companies that made use of product-led content to grow to 100 million ARR with a team of 69 that included 0 salespeople.

#13 Semrush

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Similar to Ahrefs, Semrush provides SEO and site monitoring tools. They also have certain features that are unique to the platform like checking the quality of your content marketing. In 2022, it clocked $124.9 million in revenue along with 67,000 paying customers. They follow the “Customer success means our success” approach and regularly create content like webinars and blog posts to teach their subscribers how to get more from their tools. This way, they manage to keep their subscribers engaged and loyal.

#14 DocuSign

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DocuSign aims to reduce the time you spend finalizing agreements. With the tool, you can send, sign, and manage digital agreements. According to their official website, 80% of agreements are completed in one day. Companies also save $36 per document compared to traditional paper processes. As of 2022, DocuSign has over 148,000 enterprise and commercial customers spread across 180 countries. 

#15 Dropbox

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Trusted by over 600,000 teams and 700 million users, Dropbox offers a smart workspace where teams can collaborate and make use of various tools to create and edit content. You can even share files easily and with Dropbox Paper, you can add due dates and assign to-dos from the doc itself. It has also been ranked one of the most valuable B2B SaaS startups in the world with a valuation of over $10 billion.

#16 Zendesk 

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Zendesk calls itself the “Champion of customer service”. Providing an online helpdesk solution, it helps businesses with sales, customer interaction, and support functions. They also have in place an advanced analytics system to help business owners visualize trends, detect the impact of various organizational changes, and understand where customers face the most issues. Recently, it clocked in a 36% year-on-year growth rate making it one of the few companies to keep growing at such a fast scale.

Final thoughts

If we’re to believe the trend, the B2B model is set for even more success. But getting into this arena isn’t as simple as it seems. You need to learn how to make a great B2B SaaS and even more importantly, how to market one.

We have spent years perfecting the art of B2B marketing and what makes it tick so you don’t have to. You can read on to find our secret sauce to B2B SaaS SEO, marketing strategies, and great copywriting.

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