SaaS is trending and there is no point in denying it. In 2020, the market size in this niche is expected to reach $157 billion. It makes Software as a Service highly profitable and interesting to invest in.
However, a constantly growing market means a constantly growing competition. Sometimes it seems like no matter what problem you can think of, there is already some kind of software that solves the issue perfectly. Moreover, it happens a lot that there are multiple solutions for one problem. That is where marketing and product value proposition specifically kicks in.
A product value proposition answers questions of what your software does, what problems it solves, and why you are better than your competitor. You can use it in any step of the customer journey, but it always appears on the homepage. It is usually quite short, but it has to contain needed information, be attention-grabbing, and connect with customers on an emotional level.
In this article, we are going to talk about several things. Firstly, we will discuss why you need an effective product value proposition. Then we are going to define the questions that are necessary for creating a perfect product value proposition. At last, we will go through the main tips on how to create it.
Why Effective Product Value Proposition Matters?
According to Hubspot, a product value proposition can either help your software to gain a lot of new customers or kill your conversions and sales altogether. It seems a bit too dramatic, yet, it is rightfully so.
Marketing is mostly about getting into your customer’s shoes, and that is exactly what we are going to do right now. Let’s imagine that you are looking for a website builder that would help you create an easy-to-use and fast website. The truth is: there are a lot of them. So it’s better to read reviews of various options available on the market and choose the one that works for you. The popular product in this field is SquareSpace and one of the reasons for its popularity is that they offer various packages for business use and for a personal one, therefore each of its plans have different value propositions for the final user (e.g. ecommerce isn’t offered in the entry-level package). By satisfying the needs of different audiences, they significantly increase the reach of their service.
So you get all these Google results, and it is a bit overwhelming. You click the first result and the homepage is the first thing you see. There are a couple of sentences that tell you about the software. You read those twice, and you still have no idea whether it is what you have been looking for or not. Consequently, you quit because there are so many other plugins that deliver the message of what they do more clearly.
You can have the best software out there, but your customer will never know because they did not get through your homepage.
Only 2,2% have an effective product value proposition. It means that others either have a mediocre one, which does not really matter or created an ineffective proposition, which causes more damage than good.
Now that we know how important the effectiveness of the product value proposition is, we need to find out how to make a couple of sentences that will sell your product.
Questions You Have to Ask Yourself to Write a Perfect Product Value Proposition
There are a couple of questions that a product value proposition has to cover so it is essential that you answer them honestly before writing it.
What Does Your Product Do?
Once again, get into customer shoes and think about the situations that can lead to using your product and what tasks it will help to manage.
There is also a component of what social tasks it has. By that, we mean that your product helps certain people or teams to get noticed/promoted/respected. For example, let’s take a look at Slack. Its main task is to create a platform for working communications. At the same time, an HR who decides to use Slack within their company will be valued by
- the board because it will increase the productivity of the team
- the team because their internal communication became much easier because of you
What Are the Pain Points?
Every software is created to solve some kind of problem. People have an issue while doing something, they see software that finally understands how much they struggle with it, they buy it.
So there are two types of pains:
- unwanted outcome: one does their job and puts everything they can into it but the result is still unsatisfying (software for productivity increase is a great example because we do, in fact, complete the task but we spend much more time on it than we would want)
- obstacles: one can not even start doing something because they do not have a necessary tool (software for editing are essential if you need to edit an image, audio or video, there is nothing you can do without it)
Knowing the pains of your customer and acknowledging their struggle is a great way to connect emotionally with your them. We all want someone to understand our issues. Sometimes we want it even more than getting a solution to the problem.
It may also help you to understand the previous question better: in which situation will you use your product?
What Will Your Customers Gain from Your Product?
Customers buy things in order to gain some kind of benefit from it. In this part, you basically state the consequences of using your product. There are three types of gains:
- required (what your software must do)
- expected (what is needed)
- desired (it’s never bad to exceed customer’s expectations)
Don’t forget about customer retention in the future and what kind of benefits you offer in return.
Why a Customer Must Choose You Over Your Competitors?
Nowadays it seems like whatever niche you choose, there will always be a competitor. Moreover, dozens of them. If you do not have something that makes you stand out, you will simply drown in the sea of similar products and go unnoticed.
It is important to know what your strength is, but it is vital to make it clear to your customer. This point must be included in your product value.
What if you do not know what makes you better? It is a common issue but there is a simple solution – monitor your competitors. Try to use their software and see the flaws of it. Maybe yours works faster, you have a user-friendly design whereas one needs hours to learn how to use another software, or you have a better pricing plan/customer support/you have more features for lower plans, or you can offer a more profitable Free Trial and Freemium models.
In order to find out what you do better than others, you can see the reviews on your competitor`s software. Customers usually state what they liked and did not like about the software so take a closer look at what they did not enjoy. In your value proposition, state that they will not have to deal with the issue that they faced in similar software (if you do not, in fact, have this issue).
You can also check what the experts say about your product. Research online (e.g. Google and YouTube) and you should be able to find reviews on your product and your competitors’.
Answers to these questions are what your software value proposition is about. Put your answers simply or in a language that is understandable for your target audience and value proposition is created!
Tips on Creating a Perfect SaaS Proposition Value
Make Sure That Your Homepage Reflects What Is Written in the Proposition Value
It is vital for multimedia and graphic software and ones that claim to boost website speed. If your design looks extremely hideous and you claim that software allows someone to create the best designs, nobody is going to believe you. The same thing goes for the sites that take ages to load.
At the same time, it will be very effective if you can make a value proposition in the form of a video or an image. It will showcase what a beautiful multimedia content one can create with the help of it.
Envision helps to create beautiful designs and it shows because, well, just take a look at their website and a suggested video!
Keep It Short
It is not necessary to state all the features in your value proposition. Tell about what your software does generally. When it comes to pains, find out the most spread ones. State 1-2 unique characteristics of yours.
Keep It Simple
It is not a piece of 18th-century literature or a college textbook. You do not want to use lengthy sentences where you lose the train of thought by word #7.
We can take all the previous examples – they do not use uncommon words, they keep their sentences short and clear, and no insufferable grammar structures are used.
When you spend a lot of time in your niche, you become an expert. You are used to people around you knowing what you are talking about because your employees totally know what they do too. You may use vocabulary that seems like a beginner-level to you. However, not everyone is an expert. There are a lot of beginners who know nothing but they are willing to learn. If they get overwhelmed by 5 terms out of 10 words in your value proposition, they are likely to think that is simply not for them and leave immediately.
Use Bullet Points
Users like bullet points because it means that a. it has only the most important information and b. it is just easier to focus on and you do not have to spend too much time on reading.
Product value proposition is important: it gives a quick glimpse into what your software does, what benefits one can gain from it, and why you are the best choice on the market. It is not an easy task to put everything in a couple of sentences. You have to learn how to point out the most important features of yours and the most widespread problems that it solves. You also have to learn the market and its current state so that you can get a better understanding of what you have that others do not.
Yet, it is possible to create a perfect product value proposition for SaaS and we hope this article gave you an idea of how to do it!
Stacey Wonder is a content marketer who enjoys sharing best practices for self-development and careers with others. In her free time, Stacey is fond of contemporary dance and classic French movies.