The SaaS industry is growing rapidly every year. According to Grand View Research, the SaaS market is expected to grow 11% annually from 2022 to 2028, reaching a whopping $344.3 billion. We’re entering an era where thousands of SaaS companies are battling each other for customer loyalty. So it’s crucial that you perfect your strategy. 

To stand out from the competition, SaaS companies align their products to what customers demand in order to create an excellent customer experience. And the best place to start is by understanding your customers’ purchasing journey, their needs, and the challenges they face. But what does the customer decision journey consist of in the SaaS industry? How can we impact this journey? And most of all, how can we improve our sales rate? 

We’ll answer all these questions today, as well as:

  • What does the customer decision journey in SaaS consist of?
  • How did the consumer decision journey evolve?
  • Aligning marketing with the consumer decision journey
  • How to impact the consumer decision journey
  • Consumer decision journey

Let’s jump in! 

What does the Consumer Decision Journey (in SaaS) consist of?

The customer decision journey in SaaS is the user’s steps before purchasing a product or service. It can depend on several factors, such as product recommendations, website reviews, product features, or price. When making a purchase, users usually go through the following steps:

Step 1: Trigger

Consumers begin their decision journey when they recognize they have a problem and need a company’s product or service to solve it. That’s called the trigger. 

Step 2: Initial consideration set

As a consumer considers a purchase, they reflect on the brands they are familiar with, as well as those that are immediately in their minds. Brand awareness plays an important role in this initial consideration set.

Step 3: Evaluation

After the initial consideration set, users search information from multiple sources to determine which SaaS company will meet their needs or solve their problems. That’s the evaluation stage. They can go through reading google and referral sites such as Capterra, G2, or SourceForge, asking their work colleagues, or comparing different companies. 

Step 4: Buying

Once the customers have filtered their options based on the information they gathered during the evaluation stage, they choose a brand and make the purchase.

Step 5: Ongoing exposure

When customers purchase a SaaS product or service, they create expectations about their post-purchase experience, which makes them decide whether to purchase another product. 

Step 6: Loyalty loop

After purchasing, customers experience the SaaS product and include it in their daily activities. The satisfaction level with the company will determine if they become loyal customers and brand advocates or not. 

How did the Consumer Decision Journey evolve?

Consumer decision journeys have changed because of the rise of new technologies, user demands, and global market preferences. Taking a look at the past helps us understand better what happened and how the consumer journey is evolving.

In 2009, McKinsey, a company that offered professional services to corporations, governments, and other organizations, developed the classic funnel of the customer journey. It described how users were using technology to make purchasing decisions. After six years, in 2015, everything changed. How users communicate and experience the digital world differs greatly from back in 2009. Because of this, the consideration and evaluation steps of the McKinsey model are eliminated as users take less time to make purchasing decisions. 

Nowadays, consumers are less in control than they might think when deciding what to buy. Today’s users are completely overwhelmed with choices, so machines now make the decisions for them. 

Think about Instagram’s algorithm. According to our searches, it will show us what we want to buy without having to investigate the current market or other competitors. Crazy, right? Here is where the curated customer journey comes into play, and that’s why experts consider it the actual model. 

Despite whatever model your company uses, there are some strategies you can implement to impact your consumer’s journey and convert your users into paying customers. Let’s dive into some of the best strategies in the next section. 

Aligning Marketing with the Consumer Decision Journey

Marketing is one of the essential parts of a customer decision journey. Marketers must understand their customer journeys and develop strategies and tactics to influence the right person at the right time to facilitate each step of the decision-making process. Some tactics your marketing team can follow to align their strategies with the customer decision journey are: 

Tailor messaging

Every user likes to be treated as a unique individual, so offering tailored messages will boost your customer experiences. To do so, personalize every message according to the user’s needs and demands by tracking each step of the decision-making process. 

Consumer-driven marketing

Consumer-driven marketing strategies are the most effective ways to increase sales, customer satisfaction, and loyalty. It focuses on meeting your customer’s needs and adapting your product or service to meet those needs. Start by conducting surveys, analyzing your customer’s feedback, and understanding your business’s churn. 

Proactively support users on their decision-making journey 

Consumers want to be supported through their decision-making journey. Answer all of their questions quickly and provide them with all the relevant information at every moment or stage of their process. 

Refine your marketing channels 

As part of your target consumers, you should know what type of marketing channels they use most or engage with most frequently. Do they tend to use Instagram or Facebook, or do they prefer traditional marketing channels such as emails or newsletters? Targeting these specific channels rather than spreading your marketing across various channels will hugely improve your influence on your consumers and push them in the right direction. 

Offer discounts 

A great way to really push the decision of a consumer is to offer some unique deals and promotions as part of your marketing messaging. You can personalize the deal to specific personas or customer types so that it feels like a unique discount that they cannot refuse. 

All these strategies will help your SaaS company align the marketing strategy with the customer journey and expand your target, increase sales, and boost customer support experiences. 

Optimizing your Consumer Decision Journey in 2022

The consumer decision journey is crucial to understanding how users behave towards your SaaS product. When you’ve analyzed every step they do, it’s easier to create strategies to impact the journey. 

The best marketing tactics to do so are tailor messaging, customer-driven marketing, proactive customer support on users’ journeys, generating brand awareness, and knowing your customers. It’s important to highlight that the consumer decision journey occurs before the consumer is aware of your brand.

For this reason, you must consider building a brand presence in the community and across various channels and creating a successful and well-developed product. 

Looking for more? Check out FROGED customer support features and product flows to level up your SaaS company, or book a demo with us to learn more about how the FROGED platform can help you influence the consumer decision journey and make sure your users turn into paying clients.