Uncomplicate- Building a SaaS business in a crowded marketplace

Uncomplicate by Freshworks brings you crisp and insightful videos which will focus on answering one tactical question around sales & marketing, support & collaboration, employee engagement, and growth. 

Let’s face it. In today’s competitive market, standing out and creating the right kind of impact is a huge challenge. It’s even harder to differentiate yourself from your competition. What throws a wrench in this even further is that the scope of business is disrupted, with the barrier to entry being very minimal. This only increases the competition, with every player fighting for a piece of the same pie. 

So in this climate where there is a set market leader, there are established buying patterns, and change is something that most of the market may be resistant towards, how do you enable your business to beat the odds and stand out? 

Customer-centricity is everything

“Try to be customer-centric, and uncomplicate that,” said Sujan Patel, co-founder of Mailshake and Ramp Ventures. To be customer-centric, he further explains, is to be able to create a simple version of whatever is available, and build core functionalities that users have been lacking. 

Taking the example of Mailshake, Patel tells us how they were 2-3 years late in entering the outreach and sales prospecting space. But realizing that was the advantage and not the problem, is what enabled them to change tracks in their initial stages. 

“I went to G2, Capterra and the like, and I looked at all the reviews of my competitors.” The goal was to find out what was lacking in them and what they were missing out on, so that Patel could identify what the target audience was really searching for.

What are the people looking for, right now, became the maxim that built Patel’s foundation. 

With this ideology firmly in place, he began building the first version of Mailshake. Diving further, Patel talks about how it’s crucial that the products or services you put out stay true to the concept of customer-centricity. Your offerings have to be simple, easy-to-use, intuitive, and make an impact on your audience. By doing so, you are not only narrowing down and identifying your target market, you’re also making it really easy for people to just sign-up, start using your product, and become an advocate for what they love. 


But of course, this is only the beginning. 

What can truly put your product in the spotlight, suit it up appropriately, and help present the best foot forward is marketing. 

Patel firmly believes in going by a marketing playbook that borrows from the greats, but leaves enough room to improvise, innovate, and inspire. In order to dive through a crowded marketplace, Patel swears by the following pillars that form a part of his marketing playbook. 

Educate and build

“It’s education first, so essentially it’s content, building up an audience, and building up a brand by educating the market. It’s a strong SEO play,” said Patel.  Education and SEO go hand-in-hand and in today’s active SEO space, there is more opportunity to diversify, gain more knowledge, and build a more engaged audience. 

A lot of this relies on your content marketing strategy as well, which also has more scope nowadays than before. 

Word of mouth

Well. Good old word of mouth! It’s good to know it hasn’t gone out of fashion, and in fact, more than half the growth for Ramp Ventures, has come through word of mouth. But what is crucial is that you generate the right kind of hype and it is a positive and impactful message that does the rounds. 

So how do you go about injecting marketing into your product? What’s the ‘aha’ moment that keeps you in the forefront? The key to generating goodwill and such moments of wow, is pivotal to increasing your word of mouth. 

Take a moment to think of all the products and services you are loyal to, without even needing to be convinced by their marketing collateral. Zoom, Slack, Netflix – I’m sure you can come up with quite a few. That’s because their marketing is injected right into the product, and there are standout moments that impress you enough to talk about it frequently. 

Setting up your customer for success

What’s the likelihood of your customers coming back to your product if they churn? How likely are they going to recommend you to fellow marketers, sales folks, or customer support folks? This will be directly proportional to how much you want your customers to succeed. Your product/company will be successful only if the personas your are targeting are successful at their job. 

So get on the phone, get to meet them, do what it takes to help them be successful. Remember your tool is just a means for them to be successful, and you are helping them get closer to their bigger picture. 

It comes full cycle, and lands back on remembering to be customer-centric from the get go! 

This blogpost was co-written by Vinithra Madhavan Menon. The blog was edited by Vignesh Jeyaraman.