How to Do SaaS Competitive Analysis: The 2021 Guide

SaaS competitive analysis in 2021 is essential to stand out from competition and get more customers in a data-backed manner.

Niyathi Rao
Feb 26, 2021


Competitive Analysis

Napoleon Bonaparte said, “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” When your competitors make a mistake, it is easier to learn from it. What if you are the one making the same mistake? You won’t know till you know what your competitors are doing. Analysing your competitors is necessary for any SaaS business to grow and develop in terms of customer satisfaction. In this guide, you will learn all about competitive analysis, market trends, how to conduct a competitive analysis, threats to your SaaS company, evaluate opportunities and position accordingly as per SWOT analysis.

What is Competitive Analysis?

Competitive analysis is the research, analysis and comparison of competitors with respect to your company. It is a way in which companies identify their major competitors, look into their product, sales, marketing, and customer retention strategies. This will help build practices that are better than the competitors and improve accordingly.

With a competitive analysis, you can identify strategic opportunities that will help you perform better than competition. You will know of all the industry trends and meet or exceed what customers expect.

Benefits of conducting a competitive analysis

  • You can identify the unique value proposition of the product and create it apart from competitors.
  • Stay updated on latest trends and what the competitor is doing to ensure better performance.
  • Test and identify areas of improvement and opportunities in the market.
  • Ensure unique marketing strategies are in place.
  • Track customer reviews of competitor products to get clear idea of what is missing.
  • Learn market trends and sell better.

How to do a SaaS Competitive Analysis

Identify your competition

You need to find out who is your competition. Competitors can be direct or indirect. Direct competitors are those whose products or offerings are highly similar and can pass off as a substitute. An indirect competitor is one that satisfies customer needs but is not exactly the same. One should focus on direct competitors to get the right idea.

Research competitor products and offerings

At the core of any business is the offering. For a good competitive analysis, it is important to analyse the offerings and quality. The cost aspect should also be noted. Are they catering to high-end or low-end sectors? Are there any affiliate marketing strategies? What are some characteristics of the ideal customer profile?

Conduct a competitor investigation.

Evaluate how your competitor’s work. Start with founding date, revenue, funding, employee count, account growth, etc. This information is available on sites like LinkedIn, AngelList, Owler, and Crunchbase. Check for mergers or acquisition history to know the way it is moving.

Understand competitor sales tactics, value propositions, design

Dive deep into their customer acquisition strategy, sales and go-to-market strategy. What is the sales process of the company? What are their channels? Are you using those channels? In case of any expansion plans, are you looking in the same direction. What is the design outlook and value proposition that attracts clients? Note and analyse this information.

Compare pricing and perks

Check how much competitors are charging for their services. If you feel your product is better in all aspects, you can consider charging a little more. If you feel your products are overpriced and can be made affordable, you will know. This gap can be bridged to appeal to a larger audience. Knowing perks that are given to customers will help you devise your own perks and discount packages.

Analyse their marketing tactics

Keep track of competitor’s marketing efforts. Do they have a website, a good blog, or whitepapers? Are they communicating with their customers through webinars, videos, or podcasts? Do they have any compelling case studies, press releases, buying guides, or featured notes?

Check technology and tools.

Understanding the technology and tools your competitors use can improve momentum and reduce bugs and glitches in your company. Customer success software for example can be highly powerful. It is something that can be used to gauge the penetration of competitors. There are ways to uncover the technology secrets of competitor companies. Analytics on that note will be helpful to uncover strategies and intel.

Track social media engagement, presence, and strategies.

Engaging with competitor’s on social media will help understand how they respond to situations. Find out what topics are the buzz, check the comments, tweets, and responses. You can learn from tags, buttons, keywords, and more. You can notice gaps in your social media strategy and then bridge them.

Conduct a SWOT analysis

Performing a SWOT analysis will help you assess overall grade versus competitor. What is your weakest area; is it the same as your competitor? What are the common advantages with them? SWOT analysis will help understand competitive advantage and aid in strategic planning.

3 Competitive Analysis Frameworks

Porter’s Five Forces

Porter’s Five Forces evaluates market forces in a segment with five elements: new entrants, purchasers, suppliers, alternatives, and intensity of growth. These insights will help understand competition around and build a better brand identity.

Growth Share Matrix

Growth share matrix is a framework where products are marked against the market competitiveness and landscape. Once these products are fit in, they can be analysed for growth and market share. You can evaluate products in a better manner and grow better.

Perceptual Mapping

Perceptual mapping is where your product or brand is mapped with respect to its position as opposed to alternatives. You can use this framework to map where your product is and where competitor product is. This will also help you understand where you stand with respect to target audience memory.

Bottom Line

Understanding your business in terms of the competitive landscape is important. Many SaaS companies operate in a similar zone- figuring out the right competition is important. Aspects that need to be analysed include price, features, customer support, technical or tool usage, marketing strategies, and overall business model. You need to identify opportunities that will differentiate your brand from the competition. A competitive analysis is useful to make a better mark and also understand how satisfied your customers are. This is a great way to enhance your customer success strategy and growth.

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Originally Published February 26th, 2021, Updated February 26th, 2021

Niyathi Rao

Niyathi is an experienced content marketer with a love for SaaS tech products. She reads a lot (mostly fiction) and is a huge news junkie. Niyathi loves exploring different forms of inbound marketing and taking on challenges.

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