There’s a lot of great software out there, but how do you make the right decisions when it comes to the software you add to your company? How should you spend your software budget? And is there anything we can learn from what everyone else is doing?
In this article, we’ll take you through B2B SaaS insights to give you a leg up in the software decision-making process. While you’re at it, don’t forget to take a look at the rest of our software management insights, since it’s helping a ton of companies save up to 30% on their second-largest expense item (yup, software).
Let’s get to it.
The Tools Powering Startups and Scaleups
Every company does things differently, which means the way tech stacks are structured varies depending on the needs of the business or product. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and with the abundance of choice when it comes to software, it’s easy to feel lost in a sea of SaaS. And it’s not just a feeling – according to Statista, in the US alone there are over 17.000 companies that sell software-as-a-service.
So how does the abundance of software shape the world of startups and scaleups?
We examined the most frequently used software purchased and managed on Cledara and it turns out that there’s a clear group that dominates the industry. They form the foundation of many businesses and have become household names. The most popular SaaS providers on Cledara are:
Notice how the top 5 most popular software used by startups and scaleups covers almost everything required to run a business today? A project management tool, an operating platform, a conferencing tool, a developer tool, and a messaging platform. That’s it, end of story.
Well…not really. You need more than that to run a good business, and those extra tools vary depending on business needs. Our data becomes interesting when we look beyond the top 5 software tools. As we pointed out in a recent SaaS market insights article, there’s a long-tail in SaaS. We found that 45% of software tools are only used by one company, which means many businesses use specific, point-solutions to solve challenges and increase productivity.
Consider a startup or scaleup that needs to generate QR codes for their product or messaging. They might turn to a tool like QR-tiger, a specific solution just for generating and managing QR codes. Or QR.io, or Beaconstac which do essentially the same thing.
The ease to try and buy new tools nowadays allows companies to quickly build out a software stack that helps run the business and solve any need that pops up – like generating QR codes. But this still doesn’t help companies understand which tools are available and if they should buy now or wait. For help with the buying part, you can turn to our software buying guide for startups – a handy guide to help you make better software decisions.
“Under the radar” SaaS
With so many SaaS solutions out there, we frequently discover new tools Cledara customers find useful. In no particular order or category, here are a few that caught our eye.
A simple, yet effective bug and issue tracker software designed to keep developers on top of their game.
Customers like having a direct line to fast service, and with the popularity of WhatsApp in every country (except for the US), many expect to be able to reach companies via their messaging app of choice. That’s where Timelines AI comes in. A multi-inbox software tool for WhatsApp business.
A few years ago, the EU introduced strict GDPR regulations that require companies to handle PII information in a specific way. Solutions like Keepabl streamline the management of customer information so compliance is a breeze.
This one may not be so under the radar, but it’s having a resurgence since more customers started to onboard this tool to create beautiful presentations that are easily shareable.
Human resources anyone? Humaans is yet another player in the HRIS space, promising to deliver a less clunky experience for HR.
an AI-powered digital assistant that brings all your tools and data into Slack or MS Teams so you can stay on top of the most important things you need to do to close your next deal, fast.
Curious to know the top tools by department? Head on over to our software buying guide where we cover the top 3 software tools for Finance, Sales, Marketing, HR and more.
What about software spend?
That’s a good question, so we decided to take a look.
Our biggest takeaway: Companies prioritize CRMs - and they aren’t cheap!
It turns out startups and scaleups are spending a lot of money on reaching customers. With so much competition for a slice of market share, it's no wonder. Here’s what the top 5 SaaS budget items look like
Top 5 budget items:
Spend is influenced by a number of factors including usage (i.e. adding more licenses) but at the end of the day, pricing plays a big role. Once your startup starts scaling, so do your software costs. HubSpot and other CRMs are tools that can get expensive quickly, especially once you upgrade to the full capabilities of their platforms.
That’s not to say it’s not worth it. Rather, we advise you to assess your needs for any tool up front, including your growth plans for at least the next 18 months.
Team and Category spend
For an aggregated view of software budgets, we found that spend is allocated somewhat evenly across key business categories. What’s more, over half of software spend is divided between what we like to call “the big 5 + 1”. Head on over to our Software budgets article for a full breakdown.
As for teams, it turns out HubSpot and the rest of the 10.000 tools available to marketing teams really impact the total picture of spend. In our data, marketing teams account for the most software spend.
But there’s a caveat: many of our customers use Cledara to pay for and manage advertising while getting 1% cashback. This may influence the ranking, but it’s still a good picture of the share of wallet.
Top 6 spenders:
The broader market
Unless you spent the last 6 months vacationing on a remote island with no cell signal, you know that the current situation in the public markets isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. Companies and investors alike have come to terms with a new period of uncertainty that may stick with us for a while. With all of this going on, we looked to Cledara data to understand any effect this climate has on the SaaS market. Has fear taken over?
Actually, according to our data, SaaS is doing just fine!
We discovered that companies are in fact buying more SaaS than ever and sticking with it for longer than they have before. For an in-depth analysis of the broader market, read our market insights article here.
Because we help our customers purchase and manage the software used to run their business, we have a unique lens into B2B software trends. In the coming months, we’ll be sharing unique SaaS insights to help you make better business decisions.
For now, just remember that:
- You need more than just a few tools to run a good business
- The long-tail of software is significant
- Do not underestimate your ongoing spend with CRMs
- The SaaS market is doing very well
Drop us a line with any questions and make sure to subscribe to our newsletter for more insights.