Importance of persona-based design for B2B SaaS products



The global SaaS (Software as a Service) market will exceed $600 billion by 2023. The sector is experiencing exponential growth with the rise of SaaS products. Unfortunately, this means cut-throat competition. So, how do you design your B2B SaaS product to stand apart from the rest, satisfy customers and bring in revenue? Persona-based design is the answer as it helps you cater to specific user needs.

SaaS V/s B2B SaaS product

A SaaS product means any software that offers applications to customers over the Internet. Moreover, the applications allow users to log in and access it online without installing software.

On the other hand, a B2B SaaS product caters to other enterprises and not individual customers. Salesforce and Zendesk are popular examples of B2B SaaS products.

Most B2B SaaS products are complex applications with enhanced scalability utilized across several functions in organizations. According to the company hierarchy, various customizations are also offered. These products are outcome-oriented, component-based applications that are well-versed in processing and storing vast amounts of data to help companies achieve better outcomes.

What is a user persona?

A user persona is a UX and product term used commonly during product design and optimization. It is a fictional profile of the users. Furthermore, it is based on in-depth market research and analysis of the existing users.

Additionally, a user persona lets you optimize the user experience for specific user characteristics like motives, needs, technical background, etc.

Creating a user persona can benefit you by –

i. Helping you create a vision, as well as representation of the end-users of the B2B SaaS product

ii. Enabling you to run better advertisement campaigns with a focus on the correct user group that will attract more sales

iii. Aiding you in designing you a product that caters to the exact need of the users. 

iv. Allowing you to craft a better user experience by strengthening your decision-making process. Additionally, it also increases the chances of product adoption.

Challenges faced in designing B2B SaaS products

1. The efficiency of use and flexibility

The same B2B SaaS product caters to various users whose needs and technical know-how levels differ. Therefore, the biggest challenge is designing a flexible product that meets the requirements of different user groups. It can be a daunting task to create a customizable product that caters to different understanding and needs.

2. An ecosystem-based product

Every B2B SaaS product is trying to resolve one principal problem of the users. But, a successful B2B SaaS design is not about comprehending one pain point. It is also about solving problems that arise in the periphery. Therefore, UI UX designers need to look ahead and translate those features into the application.

3. A lasting first impression

A B2B SaaS product has to work hard to impress users and create a lasting first impression. While the layout must be appealing, the design and navigation shouldn’t be too confusing and complicated. Also, the onboarding process ought to be simple. There are so many design variables to consider to reduce bounce and churn rates that it often becomes a challenge.

User Persona Mapping – solution to overcome design obstacles

1. Segmenting users

A persona-based design means understanding the roles, businesses, and people to whom the product will cater. Segmenting users into focus groups is crucial, and you can do so by understanding the professional challenges faced by users. The key is to find the answer to two critical questions- who would be using the software and to what extent.

Once user segmentation is complete, you can implement customizable solutions to suit the user’s needs.

2. Understanding emotions and personal motivations

Typically, B2B SaaS products cater to a problem and don’t necessarily consider the user intent, leading to a poor adoption rate.

However, a persona-based design for your B2B SaaS product would mean defining a proper value proposition for individual user groups and building a product that meets users’ needs.

3. Product problem statement validation

As mentioned above, every B2B SaaS software solves one focal problem. So, for example, Zoom meets the conference needs, and HubSpot meets the marketing needs.

Businesses thrive when they solve a problem and fill a gap with the right solution to make a difference. Since designers have the primary responsibility of validating the inferences of a business with the users’ pain points, research focusing on tech-savviness, behavioral patterns, and willingness to adopt a product is crucial.

4. Comprehending the buying process

Studying the buying process is an integral part of understanding the interaction between B2B users and SaaS products. One of the best ways to comprehend the buying process of the users is through the creation of user personas based on thorough user research. Accordingly, the SaaS product can be designed to enhance the buying experience.

Advantages of investing in user research

1. Increase in user productivity

Simplifying the internal functioning of a company is the primary purpose of a B2B SaaS product. Additionally, the purpose of the product is to help the employees complete tasks efficiently and quickly. The application helps in removing manual obstacles and bottlenecks to enhance the operational efficiency of the enterprise. Furthermore, it generates an increase in overall productivity. The adoption rate is also higher in the future as the application truly solves the users’ issues and meets their needs.

2. Boost in user adoption and sales

An intuitive benefit of user research persona-based design is an enhancement in user adoption, and therefore, an increase in overall sales. The application will be free of bugs and equipped with the features and functionalities desired by the users. This can lead to rapid user adoption and sales augmentation.

3. Reduced user errors

User errors in B2B SaaS applications are not ideal, and they represent an added expense. Errors may indicate duplication of labor or a longer time required to finish a task. These errors must be identified at the outset and resolved. User research helps in pinpointing the specific use cases, which enables designers to create intuitive applications.

4. Decreased user support

If your B2B SaaS product is functioning seamlessly and smoothly, it would require less support from your team after being deployed. Additionally, this will save you valuable resources and time.

Designing and developing a B2B SaaS product is not an easy task, and the process is fraught with meticulous planning, research, and execution. However, one of the best ways to ensure that your SaaS application stands out from the rest is through user research and creating user personas. A persona-based design approach will help you design a product that your users want. Furthermore, it will help you figure out the usefulness of your product. Furthermore, by understanding your users, you’ll know exactly what features are indispensable to your SaaS application.

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