We decided to analyze the quantum of customer queries in the period from January to June 2019 in order to get some insight into user behavior and customer preferences when it comes to software. An effort has been made to ascertain the following:
- The software categories that customers are gravitating to
- Preferences for deployment
- The expected time frame for implementation
- Primary buyer/purchase decision-maker for software,
Key Takeaways from the SaaS Customer Report by SoftwareSuggest
- Accounting, HRM, and CRM have emerged as the most popular/ in-demand software categories, commanding a share of nearly 15% of the total customers across all categories.
The leaders call the shots
In nearly 30% of the organizations, senior management comprised the primary decision-makers for important software purchases.
Preferred Mode of Software Deployment
When going by the mode of deployment, a nearly equal preference was seen for both cloud-based and on-premise software.
Cloud-based software (both offline and web-based versions) together command a share of 24% of the total customers surveyed.
Meanwhile, Offline/On-premise software also controls the same share, with 24% of the queries generated for this software.
52% of the customers were ambivalent in their choice and were happy with either.
Despite the growing belief that on-premise/offline software is experiencing a decline in popularity, the numbers reflect otherwise. For now, customers are open to both cloud-based and on-premise software solutions in equal numbers.
Strength of the Workforce
15% of the potential customer queries included organizations with up to 50 employees.
4% of the queries were for companies with 50-100 employees. While the number was 3% for companies with an employee strength of 100-500.
For organizations with a workforce of 500-5000, share in the leads generated was 4%.
A negligible portion is commanded by organizations with workforces of 10,000+.
74% of the organizations surveyed chose not to disclose their employee size or were individuals.
A whopping 70% of clients opted for a one-time subscription. On the other hand, only 9% favored a SaaS (Software as a Service) subscription.
20% were indifferent to the type of subscription, choosing to go with whichever was recommended.
Despite its newfound popularity, the SaaS model has a lot of catching up to do with the traditional one-time payment subscription type. A majority of the users still seem to prefer the latter.
Implementation Time Frame
20% of the buyers were happy with a time frame of 2 weeks for the software implementation, while 12% expected a shorter time frame of just 1 week.
Only 2% of users opted for software with an implementation time frame of 1 month.
67% of the clients did not specify a time frame.
Overall, customers were intent on speedy implementation of the software.
Buyer’s Position In Organization
Who is the one actually making important software purchases for the organization?
29% of the queries were in the C-suite or in a similar position in their company. This includes owners/proprietors, Chairmen, Directors, and Managing Directors.
15% customer queries originated on the administrative/managerial front, which included General Managers, HR managers, IT managers, Admin executives, and the like.
7% of the software purchases were made by accountants.
Partners and Consultants comprised 2% of the queries share apiece.
Developers, Designers, Freelancers, Doctors, and Engineers each made up 1% ie a total of 5% of the queries combined.
37% of the clients chose not to disclose their position in the company.
The senior management or high-level officers/executives hold the reins when it comes to personal investing time in looking for the perfect software for their business needs. This is especially true when it comes to software such as ERP system.
Managers in specialized roles were more likely to look for specific software pertaining to their department (such as HR Managers for HRMS and Marketing Executives for CRM).
First Time Users vs Users Looking For Change
15% of the total queries purely wanted a change from the software that they were using presently.
The remaining 85% were either first-time users or wanted a change due to cost or scalability concerns.
Summing it Up
Seeing how a majority of the customer were first-time users, it is evident that more and more users are becoming aware of the huge benefits that software can confer to their organization, be it facilitating automation or improving workflows.