We know that AI is all the rage right now, as SaaS leaders across the globe are waking up to its potential for infinite content creation. Content is a pivotal tool in your marketing tool box, allowing you to engage customers too savvy for traditional sales or marketing tactics.
But there are many other ways that AI powered software can enable you to scale and retain at pace, and we wanted to hear it from the experts themselves.
In this article, we're utilizing both qualitative and quantitative insights from SaaS professionals across the globe to determine exactly how artificial intelligence and machine learning is going to help you smash your revenue goals and achieve airtight retention. Here, we'll be looking at how AI can assist you in:
- Data collection and analysis
- Customer support
- Dynamic content creation
- Cybersecurity and data protection
But first, let's look at the bigger picture...
SaaS and AI
According to NarrativeScience, 80% of business and IT leaders agree that AI increases productivity, however, as of 2022, only 37% of businesses employ AI across their org. You can get ahead of the curve by unlocking the potential of AI for your SaaS org today.
In the Future of SaaS Report, we asked SaaS leaders and professionals about the extent to which they plan to integrate AI into their org. 53% of our respondents reported that they plan to use AI as a major part of their business going forward, 27% reported that they have no plans to implement AI, and 20% reported that they’re already using it.
Since in both our quantitative and qualitative findings, AI was the most frequently cited development, we thought we’d delve deep into the various aspects of your SaaS product that AI has the potential to touch.
We asked our participants about the most crucial benefits. A resounding 48% believed that the most significant benefit would be in data collection, 20% said scalability, 16% said customer service, and another 16% said cybersecurity.
The beauty of the SaaS model is that it allows orgs to drive prospects through the sales funnel at a brisk pace. Customers are able to sign up, on board, and get started, potentially within minutes of showing interest.
Although you’re likely going to be wanting to staff your SaaS org with highly capable experts, AI can take much of the heavy lifting with regards to scaling (dealing with customer queries, automated processes, analyzing data, etc) off the shoulders of your human personnel and allow them to focus on the more complex tasks that only human beings can do.
How do SaaS companies benefit from AI?
All SaaS businesses want to achieve growth, and AI can enable orgs to achieve growth by delegating simpler, more time consuming tasks to this technology.
Employing staff to man all processes can be extremely costly. The deployment of AI can be an investment that allows SaaS orgs to cut down significantly on unnecessary expenses and increase profits. Now, let’s look closer at the aspect of SaaS operations that received the highest number of votes, data collection.
Data collection and analysis
A common mistake – especially with early-stage startups – is that they are often more concerned with converting new customers than retention and consolidation. But retention is no easy feat, it requires establishing a bedrock of trust with your customer base.
How do you create trust? By anticipating and addressing the needs of your existing customer base. According to research from Salesforce, by 2020, 75% of B2B customers expect suppliers to predict and pre-empt their needs before they initiate contact.
An essential component of this is customer data. SaaS orgs want to segment customer types according to their needs and intentions. SaaS orgs want to be able to react and adapt to customer data quickly.
But this can be extremely difficult when the data collection and segmentation alone can require so much time and so many resources.
AI can segment and organize customer data quickly and seamlessly, providing us with essential insight on whether our SaaS solutions are solving the problems they claim to solve. It also provides incredible potential for personalization and customization.
AI is capable of real time data analysis, an essential tool for having an accurate profile of your customers when you need it , as well as being able to pull up key bottom line metrics as and when you need them.
AI can also provide a tremendous assist to your sales reps, identifying high-potential leads, so that reps don’t waste time trying to push low-potential leads through the sales funnel. To find out how AI can benefit your Saas org in other ways, we asked Chris Martinez, Founder at Idiomatic.
How has AI technology benefited your org’s data?
"Idiomatic is an AI-driven platform that analyzes feedback so businesses can pull actionable insights from a clear customer picture and grow. As AI is at the core of our business model, we are affected by its improvement in our own operations, and externally, in how it enables us to get an accurate picture of customers.
Artificial intelligence is allowing us to understand and design experiences for customers in a way we never have before.
Through AI-driven sentiment analysis, you can understand customer pain points with less bias — you can get to the data-driven conclusion of what issues are most important without having your perspective tinted by what you believe is the most important correction.
In doing so, you can change things for your product that are going to have the maximum impact for customers, and therefore your business. I
n the future, AI is going to set you apart from your competitors in measuring feedback — both in the quantity of feedback and the quality of your data analysis. This will give you the insight to improve user experience where it counts most.”
Scalability beyond human capability
Although B2B companies historically have expected a longer sales cycle, recent research shows that customers in 2022 are becoming more accustomed, due to advances in technology, to quicker processes. If you want to stay competitive, you can’t neglect the potential of AI for scalability.
What if you could have the infrastructure to not only identify bugs but fix them as quickly as they arise? This is the unique gift that AI systems can offer you.
Although it’s been commonly thought that AI is more adept at data-driven tasks as opposed to more creative tasks, AI has made great strides in recent years, and through natural language processing technology (NLP), AI is now able to produce language in a more authentically human way.
For SaaS orgs that have successfully leveraged AI, this has offered a wealth of benefits. Firsty, for those more fundamental challenges that new adopters of your software might be dealing with, AI is able to address and solve those challenges faster and more efficiently than human talent can.
The second huge benefit of course is in content creation. AI solutions such as ChatGPT and Jasper are able to reel off fairly competent commercial copy in seconds.
However, an important caveat: the information that language processing software puts out is only as good as the information you put in. Be very specific about the purpose, the audience, the role that the software is filling, and the context of the situation.
For example, rather than: “ I need an email to persuade existing customers to renew their subscription with our product.”
This is adequate, but a better instruction might be something like: “ You’re a senior marketing executive that is trying to get existing customers to renew their subscription with your company.
In recent years, the company has seen a rise in churn due to customers not being aware of the benefits offered to existing customers.
In the email, please stress that customers who renew after a year-long contract get a discount on new features (include details on added features) as well as a chance to join our customer advisory board (include details on what the board offers in the way of benefits.)"
In short, when it comes to customer serving roles, AI can assist you considerably, but like any tool it needs to be supervised and informed by the emotional intelligence that only human talent can master.
Cybersecurity and data protection
All SaaS companies want to identify the pain points of customers; this is an essential component of establishing trust. But it pales in comparison to the level of trust that is formed by your customers feeling that their sensitive data is safe. This, of course, has major ramifications for your brand reputation.
The sheer scale and ever-evolving nature of cyber attacks in the digital world have reached the point where it’s beyond human capability to anticipate and intercept them.
Intelligence-enabled automation can identify and solve potential threats as soon as they arise, with a level of precision that matches its scope. When we think about cybersecurity, your finance department is going to immediately spring to mind.
To see how this works in progress, let’s look at how Payment Expert Yuriy Kropelnytsky has utilized AI, and specifically, machine learning, to protect the data of clients.
How is new technology benefiting finance as a whole?
"Technology is making many people’s lives more convenient at an astonishing rate. In banking, this means that financial institutions must process billions of transactions with greater accuracy since more and more customers choose to bank online.
However, wherever there’s an abundance of data, the potential for fraudulent behavior grows greater. Luckily, financial institutions can apply machine learning in several areas of the overall payment process to prevent many types of fraud."
Can you delve specifically into the different aspects of finance that are benefitted?
- "Credit card and mobile payment fraud often involves stealing card data, so ML solutions mainly focus on identifying transactions that don’t fit into the clients’ regular spending habits."
- Point-of-Sale (POS) fraud is usually performed by employees to steal money from their employers. The best prevention for POS fraud is regular data checks conducted after every shift, day, week, or at the end of the month. ML can play a significant role in analyzing chunks of data to validate the number of logs per user, transaction deletions, bill records, refunds given per customer, and loyalty program card usage.
- Email phishing is a type of fraud in which emails pose as legitimate contact, containing links to lure users into entering their sensitive data. ML-based malware scanners are one of the most successful tools able to detect malicious emails and delete them before they even get to the user’s inbox. Microsoft and Google both implement these ML-based solutions. "
Now that we’ve looked closely at some of the benefits of AI, let’s look closer at some of the products available on the market right now and how they can assist you in your growth-chasing efforts.
AI products available on the market
Out of all the AI offerings that have emerged over recent years, Open AI is the one that has perhaps generated the most buzz, especially with its ChatGPT model.
This state-of-the-art AI platform provides access to a variety of cutting-edge models, enabling you to develop innovative applications and solutions.
This platform is designed to be easy to use and integrate with your existing workflows, so you can start exploring the possibilities of AI right away. Plus, with dedicated support and resources, you'll have everything you need to get the most out of the platform.
With the ability to generate copy for everything from ads to blog post outlines, Jasper makes it easy to create high-quality content in just seconds. And with support for over 25 languages, including Spanish, Italian, and German, you can easily convert English content for use in international campaigns.
Take your content game to the next level with Jasper's recipes and automated workflows, which can help speed up the content creation process and save you even more time.
Bonus: Jasper vs ChatGPT
Since Jasper and ChatGPT were the two most popular tools in our AI surveying, we decided to quickly weigh up the pros and cons of these two AI solutions.
- ChatGPT is trained on a very broad library of text, which makes it highly versatile in terms of the functions and tone of voice it can adopt.
- Speaking of versatility, you might only know this tool for its content capabilities, but it can actually utilize a whole host of use cases, including chatbots, translation, and question answering.
- It’s free (at least for now)
- As a highly specialized solution, this tool is not always easy to use for the less tech- savvy.
- Jasper is designed to be intuitive, with a simple drag and drop interface that makes it easy to use.
- Jasper is highly customizable, meaning that users are more empowered in content creation.
- For those that don’t have the funds to splash out on AI software, Jasper might not be the best solution, as pricing starts at $59 per month.
Now that we’ve been through the most popular solutions from our survey, let’s look at some other tools available on the market.
Struggling to rustle up product descriptions, or sales emails? Writesonic can pull it off without a hitch! With over 40 templates designed to cater to various copywriting needs, Writesonic is perfect for writers of any skill level.
From using tried-and-true copywriting formulas like AIDA and PAS, to generating custom copy based on your own inputs, this platform makes writing copy easier than ever before.
With a simple and user-friendly interface, Writesonic streamlines the writing process so you can focus on creating high-quality content that resonates with your audience.
Smartwriter lets you generate personalized content quickly and efficiently. With access to over 40+ sources of information, including LinkedIn activity, Google and Facebook Reviews, website content, and recent blog posts, you can easily find the most relevant information to craft the perfect outreach message.
With this powerful piece of AI software, you can ensure good grammar and avoid spelling errors and bad sentence structures, ensuring that your team communicates effectively with customers.
Plus, with auto-complete suggestions and snippets that can be activated using command lines, you can speed up response times and increase efficiency even further.
The time it takes to respond to customer queries can make a big difference. As the minutes tick away, the chances of customer churn increases. With this AI technology you can respond to customer pain points as and when they arise.
Reclaim helps you remove the hurdles and headaches from packed scheduling. Integration with Google Calendar ensures efficiency by adapting to your calendar changes while blocking out time to avoid double bookings.
But that's not all. Reclaim also lets you create tasks and integrate them with your favorite project management tools to boost productivity.
With Gliacloud, you can create viral videos with ease, share trending news and hot topics on your social media channels in minutes. This unique tool’s intuitive interface means that there are no video editing skills needed - just drag and drop your content and trim videos to your liking.
Whether it's for product releases, social media, UGC, or personalized videos, this software offers a range of use cases, and allows you to maximize the potential of your existing content by including turning articles into videos.
Let's look to the future of SaaS
It's a mistake to look at AI and ML as a substitute for human effort. Instead you should look at it as a supplement.
We believe the future of SaaS is innovation, but in order to give yourself the breathing space to innovate, it's essential that you take advantage of how technology can pick up the slack with those menial yet essential day-to-day tasks.
In order to create products that delight and excite customers, you have to have a firm grasp on human emotions and needs, something that AI can never achieve. But this demands thinking time, so give yourself the thinking time. Allow AI to automate so that you can innovate!
Like what you see? Why not check out our exclusive content with a FoSaaS membership plan?