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How To Build Your Absolute Best Agency SaaS Service Plans
How To Build Your Absolute Best Agency SaaS Service Plans

There's a proverb that says, “Everything old is new again”. In truth though, it's only partially true. It appears that way because great ideas, no matter how old they are, can usually find a new way to express themselves in wholly original environments.

That's exactly what has happened with the subscription services business model. Subscription services is a business model that was favored, for many decades, by businesses like periodicals and nonprofits. Now, it's found new life in the digital world as the subscription as a service (SaaS) business model.

The Subscription Economy

According to Tien Tzuo, CEO of Zuora, this is part of a global shift to a new way of doing business that he calls "The Subscription Economy". Tzuo explained, “Over the past few years, we’ve seen a seismic shift in growth strategies for business brought about by a growing preference on the part of both businesses and consumers to subscribe to services, rather than buy products.“

Backing up that assessment, one recent subscription case study reported that subscribers make purchases 5.6 more often than non-subscribers and spend 2.7 times more annually. Staying in touch with loyal customers builds brand advocacy and provides a built-in audience for new service offerings.

Lessons From Market Leaders in the SaaS Model

When you're ready to build an effective SaaS delivery model for your agency, you should start by recognizing which strategies work best in the market today. What defines the market's truly great SaaS providers, ranging widely from support services providers like Zendesk to marketing automation firms like HubSpot, is their approach to creating levels of services. These market leaders have all designed their service levels carefully, to highlight where they excel at adding value.

How to Define Four Levels of Services

Imagine your agency's focus is on providing SEO services and content marketing. The design of your SaaS model should begin by identifying the following four levels of your service offerings:

1. Core Services

This is where it all starts. You determine the basic services that every single one of your customers is going to need. This doesn't mean something as simple as "SEO.” You have to break down SEO into its components and ask, “What does basic SEO look like?” or “How many blogs/articles will customers need per month?” What you decide here serves as the foundation for everything else your offer in terms of plans.

2. Deeper Services

These are the most critical services that directly impact client growth. This is a win-win situation because your clients' successes encourage them to pursue deeper integration with your services. Consider what you would recommend to customers to drive better results, but reserve your top tier of service. Identify areas where you can clearly demonstrate how your agency adds value. Consider how to assemble the best collection of services to assist your clients in gaining market share within their niche.

3. Full Services

This should not include absolutely everything.It should consist of all the service on the earlier two tiers plus some of your highest value services. These should be the cream of the crop. Customers that choose this level have the expectation that you can really impress them with what you offer. If you are an agency whose primary value proposition is improving SEO, all of your services related to SEO should be here at their top-quality expression.

4. Add-on Services

Often, SEO companies have side services such as advanced analytics or setup and implementation of websites or other types of content services. These are services that don't really fit into any of the above categories, but they can be extremely valuable. Customers should be able to add them on at any level of service pack. Make sure these are services that help your customers' agency up-sell themselves. At the same time, you are improving the clients' chance at success. Add-on services create an avenue for all of your customers to grow more engaged with your agency, even if they are already at the full services level.

The Benefits of Predictability

Construct your service levels carefully, and you can secure predictable income streams and a growing customer base of business partners who depend on you. Revenue predictability makes it easier for you to assess the lifetime value of customers and do more accurate resource planning.

SaaS highlights your agency's differentiating qualities based on their recurring value to the customer instead of merely on an hourly or by-the-project billing cycle. From the clients' point of view, SaaS simplifies their lives by bringing them the services they need as they need them, eliminating variability from their cost structure and giving them the sense of bundled value. Often, the price of your services can be presented in monthly installments to make them more attractive. Break down your services according to the four levels. Then you can start giving you customers the services they really want in a business model that makes the most sense to them in the new economy.

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