By 2021, the global SaaS market will be valued at $220.21 billion. Take a step back and look beyond this figure. Imagine the number of companies that will be a part of this market, and the amount of competition each one of them will face! If you are a marketer tasked with building a winning strategy for a B2B SaaS firm, you have your work cut out for you. SaaS marketing is a different ball game altogether because the SaaS-based offering is cloud-based. Your target buyers will want to try out the service before purchase.
All your marketing activities must push a potential buyer into trying the service. This is Proof of Concept (POC), that tells the buyer that your product actually works and will deliver the returns they expect. What’s more, SaaS sales cycles are not as long as regular sales cycles. That’s because the software being sold as a service is evolving all the time. So, sales personnel must ensure that the sales are concluded quickly before the software undergoes further iteration. Shorter sales cycles mean increased pressure for marketers as they must deliver results keeping the sales cycle at the back of their minds.
Also, the SaaS business model is subscription-based; this isn’t a buy it and forget it kind of model. As a marketer you will need to convince buyers to sign up for monthly/quarterly/yearly subscriptions.
Considering the nature of SaaS products and their sales cycle, you do not have much time deliver returns with your marketing strategy. You should be able to craft a marketing strategy that shows results quickly.
This is where outbound lead generation enters the picture. Outbound lead generation service for B2B SaaS based firms is the way to go. Here are a few tips that you must integrate in your market strategy for B2B SaaS firms to generate website leads.
There is no beating the benefit of first creating a detailed buyer persona and going after these personas. Yes, not all personas will deliver high ROI, so after you’ve created a list of personas, choose the one that you feel has the most marketing potential, and create an outbound campaign around these personas.
It’s imperative that you get a thorough understanding of your buyer persona and know how they are wired.
By creating persona adjectives around all the information you have on your target buyers, you can pick the adjective you want to run with. This will ease your marketing effort as you know the kind of messaging that will work best for that particular persona.
Content! Yes, content is not only a function of your inbound strategy, but also plays an important role in your outbound marketing activities as well.
But, remember, you are short of time here. So, start focusing on content that straddles the space between ‘Awareness’, ‘Consideration’ and ‘Intent/Decision’. E.g. Videos, Case Studies, Whitepapers and more.
According to the Demand Generation Report 2019, case studies were the most successful engagement tactic to generate qualified leads for TOFU (Top of the Funnel).
What happens when you arrive at the MOFU (Middle of the Funnel) or Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU)? Here’s its case studies and white papers that take center stage. Yes, we are going to talk about events later, but here we are talking about content, specifically.
A case study is proof that your SaaS solution has worked to deliver tangible returns for the client. It offers evidence, which convinces the person to convert into a lead. The next step in the process is taking this potential buyer to the free demo/trial of the solution.
This works from the whitepaper angle as well. A whitepaper showcases your company’s industry knowhow and its ability to solve a particular challenge or set of challenges. It uses facts, figures, and a deep-seated industry knowledge to make a case for your brand/solution. It is not a product pitch by any stretch of the imagination.
Again, you are cutting down on your personas’ decision-making time, by telling them that you are an expert in the field and our solution is solving the challenges YOU are facing.
The reason why we asked you to create consideration/decision-centric content is that such content will allow you build email opt-in lists. In times wherein your company needs to keep in mind GDPR regulations, you must ensure you have buyer opt-in to create your email list. You don’t want to fall on the wrong side of GDPR.
It’s your inbound strategy that is going to bring in organic and paid traffic to your whitepaper/case study landing pages. Once you have an email list ready, start sending your cold emails. This is one of the best outbound strategies you can deploy.
In B2B, the email click-to-open rates are 14%. That’s not a bad number, for just the first half of the 2020:
What’s more, emails are one of the top organic content distribution channels used by B2B marketers. So, all those website blogs and other sundry content assets that you are creating, can be shared with the right personas through emails. Once again, the fact that you should be able to shared consideration-focused content raises its head here.
Also, take a look at the below figure:
Email marketing has the most impact on revenue. Enough reason to get started on those cold emails NOW!
Organize a small/big event, call speakers, become a speaker yourself or start looking for participation/speaking opportunities at events. Why should you take the event route?
Well, the top B2B marketing performers are doing it, so should you:
According to the Demand Generation Report 2019, 64% of marketers said events were most effective in converting and accelerating lead generation. Here are a few aspects you must consider to ensure a successful lead generation event (if you are planning it):
Pick the right attendees for the event. You want to start qualifying your persona into those categories that will be more than amenable to converting into your leads.
Conduct a drill down research of event attendees and assess the kind of content they would love. In this particular case, you are offering a SaaS solution; so, create content around the various industry challenges best solved with a SaaS offering like yours.
Calculate the cost of each lead keeping the overall event cost in mind.
Plan a follow up strategy before the event so that you are able to send a post event mail to all attendees.
You can tie in your event strategy with your cold email strategy, wherein your emails can be sent in pre-event and post-event.
Something else you can do is become a speaker in SaaS conferences/events or participate in trade shows focusing on SaaS solutions. Exchange notes and your business cards, and prove your products work by hosting product demos. Nothing can beat this.
A WOM strategy can be used to create a pre-release buzz around your product, investing in product reviews, influencer marketing, distributing product success stories and through proper use of customer testimonials.
While WOM is a great idea for B2C customers, don’t underestimate its impact in B2B marketing; it should be an integral component of your outbound lead generation service for B2B SaaS offering. You have to be a little street smart when you are strategizing your WOM strategy.
E.g. reviews are great for creating the right buzz around your SaaS solution.
So, get on those sites that your target customers are using to search for SaaS product reviews, sites such as Capterra, Trustpilot, Software Advice etc. Get in touch with top industry influencers in your niche and ask them to review your product.
Also, create customer testimonial videos (call them mini case studies, if you will) and start sharing these on social media and feature them prominently on your website. The idea here is to get people talking about your offering and its benefits.
And, most importantly, you need to utilize the reach of LinkedIn to spread awareness about your solution and its many benefits.
Consider the above statistics, thought leadership is the key driving force behind would-be buyers considering specific solutions. Also, 37% of business decision makers and 41% of C-Suite executives said it was thought leadership that convinced them to invite a company to propose a solution.
Now consider the following LinkedIn statistics:
A massive 4 out of 5 LinkedIn members are decision makers. Need any more reasons why LinkedIn should be a critical component of your outbound marketing strategy? No surprisingly, 89% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn for lead generation.
Firstly, make sure your LinkedIn company page is a lead generation magnet with the right header image, a compelling solution pitch in your company description and keep sharing clickable and conversion-centric information. This could be regarding solution updates, new offers and much more. Also create a showcase page that represents your solution or a recurrent and focused company theme, or even an activity. This is an engagement avenue.
Once you have built a powerful LinkedIn profile, start sharing thought leadership content such as quotes from the tech team, your SMT’s take on industry development and much more. This is the place that you are going to share links to your ‘consideration and decision stage’ content assets as well.
You can also configure LinkedIn campaigns, to market your business.
Your outbound lead generation service for B2B SaaS rests on the foundation of accelerated marketing outcomes. Think of the ways and means that will generate quicker leads for you and the kind that has a better chance of converting into a SQL (Sales Qualified Lead). This strategy should be focused on reaching out to the customer to not just say you exist, but the fact that you are great at solving a specific problem they are encountering.