Lead generation acts as a very significant roadblock for all new and still-establishing businesses. When it comes to lead generation in SaaS, the lead generation game becomes all the way more difficult because SaaS, on its own, is an unusually difficult industry to find success in. Besides, finding one’s fit in the market has now become all the way more difficult owing to the lower barriers to entry. Also thanks to the advancement in technology, it is now not only easier and cheaper to enter the software market but SaaS companies also get a huge, ready consumer base owing to the 4.66 billion users of the internet in 2020.
Having said that, there’s only one viable way to make your SaaS company bigger and better than your competitors: Qualified SaaS lead generation. As a SaaS business owner, you should strive to establish a strong lead generation strategy to popularise and create awareness about yourself before anybody else.
But what exactly is a lead?
A lead can be described as any party who has shown an interest in your offering, product, or service, either by direct communication or in another form; however, is unsure of buying into your offering. The lead eventually converts to a sale if you, as the seller, meet their expectations.
In simpler terms, what this really means is that you, as a seller, need to educate and nurture a lead to be able to convert them into a paying customer of your product. This whole process, however, only comes to life if you first develop a solid lead generation strategy to find potential clients or leads. A successful lead generation strategy will ideally result in your potential client having you at the top of mind when they consider who to purchase from.
Along those lines, we have crafted this list of actionable lead generation strategies for SaaS companies to amplify their lead generation efforts. While these strategies might not be the final word for success, they sure could be a solid headstart to formulate a viable, result-oriented lead generation action plan.
1. Lead Generation Tactics for SaaS Companies
Product trials are cardinal to the SaaS industry for the fact that a SaaS product is intangible and unlike a traditional product, cannot be seen or touched. Making a trial available for your product, albeit in a cost-effective structure, increases the chances of your leads to become sales qualified leads (SQLs) since you are giving them a taste of your product.
Demos or time-limited trials are also beneficial for your tech-savvy leads who want to ensure that the software has everything in place as per their expectations, thereby ensuring there is no underperformance at your end after a successful sale. Consider product trials for SaaS equivalent to ice-cream sampling in Baskin Robbins!
However, as a catch to product trials, one must also make sure that a SaaS trial should be offered only after the complete, successful development of the software. Offering a free trial would only make sense if it actually leaves a positive impression and converts the lead to a paying customer. Hence, try to identify as many bugs and completely develop the software before rolling out the free trials. Also, since SaaS products are typically technical and require education, yours must be no exception. To overcome this roadblock, it is recommended to consider offering onboarding support with the trial.
People who sign up for your trial also automatically become product qualified leads (PQLs) and so, should be paid close attention to while the trial is on for higher chances of conversion.
Pro Tip: It would also be wise to ensure that the demonstration of your product during the trial run is not overwhelming and does not lead your prospects to over expect from you.
2. Effective Content Marketing
An effective content strategy clubbed with top-notch quality content can solve most of your SaaS lead generation troubles. A visitor who potentially visits your website should be served with content so engaging, accurate, creative, and information-rich that it instinctually drives them down the marketing funnel. Your content on the website’s landing page should be so effectively done that it positions you as the ultimate service provider of the niche and convinces your visitor to punch in their details on the lead sign-up form.
Apart from the content available on your website landing pages, a viable content marketing strategy should also factor in the potential of information-rich blog posts relevant to the company.
Content creation might look like a rather investment-intensive task, it would only make sense to instead look at it as a smart investment that offers compounded returns in the bigger picture. The investment made in creating content should also never be confused with the investment made for paid advertisements. While effective content can create leads endlessly while campaigns like PPC can only create leads as long as you keep paying for it.
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The good old optimization! SEO is recommended and it works for the simple reason that it anyway is SEO’s job to make one’s content discoverable and noticed on search engines. Once your content marketing strategy is in place, the next area of focus, as a SaaS business owner/marketer should be to get the content optimized well so that it starts ranking for search queries relevant to your business. This will result in relevant visitors who could then change to leads and eventually, conversions.
That said, optimization can surely take you to that point where your content is noticed but what good would be that content if it comes at an unbearably slow website? Hence, you might also ensure that your website is fast, secure, and has a user-friendly mobile UX. Another important point here is to always remember that the end goal is conversion, even with SEO. And so, you will have to offer the web visitors not only engaging, optimized content but also viable, clickable CTAs (Call To Actions).
4. Invest in PPC
It is true that effective inbound marketing can significantly help reduce your AdWords budget. But again, you cannot ignore the fact that a huge chunk of the untapped potential audience can be quicker tracked by investing in PPC engine ads.
PPC also still remains highly relevant and popular for the reason that it gets your desired targeted audience to you at your cost. Since it is Pay Per Click, you have the power to increase, decrease or even cease your funding as and when you want to. While PPCs are inherently predictable, the best-recommended practice is to run a series of test ads and then analyze what kind brings the best ROI. PPC can help grow your business by generating large volumes of leads and traffic if you optimally invest in it.
5. Referral Marketing
Referrals help generate some seriously effective leads. As per Social Media Today, “78% of B2B marketers say it (referral marketing) generates leads of good or excellent quality” and “60% of marketers say it (referral marketing) generates a high volume of leads.”
Referrals are of two types, incentive-based referrals, and non-incentive referrals. While deciding what kind should you go with, it should be kept in mind that while low-incentive or no-incentive referrals might not get a large number of leads, heavily incentivized referrals could bring low-value quality referrals. Hence the key is to first test run what works best and then optimize that choice.
A referral program can be launched either on your own or can be set up with the help of referral software. You could also involve your support, marketing, or sales team and have them ask for referrals from existing clients.
6. Collaboration and Co-Marketing
Collaboration and co-marketing in the form of co-campaigns could be another good idea for lead generation for SaaS companies. When we say collaboration, we refer to collaboration with other companies that either complement your product or have a similar approach to their business as yours.
In a typical collaboration, the cost behind each lead generated is also shared by both involved co-campaigning companies, making the proposal a win-win for all involved. While there is no definitive way of how co-marketing should be done, the most common approach followed by companies is that of curating content in the form of e-cooks or to host a webinar.
Collaboration also helps since remaining up of both companies also means an opportunity to leverage the skills of both involved. This could empower the SaaS companies to tap into a market never considered before. This cost-effective SaaS lead generation tactic can also help increase the reach of the brands involved.
7. Retargeting or Remarketing
Retargeting or Remarketing is referred to as a tactic that intends to increase conversions by re-engaging people that left your website at an earlier point. So how does this work you ask? Retargeting essentially keeps a track of the website visitors and then displays online adverts of your website to them on the other website they surf over the web. As a result of this, your website visitors keep seeing your name wherever they go, thereby making them re-think about you and luring them back to you.
Retargeting is a commonly used tactic in all industries, especially the clothing industry where you check out a scarf on the website and it keeps coming back to haunt you on every website you visit (maybe even with a discount) until you purchase it. Retargeting helps for the basic reason that these website visitors who left at an earlier point were your hard-earned website visitors; and hence, since they already found a way to you, there should be no stone left unturned to convert them into paying customers. Retargeting also helps create a sense of familiarity in the minds of the website visitors.
While most of these tactics are only recommendations, we advise you to not stop striving at just these. You could also try and combine a couple of these tactics to achieve greater results. Also, whichever tactic you swear by, ensure that you first run a test to identify the potential areas of improvement. This will also help determine the best-suited technique of lead generation for your SaaS business. Besides, it goes without saying, there can be no substantial lead generation until there is a substantial understanding of your target audience and their needs.
Looking for help to create qualified leads quicker? At Fantom, we could be of help. Get in touch today!