How SaaS Companies Can Take the Lead with 6 Time-Tested Sales Tactics

SaaS companies often struggle with lead generation. These 6 strategies can transform the marketing campaign to the next level.

They say that,"You can lead a horse to the water but you can't make it drink." While this adage stands true for most scenarios, it's certainly not the case when it comes to generating leads, more specifically, generating leads for SaaS companies. In the SaaS universe, it's not enough to invite your customers to your doorstep, you have to make them overstay their welcome, if you know what we mean. 

We won't lie. This is not an easy goal to achieve, only because of the sheer competition and an over-saturation (or "SaaS pollution" as it is commonly known) which is gripping the SaaS industry. Increasingly, what started out as companies offering a niche offering has been replaced by proliferating choices of "similarly different" SaaS offerings, leaving the customers lost and confused. 

In short, if you're not thinking differently about "thinking differently" when it comes to how to keep your business afloat, you will probably be in trouble sooner than later.

But there's always hope. Simple efforts such as using the organic search (Think: Google) can drive 68% of new-visitor traffic on your brand's website! To that end, let's look at some other simple-yet-effective strategies that can turn the tables in your favour and help you attract and retain customers organically and sustainably:

1. User Journey > Lead Generation Campaign

First things first, you need to prioritize enhancing user journey and understand user persona and prioritize it ruthlessly. There is no way in which you can create an impactful lead generation campaign without understanding your user's needs, aspirations, buying behavior, problem-areas, motivators, among other things. Below, we have listed some steps you can drive to understand your user's a whole lot better:

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  • Hotjar Tool for Hottest Insights: Luckily, there's a tool for everything we need today. Whether you wish to dig into insights that throw light on how your customers are using your product or whether you wish to track the Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) or Net Promoter Score (NPS), you can achieve all this and more by using an analytics-driven tool such as Hotjar. Plus, it offers innovative features like heat-maps, visitor recordings, feedback polls, form analysis, incoming feedback, etc. to ensure that you always have your customer's back, virtually in this case.
  • The Data Gold Mine: Most companies don't realize that they're already sitting on a data gold mine that's never seen the light of day. All you need to do is bring together a team of experts who can extract useful points from the existing or past data and create a new one lead strategy, one that's at par with the dynamic needs of the customers at large and acts as an effortless motivator. This can then be passed on to the sales experts who can engage with the customers keeping in mind the big-picture business goals and short-term customer requirements.

2. Focus on SaaS Partnerships

This strategy follows the mantra: "Together, we can achieve more." Collaborating with other companies and SaaS influencers opens up new doors of opportunities for your brand both literally and figuratively. 

Plus, you get access to quality (read: genuinely interested) leads that can lift your lead generation game several notches up! Both companies work towards promoting each other's offerings in order to reach a more diverse and scalable target audience. In sum, it offers a win-win approach for all as both partners benefit equally from the partnership if not more. 

3. Look at your Company Website from a Different Perspective

When was the last time you revamped your company website? If the answer is taking more than 5 seconds to arrive, it's time to revisit your website. Nothing drives away potential customers more than an archaic website. Furthermore, websites are no longer serving the traditional requirements of informing the customers about your offerings. On the contrary, they're increasingly being seen in the light of a prompt and powerful lead generation platform that can offer the following services:

online marketing

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  • SEO: If you're not on the first page of Google search, you might as well be on the last one. This is where SEO can put you on the global map and in the user's mind. By using the Google Keywords tool, businesses can understand which keywords work best for them and use it in strategic places all across their content marketing. It essentially acts as a bridge between your brand and the customer. But it's important to create a balance between quality- and SEO-centric content. It then comes as no surprise that around 87% of marketers feel that online content (read SEO-driven content) is a major factor that contributes towards customer purchasing decisions.
  • Live Chat: A powerhouse of a tool if you ask us, Live Chats are as effective as talking to a customer face-to-face, sometimes even better. You can try a live chat software, which is omnichannel, instant, and effective in execution while being robust, comprehensive, and innovative in design. Along with text, it possesses screen share, voice, and video call features. Simply put, if you're looking to provide real-time support through multiple touch-points, live chat can be a life saviour.

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  • Blogging: This one's a no-brainer. A clear, coherent, and consistent blogging platform is an investment that'll pay off rich dividends. How? Because top-of-the-funnel content such as blogs helps showcase your brand's personality in more ways than one - that too, free-of-cost (a big incentive for the users). You can curate informative blogs that center around creating awareness about your brand and why customers should opt for your service/product. At this point, it becomes imperative to draft value-driven messages that truly cater to your audience's needs at hand.
  • Content Marketing: Forming an integral part of lead magnet tools, content marketing efforts such as e-books, video tutorials, wallpapers, emails, blogs, newsletters, websites, etc., can generate more leads for your business than any other sales tacticJust ensure to fill it with actionable insights, and you're good to go! Plus, remember that you don't always need to create new content. Sometimes, repurposing old content to fit into the current needs works just fine. Just let those creative juices flow.
  • "Free Trial:" Probably the biggest value proposition you can offer potential customers is the benefit of a free trial in exchange for their contact information - much like those first dates where you're still gauging the person and "exchanging numbers." After all, your brand's first impression (via the demo/tutorial) can persuade customers to "commit" to your brand for a lifetime. In 2016, SAP offered 30-day free trials to visitors which resulted in 3,700 new leads, and a reduced cost per lead of 88.5%.

4. Email Marketing Campaigns to Generate & Nurture Leads

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Primary Objectives of Email Marketing

Get this: The ROI on email marketing is 38:1 as per recent research. This makes sense as emails work wonders at every stage of the customer's life cycle, from on-boarding to nurturing them. But the best advice you'll probably receive today is to use email signatures as a form of call-to-action, one that provokes the user to visit your website/buy into the offering. 

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Furthermore, SaaS companies should also invest equal amounts of time and energy in sending 'cold emails'. And no, we don't mean cold in the adjective sense of the word. Cold emails are outbound messages you send to people who have had no prior contact with your company or the offerings. 

To further cash in on the cold email advantage, make sure to send personalized emails at every step of the user persona. If you're still not convinced about the concept of 'cold emails,' consider this: As per a Buzzstream study of 12,000 email outreach campaigns, emails with contextually relevant personalization got 10.7% higher reply rates than others. 

5. Videos for Visual Super Powers

Using videos as effective engagement tools is no longer a well-kept secret. Every business, big or small, understands that you need to go live to stay alive. Adding credibility to this is research by E2M Solutions which states that 92% of B2B marketers leverage videos for their lead and demand generation campaigns. Here are two initiatives you can undertake:

  • Webinars: In simplistic terms, a webinar is a live and online video conference session that's exclusively held for an audience (global or local). Typically, people are informed in advance about the details of the session with a creative and intriguing pre-webinar campaign. It acts much like the hook for any new offering. 

Naturally, providing relevant and useful content becomes a necessity. You could address queries, share your experience thus far, introduce a new offering, etc. The most important thing to keep in mind is understanding the right time and day to leverage maximum audience engagement. 

Remember that even though you're not going to be meeting your audience face-to-face, you will still get up, close, and personal with them, albeit digitally. So, it's important to bring your A-game when it comes to your presentation skills. Data suggests that 20-40% attendees can be converted into qualified leads with an outcome-driven, well-conducted webinar.

  • Live Q&A Session: Video-streaming giants such as Youtube are not just for looking up your favorite movie trailer. They double up as a larger-than-life virtual stage where companies can conduct live sessions and get closer to their audience every single time. Whether you wish to address customer queries or simply educate them about new offerings, nothing beats a live session in terms of engaging the audience. 

Perhaps, the best presenter that comes to mind is the late Steve Jobs. We don't need to tell you how effectively he used the 'stage' to entertain, inform, educate, and engage his audience and created the world-wide phenomenon that we know as "Apple" today.

6.  Guest Posting for a Sales "Home Run"

Ask any sales expert and they'll tell you that guest posting on forums belonging to industry leaders can be your smartest bet yet. In short, it's the best way to tap into potential customers who would otherwise never have known your brand. 

Make sure to do some research to filter the top most-visited websites and create a dedicated schedule to send guest posting every now-and-then. Another point to factor in is to create quality blogs that are rich in content, sharp in visuals, and universal in data and statistics.

Final Thoughts

Take the customer-first approach, and you’ll build a resilient company with an impact — and a strong future. Nick Francis, co-founder, Help Scout

Lead generation today is about treating every customer interaction, written, verbal, physical, or digital as an ongoing opportunity to go above and beyond to get closer to them. 

If companies embrace a holistic approach, keeping in mind the above-mentioned strategies, they can experience exponential growth and a happy customer base - all at the same time. In sum, with these tactics up your sleeve, be rest assured that all customer paths will lead to SaaS.  

What are some of the best lead generation techniques that have worked their charm for your business? Share your ideas below. 

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