In recent decades, a somewhat standard path has formed for SaaS startups. It starts with an idea, of course, and then a plethora of hard work, which finally leads to the realization of that idea. Then comes the part of connecting with customers, generating sales, and staying afloat. Every part of the journey is challenging, and the latter isn’t an exception.
Naturally, with the generous amount of tools available on the internet that promise to make every business owner the next Mark Zuckerberg – well, not exactly, but that seems to be the goal for the heavy majority in the industry – it’s not as easy as it seems at first. It is exactly in this part, the part of generating leads and then eventually sales, where people hit a wall (or should I say an iceberg?) and fail to keep the business afloat. After all, we often forget or fail to grasp how hard it is to get anything noticed on the web nowadays.
What you offer is special but only if more people know about it then, you tell yourself, then it will blow up. And you are right! The internet might seem like your enemy at first, but it can be your friend after all. That is exactly why we’ve created this white paper, to befriend B2B SaaS companies like yours with the internet and help you generate more SaaS sales leads. Below presented are the top 10 lead generation ideas for SaaS companies to help you convert more visitors into interested leads.
1. Set SMART goals
If you read the capitalized smart in the heading above and thought we are screaming “SMART!” at you, then you just haven’t heard about the most important framework in marketing yet. SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. The framework is essentially a guide for setting realistic goals that are possible to achieve and measure.
Here’s an example: “We need more SaaS sales leads” is a bad goal. It doesn’t meet most of the standards of the framework. Here’s how we can make it SMARTer. First things first, it’s not specific therefore it will be harder to keep track of. How do you know that you’ve achieved the goal? This is where the “specific” comes into play. To do that, we are going to use all the remaining 4 elements of the framework.
Start by replacing “more” with a specific number, let’s say 10. “We need 10 SaaS sales leads.” Better, but we’re not quite there yet. When do we need those 10 leads? In a week, a month, or a year? “We need 10 SaaS sales leads in the next month.” Now, it’s time-bound. We’ve got the T out of the way. We also got the A – attainability – out of the way too. If we decided to put 1000 leads for a month, it would be unrealistic, therefore, unattainable. Goals that are not attainable are destined for failure.
The only thing that’s left is R, which stands for relevancy. When setting a goal you need to make sure that it addresses a need in your strategy. If your sales are declining and you want to fix that, setting a goal for increasing exposure by gaining more followers will be irrelevant.
2. Study Your Competitors
To stay ahead of the game, you should know your competitors like the ten fingers on your hands. So always keep in touch with the competition and especially their marketing efforts. This might sound like an obvious idea, but how well do you know your competition and its offerings? We’re not just talking about direct competitors here. Even if your offering is an innovative new offering that doesn’t have direct competitors with similar offerings, you need to study the indirect competitors that come somewhat close to your product.
To get more SaaS leads, look at what works best for your competitors. Obviously, you won’t be able to know all the details about your competitors’ sales, but at least you’ll know how they get exposure on the web, based on the engagements they get on public channels, such as social media platforms, online advertising, getting backlinks from certain third-party websites, etc.
3. Keywords, Keywords, Keywords
Where do we go when we need to find something on the web? That’s right, Google. Or Bing, Or DuckDuckGo. Or even Ecosia. The chances are, you don’t use the latter three that much, but they are still worth exploring.
Search Engines can bring a great deal of organic – in other words free – exposure on the web. Unfortunately, this is not a secret anymore, so many companies are actively using them to get their prospects’ attention. It’s a very competitive field, and to be able to rank on the first and only page that matters most of the time, you need to target relevant search queries, commonly known as keywords, to be at the right place at the right time.
An example of this is the following: let’s say you offer photo editing software to casual Instagram users. Ask yourself, what would a person type in that search bar if they needed photo editing software? Is it a “free photo editing apps,” or “best selfie editing apps for iOS”? There are a plethora of combinations. Choose the one that is relevant for your offering and your goal. If you don’t offer a free version, then maybe keywords that include “free” are not going to bring you more sales, and you should instead add those to your negatives (keywords you don’t want to rank for).
What do I do with the keywords, you may ask. You use them in your content – landing pages, app UI content, blog posts, headlines, meta titles, meta descriptions, etc. Make sure you use those keywords in a natural manner that doesn’t make it harder to read. Don’t stuff your content with all kinds of keywords. Select one primary keyword that is your priority and 3-5 secondaries.
4. Create Buyer Personas
The more you know your prospects, the better you are at B2B SaaS lead generation efforts. But how do you get to know them? And what does it mean to know your prospects? That’s what buyer personas are for. These are a generalized account of the major types of people who will potentially be interested in your offering and convert into customers. It’s important that the personas are based on research and not assumptions.
There are several ways you can conduct buyer persona research. The first and obvious one is surveying your existing customers. If you are just starting out and don’t have customers? Create a survey and target a relevant test audience. You can share them on relevant channels, like social media groups. Alternatively, you can study your competitors’ customers to get an idea. How you can do this? See if your competitors have any case studies or customer logos on their landing pages. It’s a good place to start. Also, don’t forget that you can also check out their social media following to see if there are any patterns.
What should you include in your buyer persona reports? Mostly demographic information, like age, gender, yearly income, etc. Choose the ones that are relevant to you, i.e. if gender is not that relevant, don’t bother including it. Then move on to more actionable info that can be used for targeting, like where that persona spends time on the web, etc.
5. Gain Thought Leadership Through Insightful Articles
Blogging has become the standard for companies. Valuable articles are the best way to build thought leadership on the internet. Thought Leadership is showing to your audience that through expertise your company has the influence and knowledge superiority in your respective business field.
Articles are an amazing way to showcase your company’s expertise in the field and promote how your offering can help them solve their problems. Your buyer persona research will help you understand what kind of content will catch your audience’s attention.
6. Add Live Chat Option to Your Website
Live chat support is a very convenient way to guide your website visitors to convert into paying customers. Making getting in touch with your sales team is easier will encourage visitors to get in a conversation. Visitors are more likely to engage in a conversation using a live chat than fill out a form and wait for a response. In that time span, the visitor might bounce to a competitor.
If you have the budget for it, have your sales team be available online in your target area time zone. Don’t wait for the visitor to click on the chat icon, instead, have an automated trigger that will pop-up on the lower side of the screen in a non-intrusive way, engaging the visitor in a conversation with the sales team.
7. Register Your SaaS on Review Websites
Getting recommendations from actual users can immensely help with B2B SaaS lead generation. By building trust on the web, leads will be less reluctant to convert. This not only makes the sales team’s job easier but by getting your salespeople to spend less time convincing leads, they can spend more time on making more sales.
Review websites like G2, Capterra, and ProductHunt can help you get exposure and new customers through customer reviews. Every company can put a fake review on their website, but these platforms are moderated, therefore people trust them more. Many companies use such platforms to find B2B SaaS software. That’s how they can help you get more SaaS leads.
In addition, these review websites constantly create lists of software based on the category which will provide great exposure for your SaaS software to new people. And you can add an embedded badge of the rating you earned on the platform to your website to showcase to your visitors.
8. Utilize Forum Posting for SaaS Promotion
You probably heard about Reddit. The website claims to be the front page of the internet. It’s a famous forum platform where people discuss all kinds of things in so-called subreddits. These are groups that are dedicated to a specific topic. Reddit houses all kinds of subreddits, everything from TV shows, business-related topics, to “animals without necks”. But the latter is unlikely to help in lead generation for SaaS companies.
What you need to look into instead are relevant software-related subreddits where your marketing team can do black ops marketing. Why black ops? You see, any type of advertisement is usually forbidden on subreddits. Since Reddit is a place where people usually use nicknames instead of real credentials, there’s nothing wrong with creating accounts based on your buyer personas and recommend your solution to Redditers.
9. Create Enticing Lead Magnets
A lead magnet is a piece of gated content that you create to entice visitors to convert into leads by giving you their email addresses. The word “gated” is used because lead magnets are usually more effective if they are only accessible after entering an email address. We’re not talking about usual blog posts, but rather extended papers, such as white papers or ebooks.
Don’t limit yourself to written lead magnets only. Webinars are also an amazing way to get people to give you their email addresses. In this case, a proper social media promotion of the event is a good way to get the webinar noticed.
10. Create Exit-Intent Popups
Did you know that you can program a pop-up that predicts when the user is about to leave and show an offer that can keep them interested? Now you do. These pop-ups can be a great technique to keep visitors interested and spend more time on your website.
The more time your content keeps the visitors interested and attentive, the more are the chances that they will convert. According to wisepops, exit-intent pop-ups are far more effective than usual pop-ups, especially those that appear immediately.
Need help with your B2B SaaS lead generation efforts?
In case you need help implementing any of the ideas presented above and more, feel free to contact us at PMG360 today for a free consultation. Over 6 million business professionals rely on Progressive Media Group Inc.’s services to generate B2B leads more efficiently. By leveraging this captive audience across our diverse media brands, PMG360 has perfected the process of targeting and producing high-quality business leads for our customers.