We’ve heard that time and time again (mostly from people who are not in Saas).
The SaaS industry is a competitive market. Even the most experienced companies need to incorporate strong strategies to come out on top of the pack and continue to get tons of qualified leads.
Stop us when you relate:
You know you have a strong product or service—one that can truly provide value and improve processes for your target customers—but those customers won’t come knocking down your door on their own.
You’ve tried several lead generation strategies before: Maybe investing in Google Ads or a flashy social media campaign.
You don’t need to abandon the efforts you’ve already undertaken, but if you’re looking to sweeten the deal, you may want to consider adding some new, creative strategies into the mix.
Let’s start from the very beginning and examine five strategies we recommend for lead generation for SaaS companies. We’ll dive into each strategy’s details, including what it entails and how to use it effectively.
The Importance of Lead Generation for SaaS Companies
When it comes to customer churn, SaaS and tech companies average around 5% monthly. That 5% may not sound like much to some companies, but over time if you’re not replacing those customers with fresh faces and new leads, you’ll feel it right where it hurts: Your bottom line.
Although an excellent customer experience and a retention strategy is crucial to decreasing your customer churn, there’s another way to prevent customer churn from affecting your profitability: A solid lead generation strategy.
Lean Labs has helped dozens of SaaS companies solve their lead generation woes. We understand that you can’t rely on the same, tired strategies if you want to generate quality leads and stand out from the crowd.
In this post, we’re going to let you in on a few of our secrets. We’ll dive into the details of five lead gen strategies you might not have tried yet: Strategies explicitly designed to increase lead generation for SaaS companies.
1. Target Conversion Offers to Pain Points
When a good candidate for your business visits your website, you don’t want them to leave without capturing their contact information. You likely already have some sort of conversion offer on your website: Perhaps it’s a downloadable resource, or maybe you’re offering a free trial. Conversion offers aren’t all that innovative on their own these days.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t be innovative about how you approach them.
The conversion offer development process frequently goes like this: You develop some content, then build lead conversion processes around that content, taking steps to funnel visitors toward the offer and motivate them to engage with it.
This process is backward.
You will get better landing page conversion rates if you start thinking more about your customer. What daily struggles do your target customers face? What goals do they have, and what is standing between them and achieving those goals? Lastly, ask yourself: Do I have knowledge that can help my customer with this pain point?
Only when you have a solid understanding of your customer’s pains and how your expertise can help them should you develop your conversion offer. Your offer can take many forms, but your customer’s pain point should dictate the offer you create. If they need a better method of establishing a key metric, you may want to provide an interactive tool, like Lean Labs’ Growth Grader for example. If your target market needs an explanation or walk-through, you might develop a web class or master class.
The benefit of building your conversion offer based on your target customers’ existing needs is that you won’t need to do much work to sell them on the offer: Once you get them to the page, if you’ve built your offer right, it should speak for itself.
2. Commit to Being a Thought Leader
Pop quiz! What unexpected brand feature drives the most growth?
Nope, it’s not positioning or the latest and greatest new product or service: It’s trust. A 2021 survey indicates that nearly two-thirds of customers will advocate for a brand they trust. If you want leads from referrals and other word-of-mouth avenues, you need to establish your brand as knowledgeable and customer-oriented: Trustworthy.
One way to establish credibility and trustworthiness for your brand is to commit to being a thought leader in your industry. There are two steps to becoming a thought leader:
Being knowledgeable in your field.
Sharing that knowledge with others—for free.
Synthesize your years of experience into engaging blog posts, share your valuable knowledge with your target market by appearing on a relevant podcast, or begin developing and posting original content on your company’s YouTube channel. Create thoughtful material that your audience can share with like-minded people.
Not only can you encourage your current audience to engage with your content, but you can use thought leader content to bring in new leads. Posting your content on social media with the appropriate tags can help it find the right audience, expand your reach, and gain new leads. If you are in the B2B space, you’ll want to pay special attention to LinkedIn, as 78% of B2B social media leads come from LinkedIn.
3. Explore Co-Marketing
If you’ve spent any time in the marketing and lead generation space, you’ve probably heard of co-marketing. If you haven’t, co-marketing is collaborative marketing that you do with a relevant business. This strategy is a fairly common one, but there’s a reason: It’s effective.
Co-marketing is a strategy that requires you to partner up with another brand or organization. Both companies can expand their reach by engaging in this strategy, mutually benefiting from the partnership.
The best way to use co-marketing to generate leads is to team up with a complementary business. Your ideal partner organization will be a company whose customer base naturally overlaps with yours.
The best co-marketing efforts don’t just benefit your brand and your partner’s brand: They benefit the customer. Ideally, you should choose a partnership with a brand you genuinely believe will offer value to your customer base. If you bring your current customers’ attention to a product or service that helps them, you’ll win their loyalty, retention, and referrals.
For example, in 2017, HubSpot teamed up with an AI-driven chatbot application called Chatfuel. Together, the two brands created a free guide to teach viewers how to build a chatbot.
Not only do both brands target B2B customers, but many of HubSpot’s customers could benefit from using a chatbot, and many of Chatfuel’s customers could benefit from inbound marketing tools and resources like those provided by HubSpot.
4. Make Your Product Freemium
This strategy won’t work for all the SaaS companies out there, but if you have a product that can support a freemium model, this is something your brand should consider.
Making your product “freemium” essentially involves offering a version of your product for free. This free subscription includes options for the customer to purchase additional features or begin a paid subscription to access your product’s full range of features.
Note: Freemium and free trials are two approaches that are often confused but are not the same:
Limited features unlocked for free
Free features are available indefinitely
Conversions are driven by curiosity and a desire to unlock paid features
All features are unlocked for free
Trial is available for a set time period
Conversions are driven by urgency due to the time limit
Both approaches have a downside in common: In both models, your support team will be on the hook for supporting users who aren’t paying customers.
Using a freemium model mixes lead generation efforts with lead nurturing strategies. By allowing leads to explore the SaaS for free, they can see the benefits your product offers them before they commit to a purchase.
With a strong product, your freemium users will be motivated to upgrade to a paid plan to benefit from the features offered by that plan.
5. Dive into the Data
Any modern lead generation strategy should be driven by the insights you gain from real data. If you aren’t making decisions based on data, you aren’t using a strategy at all: You’re just guessing.
Implement the best CRM software and use it to its fullest potential. Ensure you have a well-thought-out process for lead scoring, and ensure that your entire team is scoring leads appropriately. This practice will help you track relevant leads and ensure you have your pipeline set up to be as frictionless as possible.
You can also use your CRM to segment your leads based on key criteria. Personalize your lead nurturing sequences to each segment, tailoring your messaging to leads wherever they are in their buyer’s journey.
Use your data to set targets around your key lead gen metrics. And, if you’re serious about growth, you’ll want to ensure you’re creating a culture of continuous improvement on your team. Set ambitious targets. Then you hit those targets, don’t relax: Set a new, even more ambitious target.
The Last Thing You Need To Know About Lead Generation for SaaS Companies
Even with these strategies, you may find that you don’t have all the tools you need to take your lead generation efforts into the stratosphere. That’s when it may be time to call in the experts.
You may want to consider partnering with a growth marketing team like Lean Labs in the future. In the meantime, check out our Lead Generation Resource Pack for more information, tips, and tricks!
Mallory is a Growth Marketer at Lean Labs, working with brands to ignite their growth engine through conceptualizing, implementing, and optimizing growth marketing strategies.