The sales and revenue of any business depend on its lead generation strategy. Once upon a time, it was common practice for sales reps to reach prospects with such time-tested techniques as door-to-door visits and cold calls. That was commonly the only way to introduce them to their company’s products and services.
While those tactics may occasionally still be used in some industries, the scenario these days is quite different. People have untold access to almost limitless information, literally at their fingertips, as they comb through websites, social media, and other online channels for research and information. 81% of consumers conduct online research before making a purchase, and their expectations of high-quality goods and services have never been higher.
The digital (and cloud computing) age has also led to a veritable explosion of Software as a Service (SaaS) businesses, with current estimates of the SaaS market hovering around $272.5B and nearly 15,000 SaaS organizations in the US alone.
It’s easy to see why, too. SaaS is usually hosted in the cloud, so users don’t need to download any software and can access the app via a web browser on whatever computer they’re using, from whatever location they’re working from. And organizations using SaaS to power business applications no longer have to host those programs on their own computers or in their own data centers, which can significantly reduce costs. And since updates are automated, the overall user experience is improved, as both users and companies have almost-instant access the most updated versions of the software.
Since the barriers to entry into this market are so low, however, this means more competition. SaaS startups face upwards of 9.7 challengers, making it more difficult for SaaS businesses to grab the attention of their target market.
It’s common knowledge that increasing your lead generation will inevitably grow your revenue, and your business. Unfortunately, no matter how good your app, lead gen can still be one of your biggest SaaS marketing challenges. SaaS companies need to develop proven lead gen strategies to acquire new prospects, predict sales pipeline growth, close deals and capture their slice of the market.
In no particular order, here are 10 smart and effective SaaS lead generation strategies:
1. Build Better ABM Lists
Account-based marketing (ABM) is an efficient way to expedite lead generation for SaaS businesses. According to a benchmark report, 85% of marketers say account-based strategies get more clients than traditional marketing.
The reason ABM improves lead generation is its two-pronged approach—it combines both marketing and sales, targeting a list of high-value accounts with personalized experiences, which depends on accurate data of potential buyers.
By improving the accuracy of data, SaaS marketers can build better ABM lists with accurate customer profiles, enabling on-point personalization and aligning marketing and sales activities to ensure the prospects navigate the entire sales funnel.
2. SDR as a Service
A strong sales strategy is essential to acquire new leads, nurture them through the buyer’s journey, and ultimately close deals. SaaS startups need a sales development representative (SDR) team that focuses solely on sales prospecting. SDRs reach out to new leads, qualify them, and direct them further along the sales funnel.
A cost-effective and efficient way of getting the most out of SDRs is for SaaS organizations to work with SDR as a Service providers—SDRaaS—that have the expertise in lead generation and development while strengthening the sales pipeline and reducing the costs associated with SDR hires.
The results speak for themselves: According to a white paper, outsourced lead generation yields 43% better results than in-house efforts.
3. Content Syndication with Predictive Intent
SaaS firms with a stronger internet presence have more to offer to their target market. While quality blogs, data-specific content, industry-specific posts, and research-based articles are the cornerstone of a strong content marketing strategy, SaaS businesses are more likely to attain high-quality leads through content syndication backed by data and behavioral insights.
The more accurate data can predict buyer behaviors and their triggers, the more effective sales and marketing strategies can be in lead generation and revenue building.
By syndicating content to the right websites and audiences, based on accurate behavioral intent data, SaaS companies are not only increasing the reach of their content but also have a better chance of attaining leads that match their target buyer profile.
4. First-Party Survey-Based Lead Generation
Lead forms are great for capturing basic information about prospects. However, that data is not enough to gain complete insight into leads or identify them as sales-qualified leads (SQL) for effective conversions.
SaaS lead gen strategies can include surveys at every stage of the funnel that complement lead forms and integrate with marketing automation. This enables better data on prospects, including decisional buyer intent data, which improves lead scoring, resulting in powerful campaigns that convert.
5. ABM Display Advertising
Targeted display advertisements enable SaaS startups to focus on specific business audiences by using demographic and firmographic data.
ABM enables precision display advertising by targeting decision-makers in accounts that match the customer profile of the business, thus expanding reach, increasing brand awareness, and capturing the interests of new leads.
The effectiveness of display ads with ABM results in better campaign performance. But the success rate of display advertising depends on the accuracy and quality of data and insights. Better data means better display advertising results.
6. Accurate Segmentation
Result-driven lead generation depends on accurate segmentation of the target market, enabling SaaS companies to focus marketing efforts, deepen customer relationships, and attract more qualified leads in the pipeline.
Predictive buyer behavior, firmographics, and technology installs are some data that can be used to create multiple audiences that correspond to the ideal buyer profiles. This enables better discoverability of prospects and lead scoring, as well as efficient marketing and sales processes leading to conversions and sales.
Smarter segmentation also provides sales teams a better representation of the personas they should be pursuing, thus reducing customer acquisition costs.
7. Intent Data
Accurate intent data shows what a prospect is interested in and what actions they are likely to take. This data is based on buyer behavior and interactions that can predict buyer intent, enabling sales teams to target their efforts toward specific audiences.
According to DemandScience’s benchmark study, Intent Data Challenges, 90% of B2B companies have successfully used intent data to increase lead volume, while 57% say they’re able to convert leads 2x faster when acquired from intent data..
8. Content Scoring
Another lead generation strategy is to prioritize and execute content that delivers targeted leads and better opportunities for conversions. This is done using a method called content scoring, which differentiates why some content pieces perform better than others.
Content scores will represent the number of leads, opportunities, or closed deals a piece of content has generated, thus helping SaaS organizations to optimize their content strategy and develop content that generates leads, thus driving more revenue.
9. Result-Driven Webinars
Webinars give SaaS prospects the opportunity to improve their knowledge and find solutions to their problems. It also allows SaaS organizations to demonstrate their expertise.
However, actionable and useful content is vital to keep webinar participants engaged and to convert them into leads. With accurate technographic and buyer intent data, organizations can understand their key prospects and deliver personalized webinar content and product recommendations that can speed up lead generation.
10. Marketing Automation
Marketing automation involves using software to automate several aspects of the marketing processes and lead generation tasks. These processes are automated across many channels and campaigns without the time and investment of traditional outreach and sales. But marketing automation can also be implemented to generate various types of leads, and businesses that use marketing automation software have seen leads increase by 80%.
While marketing automation solidifies demand generation marketing with automated processes to bring in new visitors, nurture them and move them through the buyer’s journey, it also improves engagement and perception metrics.
These metrics enable precision lead generation, by optimizing middle-of-the-funnel activity and qualifying SaaS audiences into leads, which helps initiate targeted sales conversations. In fact, businesses using marketing automation have seen increased conversions and a 451% increase in qualified leads.
Using Proven SaaS Lead Generation Strategies
Lead generation for SaaS startups and businesses is a multi-channel approach requiring the right combination of data-driven strategies for maximum results.
Using the proven strategies listed above, SaaS organizations can scale their lead generation processes to attract customers and increase sales.
For accurate data-driven lead generation strategies that help you get leads that match your target buyer profile, contact us for a range of solutions that can overcome your challenges.