How to influence SaaS prospects before they’re ready to buy
26th April 2016
The buying journey starts well before you begin conversations
In the world of B2B marketing and sales, early influence is incredibly important. By the time a prospect gets in touch with you, some statistics show 67% of the buying process has already taken place – so how do you start influencing them before they’re in the purchasing zone? And more importantly, how do you persuade them your business offers a better solution than your rivals?
The bottom line is that you need to have a marketing strategy in place, which is designed to resonate with potential prospects wherever they are in the buying cycle. This may sound like a daunting prospect, but there are a number of key elements all SaaS businesses need to achieve in order to create a platform for success. For example:
Optimise your website
Many prospects like to carry out a level of independent research before making contact with a solution provider, which means careful investment in your company website can make or break your lead nurturing journey.
Your website needs to cover all the important details about your product and the purchasing process. This needs to include detail on solutions and features, pricing and have a clear call to action. If you’re not transparent and informative, they’ll look to other SaaS companies that do offer that level of detail up-front.
Keeping your website up-to-date is also very important. One effective way to drive relevant traffic is to launch a blog section, offering bite-size information on the latest trends in your industry, key questions in the buying process, and other relevant insights. This will help your search engine performance, and also demonstrate your market expertise.
Add value – don’t just sell
One of the key reasons SaaS companies fail in their lead generation activity is by trying to sell to prospects that are not ready to buy.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t be influencing prospects at earlier points in the journey. Thought leadership marketing is a great way to show you understand your audience’s challenges, and start weaving in messages around how your solution can solve them.
Think about some of the key ‘pain points’ your prospects approach you with. Can you turn that into a guide or a whitepaper, offering some guidance on how they can overcome those problems with the right SaaS technology? This is a great way to start new business conversations, allowing you to soft sell until the buying window opens fully.
Have a long-term strategy in place
Successfully converting sales isn’t about producing one great piece of thought leadership content; it’s about targeting prospects regularly with a strategic programme of messaging. When someone responds to a whitepaper you’ve written, what are you going to send them next? Don’t wait to follow up, give them more ‘added value’ content while their interest is piqued.
If your sales cycle is 12-18 months, you can’t expect a 6-week marketing campaign to fill your pipeline. Generally speaking, your lead generation strategy should follow the same time frame as your average sales cycle, so you need to be looking 1-2 years ahead with your marketing programme.
Strategic SaaS marketing support from Xander Marketing
The idea of planning a marketing campaign for 2018 in 2016 can be somewhat overwhelming, but a professional marketing agency can provide invaluable support and resources.
Xander Marketing specialises in lead generation marketing campaigns for SaaS businesses. We work with many SaaS businesses to improve their websites, create thought leadership content, and execute marketing campaigns that engage new business prospects. If you’d like to add your name to that list, get in touch.