Usually, as the holiday season fades and we head into Q4, we expect a bounce as clients gear up to get right back down to business.
However, 2020 is a year like no other. For some SaaS businesses COVID-19 has been a cloud (excuse the pun) with a silver lining, whereas for others, plans have had to be redrawn as budgets come under pressure. In some cases, businesses have folded. It’s the familiar story of change creating winners and losers.
Across the SaaS sector we are seeing 3 major trends:
The tendency for knee jerk reactions which characterised the first wave has largely given way to more reasoned thinking; we have learned to live a little easier with our anxieties in the ‘new normal’. However, much uncertainty remains, and there are still unanswered questions, including:
As part of the natural ebb and flow of economics, before the pandemic hit, recession was on the horizon. It’s just the way the cycle of boom and bust works. So, last year we were writing about preparing your SaaS business for tougher times. And naturally in more prosperous times, it follows that we might talk about maximising the gains during boom times.
The trouble with thinking too rigidly along these lines is we could fall into the trap of waiting for ‘perfect’ conditions for growth. Perfect never happens!
As we move into Q4 of what was meant to be the first year of an exciting new decade, we find ourselves in a far, far different world from one that perhaps any of us could have imagined. So, what should your marketing focus on? Here are some items you might wish to consider.
It’s Q4, and it’s still a good time to think sales. B2B SaaS has never been in more demand. Of course, there are variations for different product types.
If you provide software and a services platform for managing field teams such as sales, then the reduction in travel and face-to-face activities, that has been the hallmark of COVID-19 infection prevention, might mean your sales activity is relatively static.
However, if you are geared to providing software for companies providing digital financial solutions, say, it might be a different, more upbeat story, because people always need to be paid and need a new solution when teams are working remotely. Should you be an enabler of home or remote working, then you may be experiencing a significant uplift.
Whatever situation your sales funnel is in, keep things going, if you can. You may have to adapt and do it differently and change your expectations about targets and what’s do-able. The baselines by which you measure the volume, tempo and rhythm of business likely need to change.
Reviewing your business is of course an essential process. ‘Conventional’ best practice suggests that a periodic appraisal should be made annually. However, in today’s world, the business environment is so fast moving that the approach to strategic review should be flexible. In short, you need to be able to initiate a review based on the importance of any changes that impact or are likely to have relevance to your business, whenever they arise.
The top-level strategy of your business is likely to be simple. But as you drill down it is going to be more complex and nuanced. Consider reviewing these elements that might form part of your overall strategy.
Q4 is typically a time to create your Marketing Strategy for the following year and consider what new marketing initiatives you’ll be undertaking.
Other ‘important, non-urgent’ work to consider is:
Xander Marketing has helped over 150 B2B SaaS businesses grow revenue, sales and leads with outsourced marketing since 2009.
When it comes to marketing, SaaS has its own set of rules!
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