Generating new leads for your SaaS business is essential if you want to see your business grow.
Your loyal customers are invaluable to your business, and you invest a lot of resources to keep them happy.
However, maintaining the status quo without adding new leads to your sales funnel won’t get you very far.
Fortunately, lead generation doesn’t have to be intimidating. If you have your ideal customer and buyer personas figured out, you just need to implement the right strategies to attract them to your company.
To help you out, here are 13 ideas to keep your sales funnel filled.
The “try before you buy” method works across all industries, and SaaS products are no exception.
Before asking users to shell out money for your software, you have to give them some ways to see if your product is a good fit for them. For instance, you can offer free trials, a freemium package, or an instant product demo.
Free trials allow access to all features, but for a limited time (commonly 7, 14, or 30 days). After that, the customer needs to pay to use your product.
Freemium models, on the other hand, are not limited in duration, but in the features a user can access. It is up to the user to decide if the free service fulfills their needs or whether and when they’ll pay for premium features.
An instant product demo is a great way to provide a sneak-peek into your product. Users can get a sense of its functionality without having to sign up and use the product continuously.
Trevor.io, a data querying, and BI SaaS company, leverages an interactive product demo to demonstrate the product’s capabilities and value to users instantly.
Lastly, a 1-on-1 demo is the most customized option. Your sales rep schedules a demo session and guides an interested lead through the software. Demos are more time-and labor-intensive, so they are best suited for more complex software and larger teams.
Regardless of the type of SaaS product you offer, providing some type of free access ensures that the customer sees the value in it. That way, if your leads can experience the benefits firsthand, they will have fewer hesitations about purchasing the full product.
Imagine walking into a store, and there’s no one to help you find what you need. You’ll leave without purchasing anything. Similarly, when a visitor comes to your website and can’t immediately find sufficient information, you’ll lose a valuable lead.
To prevent that from happening, implement a chat feature. Even if there’s no one available for live support 24/7, your visitors will be able to get in touch when an agent is around.
An even better option is to employ chatbots. Customers love chatbots for many reasons, but 68% of users surveyed by Userlike quoted fast response time as the most positive aspect of interacting with a chatbot.
A fast response time is crucial to capture the attention of a lead in a crowded market.
If you can’t make contact within five minutes, your chances of catching a qualified lead plummet. Wait for 30 minutes or more, and you’ve lost them completely.
Hubspot, the king of inbound marketing, is also using chatbots to help marketers with questions about their CRM software.
Like many standard chatbots, HubBot also uses questions to segment users by their answers.
Any conversation with a lead (even an automated chatbot response) is an opportunity to encourage the leads to sign up for a free trial, or at the very least, submit contact details so you can retarget them later on.
Few people can resist a free course, tutorial, or workshop on solving a problem or achieving success in a particular area.
Therefore, consider adding these highly valuable tools to your lead generation arsenal in the form of webinars.
Uberflip, a software for marketers, is nailing webinars. They have a ton of them and even feature interesting webinar collaborations.
In the screenshot below, you can see how they partnered with Salesloft, another popular SaaS company, in one webinar where they talked about sales-content connection. That sounds like a ton of value!
Hana Abaza, VP of Marketing at Uberflip talked with Shiv Narayanan from HowtoSaaS, and said they are leveraging webinars to spread the message about the often neglected aspect of content marketing—content experience.
If you can bring in expert speakers and deliver top-notch content, attendees will see you as a company that follows industry trends and understands its pain points inside out. Such a demonstration of thought-leadership attracts high-quality leads.
And if your leads trust you to educate and help them, you’ve set the stage for a smoother sales cycle later on.
However, don’t rush to sell your software to attendees immediately. Focus on establishing a conversation first and provide something valuable. Then, if your SaaS product ties in with the webinar topic, you can always mention it towards the end of the session, so you don’t bore attendees into leaving.
And how effective are webinars actually in terms of sales?
Well, it’s highly likely that 2% to 5% of your attendees will purchase something at the end of your webinar. On top of that, your webinar could turn 20% to 40% of attendees into qualified leads.
Nurture those leads further, and watch your conversion rate soar.
Participating in an industry-specific podcast is a fantastic way to generate some new leads. After all, the listeners are already highly invested in your industry, so you have some common ground to build on.
However, when you reach out to a podcast producer to be their guest, don’t assume you’ll get the gig. Many podcast hosts have certain criteria that have to be met.
Below is an example from SaaS Club, a podcast platform and a coaching service. They allow listeners to suggest podcast guests, but they have some rules about it.
Source: SaaS Club
Likewise, if you get selected as a guest, don’t assume you’ll be able to talk about your SaaS product for 30 to 60 minutes straight. After all, podcast hosts want to create varied content that is valuable and helpful to keep their listeners engaged.
If your podcast interview sounds like you’re reading a sales copy, that’s neither valuable, helpful, or engaging.
Instead, take the advice of Rand Fishkin, founder of SparkToro and co-founder of Moz:
Source: Rand Fishkin (@randfish)
Awareness, trust, and respect are prerequisites for a lead to even consider doing business with you. In that sense, guest podcasting can help build your reputation by showing what values your company stands for.
Why is that important?
Podcasts are distinctive because a listener can’t click on a CTA—for instance, if they’re listening while driving—so your classic CTAs are wasted. Nevertheless, if a listener senses your authenticity and feels that your goals and values are aligned, they’ll remember your name and seek you out later.
Consequently, being a podcast guest doesn’t guarantee a massive number of leads immediately. Instead, you’ll attract warm leads already familiar with what you’re passionate about and how you contribute to your industry. You’re halfway done convincing such leads to become customers.
Blogs remain one of the most powerful inbound strategies for attracting leads, especially for a SaaS business.
Consider this: a person can’t search for your company name if they don’t know that you and your solution exist. However, they will look up specific problems they have. So, your best bet to capture the attention of qualified leads is to address those problems on your blog.
Source: The Marketing Eye
For example, if your SaaS product helps small businesses automate invoicing, you can cover various topics on starting, running, or managing a small business, which will include invoicing. Publish content regularly and consistently, and your blog will become a go-to place for industry advice.
Also, you need your content to show up high in search engines when leads search for such topics. Make sure to implement some good SEO practices to achieve that. Optimize your blog posts to contain important keywords in titles, throughout the text, meta descriptions, and subheadings.
Finally, once a person lands on your website to visit your blog, don’t let them just read the content and leave.
Sprinkle calls to action through the blog posts: offer subscriptions or ask for a lead’s email in exchange for a white paper or case study. Collecting emails builds a base of leads you can nurture further, e.g., with email marketing.
As your blog grows, it will rank in search engines, and, as a result, more people will discover your content and SaaS product.
Your blog content is great and helpful, but sometimes people need quick information or a visual demonstration of how something works.
In that case, instead of reading a long blog post, they will benefit from video content.
Here are just some ways you can use videos in your lead generation strategy:
- Product explainer videos
- Demos and tutorials
- Customer interviews and testimonials
- Influencer reviews
- Feature highlights
- Live streams
- Behind-the-scenes videos
- Webinars and courses
- Event announcements and recaps
- Stories on social media
Videos work on various platforms, and you can repurpose them to support different goals.
For starters, you can help audiences by creating tutorials and how-tos. Reply.io, a sales automation software, does that perfectly.
They have video tutorials about their product as a part of their help center page, but they also host them on Youtube. That way, they are adding content to their Youtube channel, while also repurposing content for their website.
Furthermore, you can compile several shorter tutorial videos into a course and use that content as a lead magnet. These tutorials will also be practical during the onboarding stage. Or you can break up an event video into snippets for sharing on social media.
How and where you use videos will depend on the channel and what stage of the sales funnel your audience is.
A video captures attention much better than plain text, and there’s a myriad of options to utilize and repurpose video content. Moreover, YouTube is the second-largest search engine, which means you can use it to reach new audiences.
So it’s no wonder 83% of marketers consider video helpful to generate new leads, and investment in video marketing is on the rise.
Email signatures usually contain standard info, such as name, position, social handles, and contact information. But why not use that space to spark some more interest in your SaaS product?
Including a clever call to action in your email signature catches the recipient’s eye.
“Download the latest industry report” or “Find new leads in minutes” sounds more compelling than just “YourCompanyName” with the URL of your website homepage.
By including a CTA in your signature, you can direct attention to your business even if the email itself is not strictly part of a marketing campaign. With so many emails exchanged daily between your partners and vendors, someone on the receiving end could be a good match for your SaaS business.
Besides, you never know when a recipient who’s clicked through the CTA might share it with decision-makers in their own business or with their network. Don’t waste such opportunities to capture some new leads.
People trust other people more than they trust meticulously crafted sales copies. In fact, 79% of buyers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
This is good news for your lead generation strategy. If you have some customers who have achieved great success with your SaaS product, their opinion could influence other potential customers to check out your business.
Therefore, encourage your happy customers to review your SaaS product. They can post these reviews on specialized review websites, social media, blogs, or websites. Have a look at one of Regpack’s reviews on the G2 platform.
You can also share positive reviews on your SaaS product pages. When possible, try to include the reviewers’ headshots and professions.
See if they can share some specific results or achievements. Verifiable people and experiences create a more personalized connection between the reviewer and the reader.
You can’t completely avoid negative reviews, but you should resist the temptation to delete or counter them. A small number of less-than-stellar reviews signals more authenticity of the reviews and your product.
Speaking of reviews, we already mentioned that a modern, tech-savvy user will check out your reviews and info online. There are a few places where your business reviews will have a greater impact than other channels. Relevant software directories are such pages.
Directories like G2, Capterra, or TrustRadius are highly authoritative because businesses cannot tamper with or influence reviews as easily as they might on some other platforms.
Additionally, users can filter results by industry or ratings and compare software in similar niches or industries. These directories also offer a place to share business information, product features and pricing, or supporting content like videos or CTAs.
A good number of reviews and sufficient information about your business can put your product on such comparison lists and send some new leads your way.
Not only that, but the mention and a backlink from such highly authoritative sites with millions of visitors boost your online presence. You gain better visibility and improved search engine rankings overall.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to position your SaaS business in the places where most software buyers look first for recommendations.
Your SaaS product landing pages should have a clear mission: to turn visitors into leads. That’s why every landing page needs to be specifically designed for different user segments and have a form to capture the visitors’ information.
Not all visitors come from the same source. Some will find your CTA on social media or email, others through paid ads. Also, they might be at different stages of the sales funnel, so there’s no one-landing-page-fits-all solution.
A highly converting landing page has these characteristics:
- Loads fast
- Contains social proof and a clear value proposition
- User-friendly format and easy to consume
- Clear CTA and simple form
Note that a landing page is not the same as the homepage of your SaaS product website, so you don’t need to include navigation to other pages. In fact, it could just distract the user before they have a chance to convert.
Here’s an example of a well-designed landing page from Crazy Egg, a website optimization software.
However, social media share buttons are welcome in case your visitor wants to share the landing page and potentially bring in new leads.
Design your landing pages with different segments and traffic sources in mind. The more personalized and targeted landing pages you can create, the more chances you have to convert visitors to leads.
Now that you’ve created super relevant landing pages, it’s time to promote them to attract your leads.
While you can rely on SEO to draw leads to your landing pages, it requires a fair amount of testing and tweaking to get organic traffic to convert. Also, you have to wait for search engines to crawl and rank your pages, which can take some time.
On the other hand, pay-per-click (PPC) ads give you more control over what kind of leads you attract to your SaaS business. Plus, PPC displays your ads almost instantly.
PPC ads allow you to be ultra-precise regarding your target audience. You get to set targets on specific industries, types of users, locations, or interests.
However, you need to zero in on your target audience, create clear CTAs, and match them to the value you offer. It’s not just a recipe for drawing in and converting more highly targeted leads, but it could also prevent wasting money on ineffective paid campaigns.
Industry events are especially beneficial for B2B lead generation and well-suited for the tech industry.
To start with, people attending an industry event are usually in the discovery phase. They come to the event to see what’s new on the market and how it can help them boost their business.
That puts you in the spot to introduce your SaaS product and its benefits. In fact, 71% of prospects at the early stage of the buying cycle want to hear what you have to offer.
It’s usually the C-suite who attend such events, so you get a chance to impress the right person. Your efforts are targeted at the decision-maker with the purchasing power. You can win them over with a highly personalized pitch with a bit of preparation beforehand.
SaaStr Annual is one such popular event for the SaaS industry, held in the SF Bay Area. In fact, Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom, called it “a Super Bowl for SaaS”.
At some events, you can either see the participant list or receive an opt-in list of attendees you can market to. You can pick potential leads and schedule a meeting or talk during the conference. In the meantime, do your research. Learn all about them and what your SaaS product can do for them.
Even if you don’t score any sales at this point, you’ve made some connections. Connect on social media or exchange email contacts, and continue to nurture those leads after the event.
You can mobilize your existing customers to recommend your SaaS product further by offering them a reward for doing so.
Recommendations from your existing users are personal—we usually recommend things to family, friends, and colleagues. Such word-of-mouth recommendations can trigger between 20% and 50% more purchases.
And if you offer an incentive to boot, your customers will be more than happy to share your SaaS product with new leads that might be interested in it.
As rewards, you can offer discounts, coupons, or access to premium features. All you have to do is make sure the reward is worth your customer’s effort. Be careful about cash incentives, though, as they tend to attract low-quality leads who are in it just for the monetary compensation.
Helpscout is one of the SaaS companies that use referrals well.
They offer a $50 credit for people that sign up for trials based on the user’s referral. And, should they convert to a paying customer, the referee gets a neat $100 Amazon gift card. A win-win situation for all parties involved, isn’t it?
Also, don’t make your users jump through hoops to participate in referral programs and collect rewards. Many SaaS businesses create a custom user link that can be embedded on a website or shared on social media for that purpose.
Finally, the best thing about referrals is that they generate a chain reaction. Each new user acquired through referral marketing will likely bring some new leads with them too. And if you make it a practice to reward both the customer and the referee, you make the referral program even more engaging.
Making your SaaS business seen in a competitive market is quite a challenge. All your competitors are vying for the attention of new customers. Therefore, successfully generating leads for your business will require creativity and strategic planning.
To stand out in your potential customer’s minds, prioritize offering value. Share educational content and build authority through blogs, webinars, or podcasts. Network on events and customize your approach to different types of leads.
Lastly, your existing customers are powerful allies. Collect reviews and motivate them to refer your SaaS product to new users. Only a good balance of existing and new users will keep your SaaS business healthy in the long run.