Lead generation is no walk in the park—especially for business-to-business (B2B) companies that have to deal with long sales cycles, multiple stakeholders, and highly involved buyers. In the software-as-a-service industry (SaaS), it’s even more challenging because competition is so fierce. B2B organizations have a lot of obstacles to overcome if they want to reach their target audience, generate new leads, and convert prospects into paying customers.
Fortunately, having a strong, strategic approach to lead generation will make it easy for your B2B SaaS company to quickly generate more leads and create a path to long-term success.
What Is B2B SaaS Lead Generation?
A lead is a potential customer—someone who has shown an interest in your product, service, or brand in some way. However, leads are not yet ready to make a purchasing decision, so your job is to educate them about your company and nurture them so that they will become a customer.
Lead generation, then, is the process of attracting leads through various channels, getting their contact information, and engaging with them so they are more likely to purchase from your company.
While business-to-consumer (B2C) companies can generate leads by connecting directly with the key decision-maker (customer), B2B SaaS organizations have to deal with many different stakeholders and create an advanced lead generation approach that balances the concerns of this unique market.
The Importance of Lead Generation for B2B SaaS Companies
The way people approach the buying process has changed. Prospective customers are conducting their own research online and getting recommendations from their colleagues before narrowing down their search. This self-directed approach means that buyers are looking for high-quality, personalized content that solves their problems.
Your goal is to show buyers how you can help solve their pain points. Once you’ve showcased your understanding of their most pressing concerns, you can educate them about your products or services. (Remember that people care more about how you can help them than about the nitty gritty of your products.)
Through lead generation efforts, you will get more and more leads to enter your sales funnel. By getting their contact information and learning about their pain points, you can prepare a marketing and nurturing strategy that will persuade them to purchase your product or service.
The goal of lead generation is to attract as many leads as possible that fit your ideal customer profile (ICP) and nurture them until they are ready to convert into customers. If your B2B SaaS company wants to reach new audiences, get a steady stream of qualified leads, and continue to see revenue growth, you have to invest in a strong lead generation strategy.
It’s simple: If you want to grow your company, you need more leads.
SaaS Lead Generation vs. SaaS Demand Generation
You’ll often hear “lead generation” and “demand generation” in the same breath. But these terms are not interchangeable, and understanding the difference between them is an important first step in improving your lead generation efforts.
Lead generation focuses on initiating customer interest into your products or services, collecting their contact information, and moving them down the sales funnel. It’s all about capturing those valuable contact details so you can start nurturing leads until they convert.
Demand generation aims at generating awareness and interest in your brand, from the start of the sales funnel (initial interest in your brand) to the finish line (closing the deal). Anything your marketing or sales teams do to drive brand awareness falls under this umbrella term.
A successful, scalable B2B SaaS marketing and sales framework requires a combination of both demand generation and lead generation strategies.
10 Strategies for B2B SaaS Lead Generation
In order to successfully improve and expand your lead generation efforts, your B2B SaaS company needs to implement a strategy that fits the unique needs and goals of your company.
Every SaaS organization is different. What works for one business or audience may not work as well for another. However, today we want to share 10 strategies that are an essential part of the lead generation efforts of most SaaS companies. If your company wants to reach your target market, boost your lead generation efforts, and drive sales to your company, add these practical strategies to your marketing plan.
1. Optimize Your Website
No matter what lead generation strategies you implement, they all lead back to your website—so make sure your website is optimized for generating leads.
The first step is to increase the loading speed of your website and configure it to be accessible on mobile devices. Nobody wants to wait around for a web page to load, and you don’t know what type of browser visitors will be using. If they come across slow pages or clunky mobile websites, they’ll move on.
A strong call-to-action (CTA) on your home page is another important lead generation tactic. The CTA should encourage viewers to share contact information with you, whether that is by filling out a form, signing up for a discount, or grabbing a complimentary ebook. Create a CTA that is clear, concise, and easy to find and click on both mobile and desktop devices.
Pop-ups are also an effective addition to a lead-focused website. These pop-ups are small windows that appear to new or returning website visitors with a message that encourages viewers to follow through on some type of action. You can create pop-ups that ask for visitors to sign up to your newsletter, register for a product demo, or attend a webinar in exchange for their contact information.
By building an optimized, lead-generating website, you are setting your B2B SaaS company up for success from the very start.
2. Use Social Media
Social media platforms give you the ability to connect with and engage customers on a more personal level, making it an excellent place to generate leads. Once you join a platform and develop a solid presence, you can start sharing content with your audience, see what resonates with prospects, and establish your B2B SaaS company as a leader in your industry.
LinkedIn is the most popular B2B social media platform, and it’s ideal for lead generation. Post regularly on LinkedIn, keep your page up-to-date, and check it often to determine how you can continue to build awareness, grow your social community, and generate new leads.
3. Create High-Quality Blogs
High-quality blogs and other valuable content help your B2B SaaS company attract and engage with potential customers. When readers find information that is relevant, interesting, entertaining, or helpful (depending on where they are in the buyer’s journey), they will see your company as a leader in your industry and expert in your field—making them more likely to do business with you.
Quality blog posts also increase the chances of your website ranking well on Google. And more eyes on your content means more opportunities to generate leads, nurture prospects, and convert potential customers into paying ones.
Writing blog posts that add value to your target market is key. Make sure your content is well-written, covers areas that interest your ideal customers, and includes a clear CTA at the end of each post.
4. Leverage Email Marketing
How many times have you checked your email so far today?
People—including your ideal customers—are constantly looking at their email accounts. If that’s where they are, then that’s where you need to be.
Email can do it all. You can create and manage segmented lists, target people with specific behaviors, and automate marketing campaigns to take your lead generation efforts to a whole new level.
But just sending an email isn’t enough to generate new leads. Creating targeted, personalized (when possible) emails gives you a better chance of finding highly qualified leads and encouraging them to enter your sales funnel. And once you get an email address from a lead, you can add them to a drip campaign that nurtures them over time.
There’s a reason email marketing isn’t going away anytime soon: It’s an extremely effective lead generation strategy that has withstood the test of time. Don’t underestimate this powerful tool.
5. Implement SEO to Increase Visibility
Your website may be set up to capture leads, but if potential customers can’t find you, all that effort goes to waste. To make sure your website shows up on search engine results pages (SERPs), implement search engine optimization (SEO) tactics across your web pages.
SEO is the process of making it easy for search engine bots to find and display your website on SERPs. From using long tail keywords and adding helpful metadata to fixing broken links and improving your website’s loading speed, optimizing your website for search engines is key.
6. Host Webinars & Podcasts
Webinars and podcasts are opportunities to expand your brand’s reach, find new audiences, and generate more leads.
By hosting webinars, you will attract potential customers that are interested in the products or services you offer. Create a landing page that asks people to register for the webinar, allowing you to capture their contact information. Then, focus on delivering high-quality, valuable content so they’ll be left wanting more. (Another great tip? Turn your webinar content into blogs and vice versa. No need to start from scratch when you have a wealth of content at your fingertips.)
Podcasts are continuing to grow in popularity—so much so that key stakeholders at your ideal companies are listening to and learning from podcasts. Use this audio format to boost brand awareness and connect potential customers with your business. Whether you are a guest speaker on an industry-leading podcast or create your own show where you can share SaaS insights, let your podcast humanize your brand and build new bridges between your company and untapped markets.
7. Implement Account-Based Marketing
Account-based marketing (ABM) is ideal for big-ticket buyers.
It’s a more targeted and personal approach to engaging with prospective customers. Instead of casting a wide net and collecting information from a large swatch of your target market, ABM focuses on specific accounts. These accounts are made up of key decision-makers at ideal companies—which means they are a significant revenue opportunity.
To make this type of lead generation strategy effective, you have to create highly personalized campaigns. Meet with relevant stakeholders, learn about their pain points, and create targeted solutions that directly solve their problems.
8. Ask for Referrals
Referral programs rely on the power of word-of-mouth, making them one of the most effective lead generation strategies available for B2B companies. Buyers trust the recommendations from friends and colleagues above all else; why not capitalize on this potential?
A referral program offers incentives to customers who refer your product or service to other buyers. It’s a win-win situation: They get a reward, and you get a new lead.
There are many different potential incentives you can offer. Discounts, free trials, or free products are all popular options in the SaaS industry. And keep in mind that it’s important to ask customers directly for referrals. Invite them to join your referral program, remind them of the incentives, and create a landing page where they can find everything they need to know in order to participate.
9. Offer a Free Trial or Demo
Free trials and product demonstrations entice potential customers to purchase your product and offer another way to collect contact information from interested buyers.
By providing a free trial, a free plan with limited features, or a product demonstration, you can allow people to explore your software without a purchasing commitment hanging over their heads like the sword of Damocles. All they have to do is input their contact information.
These free offers don’t just help you build your database of leads; they also encourage users to purchase your product. If, of course, you are offering something of value. Give the people what they want, and they’ll come back for more.
10. Provide Gated Content
Gated content is a type of premium content on your blog, website, or social accounts that is only accessible to visitors who hand over their contact information. By requiring people to provide their name, email, phone number, or more before they can view your content, you are actively generating leads.
The key to successful gated content is to provide high-quality, valuable pieces of content that are relevant to your target market. Your website visitors have to want to access gated content before they will be willing to share their information.
Don’t forget to promote your gated content on social media and through paid ads. (It can only generate leads if people know about it!)
We Can Help You Generate More B2B SaaS Leads
Thanks to a rapidly changing B2B marketing landscape and modern buying behaviors, SaaS companies need to stay competitive. Adopting strategies that help your company generate more quality leads is essential to beating out the competition, taking advantage of new revenue opportunities, and growing your business.
To truly revolutionize your B2B SaaS lead generation strategy, consider partnering with an experienced marketing agency like OneIMS.
Our lead generation experts help B2B SaaS companies like yours implement, optimize, and automate your lead generation efforts. We’ll streamline the entire process, make sure you are efficiently generating new leads, and develop a strategy that ensures you generate more revenue.
We have the strategies, solutions, and experience you need to launch a B2B SaaS lead generation strategy that will transform your business into an ideal choice for prospects in your target market.
Are you ready to take the next step and speed up your B2B SaaS lead generation strategy? Schedule a consultation with us today to get started.