The COVID-19 pandemic has put many companies in a limited sales position. Do we try some outbound tactics to quickly improve sales figures, or do we stick with our inbound marketing strategy which may result in longer sales cycles at the moment?
Understandably, you may have some immediate concerns about how your sales are performing this quarter and looking for effective ideas to boost your lead generation now.
But there's no reason why this can't be done the inbound way.
In fact, inbound leads cost around 61% less when compared to outbound leads, so sticking to the inbound master plan makes a lot of sense when budgets are tight and the need for ROI is high.
Businesses that sell software solutions to specialised industries, like tourism and hospitality, have certainly felt the impact of the crisis harder than those that cater to horizontal markets. While the bounce-back for some companies will closely correlate with the recovery of the industries they serve, others will be experiencing high demand for their cloud-based technologies that support remote working and collaboration.
Regardless of your current position, your focus should be on building sustainable sales pipelines. Having a SaaS lead generation strategy in place will help you to attract the right fit customers for the present, and the future.
As business eventually picks up again, you want your sales team to have a long list of leads to get in touch with – leads that are receptive to your message and interested in your services.
If your primary focus is to get some quick wins through the door, however, inbound marketing is the key to helping you achieve this.
Inbound marketing is responsive
Inbound marketing is inherently digital; this means that while other businesses may have their resources tied up in direct marketing campaigns that cannot be adapted to the changes in consumer behaviour, you can quickly tailor your content to address your customer’s new priorities.
Here are just a few things you can do (with minimal hassle) to highlight how your service is directly supporting customers:
- Update your website with helpful resources that your visitors can use to make educated purchasing decisions.
- Inform prospects on what your business is doing to accommodate customers in the current climate.
- Change the language in your paid ads to ensure that you don't come across tone-deaf.
Mobilising your digital assets to reflect the situation at hand shows that your company is committed to delivering excellent customer experience, even in a time of crisis. As buyers continue to search for solutions online – albeit remotely, you increase your discoverability and distinguish yourself from competitors by having the right content in the right place.
7 Quick wins for SaaS lead generation
1. Launch a targeted campaign
The market has changed (no surprise), and so have some of your buyer persona's characteristics. Think on your feet and do some research to identify how your buyers' needs have dually evolved.
Is there a pain point you can immediately address?
Recognise the gaps that your service fills and create a targeted campaign that will appeal to your tweaked buyer personas. You can achieve this by doing a quick check-in with your current clients. Find out what features in your software are particularly useful to them right now and highlight those to prospects.
It's also a good idea to target a wider audience with your offers and paid ads.
Because you may find that your product has suddenly become relevant to a broader market.
2. Spruce up the CTAs on your high traffic pages
Take a close look at your website analytics.
Which pages are getting all the action right now?
Perhaps it's your FAQ page; maybe people are trying to figure out how to cancel their subscriptions...
That's certainly not the desired outcome, but what are you doing to prevent churn?
Why not place a call-to-action on these pages, directing customers to a landing page where you list the payment support options you've made available to help defer or freeze their subscriptions. If you’re concerned about retention, it’s important to not only offer extra support to your users right now, but to also make it accessible.
But what about conversions?
First, identify the reason why a particular page is drawing traffic. Then, clarify the desired action you'd like the visitor to take. If you want people to move past your homepage and continue learning about your offering, be sure to place prompts that ask them to sign up to your newsletters or create a login so that they can trial your product.
Make sure that these CTAs stand out and don't hinder the user’s experience (UX). Natural eye path typically starts at the upper left-hand corner of a web page and follows an "F" or "Z" shape from thereon.
3.Update your forms
Having lead capture forms on your website is a fantastic way of collecting relevant information about your lead, enabling your sales team to strike up the right conversation when they get in touch. However, the information you required from customers two months ago may be a little different from the information you need now.
Make sure that the kind of details you're asking for don't put leads off – do you need a phone number, or is an email enough?
That being said, longer forms are likely to get you better-qualified leads; the reason being, the more information you have about what these individuals are searching for, the more prepared your sales team will be when making contact.
It's a delicate balance, but with some A/B testing, you're sure to get it right. Lead capture forms will certainly help you to bring some high-value sales in.
If you'd like to learn more about optimising your lead capture forms for conversion, HubSpot's blog titled 5 Critical Components of Lead Capture Forms is a worthwhile resource to view.
4. Boost your bottom-of-the-funnel offers
Still asking people to click that "Contact Us" button?
Yes, that's certainly the inbound way, but you may need to be a little more directive if your lead is viewing a decision-stage content piece.
Create a special offer, one that's tuned in to what the market is currently calling for.
If you're in a position to offer a more extensive free trial, do it. It means you'll have a new sign-up that gets acquainted with your service, experiences the value of its features, and creates a deeper bond with your brand. When the market stabilises again, these free trial users will be much easier to convert.
But what about those middle-of-the-funnel leads?
It's worth checking your analytics for MOFU engagement. Are these folks opening your emails, visiting your website and interacting with your content offers? If that's the case – although this isn't something you should do regularly, now might be a good time to pop a tactful BOFU content offer in their inbox.
You may be surprised to find that some of these leads are ready to buy; or, at least, move a step closer to that final purchasing decision.
5. Ask for feedback
There's nothing more inbound than asking your customers to tell you about their current experience. You can initiate a net promoter score (NPS) survey to find out how willing your customers are to recommend your company to others. This could give you some great ideas to launch a referral program; or, it could show you where you can make some quick improvements to your offering to help secure or upgrade your existing customers. This move will also enhance your chances of converting leads who may have been hung up on a bad product review.
Surveys are quick and automated, enabling you to gather important data that will shape your campaigns and promotions. Furthermore, reaching out in this way shows customers and leads that you're interested in what matters to them.
Read HubSpot's Ultimate Guide to Surveys and learn how to gather honest and accurate feedback from your audience.
6. Audit your Google Ad campaigns
In an economic downturn, the knee-jerk reaction would be to cut your ad spend entirely, when in fact, it's a super important time to hone in on your paid advertising strategy.
You don't want to splurge on unnecessary click spend, of course. And you shouldn't have to. A simple audit and repointing of your campaigns could deliver quick results. Review your bidding strategies regularly – a set and forget approach will not work in a volatile market.
Keywords are still a significant asset. You can use Google Trends to understand more about current search trends and adapt your strategy to get found by your target audience.
While you're adapting your Google Ads, review the language and wording so that your offers don't come across as insensitive.
Need help with your PPC campaigns? Learn more about setting up and running a Google Ads campaign here.
7. Build your social presence
With social distancing and some lockdown rules looking likely to be in place for the foreseeable future, more of us will be inclined to spend time online, relying on social networks to keep updated with friends, family, and colleagues.
If your social media presence wasn't strong before, now is the time to reach out to your customers and leads through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Twitch – wherever your people are, that's where you need to hang out, too.
Use these platforms to share information and updates. Invite your followers to join groups or live streams and build authority as a trusted source of industry information.
Of course, such initiatives largely rely on organic reach – something Facebook has made a little trickier for businesses of late.
However, Facebook does have 60% of the internet's attention. By running a carefully curated paid campaign, you can reach your target audiences in a powerful way.
You can take advantage of the platform's sophisticated targeting tools to ensure your content ends up in front of the right folks. If you put in the effort to direct these leads to a purpose-built landing page, you can significantly increase your chances of closing some essential sales.
What does this all mean for your SaaS lead generation?
All of the tactics listed above are in line with inbound best practice because they are focused around addressing your customer's needs and answering the questions they're currently asking. Having up-to-date content – even if that means repurposing and refreshing your existing digital assets – is key to ensuring you don't miss out on potential SaaS leads.
What's more, by implementing an inbound SaaS lead generation strategy, you're setting your business up for a stronger bounceback. Unlike your competitors (who may lag in aligning their marketing strategy with a new, more relevant message – or have possibly cancelled their advertising and promotions), you'll be able to tap into audiences who are ready to spend; they simply haven't been approached or targeted in the right way.
Inbound marketing is powered by data-driven decisions. In the current economic climate, businesses are understandably looking for ROI before making further marketing investments. It's therefore reassuring to know that 41% of marketers agree that inbound marketing demonstrates precisely that: measurable ROI. Studying your web traffic and engagement levels will help you to carefully plan your campaigns and restructure your content in a way that continues to present your company as a reliable and trustworthy brand.
At Klood, we've developed proven and successful growth strategies for countless SaaS businesses. Times are undoubtedly challenging (across all industries), but we remain firm advocates for inbound marketing –– the results don't lie.
By continuing to support our SaaS clients with effective retention and lead generation strategies, they’re able to maintain and grow their businesses. We urge you to take a proactive approach in how you manage your marketing during the pandemic, and if we can offer help or advice along the way, don't hesitate to get in touch with one of our experts now.