SaaS startups live or die on their ability to develop and nurture a deep sales funnel. Early media attention and beta users will only take a company so far. Without ongoing customer acquisition and retention efforts, a SaaS (software as a service) entrepreneur’s business is likely to meet a premature acqui-hire or company shutdown.
The ability to fill a sales funnel with fresh leads is crucial in determining traction rate, raising investor funding, and accelerating growth to allow for product/service expansions. If you’re part of a team building a SaaS company, you can take steps to increase your lead-generation opportunities. The following are five fundamental ways for SaaS entrepreneurs to improve their sales funnel.
Without a detailed awareness-building strategy in place, a SaaS company is unlikely to gain significant traction. You might be surprised at how many entrepreneurs think “build it, and they will come” is a sound go-to-market plan of action. In today’s crowded SaaS landscape, it is tougher than ever for a software as a service company to attract attention. SaaS teams need to develop an in-depth awareness-building plan that includes everything from content marketing and social media networking to forum posting and social listening. The more effort put into building awareness at the very early stages of a SaaS product, the higher the likelihood of building significant momentum to carry a company through the product/service tweaking stage.
Need analysis is another crucial aspect of building an effective SaaS sales funnel. Without extensive need analysis of prospective sales leads, a company won’t understand whom to market to, how to address their needs, or even where to find potential customers. Such analysis involves understanding a prospect’s business, their company goals, their pain points, and their decision-making process. If you want to build a SaaS product that indeed achieves product/market fit, spend plenty of time developing a deep understanding of your customers’ needs. Websites like YouGov are great starter tools to help find your target audience, and their interests, to formulate a need analysis strategy.
An intent analysis is another essential element of building a SaaS sales funnel (yes, it’s different from need analysis). Far too few SaaS entrepreneurs understand the crucial role intent plays in nurturing a sales lead. If you want to increase sales opportunities for your software-as-a-service company, it is imperative you know the intent of your sales prospects. By discovering the details behind why they are investigating a SaaS solution, you can tailor your marketing approach to help them achieve their goals.
Sales Lead Segmentation
Sales lead segmentation is essential for active sales growth. SaaS startup teams need to understand where their leads are in the sales journey and what they need at each step of the sales funnel to progress further towards a purchasing decision. Making an effort to segment your company’s leads early on in the process will allow you to close more sales and provide the information your prospects need.
Lead Engagement Strategy
Segmenting your sales leads is only part of the growth equation. As a SaaS entrepreneur, you and your team must also develop a detailed lead engagement strategy. Understanding how sales leads want companies to market to them is crucial. Push too hard, and your warm leads will suddenly turn cold. Fail to engage at the right time, and your sales prospect could switch to another SaaS provider. When you and your team have a detailed lead engagement strategy in place, you can connect with candidates on their terms yet still work towards converting leads into paying SaaS subscribers.
Integrate these five tactics into your SaaS sales funnel strategy, and you can significantly increase your revenue opportunities. That not only helps you extend your runway if you’ve already raised investor funding, but it also enables you to pay for growth options like increased talent acquisition and product development. Determining the long-term development of your SaaS company will come down to creating a detailed SaaS sales funnel optimization strategy. These five tips can make sure you’re steering your company in the right direction.