Ultimate Guide: SaaS Go to Market Strategy

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Most of startups believe that launch day is the end. Nowadays launch day is only the very beginning and represents the time when the hard work starts. Hard work starts because the startup pass from the building stage to the business stage.

Direct selling is of course a huge part in the Customer Acquisition strategy as it helps to get new customers, however, SaaS companies often do not use the right process or don’t invest in the necessary tools. Customer Support, Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing and other growth hacking techniques are key elements for SaaS companies when building their go to market strategy.

This article highlights techniques and tools that can be used by SaaS startups to go to market successfully. Just pick up those which fit with your team Skills, Branding and Customer Profile,  test and optimize it.

DIRECT SELLING

Direct selling (by emails or phone calls) can be seen as an easy way to increase the revenue of your SaaS startups by just hiring a bunch of salespeople.

However without the right process, a decent sales stack and some training your sales team will never sell anything.

A successful direct selling process start by defining your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). Your ICP is represented by specific characteristics such as demographic data, emporographic data, technologic attributes and customized data. Determining your ICP start by collecting data on your actual customers (first users) and revealing some trends.

Next steps consists of gathering data about potential customers that fit with your ICP.  Professional social networks such as Linkedin, Github or Crunchbase represent great places for your sales prospecting team to hunt. Social profile are always updated and the search on those networks can be very specific (job position, company size, industry, and so on) using the Advanced Search Option. Sales leaders then extract all required information using a sales prospecting software such as Salestools.io and export the data into their CRM. Salestools saves 45% business developers time while prospecting.

Final steps, start emailing and calling your targeted prospects by individualizing your content and making it as informational as possible. Using a CRM such as Close.io is highly recommended to track, analyze and optimize your email & call campaigns. Do not forget to follow up as only 8% of prospects answer after the very first email.

CONTENT MARKETING

Ultimate tactic for acquiring new customers at a very low price is to utilize the power of content marketing.  Content marketing is a strategy that empower users with marketing materials related to your business, industry and all subjects above or below you in the customer journey. The buzz around this term is at an all-time high as every single successful SaaS companies have extensively used content to acquire customers.  

Content created has to be aligned with your ICP and target specifically those who are the most likely to make your content viral. When the audience is defined then the content has to offer a real solution for your actual or potential users. The best practice to write a compelling content is to gain knowledge about what are the pain of your users regarding their existing experience and the surrounding environment. Define some areas where your users need information by interviewing your actual customers, offering them questionnaires against rewards or by collecting data around most visited website of your core audience.

Materials has to be compelling, sharp and as various as possible. Use infographics, pictures, videos and GIFs to make your content as easy to understand as possible. Niche influencers are a great source of content and leveraging their expertise and name will make your content heavily viral (all depends on the number of followers they have). Use various format as well while sharing influencers content such as podcasts, blog posts, GIFs, videos and so on.

Content marketing is a necessary step for SaaS companies to go to market with success as it represents the playground for all of your next marketing strategy (Social Media, SEO, Inbound, etc).

Content has become so important for SaaS companies that some tools has emerged to help marketers. Buzzsumo is surely the most famous tool in content creation has it helps marketers to find relevant content that fit their business and offer insights regarding their social media activity.

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

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Customer Support is a magic trick for customer retention and can even attract new customers thanks to the word of mouth. Having a phone support service for all users, a support live chat 24/7 and a FAQ is already a great effort to keep your actual customers. Unlike most of SaaS providers FreshBooks, an online invoicing and accounting service, provide the full customer service package listed above and send randomly cake to new users or users birthday. It can seem weird or expensive, but it skyrockets FreshBooks brand reputation better than any other marketing tricks.

Month to month plan is nowadays the most common trend for SaaS companies which means that customer service is fully part of the sales process! Great customer support is essential to the long-term success of your startup.

“To me, job titles don’t matter. Everyone is in sales. It’s the only way we stay in business” Harvey Mackay

ONBOARDING EXPERIENCE

Onboarding is crucial for SaaS companies as customers cannot ask physically how works the product and be accompanied by a salesperson. Providing a very complete and user-friendly experience is essential for SaaS companies to educate their customers and help them succeed using their solution. A happy customer is a customer who knows perfectly how to use your product and get the max out of it. Onboarding is the best way to educate your newly signed-up customers succeeding with your solution. Usually, there are a few steps that new users need to complete in order to be successful with your product and an onboarding process makes it easier.

Zendesk has made the onboarding process its main priority. Their users have a large number of steps to complete before being considered as “onboarded” due to the nature of their application. If a user is not fully onboarded, then he/she will never succeed with their solution. In order to avoid this situation Zendesk has developed a “Getting Started” screen that shows up right after the user has signed in. This onboarding process walk the user through a step by step setup process with videos and useful tips along the way.

PROVIDE FREE GUIDES

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Providing ongoing training is a great after sale service for users and a great way for SaaS companies to reward their valuable customers. MailChimp, an email marketing provider, provide many free eBooks to all of its users. These ebooks  not only educate the users on how to use the product, they also cover many of the best practices and tips for sending bulk email. MailChimp knows that making their users smarter and more successful is good for them as well!

PROVIDE A VIDEO LIBRARY

The SaaS evangelist, Salesforce.com, uses a successful proven customer training method. Every year, Salesforce host dozens of user conferences all around the world to provide training and build community around their products.They also make videos of these conferences and make them available for free online. Salesforce.com users have literally hundreds of free training sessions to choose online. Each one of these video is designed to make the users more successful, more happy and transform them into salesforce evangelist.

LAST TIPS:

  • Prospect companies that have raised funds in the last month
  • Find the decision maker
  • Train your team using B2B programs
  • Use dashboards and gamification softwares to motivate your team
  • Use sales prospecting softwares
About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

Comments

  1. Great post! And thanks for mentioning Close.io in here 🙂

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