The B2B SaaS industry has faced several challenges this year, including market uncertainty, reduced marketing budgets, and substantial changes in the marketing mix. Innovation was the key to surviving and thriving during these turbulent times. A common element among all businesses is a renewed focus on SaaS growth strategies.
You’re not alone in wondering how to overcome competitors and gain a strategic advantage in 2021. A significant percentage of the decision-makers have moved to remote or digital-first, and these trends are here to stay. B2B buyers now have access to an infinite supply of alternatives and expect the same conveniences in their business buying as B2C businesses.
In this article, you’ll learn five B2B SaaS growth strategies that you can depend on to give you predictable and measurable increases in revenue over the long haul.
Content Growth Strategy
A good content marketing plan is one of the best SaaS growth strategies because it builds an audience, which both improves your brand and helps you move them to revenue.
In the revenue era, you have an opportunity to show customers how you solve their most significant problems through content. This strategy also works well in driving buying signals through product education.
With SaaS content marketing, your content needs to give away the best stuff, be useful for prospects, personalised and delivered with superior technology.
Write Content for Each Customer Touchpoint
You must develop content pieces based on a specific understanding of the objective.
Use broad keywords and attracts visitors with value-driven content. At this stage, you should not work on selling your product but focus on crafting an audience.
Write blog posts that entertain, engage, and, most importantly, make their lives better.
Once you have an audience, you should output educational content which gives you signals to intent. The educational funnel should help users understand how you can solve their problems.
Use the bottom of the funnel content to encourage users to sign up as trial customers. This is the phase where you talk specifically about your software and why it’s in their best interest to try it.
Inside your overall SaaS revenue generation plan, you must convince trial users to become paying customers. Create content aimed at trial users that nurture and prompts them to transition into paying customers. This type of content should focus on value and ROI.
You can’t stop after getting a customer. The next phase of content retains long-term customers and reduces churn rates. Create educational pieces about your product’s features. Use guides that teach users how to get the most out of using the software.
Leverage Product-Led Growth
Using product-led growth (PLG), your revenue growth occurs by relying on your product to drive:
- Customer acquisition
- Sales conversions
- Revenue expansion
Your company can grow quickly and efficiently using product-led growth because you’re leveraging active users and then converting them organically into paying customers. Traditionally, PLG models are attributed to B2C strategies, but in 2021 they are also useful for B2B. Great B2B companies that leverage this include Drift, Slack and Asana.
As a go-to-market strategy, PLG helps users experience the software before they pay. It also benefits your company because the product-led growth strategy allows you to scale continuously since you aren’t constrained by traditional lead generation or sales processes.
The Three Stages of Product-Led Growth
The first stage is to design your product with your end-user in mind. The only way to do that is to remember that end users are real people. These people have a problem, and they want you to solve it immediately. You need to listen to their needs, put those needs first, and commit to improving how your product fixes that problem.
The next stage is to give value to your end-users before expecting value in return. Using the open-source, freemium, or free trial models, allow your end-users to experience some or all of your product’s features before they pay. The key to this stage is helping users understand how your product improves their lives after they pay for it and continue using it.
The third stage of PLG is to ramp up your demand generation and broaden out your strategy. Invest in acquisition strategies that push individual elements of your product and acquire users through demand generation.
Accomplish these goals by tracking and analysing user behaviour. Build out your growth team to focus on making sure the product enhances its ability to drive distribution and capture value. Continue running experiments to learn how to create user journey improvements.
Building a Community as a SaaS Company
Creating a sense of community for your target audience can help foster a better experience that works well to create a more “sticky” brand.
Community builds brand ambassadors while simultaneously helping you defend your brand from competitors. You can leverage the community for content support and product feedback. Both are great value propositions for investment.
How to Leverage Your SaaS Community
Start inviting those people who are close to you first. Ask early trial users, customers, friends, or thought leaders you’ve already partnered with to join your community. Slack is an excellent tool for building a community.
Use the community atmosphere to conduct market research. Ask questions, run webinars, and use surveys to move interested leads through the process of becoming trial users and ultimately paying customers.
Focus on the needs of community members in ways that encourage active participation. For example, you might consider a job board to encourage community members to help connect with others in the same industry. This process creates a sense of goodwill.
Establish a Demand Generation Plan
The goal of your demand generation plan is to delight your buyers. This may involve some fundamental shifts in your plan as you adapt to the changing landscape of 2021. Buyers no longer pay everything up front, take all the risks and are educated by sales. Instead, they hold all the power, expects success and are educated by digital experiences.
Elements of a Solid Demand Generation Strategy
Focus on these inbound marketing elements to build a successful inbound marketing plan:
- Remove friction throughout
- Offer value upfront
- Focus on experience
- Leverage machine and AI
All of the above elements form a great demand generation strategy because they recognise the new B2B buying experience.
Combine Your SaaS Product with Service Lines
One of your SaaS growth strategies needs to focus on looking past the “product” aspect of SaaS and looking at how you can bring more “service” into the picture.
This is interesting, isn’t it? SaaS stands for software as a service. Yet, many SaaS companies forget about the service aspect as they think about growing market share for what becomes a “product.”
Buyers have problems, and they need solutions. Does it make a difference if the solution is a machine or a human? Probably not. One of the best ways to deliver service is to look beyond the function your product fulfils and focus on complementary efforts. Implementation and training services are great value adds to a product solution.
Focus on building human connections during these service interactions. Bake the service concept into your SaaS marketing plan, and you’ll gain lifetime customers who continually bring more referrals into your sales funnel.
Now it’s your turn to use these SaaS growth strategies. It’s overwhelming to implement everything at once. Your next action step is to select the one that makes the most sense for your company. Get it into place and gauge its effectiveness.
Choose another of the SaaS revenue generation methods and implement it. Continue this process until you have a demand generation machine that attracts users, revenue, and scales predictably.