In 2020, the software-as-a-service (SaaS) landscape displays huge opportunities for new growth.
A post-pandemic world has accelerated an online, software-dependent society, leaving leaders scrambling for quick and sustainable solutions.
This ‘new normal’ is a longer-term experience than anyone initially imagined, and stop-gap measures are becoming permanent lifestyles. Now more than ever, funded B2B SaaS companies are able to make their cases to investors primed to listen.
Funding brings new possibilities – and pressure. Suddenly, there are strict performance timelines, a board demanding results, high ARR goals, and covenant compliance thresholds to be met.
While CEOs know the potential of their offering, delivering on promises sold to investors becomes a daunting task. Their sales funnel remains dusty and the last two agencies did nothing but busy work.
One of the main challenges of hiring an in-house team is that your ‘we need it right now’ mindset doesn’t always overlap with your long-term needs.
This leaves CEOs with a marketing team today that may not align with their needs tomorrow
Here are the top 10 reasons (although there are many more):
Instant access to proven SaaS marketing playbooks
Expertise with B2B SaaS marketing trends and tactics
Quick, measurable results
Access cutting-edge technologies
Refining your Saas ICP & GTM
Balancing Speed & ROI
CAC & Reducing Churn
Flexible to your changing needs
Content and user experience optimization
Performance and accountability
Let’s dive into these a little more, and how this applies to your SaaS company.
1. Instant access to proven SaaS marketing playbooks
Unfortunately, it’s hard to execute effective marketing. Companies often invest their marketing dollars into the wrong places, people or strategy, and fail to drive the results and growth they’re hoping for. With a B2B SaaS marketing playbook that has helped over 20+ SaaS companies GTM and scale their services, you can have trust and confidence that your investment pays off.
By adopting a proven marketing playbook that’s delivered results for software companies before, you can feel confident that you’re not just throwing your money into ineffective campaigns and updates. Rather, you’ll have a month-by-month playbook and strategy that’s been carefully tested and refined to deliver the most effective marketing tactics in the correct order.
2. Experience in the Industry
one of the main reasons to bring on a saas demand generation consultant is that you can tap into their vast background and frame of reference from their career. A good consultant will have gone through years of website development and marketing projects, and have a proven track record of doing so. The software buyer’s journey (or marketing funnel) has specific influencers, purchasers, and gatekeepers that can make or break a company’s purchasing power. Your SaaS marketing strategy can address this through a strategic collection of content and resources that align with each stage of the funnel, your SaaS buyer personas, and the appropriate call to action are added to all content to qualify and enter prospects into your funnel.
3. Achieving Success Faster
with a good saas consultant, your company or website will be able to reach revenue and profitability goals much quicker than without their help. I love hearing from my consulting clients that they exceeded their goals faster than they anticipated and are extremely excited about the prospects of growing the company even greater in the future. With a great demand generation consultant assisting your company, you can expect to cut the learning curve dramatically and exceed your revenue and profit expectations for your company. Often, SaaS companies that have received recent investments or VC backings need to drive hockey-stick growth in a short period of time. This allows your company to target the most impactful, ‘low-hanging fruit’ first, driving quicker results that add momentum to your overall marketing function. They'll also help you devise the marketing budget for the fiscal year
4. Access cutting-edge technologies
The right marketing tech stack and tools can exponentially increase efficiency, productivity and results. While there are freemiums or try/buy tools you can access for free, hiring a consultant gives you the power of premium-level software services and reporting already included within your package.
A single marketing tool can range anywhere from $50 to $200, and without utilizing the platform’s full potential, it doesn’t make sense to spend that across multiple marketing functions when you can access subject-matter experts AND this cutting-edge technology.
I use some of the marketing tools we use include:
LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Atlas Website Template
With a large company and hundreds of employees, investing in these tools makes sense. But if you’re still a small to medium-sized business, hiring an experienced agency that already has access to these tools can often make more financial sense.
5. Refine your SaaS ICP and GTM for startups
Defining your ideal customer profile is often easier said than done. And in SaaS, you must nail down three critical personas for all future inbound and outbound efforts. As a general rule of thumb, your SaaS company should have three personas -- your user, your manager, and your executive.
But identifying your software’s target audience is just the beginning. Once you’ve nailed down your ICP’s pain points, fears, and dreams, it’s time to build lists of contacts and craft your outbound messaging. Rather than cold calling and traditional outbound tactics, some B2B marketing consultants are experienced at ABM and other outreach tactics.
Once you’ve built your contact lists, created outreach messaging, and have an execution cadence in place, the fun is just beginning. You need an agency that consistently follows up with ABM efforts, responds to contacts, and most importantly, tracks progress.
6. Balancing speed vs. ROI
While most startup leaders sell their investors on a j-curve exponential growth model, the reality is that this is a mathematically impossible growth trajectory. In exponential growth, the amount of revenue growth, or new customers added, per invested dollar (aka ROMI, Return on Marketing Investment) stays growing with the same acceleration regardless of your total revenue, market size, or spend level, making you grow faster and faster as your budget and resources grow. Simply put, marketing consultants are cheaper than hiring an in-house team and also to setup a performance marketing team is a tedious process it'll take 6 months to build a team and define GTM. Building and retaining an in-house marketing team grows more and more expensive each year. Your marketing team’s salary will increase anywhere from 10 to 40% each year, on top of the time and resources spent finding, onboarding, training, and compensating your marketing team.
7. Lower your CAC and churn rates
A software company’s customer acquisition cost (CAC) is one of the most important metrics. A software marketing agency should focus on lowering your CAC to $2,500 in the first six to nine months of working together. Over time, trimming the fat and reducing friction across your marketing funnel will deliver thousands of dollars in ROI. They'll help setup predictable lead generation model for your business within 3 months
But SaaS Demand generation consultants aren’t only here to improve your funnel conversion rates and nurture relationships before prospects are customers. As a SaaS company, your churn and retention rates are one of (if not the) most important metrics to your holistic business, from your product development team to your customer success, sales and marketing functions.
Healthy SaaS churn rates vary depending on the customers you serve. For SaaS companies supporting start-ups and small to medium-sized businesses, your churn can be up to 50%. But if you’re serving older, enterprise customers, your churn rate shouldn’t be higher than 7%.
Part of a SaaS Demand generation consultant's responsibility is to lower your churn rates by planning and implementing a customer-oriented onboarding process with helpful, educational content. Additionally, software marketing consultants should talk directly to your customers and listen to their experiences.
8. Flexible to your changing needs
Your needs will change as your SaaS company grows and ages. In the beginning, there’s a one-time need for Big ‘M’ marketing strategy, from positioning and messaging relative to your customers to identify your TAM, SAM, and SOM before ABM strategy. Demand Gen consultants are fairly flexible to work on company needs
9. Understanding of SaaS content and user experience
B2B SaaS websites are critical to nail down. After all, if your software product isn’t communicated in a user-friendly and intuitive way, your users won’t realize the benefits of adopting your product or service.
SaaS companies need specific website structure, strategy and content that includes:
Resource pages (including your blog, lead magnets, videos, and other resources)
10. Ensure you’re paying for the right results
You want to see a return on investment from the marketing. The best SaaS marketing agencies can quantify the results of their marketing efforts and are transparent about what you’re driving. By measuring and tracking marketing results, you can see what’s working (and what’s not) to divert and direct resources toward the most effective strategies.
Start, scale and profit your SaaS marketing function
Deciding when and how to fund your marketing is a hefty decision.
Hiring the right SaaS marketing team is expensive, time-consuming, and comes with many uncertainties, with the potential to delay your goals by a couple of quarters, but the payoff is worth it. Without the right leader, companies are left with a stack of empty promises, struggling with growth planning and strategic decisions. They need marketing leadership, staff, infrastructure, and results, now.