Though SaaS is much in demand in various industries owing to its multi-dimensional features and ease of usability, its marketing strategy is yet a puzzle. Being counted in B2B service domain, its marketing tactics are quite different than the usual B2B marketing techniques. It is mostly because SaaS is an intangible software service, where the chances of demonstrating its usability are limited. In that case, reaching the core audience and convincing the existing customer requires a different marketing plan for B2B SaaS businesses.
Before starting with a guide of marketing plan for B2B SaaS businesses, let’s go through some of the major challenges and how it is different than the traditional software marketing.
Challenges Associated With Marketing Plan for B2B SaaS
The first step in case of any marketing plan is to capture the attention of the target audience with your product description i.e. top of the sales funnel. Later, you walk them down to the path of the sales funnel. However, in the case of SaaS, you deal with the following challenges while drafting a marketing plan-
- Product- SaaS is an intangible product. Thus, you have to talk to your target audience about an invisible product. This demands lots of creativity from the marketers’ end to present the value proposition of an invisible product in an engaging manner.
- Customer- The customer in B2B domain usually looks for illustration and content that educates them with the overall functioning of the product. SaaS has less space for demonstration, hence, convincing customers require a longer time.
- Pricing- SaaS is not about one-time purchases. The customer needs to subscribe to the service and re-subscribe post the deadline. This is a multi-tier deal and marketers should be capable to explain the pricing clearly.
In the case of SaaS, customer retention and customer acquisition- both aspects are prominent to keep the business in balance. Hence, marketers need to come up with innovative marketing ideas to retain the existing customers and acquire new ones.
To overcome the challenges and articulate a full-proof marketing plan for B2B SaaS businesses, let’s take a look on the sales cycle of SaaS software.
Brief Summary of Sales Cycle of SaaS
Since SaaS is a subscription-based model, the sales cycle is entirely different from that of traditional licensed software. This demands a different marketing plan for B2B SaaS businesses when compared to traditional software marketing strategy.
As mentioned in the previous section, customer retention holds equal importance as customer acquisition. As a result, marketers need to focus on both- building relationships with existing customers and forging connections with leads to convert them into customers, at the same time.
In this recurring revenue generation set-up, the sales cycle is furcated into 3 sections-
- Customer Retention– Persuade existing customers to upgrade their subscriptions from time to time.
- Lead Generation– Prepare a marketing strategy to widen your target audience and to reach them.
- Lead Conversion– Convert the lead into customers by persuading them to subscribe to your software service.
The sales cycle, further, influences the marketing plan for B2B SaaS businesses. In the next section, we have explained how to strategize a marketing plan for B2B SaaS.
Marketing Plan for B2B SaaS Businesses
- Set Your SaaS Marketing Goals– To start with your strategy, make sure you have a fixed goal. With the fixed goal, you can craft a plan and measure your progress against it. While you are fixing a goal, you must keep in mind that it is attainable, achievable, realistic, and time-based. For SaaS, the foremost goals are lead generation, sales pipeline, and revenue generation.
- Plan your budget- Traditionally, a software company invests 10 to 40 percent for marketing plans. However, the marketing plan for B2B SaaS range between 80 to 120 percent of the entire budget. And it is nothing less than an investment if planned strategically. This investment returns $2.20 for every 1 dollar, in the long run. Having said that, you should assign a certain amount for every tactic according to the significance. This will help you determine the final costs and reduce the risk of wastage of resources.
- Craft Marketing Tactics- This is where the real planning begins. And research is a vital component in strategizing a plan. You should be well aware of your customer’s persona, and the presence of your target audience in the market. This information, in turn, helps you develop engaging and customized content that helps you build trust with your target audience. Based on the presence, you will be able to select the channel of communication precisely.
Overall, analyze each component of marketing and communication strategy before implementing them.
- Inbound Marketing- Inbound marketing is an essential component in the marketing plan for B2B SaaS businesses. This inbound marketing particularly focuses on content that answers a variety of questions that your clients may have, and it can serve as a marketing tool at each stage of the sales funnel. Also, the inbound marketing method is an economical way of approaching the target audience and boosting brand awareness in the form of blogging, e-books, infographics, social media marketing, and email marketing. It is advisable to be consistent with the content flow.
- Free Demo and Trials- Providing a free demo enables the leads to know about your software in deep. This acts as a convincing factor for the leads to make a well-informed purchase decision. Considering its importance, the marketing plan for B2B SaaS businesses always includes this element. Also, it allows you to provide the best customer experience during the trial period.
Planning a marketing plan for SaaS is, indeed, a hectic task. It is way different than the usual marketing of licensed software. To craft a successful marketing plan for B2B SaaS businesses, you have to be very precise about the methods and channels of approach.
In such as case, it is advisable to go for an agency that is pro in handling such marketing planning. Valasys Media is a B2B marketing agency that provides overall marketing and business solution to Software companies. Our company will help you to reach your target audience without any hassle and generate revenue with minimum marketing investment.