14 Jan 5 Common Lead Gen Pitfalls for SaaS Companies to Avoid
A recent Forbes study indicated that 73% of leads coming into companies via the Internet are never contacted. In a 2015 study by Conversica, sales and marketing professionals said that 50% of their lead gen budgets were wasted because leads were never contacted. And a report by Integrate, a cloud-based marketing software provider, indicated that 40% of the leads that B2B marketers generate are invalid.
Invalid or wasted leads happen because of pitfalls built into the lead gen process—particularly for SaaS companies. But with a few adjustments, you can sail past these pitfalls while making the most of the leads that come in.
#1 Bad or Nonexistent Buyer Personas
SaaS companies are going after specific people with specific titles and pain points to consider, not to mention the authority to buy. As such, SaaS companies need to create detailed buyer personas of who they want to reach. Without that, a tactic like content—whitepapers, case studies, e-books, infographics, etc.—won’t attract the right leads. Having 600 downloads of an e-book or 15,000 page views of a blog post won’t help if the readers aren’t your target and don’t have the budget to buy.
#2 Weak Messaging or CTAs
When using email or inbound to bring in the leads in the first place, companies lose leads with subtle but serious mistakes. An e-blast can have a message that differs greatly from the messaging in the landing, causing confusion. CTAs can end up buried below the fold or look just like the rest of page elements and not stand out. Landing pages can be too dense with tons of text or lack a clear CTA. And once a reader is engaged by, let’s say, a blog post, companies don’t set up a pop-up banner offering a different piece of content in exchange for the reader’s name and email.
In addition, many don’t create exit pop-ups that reach clients before they leave the site. SaaS companies can benefit greatly from exit pop-ups by offering something else to keep the reader engaged: gated content (only accessible via password), e-books they can get just by entering their info or white papers. The point of exit pop-ups would be to offer content that moves the prospect further into the pipeline.
#3 Poor Processing
Leads need to be managed to be fruitful, and a proper flow is crucial so everyone on the team knows the steps to take to bring them in, qualify them, nurture them and get them excited about buying from you. SaaS companies often consist of small sales teams who wear a lot of hats, so it’s easy for leads to come in and not move through a well-defined sales process. With proper steps outlined, fewer good leads will fall by the wayside—that’s why we created a free chart to help you consider the various decision points where leads come into a SaaS organization.
#4 No Segmentation
SaaS companies may be targeting different types of customers with their products, so segmenting lists by customer type can help organize future outreach. Clearly, as targets change, messaging changes…not to mention marketing strategies and communications tactics. For example, emails that engage middle managers will often fail with CEOs.
#5 No Nurturing
Once you have a lead flow processing plan and your prospects segmented, you also need to set up a plan for nurturing outreach that fits the buyer persona and where they are in the sales pipeline. For instance, let’s say blog post A is drawing readers. Great, but just because they liked your post doesn’t mean they’ll buy from you. And hitting them with a sales pitch at that moment is likely to be ineffective. You have to determine the clear indicators of when a prospect is ready to buy and align key touch point communications at each step of the process. As in:
- Blog post addressing a buyer persona pain point your software eases
- Simple pop-up to get them to enter their email info to subscribe to the blog
- Add them to a newsletter and start sending 4 posts per month related to their unique interests
- After a month or two, offer an infographic—but hold back on an offer to buy from you
Follow that with an e-book on their pain points
- Invite them to a webinar on their pain points
- Send an offer for a demo or a free trial
At that point, you have built on their interest to get to the demo or trial. Leads without genuine interest will drop off and stop responding, leaving those who are real prospects.
But don’t stop: once they have seen the demo or kick off the trial, reach out again with messaging to help them use the software more effectively or to address any objections they may have. That way, when sales circles back after the trial or demo to close, they have been brought along further to be convinced to buy. Another tactic to integrate during a trial stage is live chat—your team helps them with the process to get onboarded, further selling them on your software and its full benefits—not to mention your superior customer service.
As you can see, this takes time. Automation software can help set up the right outreach at the right moment in the buying process. It’s involved and takes time and patience, but without a nurturing plan, the lead drops out and you lose business.
Contact us to find out how we turn this intel into effective marketing strategies and captivating content that will pack your sales pipeline with leads that convert to revenue.