How SaaS marketers can convert prospects and boost service championing

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By David Cooper, Marketing Manager, Fountain Partnership

As the rate of business digital transformation shifts into a higher gear, courtesy of the Covid-19 pandemic, tighter budgets inevitably means ‘doing more with less’, so any investment into new Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings needs careful thought.

Fountain Partnership’s Marketing Manager David Cooper explains the right way for SaaS marketeers to increase their lead conversion rate and also how they can encourage service championing by their customers, driving more sales through referrals; acting as a free, external sales force.

Great website content is a priority in the marketing strategy

Website content is key to any firms’ marketing strategy, and that means serving up ‘blockbuster content’ to prospects and existing customers. Webinars, whitepapers, and panel discussions are all useful in creating this content that puts you ‘front of mind’ with those customers and establishing you as a thought leader when purchasing decisions are made.

The most important task is to make sure you’re serving up the right content to the right firm – depending on their position in your marketing and sales funnel. With current customers, it needs to be put across as upselling – thanking them for their loyalty, whereas with a prospect you need to point out the many benefits which they don’t currently have because they don’t yet use your services.

As an example you could create webinars focused on different segments of your product and / or service; making them available to prospects and current customers who don’t already run with that service.

Build trust and demonstrate proven success

One way of demonstrating ‘proven success’ are customer reviews. A recent piece of research Fountain did on end-users attitudes towards SaaS showed customer reviews were ranked as the most trustworthy source for influencing buyer decisions.

Consider what happens when firms are searching for, and comparing, SaaS offerings. Your firm will most likely have a Google Rating from the number of Google searches made. This means that even before someone has visited the website, they can see how you fare against competitors.

The earlier that organisations can establish a presence – through reviews and ratings – the more likely people are to visit the website. There are several ways of getting rated.

A simple but costly one is giving kickbacks. If it’s a subscription model, you could give a discount voucher for those who post a review. A different tactic for those customers where the organisation has a good relationship with them, such as frequent and long-standing customers, there is no harm in asking them upfront whether they would mind leaving a review. The majority of people who have received a good and positive experience with your product and / or service will be more than happy to spread the word.

The most important thing to remember is to make things as easy as possible for any customer who you are asking to provide feedback from . You don’t want to put them through an exhaustive questionnaire – simply ask them to send a one-sentence quote you can attribute or a straight rating out of five.

Contrary to what many may think, it’s not the end of the world if you receive a few reviews that are not five stars – or whatever the best rating may be. People tend to be wary if a business or product has all perfect reviews; they see it almost as “too good to be true”.

Supercharging conversion rate ensures quality leads

All SaaS marketers know about paid-for ads and as well as search engine optimisation (SEO), but the one piece of marketing that seems to be overlooked by many is ‘funnel optimisation’. I say funnel, but I like to think of it as more of a colander, which marketers need to plug to stop those prospects leaking out – this is where website optimisation comes in.

Say one hundred people come to your site – how many of those actually buy? If it’s only one in that hundred, increasing your conversion rate by one per cent doubles your sales. Although it’s easy to implement, it can have a bigger impact on sales than any other marketing activity, especially since no media spend is attached to it.

For testing web page performance, I’d recommend Hotjar – it’s free, easy to use and allows a certain amount of data to be collected before you have to pay. Hotjar can show you exactly where people are clicking, where their mouse is moving, how far they’re scrolling down and other user behaviour.

Another free, easy to use tool is the Google Analytics tool ‘Google Optimize’. By using this, you are able to create duplicate pages which each have slight differences, for example where the checkout button is. Allow both to run and monitor how the  differences affect the conversion results.

While you may be eager to see change straight away, it’s important to let the tests run long enough – say a month to three. If you have a really high traffic site then you’ll have enough data to judge which page performs best, and you can test multiple pages.

Being genuine

Being a marketer in the SaaS sector, means you are responsible for content creation. Content should be genuinely valuable to prospects and customers, making sure it’s the right type of content, and always linking it back to exactly what the benefit is.

Having good – and genuine – customer reviews on your site, discoverable through Google Search is a good way of showing you’re trustworthy and successful. It’s important to remember that using website optimisation improvements through using free software like Hotjar and Google Optimize, will be your best tool and can boost conversion rate and those all-important profits.

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