How do SaaS & tech companies get leads?
It doesn't matter how great your products or services are. They could be the best in the world, the most unique and innovative ideas anyone has ever come up with in the history of absolutely everything.
Still, you can't afford to sit around and wait for customers to come and find you.
You just can't.
The SaaS and tech spaces are too competitive for this passive approach.
That's why it's time to talk about lead generation.
We'll start with a brief overview, followed by a look at how SaaS and tech companies generate leads. And we'll round it up with a closer look at the best strategy for boosting your lead rate.
The lead generation process
The typical lead generation journey looks something like this:
At this point, your leads are still strangers. They might not have even heard of you before. But you're going to change that by grabbing their attention (and precious click) through one of your marketing channels, like a blog, email, or social media page.
Your stranger is now a visitor. Here's where you answer their search query and sell your benefits.
This is where and when you collect your visitor's information. You don't have a visitor anymore. You have something much better; you have a lead.
Make lead generation your priority RIGHT NOW.
You're not the only marketing professional with lead generation on their mind.
A 2022 HubSpot survey found that most marketers have made increasing their lead generation a top priority in the next twelve months.
And 53% have decided to allocate half of all their spending to help make that happen. Only around 1 in 3 (34%) marketers will spend less than 50% of their budget on lead generation in 2022.
Did a shiver just run down your spine? Good.
Because you've just realised what you're really up against.
Over half of your biggest competitors are dedicating the majority of their time, energy, resources, and talent to targeting the same customers you're targeting.
We told you this was going to be competitive.
The challenge of generating leads.
Don't worry if you're struggling to boost your lead rate. You're not alone. Your competitors are having a hard time, too.
Lead generation is more complex than it used to be, which explains why 61% of marketing professionals and senior managers call it their number one challenge. It ranks above finding the right tech, securing budgets, hiring, and measuring ROI marketing metrics.
FOMO is another big issue for marketers. Research shows that up to 65% of marketing managers worry about other companies generating more leads. They also tend to overestimate the number of leads rivals generate.
And they overestimate by quite a lot, because it's nowhere near as many as you might think
On average, mid to large-size tech and SaaS companies generate less than 5,000 new leads per month, with many bringing in under 2,000.
Figures like this highlight what any lead generation expert will tell you. The quality of your leads is more important than the quantity of your leads. And the stat that really matters is your lead conversion rate.
How are Tech and SaaS companies getting and converting their leads?
"Clients are always worried about getting more leads,"
says AXD director Alan Davies.
"And I tell them all the same thing. Lead generation is hard, but it's hard for everyone. And that's not a bad thing. It's actually an opportunity; the smallest advantage and marginal gains can make a huge difference in saturated markets. It's just about finding the right targeted approach."
Here's a breakdown of some of those targeted approaches.
80% of companies now use marketing automation software. And they're reporting some outstanding results. In some cases, lead generation rates have increased by over 400%!
Follow up quickly:
A 2019 study found that companies who follow up leads within the first five minutes boost their conversion rates by 900%. Impressive.
The outbound approach is still alive. But it's definitely in a critical condition. Less than 1 in 5 marketers think outbound practices like cold-calling provide the highest-quality sales leads. Ditch the dialler and cold-call scripts. Outbound is outdated.
Social media is still a time and cost-effective funnel for bringing in new leads. More than 6 out of 10 (66%) marketing professionals generate more leads from spending only six hours weekly on social marketing campaigns. Twitter is the undisputed king of social media lead generation. Data from Quicksprout showed that 82% of social media leads come from Twitter.
But don't be sleeping on those other social platforms, especially LinkedIn. The professional networking platform is one of the best avenues for increasing B2B lead rates. A massive 80% of B2B leads come from the platform, according to research from Oktopost. And LinkedIn is seriously underutilised. Only 47% of marketing managers include LinkedIn in a lead generation campaign. It's the most effective social media lead generation platform that your competitors ARE NOT using.
What strategies generate the most leads for a SaaS company?
Let's talk about strategy, i.e. your plan to implement a lead generation campaign.
And you do need a plan.
76% of B2B and B2C SaaS and tech companies use a formal marketing plan to shape and direct their marketing activities.
The other 24% might have a few ideas, but they're essentially making it up as they go along. In other words, they wing it. Not good.
Don't be one of them. Please
Freestyling your marketing campaign is a guaranteed way to miss out on opportunities. Your competitors operating within a structured framework will outperform you. It's that simple.
They are several approaches you can take to drive more leads, including:
- A pay-per-click ad campaign.
- Email marketing.
- Live events.
- Outbound campaigns.
Many of these are OK. You could even call a few of them 'good.' But you're looking for great.
And in that case, there is only one real option: content marketing.
Content marketing for lead generation
Content marketing is creating and publishing valuable content that attracts website traffic and generates more leads. It's a cost-effective, sustainable approach that promotes long-term results which compound over time. For example, one click on a PPC ad is only ever one click. A blog or catchy tweet is out there forever and can keep getting shared and shared, turning customers into promoters of your brand.
"There's no substitute for good content. Give away good and relevant information for free, and users will trust you. And when they trust you, converting them into leads and then customers is a piece of cake."
says AXD Director Alan Davies.
"Your content proves that you know what you're talking about and can solve people's problems. After that, you don't even need to "sell." Instead, you offer people an opportunity to buy. They will take you up on it."
Many other marketing managers and directors agree with Alan's assessment of content marketing.
69% of those surveyed named content marketing their top lead generation strategy. And 80% of B2B marketers now use content marketing for lead generation.
Why is content marketing good for lead generation
Content marketing generates 3x as many leads as outbound marketing campaigns.
And for less than half the cost. Switching to a content marketing campaign could reduce your lead generation costs by 62%.
Websites utilising blogging to attract customers and leads generate 13X more traffic than those that don't. Now is the time to start that company blog you've been putting off.
Blogs with attention-grabbing and SEO-optimised titles can boost click rates by 500%. You did not read that wrong. A good blog title could increase your page views by 5X.
SEO content helps SaaS-based start-ups attract up to 50 leads per day, with a 7-8% conversion rate. The average conversion rate for pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is around 2.35%. Alan Davies concludes:
"The data is clear, the facts tell the whole story. Content marketing is THE way to go for smaller SaaS and tech companies looking to grow fast without blowing all their budgets. Those with optimised content strategies rank higher on Google, increase click rates, and convert more views into more leads. Then the sales figures really start to go up."
Let AXD help
We are a B2B content marketing agency based in Manchester, we specialise in helping SaaS and tech companies come first on Google.
We create content that illustrates precisely what you do and why you do it better than anyone else. It's simple. More clicks, more leads, and more sales.
To find out more, book your free discovery call today.