SaaS, or Software as a Service, is a massive and rapidly expanding industry. According to Goldman Sachs, global SaaS software revenues are forecasted to reach $106B in 2016, an increase of 21% from in 2015. That is a lot of software to market! PMG has produced successful SaaS marketing strategies for many companies, and right now, we hope to help you.
SaaS marketers don't exactly have it easy. Selling software already presents a number of innate challenges. For starters, your "product" is somewhat intangible – and a prospect isn't quite able to fully understand its complete value until after the purchase is already made. Plus, you're marketing a solution that's constantly undergoing changes and updates. And to make matters more complicated, to the layperson, your technology may seem a lot more complex than it does to you, so you need to be able to simplify your marketing message without watering down the advantages of your solutions.
If you're a technology marketer or business owner struggling to generate results from your marketing efforts, fear not! Below, we’ve identified 6 reasons your SaaS marketing strategy may not be working:
1. You don’t clearly communicate what problem your software solves.
Software can be quite complicated, particularly for your target buyer! It’s super important that the problems your software solves are clearly articulated and demonstrated on your website, preferably in a variety of ways. This may seem obvious, but if you take a look at a handful of software company sites, you'll note it's not always done very well. We recommend using a range of methods to get your message across that can include charts, explainer videos, infographics and other forms of content that a visitor to your site can engage with. Don’t just tell people – but show them with examples. A customer story, case study or even a set of testimonials can make a difference in how your software and services are perceived.
2. Your customer service isn’t awesome.
As a software as a SERVICE company, your SERVICE better be pretty awesome! Technology companies are often laser-focused on the software, while the service component falls to the wayside as an after-thought. Don’t let this happen! Especially since many of your customers are likely to be long-term. Users have very high expectations of service and support, particularly in the B2B community where businesses depend on your software and services to run and manage pieces of their own. If your company isn’t meeting those expectations, they may choose a different SaaS and potentially leave a scathing review in their wake.
3. You are treating SaaS Marketing just like all other B2B Marketing.
Unlike most other forms of B2B marketing, where the sales cycle normally lasts a few months to a year or longer, SaaS can be a quick hit. This is, in part, due to the very nature of the industry, where products are constantly evolving, being updated, incorporating new releases, features and applications, etc. – as well as to the relatively lower price points of many contemporary SaaS providers. Therefore, your SaaS marketing strategy needs to adjust for this. Information provided needs to be timely and complete. Follow-up should be quick.
4. You aren’t segmenting your audience.
When creating content, be sure you are customizing it for your audience. This is an important step that many companies overlook, thinking they already know their customer so well. However, there are usually different types of buyers that are searching for your SaaS solutions. Even if there is only one primary user, their pain points and priorities may surprise you. Go through the exercise of creating buyer personas the right way. We promise it will be worth it!
5. Comparison options aren’t clear, front & center.
Make it easy for potential buyers to understand their purchasing options, especially if you offer a variety of packages and service levels. HubSpot makes it super simple to examine their pricing using the popular column format. They also offer a features comparison chart on the same page, with a Call-to-Action (to contact their team) at multiple points. Another comparison to consider showcasing is that of your competitors. If your product is clearly better, why not let your prospects know it!
6. Your demo or trial has a barrier to entry.
Make it easy as pie for a prospect to try your product. No credit card, no cancellation policy, easy to access. Allow them to try it solo, or with your support, whatever makes sense for the product and for them. And of course, be sure you are demonstrating the same exceptional customer support and service during the trial that they will enjoy if they become a customer!
Our team members are always looking for ways to improve our marketing, and we hope you are, too! Ideally, incorporating these strategies will improve the marketing and sales of your SaaS solutions. Let us know how it goes! For more tips on improving your marketing content and website structure, check out our free white paper: 9 Things Your Website Is Doing to Drive Visitors Away.