SaaS is an industry full of innovative solutions and creative thinking and SaaS marketing requires the same attributes.
The SaaS space is an industry with lots of unique challenges and fierce competition when it comes to marketing and sales.
Because of the nature of selling SaaS products, there are some essential rules that are important for helping your brand compete against others in the market selling similar solutions.
1. Simplify complex processes into simple terms
One of the main challenges that SaaS companies face when it comes to marketing is being able to communicate:
- What their software does
- What business problem it solves
- How implementing it would be more valuable and cost-effective than keeping things the same
You can have the best product in the world but you’re not going to sell it if no one understands it and how it can impact them.
Communicating these issues starts with content marketing and the information you’re providing audiences online. Think about how you can address these concerns with different content based resources.
Take advantage of additional types of content formats like videos and infographics on your website as well.
Building a content library of easy to digest and quality content can be a huge source of organic lead traffic.
Even though your software might be very complex, your content should not be.
Being able to translate complicated technology into simple language is actually a superpower for SaaS companies.
2. Become a resource for your customers
One of the best ways to build trust, rapport, and authority with audiences is to become a resource for them.
Being a resource includes not only delivering quality content but also delivering that kind of content consistently.
A big part of organically growing a brand is to provide genuine value and education for people with things like:
- Case studies
- Industry reports
- Blog articles
Don’t think you can get away with putting out shallow content or being inconsistent with your publishing frequency.
The algorithms can’t be fooled by that anymore and certainly not real humans.
Depending on the companies you’re targeting, be sure to segment the content on your website and your email list into categories that make sense for your industry or audience.
That way you can make it easier to offer contextual, relevant, and timely messaging to people.
3. Understand your personas
When you’re selling SaaS it’s not uncommon to sell to multiple departments at the same time from IT, to Shared Services, to HR, to Operations.
It’s not uncommon to have to market and sell SaaS to different levels of hierarchy and completely different departments at the same time.
B2B actually has an advantage to B2C when it comes to this because B2B is more organized and structured.
You should know which person in a company you need to speak to about a certain problem or solution by name and title. You should have an idea of the typical organizational structures that are common in that industry.
For example, when you’re in cybersecurity you’re looking at CISO’s at the C-level and VPs and Directors of Information Security at the executive and director level.
Financial software like invoice automation would include talking the CFO, Controller, VP of Accounting, Director of Accounting/Finance, AP Manager/accounts payable department, etc.
So when you’re creating content communicating to these personas, you should have in mind what unique challenges they face and what kind of content would be relevant for them and also tie into your software.
4. Take advantage of competitive intelligence
When you have intelligence on your competition you can frame your marketing and sales efforts in a way to expose those differences between you.
Differentiation can be a big part of appealing to customers who are already using a competitor’s system.
Anytime you can see where you can highlight their weaknesses against your strengths:
- Common complaints
- On-premise/outdated technology
- Implementation difficulties
- Any lack of integrations
- Customer support
- Ease of using your software vs doing things manually
How you frame your brand and products against your competitors can have a huge impact on how people perceive it.
Especially if they’re just learning about your brand or are familiar with another product on the market, it can be a great way to introduce yourself as a viable alternative.
5. Clearly define the responsibilities between individuals and teams in marketing and sales
Most likely if you’re working in B2B SaaS you have people working in marketing and sales to bring in leads and close them.
Maybe you also have an inside sales team or a business development team gathering leads or doing prospecting to pass them to outside sales/field reps.
Everyone should know which role they play, what authority they have, what questions they should be asking, what information they should or shouldn’t be withholding.
This includes who handles lead qualification, how to treat disqualified leads, which leads should be nurtured, and setting up proper next steps.
Make sure you clearly define the responsibilities between people on your teams so you can make the lead qualification and customer hand-off process between individuals and teams as smooth as possible.
Overcoming SaaS marketing challenges
SaaS is a competitive space but it’s also full of unique opportunities.
Whether you’re the industry leader or you’re a start-up trying to make a name for yourself, remember the essential rules of SaaS marketing:
- Simplify your complex processes into simple terms
- Be a resource for your customers
- Understand your personas
- Take advantage of competitive intelligence
- Define responsibilities between marketing and sales
For more marketing info check out content like our organic marketing guide below.