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5 Demand Generation Strategies Every SaaS Startup Needs To Know

You work for a SaaS startup, the product is excellent, and your team are passionate about what they do. You have a vast pool of customers, loving your product/service every day. So what’s the problem? 

We want more! 

To grow, you need to invest in more creative ways of finding potential customers. Demand generation is a great way to branch out of your comfort zone and to explore other means of seeking those essential leads. 

Where do I start? 

Demand Generation, in the simplest term, is any activity that drives awareness and interest in your product or service. From sourcing where your ideal customer hangs out, right through to customer upselling. 

I could list 100s of demand generation strategies, depending on your business model, but here are my top 5 when working at a SaaS startup. 

Develop a buyer persona

There are many marketing channels to use. From social media to email marketing, but without knowing who your buyer is, you could be wasting time and money.

Do your customer research. Learn who is buying from you and gather critical points such as their location, age, job title, interests, and activities. Find any trends or buying patterns with existing customers, what objections and role do they have in the purchasing process. Ask sales, what their customer’s goals and values are when making a purchase. 

Finally, speak to customers either face to face or by phone to discover what they like. Once you have a buyer persona, you can then choose how you wish to reach them. 

Share your content far and wide

Now you have your buyer persona all set; you may need content to support your target. Think about how your product or service can help overcome their challenges and pain points. 

Once you have tackled the messaging and created the content, you need to share your content. Share via your website, digital channels from social media to paid search and even with your customers. Getting your content out in the wild creates a good exposure. 

Create creative conversion paths to generate leads

It’s great when your content is being read, but it’s even better when you know who is reading it. Ask any marketer who will say a lead is not a lead without collecting information such as name, email, company, telephone or any other information your business requires. To do this, you need to gate selective content. Gated content is online materials, such as whitepapers, articles and videos, that require that users fill out a form before they can access them. 

With 89% of B2B researchers using the internet during the B2B research process, having  content that’s engaging to your target audience, then they are usually more than happy to provide their details in return for your information. 

Create landing pages with clear call-to-action buttons or text to let the prospects find your offer and include an easy to use form fill. Once completed, send a confirmation email, this helps the prospects reference your offer and share with their peers. 

Measure, measure, measure!

Leads are flowing, sales are happy but can you back out now? Unfortunately, not. You need to measure your demand generation strategy from beginning to end and attribute success towards the company’s revenue targets.  

Create a sales and marketing funnel that includes buyer stages from lead, marketing qualified lead (MQL), sales qualified lead (SQL), opportunity and customer. Identify when leads drop off the funnel and at what stage. For example, you could be generating lots of MQLs but the prospect is not converting, which could mean you need to review your buyer persona. Reviewing the funnel allows you to identify the gaps and improve your efforts for future marketing campaigns. 

Sales and marketing love

One of the most vital parts in making your demand strategy work is the relationship between sales and marketing. 

Working towards the same goal is vital so both can be accountable for growth and revenue to the business. Setting lead qualification targets such as lead SLA’s, which lays out how a lead should be treated or providing sales enablement around your content topics, so sales can be equipped and ready to speak to the prospect.

Getting to know each other and having fun is the best part of being in a SaaS startup. Enjoy it!

Francesca St John-Caleb is a Marketing Manager, Demand Generation for GatherContent 

You can find her on twitter @francescacaleb and LinkedIn 

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