pixel

Your Complete Guide To Mapping Your B2B SaaS Customer Journey

B2B SaaS Customer Journey

 

For business-to-business (B2B) SaaS businesses, one of the most effective ways to come up with the most effective customer acquisition strategy is to understand and track your customer journey.

Understanding the customer journey for your B2B SaaS company helps to identify what motivates your customers throughout different stages of their relationship with your company. This allows you to tailor your marketing and sales process accordingly.

But what exactly is the B2B SaaS customer journey? Why is it so important? And how can you map it?

This article will teach you how to do all those things. We’ll also discuss some of the most common stages in a typical B2B SaaS customer journey.

 

What Is The B2B SaaS Customer Journey?

 

The B2B SaaS customer journey is the path your typical customer takes, from discovering your SaaS product to becoming a loyal customer and even beyond that.

The journey typically consists of different stages, with each of them distinguished by the customer’s mindset and level of engagement with your SaaS business and/or product.

Now, you might be asking “If the SaaS customer journey is the path your typical customer takes, isn’t that the same as a sales funnel?”

The answer is no. While both the customer journey and the sales funnel track how people move through your process, they are different in terms of perspective.

The SaaS sales funnel is more focused on your company’s perspective, tracking the journey of leads from first contact to the stages after the final conversion. It includes the marketing and sales strategies your company uses to move each potential customer to the next stage of the funnel.

On the other hand, the SaaS customer journey is more focused on the customer’s perspective. It’s more concerned about your potential customers’ mindsets, motivations, and expectations throughout the entire journey.

Why Is SaaS Customer Journey Mapping Important?

As we mentioned earlier, understanding the customer journey is essential for developing an effective customer acquisition strategy. It helps you identify at which stage of their journey your potential customers are, and what they expect from your company throughout each stage.

And that can lead to even more benefits for your SaaS business. Let’s talk about a few of them:

 

It Helps You Predict Customer Behavior

 

Tracking your customer journey helps you gain an understanding of customer behavior and anticipate potential issues. This will help you develop better strategies for each stage, ensuring that the customer has a smooth experience throughout their journey.

 

It Helps You Tailor Your Marketing & Sales Approach

 

By understanding your customers’ motivations at each stage of their journey, you can tailor your sales and marketing strategies to better meet their needs. That can result in higher conversions and more successful customer acquisitions.

What’s more, knowing the key customer touch points at each stage of their journey will help you make sure that you don’t miss any of them.

 

It Helps You Create A Better Customer Experience

 

Gaining an understanding of the customer journey will enable you to identify areas where your B2B customers are having difficulty or need more help. This can help you make changes and improvements that will lead to a better overall experience for your customers.

 

How To Map Your B2B SaaS Customer Journey

 

Mapping out your customer journey is essential for understanding and tracking it. Here are some tips to get started:

 

1) Define The Purpose Of Your Customer Journey Mapping

 

Before you start mapping, define the purpose of your customer journey map. Think about what goals you want to achieve and how this will help you reach them.

Remember that the customer journey covers everything even before a potential customer is aware of your SaaS product and way after they purchase it. That’s a pretty wide scope, and you might want to specify what this customer journey mapping will help you achieve.

Here are some possible examples of objectives that a customer journey map could help with:

Optimizing Your Sales and Marketing Campaigns: The customer journey map can help you analyze the effectiveness of your campaigns and identify weaknesses. You can then use this knowledge to refine and optimize your current campaigns or create new ones.

Optimizing Your ROI For Customer Acquisition: Knowing how customers move through the customer journey can help you maximize your return on investment (ROI), ensuring that each marketing and sales dollar is spent effectively.

Improving Your Onboarding Process: The customer journey map can help you gain an understanding of how customers interact with your SaaS product during the onboarding process.

This will allow you to identify areas where customers might be getting stuck, so you can make changes that lead to a better experience for them.

Streamlining Product Adoption: The customer journey map can also provide valuable insights into how customers are using your product and which features they find the most useful.

This information can help you identify areas where you can make changes or improvements to help streamline product adoption for your customers.

Improving Customer Retention: Not only can the customer journey map tell you what your customers go through before the purchase. It can also help you gain an understanding of how they interact with your product after they purchase it.

This can help you identify potential issues that might cause customers to cancel their subscriptions and allow you to take steps to prevent that from happening.

What’s more, it can also help you align different teams that can contribute towards better customer retention for your business, such as customer support, customer success, and product teams.

Once you have identified a clear purpose for why you are mapping out your customer journey, you would know what aspects to focus on and what your expected outcomes should be.

 

2) Create Your Buyer Personas

 

A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. Creating these personas helps you get a better understanding of who your customers are and how they view your product.

You can create buyer personas by researching existing customer data or conducting surveys and interviews with customers. This will allow you to gain insights into their behavior, needs, and motivations.

Once you have created your buyer personas, use them as the basis for mapping out the customer journey for each one.

And for a B2B SaaS company, there are generally three key buyer personas you should be mapping a customer journey for: the end-users, managers, and executives.

The End-User: These are the people who will actually be using your product. For example, if you have a marketing automation tool, the end-users would be a company’s marketing team members.

It is important to map out their customer journey as they can provide valuable insights into how customers perceive and interact with your product.

The Manager: This is usually a department manager or higher-level executive. They are typically the ones responsible for making decisions about purchasing and implementing your product within their organization.

Mapping out the customer journey for this buyer persona can help you understand their decision-making process, as well as what drives them to make a purchase.

The Executive: The executives are generally the highest level of decision-makers in an organization, who will ultimately approve or reject your SaaS product. They are usually the ones at the top of an organization, such as CFOs and CEOs.

For larger businesses, the C-level executives are generally not involved in the day-to-day operations of using your SaaS product. But they are very interested in how it can help achieve their long-term goals and drive a considerable ROI for their company.

Mapping out the customer journey for this buyer persona can give you insight into how they evaluate different products and decide which one is right for their company.

 

3) Establish The Key Stages In Your Customer Journey

 

Once you have identified the buyer personas for your B2B customer journey, the next step is to identify the key stages of their customer journey.

Typically, there are several possible stages of a B2B SaaS customer journey:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Decision and Customer Onboarding
  • Adoption
  • Retention
  • Expansion
  • Advocacy

We will discuss each of these stages in more detail later.

 

4) Identify Customer Touchpoints For Each Stage

 

Once you have established the stages of your B2B customer journey, you should then identify all of the different touchpoints that customers may have with your SaaS business.

Touchpoints are any interactions or engagements a user has with your product before, during, and after purchase. These interactions could be done through various channels, such as your website, emails, social media, phone calls, and more.

It’s important to identify these touchpoints in order to understand how customers interact with your product, what their needs are, and how you can better serve them.

By understanding the customer touchpoints for each stage of the journey, you can then focus on creating an optimized experience for each buyer persona and ensure that they have a seamless journey.

 

5) Set Milestones For Your Customer Journey

 

The next step is to set milestones for your customer journey.

Milestones are the key moments in a customer’s journey that mark a conversion from one stage to the next. There can also be other customer behavior that can strongly indicate whether or not the customer is happy with their current usage of your SaaS product.

For example, a milestone could be that customers who attended a demo are more likely to purchase your product than those who didn’t.

By identifying these milestones and tracking them, you can then focus on optimizing each stage of the journey for greater conversions.

 

6) Measure Your Performance & Improve Your Customer Journey

 

Once you’ve mapped your customer journey and established milestones, it’s important to measure your performance. This will help you identify areas where you can optimize your SaaS product and the customer journey for greater success.

You should track metrics such as sales conversion rates, churn rate, net promoter score (NPS), and more. This will help you identify any potential pitfalls in your customer journey and focus on areas of improvement.

 

Common Stages, Touchpoints, & Milestones Of A B2B SaaS Customer Journey

 

The B2B SaaS customer journey has a few common stages, touchpoints, and milestones. Above, we have touched upon some of the usual customer journey stages and touchpoints, but here is a more in-depth look at the process:

 

Awareness

 

This is the first stage in the B2B SaaS customer journey where customers become aware of their need for a SaaS product. Depending on the purpose of your customer journey map, it may even include the time before this realization.

At this stage, your potential B2B customers may be encountering a pain point and are looking for ways to address it.

Awareness Stage Touchpoints: Customer touchpoints at this stage may include your demand generation or any marketing efforts.

These may include the following:

  • Search engine queries
  • Social media posts or ads
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) ads
  • Content marketing or educational blog posts
  • YouTube videos
  • Affiliate websites
  • Referrals from friends or colleagues
  • User reviews
  • Emails

Awareness Stage Milestones: Since this is in the early stages of the customer journey, milestones at this stage may only include engagement with any of your marketing assets.

These milestones could include:

  • First visit and recurring visits to your website
  • Social media engagement
  • Watching all the way through a YouTube video
  • Subscribing to your YouTube channel
  • Signing up for a lead magnet
  • Clicking through your ads or links

 

Consideration

 

After becoming aware of their need for a SaaS product to address their pain points, customers will then start to evaluate different options and consider which one is the right fit for them.

At this point, they need more information about these different options and will start comparing them with one another. They’ll consider various factors — such as pricing, features, user experience, customer service, and more — before making their final decision.

Consideration Stage Touchpoints: At this stage, potential customers are looking for more information about their options. Therefore, the touchpoints at this stage will be focused on providing them with the necessary information to make an informed decision.

These could include:

Consideration Stage Milestones: At this stage, milestones may include any activity that shows that they are indeed considering your SaaS product as a solution to their pain points.

These may include the following milestones:

  • Signing up for a free trial or freemium account
  • Requesting a demo or quote
  • Watching all the way through a product video
  • Downloading white papers or case studies
  • Signing up for your newsletter

 

Decision-Making & Onboarding

 

After considering multiple solutions, customers will eventually come to a decision on which SaaS product they want to go for.

And if you do it right, this is when they become your customer and sign up for your SaaS solution. If that is the case, they will then go through the customer onboarding process where they learn more about your product and how to use it.

Decision-Making and Onboarding Stage Touchpoints: At this stage, touchpoints will include any activity that helps customers sign up for your SaaS solution and start using it.

These could include the following touchpoints:

  • Sign-up or purchase forms on your website
  • Live support tickets or chats with customer service reps
  • Email onboarding sequences
  • In-app tutorials and walkthroughs
  • Help documents and FAQs

Decision-Making and Onboarding Stage Milestones: Especially for the onboarding part of this stage, a lot of milestones will vary from one SaaS product to another.

You have to identify activation events or key customer behavior that will indicate that they are already experiencing the value and benefit that your SaaS product offers.

Milestones for this stage could include the following

  • Completing the sign-up or purchase form
  • Activating their account or logging log in for the first time
  • Introduction to your account manager or customer success manager
  • Completing the onboarding process
  • Successfully setting up their profile, preferences, and other settings
  • Activation events

 

Adoption

 

At the adoption stage, your customers are already using your SaaS product. But the B2B customer journey doesn’t end here. This is where you will start to monitor how actively they are using your product and what value they are getting out of it.

At this point, you want to make sure that your customers are getting value out of your product and helping them get the most out of it. You may do this by educating them about your more advanced features and their use cases.

Adoption Stage Touchpoints: At this stage, touchpoints will focus on educating customers about how they can use your SaaS product effectively in order to maximize its value and benefit.

These may include:

  • Blog posts
  • Your knowledge base and other tutorial platforms
  • In-app notifications
  • Customer success resources
  • Email newsletters
  • Webinars
  • Community platforms

Adoption Stage Milestones: At this stage, milestones will focus on customer behavior that indicates they are getting value out of your product.

Milestones may include the following:

  • Completing in-app tutorials
  • Attending your webinars
  • Reading help documents and FAQs
  • Interacting with your customer success team
  • Activation events for more advanced features

 

Retention or Renewal

 

What makes the SaaS business model great is that it creates an ongoing revenue stream. That’s why the customer journey doesn’t end with the purchase adoption.

In fact, this is where the real “battle” begins — with efforts to retain and renew your customers.

Retention/Renewal Stage Touchpoints: Here, touchpoints may include any activities that help you keep customers on board and encourage them to renew their subscriptions.

These could include the following touchpoints:

  • Account review sessions
  • Live support tickets or chats with customer service reps
  • Customer success communications
  • Surveys and customer feedback forms
  • Newsletters or email updates
  • Community platforms
  • In-app notifications
  • Billing

Retention/Renewal Stage Milestones: Milestones for this stage include customer behavior that indicates they are happy and using your product actively, and therefore would lead to a renewal when their contract or billing cycle is up.

These may include:

 

Expansion

 

If your SaaS product is successfully helping your customers’ businesses grow, you could only expect them to be happy with it.

But more importantly, it would also mean that their needs are also growing, and that they may require a more advanced version of your SaaS product in order to satisfy these needs.

This is the ideal time to get them to add more features and users, or upgrade their current plans to the next tier.

Expansion Stage Touchpoints: Ideally, your SaaS upselling and cross-selling efforts should be targeted towards customers who are reaching the limits of their current plans and are in need of upgrades.

So at this stage, the touchpoints will be focused on further educating your customers about how they can use your product to its full potential and upsell features that could make it even more powerful.

These touchpoints may include:

  • In-app notifications about advanced features and use cases
  • Product updates and emails about new features
  • Blog posts about product expansions
  • Case studies featuring more advanced plans
  • Community platforms

Expansion Stage Milestones: At this stage, milestones will focus on customer behavior that indicates they are ready to expand their use of your SaaS product.

These may include the following milestones and indicators:

  • Increased usage of advanced features
  • Reaching the limits of their current subscription tier
  • Positive response to upsells and add-ons offers
  • Increase in customer support requests about expanding their use of the product

 

Advocacy

 

The usually last step of the customer journey is advocacy. At this point, your customers are so satisfied with your product that they start recommending it to their peers and colleagues.

Word-of-mouth advertising is one of the most powerful marketing tools out there, so you should always strive for loyal and satisfied customers who are willing to recommend your product.

To that end, you may want to focus on activities that will help them spread the word about your SaaS product and encourage others to make the switch.

Advocacy Stage Touchpoints: Here, touchpoints will be focused on helping customers create content, share their experiences with your product, and refer others to you.

These touchpoints may include:

  • Referral and brand advocacy programs
  • SaaS review sites (e.g. G2 and Capterra)
  • User-generated content sharing platforms (e.g. social media)
  • In-app social sharing tools

Advocacy Stage Milestones: The milestones for this stage focus on customer behavior that indicates they are happy about your SaaS product and are excited to share it with others.

These milestones may include:

  • Positive online reviews and ratings
  • Social media activity related to your SaaS product
  • Frequent posts and engagements on your community platforms
  • Generating referrals
  • Positive responses to surveys about customer experience.
  • Giving an NPS rating of 9 or 10

 

Final Thoughts About B2B SaaS Customer Journey Mapping

 

The B2B SaaS customer journey is an important part of any successful SaaS company.

It’s not only beneficial for understanding and improving customer acquisition and the overall customer experience. But it also helps you identify potential upselling opportunities and take steps to ensure your customers stay loyal to your product in the long run.

By mapping out each stage of the customer journey with its key touchpoints and milestones, you can make sure that your customers stay engaged with your product throughout their entire journey.

This will help ensure that they stay loyal to your brand, keep expanding their use of your SaaS product, and eventually become advocates for it.

Looking for more guides to take your SaaS business to the next level? Check out our blog here.

 

Get fresh updates in your inbox 👇

Ken Moo
1 Shares