The Ultimate Guide To B2B SaaS Lead Generation
According to Ruler Analytics, 91% of business-to-business (B2B) marketers say that lead generation is their most important goal.
After all, you need leads to fill your SaaS sales funnel and drive revenue. You could say it is the lifeblood of your B2B SaaS company.
But more than just generating leads, you also need to make sure that the leads you generate are of good quality, meaning they have a high likelihood of buying your SaaS product.
That’s why it is so important to know how B2B SaaS lead generation works and what strategies you can use to get high-quality leads.
By the end of this article, you should have a strong understanding of B2B SaaS lead generation, along with some great tips on how to do it well and make sure that your sales pipeline is constantly full of high-quality leads.
What Is Lead Generation?
First, let’s get on the same page regarding what lead generation means.
Lead generation is the process of finding and attracting potential customers who might be interested in your SaaS product. It is a critical part of any successful B2B SaaS marketing strategy, as it drives sales and helps you build relationships with potential buyers.
The key to B2B lead generation is understanding what types of leads are most likely to convert into paying customers for your business.
Once you have identified these leads, you can focus your efforts on targeting them specifically and converting them into customers through your lead nurturing strategy.
4 Key Factors In B2B SaaS Lead Generation
Now, there are certain aspects about your SaaS company that greatly influence your B2B SaaS lead generation strategy.
Here are 4 of the most important factors to keep in mind:
Your Target Market
Before you can begin to generate leads, you need to have a clear understanding of who your target market is.
Who are the people most likely to buy your SaaS product? What do they look like and where are they located? Is there a specific industry or job title that is more likely to be interested in your product?
Answering these questions will help you identify who you should direct your lead generation efforts to, where to do it, and how to do it.
Your Product & Value Proposition
Now, remember that your SaaS product exists to solve a particular problem that your target market is experiencing. That’s why it’s called a SaaS solution.
Your SaaS value proposition should reflect this problem-solution relationship. It should explain how it solves the problem and what benefits your solution brings to the table.
What’s more, it’s also important to show why your product is the best solution to their problem and what makes it stand out from other similar products in the market.
Your Pricing Model
Different SaaS businesses have different pricing models. Some use a freemium model, while others use a usage-based pricing model, or customized pricing.
It’s important to understand how your pricing model affects your customer acquisition strategy.
For example, if you are using a freemium model, you could focus your lead generation efforts on getting people to sign up for a free plan.
Or if you have a tiered pricing model where each tier targets a different buyer persona, you could create separate lead generation messaging strategies and channels for each tier.
Customer Acquisition Channels
Finally, you need to decide which channels you should use to generate leads.
This could range from content marketing to influencer marketing and more traditional advertising methods such as trade shows and other live events.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach for lead generation, so it’s important that you understand the strengths and weaknesses of different channels and how they can be used to your advantage.
B2B SaaS Lead Generation Channels
There are a lot of channels you can use for your B2B lead generation strategy. They all have their own strengths and weaknesses.
Let’s talk about some of them:
Content marketing involves creating helpful and informative content that your target market will find useful. It can include blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, and more.
Content marketing can be a great way to make your demand generation and lead generation efforts work hand in hand to attract people and capture them as leads.
With demand generation, the goal is to create awareness and interest. You can do that through educational content, such as how-to guides tips and tricks.
With lead generation, it’s to convert interested prospects into leads. You can do this by offering gated content such as eBooks, white papers, and video courses.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website and content in order to rank higher on search engine result pages (SERPs). This can help drive more organic traffic and leads to your site.
You can use SEO best practices such as keyword research, link building, on-page optimization, and technical SEO practices to ensure that your website ranks well for relevant keywords.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing involves creating engaging content on different social media platforms in order to increase brand awareness and reach a larger audience.
You can also use paid advertising on social media to target specific segments of people with ads tailored to their interests.
Now, with B2B social media marketing, you should focus on providing value to your target audience. Share helpful tips and resources, or news stories that are relevant to them.
What’s more, consider using LinkedIn as it’s the most popular social media platform for B2B marketing.
Although Facebook and Twitter are also great sources of B2B leads, LinkedIn is still one of the best platforms to connect with other industry professionals, build relationships, and generate leads.
Email marketing is still one of the most effective B2B lead generation tools available to marketers today.
You can use email newsletters and automated campaigns to reach out to your target audience, build relationships with them, and generate leads.
When it comes to B2B lead generation, you should focus on nurturing your leads throughout their journey. You can do this by sending customized emails that provide relevant information and resources at different stages of their buyer’s journey.
You can also send targeted emails that offer discounts or other incentives for people who are close to making a purchase decision.
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
PPC advertising is a form of digital marketing where you can target specific users with ads. It can be an effective B2B SaaS lead generation method, especially if your target audience is already actively searching for solutions to their problems and pain points.
Using PPC, you can reach out to these people through search engines or display ads on different platforms such as Google, Facebook, YouTube, and more.
The major benefit of using PPC is that you only pay when someone clicks on your ad (hence the name). This ensures that you are able to track your ROI and measure the success of each campaign.
Live chat is another effective lead generation tool that can help you engage with potential customers in real time. It offers an easy way to answer customer queries, provide support, and even convert visitors into leads.
You can use live chat on your website or opt for a third-party platform such as Intercom or ChatBot. There are also software like Drift and HubSpot that offer comprehensive marketing automation solutions along with live chat capabilities.
Digital marketing isn’t the only way to generate B2B SaaS leads. Live events such as conferences, summits, and trade shows are also great opportunities to meet potential customers in person and build relationships with them.
At a live event, you can create meaningful connections with people while also providing valuable content that they will find useful. This could help turn those attendees into leads and even paying customers.
Influencer marketing involves leveraging the power of influencers to reach a larger audience. Influencers are people with a large online presence who have the ability to sway public opinion and encourage others to take action.
You can work with influencers and thought leaders in your industry to create content that promotes your SaaS product, and links back to your website for lead generation.
One thing to note, however, is that B2B influencers are very different from B2C influencers. They are not just some run-of-the-mill TikTok or Instagram model.
B2B influencers are usually experienced business leaders and proven experts in their field. As such, they may command a premium for their partnership.
So, make sure that you have the budget for it before you embark on your influencer marketing campaign.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to get additional leads and customers for your B2B SaaS product.
You can find relevant affiliates who already have an established audience, and provide them with content and unique links that they can share in order to earn commissions or rewards.
These affiliates can be bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers, or even other companies that are interested in promoting your SaaS product. This helps you reach more potential leads without having to do any of the heavy lifting yourself.
The best part of affiliate marketing is that it can be purely commission-based. So you will only incur costs if your affiliates are successful in driving leads and sales for your SaaS product.
Word-of-mouth is one of the oldest marketing techniques, and it still works like a charm.
People trust their friends’ opinions more than they trust any other source of information. So if you can get people to talk about your product or leave positive reviews, you will be able to attract new leads as well as retain existing customers.
You can encourage word-of-mouth by offering incentives such as discounts or rewards for sharing your SaaS product with others. This helps spread awareness about your brand and leads to more B2B SaaS lead generation opportunities.
Account Based Marketing
Account Based Marketing (ABM) is an effective strategy for generating leads in the B2B SaaS space. This involves targeting high-value accounts that are likely to be interested in your product and creating campaigns specifically tailored to them.
Using ABM, you can create targeted content for each account and reach out with personalized messages that speak directly to their needs. This helps build trust between your brand and the potential customer, making them more likely to convert into a lead.
Best Practices For B2B SaaS Lead Generation Strategy
B2B SaaS lead generation can be quite complex. However, you can maximize your chances of success by following some simple best practices:
Focus On Quality, Not Quantity
Generating more leads isn’t always better. You could get as many leads as you want. But if only a few of them are actually likely to buy your SaaS product, you’re just wasting time and resources.
Fortunately, there are various methods you can use to ensure that most (if not all) the leads you generate are of high quality.
Let’s talk about a few of them:
Synergize Demand Generation and Lead Generation: As we mentioned earlier, demand generation is all about creating awareness and drawing attention from the right people.
Making your demand generation and lead generation efforts work together can be a one-two punch that can bring high-quality leads into your sales pipeline.
As your demand generation efforts attract the right audience, your lead generation campaign could swoop in and capture them as leads.
Do NOT Buy Leads: I know it can be tempting to just buy leads, but this is often a bad idea. Buying leads can lead to a lower quality of leads, as well as higher costs in the long-run if you don’t convert them into sales.
By generating your own leads through inbound marketing strategies like content marketing and social media marketing, you can ensure that you’re getting high-quality leads without breaking the bank.
Define Your ICP and Buyer Personas
Your ideal customer profile (ICP) and buyer persona will help you determine what kind of leads you should be targeting and how to target them. This way, you can make sure that your lead generation efforts are well-targeted and effective.
As you build your ICP and buyer persona, make sure you get down to the following details:
Firmographics and Demographics: As you target companies, you should define your ideal customer’s firmographic data, such as industry, size, and location.
On the other hand, for each individual buyer persona that you have, make sure to map out their demographic information such as educational background, income, age group, and more.
Where Your Ideal Customers Can Be Best Engaged: Knowing where your ideal customers are and how they best like to be engaged (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Quora) can help you determine the right strategies for B2B SaaS lead generation.
Trending Topics: Keeping up with the trending topics in your industry can help you craft more effective content and campaigns that are resonant with your target customer.
That being said, keyword analysis can help you identify what kind of topics are trending among your target audience and how you can get their interest.
By having a thorough understanding of your target audience’s preferences and behaviors, you can maximize the impact of your lead generation efforts.
Understand The Customer Journey
If you want to know how to best communicate with potential customers, generate them as leads, and eventually win them as customers, you need to understand their customer journey.
There are 3 main stages of the SaaS customer journey: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision.
Awareness Stage: During this stage, potential customers become aware of your SaaS brand. This is where demand generation efforts come in — you need to ensure that the right people are seeing and engaging with your content or social media posts.
Consideration Stage: At this stage, potential customers are considering your SaaS solution, as well as other similar providers.
So you would need content that would show your leads that your SaaS product is the best choice for them. That could be through various types of content, such as case studies, product comparisons, and buyer’s guides.
Decision Stage: Your goal here is to get potential customers to actually use your product and convince them why it’s worth investing in your SaaS solution. This requires a mix of great sales tactics and lead nurturing strategies.
By understanding every step of the customer journey, you can make sure that your B2B SaaS lead generation efforts are well-targeted and effective at every step.
Build Your Authority & Credibility
In order to generate high-quality leads for your B2B SaaS product, you need to establish your authority and credibility in the industry.
Remember that your target market is composed of businesses and professionals who are looking for reliable and high-quality SaaS solutions.
But how do you actually become an authority in the industry?
It’s easier said than done. But here are a few tips to get you started.
Keep The Blog Posts Coming: Publishing blog posts is still one of the most sustainable and cost-efficient ways to establish your authority and credibility in the B2B SaaS industry.
Make sure to publish content that’s engaging, high-quality, and useful for readers. Make sure to fact check everything and cite authoritative sources. And make sure that you are giving sound advice.
Build A Podcast And YouTube Channel: You shouldn’t limit your content and authority-building efforts to blog posts and articles.
You should also consider starting your own podcast and YouTube channel. This can help you reach a different type of audience who prefers audio or visual content.
Expand Your LinkedIn Network: Connecting with business and industry professionals on LinkedIn can help you expand your network and gain more visibility in the B2B SaaS sector.
If you want to be more strategic about your LinkedIn networking, you can focus on building relationships with influencers and various companies’ decision-makers.
Optimize User Experience On Your Website
If your website visitors can find it easy to navigate and explore your website, they will be more likely to become leads.
That’s why it’s crucial to optimize your website’s user experience and make sure that everything is functioning as it should.
Here are some ways you can do that:
Improve Loading Time: Did you know that you could lose 40% of your potential customers if your website takes more than 3 seconds to load?
That’s a big loss, so make sure to optimize your website’s loading time if you want to increase leads.
There are several ways you can do this, such as choosing the right hosting and DNS providers, using a content delivery network (CDN), or even just simply compressing your images.
Make Sure Your Website Is Responsive: You should also make sure that your website is responsive and mobile-friendly.
This means that it should be optimized for different types of devices (desktop, tablet, phone, etc.) so that users can have a great experience no matter what device they are using.
These days, most web development frameworks already come with responsive features built into them, so you don’t even have to worry about coding everything from scratch.
Create Industry-Specific Pages On Your Site: If your SaaS product can cater to multiple industries, you should consider creating pages for each of those industries.
This can help you tailor your content and messaging to the needs of different industries, as well as make it easier for interested customers to find relevant information quickly.
These pages could also be a great platform for showcasing testimonials, case studies, and other success stories from customers in that particular industry. That way, potential customers could see that your SaaS solution is actually a good fit for their company.
Add Clear CTAs On Every Page: Calls-to-action (CTAs) are a great way to encourage visitors to take action on your website.
Make sure that each page has a clear CTA and make it easy for potential customers to contact you or learn more about your SaaS product.
Having CTAs strategically placed on different pages will help you increase leads and conversions in the long run.
Use Pop-Ups Wisely
Pop-ups can be an effective way to convert new website visitors
However, you should make sure that you are using them wisely and not overusing them. If a pop-up is covering up most of the page or appearing too often, it could become annoying for users and lead to them leaving your website altogether.
So if you’re going to use pop-ups on your website, make sure to do it strategically.
Here are a few tips:
Offer Valuable Incentives: Make sure that whatever incentives you offer in your pop-up are valuable to your potential leads. This could be discounts, free trials, or even just informative content like whitepapers and eBooks.
Choose the Right Timing: You should also consider when the best time is to show a pop-up. For example, if people have just arrived on your website, it may not be a good idea to immediately show them a pop-up as they might not be ready yet.
One common practice in this area is to use exit-intent pop-ups. These are pop-ups that are triggered when a user is about to leave the page, which can be a good time to show them an offer.
Or if you want pop-ups for your blog pages, you could set them up to appear once the reader finishes reading the article. The pop-up could offer gated content that contains more in-depth information related to the article they just read.
Leverage Social Proof
Social proof is basically evidence (in the form of customer reviews, testimonials, case studies, etc.) that shows potential customers that your SaaS product is worth investing in.
You can consider adding social proof on different pages of your website, as we mentioned earlier. This will help build trust with potential customers and make them more likely to become paying customers down the line.
Engage With Online Communities
One of the recent trends in SaaS businesses is engaging and fostering online communities both to acquire and retain customers.
Let’s see how you can do that for your SaaS business:
Join Discussions On Reddit and Quora: Reddit and Quora are great places to find discussions related to your industry.
You can join the discussion and answer questions related to your niche, which will help increase awareness about your brand and build relationships with potential customers.
Join Social Media Groups: Social media groups are a great way to engage with potential customers, build relationships and even get feedback on your SaaS product.
You can join industry-specific Facebook groups or LinkedIn Groups that are related to your SaaS business and start engaging with the members.
Build Your Own Brand Community: Now, this is primarily for building customer loyalty. But having an engaged brand community could also bring your high-quality leads.
As you engage your existing customers through the brand community, you can also foster advocacy within them which could bring more leads and conversions.
Essential B2B Lead Generation Tools
As you can see, B2B SaaS lead generation can require A LOT of work. Luckily, there are some tools that can help you maximize your lead generation efforts:
Here are various types of tools you will need in your lead generation arsenal:
Lead Generation Software
Tools like OptinMonster and Leadfeeder can help you increase conversions and acquire more leads by optimizing your website for lead generation.
These tools can help you create custom campaigns, manage existing leads, and even personalize offers to potential customers.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Platforms
CRM platforms are essential for managing your customer database and tracking their activities
Tools like Salesforce, HubSpot, and Pipedrive can help you to better organize leads, track their progress through the sales pipeline, and even set up automated email campaigns.
Live Chat or Chat Bot Software
Live chat and chat bots are great for reaching out to your website visitors and social media audience,, which is essential for B2B SaaS lead generation.
Tools like Intercom and Drift allow you to engage with potential customers in real time. They also offer features such as automated replies, surveys, and even live video chats.
Marketing Automation Software
Marketing automation software can help you automate mundane tasks like email campaigns, and instead focus more on customer engagement
Tools like ActiveCampaign and Mailchimp provide you with features such as segmentation, A/B testing, email list building, and more.
What’s more, these tools are also great for nurturing your leads and prospects through the SaaS sales funnel.
B2B SaaS Lead Generation Metrics
Tracking your lead generation efforts is essential to understand which channels and campaigns are working best for you.
Here are some of the most essential lead generation metrics you need to track:
Since your website is the main platform where potential customers can find out about your product, you must track the website traffic to gauge interest in your SaaS product.
Aside from just tracking your traffic, you can also measure how much your number of visitors are growing. If you’re using Google Analytics, you can even track the number of unique visitors and recurring visitors you have.
Visitor-To-Lead Conversion Rate
This metric measures how many visitors actually become leads. It can indicate how effective your website ‘s lead generation strategy is performing.
You must track this metric to understand how effective your landing pages, CTAs and other elements on your website are in converting visitors into leads.
To measure this, you’ll need to track the number of visitors who actually sign up for your product or service, and divide it by the total number of website visitors.
The industry benchmark for visitor-to-lead conversion rate for SaaS businesses is 1.9%.
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
The click-through rate (CTR) is the number of people who click on a particular marketing asset or CTA divided by the number of people who view it.
You can track your CTR for your ads, emails, and even your social media posts. A high CTR is a sign that you’re targeting the right audience with relevant content.
Now, this metric is important for understanding which marketing channels are performing better than others in terms of driving leads.
For example, if your newsletter has a low CTR, that could mean that you need to improve its content or design to make it more engaging and clickable.
If you A/B test your various lead generation channels and campaigns, you can also help identify areas where you could improve, such as design, copywriting, or targeting.
MQLs & SQLs
A marketing qualified lead (MQL) is a lead who is showing interest in your SaaS product by having more interactions with your marketing materials. This could be downloading an eBook you’re offering, joining a webinar, or deeply engaging with your marketing materials.
A sales qualified lead (SQL), on the other hand, is a high-quality lead who has expressed their intention to talk to your sales team. They could be requesting for a product demo or a full-on quote.
Your MQLs and SQLs are your qualified leads. If you have a lot of them, it could likely mean that you are reaching the right audience for your lead generation campaigns.
Lead Velocity Rate (LVR)
Your lead velocity rate measures the growth in your qualified leads, which are your MQLs and SLQs.
To calculate it, take your current number of qualified leads and subtract the number of qualified leads you had the previous month. Then divide the difference by your previous month’s number of qualified leads.
This metric can help you understand how quickly you are generating high-quality leads.
Cost Per Lead (CPL)
The cost per lead (CPL) metric measures the total cost of your lead generation program divided by the number of leads you’ve made.
Your CPL can help you determine whether or not your B2B SaaS company is getting a good ROI from its lead generation efforts. If it’s too high, then it means that you need to look at optimizing and improving your campaigns to bring down the costs.
However, as you scale up and get more leads, this metric can be offset as long as those leads eventually convert into paying customers.
Final Thoughts About B2B SaaS Lead Generation
As you can see, B2B SaaS lead generation can be a complex beast to manage. That’s why you need to know the right channels, tools, and strategies to employ in order to generate high-quality leads.
But remember that generating leads is not enough. You also need to work on your lead nurturing and conversion strategies in order to turn those leads into paying customers.
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