How To Improve Your SaaS Sales Funnel
Conversion Rates In All Stages
For a SaaS business, it goes without saying that you need a revolutionary product in order to actually get noticed.
But having a great product isn’t enough. Sure, you may have created the best SaaS solution the world has ever known. But if no one knows about it, then no one would buy it.
You still need marketing and sales to actually get people in the door (or onto your website, as it were).
And once you’ve got them there, you need to be able to guide them through the customer journey and turn them into paying customers.
That’s why your SaaS sales funnel is one of the essential things you need to develop as you’re growing your business.
What is a SaaS Sales Funnel?
A SaaS sales funnel is the process that your potential customer goes through as they move from being aware of your product to becoming paying customers.
It’s important to note that not every prospective customer will make it all the way through your sales funnel.
In fact, most won’t.
The SaaS sales funnel is made up of different stages. For traditional businesses, the sales funnel starts right before the customer becomes aware of the product and ends when they purchase it.
But for SaaS, the sales funnel goes beyond the purchase stage. Retention and advocacy still play a crucial role in the customer journey.
The SaaS sales funnel is usually made up of eight stages:
We’ll talk about them more in detail as we go through this blog post.
What is the Conversion Rate?
The conversion rate is a crucial metric when it comes to measuring SaaS sales performance. It refers to the percentage of people who take a particular desired action.
In a general sense, that desired action is ultimately getting people to buy your product. But conversion rate can also pertain to the percentage of people who make it from one stage of the sales funnel to the next.
You can have a conversion rate from Awareness to Interest, Interest to Consideration, and so on.
Conversion rates are important because they give you an indication of how well your SaaS sales funnel is performing. Not just for the overall performance of your sales funnel, but also for each stage.
If you have a low conversion rate, it’s an indication that something isn’t working right and you need to make some changes.
There are different things you can do to improve the conversion rate at each stage of the SaaS sales funnel.
All throughout the rest of the article, we are going to talk about different tactics you can do to improve your SaaS sales funnel conversion rates.
As we do that, we will divide the stages into three: top-of-funnel (TOFU), middle-of-funnel (MOFU), and bottom-of-funnel (BOFU).
TOFU Conversion Rate Optimization
The top of the funnel (TOFU) consists of the Awareness and Interest stages. These sales funnel stages are all about getting people to become aware of your product and getting them interested in what you have to offer.
Here are some tactics you can use to improve your TOFU conversion rates:
- Produce High-Quality Content
- Rank Higher On Google Searches
- Strengthen Your Social Media Presence
- Use Ads Strategically
TOFU Tactic #1: Produce High-Quality Content
This is one of the best ways to get people interested in your product. Content marketing is one of the most widely used tactics for TOFU marketing.
By producing high-quality blog posts, infographics, videos, and other forms of content, you can attract attention to your SaaS brand.
Content marketing most especially serves the Awareness stage. With it, you can reach people who are yet to hear about your product.
Your blogs or videos can capture people who want to learn about certain concepts related to your niche. And as they’re reading or watching your content, you can introduce them to your brand.
TOFU Tactic #2: Rank Higher On Google Searches
Any digital marketer would know that ranking on Google searches is easier said than done. But if you manage to make it, it will improve your visibility and boost your traffic.
So how do you do it?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the organic way of making your pages rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). It’s a complex process that involves keyword research, on-page optimization, link building, and more.
If you want to learn more about SEO, we have this blog post that can help you out.
TOFU Tactic #3: Strengthen Your Social Media Presence
Social media is a great way to spread the word about your product. Use platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to share your content and get people interested in what you have to offer.
Still, it depends on your target audience.
If you’re gunning for a B2C crowd, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the way to go. What’s more, if you’re targeting a younger audience, you may also want to explore TikTok as a social media marketing channel.
If you have a B2B audience, however, you might want to focus on LinkedIn.
Social media marketing isn’t just about posting and sharing your content. It’s also about consistency. You need to be consistent with your posts and engagement.
Moreover, social media marketing is more effective when you have a strategy. You need to know what kind of content to post, when to post it, and how often you should be posting.
TOFU Tactic #4: Use Ads Strategically
Ads are a great way to improve your SaaS product’s reach. But you need to use them strategically, or you’ll just be wasting your money.
The key here is to use ads that offer value and are relevant to your target audience.
For instance, if you want to improve the reach of your blog posts, you can use Google Ads.
Putting up Google ads can be a paid shortcut to the top of the SERPs without the need for SEO. You can create ads that will appear on Google search results when people look for certain keywords related to your product.
You can also use Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Ads to reach people who are more likely to take an interest in your content or SaaS product.
Especially for Facebook Ads, you can target people specifically based on their location, age group, and other demographic factors.
Another strategic use of ads is retargeting them. Retargeting is when you show ads to people who have already visited your website, content, or anything related to your product.
The idea behind retargeting is that these people are more likely to convert because they’re already familiar with your brand and have shown at least a bit of interest in it
There are various platforms that offer retargeting services, such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads.
MOFU Conversion Rate Optimization
The middle of the funnel (MOFU) is made up of the Consideration and Intent stages.
The Consideration stage is where your lead is already looking for a SaaS solution for their problem. But they haven’t picked which one to buy yet.
While the Intent stage is where your customer already expresses an intent to buy your SaaS product.
The MOFU is where you start to nurture your leads and turn them into paying customers. At this stage, you need to focus on providing more value and building trust with your leads.
Some tactics you can use to improve your MOFU conversion rates are as follows:
- Have A Killer Email Marketing Campaign
- Write Buyer’s Guides
- Offer Product Demos
- Offer Free Trials And Free Plans
MOFU Tactic #1: Have A Killer Email Marketing Campaign
In these sales funnel stages, your prospect would have expressed enough interest in your product that they have already given their contact information.
That includes their email addresses.
Still, there are other ways you can get their email addresses. You could offer a free e-book or resource through your blog and social media page. And in return, you can ask them for their contact information.
And when you do have their email addresses, you can use those to further nurture your relationship with your leads.
Email marketing is one of the most proven ways to turn leads into paying customers.
With email marketing, you can send personalized messages to your leads at scale. You can also segment your email list so that you can send more targeted messages.
For instance, you can create a few segments for leads based on their roles in their respective companies. And then you could personalize your emails per segment.
Your messaging for the end-user segment would focus more on how your product could make their jobs easier. Supervisors would hear about how your SaaS solution can help them manage their teams. For executives, you could focus on the potential ROI of purchasing your product.
Talking about things that each segment wants to hear would catch their attention more effectively.
Another way to use email marketing is to send educational content, such as guides and tutorials, to help your leads understand your product better and see how it can solve their problems.
Speaking of guides…
MOFU Tactic #2: Write Buyer’s Guides
Content marketing is a strategy that can be effective in every part of the sales funnel. But you have to know what kind of content to leverage.
And for the MOFU, buyer’s guides are a great type of content to show to your potential customers.
Buyer’s guides are content pieces, usually blog posts, that highlight the strengths of different SaaS brands and match them to various customer needs.
For example, let’s say you’re writing a buyer’s guide for customer relationship management (CRM) SaaS solutions. You could feature one CRM brand as the best option for low-budget users. Then another brand would be good for users looking for a high level of customizability.
Sure, writing a buyer’s guide could be a chance to highlight your SaaS product as the best among your competitors. But you need to back it up with strong reasons that support your claim.
Remember that one of the biggest goals of content marketing is to educate and build trust with your potential customers. So your facts have to be 100% accurate and reliable.
If you say a CRM brand is for low-budget users, it better be affordable or even free. If you say another one is best for visuals, then it has to have the best graphics and aesthetics among its major competitors.
Producing reliable content may not always point people to your SaaS product. But at least you have already made an introduction. And hopefully, your content’s integrity and honesty would earn their trust.
MOFU Tactic #3: Offer Product Demos
A product demo is a way for you to show your SaaS product in action and how it can solve the customer’s problem.
Product demos can be in the form of a video or a live demonstration. Doing it live over a video conference would be best because your sales team can actually talk and build rapport with your lead.
Product demos are especially useful if your SaaS product is complex or if it has a lot of features. By seeing the product in action, your potential customers will have a better understanding of how it works and what it can do for them.
Moreover, seeing the product in action builds trust and confidence that your SaaS product can actually deliver on its promises.
MOFU Tactic #4: Offer Free Trials And Free Plans
Nowadays, it’s common practice for SaaS businesses to offer free trials or even free plans.
The free trial or plan is a great way to let your potential customers experience your SaaS product first-hand without any risk. They can use all the features and see if it’s a good fit for them.
If your SaaS product is paid, you can offer a free plan with limited features. This is a good way to generate high-quality leads because people are more likely to sign up for something that’s free.
The bottom line is that you have to make it easy for your potential customers to try out your SaaS product.
What’s more, you have to deliver value using your free trial or plan. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Their free experience with your SaaS product has to give them enough benefits that they would be willing to pay for a subscription to it.
Or else, they’ll just move on to the next thing.
BOFU Conversion Rate Optimization
Last but not least, we have the bottom of the funnel (BOFU). This stage is made up of the Evaluation and Purchase stages.
The Evaluation stage is where your lead is already interested in your SaaS product. But they are still comparing it with your competitors before making a final decision.
The Purchase stage, as the name suggests, is when your lead has finally decided to buy your SaaS product. That’s why it is also sometimes called the Decision stage.
Your goal at these stages is to seal the deal and ensure that they start out strong. So here are some strategies to improve your BOFU conversion rates:
- Write Product Comparison Blogs
- Offer A Discount For Early Adopters
- Use Scarcity And Urgency
- Ensure A Smooth Customer Onboarding Process
BOFU Tactic #1: Write Product Comparison Blogs
One way to show that your SaaS product is the best in the market is to write a comparison between it and your competitors.
In this type of content, you directly put your SaaS product against another similar product. You highlight its strengths while at the same time talking about the weaknesses of the other SaaS product.
Of course, you want to make sure that your SaaS product comes out on top. But again, you also want to be objective and fair in your comparisons.
Remember, you want your potential customers to trust you.
Again, the goal of content marketing is to inform and build trust with your audience. I can’t stress that enough.
So you need to make sure that you’re painting your SaaS product as the best, but not at the expense of losing your potential customer’s trust.
The best way to do this is by using data and statistics to back up your claims. If you can find hard evidence that supports why your SaaS product is better, then that’s even better.
BOFU Tactic #2: Offer A Discount For Early Adopters
If you have a new SaaS product, chances are it’s not yet well-known in the market. So you have to offer a discount or even a lifetime deal for early adopters.
This will give them an incentive to try out your SaaS product and help spread the word about it.
Moreover, you can also offer a discount if they sign up for a longer subscription period. This way, you can lock them in for a longer time and reduce customer churn.
BOFU Tactic #3: Use Scarcity And Urgency
Another way to improve your BOFU conversion rates is by using scarcity and urgency.
Scarcity is when there’s a limited supply of something. Urgency is when there’s a time limit to act.
You can use these two psychological triggers to increase the sense of importance and urgency for your potential customers.
For example, you can offer a discount that expires in 24 hours or a free gift that’s only available for the next 100 people who sign up.
The bottom line is that you have to make your potential customer feel like they have to act now or they’ll miss out on something great.
However, be careful not to overdo this tactic. Make sure that your offer is actually scarce or urgent.
Otherwise, your potential customers will see right through it and they’ll be turned off. As a result, this tactic will no longer work for them in the future.
BOFU Tactic #4: Ensure A Smooth Customer Onboarding Process
The final strategy to improve your BOFU conversion rates is to ensure a smooth customer onboarding process.
Your SaaS product might be the best in the market. But if your new customers can’t figure out how to use it, they’ll quickly get frustrated and give up.
Worse, they might even write negative reviews about your SaaS product online, which can damage your reputation.
So it’s important that you have a well-designed onboarding process that’s easy to follow.
This way, your new users can quickly learn how to use your SaaS product and start getting value from it.
A great onboarding experience will not only increase conversion rates but also improve customer retention rates in the long run.
Final Thoughts About Improving SaaS Funnel Conversion Rates
And there you have it. Those are some strategies you can use to improve your SaaS sales funnel conversion rates.
You may have noticed that we didn’t go through the last two stages, Retention and Advocacy.
Well, success in those two stages isn’t measured using conversion rates. It’s measured using different metrics like retention rate, churn rate, and the Net Promoter Score (NPS).
In these later stages, your product development, marketing, and customer success departments are the ones that contribute to your performance.
Remember, improving your SaaS sales funnel conversion rates is all about getting more people to move from one stage to the next.
The higher the number of people moving through your SaaS funnel, the more conversions you’ll get in the end. So focus on providing a great experience for your potential customers at each stage of the SaaS funnel.
What’s more, don’t forget to track the necessary sales funnel metrics for each stage. This way, you can zoom in and identify which specific areas need improvement.
If you can do these, then you’ll be well on your way to increasing your conversion rates and getting more customers.
Looking to learn more about how to grow your SaaS business? Visit our blog here.