One of the most important nuances of SaaS marketing is the idea that you are marketing on multiple layers to multiple people at once. In fact, the best SaaS companies take time to consider layered buyer personas, which we write about in more detail here. Considering multiple potential solution-researchers and buyers as you create your content strategy is especially important in a B2B setting because the individual person who is engaging with your marketing — or even your free trial — is not necessarily the decision-maker who will green-light a subscription to your solution company-wide.
In this article, we focus on a bottom-up, “land and expand” approach to SaaS marketing, where an individual user is the initial target, and who then begins evangelizing the solution to the rest of their team, garnering excitement from fellow users and convincing decision-makers to roll out your product to the whole team. Bottom-up marketing like this works well for productivity and communication tools like Slack, Drift, Trello, Dropbox, or Asana. There is also an alternative top-down approach, where executives are targeted, and the solution is implemented as a directive from leadership. Top-down marketing approaches work better for large-scale company-wide systems, such as many SAP or Oracle products. We will address top-down marketing in a separate article.
In addition to convincing multiple buyer personas about the value your SaaS product will bring, you will want to make it as simple and easy as possible for the person researching your solution to sell it internally and promote adoption. The easier you can make it to share your solution clearly with the most important decision makers, as well as the people who will use your technology on a daily basis, the better the results will be for your bottom line. Let’s explore 4 important things you can do to make adopting your solution a complete no-brainer.
Tangible Benefits, Explained Simply
First and foremost, you need to make it very easy to understand the benefits your solution provides, no matter who is looking into it. Especially in the case of an individual user or administrative staff member looking into appropriate solutions for a company problem, it is crucial to clearly communicate benefits. Selling your solution internally is most common in a B2B situation taking a land and expand approach, so you’ll want to focus on the business benefits you provide for the end user. Whether that’s streamlining processes, improving quality, or simply making work more enjoyable, SaaS marketers must find a way to share that benefit, and make it easy for the user to share it with others.
So how do you present business benefits? One way is to list them clearly and confidently, making sure they apply specifically to the buyer personas and businesses you are trying to reach. Beyond that, it is important to share proof of those benefits. After all, any company can claim any benefit they’d like. Stand out among other solutions by sharing real benefits actually enjoyed by your customers. This can take the form of testimonials, case studies (with actual numbers), reviews, or even video interviews with your best customers. Package this up on a website page or even a downloadable resource so that the person researching your solution can easily share it with decision-makers.
Impress the Entire Organization with Your Free Trial
When you get the chance to share a hands-on experience with your free trial, help make every user experience the best you have to offer. Many of our clients create quick-start guides, and the most sophisticated SaaS companies differentiate their guides for different users, or buyer personas. For example, you may guide a C-level executive to your easy data visualization features to provide an inside look at sales analytics, but focus in on your task streamlining functionalities for daily users like a business development representative. No matter who is using your free trial, make sure their experience is impeccable, and your solution feels indispensable.
In addition to hitting different levels of the totem pole, or different segments of users inside an organization, make sure the trial experience is as close as it can be to the subscription level you intend to sell. For example, if your solution allows teams to share design drafts and gather team feedback directly from the app, make sure the trial includes the sharing or team functionality. Without it, that team is not getting a close enough experience to encourage subscription.
Clear and Shareable Pricing
Once you’ve laid out the tangible benefits your solution provides and guided your prospect on how to share them, it’s time to make sure there are no barriers to the purchasing decision. Your pricing page can be one of your greatest marketing tools, especially if you design it in a way that helps any lead — decision maker or not — to determine the best subscription level to meet the company’s needs. Some SaaS companies even offer interactive pricing guides wherein, for example, the lead can input how many user seats and/or feature sets are needed and receive a recommended package or price.
Combine your simple, clean pricing page with personalized email marketing to increase shareability, especially if you’re using an interactive pricing worksheet or page.
Simple Adoption Instructions and Training to Maximize Success
For SaaS marketers and product teams, the work doesn’t stop when a person or team subscribes to your solution. The next step is to help your initial prospect and their team to enthusiastically adopt the solution and make it indispensable. One thing we love to suggest to our clients is a training series, geared toward the different personas and teams using the solution. This can take the form of in-person training sessions, a video series, or even a gamification program guiding users through how best to implement your product in the specific places it needs to be adopted for ultimate success.
A user-friendly, thorough Knowledge Base is essential, as well as a ticketing or customer service system. As smoothly as you’d like implementation to go with a new B2B customer, there always needs to be a painless way to get help when needed. Nothing stops adoption of a new solution in its tracks faster than users hitting dead ends, or common issues that take too long to solve.
As you are selling your B2B SaaS solution, pay attention to the fact that your marketing needs to connect at multiple levels, and that your materials must help initial researchers or potential daily users to sell the idea of using your products internally. Make sure your benefits and pricing are clear and shareable, that your free trial provides an experience close enough to the potential customer’s team experience, and that you make it absolutely fool-proof to implement and get help if needed.
Originally published August 2021, updated September 2021 for accuracy.