The most effective ways to reach out to SaaS prospects
No one likes selling. Well, almost no one. There is the occasional extrovert who loves to get out there, reach out to SaaS prospects, and sell like it’s a game but it’s a really big struggle for a lot of teams. Cold calling and cold emailing is the bane of any SaaS team’s existence when you’re initially launching and trying to fill your pipeline with leads. Your open and response rate is usually low and it’s a tone of work to keep up to get quality leads and your foot in the door.
We’ve been there with all three of our successful products as a team. We can share a few tips on reaching out to SaaS prospects and the now almost all-digital sales process for SaaS.
Here are a few of the most effective ways to reach out to SaaS prospects:
First things, first: Identify them:
First and foremost is determining who your target customers are. A lot of times with SaaS, this is in development at first. You may find that who actually finds a lot of value in your product is not who you thought at first. There may be other customers that are more valuable and more of a priority to you than previously thought. This can change as your team gains experience and your product changes. It’s still wise to go through a process of identifying your target customers and creating personas for them to help your team understand and target them. Personas goes beyond just industry. A persona is a complete profile of the person you would be ideally speaking with to close the deal. What position are they within the company? Who do they answer to? Who do they manage? Where do they get their information? What is they approval process for a purchase? All of these questions help to build a persona and narrow down where you will actually be reaching out and to who.
Through social media:
You’re likely aware of this at this point, but cold emailing may not be your best method for reaching out to SaaS prospects. There are so many potential blocks to getting a response to emails and you are likely to get a 5% response rate at best. Social media is becoming a much more common way to reach out and nurture leads. Your target personas are likely on social media no matter what your product is. 84% of C-level and VP-level buyers are influenced by social media in their decision making. It pays to be present.
LinkedIn is a great place to not only source SaaS prospects but also reach out to them and begin the lead nurturing process. You can see how different roles are directly connected at target companies and hone in on your target personas. LinkedIn ads are also effective with 65% of B2B companies having gained customers through LinkedIn ads. Being active here at least is good to open the door to further communication off social.
Particularly for tech and SaaS, Twitter is a popular and relevant place to interact. There are plenty of conversations and influencers related to SaaS that are highly active on Twitter. It is a place to introduce yourself and gain an understanding of your SaaS prospects. You can tweet at them, respond to what they’ve posted, or use Twitter to gather information on their work and their thoughts. People share a lot of information between LinkedIn and Twitter these days and it’s extremely helpful to use that in the outreach process. The more relevant and personalized for them, the better.
When you do email…
Try to qualify off of email first on social media or otherwise. When you do email, keep it very short, to the point and include an actionable next step. However, do NOT use a generic template for everyone. When you are emailing, you should have a sense of the prospect already enough to where you can be more personalized and specific with your pitch so that you ensure a better response. No one has time for generic email templates with bare minimum personalization, especially not your prospects. Including one to two lines of personalized introduction using a piece of information that is relevant to them that clearly shows you’ve done your research and want to help them by providing value.
“Do you want to reach more prospects? Do you want to have a high return customer? …You cannot afford to go unnoticed. You cannot be forgotten with the rest of boring emails. Go beyond the “((First)) ((Last))” filters to make the email look more personalized.” – Neil Patel
Emails should not be where you focus your selling however. You want to get them on the phone ASAP. Calendar links are great so you can get them somewhere more personable and fast right away. Try Calendly which allows you to embed a scheduler anywhere. The first priority should be to get them speaking to you personally to avoid dead end email threads. SaaS sales works better when you can work personally to show the value of your product to a customer.
Train your sales team to pitch from a place of providing value:
When your team gets to working with prospects after outreach, your team should be trained to approach them right. With SaaS, those personas are going to be very specific in what they are looking for to get from your product to suit their needs and support their processes. It’s your team’s job to show that value clearly for prospects. Your team should be well versed on the processes and pain points of personas and able to clearly communicate how your product alleviates them and supports them. Your pitches and conversations should not be generic. Learn more about how to better understand customer needs here.
Have persona specific content and sales material ready:
To support this, create persona-specific sales material and content. You should have a one pager or pitch deck ready, tailored for the prospects you’re targeting so they don’t have to try to seek out the application and value for them in your product. Landing pages that are specific for personas are great for reaching out to prospects. Materials like this really help your sales team out in communicating effectively with prospects. Find out the 8 keys to creating a successful landing page here.
Another way to keep prospects engaged and in the loop on and off your site is Beamer. Beamer is a newsfeed that sits right in your website interface. Leads can click a “What’s New” tab in your navigation or an icon in your interface that opens up a sidebar newsfeed full of interesting content, feature announcements, news, and offers. You can add images, videos, and GIFs to better explain and engage. You can segment updates by location, language, demographics, and past behavior on your site so that leads see updates that are relevant to them. You can also re-target leads who have left your site with relevant updates if they opted in for push notifications. It’s an easy way to make any page of your website an engaging landing page.
Follow up in a way that is mutually beneficial:
Outreach includes the follow up. Particularly for SaaS, the follow up process is really important because it’s unlikely someone will make a decision quickly. The bigger the client, the less likely it is. It will be a nurturing process that could involve a lot of steps on their end to close the deal depending on the size of the company. Some may sign up immediately with an automated reminder and an offer for a discount, others may be shopping around and require more information directly from you. Either way, try to follow up and provide value when you do. If it’s a bigger client, ask how you can help with their approval process for the deal internally (custom features, pitch to upper management, etc.). If it’s a smaller startup, offer a discount. Don’t just ask if they read your last email and demand a response.
The outreach process and sales in general is hard for SaaS teams at the beginning and for many team members it never really gets easier. We’ve been there a few times. We hope these tips are helpful for your sales team! Looking for a way to continuously engaged leads that come to your site? Try Beamer on your site today.