5 Steps to Digitally Transform Your Tech Sales FunnelCategories: Account Based Marketing, B2B Marketing, Content Strategy, Data-Driven Marketing
Rebuilding the SaaS Sales Funnel for 2020
Customers are the lifeblood of your SaaS business.
You live and breathe customer retention. You dream about new logo acquisition. Your favorite acronyms are CLV and TAL. And for the most part, you thought you had it all figured out.
Then Covid came along and tossed a grenade into your stable, predictable sales model. Gone are fancy dinners, cocktail parties, and box seats at baseball games. The days of doing the business card shuffle at tech conferences and sales events are over – or at least postponed.
The writing is on the wall: Events are out. Digital transformation is in.
Most B2B decision-makers have already shifted the way they research suppliers, depending more on digital tools like live chat, email, social media, and thought leadership for information. And many will sustain this new model for at least a year.
40% increase in the importance of digital tools since COVID onset; 79% of B2B decision-makers are likely to stick with this model
The leads are still there: More than half of buyers are still in the market for products, and one-third are in search of new solutions to post-COVID problems.
The key is to find the customers that need you and provide them with the same outstanding value you did before. But now, you must do it entirely online.
Step 1: Follow the Leads
Data-driven insight is more than a catchphrase
Everything starts with data – because data equals insight. But since COVID exploded your sales funnel, the data you have may no longer be accurate.
That means you no longer have clear insight into current customers and potential prospects. New industries that weren’t in your sights when you built your TAL need you.
Health care, finance, government: Traditional laggards are realizing that the age of digital transformation is here.
Increase in software spend post-COVID: Telemedicine 11%; Security: 41%; Collaboration tools: 57%; Web conferencing: 67%
New data is only part of the picture. Don’t neglect the data you already have. Make sure every lead is accounted for by assigning it a lead source, so you can track which channels and sponsors are working overtime. Determine which contacts can open doors to other influencers in the decision-making process. Your most effective channels, sponsors, and contacts deserve extra attention. Data can tell you who and what they are.
Update your data on current customers as well. Many of them will need you more than ever. Some will be thriving and ready to invest in new products or services. Some may barely be surviving, but present an opportunity to invest in customer satisfaction, retention, and advocacy. Either way, you’ll need data to understand how you can help them.
Step 2: Segment Your Audiences
Everyone has different hopes, dreams, and aspirations
“The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.” – Carly Fiorina
Data is only as good as the TAL you make with it – so segment, segment, segment. Target prospects will come from thriving industries or those being forced into digital transformation, but they’ll still have varying needs based on their own customer base, the post-COVID solutions they need, and the ages of their decision-makers.
New World Advice: Millennials should be top of mind for any marketing campaign. Many millennials are in their thirties, and they’ve been the largest workforce segment since 2016. These digital natives are rising in the ranks of all industries and will become even more essential as decision-makers and influencers in the new normal.
Segment your current customers into those that are thriving and those that are struggling. How can you help thriving accounts do even better? Take their minds off of the small stuff so they can focus on growth. How can struggling customers better leverage your product? Make sure they know all the ways they can use what they already have – without paying more.
Step 3: Say Something Relevant
Content has always been king, but now it’s the emperor
There may be a hole in your sales funnel where events used to be, but content can quickly fill it. Of businesses that plan to reallocate their event marketing budget, 43% will use it for content creation. They’re the smart ones – thought leadership is proven to work. But it needs to be done right: The right information, at the right time in the buying journey.
88% of decision-makers say thought leadership enhanced their opinion; 87% say timeliness is essential to compelling content
To create timely, compelling content, use your newly segmented data to map the customer journey based on TAM, TAL, and ICP. Get in the head of your ideal customer and figure out their needs at each stage of the buying process. Then create targeted content that speaks to them from the top of the funnel to signing on the dotted line.
Tech buyers are always after the latest news. Prospects and customers alike need straightforward communications that show an in-depth understanding of the current climate. So get to the point. Be direct. Be human. And be creative. Buyers can only attend so many webinars. Make personalized video instead. Interview industry thought leaders. Use your podcast – or start one – to directly address buyer concerns. Speak to the moment, but differentiate yourself from the crowd.
Step 4: Improve Digital Delivery
Leverage new opportunities for high-performance marketing
Remember that carnival game where you shoot moving targets? Right now, rebuilding your sales funnel can feel a lot like that. Digital transformation is shifting the customer journey at an unprecedented pace. New industries are entering the mix. Decision-makers and influencers are looking at the world differently. And everyone is working remotely – changing the way they search, communicate, and use social media.
It isn’t impossible to hit the moving target. You just need the right tools. SEO insights that capture opportunities to build awareness of your brand. Targeted paid media and display ads to catch potential customers at the right stage in their journey. And IP address targeting that gets your message to decision-makers, even if they’re working from home.
New World Advice: If your business is stable or growing, now is the time to grow market share. Rebuilding your sales funnel for the new reality will require smart investment. But it will be worth it: Brands that maintain or increase their marketing spend during a recession drive revenue and market share growth and come out ahead of the competition.
Step 5: Report Revenue Impact
Connect your campaigns to pipeline revenue, or else…
There’s another hole in your sales funnel, but this one has probably been there for a while: the inability to connect your campaigns to revenue. A recent study found that only 27% of CMOs believe they demonstrate their own financial impact in an effective way. That opinion may be founded: 74% of thought leadership producers have no way to link sales or wins to their content.
That’s often because they focus on the wrong metrics. Marketers are notorious for using vanity metrics like impressions, clicks, views, and traffic – but those aren’t going to cut it in 2020. Rebuilding your sales funnel is the perfect chance to focus on closing analytics gaps and connecting campaigns to pipeline revenue.
Enter: Closed-loop reporting.
Closed-loop reporting tracks the customer journey from the first contact through to the final conversion – bringing everything “full circle.” It tells you where website visitors came from and what they do on your site. It tracks every click, email, and form. It helps you invest marketing dollars in the origin channels, campaigns, and content that prompt the most leads. And it results in metrics any executive can get behind.
Benefits of closed-loop reporting
- Enhanced understanding of TAL
- Improved customer experience
- Better lead management
- Reduced marketing costs
- Increased conversion rates
“Business as usual” may never be the same, but the mood is optimistic. Perhaps that’s because, from the revolutionary assembly line of the 1920s to the dot-com bubble of the ʼ90s, disruption isn’t new. Industry in America has always been adaptable – but to the innovators go the spoils.
Smart marketers must quickly pivot their marketing dollars to focus on new channels and new markets.
Business Online has the expertise you need to stay ahead of the digital transformation curve and rebuild your funnel for the new sales reality.
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