At the start of every new year, I work hard with my clients to help solidify their marketing plans for the rest of the year, segmenting out initiatives by quarter with quantifiable key results we want to achieve. Given the fact that the majority of my clients are in the B2B SaaS realm, they obviously want more leads and sales. Simple as that.
It is common that this is what all B2B SaaS companies want… well, that, and awareness. However, getting to that point takes a shit ton of work and actually working with people who know what they are doing — meaning they are experts in what they do. Examples of the experts you need are the expert copywriter who can persuade people to take action, the SEO and advertising specialists who know how to maximize your dollars and yield phenomenal results, etc.
Let’s look at a few stats that matter when it comes to lead gen and sales:
- 61% of B2B marketers think generating high-quality leads is one of their biggest challenges.
- The three most commonly used B2B lead generation strategies are email marketing (78%), event marketing (73%), and content marketing (67%).
- Companies see a 55% increase in leads when increasing their number of landing pages from 10 to 15.
- B2B buyers are 57%-70% through buying research before contacting sales.
- The average Lead to Close length is 102 days.
- There is a 10x drop in lead qualification when you wait longer than 5 minutes to respond, and a 400% decrease when you respond within 10 minutes versus 5 minutes.
- 78% of salespeople using social media outsell their peers.
With these relevant stats in mind, let’s dive into the five must-haves to skyrocket leads and sales at your B2B SaaS company.
1. Get the right processes in place
Nothing is going to cramp your style more than trying to take shortcuts to gain new customers who will adopt your product or service. When you put in the needed time to really build out the right processes, you not only foster operational efficiency, you yield strong results that translate to generating more revenue.
Leads fall on marketing’s plate; sales are up to the sales team.
Both have to be aligned and developing processes that will enable sales and also foster marketing’s initiatives to generate qualified leads that will be a win/win for the business.
I’m a fan of always looking at the entire buyer journey and then injecting both marketing and sales processes to figure out where the gaps are and where improvements need to be made. Doing so will save you a ton of time and allow you to invest your time as well as money into what is working well.
When you have multiple departments trying to work together, having the right organization tool can be key to keeping everyone on the same page. I like using Monday with my clients — its visual interface makes it easy for everyone to see what is happening across departments and it is fully customizable for many different types of projects. Check out their many templates here.
2. Hire and fire wisely
Desperate times can call for desperate measures. Instead of inputting the right processes or being more objective, I’ve seen companies think that hiring someone to fill the gap is going to fix the problem. That sometimes does work, but in most cases, it just doesn’t. Now on the flip side, if you need to create more videos and you don’t have anyone in-house, then the fix to that challenge is that you need to hire a videographer who can shoot and edit videos for you.
Hiring and firing wisely means that you aren’t wasting time trying to fix short-term problems, but looking at how it can benefit the company in the long-run. More specifically, one thing I learned before I jumped on the entrepreneurial path is that the most expensive thing to any organization is shitty leadership, which is why talented people don’t leave companies, they leave people.
As such, it’s so important to have a good checklist in place for hiring and obviously for firing. But before you even get to “firing”, making sure that you have a great path to hiring talented people will be instrumental in feeding a great culture that is also profitable for the business. This isn’t to say that if you do this every hire will be amazing, but you just have to be smart about when to hire and when to fire.
3. Make sure reporting is nailed down
Anytime a board meeting comes up or the executive team gets together to look at the health of the business, the reporting of KPIs are going to play a ginormous role. However, if you don’t have the right tools in place and even the right people, then you’ll find that you’re scrambling to get all of this information.
Get into the practice of reporting daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually, but specifically with metrics that really matter within each time period. You have to look at departmental metrics that then always transcend to the impact they have on overall business performance and goals.
Specific to marketing — because if you follow me you know I’m a marketing nerd at heart — you can check out the following blog posts to get some knowledge goodness:
- How to Nail Down Marketing Metrics that Investors Care About Most
- How to Identify Marketing KPIs to Track for Growth
- Top Marketing Metrics to Track for Growth Performance
4. Be collaborative and supportive
It’s a no-brainer that goals between sales, marketing, product, and customer success should all be aligned in some way, shape, or form. As such, building out a model that’s going to incorporate everyone will create a culture of collaboration and support.
This image does a great job of depicting the most important job that both sales and marketing have to do which is ‘market’ a product, while the product’s job is to ensure they are building a product that customers actually want/need. Alignment among all three departments is critical for success and can make or break your business.
For example, in the professional world I come from, it’s typical for sales to blame marketing for not bringing in enough leads, and then marketing to complain that sales just aren’t closing the leads. With reporting (as mentioned above), you’ll easily be able to see where the gaps are but at the same time, it’s important to encourage an environment where there’s transparency, open communication, collaboration, and everyone feels connected to working towards a collective goal.
5. Work smarter, not harder
Know the difference between low effort, high results and high effort, low results. Encouraging and empowering your company to be self-sufficient individuals that contribute to a larger goal will help drive positive results. On the flip side of things, working smarter and not harder really comes down to the fundamentals of putting your time and energy into things that will drive desired results, rather than just pushing for busywork.
That being said, here are things to take into consideration:
- Be flexible with your approach, but stubborn about your goals.
- Don’t micromanage. Gaps will reveal themselves.
- Focus on the results.
- Automate where you can.
- Build in routines that actually drive amazing results.
I love to use Hubspot because it allows me to automate so many different processes, from email campaigns to social media to customer service. In addition, I love that Hubspot is fully scalable, so it can handle organizations of any size. Check out their plan options here.
Stay true to the overall business objectives and ensure that any necessary executions are there to help you achieve those objectives. This means that being crystal clear on ‘who’ you’re targeting and ‘where’ you can be present wherever they are.
Finally, pivot when you need to. Staying nimble and being resilient will also allow you to not waste your efforts that aren’t yielding results. And if you haven’t yet, you can check out the following blog posts, applying the tips I provide to your own company:
- The 10 Most Effective B2B Marketing Strategies That Work
- How Aligning Sales and Marketing Can Generate 209% More Revenue
- How to Generate Sales with B2B Content Marketing
- How to Build a Killer Lead Scoring Model for Marketing and Sales
- What is Sales Enablement and How to Do It
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links. I only recommend products and services that I use and stand behind, and if you decide to try them, I will earn a commission at no cost to you. Doing so helps me run this blog and provide free content for you, my readers.