SaaS platforms have done a marvellous job in revolutionizing the online business sector for its consumers. But sometimes these platforms are so feature-rich that it becomes hard for visitors to understand the product from the information shared on your WordPress website. That is why it is essential for SaaS companies to provide users with a full-fledged personalized demo. It is much better to add a ‘Book Demo’ option on their WordPress using plugins instead of just having a contact us form. It provides a specific date and time for the customers.
However, to give demos to the consumers, you first need to get them to book one. This task becomes so much easier if you can master the SaaS marketing funnel. The benefits of a consistent marketing funnel are second to none, and it is the same case with SaaS. With an optimized funnel, you can rest assured that most of your leads will be converted into demo bookings and those bookings will turn into customers.
In this post, you’ll understand what a sales funnel actually means for SaaS and why you need it to get demo bookings. You’ll learn how to design a funnel for your business and the KPIs to measure and optimize. By the end, you’ll be ready to bring in more qualified demo bookings. Let’s start with what a SaaS marketing funnel is.
What is a SaaS Marketing Funnel and How is it Different?
A decade ago, this article would have been irrelevant. The SaaS market was not even close to its saturation point at that time, and each product used to find its audience without much hassle. But with time, things have changed.
Customers now have a plethora of solutions for each of their problems. They are now more cautious, selective, and demanding. Businesses can no longer push potential customers to make a purchase. That is why it is essential to guide customers with care until they are convinced to pay for the product. The SaaS funnel helps businesses with this.
In a nutshell, the SaaS marketing funnel is nothing but a process that consists of multiple stages, starting with awareness and lasting as long as the initial purchase is made. It is fair to say that all the steps of customer experience — from learning about the brand to purchasing the product — are included in the SaaS funnel.
The work might be the same, but the SaaS marketing funnel is slightly different from a traditional funnel. Generally, in traditional funnels, the potential customer first comes to know about the brand, engages with it, explores how it can be helpful for them, and after that makes the purchase. The purchase is where the funnel ends in traditional marketing. However, in SaaS marketing, there is an all-important additional step – customer retention.
The SaaS industry is quite different from the retail industry. Here, you do not expect customers to make one-time purchases and leave. The goal of a SaaS company is to impress customers with continual updates, exceptional SaaS customer support, relationship management, etc.
In the long run, the customers you retain will be more beneficial for your business than acquiring new ones because you do not have to acquire costs for them. Come up with updates and loyalty programs to retain customers for an extended period. In the next section, let’s discuss the stages of the SaaS marketing funnel.
Stages Of the SaaS Marketing Funnel
There are tons of marketing books in which the acronym AIDA is mentioned. It stands for: Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action. These four stages represent the flow of user behavior based on human psychology. Companies need to have a strategic approach to move a customer seamlessly from one stage to another.
There are many variations of AIDA. However, the approach described by HubSpot seems to be the most suitable for SaaS marketing. They have defined Awareness, Engagement, Exploration, and Conversion as the four basic stages of the SaaS marketing funnel. Of course, that’s not the end of the funnel: see the image below, a focus on customer loyalty and word of mouth are just as important as acquiring new customers.
At this stage, customers are a little confused and looking for answers. Their problem is still not clear to them, so the solution they are looking for is not very specific. This is where they come to know about your brand, most likely, through organic searches. Putting all your efforts and strategies in spreading brand awareness is vital for getting new leads.
When people revisit your WordPress website for some informational piece of content, they have moved to the next stage of the SaaS marketing funnel. In most cases, the entry point to this stage is through some sign-up form or newsletter. When individuals are at this stage, they are genuinely interested in your content, and it is the right time to educate them about your product.
To engage with your visitors properly, you should create content that your potential customers are looking for. For this, you can use various keyword research tools available on the market. One such popular keyword search tool by SE Ranking has a very accurate keyword research functionality that includes all essential metrics like keyword difficulty, search volume, CPC, keyword ideas to extend your reach and meet customer search intent, etc.
After engaging with potential customers and building trust, at this stage, you have to pay attention to warming them up for making the purchase. Do not just stick to informational content. Nurture them with testimonials, comparisons, case studies, success stories, and all the things that will convince them to pay for the product. You can even offer a free trial to show the functionality of the product and its benefits to the user.
This section stands true to its name. It is essential to sell the product and complete the conversion, but customer retention is even more important. With SaaS, the subscription has to be renewed after a certain period of time. If you fail to retain your client, there must be some shortcomings in your product or way of handling it. The quicker you fix this, the more revenue you will generate.
Steps for Building a SaaS Funnel to Get Demo Bookings
We have had enough theory. Let’s jump to the practical part. Let’s talk about creating a SaaS marketing funnel to get more demo bookings and convert them into customers.
Know Your Audience
Even though this step has been exaggerated and explained so many times, businesses just seem to ignore it. But the reason behind this is understandable to an extent because after a business creates a product they are proud of, they assume everyone will appreciate it. And it is not their fault, it is just how human psychology works.
However, when businesses start to think that their product will work for everybody, nobody wants to use it more often than not. Your aim should be to focus on the needs of your potential customers, the customers who care about your product. Here’s how you can start knowing them:
Create a customer avatar
Your first step towards knowing your customers should be creating a customer avatar. The avatar is an individual who represents your ideal or typical customers. When you create an avatar, you get to look at things from a customer’s point of view, which can make it easier to sell to them. When you understand your customers, you can get more demo booking by creating material that connects with them.
When you create an avatar, you delve into the psychographics and demographics of your potential customers. For creating the avatar, ask yourself questions like– How old are they? What’s their gender? Where do they live? When you have all the basics at your disposal, dig a little deeper. You can try to know their hobbies, likes/dislikes, their desires, etc. When you summarize all the information you’ve gathered, you’ll be clear about two things. First, their problems and how your business can solve them. And secondly, how can you get their attention?
Learn how they talk
Now, you would have a decent idea of what your customers look like. The next step is to learn how they talk. Selling to them becomes easier when you can make them understand how your product can solve their problem in their language. They would naturally think that your business gets them.
You can visit forums where most of your customer avatar is present, see Amazon reviews, their Twitter accounts, etc. From there, you pick the words and slang they use. You can use their language in your marketing copies and website content to attract them towards you.
How your visitors behave
Learning how your customer’s talk is certainly great. But, most of the time, people say one day only to do another. The best way to predict if they are the right match is by understanding their behaviour. You can use Google Analytics to find out where your customers are coming from. Moreover, it also tells you what percentage of visitors are booking the demo from your WordPress website. You can also get to know the phrases or terms your customers are using to reach you. All this information, when combined, helps you know your customers better.
You can feed how your customers talk and behave into the avatar you’ve created.
Capture their Attention
Your goal should be to grab as much exposure as you can. For this, you can create useful and SEO-friendly content and post it on your WordPress blog. It is not easy to gain exposure, but it is one part of the business that you cannot ignore.
Here are some tips to capture the attention of your visitor:
- Make a good first impression by implementing an appropriate design. The design should align well with your marketing strategy and target audience.
- Avoid any sort of cluttering on your website. The clearer your WordPress website is, the better your message will be delivered. Moreover, when there’s no clutter, visitors find it easy to focus on the things that actually matter.
- The content should be streamlined and align well with the visual content.
- You must add call-to-action buttons at places that users see at first sight. It is important because it guides them on what they have to do next.
Run Email Campaigns
Your leads will not be visiting your site regularly, but you still have to nurture them with high-quality content. For this, you can run email campaigns. Sending two emails every week should be enough if they are informative and reduce the gap between the leads and your business.
Here are a couple of tips to collect email addresses and start your emails on the right foot:
Use Exit-Intent Popups
Any successful email marketing campaign starts with a list of highly qualified leads that are actually interested in what you have to offer. One of the best ways to collect this list is by converting your website visitors into subscribers. But it is a well-known fact that most visitors might leave your WordPress website without actually subscribing to the newsletter. This is where exit-intent popups come into the picture.
Exit-intent popups read the user behaviour and appear at the precise moment when the user is about to leave the site. Brian Tracy, one of the top personal success, productivity, and sales training authorities in the world, increased their conversions by 150% by using exit-intent popups and a few other tweaks in your WordPress website.
Relevant Subject Lines
The first thing that a user notices when you hit the send button, is the subject line. And it has to be on point. It plays a vital role in getting people to open the mail and read it. You have to write it in a way that catches your attention, but not too much. If you do too much, it’ll look like spam.
Moreover, you do not have a lot of words to make an impression. One of the data by Campaign Monitor shows that most of the subject lines lie between the 41-50 character range. If we consider mobile devices, the characters further decrease, so it is best to put the important part at the start of the subject line.
Use The Right CRM
One of the tasks of the sales team is to keep track of all the leads generated by the marketing team. They have to keep checking which leads have or have not contacted the sales team. With the help of the right CRM, your team can determine this easily. It is a more efficient option because they will not waste their time re-contacting the same lead for the same reason.
While selecting the CRM software, you have to be very clear about your needs. You can use it for Lead management, Marketing automation, Sales pipeline, Customer data, Customer experience, Email tracking, Social media management, and Contact management. You should also consider the accessibility aspect. If you want to add flexibility, you should go with cloud-based CRM software.
Set KPIs To Track
To determine if the growth trajectory of your business is moving in the right direction, there is no better way than tracking the crucial metrics and KPIs. Apart from telling about the growth, these KPIs give you insights into what people feel about particular aspects of your product. To understand your customers, determining the relevant KPIs becomes significant. It is noteworthy that metrics and KPIs are different for different companies and products. Let’s discuss more some of the vital KPIs in the next section.
SaaS Funnel KPIs to Keep An Eye On
There are several moving parts in a SaaS conversion funnel, and most of it depends on the metrics and KPIs you track. You have to have reliable data to make educated decisions about your marketing efforts. Following are some of the KPIs that you should consider tracking.
When you list the most critical business metrics, the SaaS revenue growth rate will always be a part of it. This is mainly because it tells a lot about the sustainability and profitability of a company.
(Second Month Revenue – First Month Revenue) / First Month Revenue * 100 = % Revenue Growth Rate
The growth rate of a company can change significantly over time because it depends highly on the stage the business is currently at. If you keep giving demos to qualified leads, your revenue growth will stay intact. Check out this guide to know more about the average SaaS revenue growth rate.
Customer Lifetime Value
Customer lifetime value shows how much money/revenue you will be able to generate over a while. Or, in other words, how much money a customer will spend on your business. First, you need to have the average revenue per account (ARPA) to find out the lifetime value of the customer (LTV). You can then use the formula:
LTV = (ARPA x Gross Margin) / Churn Rate
Some metrics are not at all interesting to calculate but are still important for your business. Here’s one of them. Revenue churn tells you the revenue your business has lost over a specific period of time.
Customer churn is another crucial metric to track. It represents the rate at which your lovely customers change their minds to become non-customers. Calculating it is simple as it can be done by monitoring the number of customers who have cancelled their subscriptions.
Customer Churn rate = Number of churned users / Total number of users
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
Customer acquisition cost tells you about your average expenditure on converting leads into customers. It is one of the most important metrics to determine the profitability of the business. The formula for calculating CAC is:
CAC = Cost of Sales and Marketing /Number of New Customers Acquired
There are tons of other metrics. You only need to keep an eye on the metrics you think are relevant to your business.
Get Demo Bookings Quickly By Optimizing Your SaaS Funnel
While you are tracking the KPIs listed above or another, you can also optimize your funnel. An optimized funnel ensures that you get the most appropriate and relevant leads for demo bookings. These leads will come with problems that your product is capable of solving. To optimize your marketing funnel, you will have to find the ‘holes’ in it from where your leads are leaking.
Let’s say you are successful in generating many leads, but most of them leave without actually making a purchase. It means you could not convince them about your offer at all the stages of the SaaS funnel. If your lead parted ways from you after the demo or trial, you need to improve your onboarding process.
Furthermore, when a customer churns soon after the subscription, it means that you were not paying enough attention to the customer retention process. Some things that you can do to optimize your SaaS marketing funnel are:
Understand The Difference Between Leads & Qualified Leads
Before you begin any marketing or sales activity, it is crucial to understand this difference. So a lead can be anyone who has interacted with your company. It is not necessary that they have to be your customer. A qualified lead, however, is someone whom you have tested on various parameters to assess their quality, their behaviour, and their desire to purchase your product.
Your primary focus should be on qualified leads, which can be further categorized into Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) and Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs). The better qualified your leads are, the more chances there are for conversion.
Make your offers crystal clear and irresistible
Your goal is not to confuse people, but to convince them that your product is worth a shot. So, your offers should be crystal clear, there’s no doubt about that. Moreover, with irresistible offers, you increase the monetary value of your product. But how do you create irresistible offers? Here’s how:
- Understand your market, analyze your competitors, and then find out a way to stand out with your offers. Being clear with your offer and providing a unique value proposition (UVP) you get an edge over your competitors.
- Don’t sell the product, sell the result your product can produce. For example, consider you are a marketing coach who has expertise in lead generation. Now, instead of saying “I can help you with lead generation”, you should prefer saying, “I help businesses to attract 100+ qualified leads from Facebook without running any paid ads.”
- Speak the language of your customers. Touch their pain points and offer solutions.
Improve the user experience (UX) of your WordPress website
A decent user-friendly interface ensures that a visitor reaches their end goal on your WordPress website seamlessly. When it comes to UX, even the most minor elements of the website matter. Some of the UX elements that can help improve your demo booking conversion are:
- Design of the call-to-action button and its placement on your WordPress website.
- The loading speed of the page should be as fast as you can make it.
- The photos and videos are two of the most engaging elements in a website, so these should be of high quality. The visibility and optimization of the content also play a major role.
- Guest login features and easy checkouts can help your visitors in the long run.
On a Concluding Note
There’s some real competition out there in the SaaS market, so a business needs to adopt a very thoughtful and delicate approach. Product demos are a saviour for both SaaS companies and customers. The SaaS funnel helps get qualified leads, and you can follow the tips presented in this article to make a SaaS marketing funnel that gets you your first 1000 demo bookings.