There is no better time to own a B2B SaaS startup – B2B SaaS companies are experiencing fantastic customer success. After the pandemic, an outsized number of startups have changed their companies’ work model, and have switched to work from home. Technology, of course, is a key a requirement for this switch. B2B SaaS startups are deeply invested in customer success by helping their clients achieve their business goals. In turn, customers are more likely to stay loyal to the SaaS business when they succeed.
There are 3 key points at the core of every SaaS business strategy – customer retention, customer engagement, and customer satisfaction. You should harness these three areas to develop a strong customer base. Today, the customer success department collects and analyses customer feedback and also works to boost advocacy. An early stage SaaS business needs their clients to spread the word to their friends and colleagues, fostering mutual growth.
Why Your Existing Customers and Network are Important to Your B2B SaaS Startup
In the initial phase of any SaaS business or startup, there are usually very few or no customers. It’s difficult to gain the trust of customers without any data and feedback to convert them to potential users. Acquiring early customers with similar characteristics is often more challenging compared to when there’s traction. It can also be difficult to identify the ideal customer and which customers will convert to a long-term contract and profitable relationship.
SaaS startups usually conduct a trial in beta with known contacts if it’s a B2C solution, as B2B early pilots are usually landed from the founder’s existing network. A Minimum Viable Product (aka MVP) is the entry point to begin trials and implement the learn-improve-release process. Customer feedback can significantly improve the SaaS product at this stage.
How Can a B2B SaaS Startup Generate New Customers?
A startup is a blank canvas where growth and customer acquisition write the startup’s success story. Below we look at some ways to generate leads and acquire the first ideal customers for a B2B SaaS startup.
Create a Social Media Presence
Potential customers often use social media as a means to judge an SaaS startup or company’s credibility. A social media presence is a must and should be created on all the major platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, Twitter, Quora, etc., to acquire a following and online presence.
Social media can serve other purposes as well. You can use social media platforms to do market research for customers. Additionally you can use them to conduct market research for other SaaS products and companies. Thorough research can be undertaken on the type of original posts they make and the kind of content they share that engages their target community. The key lies in a clear narrative which clearly positions the product to meet customer’s challenges.
Create a Customer Database
You can create a customer database by using tools like SurveyMonkey. These allow you to gather important data, such as a company’s name and email address, from a simple survey. The survey can include questions that aim to discover information such as what challenges potential clients face and how your SaaS product may be the solution. If you find the sweet spot, customers are more likely to be open and won’t hesitate in sharing their answers.
The best way to scale up and gain your target audience’s trust and credibility is by working with other marketers. Many tech magazines, blogs, and podcast promote tech-related products and services. You can reach vast audiences via these platforms by incorporating affiliate marketing. For instant access to a new audience base, affiliate marketers are usually paid a percentage of the conversion amount.
Another effective inbound marketing strategy for startups and scaleups is content marketing. Make sure your blogs are relevant to your niche and reach out for guest posts from other websites. Traction generated by those websites can generate exposure and leads.
Generating Organic As Well As Paid Traffic
One of most important steps to follow after content marketing is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). If you’re looking for organic growth, select and properly use the relevant keywords within your niche to increase organic traffic. Another way to scale growth is by generating traffic through paid promotions, for example paid ads on Google or Facebook. An effective landing page should have a CTA (Call to Action) which aims to convert visitors immediately. This is one of the most common and effective ways to attract more visitors to your website.
How to Get Your First 100 Customers as a B2B SaaS Startup – Conclusion
From the outside some startups appear to be riding a wave of success, with thousands of paying clients, a sizeable budget, and the most brilliant individuals lining up to join their team. Despite this, 30% of SaaS firms said their customer churn rates had risen in the previous year. However, with each milestone you cross, you’ll gain more knowledge, experience, and insight to get you to the next step in your startup growth.
Amit has 18 years of experience in the industry and an MBA. He supports entrepreneurs with every aspect of their business including concept and product development, investor presentations, and fundraising. Amit & 7startup assist startups in the pre due-diligence process and help connect them to our vast network of investors. To learn about PaaS and how it differs from from SaaS read our SaaS vs PaaS post. Reach out to us today and see if we’re a fit!