The Ultimate Guide to B2B SaaS Lead Generation
This lead generation guide delves into our process and insights gained from generating over 309k leads for B2B SaaS products. B2B SaaS lead generation presents unique challenges due to diverse acquisition models and a multitude of industry verticals. Obtaining reliable information from individuals who have successfully implemented the tactics they advocate can be a laborious task.
At Llama Lead Gen, we have extensive experience collaborating with B2B SaaS companies to develop impactful marketing campaigns for lead generation. This guide aims to distill key points from our B2B SaaS marketing case studies, emphasizing the fundamental marketing principles that underpin successful lead generation campaigns. Whether you are a B2B SaaS marketer, marketing executive, or co-founder of a B2B SaaS product, we believe this guide will provide valuable insights. We have included an in-depth marketing analysis alongside general strategy points to cater to a wide range of audiences.
What is Lead Generation for B2B SaaS?
Lead generation for B2B SaaS focuses on filling your sales pipeline with booked demo calls or scheduled appointments for your B2B software as a service product. The ultimate goal of a B2B SaaS lead generation campaign is to get you to an initial discovery call with key stakeholders in organizations within your target market.
At a very high level, to collect B2B SaaS leads, we set up and manage digital marketing campaigns that show promoted content to people with similar characteristics to your desired customers. Then, we direct those engaged with your ads to a landing page where they can schedule a demo or book an appointment.
Although this sounds perhaps too simple, B2B lead generation is the culmination of a longer marketing process and doesn’t happen from one day to the next. This is because it takes several touchpoints between putting your marketing message in front of a potential customer's eyes and developing the customer's desire to take direct action to contact you. Below, we will explore the exact mechanism and marketing process we use to make this a reality.
Hired Adam's team for end-to-end B2B SaaS lead gen campaigns, covering asset strategy to reporting. Their comprehensive services have delivered client success, leading to contract expansions and driving 10x revenue growth from multiple clients.
Co-founder and COO @ Relevize
What is different about SaaS lead generation?
Typically, B2B SaaS companies can have a variety of user acquisition strategies and pricing models for their products. These can include different tiers of paid subscriptions, free trials, freemium, and risk-free paid trials. Some businesses charge their customers per seat, whereas others charge a flat fee per business client. These factors must be considered when drafting a profitable B2B SaaS lead generation strategy.
Moreover, lead generation for B2B SaaS is generally a multi-month-long process. Especially when starting from scratch, it usually requires a couple of quarters or more until it entirely unfolds. This will ultimately depend on the target market, data from past campaigns, and if you have a cohesive ABM (account-based marketing) list that we can work with.
Our B2B SaaS lead generation funnel explained
TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU strategies
Lead capture approaches
Lead generation strategy for SaaS companies
The Llama Lead Gen team managed our B2B digital marketing campaigns, assessed existing assets, and optimized their use. Post-launch, we've seen steady lead growth and received innovative strategies for future campaigns. Adam effectively served as our interim digital marketing head, breaking broad scopes into manageable, adjustable tasks.
CEO @ Connixt
Best B2B SaaS lead generation strategies
Almost every successful B2B SaaS lead gen campaign we’ve ever run is based on a holistic marketing funnel. Although lead capture only happens in the last part of the campaign (bottom of the funnel or BOFU), top of the funnel (TOFU) and middle of the funnel (MOFU) tactics are equally important, as they set the stage for the later lead generation stage.
The different stages of a typical B2B SaaS lead generation funnel take place over six months if the entire marketing campaign is built from scratch. Unless you’ve run large-scale lead generation marketing campaigns or have a significantly developed ABM (account-based marketing) list, we recommend using the marketing funnel described below as your go-to process.
Top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) strategies
Building a complete funnel is crucial for successful customer acquisition and retention, and the first part involves a lot of strategy, planning, and media building.
Our goal for the top-of-the-funnel campaign, which typically takes place between months one and two, is to start with an awareness campaign and begin to A/B test our message and creatives.
Another important aspect of this stage of the funnel is to implement analytics and tracking for the creation of a remarketing audience. This ensures that in the later stages of the funnel, we can advertise to people who engaged with our awareness type of content.
Middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU) strategies
Months three and four are typically dedicated to initializing a middle-of-the-funnel campaign, for example, promoting an e-book, webinar registration, or case study download (gated content). This happens in tandem with the awareness campaign (top-of-the-funnel campaign), which continues in parallel until we’ve built an audience of the desired size.
Bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) strategies
Bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) campaigns start around month five or six, depending on how fast we’ve built our retargeting pool. This varies by industry and scope of the previous two marketing funnel stages. Ideally, by this time, we’ve tracked various strategic actions (ad engagement, video view, webinar registration, lead magnet download, etc.) to allow for precise targeting of potential buyers in this funnel stage.
The bottom of the funnel is the last stage of a customer's journey before the customer acquisition. Therefore, BOFU ads utilize retargeting to schedule a demo and/or call (lead capture).
Lead capture is the crucial part of a marketing campaign, which overlaps with your sales process. It’s the last step of marketing and the first step in the sales funnel, which ultimately determines if you can generate a sale.
Generally, there are two different approaches for lead capture that you can utilize in a BOFU B2B SaaS lead gen campaign:
In-platform lead forms such as LinkedIn Lead forms or Facebook Instant Lead Forms
External forms built into a marketing landing page.
Generating B2B Saas leads using marketing landing pages
Landing pages are a great way to generate leads for your company. They typically display key information about the B2B SaaS product and are designed to persuade the visitor to take a specific action. Another benefit of landing pages for lead generation is that they invoke credibility, as landing pages typically live under your domain as part of your website. Moreover, you can measure any interactions on that page and optimize them further for conversions. One main disadvantage is that creating a good landing page takes time and effort. Also, sometimes, taking a potential customer off the platform they’re in, for example, LinkedIn, can create friction and reduce your ad conversion rates.
Generating B2B Saas leads using in-platform lead-capture forms
In-platform lead-capture forms are prevalent in B2B SaaS lead generation. These forms are essentially an interactive ad format that offers a streamlined way to capture leads. In-platform lead-capture forms are faster and easier to fill (for example, you can typically autofill the name and email fields using information from your profile). Because all interactions happen within the native platform, e.g., LinkedIn, with the help of a lead-capture form, you can have a more streamlined customer journey and experience better conversion rates in some instances. On the other hand, a landing page can provide more information, build trust, and persuade a prospect to take a specific action.
Why every successful SaaS company has a lead generation strategy in place
A B2B lead generation marketing strategy is essential for every successful SaaS company. A holistic marketing funnel, as described above, will help you bridge the gap between marketing and sales, grow your customer acquisition and even increase the lifetime value of each customer.
The most important thing about a lead generation strategy is it needs to be well thought-out, personalized and constantly evolving. A good strategy should help you achieve your business KPIs rather than generating leads blindly.
But be prepared that building a thriving full-funnel lead generation marketing strategy for B2B SaaS companies typically takes time, as it is necessary to go through rounds of tweaks and optimizations.
3 Examples of successful SaaS lead generation strategies to inspire you
The most important takeaway from this article is that B2B SaaS lead generation is a holistic process. Marketing strategies and channels such as content marketing, paid social, SEO, and Google Ads should not be seen as isolated tactics but as an integral part of the overall business growth strategy.