Published on Mar 16, 2021
Lead generation is hands down the biggest priority for most SaaS sales teams. You need to have an effective means of continually injecting leads into your sales funnel so your salespeople can nurture them and ultimately convince them to buy.
But what’s equally important to generating leads is generating qualified leads. After all, what’s the point of driving leads into your sales funnel if they’re not qualified?
On that note, here’s a surprisingly simple way top performing SaaS companies boost their qualified leads by as much as 451%.
Two words — marketing automation.
Studies have found SaaS companies that use marketing automation with prospects see a 451% increase in their number of qualified leads. That’s major!
If you’re not 100% sure what marketing automation is, it’s the use of technology to automate and streamline several aspects of the marketing process. SaaS companies can use it to:
Within the context of this post, the main way SaaS companies use marketing automation to boost qualified leads is by optimizing lead nurturing and scoring.
“This drastic increase happens because marketing automation nurtures a prospect through the sales cycle,” explains Kevin Krason, CEO and founder of Biznet Digital, a full-service digital marketing agency. “Instead, leads that have been digitally identified, tracked, and scored on their interest and interaction level based on quantifiable data will proceed to sales.”
At the same time, marketing automation puts your company in a position to expand its reach and provide a highly personalized, targeted lead experience at scale.
As Salesforce puts it, “Good automation tools help you identify your audience, design the right content, and automatically trigger actions based on schedules and customer behavior. Once your campaign rolls out, you can focus on other tasks, then analyze and tweak your marketing plan as results start coming in.”
Most people agree the more personalized marketing is better, as this boosts lead engagement, addresses their unique pain points, and helps greatly with rapport building. So by the time your marketing team hands a lead off to sales, the lead has been adequately nurtured and are “primed to buy.” And because both your marketing and sales team spend less time on manual tasks, they can cover more ground and interact with a higher volume of leads.
When it’s all said and done, nurtured leads produce 20% more sales opportunities than those that are non-nurtured.
To fully understand the process behind marketing automation and how it helps dramatically crank up the number of qualified leads, let’s look at an example. Here’s what a lead’s info might look like on a marketing automation platform.
Notice it includes:
Also, notice the engagement history where it mentions the form the lead successfully completed and viewed, along with the whitepaper they downloaded and the corresponding email that was sent.
At a glance, this gives a SaaS company a bird’s eye view of the lead’s details, including the specific content they initially viewed when entering the sales funnel. By having this level of overview and knowing the engagement history, the company is able to create meaningful interactions, while automating much of the process. After downloading the whitepaper, for example, the company automatically sent out an email to promptly follow up.
And it by no means stops there. By having a 360-degree view like this, the SaaS company can tap into any other marketing channels they like, including social media, SMS notifications, and targeted digital ads. Or, whenever the lead returns to the company’s website, they can suggest specific products the lead is most interested in. All while automating the process, allowing the marketing team to accomplish a lot more with minimal expenditure.
In turn, the lead is engaged with on multiple channels, has all of the information they need to make an informed decision, and has interacted through multiple touchpoints. So you can see how marketing automation can help SaaS companies increase their number of qualified leads by 451%.
Then, once it’s time for sales to take over, where a rep speaks with a lead over the phone or gives a product demo, the lead has already been thoroughly warmed up and is likely ready to buy. Rather than dealing with an ice cold lead who may have little familiarity with the product and a ton of skepticism about the brand, the heavy lifting has already been done.
Now the salesperson basically just needs to address any questions and concerns to officially convert the lead into a paying customer. Not only can this help increase the conversion rate, but research has also found “nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.”
Thriving in the SaaS industry requires more than just generating leads. You need to generate qualified leads — preferably at a high volume.
Hands down, one of the best ways to do this is with marketing automation. It can be a true game changer for effectively nurturing leads from the moment they first learn about your SaaS company to their final interaction with a salesperson before buying. And by eliminating many of the time-consuming, manual tasks, it allows your team to engage with far more leads than they could otherwise.
For further reading on marketing automation and how to successfully implement it, I suggest checking out this overview from Salesforce and this guide from the Digital Marketing Institute. Both are extremely helpful and will quickly get you up-to-speed.
And to learn how to streamline your SaaS sales recruiting, check out HireDNA. Use it to attract and retain better caliber candidates to take your sales to the next level.
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