Software as a Service (SaaS) was one of the biggest and fastest-growing market sectors last year, according to HubSpot. And B2B SaaS is particularly big.
Businesses now rely on numerous cloud-based solutions offered by SaaS companies for dozens of different functions, from HR and marketing to accounting and customer service, to name just a few.
But with thousands of businesses all competing to win new customers, how does a SaaS supplier find new audiences and entice decision-makers to consider their product?
That's what B2B SaaS lead generation is all about, and the key lies in offering something tangibly valuable for your potential leads.
Read on for our favorite lead generation ideas for SaaS.
What Is SaaS Lead Generation?
SaaS B2B lead generation is about finding a new audience for your product. Only by finding new customers can a company grow: lead generation is about finding potential new customers and nurturing them through your marketing funnel to the point where you can sell your products or services to them.
SaaS products are usually subscription-based, so the process doesn't stop when the customer buys the product. You know that great customer service is paramount for SaaS businesses, and that same mindset should feed into your lead generation strategies.
Indeed, from the very top of the marketing funnel, lead generation for B2B SaaS companies should be the start of the customer service journey, showing your leads what they can expect from your business once they've signed up.
There are lots of powerful lead generation strategies out there. The best B2B SaaS lead generation ideas emphasize the 'service' part of the acronym and showcase the brand's personality.
How to Generate Leads for SaaS
We think the best practices for SaaS lead generation involve dangling a juicy metaphorical carrot, such as a valuable piece of content.
Whether it's a part of your software or an educational piece of content, giving decision-makers something for free builds awareness of your brand, gives prospects an idea of what they can expect from your product, and allows you to capture their contact details – so it's a win-win.
Here are our top three B2B SaaS lead generation strategies for 2024.
Strategy 1: Use Your Product
SaaS companies have a significant advantage in lead generation: you can make parts of your product available for free for lead generation purposes.
Many B2B SaaS businesses, such as Slack, Mailchimp, and SurveyMonkey, offer a 'freemium' product as the base, allowing them to capture thousands of users to whom they can upsell. They often have varied pricing structures based on either software features or the client's business size.
It's a great model when it works, but be careful of offering too many valuable features in your 'freemium' version: you might never convert those users into paying customers.
One of the most popular B2B SaaS lead generation ideas is to offer a free trial. Allowing customers to use your product for free for a period – typically seven to 60 days – has a huge conversion rate. According to UserPilot, the average conversion rate for opt-in free trials is 25%.
Finally, you can utilize your product for SaaS lead generation by offering a free tool. Depending on your software, you can isolate a part of it and make it available for free on your website; either adjacent to a free trial, or gated to ensure you get people's contact details for lead generation.
Strategy 2: Work Your Online Presence
The next lead generation B2B SaaS strategy goes back to basics. It's about ensuring you have a solid online presence: your website is up-to-date, useful to potential customers, and fully search-engine-optimized, with strong calls to action.
This is especially critical in B2B lead generation for SaaS companies as, according to TrustRadius' 2023 Buyer Disconnect report, we are officially in the "age of the self-service buyer." That means decision-makers want to explore your offering at their own pace, they want to educate themselves on your brand and find out the key information they need, without being hassled by a Sales team - until they're ready to buy, of course.
So, with your SaaS solutions hosted online, your website is likely to be one of the first places people will look for more information about your brand, so making sure it's fully optimized is one of the first steps to capturing more inbound leads.
But your online presence isn't just your website.
It's back to our theme of giving stuff away for free: this time, useful content, such as blogs, videos, or webinars. Many SaaS businesses have a side hustle of publishing educational industry content, in the process positioning themselves as thought leaders – and, crucially, generating leads. Content marketing used in this way is a great example of demand generation, whereby your aim is to increase the number of inbound conversions your website delivers.
With a solid social media presence, sharing your content will also boost your reach and grow your brand awareness.
You might not generate many leads from a single blog. But it can grow your social media following, which works as lead generation for SaaS companies over time - going back to our demand generation vs. lead generation example.
Strategy 3: Content Syndication for Lead Generation
Some content is simply too good to throw on social media for free, and that's partly why the third of our lead generation strategies for SaaS is so beautiful: content syndication for lead generation.
Content syndication is when a 3rd party lead generation specialist publishes your content on their own websites, such as content syndication platforms, to generate relevant leads. We're not talking about blogs now, but deeper and more educational content such as eBooks, whitepapers, research reports, and case studies.
These content libraries form useful and trusted sources for busy professionals looking for relevant business information. The content library should be specific to your industry – such as the IT industry, Cybersecurity, MarTech, FinTech, or HRTech industries.
The content you share is free but gated, which means at the point of downloading, the user is asked to give their business card information: name, company, job title, and email address. And once they've downloaded your content, they're eligible to become a lead.
Transparent and trustworthy B2B content syndication vendors will validate your leads to ensure they are relevant and high-quality, so it's important to do your research when choosing the right B2B content syndication services for your business.
Take a look at our lead generation process for an example of how we generate and validate B2B technology leads for our clients, as well as the Quality Lead Generation Checklist to help you uncover what to look out for when choosing a supplier.
A reputable content syndication agency, like Headley Meda, will also be able to deliver your technology leads on a cost-per-lead (CPL) basis, helping you budget more easily.
There are lots of other ways to enhance content syndication for lead generation campaigns, too, for example, by requiring each lead to have downloaded at least two pieces of your content to increase their awareness of your brand, or by adding qualifying questions to your gated form, to assess their intentions better.
The major challenge for SaaS companies is finding a reputable content syndication lead generation agency. Unfortunately, many shadier players in the lead gen industry can't tell you where your leads have come from, often because they've used a 3rd party content library and don't own one themselves.
For the best lead generation for SaaS, look for an agency that publishes on its own content hubs, authenticates each lead – checking the contact information against external sources like LinkedIn and regional business registers – and tracks every step of the reader's journey digitally.
A good SaaS lead generation company will also work closely with you from beginning to end, helping to identify your target audiences and advising you on the best approach, allowing you to enhance and fine-tune your lead generation for SaaS campaign.
At Headley Media, we are a trusted and transparent B2B SaaS lead generation agency specializing in technology brands.
Read our Complete Guide to B2B Technology Lead Generation 2023 to find out more (it's ungated!), or explore our testimonials to hear from some of our technology clients.