SaaS companies often focus on arbitrary areas of marketing and tend to overlook some of the best tactics that can help them grow. In this episode, Marc Thomas, the Head of Growth at Powered By Search, shares his expertise and experiences in marketing and sales growth with SaaS-Story in the Making Host, Matt Wolach. Thomas shared the most common marketing mistakes SaaS companies make and how you can solve them.
Podcast: SaaS-Story in the Making
Episode: Episode No. 194, “SaaS Marketing Mistakes that Destroy Your Growth”
Host: Matt Wolach, a B2B SaaS sales coach, Entrepreneur, and Investor
Guest: Marc Thomas, Head of Growth at Powered By Search
TOP TIPS FROM THIS EPISODE
Here are the biggest mistakes that SaaS companies make with their marketing efforts.
1. Writing Sales Copy That Only Contains Product Features
Pieces of content are important marketing pieces that aim to persuade prospects. However, most businesses fail to maximize a copy’s potential. And mostly ending up with “a big bill and no clients.”
Thomas explained that businesses are often focused on a specific area. They tend to hire agencies that write exceptional copies for them but struggle to get the conversion. And this is because the copy lacked an essential ingredient.
Thomas said that an excellent copy should address their pain points and how your product can help. Companies should understand the potential of their content and how they can improve them. A way to do it is to understand your prospects. Learn what they want, what they hate, their problems, goals, etc., and incorporate their interests in the copy.
Your copy should aim to make your prospects realize that your product is right for them– the solution they have been looking for.
2. Positioning for a General Audience
Thomas said that over 90% of SaaS businesses are positioned for a general audience. They struggle to get clients because target markets have varied needs, goals, pain points, and even budgets.
He used the dentist analogy where companies struggle to identify their target. He said, “Are we serving people with one dentist or with 50 dentists in their surgery? Because those needs are very different– the budgets are very different. And therefore, the economics are very different.”
Identifying where you should stand allows you to understand your prospects better. Therefore, positioning your business in a way that differs from your competitors. In Thomas’ words, “In our market’s mind, what are the pain points? And how do we solve the pain differently than all of the other possible things out there that our clients might consider?”
The proper positioning allows you to have a solid foundation for your next growth steps.
3. Not Understanding How to Execute a Full Funnel
The stages of a marketing funnel are equally important. However, most companies tend to focus only on certain levels along the way. While some are beneficial, there can be missed opportunities in between.
Thomas said that funnels are valuable concepts. In his experience, some companies focus on looking for prospects looking for solutions to their pain points. But at the same time, they have passed the awareness stage. On the other hand, some focus on the middle of the funnel, which is acquisition. Both can have varying effects on companies, but there are still many things to consider in the entirety of the model.
Focusing on specific areas may cause missed opportunities in others, like focusing on acquisition. Other aspects happen to be overlooked, leading companies to look for more clients rather than trying to find the right ones they can retain. It’s all about knowing what stage you are working on while also looking and preparing for growth it can bring in the future.
Predictable Growth Methodology
Thomas shared one of the most valuable things they do at Powered By Search: the Predictable Growth Methodology. It’s a straightforward process that intends businesses to grow in their demo and trial acquisition. It is a structured way of looking at B2B SaaS companies when they hit $5 million in annual revenue.
The method goes from knowing and analyzing specific metrics such as LTW, cost of acquisition, payback period, etc. Then, it proceeds to identify the drivers of your business’ growth, followed by getting all the data in the right place.
The Predictable Growth Methodology aims to analyze your metrics and how you can leverage them critically. And it helps you identify where growth would be coming from and how it can lead you to your goals.
MQL is not Dead
A Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) is still one of the best growth tactics. There is a common notion that it’s dead. Still, Thomas said, “most SaaS companies are not seeing the benefits of the MQL because they’re thinking about it as like a metric versus a stage of awareness or a stage in the lifecycle of a customer.”
MQL doesn’t instantly mean you can pass them off to sales; instead, they let you know they are interested. And you should take this opportunity to inform them.
In Thomas’ experience, they have optimized the space in the form. It’s not about sending the guide instantly and trying to direct your prospects in the following steps. But they did it by sending a “thank you” email that comes with a demo and a booking form on the side. And this got their MQL to SQL conversion rate to grow by 15%.
Once prospects take an interest, say, in a guide, create a strategy that can get them to book. Optimize your lead magnet by showing the next steps of the process and how the product works in action.
[03:18] “Most people don’t need an SEO or PPC consultant. They need someone to help them work out the economics of their growth model.”
[07:01] “Predictable growth methodology allows us to, say, ‘let’s structure this conversation rather than just going hey, let’s, let’s start anew every time.‘ But SaaS businesses grow because they acquire customers profitably and retain them for a long time.’
[14:32] “Lead magnets for generating effective MQLs, which will later convert into an SQL or a deal. All of this relies on a solid position, messaging, and then tactical work above that.”
[23:09] “It’s an old-fashioned, unsexy thing to do to create a lead magnet and then say, ‘Hey, thanks for downloading our lead magnet, here’s another thing.’ But look, you know what’s sexy? Revenue.”
[07:42] “It’s critical to know exactly what those [SaaS metrics] are. And you know how you can leverage them and use them to get them bench to the right benchmarks and get them accelerated.”
[19:23] “You’ve got to have the perfect fit, right-fit customers to be able to work.”
[23:56] “A lead magnet is a guide or document or something of value you’re sharing in exchange for usually an email… But it’s something that a lot of SaaS companies kind of miss out on and don’t take advantage of. They either don’t use that as a strategy, or they don’t know how to convert people from it.”
To learn more about Marc Thomas and Powered By Search, visit: https://www.poweredbysearch.com/.
You can also find Marc Thomas on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marc-thomas-4a91ba1b/?originalSubdomain=uk.
For more about how host Matt Wolach helps software companies achieve maximum growth, visit https://mattwolach.com/.