How to capture high-quality leads for your SaaS
Landing pages play an important role at the higher end of a SaaS company’s sales funnel for their marketing strategy. These can enable you to communicate messaging about the value proposition of your new product.
How can a SaaS company effectively structure their landing pages to close the gap between what the product offers and what it actually delivers? To answer this question, I spoke to Aaron Krall, one of the most experienced SaaS industry professionals I know.
Aaron Krall helps SaaS companies with customer acquisition, capturing more leads, converting more trials and increasing product retention. His proven, done-for-you systems, roadmaps and frameworks have added hundreds of thousands in revenue to the ARR of his clients.
I wanted to understand more about Aaron Krall’s approach to helping SaaS companies capture high quality leads with a go-to-market strategy.
Are you ready to learn some practical tips on how to secure potential customers for your SaaS using a go-to-market strategy? Keep reading.
Identifying messaging that resonates with your target customer
When you’re trying to develop a strong top-of-funnel approach for your product launch, the firstly need to understand your target audience. Who is your new product aimed at? What does the ideal customer look like? Does your SaaS operate within a specific niche? Answering these questions will enable you to craft an effective marketing strategy that resonates with your target market.
As Aaron told us, “If you’re under $100K MRR, the quickest way to grow is to identify a specific niche. If you’re over $100K, the strategy changes a little bit. We need to identify who the customers are that you’ve delivered a very specific result for. Once we’re able to identify who those customers are – and replicate that process – then we can create a message that is super, hyper-focused on a specific result.”
Aaron likes to use the analogy of a flywheel to describe the initial stages of SaaS growth. “When you’re trying to get a flywheel moving, it initially requires a lot of effort. Once it starts to roll, it requires less effort”, he said. As you start to acquire customers in a focused niche, the power of referrals and word-of-mouth can cause exponential growth.
Securing your first 100 customers can be a challenging mountain to climb, but as Aaron said, the most effective way to grow a SaaS company is by ensuring that your product focuses on delivering a specific result for a chosen niche.
After picking a niche, you need to put some consideration into the messaging of your value proposition. In other words, how will your marketing strategy ensure that you can reach your target market?
Aaron has witnessed many SaaS companies trying to do this in reverse order. Essentially, these companies would be running Facebook Ads and other scalable marketing efforts without having a solid grasp on their messaging.
When it comes to identifying messaging that resonates with your target customer, Aaran believes you should start talking to customers with one-on-one sales. As he told us, “Most of the time, SaaS companies will try to start marketing their product where their competitors are marketing their product. Their competitors have already done all of this research and now they’re scaling it.”
Speaking about SaaS companies in the initial stages of growth: “They try to just jump in and replicate what is working for [their competitors] when they’re at a different stage. You have to go through this process in order to identify what your messaging is”, he said.
After you’ve looked at your audience and identified a hyper-focused result, you can test the messaging in your one-on-one conversions.
For instance, if you’re providing lead generation software for personal injury lawyers, in one-on-one conversations, you could tell potential customers about how many road traffic accident leads your existing customers have gained as a result of using your software.
Based on how your potential customers respond to this hyper-focused result, you can tweak the messaging in future one-on-one conversations to further resonate with their specific pain points.
Essentially, this is a game of trial and error. To craft an effective go-to-market strategy action plan, you need to understand how your product can be best communicated to your target market.
Scaling messaging that resonates with your target customer
Once you’ve identified messaging that resonates with a target customer, you need to start scaling it in your sales strategy and marketing plan.
As Aaron explained, “Now you can scale what works. All the [copywriting] and positioning will come out when you’re interviewing the customers. They will use specific words, they will use specific phrases. You’re looking at how they communicate about their problem. You will use all of this in your copy.”
When you embark on scaling your messaging, you have to position your product in a way that matches your potential customer’s commitment level. Aaron likes to use a broken-down model of a funnel to describe the different levels of customer awareness.
Ultimately, the funnel is about getting a potential customer to sign up for a conversion. The type of conversion that they sign up to will depend on where they are in the funnel and what kind of buyer persona they have.
The 5 Stages Of Customer Awareness
The first stage is ‘Most Aware’. “ You can think of these as your Apple fans. All you need to do is tell them the price and they will buy it” said Aaron. These are potential customers who already have a strong connection with your brand, resulting in a short sales process. For most new SaaS companies, these people simply won’t exist.
Aaron believes that you should always have a ‘Most Aware’ offer. “You should usually have three different commitment levels of offers with each one targeted towards an awareness level”, he said.
The second stage is ‘Product Aware’. As Aaron told us, these are people that “know who you are and they know the benefits, but they’re not sure if it’s a good fit for them.” So, how can you convince decision-makers that your product is a good fit for them?
Aaron recommends that you use content marketing to educate your target audience on why your product is a good fit for them. “When you’re selling your product, you don’t want to waste a bunch of time educating them. ‘Product Aware’ is an opportunity for you to do a free trial”, Aaron explained.
The third stage is ‘Solution Aware’. This is when a potential customer doesn’t know of a particular solution to their problem, but they have a defined outcome in mind. “You need to convince them that you understand what they need in order to sell your product”, said Aaron.
This is an opportunity for you to do what Aaron describes as a ‘right fit’ exploration call. “They don’t want your product, they just want the best solution for them”, he said.
Aaron also suggested creating a pre-recorded demo of your software for potential customers who are ‘Solution Aware’. “Before or after they’ve watched the demo, offer them something of value in exchange for their email to help make the decision process easier. It could be download our checklist or download the five questions you should be asking before you buy our tool”. This is what Aaron calls a ‘content upgrade’.
The fourth stage is ‘Problem Aware’. According to Aaron, this is when the potential customer “knows that something is not working but they don’t know how to fix it”. These people don’t even know what the real problem is, they just know that something is wrong.
As Aaron explained, “These people aren’t even ready yet. They’re not ready for a demo. They’re not ready for a trial. They’re not even there. You need to show customers that you understand their problem. You want to offer them something like five mistakes people make when trying to accomplish a specific result. This will help people understand their problem better and show people that you understand the problem they have.
He continued, “It really has nothing to do with your tool at this point. All you’re trying to do is get them to see their problem in a different way and help them to get to their desired outcome. Tell them what’s not working with some kind of free guide or checklist.”
The fourth and final stage is ‘Completely Unaware’. These are people who have no idea there is a problem. Essentially, they are entirely oblivious to it. Converting these people into potential customers in your GTM strategy can be challenging because you have to explain the concept of the problem to them.
Adjusting a SaaS product for a niche market
Is it necessary to adjust a product for it to fit within a niche market? How can we separate a niche only for positioning purposes without harming the product in a way that is irreversible in the future? These were some of the questions that I was interested in hearing Aaron’s thoughts on.
Whilst operating within a niche can drive initial growth, I wanted to know how SaaS companies can adapt in the long-term to appeal to a new market.
As Aaron explained, “If you’re just getting started, most of the time, you’re not going to be turning away customers because they’re not [in a specific niche]. If you’ve gone the direction of building a product first and then finding a niche, your goal is just to get as many people to sign up as possible.”
Aaron believes that you should treat it on a case-by-case basis: “One thing that I suggest is doing satellite landing pages. Changing your product for different audiences. Send traffic to that specific niche page. Try to have conversations with people that are landing on the site. You will be able to identify certain objections, as well as the people who are really excited about the product, people who just don’t care.”
In identifying messaging that resonates with your target customer and understanding the five stages of customer awareness, you will be able to capture high quality leads for your SaaS. Ultimately, to market a SaaS product, you need to have a solid grasp of who you’re selling to.
Without targeted messaging, your product will be unlikely to form a connection with your desired audience. It’s all about talking to prospective customers and testing various styles of messaging on them to see what resonates with the problems they are trying to solve.