“The end-game of lead generation is just round the corner”.
In this ever evolving era, lead generation has become one of the biggest concerns for CEO’s and start up founders. There’s a saying going around that gradually lead-generation is coming to a point of its end-game. Upon surveying some of the successful SaaS startup CEOs and founders, I drew the conclusion that almost 80% of them the biggest marketing concern is lead generation.
Advertisements cost a lot, but most of the time we have this feeling that nobody sees our ads, especially if we run Saas companies. Gone are the days where you run a cold Google Ad campaign or let’s say a linkedin lead generation and expect it to work wonders for pipelining your sales.
Let’s look at the life of Sam, a Saas start-up founder who has just entered the marketplace with a great software service that solves an on-going problem; and to market his service the first thing that Sam looks for is obviously a lead, eventually after spending a decent amount of time and capital in finding the right people that would possibly be potential customers for his Saas product, Sam fails. But what wrong steps did Sam take that made him end up failing at lead generation?
Let’s look at them:
1. Outsourcing your content
Several Saas companies both established and start-ups have been making this in the year 2023. Sam was too dependent on SEO. Yes, SEO is a great mechanism that simplifies lead generation, but the content that adds value or solves a problem, sells. Period. The best way could have been if Sam wrote “his own content”, communicated “his point” to the right audience and clearly stated “his own solution” to the problems in the industry.
You can’t expect your story to be written by someone else. In the same way, no marketer/ content writer can ever deliver the right message about your company or your product. Training is a great idea. But training is not the same as thinking. What you think, is what you put forth and nobody can think and create like you do.
2. Lead generation doesn’t run on hope
‘‘Cast a wide net, cross your fingers’’ sounds foolish doesn’t it? But most of the Saas start-ups have been doing that for a long period of time. Let’s get back to Sam’s story. Being a start-up owner the amount of Emails and Linkedin DMs he does to market his company seems like a tiring task with no proper results. All that happens is a copy-paste mechanism which possibly doesn’t yield results.
The question is are you just sending the same messages to random people found online or are you choosing your target audience wisely those that are in need of the solution you provide? You can’t cast the net in an empty lake and expect to catch a net-breaking harvest.
3. Spending more to get nowhere
In the B2B Saas world there exists a temptation among many start-up owners that comes in the form of enticing emails offering free lead lists. “Buy leads lists” “Grow your business, reach potential heights” everything seems rosy and fine, you might say I am getting leads what’s the loss in that?
Like many others, Sam too, fell for this siren call. The promise of a vast pool of potential customers was too alluring to resist. But, as they say, the road to wisdom is often paved with a few hard-earned lessons. He took the leap and purchased one of those coveted lead lists. The results? Well, they left much to be desired. Those leads, as it turned out, were as relevant as a snowstorm in July.
They wasted not only his money but also his precious time and resources. Worst of all, they cluttered up his CRM with a mishmash of uninterested, unengaged contacts.
It hit like a stark revelation. Leads aren’t just names on a list; they’re people who have shown a genuine interest in what you have to offer. They’re the ones who raise their hands and say, “I want to know more.”
Buying lead lists might seem like a shortcut, but it’s a shortcut to nowhere. Genuine leads are those who want to embark on a journey with you, not just random names on a spread-sheet.
4. Pop-ups everywhere
Imagine you open a website to do shopping for some groceries and an ad pops up saying to buy clothes and upon clicking the close button, another ad pops up, will the user ever get to the desired location ? On an average a user spends less than 2 seconds for a site to load and if your ads are eating up those two seconds, good luck in making the user have a tour of the website. Before he hits the home button the user has already logged out.
Lead generation strategies that always work:
Now let’s turn the tables for a change. Sam made mistakes that didn’t yield expected results, but there are practices he could have employed which might have saved an enormous amount of time, energy and of course capital. What are they ? Let’s have a look:
1. Creating a demand:
Lead generation and demand generation go hand in hand. Demand generation happens before anyone even knows that there exists a solution for a problem, and investing in anything that creates a demand for your saas product/service always brings a bountiful reward. Once the number of hands begins to rise to opt “your solution” the demand has already been created.
2. Knowing Your Customers:
The practice of KYC has been a valuable practice in understanding the target audience. But knowing one’s potential customers is a task that demands patience and planning.
2.1 Here’s how you do it:
Create a process for performing customer interviews:
Take inputs about the pain points of the customers. Understand what they like about the Saas product/service and adhere to the technical challenges faced. Make sure that the customers find the value proposition really valuable and personalised to their specific needs.
Case studies and testimonials have a great effect on generating potential leads and the best way is to ask the customers. This will help you identify potential advocates for your saas product.
2.2 Multi touch ad campaigns are the key:
You can’t convert your viewers to potential customers just by showing up once. You have to keep channelling yourself across various platforms where you catch the same customer’s eye over and over again with multiple touch points which include display ads, social media ads, email marketing etc.
So if you are planning to generate leads it is important that you break through the clutter and focus on catching the attention of the right audience through right channels and the best way to understand both is again linked to getting to know the customer.
3. Revive and Resurrect your lead generation:
It’s crucial to revive your lead generation, because the same tactics that were employed five years ago won’t be suitable now. And the best way to do it? Is to simply follow the above discussed strategies that work like magic spells to generate potential leads.
The landscape of lead generation is constantly evolving, and it’s clear that the traditional methods of casting a wide net and hoping for results are no longer effective in today’s market. The story of Sam, the SaaS start-up founder, serves as a cautionary tale, highlighting the pitfalls of outsourcing content, relying on outdated strategies, buying lead lists, and bombarding users with pop-ups.
However, there is hope for those looking to succeed in lead generation. The key lies in creating demand for your product or service, understanding your customers through interviews and feedback, and implementing multi-touch ad campaigns that engage your audience across various platforms. Lead generation is not a one-time effort but a continuous process that requires adaptation and a deep understanding of your target audience.