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B2B Marketing in SaaS: Planning, Execution, Evaluation

Updated: Aug 21, 2023

B2B Marketing strategy in SaaS is demanding and requires strong experience in Services and Software. Not selling a physical product is already a challenge, but the very nature of the recurring model can complicate your approach, from initial customer conversion to financial projection. Not forgetting that B2B Marketing in SaaS requires growth and strong and continuous traction…

B2B Marketing in SaaS

B2B marketing is, at first glance, unique and, to some extent, much more complex than in other sectors. However, this statement is very much due to the very nature of SaaS, so you might as well cover the basics of this sector.


SaaS stands for Software as a Service, equivalent to a software provider marketing its solution in the Cloud online. Therefore, the user does not need to install the Software directly on his computer. The marketing of this type of solution is mainly based on a subscription system, hence recurring billing.


To illustrate, let's take the case of a software provider whose development costs €20,000. The monthly subscription is offered to users for €9/month (but reduced to €100 per year if paid in one go).

Let's assume the software provider has 100 active users who have paid the annual subscription (i.e., €10,000). You have therefore pooled half of your development costs. Unfortunately, the reality is much more complex because some customers have subscribed to other tariff plans, or some will cancel their subscriptions. Either way, what matters is your cash flow.


This explanation, therefore, reflects reality and, above all, specific marketing requirements in SaaS, such as:

  • The loyalty of your customers

  • A unique sales cycle

  • B2B Marketing Content

  • The Importance of Freemium

  • The packaging of your offer and service


1. Long-term customer retention is the secret to your growth

Retaining existing customers seems like a no-brainer for profitability, yet too many SaaS vendors focus on perpetually acquiring new customers. This is even more common in the SaaS B2B environment where, as we have seen, a monthly subscription fee is usually a fraction of the cost of producing the Software. In other words, it will take a subscription over several years before making a profit from a customer. This principle is often included in the definition of Customer Life Time value, in other words, the income generated by your customer over the entire relationship with your company.


Thus, building B2B customer loyalty is integral to SaaS marketing and should be emphasized more than acquiring new customers. However, acquiring new customers is significantly more expensive than retaining existing customers. This principle is often measured through Churn, i.e., the number of unsubscriptions or subscription cancellations.


In summary, retaining existing customers should be at the center of your SaaS B2B marketing strategy.


2. A unique SaaS B2B sales cycle

Establishing the persona is one of the most critical steps in your SaaS B2B marketing strategy. Any marketing message you put out should be targeted to a particular personality. The more groundwork you have to understand your target profile, the easier it will be for you to write content that will resonate with the person or prospect you are trying to reach. Attract to your business.

  • If it is a B2C product, for example, DropBox, it usually looks like this:

First, we discover DropBox's site, services, or share link (recommended by friends, through a share, an article/video, an advertisement, etc.)

Registration for the free trial (to recover a large file, for example)

The decision to purchase or continue to use the trial offer

  • With B2B products, it's a bit more complicated but quite similar

Someone in the company searches for a solution to a specific problem and learns about your product and its benefits.

Sign up for a demo or free trial, or download a case study to better your SaaS solution.

Then presents the product to other decision-makers in the company.

If the parties s stakeholders agree, the purchase takes place.


Thus, the support of the prospect is virtually concise, and it is replaced by the free trial period. As a result, the buying process is very transparent, and in most cases, the selling cycle is relatively short.


How will this translate into your marketing approach?

  • First, there is no fix for a wrong product (and customer service as part of SaaS).

  • Second, you must provide all the necessary information without overwhelming your prospect. For this, you have to convince the customer as best as possible in a short period.

On the other hand, it won't be easy to convince a prospect who does not like your SaaS product. In this case, you need to generate enough leads and move on.


5 facts to a succeful SaaS

3. Content is King in B2B Marketing

Although content marketing is undoubtedly essential for any business, it is one of the critical elements of a SaaS B2B marketing strategy.


When we look at most of the prominent players in the SaaS industry, they all have one thing in common: consistent and comprehensive content marketing. For example, buffer, a SaaS leader in the social media tools niche, is famous for its blog – one of the best resources for social media marketing. The same can be said with HubSpot or Moz in digital marketing.

Your content marketing should do two things:

  • Educate your audience on the best way to use your product

  • Establish your position as a thought leader in your industry.

Credibility and trust are critical assets in the SaaS industry, and you can achieve them not by retaining – but by disseminating – helpful information to your prospects.

Your content must be distributed, on the proper channels, for this information and establish your position as an expert.


4. Freemium is essential in SaaS Marketing

We explained in the introduction that SaaS does not work like other industries. For example, it may seem contradictory in traditional marketing to offer your solution for free. And yet, in SaaS and B2B Marketing, this is often the norm.


The free trial is at the heart of SaaS marketing in its various forms. However, this does not mean we should move forward unthinkingly without a strategy.

Optimizing the conversion rate throughout the free trial period should be the goal of any SaaS marketer. However, it will also mean another thing: your product must be good.

5. The packaging of your SaaS product and its B2B offer

Typically, the service represents half of a provider's SaaS business. But, the service aspect is often even more critical than the software component itself.

That doesn't mean your Software isn't essential. As we saw above, it's nearly impossible to sell a failed SaaS product due to the transparency of the free trial period and the limitation of your ambassador clients. However, the quality of customer service or support (CSM – customer success management) will often decide a purchase.


This will include excellent and responsive customer service, frequent updates, resources, and training to help customers get started with the Software.

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