Any company in the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) industry knows that how you approach lead generation, marketing, and sales management will determine a large part of the company’s long-term success. From software that helps financial institutions and healthcare facilities to customer service and supply chain, SaaS companies need to build credibility over time, market themselves to the right decision-makers and effectively manage (often complex) sales cycles.
Which is precisely why SaaS companies are now using technologies for marketing functions like creating landing pages, optimizing SEO, content marketing, and more. Companies that engage in these activities have a bigger advantage than you might think, as only 24 percent of SaaS companies say they blog to educate their readers (much of the rest is self-promotion). And while there are a variety of tools within the realm of digital marketing, here we’ll take a look at how SaaS companies are using HubSpot to boost their marketing for 2018 and beyond.
In short, HubSpot is a unique marketing tool for SaaS companies due to a variety of unique reasons. First, HubSpot's CRM (with some marketing functionality) is free to get up and running for SaaS startups who are in their beginning phases and might need to be cost-conscious. Second, HubSpot as an organization is geared towards helping SaaS companies with digital and content marketing from within the same platform. Companies can then work with agencies that are certified HubSpot partners to develop a holistic marketing and lead generation program that will help SaaS companies grow at a consistent rate.
Here are five interesting use cases for HubSpot for SaaS companies.
Maybe you'll spot one that could be useful for your organization…
Making a sale in the SaaS industry doesn’t involve just convincing one person. More likely, you’ll have to convince multiple stakeholders within a single organization, as well as market to those individuals in a targeted manner to get their attention in the first place. For these reasons, many SaaS companies now work with HubSpot to develop buy personas and implement specific strategies and tactics that are designed to reach each persona in a targeted fashion.
For instance, many SaaS companies serve a wide array of industries and key decision makers to target specifically within those industries. Shore software, one of HubSpot’s SaaS customers, worked with HubSpot to create buyer personas (as well as buyer journey path-to-purchase) for each of the many industries Shore’s scheduling software is used by, from insurance and health-care to restaurants and auto repair shops.
When a target buyer searches online for health-care related scheduling software, for example, they might click through the search result to a custom landing page (designed, managed, and tracked through HubSpot) that will display content geared towards that specific buyer persona. And after the visitor signs up for a free trial, HubSpot nurtures the lead automatically on a marketing track tailored towards that persona’s buyer journey.
Another key need for SaaS companies is to use technology to build the bridge between marketing and sales. In effect, how can SaaS companies arrange their inbound lead generation processes to mesh with the right sales approach to compress the sales cycle as much as possible? One answer for SaaS companies is to work with HubSpot to build out an entire inbound process, from marketing and lead generation all the way through to sales.
BrightGauge, a SaaS business intelligence company, worked with HubSpot’s Inbound Training Program to re-wire their entire sales team to take an inbound approach to sales. That means being able to analyze the lead data and profile when it comes in, cross-reference that with what is likely to be the best use cases for that company, and conduct a sales dialogue that focuses on the value of solving specific pain points.
A CFO from a financial company that uses an ROI calculator, for instance, will likely have a much different set of concerns than a CTO that downloads a technical whitepaper. Companies not only use HubSpot to help create these lead generation assets but work with SaaS companies like BrightGuage to build the backend sales processes to have to maximize the output of those leads.
Free online assessment tools are a great way to generate inbound leads, which are then automatically routed through HubSpot for sales activities.
For Saas companies, building thought leadership and a trusted market position is a critical part of reaching target buyers and building a customer base. Blogging, webinars, and writing white papers are just a few of the aspects to content marketing that many SaaS companies manage from within the HubSpot platform. Outside of being able to manage content marketing and blogging within the same CRM hub, SaaS companies work with HubSpot to develop and implement a content marketing program that generates high-quality leads on a consistent basis.
TravelTime, a SaaS brand dedicated to optimizing transport routes for various industries, used HubSpot’s content marketing hub as a way of generating more website traffic, leads, and eventual sales. Utilizing separate CRM, marketing automation, blogging, and content management system (CMS) tools are often complex, time-consuming, and requires a large investment of time and resources in mastering each one individually.
That’s not to say that tools like WordPress, MailChimp, and the like aren’t effective tools for SaaS companies in their own right. But the advantage that many SaaS companies view in HubSpot is being able to manage everything from one user interface, and take advantage of HubSpot’s expertise and professional services in designing a top-notch, ongoing content marketing and blogging program.
HubSpot allows SaaS companies to manage blogging and other forms of content marketing on their platform.
For SaaS companies, the time between capturing a marketing lead and actual engagement in a sales cycle can take weeks, months, or even years. Getting a target buyer to sign up for a newsletter or download a white paper with their contact information is just the beginning of the buyer’s journey. Leads often have to be followed up with, or nurtured, with additional content and information that will build trust over the long run. So for SaaS brands, HubSpot’s ability to automate the lead nurturing process is of particular utility.
LogiNext, a field service management SaaS company, is one great example of how automated lead nurturing through HubSpot can drive marketing results such as increased web traffic and lead qualification. LogiNext identified their key buyer personas and created specific lead nurturing tracks for each one. If a CTO signs up for a webinar, for instance, the follow-up lead nurturing email might contain specific information about now LogiNext integrates with other systems, the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the product or industry reports specifically of interest to a technologist.
HubSpot can the subsequently track the behavior of how these leads interact with subsequent nurturing content, and make a rules-based decision of what content to send them next in the nurturing track. Moreover, HubSpot can generate a “sales qualified lead” if the lead is highly engaged with the nurturing content, and automatically suggest that a sales representative reaches out to them. The result is that fewer leads slip through the cracks over the long run, and only the best leads are then passed over to sales.
Subscribers to LogiNext’s newsletter might receive automated, follow-up lead nurturing emails sent out of HubSpot.
Finally, running ad campaigns and engaging in Seach Engine Optimization (SEO) are also critical marketing needs for SaaS companies across the board. SEO can be much more complex from an SEO standpoint than many other industries, as companies to rank highly for multiple sets of keywords that might be of interest to various target personas and buyers.
And while companies certainly have a variety of SEO and advertising tools available, for SaaS companies the benefit of using HubSpot is that they can have an integrated approach with other digital marketing efforts like landing pages, content marketing, and email marketing.
An intellectual property software company called PatSnap, for instance, worked with HubSpot to increase website traffic and leads by creating Google AdWords campaigns directly out of the HubSpot software, rather than using separate tools. From an SEO standpoint, SaaS companies like PatSnap can use HubSpot to see which marketing assets and efforts are having the biggest SEO impact, and easily create similar content within the same platform.
SaaS brands can manage SEO and Google AdWords campaigns with HubSpot.
The veritable “Swiss Army Knife” of CRM and marketing automation, HubSpot places itself in a unique position when it comes to helping SaaS companies grow through inbound marketing and content creation.
Lead nurturing, SEO, and blog posts are just a few of the many use cases that HubSpot presents for SaaS companies of all shapes and sizes. As with any technology, it's important to build up some internal expertise on the platform and engage with the right HubSpot partner that will help map our your inbound marketing journey.
If you are looking for a partner to drive your technology or software marketing, give us a call.