Did you know the number one reason why SaaS start-ups fail is not because they developed useless products? It is because they didn’t have an effective marketing and sales strategy.
As the founder of your SaaS start-up, you’ve likely built an amazing product. You’re also probably responsible for generating leads and converting them into sales.
To ensure your SaaS start-up succeeds, you need to find the right product-market fit. Distribution is important to not only achieve immediate success but also to sustain growth.
Were you aware that public SaaS companies spend up to 80% of their revenue in marketing and sales? That’s how important these two departments are for your start-up’s growth.
Listed below are 5 simple steps that will help you create and execute a successful, growth-driven marketing plan. Get the best business plan template and include these steps in it, since doing them is sure to drive your success.
Most start-ups cycle through three growth phases. These are adhesion, transition, and growth.
Everything stated in your business plan, from team infrastructure to channel prioritization, to marketing goals should be arranged according to your company’s present growth phase.
Define Marketing Goals
Before delving into marketing strategies or channels, establish exact timeframes and goals that you want to accomplish.
To do this, start by setting up marketing goals that are specific, achievable, measurable, time-bound, and realistic.
For example, you may have a goal of acquiring 1,000 new users over a period of 2 months in three markets, i.e. the UK, Australia, and United States.
Or, do you hope to gain 100 new leads a day within 6 months? Or do you hope to forge partnerships with other websites and SaaS businesses to bring in 10 new clients each week?
Take this end goal and break it down into smaller time frames. This step is necessary to establish workflow practices on a weekly and daily basis. Be sure to define marketing goals around a metric that matters.
Define Your Target Audience
Who are your target customers or users? Define these. To be able to define your model customer, understand what’s going on in their mind, who they are, and where they’re present online.
Outline the following attributes about your target users:
- Pain Points and Challenges
- Where they spend their time online
- Solutions and expectations for their issues
Include these attributes in your growth marketing strategy and business plan. This will enable you to create daily and weekly activities that appeal to your target audience.
Identify Channels And Tactics
Define channels that can help you achieve your goals, i.e. Email marketing, SEO, etc. Keep in mind, your role is to procure and retain customers at a profit for your SaaS start-up. Set up a sheet to chart the effectiveness of each channel and its performance.
Prioritize marketing channels using the following criteria:
- Profit Margin. How much profit do you get per customer?
- Control. What is the extent of your control on each channel?
- Market Size. How big is your market across a specific channel?
- Scalability. How much expansion is possible in a specific channel?
- Results. How long will it take you to get results based on input and output time? i.e. SEO is long term whereas Google Ads are short term.
Growing your SaaS start-up is a dynamic process. It will change over time. Acquisition channels that might work wonders today may not be as effective tomorrow.
Improve user experience and product capabilities on a continuous basis and incorporate this into your growth marketing strategy.
Document Progress And Look For New Opportunities
For sustainable growth, you have to continually experiment with different channels. Set up your own experimentation framework sheet. Create categories for experimentation, prioritization, hypothesis, resources, and additional.
Under the experimentation section, enter all your channel experiment ideas. Define the name, category, status and the channel you’d like to execute the experiment on.
Arrange your ideas under the prioritization section. Enter your assumption and prediction in the hypothesis section.
Under the resources section, write down the resources you need to test out each experiment. Under the additional category, document what occurs after running a particular experiment.
Identify And Highlight New Markets
Once you’ve set up your marketing strategy, it’s time to identify and highlight new market prospects.
You’ve likely delved into this topic when you were forecasting how you plan to grow your SaaS start-up in your business plan.
This is similar to what we outlined in step 3. Prioritize your channels or new markets using the following criteria:
- market size
- profit margins
Growing your SaaS start-up requires a lot of dedication to the sales and marketing strategies you outlined in your business plan.
With the 5 steps mentioned here, you’ll be able to funnel and sustain your SaaS start-up’s growth.