Lead generation for SaaS companies: a prospecting strategy
There are many strategies for lead generation, many channels for prospecting, and many nuances to email marketing, And each one can be tweaked again depending on which industry you are targeting.
As a prospecting company that has sent millions of emails, we know a thing or two about what works and what doesn’t. So we thought we’d write a guide specifically for lead generation for SaaS companies.
We’ll cover mapping your market, provide a template for marketing to tech businesses, reveal when is the best time to send emails, give you some benchmarks so you can check your results, and even throw in a tech prospecting case study.
A quick disclaimer to start. I’m going to use various tech industries to illustrate the strategy in this post, but clearly, if you work for or run a SaaS company, your audience might not be other tech firms. They could be anything from small businesses to project managers: whoever you target, the strategy remains largely the same.
SaaS companies: total addressable market
A great place to start when prospecting SaaS companies is to map your total addressable market. At this early point, we are not looking to contact the prospects or find much more information than the size of the market.
For example, let’s say we have a wide range of tech companies we can target with our product, and we want to go after any decision-maker in firms with under 500 employees: the whole C-suite and a few other top business leaders.
Inputting the criteria list above:
Without some pretty nifty software, trying to calculate the market from that information would be rather difficult. Thankfully, we have a market map generator that is totally free. One of the things it spits out is this breakdown:
And this summary:
Which is a big enough market to start your SaaS lead generation campaign. It’s potentially too big an audience, and were this a Sopro prospecting campaign we’d work with the client to refine the targeting and really zero in on the perfect audience.
Picking the right channel
I’m just going to leave this here…
That’s from Demand Wave’s State of digital marketing report, which surveyed 179 B2B marketing senior executives. So because the data and our experience tell us that email drives results, (and because handily, we’re email experts) that’s what this strategy focuses on.
Email lead generation for SaaS firms – tech and template
Before we send a single email, we need to deal with the technical side of email marketing. Sending 158,858 emails (more if you send chaser emails) carries a real threat.
There are a whole host of technical issues that you need to nail to ensure your email deliverability is on point, otherwise, you can damage your domain reputation, and your emails will be picked up by junk folders rather than ideal prospects.
With the technical setup dealt with, it’s time to start writing emails. It’s a real art form (outlined in the golden rules of writing a prospecting email), and one that differs from a lot of other types of copywriting.
A short rundown of the best approach to take: you can’t convince a prospect to buy in the first email, so simply secure a call and convince them face-to-face (or screen-to-screen). Leave out any technical jargon too. This might seem like a challenge when prospecting some tech products and services, but it can be done in any industry.
I hope you’ve been [making the most of the sun OR managing to keep dry] this week.
A really quick intro… I lead the client team at TechTach and was hoping to catch you for a quick call [later this OR early next] week.
Reason for contacting
From my research, I think we’d be a great fit for [company name]. We’ve developed cutting edge solutions and I’m fairly sure they could help you solve some issues.
Call to action
I’m hoping you might be able to spare 10 or 15 minutes to run through it quickly. How are you fixed for a brief chat on [Friday]?
Insert signature – but don’t use a job title that screams sales.
Best time to send emails to SaaS companies
We dug into our data archives and analysed 2.5 million prospecting emails. Breaking it down into different industries allowed us to calculate the best time to send sales emails to tech firms.
So the best time to send sales prospecting emails to a tech company is between 10 am and 11 am on Tuesday morning.
During this magical hour, we see a lead rate of 5.55%. While it isn’t always as extreme as a Tuesday, the 10 am to 11 am slot gets the highest lead rate on each day of the week.
IT professionals seem to knock off early (or are just too busy by the end of the day to answer emails) as the lowest rates are all clustered between 3 – 5 pm each day.
Sales prospecting benchmarks for tech companies
At Sopro, we believe in transparency. So we publish all of our campaign results on our site. They are anonymised to protect our clients’ business interests, but they are segmented by industry.
This means we can dig into the industries we entered into our market map and see what sort of lead rates, and cost per lead we can expect from tech firms.
Prospecting Nanotech companies is fruitful, with a lead rate of 7.7% and a cost per lead of £26.48. Sadly, it’s a pretty niche market so won’t be applicable to many. Computer hardware earns a lead rate of over 3% and a CPL under £70.
At the other end of our lead gen spectrum, Internet companies and Computer networking both have a cost per lead of just over £100 and a lead rate only just over 2%.
It’s clearly difficult, prospecting for tech companies, as our average lead rate across all industries is 3.6%.
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Sales prospecting for tech: a case study
Ddaas is a data firm specialising in consulting and solutions. They cover everything from data science to technology, and the Ddaas offering helps businesses grow by using their own data better.
And while the technical solutions they offer are first class, they needed to boost the number of senior business development, marketing and leadership roles they were having conversations with.
Sopro designed a campaign that contacted these decision-makers in a range of industries and company sizes. The sweet spot was certainly other tech firms: the Information Technology and Services sector saw a lead rate of 6.5% and a cost per lead of £30.71.
Sopro contacted business leaders on behalf of Ddaas, but the outreach appears to come from Ddaas themselves. We do the legwork, basically. And once a prospect replies positively, the conversation is picked up by the experts at Ddaas, making lead generation an effortless and seamless process.