According to Walker's report, customer experience has become a core brand differentiator, leaving behind the role of price and product. To ensure buyers are satisfied with the purchasing process, businesses must deliver a smooth decision-making journey. And developing a thoughtful SaaS sales funnel is the proven way to do that. It will also help save time and marketing budget, add value to your brand and increase revenue.
Arounda specialists have been creating and implementing quality business solutions based on each client's resources and needs for over five years. We deliver personalized services in business analysis, product strategy, and web development, and we know how to turn leads into loyal buyers.
Today we’ll discuss how to build a successful sales funnel. You will learn the list of the SaaS sales process steps and stages to create your own one from scratch. We will also dwell on the differences between the B2C and B2B SaaS funnel, so read on.
The SaaS sales definition is selling cloud software as a service. The buyers get access to a SaaS product through a subscription model, and the vendor handles the software's development, support, and updates.
A SaaS funnel is a way to present the sequence of steps a buyer goes through before purchasing to optimize the selling process. In other words, it's a tool that helps you visualize the buyer journey from getting to know your company to purchasing the software. The funnel allows you to work through the critical touchpoints with the lead.
It's worth noting that the purchase funnel and marketing funnel SaaS are different concepts. SaaS marketing funnel is associated with building brand awareness. Once a lead learns about your company and services, they enter the sales funnel.
SaaS funnels are a critical point in creating an effective marketing strategy. They help companies scale effectively and reduce bounce rates. Marketers distinguish between B2C and B2B SaaS sales funnel depending on the client. Both pipelines serve to transform a lead (potential consumers) into a paying one.
However, they differ in complexity. Whereas in B2C sales, a customer makes a purchase decision individually, a B2B transaction may involve 6-10 decision-makers. It includes:
Negotiating with different vendors
Agreeing on terms and pricing
Getting approval of procurement or compliance departments
Contract terms finalization
Signing the contract
In addition, businesses conduct more complex ROI analyses. In this case, thoughtful funnels help the lead rationally explain the benefits of your software and assess the fit between the product and the company.
Statistics show that 74% of buyers make a purchase based on their customer experience alone. If you want to improve the CX, you need to get a suitable selling funnel. So, let's take a closer look at the SaaS sales cycle stages.
It is the first stage during which a potential buyer is confronted and starts looking for relevant information. At this point, users usually do not have an explicit request, so they are not looking for a specific solution.
How can a consumer find out about you? It can be inquiries in organic search, blog articles, advertising, or media mentions. To attract an audience at this stage, your brand must be recognizable. To do this, work out your PR, marketing, and SEO strategy.
The core of the stage:
The second SaaS sales funnel stage is when the company makes contact with the visitor. It can be a subscription to a newsletter or signing up to access free content (trials). The engagement process increases trust in your brand and is the longest. Read how SaaS businesses can increase user engagement here.
The core of the stage:
Become an authoritative resource
Show how the product will solve the problem
Now that you've established a connection with the lead, it's worth warming them up to buy. Talk about the benefits of your product, and show success stories and testimonials from real clients. Case studies can also help. Finally, tell them about the benefits of a paid subscription compared to the free version.
The core of the stage:
Show the value of the product
Provide information support
Prepare the customer for conversion
At this stage, a lead becomes a client. Make sure you pay attention not only to client acquisition but also to retention. You can establish a predictable cash flow with recurring payments. However, you need your clients to be loyal. Ask them for feedback. Surveys, beta tests, customized offers, and mailings of valuable materials work serve to boost loyalty.
The core of the stage:
Retain the customer
Create the conditions to keep the user coming back
The last but not least step is to get recommendations from buyers. Ask them to leave a review about your software. Positive reviews and mentions are powerful ways to promote. Pay attention to it to invest in your brand and the success of your SaaS product.
The core of the stage:
Dealing with testimonials
You must already be wondering how to build a sales funnel. Well, that process involves nine steps:
Describing a consumer's journey is key to an effective sales funnel SaaS. The decision-making maps consist of the steps described earlier but may vary slightly depending on the industry and product. We suggest developing clear instructions for each of them. So that you can better track the funnel's effectiveness and optimize the steps when needed.
Remember that your SaaS service may have multiple target audiences. Develop roadmaps for each segment. A personalized approach will help you better understand the needs and pains of different audiences to form targeted, unique offers.
Marketing is necessary to increase the company's visibility. The more potential users know about your Software-as-a-service brand, the more likely you will get successful deals. So what components does a marketing strategy contain?
Choice of promotion channels
To optimize the selling process, experts use performance evaluation tools. They examine the quality of leads, that is, the likelihood of making a purchase. It also includes tracking interactions with the audience. After the analysis, the sales department develops a convincing final offer.
We recommend developing scripts for communicating with each audience segment to optimize conversions. Also, think through the algorithm of interaction with customers at different stages. Write down the rules for potential and existing consumers and develop principles for crisis communication.
To be sustainable, a business must attract new leads and make a loyal customer base. Therefore, your funnel must also focus on retention. You must convince the customers to use your service regularly. How can you improve your implementation process?
Create an easy signup option
Appoint an account manager
Work on improving the customer experience
This step focuses on repeat purchases, so the user becomes your regular subscriber. You must convince the client of the value of your product and its competitive advantages. Send regular digests and tips on how to use new features. Show how your software helps simplify routine tasks and so on.
When operating your product, the user will inevitably have questions or difficulties. And how successfully your company will solve such situations will depend on the desire of the buyer to stay with you. We advise to:
Collect frequently asked questions and post answers to them
Develop a response algorithm for client service
Provide comprehensive help to save time. It can be self-tutorials, guides, etc.
Include automated helpers
Provide the opportunity to consult with a live expert
Create a way to easily renew your software subscription with standardized procedures like:
Upcoming payment notification
Automatic billing and debits
Once you've built your funnel, continue to track its effectiveness at each stage. It will help you see brand weaknesses and understand what improvements are needed. What metrics are worth tracking?
Organic and ad traffic
Customer retention and churn rates
Client service metrics
Cost of acquisition, lifetime value
Number of purchases and average transaction amount
Systematize the information you get in the form of reports. Evaluate the effectiveness of the funnel regularly and distribute the reports to employees. They will allow your team to make timely updates.
When evaluating your sales pipeline's effectiveness, handle the pain points you've identified. It will help your brand attract and retain users over the long term. By doing so, you'll provide a foundation for scaling your business.
Creating a purchase funnel provides a fruitful foundation for a Software-as-a-service brand to thrive. However, it can be a challenge for companies due to the high market saturation. Proper funnel planning, analysis, and optimization can help you avoid overspending your budget and stand out from the competition.
If you need to create a high-performance SaaS funnel, tell the experts at Arounda about your idea. With years of experience and wise expertise, we succeed in connecting companies with business goals. Our experts will conduct a detailed consultation and offer the best solutions for sustainability.
The sales SaaS stages include: Knowledge generation, Interest generation (engagement), Consideration (research), Decision and negotiation, Selling, Loyalty (repeat purchase), Advocacy
As a rule, the structure of the sales funnel is divided into three levels: top, middle, and bottom. In turn, each of them has sublevels. The top of the funnel - awareness, interest. Middle of the funnel - decision-making stage. Bottom of the funnel - stage of actions (conversions)
You can build a funnel yourself or request help from qualified professionals. If you decide to design it yourself, our guide above will be helpful. Or contact our experts to find out how much it costs to build a sales funnel.
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