Beginner’s Guide to SaaS Pipeline Generation
For as long as we can remember, marketers have been focusing on lead generation. The logic is simple: the more leads generated, the more sales a business is likely to make.
But there’s a catch. Lead volume takes a backseat to lead quality. High-quality leads are of the utmost importance to any company; they increase the likelihood of closing more sales. Generating a greater amount of leads is not the priority for marketers anymore.
Instead, SaaS pipeline generation enables marketers to focus on high-quality leads, thereby generating a higher revenue. To get started, you need to know the basics of building an effective pipeline generation strategy. This article will inform you about:
- The ins and outs of pipeline generation
- The specific challenges your company is likely to face during SaaS pipeline generation
- How you can create an effective pipeline generation strategy
- How to optimize pipeline generation.
What is pipeline generation?
A large percentage of leads end up not converting into sales. Lead generation strategies concentrate on increasing the number of leads at the top of the sales funnel. While lead generation can–and should–be a part of your pipeline generation strategy, your company needs more to boost revenue.
Lead generation strategies typically focus on lead volume, measured through activities such as the number of forms filled or the number of ebooks downloaded. A pipeline generation strategy involves activities that are more long-term, thereby creating lasting awareness and bringing about quality leads for your business.
Marketers adopting pipeline generation soon realize how much faster sales are, since the process solely involves potential leads with high buying intent. Lead generation strategies, on the other hand, have a much slower sales rate due to a mixture of lead qualities.
The pipeline generation method also ensures that the sales and marketing teams work together. The sales team will carry out the lead qualification process and the marketing team will nurture potential leads through remarketing ads, blogs, email marketing, and specialized offers. Combining the sales and marketing teams’ efforts in this way makes the process more streamlined and reduces organizational silos.
As we know now, employing a pipeline generation strategy is all about increasing the amount of qualified leads who have greater readiness to purchase. Therefore, an effective strategy along these lines makes it more likely that your company meets its revenue goals. It’s essential that you focus on pipeline generation, as it enables your company to:
- Enhance sales forecasting efforts
- Understand marketing and sales teams’ performance levels
- Reach the target revenue level by refining the strategy for demand generation
- Build and understand your ideal customer profile
- Streamline communication between your marketing and sales departments
- Have greater insights into clients’ journeys by tracking each touchpoint
- Create marketing campaigns with a higher degree of personalization.
Are there any challenges of pipeline generation?
With everything we know about how important it is, marketers should make creating an effective pipeline strategy a top business priority. However, there are many challenges along the way that your company is likely to face. These include:
Having inaccurate data
It’s essential that your marketing team utilizes an up-to-date repository for pipeline generation. This would enable your company to substantially improve the success of your pipeline generation efforts. Managing high-quality leads using a robust analytics software is central to achieve the greatest value and profit for your business.
Over half of all websites utilize free tools like Google Analytics to measure marketing metrics. While it’s undoubtedly useful in many regards, relying solely on Google Analytics renders your business unable to have a holistic view of clients. This is because it tracks user IDs instead of dedicated profiles. Moreover, the free version of the tool doesn’t incorporate a lot of marketing metrics that it’s absolutely essential for your SaaS business to keep track of.
A dedicated analytics software for your SaaS business will elevate your pipeline generation strategy and allow you to see what your biggest marketing and sales opportunities are. You’ll be able to keep track of the right KPIs for SaaS pipeline generation.
With HockeyStack, you can see each client’s profile, as well as their activity on your website and social media. You’ll be able to see the materials they engaged with and instantly recognize new opportunities for business.
No cohesion between the sales and marketing teams
Most SaaS businesses face a heavy challenge in the form of organizational silos. Different departments have access to different data, so while pipeline generation involves both lead nurturing and targeted marketing, these two tasks are carried out separately from each other. While lead nurturing is left solely up to the sales department, the marketing department tackles targeting new leads.
Even though the marketing and sales teams are split up into two departments, your company should treat the marketing and sales funnels as complementary. It’s imperative that your marketing team is aware of the driving forces behind the highest-quality leads. On the other hand, the sales team also needs to understand where these high-quality leads are coming from to understand their specific pain points and address them accordingly.
In a nutshell, your sales and marketing teams should have access to the same data in order to ensure a smooth pipeline generation process. Organizational silos make it extremely difficult to share data between teams and slows down the pipeline generation process. Breaking these silos through unifying client data will improve your pipeline generation strategy.
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Best practices for creating an effective pipeline generation strategy
Now that we’ve been through the challenges that SaaS pipeline generation introduces for your business, here are some measures you can take to ensure that your strategy is effective. These practices will help your business maximize prospective opportunities, improve pipeline, and therefore, increase leads.
- Utilize your top pages effectively by adding small conversion points
B2B leads rely heavily on your SEO efforts. A well-structured website attracts more clients since it appears in a greater number of searches. An effective SEO strategy will ensure that more digital traffic converts into pipeline. You can place several small conversion points on your top-performing pages to engage prospective clients, thereby enabling them to gain more knowledge about your services until they decide to make their way further into the funnel.
You’ll need to keep track of the results that these new conversion points are producing. HockeyStack’s sales funnel analytics enable you to understand how each change affects your sales, since you can keep tabs on the amount of clients converting or dropping off at every stage.
- Set high targets
Your company is likely to improve its pipeline generation performance if you have strategic, high-impact goals. You need to have a realistic outlook on your targets, but the underlying assumption is that next year’s sales forecast will be greater than or the same as this year’s performance.
By setting high goals that are beyond your company’s fiscal targets, you may surprise yourself through breaking records. Attempts to go above and beyond will definitely help your business increase revenue through more sales.
- Track the right metrics
Sales intelligence is a major part of pipeline conversion. Sales analytics metrics such as lead velocity rate and demo conversion rate enable your business to optimize the overall sales performance and identify conversion gaps that hamper revenue. Combined with attribution data and the client information that you obtain from customer relationship management (CRM) software, you’ll be able to create the best pipeline generation strategy for your SaaS company.
- Focus on content
Investing in marketing emails may give you better sales results in the short-term, but it’s content marketing that enables your company to build meaningful relationships with prospects and clients. It creates value for your client and informs them about the benefits they’d enjoy by utilizing your services, often without coming across as too salesy.
Content marketing also allows you to switch things up a little. You can deviate from the traditional text boxes and include interactive content, such as short videos or specialized quizzes that are grounded in industry knowledge.
- Always have a backup plan
Business is tricky. Plans sometimes fail. In the event that your pipeline generation strategy begins to miss a few targets, you need to have a second plan in place to ensure that you get back on track before the fiscal year is through. Having an alternate plan will help you change course early and rectify mistakes more quickly.
- Produce video content
Video is a huge part of SaaS pipeline generation. Short demos and explainer videos are immensely useful in engaging prospective clients and informing them effectively about how exactly your product or service can benefit them. They add undeniable value for your current and prospective customers.
- Add CTAs to your content–whether it’s for nurturing or marketing
Most marketers tend to target CTAs to prospective clients. However, you need to nurture your list of current clients as well. Offer them valuable content with engaging calls-to-action (CTAs) that they can immediately act upon. If you’re sending marketing emails, be sure to add a CTA above the signature line.
To make CTAs more effective, marketers tailor them to ensure they’re the best suited for specific user groups or cohorts. Different CTAs work for different customer cohorts.
- Change things up
…but not in huge ways. While every practice on this list has been effective for a myriad of SaaS companies, it’s important to remember that small changes to the pipeline generation process can be healthy for sales. Keep track of changes and the accompanying metrics. You never know what you might learn.
Optimize pipeline generation with HockeyStack
SaaS organizations need an easy, code-free approach to track relevant metrics. Tracking sales analytics allows you to enhance overall sales performance through metrics such as total revenue closed and conversion rates.
Here’s how HockeyStack can help:
Understand sources that drive revenue
HockeyStack’s dedicated marketing and sales analytics dashboard enables you to have greater insight into current and prospective clients. You’ll be able to see all the relevant client touchpoints, thereby helping you understand which leads are high-value based on past trends and data.
Additionally, your sales team will know a specific prospective client’s pain points through the content that they’ve engaged with in the past. They can help leads through the pipeline using this personalized approach.
Find out how HockeyStack helped ikas increase monthly pipeline creation by 38% in a quarter.
Integration of client data
The metrics that HockeyStack tracks allow you to see how recurring and new clients engage with your business. It integrates data across departments and all the platforms that your organization uses for communication and media, thereby providing you with a holistic overview of each client.
This integration gives you immensely valuable insight for each client’s journey, thereby helping you create a successful pipeline generation strategy. You’ll be able to see how a client came across your business, what materials they’ve interacted with, and which products or services they routinely use.
If you want to see how HockeyStack can help your business track the relevant metrics for an effective pipeline generation strategy, try out the live demo for yourself today.
Not ready to take the plunge and looking for some pipeline generation ideas instead? Here’s a list of 7 great pipeline generation ideas for your SaaS.
What is the difference between lead generation and pipeline generation?
Lead generation focuses only on the top of the funnel–that is, prioritizing lead volume over lead quality. Pipeline generation focuses on finding high-quality leads and nurturing them effectively through the funnel, thereby ensuring a higher amount of sales and greater revenue for your business.
How is pipeline generation measured?
There are a number of metrics involved in pipeline generation, such as total open and closed opportunities per month, customer acquisition cost (CAC), cost per lead, percentage of qualified leads, and average lead response time.