What is Growth Hacking?
For the past few years the b2b SaaS and tech world in general has been obsessed by the term growth and growth hacks. Which ultimately means using marketing channels to perform transactional and promotional activities such that there is immediate conversion and or transaction.
Growth hacking in B2b SaaS generally means speedy results oriented and tactical campaigns where the digital mediums act as an immediate feedback loop to fuel the iterations until we stumble onto something that works.
The pioneer of the term is “Mr. Sean Ellis”, author of the book “Hacking growth”, and the real first implementation of these tactics was deployed by PayPal. (good idea to read the story on this)
Problem with growth hacks in b2b SaaS
There is a fact about growth hacking that does not get talked about, it is dead!
The very term hack suggests there is a loophole, and the thing with loopholes is that they get fixed sooner or later. And that is exactly what has happened, the growth hacking tactics have deployed so much that they are no longer hacks and their effectiveness is not nearly as much as what it was when the term was invented.
Think about it, if you're in the b2b SaaS world, or in any professional capacity for that matter, how many cold outbound emails do you get? How many cold calls? LinkedIn pitches? Swag pieces? Social media ads forcing you to book a demo?
Not to say that all of this does not work, it works, just enough so that people keep doing it.
What is the solution or alternative to hacking growth for B2B?
Well the answer is simple really, good old organic growth. Yes folks, that thing which is slow, non sexy and builds a solid business over a long term. There will be growth hacks along the way but that cannot and should not be a primary strategy to build your business.
In a Sea of sameness where all the products converge onto each other there is an unprecedented amount of focus on the customer, innovation, product, value and a great experience for the user. All those things that form the basis of a good business are the new b2b growth hacks. ( see what i did there :D keyword! Hack! ).
Basically what this means is you need to go back full circle to the 4 p's for marketing as a go to market strategy. Which means focusing on Product , Price , Place and Distribution.
But that is fluffy and everyone knows about it so let’s look at some tactical level things you can do to deploy growth marketing for your b2b SaaS without deploying any “hacks”.
Key growth levers to pull for b2b SaaS
Provide Value ASAP!
Time to value for a customer should be close to zero. Whatever the promise of your software - more revenue, higher efficiency, low cost etc. it needs to be delivered as soon as possible. This not only creates a delightful experience but also gets them talking and referring you to other people
Leverage Your Network
Your network is one of your greatest assets when it comes to growing your B2B SaaS business in fact any business.
Be strategic about crafting your network, as every person has the potential to give you business. For example when choosing an accountant don’t just choose some random guy, find a person who serves the people you want to get connected with, this way you hit two birds with one stone.
Leveraging your existing relationships with customers and partners is a great way to generate new leads and get referrals. Make sure you are actively engaging with customers on social media and building relationships with them. You can also leverage customer success stories as a form of organic marketing, showcasing how others have found success using your product or service.
Focus on User Experience
User experience (UX) should always be top-of-mind when it comes to growth strategies for B2B SaaS companies. After all, if users aren't satisfied with their experience, they won't stay around for long. To ensure that you're providing an excellent UX, start by making sure that your product is easy to use and navigate. Make sure that users understand what they need to do and can easily find the information and features they need. Additionally, make sure that your product looks good and is visually appealing – no one likes a product that looks outdated or confusing!
Finally, focus on providing great customer service so that users feel taken care of if they ever encounter any issues or have any questions about the product.
Customers have way too many options these days and a slight inconvenience in the experience means they churn.
Making sure that users have a positive experience when using your product or service will help increase retention rates, which translates into better ROI over time.
Develop Targeted Content Strategies
Content marketing is essential for any business, but especially for those in the B2B SaaS space. Content is key when it comes to educating customers about your product or service and gaining mindshare in the industry. Developing targeted content strategies can help you reach more qualified leads and foster relationships with potential partners or investors as well as customers. When creating content, focus on topics that are relevant to your target audience and address their pain points directly so that they feel seen and understood by your brand.
Leverage Technology & Automation
One way to improve the user experience and increase efficiency is by leveraging technology and automation wherever possible. For example, automating processes like onboarding new customers or sending out emails can free up time for other tasks while still ensuring accuracy and consistency in whatever you're doing. Additionally, using tools such as analytics can help you measure user engagement and usage so that you can determine which areas need improvement or further optimization. By leveraging technology, you will be able to optimize processes in order to provide an even better user experience which leads us directly into our next point…
Analytics & Data-Driven Strategies
Data-driven strategies are key when it comes to growing your B2B SaaS business because data gives you valuable insights into what works well and what doesn't work so well - something which would otherwise be difficult or impossible without data collection tools such as analytics. Analysing data regularly allows you to identify areas of improvement as well as opportunities for expansion - both of which are essential components of successful growth strategies. Additionally, data helps inform decisions regarding pricing models or marketing campaigns; these decisions should always be based on real data rather than guesswork in order for them to be effective at driving growth!
Growing a B2B SaaS business isn't easy but with the right strategy and some patience in place it's certainly achievable! By focusing on UX design, leveraging technology & automation where possible, utilizing data-driven strategies , leveraging existing networks to developing targeted content strategies; CMO's , CEO's , Head of marketing , VP of marketing , CRO's , Head of sales etc .can drive growth for their business more effectively than before! Plus – when done correctly – these strategies will not only benefit your bottom line but also ensure a great user relation along the way! So what are you waiting for? Start implementing these strategies today! And don’t worry about HACKING anything.