12 Outbound & Inbound B2B SaaS Lead Generation Strategies

6
Min
Created On:
August 14, 2023
Updated On:
February 26, 2024
B2B SaaS Lead Generation

B2B lead generation is generally more complex than B2C due to longer sales cycles, multiple decision-makers, and a focus on addressing specific business needs. It requires in-depth industry knowledge, social proof, and relationship-building to establish trust.

Probably this is why 68% of B2B business owners report struggling with their lead generation efforts. There’s more than enough information on the internet on B2B SaaS lead generation, and new marketers are confused about which one to rely on. 

If that’s the case with you, I suggest outbound tactics. Try outbound strategies like cold emailing and LinkedIn prospecting for initial cash inflow. Keep working on inbound tactics like blog and YouTube simultaneously. 

To learn more about B2B SaaS lead generation, keep reading this article till the end. I have divided lead gen tactics into inbound and outbound for better understanding. 

What is B2B SaaS Lead Generation

It's the process of identifying and attracting potential business customers (leads) for a Software as a Service (SaaS) company's products or services. 

This involves strategic sales and marketing efforts aimed at capturing the interest of other businesses that could benefit from the SaaS solution. The goal is to nurture and qualify these leads, ultimately converting them into paying customers to drive revenue growth for the SaaS provider.

How to Generate Leads for B2B SaaS Companies?

All lead generation tactics can be categorized into 2 categories:

  1. Inbound 
  2. Outbound

Inbound lead generation is when your marketing attracts target customers to your brand through content marketing or other strategies. And outbound is when you get in touch with potential leads via cold calling, emailing, etc. 

But, before launching any B2B saas lead generation strategy, a marketer must create an ICP (Ideal Customer Profile).

An ICP represents the characteristics of the companies or organizations that are a perfect fit for your product or service. It's a detailed description of the type of businesses that your offering is most suited for. 

ICP typically includes attributes such as 

  • Industry
  • Company size
  • Location
  • Revenue
  • Technological stack
  • Pain points
  • Challenges, and more. 
Image Credits: Cognism 

Identifying your ICP helps you focus your marketing and sales efforts on targeting the businesses that are most likely to benefit from and purchase your solution.

For example, the ICP for a B2B company providing cybersecurity solutions, the ICP might be a medium-sized financial institution with annual revenue between $50 million and $500 million, located in North America, using cloud-based systems, and concerned about data breaches and compliance.

To create an ICP, listen to your best buyers, figure out why they chose you, and how your product is bringing positive changes in their business. Group the shared traits, patterns, and preferences you find. Next, piece everything together to form your ICP framework. Keep modifying it as your audience grows.

Once you're done with the ICP, list down your marketing goals before selecting your lead generation channel.

For instance, if you are aiming to reach a broad audience quickly, choose outbound marketing tactics like paids ads or cold emailing. This choice also depends on your budget. If you're on small budget and have a small team, cold emailing might be a better idea for your business. Again, inbound marketing is ideal for building relationships and nurturing leads, like using content marketing to attract and engage potential customers through blog posts, videos, or social media content tailored to their needs. The bottom line - your choice of lead gen channel should align with your specific marketing objectives and target audience.

Go through the outbound and inbound tactics below to choose the best lead gen channel for your marketing goals.

6 Outbound B2B SaaS Lead Gen Ideas

Outbound B2B SaaS Lead Generation involves actively reaching out to potential business clients through methods like cold calling, ads, cold email campaigns, and networking events, etc. to generate interest and promote your SaaS product/service. 

This section includes 6 outbound lead generation ideas. These ideas apply any SaaS company, including the agencies that offer lead generation as a service

to identify and engage with potential clients, driving them to explore and adopt your SaaS solution. 

#1 Cold Email 

Rock Solid Lead Generation, a SaaS lead gen agency, achieved 61% positive responses out of their total reply rate using cold emails. Another lead generation agency, Anevo Marketing, booked over 30 meetings within a month for a single client. Again, by sending cold emails. 

Cold emails are still the most effective lead-generating medium for B2B SaaS organizations. 

Still, having second thoughts? You can check out the cold email statistics

Cold emailing is as simple as it sounds—you can send mass emails by using a cold email tool, such as Smartlead. Here’s a quick process on how to do that.

  • Research and target your audience.
  • Build a quality email list
  • Choose a reliable Email Service Provider (ESP)
  • Subscribe to a cold email tool
  • Create compelling subject lines.
  • Personalize each message.
  • Attach relevant content. 
  • Keep messages clear and concise.
  • Include a strong call-to-action (CTA).
  • Optimize for mobile.
  • Provide an unsubscribe option.
  • Do A/B testing before sending emails.
  • Schedule delivery strategically.
  • Track metrics.

To create a lead list, you can either use the Apollo.io database or scrape with Clay to find the email address of your potential buyers. These are some of the popular lead list-creating tools.

Despite all the preparation, your focus should be on creating a compelling cold email without sounding sales-y or beating-your-own-drums-y marketer. Here's a cold email checklist listed down Vaibhav Namburi, who aced cold emailing, to see how to get it right.

Overall, cold emails are a great way to contact potential leads and book meetings with regular follow-ups

To learn more about how to generate leads via emails, read “How to Do Email Lead Generation | All You Need to Know”.

#2 LinkedIn Prospecting

Once you have the ICP ready, choose a social media platform to attract leads. Now, many people would suggest Twitter, Facebook, and other channels. But, when it comes to B2B, no channel’s as effective as LinkedIn.

Imagine a platform where you do both inbound and outbound. 

The answer is Linkedin. 

As we all know, Twitter is dying. And Facebook doesn’t provide as much organic reach as LinkedIn does. The goal is to make more people know about you, which means if LinkedIn takes your posts to new people, it’s going to be golden for your lead gen results. 

Also, LinkedIn has a staggering number of 58 million businesses registered, out of which 2.7 million of them post daily.

To learn more on how to do LinkedIn prospecting, read “The Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn Prospecting: From Beginner to Expert”. 

Post problem-solving, informative content regularly on LinkedIn for inbound traffic. This will establish your brand image as a thought leader and attract leads in large numbers.

#3 Host Webinars & Events

Hosting webinars and events is highly effective for B2B saas lead generation. This lead gen tactic showcases expertise, provides valuable insights, and addresses industry pain points. 

Engaging presentations can create connections and foster trust way faster than you imagine. Interaction during sessions encourages potential leads to share contact information, nurturing relationships and driving conversions within a short time. 

How to Host Webinars & Events for Lead Generation?

  • Plan webinars or events around B2B SaaS pain points. 
  • Craft compelling topics and titles. 
  • Promote on social media and industry platforms. 
  • Leverage expert speakers for insights. 
  • Create engaging presentations with real-world solutions. 
  • Incorporate interactive Q&A sessions. 
  • Provide valuable resources.

Don’t forget to collect attendee data for follow-ups. Nurture leads post-event with targeted content, converting leads into potential customers.

#4 Digital Display Advertising

Digital display advertising is a lead-generating strategy in which you try to attract customers by displaying images, videos, or gifs on various websites or apps. Here are the three most popular lead gen ad tactics used by SaaS agencies.  

Google Display Network

It's a form of online advertising that appears on websites, apps, and other online platforms as visual banners, images, or text-based ads. These ads are part of Google's advertising network and allow advertisers to reach a wide audience across the internet.

Google Display Ads can come in various formats, including:

  • Banner Ads
  • Responsive Ads
  • Native Ads
  • Text Ads
  • Video Ads
  • Animated Ads

Google Display Network is ideal for new B2B marketers, as it provides reach to a wider audience. However, Google is very strict about transparency in ads and landing pages, including evidence for claims and privacy policies.

Ad Creatives

Ad creatives encompass the actual visual and textual content of the advertisements. They include elements like images, videos, headlines, descriptions, call-to-actions, and more. Ad creatives are designed to catch the audience's attention and push them toward conversion. 

The quality, relevance, and attractiveness of ad creatives play an important role in determining the effectiveness of an ad campaign. They need to align with the campaign's objectives, target audience, and platform requirements.

Pay-per-click (PPC)

It's an internet advertising strategy where advertisers are charged each time a user interacts by clicking on their online advertisements.

Inbound traffic may take a while. Meanwhile, you can buy visits to your website via PPC ads. In this tactic, advertisers bid on specific keywords or target audience demographics, and their ads are displayed on search engines or other platforms. 

When a user searches for a keyword or matches the audience criteria, the ad may appear. The advertiser pays for only when the ad is clicked, regardless of how many times it's shown. PPC is commonly used in social media ads (like Facebook Ads) and search engine ads (like Google Ads).

Tip: If you are a beginner, don’t spend a fortune on PPC. Start small.

#5 Landing Pages

A landing page is a web page separately designed explicitly for marketing or advertising initiatives. 

It's the page where a user arrives after clicking a link within an email or from ads on platforms like Google, Bing, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

You don’t need videos or decorative graphics on a landing page for SaaS companies. Simplicity works. 

Image Credits

#6 Cold Calling

Cold calling might not be the newest trick in the market, but it's a real game-changer when it comes to boosting your B2B SaaS lead generation. Think about it as a direct chat with potential clients—a chance to have a real conversation and tailor your pitch to their needs. 

With cold calling, you're not just shooting in the dark; you're building relationships and getting instant feedback. It's like a fast track to figure out if someone is genuinely interested. 

You can try cold calling, especially when your existing customers refer to somebody, or you meet the lead in some physical meetings. That way, calling won't be that awkward. 

But, cold calling is tricky. To see good results with calling, the sales teams must target hot leads only. Not to forget, calling is not everybody’s cup of tea. The sales reps must be the ones who have prior experience in calling and have a proven cold calling script in your hand.

6 Inbound B2B SaaS Lead Gen Ideas

Inbound B2B SaaS Lead Generation focuses on creating valuable content, such as guest posts and articles, YouTube videos, and whitepapers, that attract potential business clients to your website. 

This section includes 6 inbound lead generation ideas to capture their interest and encourage them to initiate contact, eventually leading them to conversion.

#1 Social Proof

Want to increase your customer acquisition rate on LinkedIn?

Social proof can help. 

Creating social proof is crucial for lead generation on LinkedIn. Showcasing positive feedback, client testimonials, endorsements, and successful case studies builds credibility and trust between you and your prospects.

This encourages potential leads to view your products or services favorably and increases the chances of them reaching out or engaging with your content.

You can begin by asking your existing customers for feedback. If they are active on social media channels, ask them to mention you/your product in their content. 

This will help “spread the word” and generate leads organically. 

#2 YouTube Videos

When it comes to B2B SaaS content, there aren’t as many YouTube videos. If you can create good-quality, professional-looking, informative videos, it will increase brand visibility, and you will never have to worry about B2B SaaS lead generation ever again. 

SaaS companies should focus on creating videos to educate audiences about solutions, showcase their features that can solve pain points, and share success stories. By engaging viewers through valuable content, you can build credibility and trust. In the long run, videos serve as huge lead magnets, driving traffic to websites for further engagement. 

#3 Blogging

If you are planning for the long haul, blogs are crucial. Blogging or content marketing, in general, play a vital role in lead generation in B2B SaaS firms. 

They showcase expertise, solve problems, and educate, positioning SaaS companies as industry leaders. Well-optimized blog posts enhance SEO, drawing organic traffic as prospects search for solutions. 

Valuable content serves as lead magnets, capturing contact information for nurturing campaigns. Blogs, for instance, offer long-term value, continuing to generate leads over time. Created BoFu (bottom of the funnel) content on problem-solving topics to generate hot leads.

Overall, blogs establish credibility, educate prospects, and address pain points, driving organic traffic and capturing leads through thought leadership and valuable content.

#4 Social Promotion

Content creation isn’t enough to create multiple streams of B2B lead generation. You must plan content distribution as well. Promoting blog posts and YouTube videos on social media is a strategic lead-generation approach. By sharing your insightful content on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, SaaS companies can tap into a vast audience. 

If your posts align with your target audience's interests and needs, they're inclined to interact with likes, comments, and shares. As your content spreads through SMM and email marketing, your company gains visibility among a broader pool of potential leads. 

Engaging content sparks conversations and resonates, enhancing your brand's reputation and driving inbound traffic to your site. This approach maximizes exposure, creating opportunities to connect with prospects who might have otherwise remained untapped.

For this, all you need to do is take the existing article/video, write a small snippet on it, and share it across channels. As we are talking about the B2B audience, I recommend focusing on LinkedIn and Twitter. 

#5 Case Studies and Testimonials

Utilizing case studies and testimonials around customer success is a compelling strategy for B2B SaaS lead generation. It never fails. 

Why should people buy your product/solution based on your words? The B2B market is hard; stakes are high. Most importantly, their buying decision impacts the entire company. This is where case studies and testimonials swoop in. 

Showcasing actual businesses that have achieved success with your solution adds credibility and authenticity in the eyes of your potential customers. 

These real-world examples demonstrate how your SaaS solution addresses specific challenges and yields positive outcomes. Prospects can take a look at the case studies and envision how your product aligns with their needs and enhances their operations. 

Such social proof reassures potential clients, fostering trust and confidence in your offering. By highlighting tangible results and client experiences, you provide a relatable context that resonates with leads, ultimately driving them toward considering and adopting your solution.

#6 Referral Marketing

Referral marketing is an industry-proven strategy to generate leads for SaaS companies. Use your existing satisfied customers and tap into their networks and credibility to attract new leads. When customers refer others to your SaaS solution, it signifies trust and satisfaction, making the referred leads more receptive.

To make the most out of referral marketing, create a structured program that incentivizes referrals through discounts, rewards, or exclusive access. Encourage advocates to share their positive experiences with peers, both online and offline. This word-of-mouth marketing increases your brand's reach, boosts credibility, and accelerates lead generation in B2B.

Referral marketing is completely based on the inherent trust within professional networks. This is why it brings qualified leads with shorter conversion cycles. 

As referred leads are pre-qualified through their connection with existing customers, your B2B SaaS company can experience increased conversion rates and enhanced growth, all while fostering a sense of community around your brand.

Final Thoughts

I have listed down 6 outbound and 6 inbound lead generation strategies for B2B SaaS companies. If you are a beginner in the market, test the waters with low-budget tactics like cold emails and LinkedIn outreach. 

Gradually, as you see bigger profits, you can try your hand at digital display advertising. Meanwhile, keep working on the branding on LinkedIn. For a secure future, don’t forget to start a blog, YouTube channel, etc. 

Inbound lead generation strategies may take time, but once they are established, you will never have to worry about lead generation in B2B. 

All the best!

FAQs

What is a B2B SaaS lead?

A B2B SaaS lead is a potential business customer that has shown interest in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution offered by another company. These leads are typically decision-makers or influencers within organizations seeking to address specific business needs through subscribing to a SaaS product or service.

How do you generate leads for SaaS?

Generate SaaS leads by employing targeted content marketing, SEO optimization, and thought leadership to attract potential clients actively searching for solutions. Implement gated content and free trials to capture contact information. Utilize social media, email campaigns, and referral programs to engage and convert leads. Collaborate with industry influencers and attend relevant events for networking and exposure. For quicker results, try cold emails and LinkedIn outreach. 

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

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  • svsv

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Author’s Details

Rajnish Das

Rajnish Das is an in-house writer at SmartWriter and SmartLead. She writes product-oriented, data-driven content for B2B SaaS audiences and educates them on marketing and sales topics. Her expertise includes outbound marketing techniques like cold emailing and LinkedIn outreach.

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This flexibility empowers you to diversify your cold email outreach efforts, connect with your audience through various communication channels, and increase your chances of conversion. Whether email, social media, SMS, or other communication methods, Smartlead's multi-channel capabilities ensure you can choose the channels that best align with your outreach strategy and business goals. This way, you can engage with your prospects effectively and maximize the impact of your email outreach.

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Smartlead distinguishes itself from other cold email outreach software by focusing on limitless scalability and seamless integration. While many similar tools restrict your outreach capabilities, Smartlead offers a different approach.

Here's what makes us uniquely the best cold email software:

1. Unlimited Mailboxes: In contrast to platforms that limit mailbox usage, Smartlead provides unlimited mailboxes. This means you can expand your outreach without any arbitrary constraints.

2. Unique IP Servers: Smartlead offers unique IP servers for every campaign it sends out. 

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4. Automated Warmup: Smartlead’s warmup functionality enhances your sender reputation and improves email deliverability by maintaining humanized email sending patterns and ramping up the sending volume. 

5. Multi-Channel Emphasis: Smartlead places a strong emphasis on multi-channel outreach. You can reach your prospects where they are with the LinkedIn outreach feature.   With Smartlead’s cold email automation software, you're always one step ahead in your outreach efforts, enjoying the freedom to scale your initiatives and seamlessly integrate with other tools—all while maintaining a focus on maximizing the impact of your outreach.

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