Ultimate Guide To Hiring The Best B2B SaaS Demand Generation Agency
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Scaling a B2B SaaS business is challenging. Without an effective customer acquisition strategy, it is a recipe for failure as attracting new customers isn’t just complicated and intimidating. It is very expensive as well.
In fact, it costs seven times more to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones. But growth-centric SaaS businesses are constantly looking to turn prospects into high-value customers.
Demand generation is one of the most effective marketing strategies to streamline customer acquisition and retention initiatives by focusing on increasing brand awareness, authority, and trust, resulting in high-quality leads and increased business revenue.
B2B SaaS marketing experts use various demand generation tactics to expand SaaS businesses. It’s an integral part of any effective marketing strategy, but its application can be very time-consuming and resource-intensive. That is why SaaS founders look towards professional marketing agencies that offer B2B SaaS demand generation as part of their comprehensive marketing strategy.
To ensure that you have chosen the right agency, we have created this comprehensive guide that will help you hire an effective SaaS demand generation agency.
What is a B2B SaaS Demand Generation Agency?
A B2B SaaS demand generation agency specializes in developing sales and marketing strategies focused on improving brand awareness and interest for B2B SaaS companies. The goal of B2B demand generation is to create a steady stream of business for your SaaS company by generating leads and closing deals with potential SaaS customers.
If you want to get qualified leads, you need to generate a list of potential SaaS clients and effectively communicate your product features to them. B2B SaaS demand generation consultants can employ the right tactics to ensure result-oriented prospect engagement through various marketing channels.
Building a Successful B2B SaaS Demand Generation Strategy
Today’s B2B buyers are savvy, educated consumers who expect to find information about products and services online before they even consider making a purchase decision. They also expect to see relevant offers and promotions from companies they already know and trust.
There are many ways to reach out to these prospective buyers and engage them in conversations that convert into sales. But not all B2B demand generation campaigns work. If you don’t invest enough time and resources into creating engaging content, or if you fail to develop a strong relationship with your audience, it won’t matter how great your demand generation campaign looks on paper.
A B2B SaaS marketing agency must follow the below-mentioned steps to build a successful demand generation strategy:
- Build brand awareness and loyalty: Continuously develop high-quality content that positions the SaaS business as a leader and authority to establish trust among prospects.
- Develop a strategic content strategy: Distribute SaaS marketing content to target audience strategically while optimizing the advertising budget.
- Nurture high-quality leads: Reinforcing relationships with leads and customers via product offers, discounts, and priority customer support.
- Incorporate account based marketing (ABM): Set personalized campaigns to reach high-value prospects and leads from engaged companies visiting your site repeatedly.
- Invest in partner marketing: Partner marketing enables a broader audience reach for SaaS companies. You can collaborate with multiple marketing consultants to generate more demand for your SaaS business.
How Does a Demand Generation Agency Work?
A demand generation agency uses various techniques to identify potential customers interested in purchasing SaaS products or services. Once identified, the agency will contact those prospects via phone calls, text messages, emails, and other marketing channels to see if they are interested in learning about your products or services.
Demand generation agencies can generate SaaS leads via public records and databases or purchase them from external companies. The demand generation agency then resells these leads to its SaaS clients at a higher price.
Following are the two main strategies demand generation consultants use:
Inbound Demand Generation
This strategy helps SaaS clients determine what type of messaging works best for them. Demand generation agencies then craft these comprehensive inbound marketing campaigns around specific ICP-focused messaging and deliver them to the right audience.
Outbound Demand Generation
This strategy enables demand generation agencies to find and connect with prospective clients. Once they have found the prospect, they pitch products or services to them. Sometimes this involves cold calling, but it also includes blogging, video marketing, SEO, PPC, and various SaaS marketing tactics.
B2B SaaS Demand Generation Agency vs. Lead Generation Agency
Demand generation and lead generation are two different but highly-overlapping marketing approaches that help scale businesses through various marketing and sales initiatives. The difference between these two is that the former focuses on improving the overall brand awareness and interest, ultimately leading to better lead conversion. In contrast, the latter focuses on selling products or services to brand-aware prospects.
A successful B2B SaaS demand generation marketing strategy encompasses all aspects of the marketing funnel. It starts with increasing the SaaS product awareness and visibility to qualifying leads, nurturing them, and ensuring their loyalty to the products by offering personalized incentives.
Demand generation simply means creating demand or desire. Once the desire is created, your SaaS business will lock more product sales, eventually increasing revenue. It keeps the marketing and sales team aligned towards achieving their individual goals as well as the company’s goal of increasing revenue. SaaS marketers develop content and distribute it via various channels to increase product interest and generate an increase in free trial sign ups and demos.
Lead generation comes under the umbrella of demand generation, but it requires high-skill individuals with excellent knowledge of the entire marketing pipeline. It is entirely focused on acquiring the contact information of potential clients. Marketers deploy many strategies for effective lead generation, including cold calling, email and SMS marketing, CTAs that lead to submitting contact information, and marketing funnels using websites.
Demand Generation Marketing Channels
SaaS companies are often limited by their demand generation marketing capabilities because most of the team is qualified in software development and support. Most of the time, SaaS founders could not afford to set up a fully functional marketing department. The one they have in the house may not be capable of developing any effective demand generation strategy to ensure business growth. That is why SaaS founders end up outsourcing many of their B2B marketing initiatives.
Demand generation is a crucial part of any successful digital marketing strategy and can be achieved through different marketing channels like Google Ads (SEM), Paid Social (Facebook Ads) marketing automation and other paid media channels like programmatic advertising. SaaS businesses can outsource the following demand generation marketing services:
Defining SMART Goals
Demand generation starts with defining clear, concise, and actionable goals for your SaaS marketing and sales strategy. Any marketing and sales department aims to generate more revenue by converting more leads. But if the goals of the sales and marketing teams are not aligned with each other, the business will suffer.
Specific: Marketing goals with exact growth numbers rather than simple words like “more” or “less.” For example, “Achieve 10% more lead conversion rate than the last quarter.”
Measurable: Goals that are trackable so their success or failure can be measured using reporting and analytics tools.
Attainable: Setting realistic goals based on the performance of the last or historical marketing cycles rather than setting unrealistic growth targets.
Relevant: Setting goals that align with your current marketing methodology.
Time-bound: Setting achievable deadlines for your marketing campaigns. For example, “Increase 5% revenue in the next six months”.
SMART marketing goals enable the alignment of demand generation goals between the marketing and sales teams.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Another great way to get more exposure for your SaaS website and online content is Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing. Simply put, SEO/SEM is the process of improving the visibility of your web content within organic search results and via various paid media marketing strategies.
A SaaS demand generation agency would help you set up a comprehensive SEO/SEM plan. Some of their activities are:
- Executing robust keyword research for your SaaS products
- Make sure that keywords appear throughout your web content using topical authority and AI-Powered tools
- Target terms that are highly searched upon by customers
- Work on link building to improve your website’s domain authority
- Rework and optimize existing content to make sure it ranks high on 1st page of Google
- Ensuring that their SEO strategy is generating desired revenue outcomes
Email Content Marketing
One of the most popular ways to improve brand awareness and generate leads is via email marketing. This type of marketing allows companies to reach out to new and current customer base and prospects. They can send emails full of valuable information regarding their SaaS products or services.
In addition to being cost-effective, email marketing has proven itself to be a potent lead generation tool. A SaaS demand generation company can easily set up automated email campaigns on behalf of your SaaS company, allowing you to engage with past, present, and future clients.
Strategic Text-Based & Video Content Marketing
B2B SaaS demand generation marketers spend significant time creating content that answers the problems of their potential customers, including writing blogs, tutorials, user manuals, and documentation. They can identify the gaps in the industry and distribute this content to the relevant target audience to increase interest in their SaaS product.
The emergence of video-based content has been a major game-changer for marketers. Nowadays, there’s no reason to limit your content marketing efforts to written material alone. Video marketing can successfully reach your target audience, build trust, and retain visitors when executed correctly.
Video marketing offers SaaS companies the chance to create unique content that engages their audiences and gets noticed. People prefer watching quick videos rather than reading lengthy documentation and user manuals. Having a comprehensive video marketing strategy is vital for any B2B SaaS company to establish itself as a thought leader in the industry.
Demand generation marketing agencies have access to qualified content creators who can develop engaging marketing content for your SaaS business. They can distribute the content online, ensuring maximum client engagement.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing provides brands with a great opportunity to connect directly with their potential buyers. Using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn, SaaS businesses can post updates, announce events, promote deals, and engage with their audience.
SaaS demand generation consultants can professionally set up these social media marketing channels for your SaaS business. They also have access to modern marketing and analytics tools to ensure greater conversion rates for social media content.
Affiliate Marketing Strategy & Influencer Marketing Strategy
Affiliate marketing can be an effective strategy for improving your B2B SaaS sales. Affiliate marketers earn commissions for selling your products. Demand generation agencies can scrutinize affiliate marketers on behalf of your SaaS business. They can put together an effective affiliate marketing strategy that includes:
- Selecting the right affiliates
- Ensuring that affiliate marketing links are placed strategically to ensure maximum traffic
- Regularly A/B test your SaaS products banners and ad creatives
- Customize content for domestic and international client engagement
- Use modern affiliate marketing tools to ensure seamless execution of the marketing plan
Influencer marketing is the advanced form of affiliate marketing. SaaS companies can market their products with prominent social media technology bloggers on Youtube, LinkedIn, or Instagram to engage their followers and market their products. In return, the influencer may receive one-time or affiliate payments.
Sales Enablement & Support
Modern demand generation marketers are part of the end-to-end marketing and sales pipeline. They create sales enablement content, including demo videos, case studies, white papers, and infographics to help your sales representatives communicate more effectively with leads and lock more sales. They will create personalized content to cater to the needs of qualified leads.
Why Should I Hire a Demand Generation Agency?
The answer to this question depends on your marketing needs and goals. Some companies prefer to handle all aspects of lead acquisition and customer retention. Others may not have the time or resources to dedicate to it. However, having a third-party partner in charge of acquiring leads is ideal because it allows you to concentrate on growing your business instead of spending hours each day trying to improve your brand awareness and interest.
Before hiring a demand generation agency, you need to define what kind of services you are looking for, the costs associated with those services, and your realistic expectations. This way, you can narrow down your search and only look at companies that provide those specific marketing services.
1) Are You Looking For A Full-Service Agency Or Just One Service?
Once you’ve decided that you need a demand generation company, you need to determine whether you want a full-service agency or just one service.
Full-service agencies offer all kinds of demand generation marketing services, including brand awareness, brand authority, lead generation and acquisition, email marketing, web design, SEO, and PPC advertising. Because they provide the complete package, they cost more for the number of availed services.
Single service agencies offer just one type of service. Commonly found single service agencies are social media marketing agencies, email marketing agencies, and content marketing agencies. They typically specialize in one aspect of marketing and charge less than full-service agencies.
2) What Is Your Budget?
Every business owner wants to have the best services at a reasonable price. No matter how big or small your SaaS business is, hiring a high-quality service provider is always better to ensure success.
Suppose you are unsure of how budgeting works or how much money you should spend to achieve your growth targets. In that case, a demand generation agency can help you define and spend your marketing budget strategically. Based on your SaaS demand generation requirements, they can create a budget plan and execute it optimally.
You can also request quotes from multiple demand generation agencies to compare their plans and have a clear perspective on budgeting.
3) How Much Time Will It Take To Get Up and Running With a Demand Generation Agency?
Most B2B SaaS demand generation agencies have prebuilt services and packages that can be customized quickly to observe the results of your marketing spend. They have in-house teams that can cater to your SaaS niche. Depending on your marketing requirements, onboarding a third-party demand generation agency can take two to four weeks.
A demand generation agency would set up marketing and sales pipelines tailor-made for your SaaS business during the initial onboarding period. The next couple of months would focus on fine-tuning the demand generation strategies. However, most agencies require a minimum contract period of 3-6 months to generate effective results.
4) What Kind Of Results Can I Expect From a Demand Generation Agency?
Expect improved brand recognition and high-quality leads.
Improving brand recognition and interest are time-bound activities. First, a demand generation agency would prepare a content marketing plan for your SaaS product. Then, they will generate relevant content for the next few months and observe how it performs from the customer engagement perspective. They will perform customization and personalization activities based on marketing analytics to align the content with the target audience.
Most demand generation agencies can provide high-quality leads quickly if they have prior experience of working in your SaaS niche. But some agencies take a longer time to deliver leads. They provide leads as a result of their custom demand generation activities.
Benefits of Hiring a B2B SaaS Demand Generation Agency
You no longer need to spend hours identifying your target market. The demand generation agency will do the hard work. They will provide you with assistance through your customer acquisition process.
B2B SaaS demand generation agency will also handle and improve your brand identity. They will make sure your company is represented properly online. They will ensure that your web content looks professional and is optimized for search engines.
Before making a hiring decision, ensure that your demand generation agency is offering the following benefits to your SaaS business:
- Access to experts with SaaS-based marketing specialization in website design, web development, SEO, SEM, lead nurturing, conversion optimization, and PPC advertising
- Manage entire marketing campaigns, including creating content, designing landing pages, ad creative, social media posts, writing emails, and scheduling calls and meetings
- Offers a customized marketing approach rather than one-size-fits-all
- Personalized growth hacking tactics to target prospects and convert them into high-value customers
- Set short-term and long-term growth goals for your SaaS business
- Evaluate marketing efforts based on realistic KPIs and marketing metrics
- Provide access to modern marketing tools, including AI-based and automation tools
- Provide reporting and analytics services via modern marketing tools.
- Keep an eye on the competitors and update your marketing campaigns accordingly
- Provide 24/7 guidance and transparency on your marketing efforts
- Continuously optimize marketing strategies to prevent any unnecessary financial losses
Some demand generation agencies offer free trials, allowing you to test their services before committing to them.
Demand Generation Agency Billing Models
Many factors determine how much a demand generation agency charges, even if they offer similar services. Before making a hiring decision, have a detailed inquiry about their billing methods to avoid any financial and legal setbacks in the future. Ensure there are no hidden charges, and the cost for each service is agreed upon at the contract’s start. The following list explains the different pricing models available for demand generation agencies:
1. Fixed Price Model
Some agencies prefer a fixed price per month. The monthly fee covers the entire scope of their demand generation services, saving you from the hassle of reviewing and verifying work every day. At the end of each month, you can check their performance and make any corrections for the future.
A fixed price model is usually agreed upon after the demand generation agency has built trust and the SaaS business has become a loyal customer. Both parties have developed an understanding of each other’s needs.
2. Hourly Rate Model
Hourly rate is the most common billing model. It is similar to the fixed price model except that hourly rates are charged for specific marketing services. However, each service can have a different hourly rate based on the effort required for its completion. For example, the hourly rate for content marketing services would differ from website development.
3. Variable Cost Model
This model allows the client to select the demand generation services their SaaS business needs. In return, the agreed cost for those selected services is billed to the client individually. For example, the SaaS company will pay a fixed lump sum to the demand generation agency for the outsourced content marketing and SEO/SEM services, but each service is priced separately.
4. Percentage of Sales or Revenue Sharing Model
The demand generation agency agrees to receive a percentage of sales or revenue generated. In return, the agency provides marketing support for the SaaS business. For example, both parties may agree on a 10% revenue sharing model. Based on the terms and conditions, this model can benefit both parties in the long run.
5. Project-Based Model
In this model, the SaaS business and the demand generation agency agree upon an initial set of projects. Each project is assigned a value based on the time required to complete the project. As soon as the project is completed, the payment of the project is released by the SaaS client.
The project-based model works best for the marketing needs of individual projects. Usually, this model works best for small-scale SaaS companies.
6. Performance-Based Pricing Model
Companies agree upon performance criteria that must be met to continue working together regardless of the work delivered by the marketing agency. If the demand generation agency successfully adds value to the SaaS company through various marketing initiatives, then the SaaS company will pay an agreed amount to the agency. This model is increasingly gaining popularity in the B2B SaaS niche as it pushes the agencies to ensure high-quality work.
7. One Time Payment Model
In this model, a single payment is made at the end of the relationship. The client pays for all work performed during the duration of the contract. Companies like to exercise freedom in whom they want to continue working. The one-time payment model is not very popular among modern SaaS companies as it adds contractual limitations.
8. Per Lead Payment Model
The per lead model is similar to the flat fee or hourly rate model. However, the agency charges a fee based on how many qualified leads are generated instead of charging a flat or hourly rate. The demand generation agency will perform all relevant marketing activities for the SaaS company to acquire high-quality leads. Based on the agreement, additional costs can be applicable in some cases.
The most important thing to remember when choosing a demand generation program is finding one that works well for your needs. Most solutions offer similar features; however, each has its strengths and weaknesses. We recommend keeping your marketing spending low until you see some traction with your leads if you are just starting up. Once you have seen growth over time, it may be worth increasing your budget. However, keep in mind that increasing budgets too quickly does not necessarily result in more customer engagement and lead conversions.
Choosing A Good Demand Generation Agency
As a SaaS client, you need to understand what to expect from your demand generation agency. You’ll want to know if they have the right skills and experience for growing your business. You also want to make sure that they can deliver on their promises. Nowadays, there are so many options that it can be hard to pick the right agency that speaks your language.
How do you know when you have found an excellent B2B SaaS demand generation agency? Here are three things to look for:
A good demand generation agency would have valuable existing clients. Ask around about their reputation. Check online reviews. Also, check references from other clients. A good demand generation agency would deliver high-quality work promptly, ensure transparency, and have an enthusiastic customer success department. Not only that, they would have proven results to showcase their skills.
B2B SaaS is a demanding niche that requires tons of experience to generate favorable results. Before hiring a demand generation agency, ensure their relevant experience working with other SaaS clients. Also, consider if they have experience working with a SaaS company similar to your company’s scale.
3) Skill Set
Find out what kind of services your potential demand generation agency provides. Many agencies offer several services like branding, lead generation, lead nurturing, customer retention, email marketing, and content marketing.
Ensure that the one you select offers the specific services you need. Also, find out if they have the resources to scale your marketing projects and campaigns. Understanding the internal workflow of the agency can guide you in the right direction.
Consequences of Choosing the Wrong Demand Generation Agency
When you hire a demand generation agency, you give them control over your company’s entire marketing process. They handle everything from creating content to managing social media accounts.
The wrong agency choice could cost you thousands, even millions of dollars. You’ll lose control over your brand image, create negative impressions about your business and damage your reputation. It’s critical to choose an agency that is right for you. Some consequences of choosing the wrong agency are:
1) High Costs
Most demand generation agencies are expensive because they hire large teams of qualified resources to perform different marketing tasks. They also spend lots of money on marketing technology. These costs are covered by their SaaS clients. If the agency is not worth its salt, the SaaS client will end up wasting a significant chunk of money.
2) Low-Quality Leads
When choosing a demand generation agency, make sure that it provides high-quality leads. A poor lead conversion rate could mean that you’re paying too much for the leads they are offering. Low-quality leads could result from low-quality marketing campaigns that affect your overall SaaS business.
3) Poor Lead Management System
Today, a modern demand generation agency is expected to use modern marketing tools that support marketing automation. Some agencies don’t use a well-designed lead management system. As a result, you’ll waste time searching through long lists of leads. Without marketing automation, communicating with potential prospects takes too long and increases the marketing costs.
5) Bad Customer Service
If you have to contact your demand generation agency for recurring problems repeatedly, that means they are providing sub-par customer service. A demand generation agency with good customer service would proactively identify issues and resolve them permanently.
Take Your Demand Generation To The Next Level With Algocentric
Algocentric Digital is not just a traditional marketing agency. It can help you with your entire digital marketing journey, starting with the initial planning and strategy to the execution of your B2B SaaS marketing campaigns. With a proven track record in delivering exceptional results for SaaS clients, Algocentric has been at the forefront of some of the most successful B2B SaaS demand generation initiatives.
Our approach is simple. We are here to improve your SaaS product’s visibility and get you qualified SaaS leads and increase MRR.
We do that by taking a consultative approach to listen closely to your needs and challenges. Then using our experience and knowledge of the B2B SaaS industry, we create a custom marketing solution that meets your scale and budget. Book a consultation with us now or grab our AI-powered paid social playbook to start your B2B SaaS digital transformation journey.