B2B Content Strategy
10 mins read
How to Improve Your SaaS Sales Funnel in Days, Not Weeks
Holistic insights on how to improve your Saas sales funnel
Jessica Tee Orika
Former product-led storytellers @ VEC
Do you remember your first “Aha! Moment?”
I mean the moment when clarity slapped you hard in the face about something or someone…
When you felt that emotional connection as you suddenly recognized a product’s value (or its ability to solve your problem):
Truth is, we’ve all had one or more of such moments in our lives.
Perhaps, it was the moment when you realized your hobby might after all become a multibillion-dollar SaaS company.
Or the time you knew for sure your best friend was the one you wanted to spend the rest of your life with.
For us, it was when we realized we could get qualified leads and customers directly from SaaS content (without waiting weeks, hoping on the traditional sales funnel process):
[p.s. Victor leads our efforts to help product companies get customers directly from SaaS content marketing]
One thing about Aha! Moments is that before you get the realization clock ding in your head, you’ll have no clue.
This happened to us, too.
And that’s because it takes practical experience to recognize this.
As cliché as this may sound, eureka moments like this can help improve your SaaS sales funnel to convert random visitors into customers – without waiting weeks.
I’ll tell you how.
When most visitors visit your website, they’re clueless about your value.
As a SaaS founder or marketing executive, you already know the value of your product.
In fact, you know it well enough to recite them in your sleep.
Unfortunately, the story is different for your potential customers, especially first-time site visitors.
Prospects are burdened with their problems. And most don’t know your product is the answer until you show them.
It’s why you need an optimized sales funnel that converts without delaying or giving them more puzzles to solve.
Doing this gives prospects a unique experience that eventually leads to the anticipated “Aha! Moment” they need to convert.
What Aha! Moments Means For Your SaaS Sales Funnel
An Aha! Moment for your prospect is the instant they realize your SaaS product presents them a unique, fast, and reliable solution to a specific problem they have.
At this point, they understand how your product works and how it will solve their problems (and improve their lives).
It’s when they’re excited about the benefits your product promises, and they can’t wait to use it.
Such a moment is important for your brand’s long-term success.
Because prospects only become customers (long term) if they find your product valuable (easy-to-use and fast without long learning curves).
But let’s face it.
Getting prospects to notice your SaaS product, experience its “Aha! Moment,” and convert into paying customers is no mean feat:
Most B2B prospects now have access to large amounts of information, which makes them increasingly aware of marketing techniques.
It’s why over 60% of your prospect’s buying decision—researching solutions, ranking options, setting requirements, benchmarking pricing, and so on— happen before even having a conversation with your sales team.
Also, numerous competitors trying hard to get your prospects’ attention, some of whom have been on the playing field longer than you.
So, speed really is your greatest ally.
You need to prove your value to prospects fast before they get bored and move on to the next option on their list (yes, they do have a list).
Your prospects don’t need to be pushed down a long, tiring funnel (with zero light at the end of the funnel) before they convert.
They don’t have to get to the bottom of your sales funnel before recognizing your product’s value.
Do you want to know why?
In other words, you should (and can) convert prospects instantly without waiting several weeks for them to get to the bottom of the funnel.
And yes, there is a way to achieve this.
Below these lines, I’ll be showing you how.
But before we dive in, lemme attempt the obvious question:
Why Is Your SaaS Sales Funnel Not Converting?
First, let’s review how a SaaS sales funnel works.
Typically, a sales funnel is a step-by-step process that brings prospects a step closer to becoming a customer.
Its advent came as a result of mapping prospects’ buying journey.
Traditionally, this journey has three groups – awareness, consideration, and action:
The old sales funnel
Theoretically, each stage shows how a consumer goes from being a first-time visitor to a prospect to a lead and then a buyer.
Say a visitor lands on your website via a Google search query or social media link. As she browses through your articles, case studies, product offerings, and other resources on your website, the visitor becomes a prospect.
If she signs up for your email list, you tag her as ‘a lead.’
It’s only then that you can now send them a series of targeted marketing messages, further introducing them to your product via email, text, or phone (whichever you prefer).
Some may click on your special offer links (such as a coupon code offering).
Many won’t even open your messages.
Yet, these hopeful activities take weeks or even months, depending on how much this assumed ‘lead’ finds your marketing message relevant.
Today, the reality is that most leads never convert while some get frustrated along the way and abandon the process.
A study by LinkedIn confirms this:
Why does this happen?
Why is your sales funnel not yielding higher returns?
First, your sales funnel isn’t optimized with your prospects’ needs in mind.
Rather, it revolves around how you think about the product and the results you hope to get rather than how the customer thinks and makes decisions as they go down the funnel.
Second, your prospects find your process too long and overwhelming.
Like you, people want instant solutions, not long processes.
Seventy-three (73%) of consumers feel frustrated when your website offers content (ads, landing pages, promotions, etc.) that has little or nothing to do with them.
This whole process leaves them feeling overwhelmed and less likely to convert.
And the longer it takes to convert a prospect, the higher your chances of losing them to a competitor.
Your SaaS sales funnel should be customer-focused and conversion-friendly.
It should align your customers’ needs with your business goals so that it’s a win-win situation for everyone.
Most importantly, it should be quick and straight-t0-the-point.
Because your prospects’ attention is the new gold.
Unfortunately, this attention is like that of a goldfish – it only last seconds.
Recent studies have shown it’s just eight seconds.
You heard that, 8!
So, rather than create a turbine that tries to suck prospects dry of their time (which they won’t give you anyway) or compel them through a funneled process that lasts weeks…
You should guide them using clear, concise, relevant, and valuable content that educates, entertains, and inspires them to take action.
This is the point where I show you a faster way of getting your prospects’ attention, earning their trust, and taking their money while providing them loads of value, all in days, not weeks.
(You are about to have an Aha! Moment.)
A new SaaS Sales Funnel that converts instantly (not in weeks or months)
Today, consumers want valuable, relevant, and compelling information that solves their problems.
They aren’t interested in being taken from an ad to a landing page then through a series of back and forth emails.
Rather, they prefer content that solves for them in a shorter time. That means less navigation, more value on a page or two.
This is where Product-led Storytelling comes in.
Not everyone enjoys being pulled down a funnel but everyone sure loves a compelling story.
But what the heck is Product-led Storytelling, you ask?
It is a product-focused form of SaaS content marketing. And an “art of crafting discoverable stories to attract and turn engaged readers directly into trial users, PQLs (Product Qualified Leads), and paying customers.”
With this approach, your SaaS “story-like” content pieces become funnels that attract prospects.
It also engages them by showing them how to solve the problem addressed in each article in real-time with your product.
There are four important questions you need to answer to create effective funnel-like product-led stories.
- How aware is my customer of this problem?
- What specific problem does my product solve?
- What are my customers’ pain points?
- What concerns do they have before buying from me?
When executed well, each content piece you create with the Product-Led Storytelling formula addresses those questions.
Your articles go on to filter its audience and convert those who need your product instantly.
Hence, no need channeling your efforts to uninterested prospects who only downloaded your ebook but never read them.
The sweet part?
Instead of generating email addresses (MQLs), hoping they become leads, you’ll get PQLs (product-qualified leads) — people who sign up for your product and are on their way to becoming paying customers.
So, how do you convert customers with a single content piece?
As you see in the image below, it follows nine steps:
The new SaaS sales funnel content outline.
Does this approach work?
Yes – it’s how we generate leads (and customers) directly from content – without having to waste time optimizing a sales funnel:
Does it work for SaaS companies?
Take Ahrefs, for example.
The company’s CMO, in our study of how Ahrefs generates over 3,000 customers per week, said:
“For most of our new users, when they sign up, they tell me: I read your articles. I say how you use Ahres for this, and this made me sign up.”
Why does this process work, you ask?
It’s because, when executed excellently, Product-Led Storytelling transforms each content piece into a funnel like this:
The new SaaS sales funnel.
Simple and straightforward, yeah?
If applied to the letter, every content piece you create (using this formula) becomes a stand-alone funnel that (on its own).
And what happens if visitors convert into users directly from your SaaS content pieces?
You’ll be giving your ideal customers an instant experience each time they visit your website – not putting them through a tiring sales funnel process.
The result of doing this?
You end up improving your SaaS sales funnels (since each piece becomes a funnel) in days, and not weeks.
Conclusion: Upgrade to the new SaaS Sales Funnel
Product-led Storytelling goes hand-in-hand with excellent, well-crafted content pieces.
This is where we come in.
We know you want results, and we are here to help you.
You can download our exhaustive Product-Led Storytelling guide (over 7,700 words) here.
Or, you can contact us to help you.
Why you should take us on this?
First, we practice what we preach – Product-led Storytelling is how we attract prospects (and customers):
And both experts (and clients) love our approach:
If you would like us to help turn your content into engaging product-led stories that convert, you can contact us.
Jessica Tee Orika
Former product-led storytellers @ VEC
Jessica was an intern-turned product-led storytellers at VEC
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