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 7 Tips for Onboarding SaaS Clients as a Marketing Agency

Mar 12, 2020 7 min read

Not all clients you take on as a marketing agency are created equally. Varying industries have nuances and marketing specifications they must tend to bolster chances of success. Onboarding SaaS clients for your marketing agency may not be as straightforward as some come to expect.

You may assume onboarding a SaaS company as within your marketing agency is more like partnering with any other. The reality is SaaS companies possess some unique qualities; if you don't have what it takes to deal with them, you may not have a long-lasting relationship.

7 Tips to Take on SaaS Clients


1. Dig Deeper into your client's business

If you are taking a client that sells piano, the Facebook audiences,  search items, as well as conversions, are already defined. The goal could be to establish a competitive advantage or offer users an extra value. Several SaaS enterprises focus on multiple buyer personas while also providing offerings that align (or may not) align with the requirement of everyone. This alone could make creating campaigns and targeting audiences dicey. You need to design your campaigns to target each user using unique landing pages correctly.

You also have to consider the extra layer of product, subscription fees, as well as the standard customer lifetime value.

If leads are taking the space at the upper layer of your funnel for $200 each while subscription is $100 each month, then you may not see a significant increase in your ROI unless you are closing every sale.

As soon as you initiate a conversation with a SaaS client, the best approach is to understand their product entirely. Avoid skimming through their websites or reading FAQs. Get involved!

Most SaaS companies usually have product demos they have recorded to be employed for QA and training. Some of them even have a dummy account they can provide you. If you want to market their products, it is paramount to understand the experience users will go through before they convert.

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Here are the two benefits:

  • You will become familiar with the operation of your clients as well as the highlighted features. You can utilize some of these features to write ad extensions or ad copy.
  • At the same time, it also depicts you are willing to give it what it takes to understand the process and product. This buy-in level is indispensable.

2. Understand How Your SaaS Clients Score Leads

It's a big deal to understanding the scoring techniques utilized by your clients. If SQL, MQL, AQL, Wins, and Opps bore you stiff, you might be maxing out on something crucial. You need to learn these acronyms as this aspect is the most significant in collaborating with a SaaS client.

For instance, if your Adwords campaigns got a lead that's tagged an 'MQL' or a Qualified Marketing Lead. An MQL for enterprise X  possesses a 20 percent conversion rate to an offering (sales demo). Perhaps the volume of offerings- not MQLs- is the metric the marketing unit is leveraging to evaluate the team's objectives. It would be paramount to enhance conversion rates down the sales funnel instead of wasting resources on learning about MQLs.

If you can successfully optimize the conversion rates to the offerings (like enhance promotional messaging or Facebook targeting), this will enable you to substitute for an increase in CPA. A typical agency model would only focus on the performance from the surface on Facebook and Adwords.

3. Understand the SaaS Sales Process

There's always a gap between sales and marketing in every organization. You need to come to terms with this reality. Nevertheless, the size of the gap may vary exponentially, depending on the organization.

The most organized company has a sales and marketing process that minimizes friction as much as it can. The marketing team understands the types of leads required by sales, and the sales team also know how to leverage feedback from marketing creative to get the job done or close deals.

However, this is not always the situation.

  • Most times, there's no cordial relationship or quality communication between internal teams. This can lead to the driving of leads you assumed qualified but may eventually not lead to sales. That can create a wrong impression about you.
  • You can prevent this from happening by asking yourself some important questions when taking on a SaaS client.

Does the Organisation Score Lead?

If every lead is qualified equally as soon as it enters the sales funnel, then it's going to create an issue for you.

Using the example of the MQLs to offer - if every lead that fills the form happens to be an MQL, it means the sales are going to be accumulating a lot of fluff. This can even suppress the qualified leads as volume rises. You will have to manage kick-backs. Valuable resources may be - SDR's will waste time contacting leads via calls/emails on leads that should've been ignored.

You can address this issue via lead scoring. The only exception is, you are an agency and it's not in your jurisdiction to implement. Therefore, you need to know the impact of lead scoring and be able to recommend it to your SaaS client. That can help you achieve a significant impact 

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Do the SaaS Clients Have BDR's?

This is another salient question!

An SDR means a sales development representative, and just like the lead scoring procedure, it gives room for synergy between marketing and the sales teams.

The sales rep will not always be contented 100% regardless of how leads are served. This is due to the nature of the pressure mounted on them. For instance, a BDR will perform the cleansing process on leads so they can quickly be closed once they reach the sales level.

4. Find out Why They Are Hiring an Agency

Before you sign the contract, you need to find an answer to this question.

Why is this client not hiring someone for their in-house team instead and chose to outsource their marketing to an agency?

This could be a result of several reasons. For instance, there could be no experienced team member; it could also be to meet an aggressive target after another round of funding. Not only that, the company may have become understaffed or overworked who just don't want to handle PPC for the company. All these reasons are tenable. They are indicators that the company needs a specialized agency like yours.

Nevertheless, there are some other reasons a SaaS client might opt for an agency that you need to be aware of. 

Internal Conflict

Nothing is worse, like a toxic workplace, even for an agency or a freelancer. While it is not necessary to commute to the client's office, you will be affected by a divided team.

It is crucial to secure some insight into the dynamics of the marketing team. How long each leader has been there, what number of individuals make up the team, how passionate are they about their work?

A resentful team with a higher turnover will be too difficult to collaborate with. 

I Need Proof That This Can Work

While it is exciting to take on a new client, attempting to work with a new client that only has a vague understanding of the value you want to deliver could also be a wrong decision.

It does not make sense trying to convince a client that's skeptical of the value you offer that paid advertising is effective.

There has to be common ground that it works, and you need to uncover what works specifically given their requirement.

Your goal is to take on a client that wants to grow, not the one that's scared of failure.

5. Then Find Out What Has Worked, What Failed, and Why.

Having understood why your client is hiring an agency, you need to profile their history of running paid campaigns.

Find out what has informed their decision to try paid advertising now?

Check their previous strategies for paid campaigns. Any setback relating to cost, management, or targeting?

Utilize the data from previous approaches to design your new strategy for the SaaS client.

This is where your background knowledge of the product, as well as the sales and marketing processes, will come into play. That will enhance your operation and save you the considerable time needed to generate a meaningful impact for your SaaS clients.

6. Integrate Into The Team

SaaS clients value teamwork.

Every organization has a team, as well as milestones each team needs to achieve. Responsibility sharing among team members makes them accountable, and it also breeds innovative thinking. Venture-funded enterprises, particularly have aggressive targets they want to meet. Collaborating with an agency that integrates into the team will generate results in the long term.

It is crucial to visit your client's office at least monthly or quarterly to facilitate this integration. Meet the decision-makers and engage every team member one-on-one. Go beyond being a voice on mobile phones.

Make sure the team members feel like they have a relationship with you. Also, ensure that they can trust you as a person, and not just a faceless entity that they can spew their last meeting report at.

Let them know you are 100%.

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7. Offer Extra Solutions That Increase Value

A lot of SaaS entities are growing at a breathtaking pace that they lack in terms of resources. In case your agencies offer other solutions that you think they need, don't hesitate to render them.

Here are some common challenges noticed with the bandwidth of the marketing team:

Creatives

This can be a high selling point if you're going to be managing ad campaigns for your SaaS clients. A lot of them have designers, but they are most times overworked. You can provide a graphic design solution that can enhance the service you provide.

Web Development

This could be a rare skill among small teams. You have to possess the capability of implementing across channels. Therefore, this skill, if added to your offering, could make an enormous difference. 

Your client requires a new website or a unique tool to bolster lead generation. Having the latter, for instance, can simplify your work - especially if you are experienced in how they function.

Creation of Landing Page

A lot of SaaS companies don't have the required resources to create landing pages for their promotions. If you devise a new means of promoting your client's product, it is expedient to be able to develop those tools and release them on time. Providing value-added services around conversion rate optimization as well as landing page can give your agency a competitive edge when taking on or maintaining a SaaS client.

Conclusion

It does not matter if you are already collaborating with SaaS clients or you are scared about taking on new clients, these 7 points above should guide you on what to watch out for and how to quickly onboard SaaS Companies as clients for your PPC agency. You may discover it's not worth the effort, and you want to stick only to clients who can understand the value of the project you want to take. That's ultimately perfect.

If you are ready to take on SaaS companies as new clients by following the advice we have shared above, you will realize it is fun to service SaaS clients.

Mindaugas Skurvydas
Written by Mindaugas Skurvydas

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