The Information You Need to Sell Your SaaS Product to B2B Customers
Who likes B2B customers? You do.
As a SaaS company, you like selling to B2B customers. They boost your brand’s credibility and provide powerful social proof. Since they tend to stick around for longer than B2C customers, they lower your overall monthly churn risk. Not to mention the fact that B2B customers usually spend more than their B2C counterparts — more licenses and seats, usage, integrations, support, training, and more. The long term value (LTV) of a B2B customer can be quite high for your SaaS company.
But as a content marketer for SaaS companies, you’re pulled in a million different directions. You want to produce valuable and useful content for your audience, yet it’s hard to distill down the exact content these B2B customers want (versus the content they require to make a purchase from you). You’ve got your marketing campaigns all set up to work like a well-oiled machine, but then the development team drops an emergency patch or the customer success team needs your help with ad hoc content. Unless you drop everything to help, you risk losing the customer and hit your KPIs in a most painful way.
Or maybe you’re just not sure what information your B2B SaaS customers and prospects want to hear from you. You’ve tested a few things, published on numerous channels and platforms, but still, your sales team is still answering the “basic” questions your marketing content should answer for them. There’s gotta be a better way to do this, right?
Yes, there is. Here’s a checklist of the key considerations B2B customers have when choosing a SaaS company, so you can prepare just the right type of content for them and their unique needs.
Information Checklist for SaaS Companies
✅ Security requirements
Security breaches and hacks are become the norm on the news today. B2B customers want to be sure their data is safe with you before they sign on the dotted line. Add in global privacy laws like GDPR, HIPPA, and PIPEDA, and it’s the first thing they ask you about. Local and industry security compliance is top-of-mind for every B2B company today and if you don’t have it (or even fail to mention it), you won’t make anyone’s vendor shortlist.
Not only do you need to meet these global legal requirements, but each company has unique requirements that your SaaS product must be able to meet and integrate with. Sure, chances are it’s the standard security integrations you need to worry about, but your customers probably have a few one-off requirements you need to meet in order to land them as a B2B customer.
Suggested content: Product pages that explain your security specs in plain language, plus a case study of how your product maintained security for a customer, so prospects can imagine you doing the same for them.
✅ Integration options
How your SaaS product integrates with existing systems and cloud environments is a critical point for most B2B customers. Most of them use a hybrid cloud environment where they have some software installed on-premise and much more out on the cloud. All of these systems must work together well, otherwise they won’t buy.
According to MuleSoft, 44% of respondents to a survey found they were unable to integrate their products with a customer’s systems. That’s nearly half! Ouch.
B2B customers want to know if your products integrate with other systems, if you have standard integrations or must do custom ones through APIs. They’ll also expect you to have the right experts to work on the integrations with them, since they probably won’t want to do it themselves. The final piece of the integration puzzle is having the right training and support in place during the integration and on-boarding processes so you can help them navigate any obstacles and prove your value as a B2B SaaS company.
Suggested content: Product pages that explain your integration options in plain language and blog posts that tell the story of how your professional services teams integrate your products into customers’ tech stacks.
✅ Disaster recovery and business continuity
The effect of Cloudflare’s recent outage shows just how critical business continuity plans are. Cloudflare had a disaster recovery (DR) plan in place and executed it immediately. But what about everyone who depended on their services? Did they know what they needed to do to keep their systems up?
It’s one thing to talk about your company’s product reliability in a sales meeting, it’s another to have the processes in place to back that up. B2B customers want to hear the details of your DR and business continuity (BC) plans and how it’ll keep their “critical” systems up and running. After all, every customer system is “critical” to them, so they want to know your uptime track record and the systems you have in place for disaster recovery and business continuity. This includes showing them a sanitized version of the plans during the sales process, not just talking about them in a meeting.
Document the service level agreements (SLAs) you’ll adhere to and show them to your prospective customers. In today’s always-on tech world, they expect attentive service and 24/7 support, so you better be prepared to show them you are. Enterprise customers usually want this information in their contracts, including any credits or savings they’ll earn for missed SLAs, before they sign on the dotted line.
Suggested content: Case studies to show how you handle outages, interviews with customers so prospects can hear from other companies just like them, blog posts that explain your philosophy behind DR, BC, and SLAs.
✅ High-level Account Management
Not all enterprise customers are created equal. B2B customers require a high level of account management that’s more realistically called relationship management. You’ve got to know your customer well and understand the level of interaction they prefer. Some want a bi-weekly touchpoint or monthly lunch meeting, while others don’t. Gainsight, the customer success company, explains that you’ve got to determine the content and communication channels your customers prefer and the appropriate rhythm for engaging with them.
No matter how often you speak with your customers to nurture the relationship, they want to extract as much value as they can from your product after the initial onboarding process. So, they want as much information as they need to have high product adoption rates internally with a wide variety of roles and experience levels within their organization. That starts at onboarding, and continues through their entire lifetime as a customer.
Suggested content: Case studies that show how you helped customers overcome obstacles or set themselves up for success, blog posts introducing customer success and support staff so customers get to see the people behind the products and brand, and documented customer journeys that help everyone (customer success, support, sales, and marketing) stay on message.
Understanding the mind of a B2B SaaS customer is challenging. Producing all the content they want and need before they buy your SaaS product is another challenge. By using this checklist, you’ll have a solid foundation of the information they definitely need before they buy. Your B2B customers will have fewer questions and the sales process will go more smoothly.
Originally published at https://spacebarpress.com on July 8, 2019.