COVID-19 comes at an already-pivotal time for B2B SaaS marketers and sellers – one where it feels harder than ever to stand out among 50+ publicly traded top SaaS companies, 100+ private $1B unicorns, and 10,000+ privately-held SaaS companies – all of whom are competing, acquiring, partnering, and innovating to win customers and fuel growth.
This has led to an environment in B2B software where:
Competition is at an all-time high: In 2012, the average SaaS company had ~2 competitors. Today, they have ~9.
Buyer trust is at an all-time low: Only 8% of B2B buyers trust the sales rep they’re working with at this very moment.
This has resulted in several major shifts in B2B buyer behavior, including 50% of buyers making up their minds before ever contacting sales, and being less willing than ever to pay for “differentiated” features.
And that was all before COVID-19 took several key channels off the table.
Now, we as sellers and marketers should expect buyers to do 3-5x more research and validation before buying. And we’ll have to keep our demand and pipeline generation engines running without proven channels like events, field, and experiential marketing.
Marketers must pivot all strategies to digital – quickly
These next few weeks will be critical to B2B marketers. Anxiety’s high, buyer attention is already low, and many organizations and teams are still adjusting to remote work and collaboration.
That said, business still needs to be conducted. Programs still need to run. Buyers still need to discover sellers. And sellers still need to be able to sell. Those who adjust their strategies and use this time wisely will mitigate disruption and emerge as winners in the long-term – both in their industries and with buyers.
Here’s your new playbook for B2B SaaS marketing
Consider that 100% of your buyers’ research and engagement will be now conducted online. Probably in the comfort of their own living rooms. This means online marketplaces like G2 will be visited (and revisited) far more by buyers.
The massive traffic surges of 50%-500% we've seen across G2 indicate exactly that -- that online marketplaces like G2 are more important than ever for software buyers right now.
Make no mistake – buyers are going to be looking for software in the coming weeks. Your software. Use the tactical playbook below to ensure your marketing strategy is primed and ready to:
Help buyers self-discover and evaluate you
Win buyer trust with authentic (and current) reviews of your software
Capture surging online demand to fuel marketing
Use content from your reviews to scale digital marketing and sales enablement
Let’s get started.
1. Help buyers self-discover and evaluate you
How? Ensure your marketplace profiles are 100% buyer ready. Conduct a top-down audit of your profile’s contact info, messaging, links, resources – everything. Ask yourselves: is your best-of content up there? This includes new videos, downloadable assets, and platform imagery.
Why? Your profile will be one of three top sources B2B buyers use before buying. It’s critical – especially now – that it’s polished, optimized, and trustworthy. Your profiles must be as representative of your product and solution as your own website.
2. Win buyer trust with authentic (and current) reviews of your software
Why? Reviews are the number one information source for B2B buyers, and don’t forget that 85% of buyers ignore reviews more than three months old. This means that keeping your reviews fresh and current – especially in software – will be the difference between buyers trusting or disregarding yours.
3. Capture surging online demand to fuel marketing
Getting your intent set up ahead of time will help you easily and efficiently retarget accounts researching your G2 profile, category, or competitors on channels like LinkedIn.
Or quickly alert sales of target account activity in your CRM while automatically placing target accounts into sales cadences, nurture streams, and more.
Why? Because when used correctly, intent data from surging marketplaces like G2 can become your #1 channel for pipeline generation.
But don’t take my word for it. Listen to our masterclass webinar all around operationalizing buyer intent where Cloud Cherry’s Head of Global Marketing, James Gilbert, shared how they used buyer intent to 3X their pipeline in 12 months, and turn G2 into their #1 most influential channel out of the 44 in their marketing mix.
4. Use content from your reviews to scale digital marketing programs and sales enablement
How? Cut through the increased noise and competition by incorporating review content into your digital marketing and sales pitches.
Why? Third-party content removes your buyers’ #1 obstacle to buying, which is the inability to get credible content. And there’s about to be a lot of it. You won’t be the only marketer doubling down on digital marketing.
The only way to stand out across cluttered, noisy channels is to use your own review content as a trusted alternative to the marketing content everyone’s already producing.
For marketing – give your programs an unfair advantage
For sales – enable from afar to differentiate and win
This means sharing reports, creating digital reference pages based on reviews, and using your G2 placement in your sales decks. All to ensure your reps are ready to book meetings, build pipeline, and close confidently – even though you’re not under the same roof to enable them at the moment.
Marketer to marketer, we’re here to help
To keep this actionable, here are three things you can do in the next 30 minutes to get the ball rolling on your digital marketing playbook.
If you haven’t already, claim your G2 profile and reach out to a handful of customers to collect reviews. It’s free. If you already have a profile, log in and make sure everything’s up-to-date.