- Connecting The Dots
- Ease To Sell Framework
Ease To Sell Framework
"Lead Generation is Dead, it's all about Demand Generation". 🧐
"You can't find B2B audiences on Facebook". 🕵️♀️
"You need a podcast to scale your B2B business" 🎙
If I would get a dollar for all the shitty advice I heard while consulting over 350+ B2B clients... then I would not be writing this letter from my kitchen.
The truth is that I have proof of:
Lead Generation in fact, not being dead 🧟♂️
A crap ton of success with B2B audiences on FB 😱
...and not every B2B company needing a podcast 🙊.
All of that 👆 is because I understand one simple framework.
A framework that will change the way you look at running marketing at a B2B SaaS company.
Let's dive right into it.🤿
The Ease-To-Sell Framework.
In order to understand how to define the role of marketing within your B2B SaaS company, you need to ask yourselves 2 simple questions:
1. How Expensive is It? » Price
2. How Hard Is It To Buy? » Complexity
Based on the answer, you'll land somewhere on the following scale:
Keeping in mind that as the company progresses, you can find yourself having different products and funnels within this framework
For example, Canva has a self-onboarding model but also has a sales team selling their solution to schools that lets them:
- sell the product in "bulk", and
- facilitate the adoption of their product from a young age
Each version requires a very different approach to the market.
Different Models, Different Marketing Strategies
I've found that understanding the 3 distinct types of Sales Models and tailoring marketing strategies accordingly is crucial for success.
The 3 types are:
1. Self-Service 🤳
2. Transactional 💳
3. Enterprise 🏢
And of course, the Graveyard 🪦.
A place where you sell products at a low price, but which require a high complexity to sell or deliver.
As the name suggests, a place that will make you bleed cash or go out of business.😥
Depending on where you land on the scale, the responsibility of each department (and therefore also marketing) changes.
The Marketing Responsibilities in a Self-Service Model
The perfect SaaS sales strategy is all about customers serving themselves.
But let's be real, that only works if they're both tech-savvy enough to figure out the value of your product and brave enough to navigate the treacherous waters of the self-service checkout. They need to be both willing and able, which can feel like superpowers when one is facing a sea of info.
The customer Self-Service SaaS Sales Model typically breaks down across customer-facing functions as follows:
Full revenue responsibility. Creating awareness, educational content, and automation capable of driving business through the entire purchase process from awareness to revenue.
Provides automation and tools for easy onboarding, plus templates and educational content that allow customers to resolve any issues they encounter on their own.
The Marketing Responsibilities in a Transactional Model
As the price goes up, customers get pickier about where they throw their money. They want to know there are real, live people behind your website, not just a bunch of robots.
And with higher expectations comes the need for a more personal touch, like contracts, fancy SLAs, and the ability to actually talk to someone when things go wrong.
So, goodbye self-service, hello transactional sales model with speedy sales and support operations, quick onboarding, and all the automation you can handle...as long as your customers are willing and able to help themselves. Yet we know, they're not always like that.
The Transactional SaaS sales model typically breaks down across customer-facing functions as follows:
Inside sales reps (ones working on inbound leads) supported by online content and automation.
Feeds "Qualified Leads" to the sales team to build pipeline and improve efficiency.
The Marketing Responsibilities in an Enterprise Model
While most SaaS startups gravitate towards Transactional sales or customer Self-service, products that provide so much value per customer and are rather complex to buy will have a natural starting point in traditional Enterprise sales.
The Enterprise SaaS sales model typically breaks down across customer-facing functions as follows:
Sales reps focused on a narrow set of target prospects directly supported by product marketing and sales engineering resources at the deal level.
High-level marketing that facilitates brand awareness, education, relationship building, and trust »
+ complemented by direct support of the sales team in their target accounts, where marketing aims to make the job of salespeople easier by supporting them via product roadmaps, ROI calculators, etc.
The goal here is to increase pipeline volume, velocity, and win rate improvement.
High-touch support up to onsite issue resolution complemented by educational tools and training tailored to the specific needs of individual customers.
Putting the Ease-To-Sell Framework Into Practise
When defining and creating marketing strategies for the company, it's important to understand how your marketing actions will contribute towards the revenue goal of the company. But more importantly, what you can NOT be fully responsible for.
Let's take a client for whom we defined a marketing strategy for the coming 2 years and which actions we were going to implement to support the business.
In this case, this B2B Accounting SaaS has been around for multiple years and we noticed they had already established multiple sales models, each requiring a different way of marketing.
1. Self-Onboarding (i.e. web) --> Users who self-onboard paying around €7-100€ per month.
2. Transactional (i.e. partners) --> Partners who help users onboard who are paid a commission of the monthly price and can therefore bring on multiple users for the software. Accountants or Resellers in this case.
3. Enterprise (i.e. integrations) --> Governments looking to digitalize their invoicing in their country and make it a requirement to work through a certain framework/solution.
By breaking the different parts of the business down into their sales model, we were able to define the marketing strategy for each of them:
Fully responsible for revenue growth in the user growth of the self-onboarding part of the business. Actions range from gathering trails, activating the users to do their first key action, and pushing people into their first paying plans.
Responsible for generating the right Sales Qualified Leads of accountants/resellers toward the sales team, therefore partly responsible for revenue growth in the marketing team.
Responsible for generating demand and communication in a few target accounts created by Sales. Yet Sales is still in the driver's seat, being revenue responsible for these accounts.
From this framework, you define the actions needed to support the company with marketing activities to support revenue growth.
LinkedIn posts worth reading this week:
1. What everyone leaves out of Monday.com's success story
Brendan Hufford, founder of Growth Sprints explaining Survivorship Bias.
2. A criminally underrated yet rather easy tactic of creating backlinks
Easy to create graphs, charts, and trends to boost backlink building.
3. 5 consumer biases every marketer should know
Anticipate customer response, adapt your communication, and identify potential barriers to effective decision-making by understanding consumer biases.