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A nice Quora thread of B2B growth ideas.
I wrote about this not to long ago in a post title 4 B2B SaaS Growth Hacks That Helped Bizible Raise $8M (http://www.bizible.com/blog/4-b2b-saas-growth-hacks-that-helped-bizible-raise-8m).
Here's a summary:
- Proactive live chat. Second most largest sales channel that had a lead to opportunity conversion 50% higher than average.
- Warming leads through social. Using Facebook custom audiences to warm leads to our brand before doing outbound.
- Test different demo CTAs. Offering an incentive ($25 Amazon giftcard) resulted in > 2X more qualified demos than any other CTA.
- Offer a free tool. Drove thousands of sessions and has lead to many customers for us in the past year.
Another tactic we used is to just shift our mindset. Marketing at Bizible does not take a lead goal, only a revenue goal. We call this Pipeline Marketing (http://bizible.com/pipeline-marketing).
Wow! Intuitively I would guess that offering a $25 gift card would pollute incentives and attract lower quality leads. Might have to try it though if your evidence indicates otherwise.
I agree with the proactive live chat service. You can also observe user flow with live chat clients. The strategy worked best for my first start-up experience.
I know I'm a little late to the conversation, but GH just tweeted this article again. If I can also add a few tips for specifically e-commerce B2B startups:
1. Create in-depth and original product pages by consulting with product experts and research existing content.
2. Utilize Google Shopping feeds and regularly submit sitemaps.
3. Email new or valuable content to your sales team so they can distribute to their customers - they usually have more rapport with the customer than us Marketers, so you're more likely to get backlinks from customers sharing the content than if you tried to email it to the customer directly.
4. Track what customers are searching for in your internal search engine with Google Analytics to see which existing content you need to optimize, and get ideas for new content.
5. Use Google Alerts to track product and industry terms for link-building opportunities.
6. Setup G+ Local for your business if you have brick-and-mortar locations - you can even set up multiple locations within the same G+ listing so all locations are getting the link equity.
Not sure if this is sophisticated enough for GH, but these were valuable things for me to learn, and more than doubled our revenue within just a few months.
The following applies to B2B apps and is more focused on driving a high volume quality funnel as opposed to an insane volume of empty leads.
Knock on a few doors and use your network list. Give away for free to get great early feedback and refine your product based on that. Get it ready for prime time.
EITHER CREATE A NEW MARKET OR REDEFINE AN EXISTING ONE
"Me-to" apps rarely last. Instead solve a known problem in a new better way or solve a problem people never knew they had. You're more likely to stick and people are more likely to share their discovery with others.
TARGET THE RIGHT PEOPLE
Don''t spray and pray. Decide which 2-3 existing solutions your app either makes redundant or really threatens then target them. If that means going head to head with a big guy then do it and make sure they and everyone else knows about it. Make it easy for their users to move to you as its far easier to convert someone who is already sold on the need for a solution as opposed to someone who's never used an app in your category before.
ALWAYS GET SOMETHING IN RETURN FOR A FREE APP
By this I mean if you opt to have a free tier (freemium model) then ask for something in return for permanent access like a tweet for example. A tweet costs them nothing but results in free exposure for you.
Chances are a new user is only ever going to login and try your app once. Don't deter them by asking for lots of info like passwords, activation links etc. Get their email address or social credentials then get them into the app. You can always ask them for a password when they come back or go to close their first session out.
MAKE ON-BOARDING ABOUT VALUE RECOGNITION
Dont just throw them into your app and leave them to self discover what value your app creates for them. As a user I'm trying to understand how your app solves a problem I have in mind so show me in the form of interactive steps / tutorials. By the end of your tutorial I should know whether you're right for me or not (and I haven't even browsed your app yet). Oh and if relevant then get any existing data they have into your app at the beginning. People recognize value far sooner when they are playing with their own data.
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