SaaS Lead Generation: Marketing Strategies for Web-Based Software

SaaS Lead Generation- Marketing Strategies for Web-Based Software

Software as a Service (SaaS) is basically the delivery of applications and software – usually those needed to run a business – over the internet as a service.

The most given advantage of this is that businesses no longer need to purchase and maintain hardware and/or software, because these programs are stored in the SaaS provider’s servers. All you need is an internet connection, and voila.

Aside from less maintenance, SaaS also ensures security and stability. Because all business-related files and programs are taken over by their servers, an enormous amount of risk must be evened out by a corresponding protection, backup and recovery system. This is what they do, so you can very well say that it’s safe.

But is this something that business will take a bite of? If you’re a SaaS provider, how will you position yourself in the minds of your target market?

Find the right people and focus on them

The ‘right people’ means those business that have the financial capacity to acquire such a service, and at the same time, one that needs that service. It wouldn’t hurt to introduce this venture to businesses that don’t really meet the requirements, since SaaS is a relatively new way of running a business. But to really generate those qualified leads entails focus on those who will likely be seriously interested.

Set expectations carefully

The tricky part of selling this kind of service is the fact that people won’t really know (or believe) if it works or not unless they try it. That’s why a lot of SaaS providers offer free trials for businesses to get a ‘feel’ of acquiring web-based programs.

But this is where expectations come in. These ‘free tastes” could make or break the target market’s impression on SaaS as an overall concept, so marketers need to be careful in laying everything on the table for what people are supposed to expect.

Invest on engagement and education

If people are too reluctant or busy to take your service for a test drive, then you only other choice would be to educate them with the most realistic picture you could come up with. When you go out there and promote SaaS, people would want to know more, and questions would be thrown around. Make sure you invest enough time and attention in addressing all those intellectual needs, and when the audience have truly grasped the SaaS concept, your hard work will have paid off.

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All The Good Things Managed IT Services Can Do For Your Business

All the good things Managed IT Services can do for your business

Imagine having someone to go to work and perform your boring tasks for you, and all you have to do is sit pretty, wait for the paycheck, and give him some dough. Sounds great, right?

What’s even better is that this “clone” is actually an expert version of you – more efficient, more knowledgeable, and more “techie”. Which means your job is accomplished at a very high level of quality, without you having to move a single muscle.

That’s exactly what Managed IT services can do for a business.

Managing and maintaining one’s IT infrastructure is something that no business owner really enjoys doing. First of all, he’s a businessman. He couldn’t care less about software maintenance or bandwidth management or data recovery or equipment repair. All he wants is to focus on how his business can generate income.

With Managed IT services, you leave the fate of your IT in the hands of IT professionals. You get to save yourself from a lot stress and save a lot of resources at the same time.

But that’s not the only thing you can benefit from outsourcing your IT:

  • Out: labor costs. In: flexible rates. With Managed IT services, you only pay for the service you used. No more worrying about the expenses of hiring, training, and paying for in-house technicians who might not even be up to the task in the first place.

  • Out: old school methods. In: innovative, trendy technology. As Managed IT services providers, they are expected to be equipped with the latest software and know-how when it comes to enterprise IT. This ensures that your competitors won’t get ahead.

  • Out: security woes. In: trusty disaster recovery programs. Security standards are almost imperative when working with an outside firm, because that’s obviously one of the main concerns of a business that’s looking to outsource. You can sleep well at night knowing that all your data are backed-up and secured in case of a threat.

  • Out: legal, financial risks. In: compliance and stability. Every business that uses technology plays with a certain amount of risk, especially with government regulations, IT policies and market requirements. Passing that responsibility to your own outside IT team can get some of the pressure off your back.

  • Out: juggling between tasks. In: more focus on business. Business owners have limited time, attention and energy to check on every aspect of the company. With the IT aspect taken care of by the right people, more concentration can be given to what matters most: running the business.
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Time To Update Your Business Twitter Profile – Whether You Like It Or Not

Time to update your Business Twitter Profile – whether you like it or not

It was only a matter of time before Twitter would follow the footsteps of its greatest rival, Facebook, in terms of its visual appeal. In fact, many are wondering why it took so long. Nevertheless, such actions always entail polarizing feedback as part of its game.

When you change the appearance of a website as gigantic as Twitter, you have to expect that it would stir up the online community.

So what’s new?

According to Twitter’s official blog, the main difference is that the new layout allows users to use larger sized profile photos, to customize their headers, and choose to display certain tweets based on responses and other categories.

From blog.twitter.com:

Here are main features:

  • Best Tweets: Tweets that have received more engagement will appear slightly larger, so your best content is easy to find.

  • Pinned Tweet: Pin one of your Tweets to the top of your page, so it’s easy for your followers to see what you’re all about.

  • Filtered Tweets: Now you can choose which timeline to view when checking out other profiles. Select from these options: Tweets, Tweets with photos/videos, or Tweets and replies.

Now these changes may not be a plus point in everybody’s book, but for business marketers who are relying heavily on social media for their lead generation activities, there’s no excuse for not accepting the direction that Twitter is taking.

Being a rip-off of Facebook’s signature layout isn’t exactly a crime; as a matter of fact, Twitter marketers can take advantage of this the same way Facebook marketers do.

The new layout actually offers new and exciting ways to highlight the strengths of your business page. You can highlight tweets that have generated large responses and build your thought leadership campaigns around it. You can also make the most out of your header image by adding useful elements such as text containing your unique value proposition.

If you’re not into the whole ‘visual’ thing, then you might want to check out the Twitter pages of some of the most trusted B2B thought leaders in your industry. For a start, take a look at these inspirational examples:

@Marketo

@ADP

@MailChimp

@SAP

@Intel

@GeneralElectric

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Cloud Computing: How It Works And Why Businesses Are Into It

Cloud Computing- How it works and why businesses are into it

The internet proves to be more than just an vast reservoir of information – yet again – by offering a solution that makes business operations more efficient than ever.

Here comes cloud computing. Webopedia.com describes it as a type of computing that relies on sharing computing resources rather than having local servers or personal devices to handle applications.

Simply put, it is the use of the internet – instead of local hard drives – for managing files and running programs to be used in carrying out daily business tasks. Since time, money and people are the most important resources a company could possess, cloud computing offers a way to streamline processes and help achieve goals in the most cost-efficient manner.

This is obviously good for any business that has ample resources to acquire such a technology. But are there any other benefits that can make cloud computing really worth it?

Cloud computing usually comes with a provider, which means an outsourced firm would be taking care of the technology’s operations. This means less maintenance on the part of the client, since they don’t need to worry about hardware and bandwidth management.With that responsibility out of the way, the business would also reduce its spending on its IT since it would only pay for the services received.

Of course, this also means less expenses for training since there will be no need for extra personnel. Tasks would right away start running without having to wait for new people to get the hang of their responsibilities. Cloud computing providers are equipped with the right people and expertise to handle the job.

Then there’s the most significant gift of cloud computing: accessibility. Since all files and programs are stored in a dedicated cloud, accessibility is practically limitless regardless of location.

On the technical side, businesses would also benefit from the unlimited storage capacity that cloud computing services (typically) offer. Aside from that, they would also enjoy the ability to integrate multiple business software according to their preferences and operational needs. In case the data are compromised, backup and recovery services are available as part of the deal.

Perhaps the most important benefit of cloud computing is the fact that it boosts the efficiency level up to unprecedented heights. Business functions are carried out with less people involved, less time consumed and less worries on the manager’s plate.

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B2B Lead Generation Techniques: How Much Information do you really need?

B2B Lead Generation Techniques - How Much Information do you really need

How do you gather data from your target market? Do you ask them to fill out forms? Do you send out email subscriptions? Do you conduct phone surveys? Do you draw together prospects in social media pages?

Whatever approach you have in lead generation, it’s important to understand the subtle art of collection information from your audience. When is data too little or too much?

There can be several repercussions to forcing people to divulge so many bits of information before they could appreciate your marketing message. Marketers need to determine the definition of “sufficient” data in order for them to stop wasting time on information they don’t really need.

But how?

Consider these several factors:

  • The basic data requirements for a good lead are: name, job title, company, and contact info (which could be in the form of phone numbers, email addresses, and/or social media profiles). Anything other than that already necessitates a sound reason to be added to the mix.
  • Other lead generation marketers usually extend their forms to include ‘qualifying’ data such as company size, industry type, and annual income. If you look at it, the first two are “Google-able” pieces of information, and annual income is something that prospects don’t really like to divulge.
  • Although these extra data could definitely offer more insight on how suited a company is to be offered your product or service, think of the hassle on the part of the prospect. Those could mean 3 extra fields on your blog sign-up form or website appointment scheduler.
  • Now, what marketers do is to make this additional information as ‘optional’ – meaning, prospects can still submit forms even these fields are left blank. This may look like a sound plan on the surface, but not quite. You see, even if these fields are not mandatory, there would still be 3 fields that make the form seem lengthy. That alone could cause a negative effect on the prospects’ willingness to fill them out.
  • Here’s how you can approach it: First, ask yourself if your lead qualification process involves a strict ruling out of leads based on these additional information such as company size, industry and income. If not, you can remove them from your forms and leave the discovery part to your lead nurturing team.
  • However, if the nature of your business is heavily based on reaching out to buyers that belong to a particular sector or to those that belong to a specific budget range, then that’s the time you would consider including extra ‘qualifiers’.
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