As a small-size SaaS business, we walk a thin line between automation and personal touch.
On the one hand, we are dedicated to growing our company; we want any SaaS founder anywhere in the world to use GoSquared to turbo-charge their SaaS projects. We want to be the reason side-hustles became full-time businesses. The reason unfulfilled employees become proudly independent business-owners.
This requires processes, automation and scaling.
On the other hand, we remain SaaS Entrepreneurs and (we like to think!) good humans. We have no intention of becoming a faceless corporation, only concerned with hitting the next revenue targets.
We’re dedicated to providing personal and attentive care to our client-base.
We don’t just want great marketing strategies to get prospects through the door. We want to build a genuinely useful, powerful tool for people like us. To listen to our customers. To develop the platform that they need to grow their SaaS projects into businesses.
No, we will never be ‘Growth at all costs’. But we’re also realistic. To exist in a hyper-competitive industry, we HAVE to be experts in growth. Otherwise, there’d be no GoSquared 🤷♂️.
So, in this article I’m going to give you a breakdown of the key GoSquared features we use to grow and retain our client-base. You might think it a bit self-aggrandising to talk about your own product, but ultimately, if we didn’t use our own product to grow our business, we wouldn’t be much of a Growth platform…!
Read on to find out what works for us, and to hear some of the lessons we’ve learned along the way.
We use GoSquared to make our website work better for us
We work hard to drive new leads to the website. Whether it’s crafting blog posts to share Growth strategies, or engaging in SaaS communities, a lot of elbow-grease, long hours, and strong coffee goes into getting visitors to the site.
So, once they arrive, we seize the opportunity!
GoSquared.com is our 24 hour salesperson; a living, breathing lead-gen machine.
Gone are the days when you could throw up a ‘Contact Us’ email address and hope for the best. Nowadays, prospects demand interactive and engaging websites.
Prompts start sales conversations. Thanks to our Analytics, we know which of our pages see the most traffic. These are our ‘high value pages’.
We then add a series of Prompts on these specific pages. This meets users where they are during their journey, keeps visitors engaged on our site, and proactively starts sales conversations with prospects.
For example, our ‘About Us’ page Prompt pops up when a visitor is about to leave our Company page. The message gives a friendly and non-demanding greeting; simply asking what brings the prospect to the site. Every long-term business relationship has to start somewhere 😁
Another super-high value page is our Plans & Pricing page. Here, if we notice a visitor has been hanging around and demonstrating some uncertainty, we deploy a Prompt from Russell, our Sales Engineer. Russell’s message probes to see if the prospect has any questions, or if they’d like to hop on a demo-call to chat things through in more detail.
Prompts offer a wealth of possibilities that you can tailor to your site, your tone of voice, and sales process.
Have a particular blog-post that sees strong visitor-engagement? Add in a Prompt offering a Lead Magnet download. Not only will you ‘wow’ the visitors with the additional value, but you’ll also get an email address in return 😉
But it’s not just the high-value pages that work hard to generate leads. With GoSquared’s Live Chat widget deployed across our site, we offer visitors the opportunity to get in touch whenever they feel like it.
As we said earlier, the sales-game has changed. Prospects don’t want to be bombarded with direct mail, or hounded by cold-calls. They want to inform themselves in their own time, and reach out when they’re ready.
Our Live Chat widget offers a 24-hour window to get in touch. With our Lead Capture function, our Sales Team can collect email addresses even when no one’s around to talk to; keeping their pipeline healthy & full.
Segmenting New Sign-ups
A SaaS prospect’s first week with a product can make or break their decision to signup. A smooth onboarding and quick experience of value (especially the coveted first moment of ‘wow’) can set them up to be a healthy and happy long-term client.
But, give your prospects a convoluted, confusing onboarding, and they’ll jump at the first opportunity to sign-out (and head over to check out your closest competitor).
The first week is crucial.
To win at onboarding, you need a Welcome Sequence which guides your users to set up your key activation features. Such features are:
- Easy to set up (minimal effort required from users, who might not yet have the necessary buy-in to set up more complex features).
- Bring value to the prospect in the fastest time possible (there’s that ‘wow’ moment again).
- Act as a ‘teaser-trailer’ for your more sophisticated or premium features (this can be leveraged at the end of your free trial period).
The first step we took in building our Welcome Sequence, was to build out a Smart Group for our new SaaS signups. This creates a real-time segment of non-paying SaaS prospects – all of whom have signed up for our free account. We also use the information gathered in these Smart Groups, such as company size, job title, referral source and signup reason to feedback to our Marketing team. This data enables us to continuously iterate on our Marketing strategies. But that’s a story for another article 😄
Whenever a new prospect enters this Smart Group, they automatically trigger the Welcome Sequence. Thanks to GoSquared’s Variables, all new users receive personalised welcome messages, the first of which thanks them for signing up, and introduces them to the team.
The next messages in the Sequence nudge users to enable those key activation features we talked about earlier. We also offer the Sales team’s Calendly links, if users want to run through questions over a call.
With this process, we’ve managed to retain a personal touch for our clients, while still enabling us to scale our Growth efforts and bring in more clients.
With GoSquared Smart Groups, we can go a step further and divide our new signups into activated and non-activated segments, using our key activation features as filters.
For our non-activated users, we send a re-engagement nurture Sequence, to nudge them back to the platform.
For our activated users, we know they are enjoying using GoSquared so far. We know they’ve started getting value from our core features. For this segment, it’s time to get them over the line.
After their first week with GoSquared, we send an automatic Validation Sequence. This reaffirms the success they have achieved with GoSquared so far. The message may describe how many leads the user has collected from their first Prompt, or how many page views they’ve tracked since adding the Snippet.
As for what tactic works best for conversion, there’s two schools of thought.
One is to present ‘Carrot motivation’, ie. dangle the additional benefits the user could achieve by upgrading to a premium plan. The other is the ‘Stick’ school. For this, you might send a reminder that your signups’ free trial is coming to an end, and that they risk losing the features they are currently enjoying if they don’t upgrade now.
At GoSquared, we prefer carrots to sticks.
After congratulating users on the number of leads they’ve captured, we let them know about the additional value they could unlock by upgrading to lead enrichment on our paid plans. Having their leads’ profiles enriched with social media data makes them twice as valuable; leading to informed sales conversations and optimised Marketing strategies.
We also link case studies to our best success-story clients, to demonstrate how similar businesses have achieved more value on our paid plans. A little bit of FOMO never hurts.
How do you grow your SaaS business? New Customers.
How else do you grow your SaaS business? KEEP those customers (better yet, continuously upgrade those customers 😊).
It’s the Growth secret-sauce of all the healthiest companies out there – an equal focus on bringing in new business, and retaining the existing client base.
Keeping existing clients happy might not be the most glamorous element of Growth, but it’s arguably the most lucrative.
Dig down a little deeper, and it gets even better. Studies show referred clients have a 37% higher retention rate, an 18% lower risk of churn, AND are 60-70% more likely to purchase additional products from you.
That’s a lot of stats, but it’s a point worth reiterating.
Nowhere is it more important to strike the fine balance between automation and personalisation than in the customer-care department.
If an overly-automated lead generation strategy loses a few prospects here & there, your business likely won’t feel it. But lose some of your key clients through improper retention practises, and you’ll feel the burn.
To manage this balance with GoSquared, we deploy a series of check-in Smart Groups during a user’s first months. We know these months are crucial to a user’s long-term health and engagement with our product. We need to know the client has activated key features, trained all staff members, and is receiving consistent high-value from our product.
When users enter the monthly Smart Groups, it pings a notification to our CS team. This prompts us to check out the account’s health, as per the criteria above.
If anything is looking uncertain, we can jump on Live Chat to reach out to the user and offer to hop on a call.
This enables us to pick up on any leading indicators of Churn, and address them as early as possible. By the time you see lagging indicators, such as prolonged lack of engagement, it’s often too late.
We listen to our customers’ product-feedback. We have dedicated processes for escalating feedback onto our Product Board, we have regular Product <> CS Meetings to discuss customer comments, and we publish customer suggestions in our weekly CS newsletter.
But a lot of this is invisible to clients.
To show clients their feedback is taken onboard, we regularly publish Broadcasts to our user-base to update them on new product-features that we’ve just pushed live.
Managing customer expectations around product changes is definitely a tricky balance. We might not always get it right, but we try to err on the side of under-promise and over-deliver.
After all, no one likes to be told their product request is “definitely 100% on the roadmap for the next sprint”, and end up waiting months for that ‘next’ sprint to materialise…
Get automated, but stay connected
I hope that gives a reasonable introduction into some of the processes we use GoSquared to grow GoSquared. There’s evidently a lot more than I could cover in a single article, but I hope it’s also given some food for thought around Growth processes in general. Particularly that ephemeral balance between scaling and retaining personal touch.
But I will say one thing I’ve learned about automation. Once set up, these processes run entirely in the background and allow us to focus efforts elsewhere. As a small-team, this is crucial.
We’d have half the time available if we couldn’t automate certain areas of Growth and customer success.
And in a ‘circle of life’ kinda way, this has actually freed us up to spend MORE time with clients.
- Rather than writing individual emails to every signup who walks through the door, we can concentrate our efforts on jumping onto phone-calls with serious prospects.
- Instead of spending time chasing up inactive trial accounts, our Welcome Sequence gently guides new users to our key activation features. This paves the way for them to become ‘super-users’, rather than relying on our Support team.
- Instead of jumping on last-ditch calls to save accounts from churn, we pick up on the early warning signs and reach out to customers at the first sign of trouble. Addressing the problems before they become problems.
Have any questions about using GoSquared to grow your SaaS business? Get in touch with the team here – we’re always happy to have a chat 🙌