Engaging Buying Groups in SaaS: A Tactical Approach

buying groups marketing saas tactics Jul 28, 2023
Engaging Buying Groups in SaaS: A Tactical Approach

In the rapidly evolving SaaS landscape, understanding your customers is key to successful strategies. As we've previously discussed, the power of decision-making now lies in groups, not individuals. Welcome to the era of buying groups and opportunity-centric sales.


Understanding Buying Groups


Forrester's research reveals that over 80% of buying decisions are made not by a single individual, but by buying groups consisting of more than three people. This shift towards collective decision-making is a significant trend that is reshaping the sales process. In fact, the growing number of decision-makers for each product is one of the reasons why sales teams are facing challenges in hitting their targets recently. It has become almost impossible for sales teams to close large deals when working with only one decision-maker.

Buying groups are essentially a collection of individuals within an organization who collectively influence purchasing decisions. These groups are diverse and multifaceted, often including end users, influencers, decision-makers, and gatekeepers. Each member of the buying group brings their unique perspective, expertise, and considerations to the table, contributing to a more holistic and comprehensive decision-making process. Understanding the dynamics of these buying groups is crucial for developing effective marketing and sales strategies.


The Opportunity-Centric Approach


In response to the shift towards collective decision-making in your target market, Forrester presents a groundbreaking shift to the traditional approach of focusing on individual leads or accounts: The Opportunity-Centric Approach. This innovative method is a paradigm shift in how you should view and approach your sales and marketing strategies. It recognizes that opportunities lie not in single leads or accounts but rather in the collective power of groups of people within these accounts – the buying groups.

The Opportunity-Centric Approach starts early, even before your Sales team converts leads into opportunities. It begins with your Marketing team identifying and engaging with buying groups from the onset. By focusing on buying groups, the Opportunity-Centric Approach allows your business to simultaneously engage with all key decision-makers. This not only increases the chances of a successful sale but also ensures that the solution you provide meets the needs and expectations of all the key stakeholders.

The Opportunity-Centric Approach is about understanding the dynamics of buying groups and leveraging this understanding to create more meaningful and effective engagement strategies. It's about recognizing buying groups' collective power and harnessing it to drive your sales and growth. By adopting this approach, you can better align your sales and marketing efforts with the realities of the decision-making process in today's B2B landscape.

Read Further: The Power of Buying Groups in SaaS: Understanding Collective Decision-Making


Identifying Personas within Buying Groups

As you start to build a series of opportunities with buying groups, you'll begin to notice common traits among the members. These traits could include similar departments, responsibilities, and pain points. Your task is to identify potential personas within these buying groups for each target market. These personas could be roles like IT, Sales Ops, Marketing, and Accounting, each with their unique needs and challenges. Once you've identified these personas, the next step is to identify specific and unique momentums to each persona.

Let's illustrate this with an example. Suppose you're a SaaS company offering a CRM tool. Your buying group might consist of the IT department, who are concerned about the technical specifications and security of the tool; the Sales Ops, who are interested in how the tool can streamline their sales process; the Marketing team, who want to know how the tool can help them track and manage their marketing campaigns; and the Accounting department, who are interested in the cost-effectiveness of the tool.

Each of these personas has a different momentum - a different trend or challenge that is top of their mind. For the IT department, the momentum might be the recent updates to SOC2 compliance requirements. For Sales Ops, it could be the buzz around a new revenue marketing methodology that's gaining traction. For the Marketing team, the momentum might be the rise of AI in personalizing customer experiences. And for the Accounting department, it could be the recent changes in financial regulations affecting their operations.

By identifying these momentums, you can tailor your approach to address each persona's specific needs and concerns, thereby increasing your chances of engaging the entire buying group effectively.


Momentum Example: Capitalizing on Snowflake & Databricks' AI + Data Wave


Step-by-Step Guide to Engaging Each Persona


Starting the Conversation

In this initial phase, it's crucial to publish compelling thought leadership pieces exploring the trend that is top of mind for each persona. For example, if you've identified that the IT department is currently focused on the recent updates to SOC2 compliance requirements, you could publish an article discussing these updates and their implications for the industry. But remember, this content should be based on your company's unique perspective as a specific type of CRM solution. This demonstrates your understanding of their concerns and positions your brand as a knowledgeable and reliable source of information.

Sharing these articles across your social media platforms and on your corporate blog can help you reach a broader audience. But don't stop there. Engage influencers in your industry, join podcast discussions, or guest blog on high-traffic sites to further amplify your message. You could even host a webinar or a panel discussion on the topic, inviting experts from your company and the industry to share their insights. This increases your brand's visibility and helps position your brand as an industry thought leader.


Riding the Wave

As engagement peaks from the discussions initiated in phase 1, it's time to organically introduce your unique solution into the conversation. For instance, you could share a case study of how your CRM tool helped a client navigate the recent changes in SOC2 compliance requirements. Showcase real-world examples where your solution has made a significant impact, and don't be afraid to highlight the specific features or aspects of your solution that were particularly beneficial.

Inviting these clients to share their experiences on platforms like a LinkedIn Live session or a Facebook Live webinar can provide an authentic and influential endorsement. You could also create a series of blog posts or videos featuring these success stories, or even host a virtual event where clients can share their experiences and answer questions from potential customers. Hearing directly from a satisfied customer can be a powerful motivator for potential clients, as it provides tangible proof of your solution's value.


Educating the Audience

After the introduction of your solution during the peak of engagement, transition into a more informative stage. Here, guide your newly captivated audience through the specifics of your offering, showing how your solution sets you apart from others in the market. You could host a webinar or a live demo session to walk potential clients through your CRM tool, highlighting its unique features and explaining how it can help them navigate their specific challenges.

In addition to webinars and live demos, consider creating a series of educational content such as blog posts, whitepapers, or e-books that delve into the specifics of your solution. You could also host Q&A sessions or roundtable discussions where potential clients can ask questions and learn more about your solution. This phase focuses on converting your audience into potential leads and customers. By providing them with a thorough understanding of your solution and its benefits, you're not just selling a product - you're providing a solution to their problems.

By following these steps, you can effectively engage each persona within the buying group, increasing your chances of a successful sale. Remember, the key is understanding their unique momentums and tailoring your approach accordingly.


Wrapping Up


By following these steps, you can effectively engage each persona within the buying group, increasing your chances of a successful sale. Remember, the key is understanding their unique momentums and tailoring your approach accordingly. This approach helps you connect with each buying group member on a deeper level and ensures that your solution resonates with their specific needs and challenges. As a result, you'll be better positioned to turn these buying groups into loyal customers, driving growth and success for your business.

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