Demand generation can make a product or service synonymous to the value it offers.
Think of Xerox. It’s a brand, and doesn’t actually mean photocopying. But, you’ll often find yourself saying Xerox to make copies. As a SaaS business, you aspire to build such a broad community around your product that your brand’s name has a similar effect to that of Xerox.
Demand generation is pivotal to creating this community of potential buyers. And the demand gen tools help you get there faster.
We have covered a variety of tools in this article, and every one of them has a key role to play in your demand generation function. Let’s dive deeper.
What is Demand Generation?
Demand generation creates awareness about a product or service among potential buyers. It stirs their interest while driving them toward purchasing.
It’s a mix of several marketing strategies spun in a unique sequence, catering to the entire buyer’s journey. Content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), events, and webinars are common strategies on the demand-gen side. However, the mix isn’t the same for every marketer.
Some strategies work instantly, while others take longer to show impact. How your demand generation funnel looks largely depends on your department processes, objectives, expectations, stakeholders, and, most importantly, your customers.
For SaaS businesses, demand generation makes incredible sense. These businesses often cater to highly competitive markets where the sales cycles aren’t generally as short as you’d expect.
Below are some common demand generation objectives your colleagues would aim for.
- Increase brand awareness. Spread the word in the market so your customers know your brand and its products or services. Usually done through content marketing, SEO, events, social media, and webinars.
- Educate potential customers. Educate people about why your product or service is better. You’re catering to possibly the most informed buyers. To cut through the information they’re surrounded with, be present in a place they’re likely to interact with. Think about Google, review platforms like G2, and if need be, at their doorstep through the post.
- Generate leads. Capture qualified leads for your company. See if the lead fits your ICP profile, and optimize your strategies unless the lead you’re capturing is the same as whom your revenue department loves.
- Drive revenue. The ultimate goal of demand generation is to drive revenue. Optimize strategies to build and nurture relationships with buyers and help them slide through your pipeline effortlessly.
- Retain. Retention is the lifeblood of SaaS. Demand generation efforts should be optimized for more customer lifetime value (CLV).
People often confuse demand gen with lead generation. Simply put, lead generation is a part of demand gen, which looks after the entire buyer’s journey.
13 Tools Fueling Demand Generation Efforts in SaaS Companies
A perfect demand generation funnel comprises several tools to generate buyers’ interest, nurture leads, or convert them into customers. Demand generation is a vast marketing strategy and involves multiple functions and objectives. And to execute that you need different kinds of tools
These tools generally fall under these categories.
Top Tool to Help You Create Interactive Demos
Demo automation software help businesses create interactive demos, helping demand-gen marketers and sales teams explain the true value of a SaaS product. Your customers can interact with the demo, experience the product, and understand more clearly how it can solve their pain points.
These platforms help teams train customer-facing people to deliver remarkable pitches when showcasing your product. You can structure the demo flow, create guides for multiple stakeholders in the sales process, and have your team sell in a way that brings them maximum value.
Benefits of demo automation software in B2B sales and demand generation.
- Customizable to diverse needs. The software can have multiple flows and cater to the diverse needs of different stakeholders in the buying process.
- Qualification becomes easier. One key objective of demand generation is to stir interest among potential buyers for a product. When your buyers experience the product in an async manner, it encourages them to know more. An email or call after it helps you qualify them as lead.
- Engages potential buyers with flexibility. The traditional approach of signing up for a demo and booking a time on the calendar requires a lot of commitment. Every buyer may not show up for it. You can engage such buyers with interactive demos, which they can experience in a way it suits them the most, without any commitment of time or money.
Storylane is a demo automation platform fit for sales engineers, presales specialists, and B2B marketers. The platform helps marketers who leverage product-led growth (PLG) give guided product tours and generate more qualified pipeline. With it’s multipurpose abilities, it also helps pre sales teams create customized demo for decision makers, and salespeople create great sales leave-behinds that make their follow-ups double effective.
HTML recording is a notable feature of Storylane. It helps you edit the content on the screenshots you’ve taken. Therefore no more worries of sensitive customer data leaking.
Pros of Storylane
- Ease of use and quality of support
- Ability to get demo analytics from sales leave behinds, and website visitors who interacted with the demo.
- Competitive pricing.
Storylane offers four pricing options, Free, Starter, Growth, and Enterprise.
Users give 4.8 stars out of 5 to popular review platforms.
Top Tools to Maintain and Manage Customer Relationships
In a SaaS business, when people call or submit an enquiry on your website, a CRM captures them while assigning them a unique ID. It records their activities like visiting the pricing page or seeing an interactive demo. Based on these activities the software estimates their likelihood of purchasing.
Once the estimates exceed a standard threshold, the inbound teams reach out to the person and note their requirements. The inquiry transforms into a lead if they align with a company’s ICP. And, the inbound team hands them to the sales department. Salespeople reach out to potential buyers to pitch the software solution and help them with their doubts. CRM software tracks this journey while consistently scoring the lead based on their ongoing activities.
Based on activities tracked, the CRM suggests the sales teams nurture the prospects as and when required.
Benefits of CRM Systems
There are several benefits of CRM systems.
- Workflow automation. CRM software keeps the lead’s data together and triggers actions based on the lead’s activities. These actions include suggestions for salespeople to make timely follow up or alert a different team if an upsell or cross-sell opportunity uncovers.
- Lead scoring. CRM evaluates a person's likelihood to purchase software and categorizes leads as cold, warm, or hot. The scoring mechanism makes it easier for sales to assist when needed and turn leads into closed-won opportunities.
LeadSquared caters to high-velocity sales. The software provides valuable features like lead capture, lead segmentation, lead distribution, lead scoring, workflow automation, and several other functionalities pivotal to sales processes.
Integrations are the most prominent feature of LeadSquared sales and its mobile CRM. The software integrates with a wide range of business tools, helping businesses to adopt the product without much change in their internal processes.
Pros and Cons
LeadSquared offers Lite, Pro, and Super plans at $15, $50, and $100. The company also offers an Ultimate plan for enterprises that need scale performance and flexibility. The ultimate plan is available at a custom price.
Below is a detailed overview of the features available in the respective subscription plans.
Users give 4.6 out of 5 stars to LeadSquared Sales + Mobile CRM on popular review websites.
Freshsales provides businesses with tools for managing their sales process effectively. It offers features such as contact management, lead scoring, email tracking, and integrations with numerous other applications, enabling a more streamlined sales workflow and improved customer relationships.
AI-based lead scoring is one of the standout features of Freshsales. This feature employs machine learning to rate leads on their likelihood to convert based on their interactions with your business. By prioritizing high-quality leads, it enhances the effectiveness of sales efforts and increases the efficiency of the sales process.
Pros and Cons of Freshsales
Freshsales is available to users for free with limited features and functionalities. The company offers Growth, Pro, and Enterprise plans at $15, $39, $60 per user per month.
Take a closer look into Freshsales pricing options.
Top Tools to Help You Track Your Website Traffic
Organic website traffic tools provide critical insights into website performance and visitor behavior. They offer data on user demographics, behaviors, and traffic sources. You can inform your marketing strategies based on these data points.
For example, by understanding where traffic is coming from, you can concentrate efforts on the most effective channels. Or, if any page has a high bounce rate, you can think about optimizing content.
Below are some of the ways organic website traffic tracking tools help optimize a website’s performance.
- User behavior analysis provides insights into how visitors interact with your website. These insights comprise the most visited page, average time spent, user’s journey on the website. You can enhance your webpage’s user experience by refining the site’s layout.
- Demographic insights offer data like age, gender, geographical information of the visitor, empowering you to tailor marketing efforts for the target audience.
- Traffic acquisition data unveil traffic sources like search engines (organic), social media, referrals, or any other channel. You can prioritize the marketing channels that bring in the maximum value.
- Keyword analysis helps capture demand on search engines through relevant content. Modern keywords research doesn’t limit to finding and optimizing for secondary or associated keywords. Optimize for search intent to efficiently bring in the traffic querying about the same intent.
4. Google Analytics
Google Analytics (GA) is likely the most preferred traffic analytics tool on the market. Companies generally have more analytics tools on top of it, but GA is sort of a baseline for all. The latest GA4 provides critical insights into traffic and user acquisition, conversion metrics, and various other metrics that provides a comprehensive overview of incoming traffic.
For more comprehensive and all-in-one analytics, you can use Google Data Studio to aggregate insights from various tools like GA, Google Search Console, Semrush, and more.
Customizable reports is undoubtedly a notable Google Analytics 4 feature. You can create custom reports for conversions, traffic, or user acquisition.
Pros and Cons of Google Analytics
Google analytics 4 is free-to-use for all users. You just need to connect it to your website and you’re good to go.
Users give 4.5 stars out of 5 to Google Analytics on popular review platforms.
Top Tools to Identify Website Visitors
Website visitor identification tools gather information about the users visiting a website, including their location, device type, and browsing behavior. They can help businesses better understand their audience, personalize user experiences, create ideal customer profiles (ICP), and make data-driven decisions to optimize their digital marketing strategies.
How Website Visitor Identification Tools Track Website Visitors
Website visitor identification software function by tracking and analyzing visitor behavior on a website. These tools collect valuable data such as IP addresses, location, device type, pages visited, time spent on pages, and referral sources. IP addresses help get a granular view of a visitor's browsing journey.
These tools can help identify potential leads by observing patterns in visitor behavior. With this, marketers can fuel demand generation efforts while aiming for qualified lead generation. Marketers send personalized messaging based on visitor’s interactions, encouraging them to consider a product or service.
"Given that only 4% of website traffic identifies itself through form submission, the ability to reveal anonymous companies visiting your website is a real game changer for GTM teams,” says Ranga Kaliyur, Product Marketer at Factors.AI.
He adds, “IP-based identification technology empowers successful outreach and targeting by directing efforts toward in-market companies that are problem, solution, and brand aware. This eliminates the need for inefficient, expensive spray & pray tactics, and drives tremendous ROI for marketers and sales folks.”
Factors’ AI-powered visitor tracking delivers actionable insights into visitors’ behavior and informs B2B sales and marketing efforts accordingly. It makes analysis, attribution, and optimization a lot easier, unlocking new revenue through targeted messaging.
The platform tracks the buyer’s journey right from the initial visit and empowers marketing to discover campaigns bringing in qualified leads.
Marketing analytics data collection is a highly rated feature of Factors.ai. It comes with other power-packed functionalities like custom reporting and the ability to attribute a lead to the right source or campaign.
Pros and Cons of Factors.ai
Factors offers three options, Starter, Professional, and Growth at $99, $179, $499 per month.
Users give 4.7 out of 5 stars on average to Factors.ai on popular review platforms.
Signals identifies the visitor on your website and helps you leverage their behavior to connect and engage with those who seem ready to purchase. The software matches a visitor with your ICP, notifying you to engage whenever a close match occurs.
Visitor identification is one of the strongest features of Signals. ChatFunnels identify accounts currently on the website and provide real-time information about them.
Pros and Cons of Signals
Signals offers three subscription plans, Team Plan, Company Plan, and Premium Plan at $499/month, $999/month, and at custom pricing. Learn more about the features included in these plans.
Users give 4.9 stars out of 5 to Signals on popular review platforms.
Top Tools to Optimize Content
Content marketing tools facilitate demand generation by helping companies optimize and scale their content function. These software streamline content management, and amplify content’s reach to capture or generate demand on the market.
There are many tools that can help scale your content marketing efforts, including:
- SEO tools offer data and insights critical to capture organic demand on search engines and optimize content’s quality. Tools like Clearscope, SEMrush, Frase.io are some examples. It helps you identify important keywords to add to your content to boost its positioning.
- Social media marketing tools allow you to schedule posts, engage in conversations around your brand, and track content’s performance on social channels.
- Content management systems (CMS) provide a platform to create, manage, and publish content consistently.
Apart from these, there are many content marketing tools catering to the unique pain points of marketers.
Quality of content matters a lot when it comes to textual content marketing. Grammarly helps marketers ensure content’s quality in blogs, emails, and copies. It helps ensure proper grammar and reduces wordiness, passive voice, formality, and unnecessary lengthy sentences in your writing.
Grammarly's most prominent feature is its advanced grammar-checking capability, which goes beyond basic spelling and punctuation corrections. It suggests style improvements, tone adjustments and provides synonym suggestions to enhance text’s readability and clarity.
Pros and Cons of Grammarly
Grammarly offers Free, Premium, and Business plans. The premium plan is priced at $12 per month, while the business plan starts at $15 per user. Visit Grammarly’s pricing page to know more about the features offered in these plans.
Users give 4.7 stars out of 5 to Grammarly on popular review platforms.
Clearscope is a content optimization tool highly relevant for businesses that have an SEO-focused content strategy. Be it Hub and Spoke, or Topic Cluster strategy, Clearscope helps a ton in optimizing on-page SEO elements and covering relevant sub topics in your content.
Clearscope’s keyword suggestions helps many businesses rank their content for the topics they’re targeting while including a variety of secondary, associated, and latent semantic index (LSI) keywords.
Including a decent keyword variation helps businesses rank their content on search engines while capturing the demand originating from those keywords.
Pros and Cons of Clearscope
Clearscope offers three plans, Essentials, Business, and Enterprise. You can purchase the Essentials plan for $170 per month. The company offers custom pricing for its Business and Enterprise plans.
Below are the features covered in the three plans.
Users give 4.5 stars out of 5 to Clearscope on popular review websites.
Top Tools to Improve Conversions
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) software helps businesses improve the percentage of website visitors who complete a desired action, such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or filling out a form. It provides insights into user behavior and facilitates changes, making a website’s interface optimized for conversions.
CRO software helps demand gen marketers understand what works on their website and what doesn’t. You can identify barriers preventing visitors from taking desired actions and improve user experience.
CRO is an iterative process. You need to A/B test, conduct experiments with different copies, and determine what resonates the most with your audience. A software helps you do it while tracking the impact of every optimization you make.
How CRO software tracks and analyzes conversion rates at different stages of a sales funnel
For top of the Funnel (ToFu), the primary focus is on traffic acquisition. CRO tools analyze content relevance, UX, and navigation to help you make a memorable first impression. Middle of the Funnel (MoFu) visitors are considering whether to engage with your business. A CRO empowers marketers to discover what content engages them the most, and reduces hurdles in moving them toward the bottom of the funnel (BoFu).
BoFu is the conversion point. From here, the audience can either bring marketing return on investment (ROI) or break the deal you suggest. CRO helps optimize final steps by fixing the design, checkout process, and call to action’s (CTA) effectiveness.
VWO enables businesses to understand online visitor behavior and create engaging user experiences. It provides a suite of tools, including A/B testing, multivariate testing, behavior targeting, heatmaps, surveys, and more.
VWO's standout feature is its powerful A/B testing capability. It helps you make data-backed decisions by testing changes to your website against the current design and assessing which one produces better results.
Pros and Cons of VWO
VWO offers Starter, Growth, Pro, and Enterprise plans at $0, $321, $739, and $1294 respectively. Below are the features and functionalities available in these plans.
Users give 4.3 out of 5 stars to VWO on popular review websites.
MoEngage is a comprehensive, data-driven customer engagement platform that assists businesses in personalizing their customer interactions at scale. It helps companies boost customer engagement, retention, and conversion across multiple channels like email, SMS, web push, in-app messages, and more.
One standout feature of MoEngage is the AI-powered automation known as Sherpa. It optimizes marketing campaigns using machine learning algorithms. Sherpa sends messages at the optimal time for each user, increasing engagement and conversion rates.
Pros and Cons of MoEngage
MoEngage’s pricing is available on request.
Users give 4.5 out of 5 stars to MoEngage on popular review platforms.
Top tools to Manage Email Campaigns
Email marketing is a powerful demand generation tool for SaaS companies due to its direct, customizable, and trackable nature. You can build and nurture relationships with email while earning potential buyers’ trust and credibility.
SaaS businesses segment their audience based on industry, role, company size, and stage in the sales funnel. With email marketing software, you can deliver personalized and appropriate messaging based on these segments. It doesn't only help you acquire new customers but retain current clients through consistent updates about new features, improvements, and success stories.
“Tailoring the email’s messaging to each country's culture, preferences, context, and speaking their language, is pure gold. Sending these through an account that connects with them and belongs to their community also matters- they're like the secret incantations to forge an unbreakable bond with your audience,” says Harishita Gupta, Demand Generation Manager at Kamma.
Benefits of Building an Opt-In Email List
Simply put, it plays a pivotal role in engaging prospects throughout the buyer’s journey. Other benefits include:
- Increased engagement. When individuals voluntarily opt into your email list, they express interest in your brand and offerings. You’ll likely see higher open and click-through rates (CTRs), leading to improved engagement.
- Better lead quality. Opt-in subscribers have already shown interest. These become high-quality leads that are more likely to convert into paying customers.
- Personalization and segmentation. An opt-in email list can collect valuable information about your subscribers, like their preferences or demographics. It enables advanced segmentation and content personalization, improving your campaign’s effectiveness.
Role of advanced email marketing automation tools in demand generation efforts
Advanced email marketing automation tools send timely and relevant emails based on present triggers. For example, when a user signs up for a newsletter or meets a certain condition like a birthday, these tools automatically send relevant communication and offer to generate demand.
On the other hand, they provide options to A/B test subject lines, segment audience, identify the highest engagement timelines, and other insights.
Moosend’s email marketing automation platform empowers businesses to manage multiple email campaigns, track performance, and engage with their audience effectively. It offers advanced segmentation and personalization capabilities to optimize demand generation through emails.
Moosend's star feature is its drag-and-drop email editor. It allows users to create professional and engaging emails without any technical skills. The platform offers pre-made templates to streamline email creation.
Pros and Cons of Moosend
Moosend offers a 30-day free trial. Its Pro plan is available at $9 per month, and the Enterprise plan requires you to request a quote. Below are some notable features and options offered in different subscription plans.
Users give 4.7 stars out of 5 to Moosend on popular review platforms.
12. Intuit Mailchimp
Intuit Mailchimp is a comprehensive email marketing and automation platform known for its ease of use and wide range of services. It allows marketers to create multichannel marketing campaigns across email, social, website, and more.
Intuit Mailchimp’s most standout feature is an easy-to-build mailing list for sending newsletters and promotions.
Pros and Cons of Intuit Mailchimp
Intuit Mailchimp offers four plans, Free, Essentials, Standard, and Premium, at $0, $4.67, $6.96, and $139.28 per month when you pay for an annual subscription. Learn more about features included in these plans on Intuit Mailchimp’s pricing page.
Users give 4.3 stars out of 5 to Intuit Mailchimp on popular review platforms.
Top tool to manage social media channels
Various social media tools come in handy while running your demand generation efforts. Social media management software, social listening tools, advertising software, or influencer marketing platforms collaboratively play a key role in amplifying demand gen.
These software help you coordinate your efforts to get maximum reach on different social platforms. You can listen to the sentiments surrounding your brand and engage in such discussions. Moreover, advertising and influencer marketing helps get several eyeballs on your product or service.
Buffer is a powerful and intuitive social media management tool designed to help businesses and marketers drive meaningful engagement and results on social media. It enables users to schedule posts, track the performance of their content, and manage all their accounts in one place.
The star feature of Buffer is its robust scheduling capabilities. Buffer's scheduling feature allows you to queue posts across various platforms at preferred times. In addition, it also has a feature that can suggest the optimal time to post based on when your followers are most active.
Pros and Cons of Buffer
Buffer offers four subscription options, Free, Essentials, Team, and Agency. The Essentials, Team, and Agency plans come at $6, $12, and $120 per month. The pricing varies for the number of channels you want to manage.
Take a look at the features and functionalities that come with the above options.
Users give 4.3 out of 5 stars to Buffer on popular review websites.
There are tools such as RiteBoost from RiteKit, Salesmate, and many other social media software helping marketers achieve their demand generation goals.
Qualify Leads with Demand Generation Tools
Driving quality leads that complement your ICP justifies the investment you make in sales and marketing. Demand generation tools are key in attracting and qualifying such leads. In order to ensure your website is optimized enough to attract visitors from different sources and can be nurtured or pushed through the marketing funnel smoothly, you need different kinds of tools. Here’s the rough path your demand gen efforts have to take:
First, identify your target audience and define your ICP
You need to do this to figure out the types of marketing assets you would require. It helps you explore the channels where you can distribute these assets.
Tools like website visitor identification software and CRMs can help you understand the target audience and define their characteristics. These tools differentiate between high-intent and low-intent leads.
Moreover, you can perform keyword research for specific regions and optimize local SEO to capture ICP’s demand on the search engine results page (SERP).
Website visitor identification software helps you categorize incoming audiences based on their location, company size, needs, pain points, and target market. You can check if there is a match with ICP and invest more targeted efforts in these customers.
Then, Generate High-Quality Relevant Content for Prospective Customers
Once you've identified who your ICP is and figured out the different audiences you want to attract, you can then create different marketing assets and strategies to capture them or put them through your funnel.
Create content that suits your prospective customers. Content marketing tools such as Grammarly will help match your ICP’s tone. For example, if your ICP belongs to the UK, writing in American English may not resonate with them. Tweak your messaging in British English to feel closer to your target customers.
Content marketing is pivotal to attracting, engaging, and converting prospective buyers. You can create content on topics that interest your prospective customers and generate demand for your product or service. Adopt SEO to attract demand originating from search engines and increase awareness about your brand.
As a B2B SaaS marketer, you can leverage channels like LinkedIn, blogs, events, webinars, or paid media to build a community around your brand. Next, use targeted email marketing to activate the community and develop interest in your product.
How Do You Measure The Performance of Your Demand Generation Efforts?
Track the following metrics:
- Traffic metrics. Record visits, page views, average time on page, bounce rate, and unique sessions. These help optimize traffic acquisition channels based on what’s working and what’s not.
- Lead metrics. Track new leads generated, lead conversion rate, and lead quality. It clearly shows how effectively your strategies convert traffic into potential customers.
- Revenue metrics. Assess customer acquisition cost (CAC), customer lifetime value (CLV), and return on investment (ROI). It portrays the profitability of your demand generation strategies.
Interestingly, these metrics also apply to measuring lead generation campaigns because both initiatives aim to attract and convert potential customers.
Demand generation is pivotal in B2B SaaS sales and marketing strategies. It builds awareness and interest in your software solutions, driving customer acquisition. An effective demand generation strategy can attract high-quality leads, shorten the sales cycle, and increase the conversion rate.
Tracking and optimizing consistency matters a lot in demand generation. You should identify gaps in your strategy based on the insights from the above mentioned tools. Make strategic modifications to bridge those gaps. For instance, if your traffic metrics are high but your lead conversion rate is low, it indicates that while you successfully attract prospects, your content or offers aren’t compelling enough to convert them.
With modern technology like artificial intelligence (AI), you can automate several processes, identify patterns, and predict future trends. Be proactive in acting and adjusting strategies rather than simply reacting to nosediving acquisition or conversion trends.