Skip to main content

Recession-Proof Your B2B SaaS Marketing and Sales Strategy

This post was updated on August 31, 2021.

The pains that your business was solving four weeks ago look nothing like the pains you are solving today. In all cases, your B2B SaaS sales and marketing strategy must shift during this time and if that wasn’t enough to ask, you must shift quickly. Agility is the name of the game.  

Logic alone will tell you if your customers’ pains are changing, then customers’ buying habits are also changing, therefore you should also be changing. Because the best businesses always follow and serve the pain.  

To draw on an analogy, as the real estate market can shift from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market, your B2B SaaS sales and marketing strategy is experiencing a major shift at this time. Here’s some advice from the trenches.

The Shift from Traditional B2B Selling To Unconventional B2B Serving

We have moved from traditional selling to unconventional serving. Fostering relationships and providing value to your existing and prospective B2B SaaS customers matter the most during these times. 

In fact, it’s really all that matters. Recessions and other hard times have the ability to make or break your reputation. 

We are in some historically unpredictable times with no defined timetable. The rules change every day as new information emerges, so you also have to be swift on your feet and act quickly to focus on serving the pain that you are still learning about. Simple, right!? 

This is a tricky, yet pivotal time for so many businesses. You need to step up, but you need to do it thoughtfully. Here’s an inside look at our own internal planning framework to guide you.

If you find yourself in any of the scenarios below, we would love to offer some advice from years of serving businesses like yours.

  • You’re not sure what your customers are dealing with, so you’re finding it hard to help them at times like this.
  • You know you need to be out there, but you don’t know where to start. 
  • You’re not sure how to communicate your message in the most impactful way.
  • You have ideas but aren’t really sure how to tackle them.
  • You’re not sure your current sales and marketing tactics make sense at this time.
  • You’re not sure how to serve your customers’ pains at this time.

The world is changing every day and so must your B2B SaaS marketing strategy. Stay up to date on the latest tips and trends in marketing by signing up for our newsletter.

The 5 Key Building Blocks of a B2B SaaS Sales and Marketing Strategy

The most successful sales and marketing strategies contain 5 core elements.

1) Target Marketing

Customer dynamics change, especially amidst a worldwide crisis, and without proper feedback loops, you could miss out on important shifts and needs of your customers. 

  • Your customers’ problems are different, do you know what they are?
  • Who needs your help more than ever right now?
  • Why do they need it?  What can’t they do without you?

How can you reinvent serving your customers’ needs today and going forward?

If you are still trying to serve the pains of yesterday, I’d advise you to stop bombarding your customers and wasting your money and resources on efforts that will ruin your reputation. If you haven’t adjusted your strategy, do that immediately.

2) Value Proposition and Messaging

Great brands understand how to strike the balance of understanding customer needs with empathy. And that perfect balance shines through in everything they do and say.  

  • When relationships are key to your business, you must lead with trust.
  • Companies doing more of the same will fail.
  • Learn how to build trust as a partner by adding value and helping solve pains.
  • Be honest with your community and know that it’s OK to not have all the answers.

Clearly defined brands are remembered. Think of 1 large brand at the forefront right now. Their iconic branding and messaging are clearly defined, consistently presented, and intelligently refreshed during this time.

3) Content Marketing

Rule numero uno!  When you create content, you create it to serve.  This is only about them, this is not about you or your business.  

If you even think of leading with anything about yourself or your company, just stop now.  And thank me later. (You’re welcome)

  • Your customers’ problems are different, do you know what they are?
  • What problems are they trying to solve?
  • What are you in a unique position to do to make their life easier right now?
  • What is complicating their life right now and keeping them from moving forward?

Content is the key to building trust through value.  Content comes in many forms so you need to be thinking outside of your box, and then outside of that box.

  • Checklists
  • Webinars
  • QAs 
  • FAQs
  • Community forums
  • Connections to help
  • Virtual Meetups
  • Action Plans
  • Curated Information
  • Advisory Calls  
  • Strategy Sessions
  • Articles | Blogs

The list goes on.  Follow the pain and think BIG on how to deliver solutions to solve it.  That answer alone makes up your content plan. 

4) Sales and Marketing Alignment

The balance of how sales and marketing work together can vary by industry and size of company.  There is no one-size-fits-all approach, but if you aren’t revisiting your sales and marketing strategy right now, I think you are doing yourself a huge disservice.  They are both important, but their jobs should be shifting to serve the customer today.

  • Help, don’t sell.
  • Solve their pains today.
  • Thoughtfully consider the best ways to communicate with them now.
  • Execution and alignment between sales and marketing are crucial right now.
  • Striking the right balance of human and personal connection is key and will make or break your brand. 

Sales (or your relationship keepers) are the closest to the customer pain.  Marketing should be working in partnership with sales to deliver tools and content to help sales do their jobs.

This is a time to deepen relationships.  There has never been a more critical time to ensure marketing and sales are aligned and working together for the greater good.

5) Integrated Campaign and Planning

Campaign planning is where the building blocks all come together to guide your planning. 

  • How do we share this in the most effective way?
  • Where is our audience consuming information right now?
  • What channels will be most effective for which messages?
  • What will our audience appreciate the most during this time (delivery)?

This is also where the art of marketing comes into play and why I love marketing so much!  You have to think outside of the box. This demands new solutions to new pains. Think Big :

  • Smaller services
  • Complimentary services
  • Tools to help them
  • Foster online communities to help like-minded people share ideas

You’re now clear on your core target customer, you understand the new value you can offer at this time, you create the tools and resources they need right now, you deliver it in an integrated way through personal and digital channels, and make sure your sales team and marketing teams are speaking and working in lockstep at all times.  Voila!

Interested in learning more about the five building blocks of a B2B SaaS Marketing Strategy? Download our eBook here.

The Bottom Line: Big Players Make Big Plays During Big Times

Business will resume. When it does, we don’t know what it will look like.  Budgets may be stalled, indefinitely, but not forever. Tomorrow will be different, that we know for sure.

Ask yourself how you should be embracing these new opportunities to meet your customers’ pain. Now more than ever, your customers, regardless of who they are, are struggling. 

Meet them where they are. Know them. Understand them. Serve them.

Right now, as a leader, your customers’ pains should be at the forefront of your mind. Your messaging at this time will make or break your sympathetic voice. If you need assistance understanding your customers, messaging to pains, and providing value in uncertainty, contact Leadit Marketing today for a free 30-minute consultation. Let us serve you. 

Shannon Prager

Shannon Prager

Shannon Prager is a recognized B2B marketing strategist and the President of Leadit Marketing. At Leadit, she is responsible for partnerships, business development and the strategic direction of the company. A marketing leader with 25 years of B2B demand generation and marketing experience, she understands the importance of a fully developed integrated marketing strategy from marketing automation to end-to-end marketing operations. Follow her on LinkedIn (@ShannonPrager) for her take on the latest and greatest in B2B SaaS marketing.