How to Close the Deal Faster: Shortening Customer Acquisition Time

Business.com / Starting a Business / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Customer acquisition time can be long and extended because it takes time to convince customers that they need your product.

Just like Marlon Brando said in The Godfather, "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse," you need to make your customers an offer they can’t refuse.

Customer acquisition time can be long and extended because it takes time to convince customers that they need your product, and only your product.  

Making your case to customers in the SaaS industry is a complicated process that involves a variety of marketing and sales steps, all with the single goal of converting prospective buyers into paying customers.

The funnel is structured in a way to pull potential customers from initial awareness to free trial subscribers to paying customers and, eventually, to renewing customers. The faster you move people through the funnel, the lower your CAC.

Here are a few simple steps to accelerate the time it takes to close the deal.

Related Article:SaaS Marketing: Expert Tips for Improving Customer Retention Using Content

Accelerate Customer Awareness

The first step in customer acquisition begins when a customer first hears about and becomes interested in your solution. SaaS businesses can use several different methods to expose potential customers to their product:

  1. Word of mouth is the most effective method of spreading awareness about your solution.
  2. User-generated content through viral marketing so that prospects and customers can spread the word about your business themselves.
  3. Leverage partnerships with market influencers to spread awareness so that you’re taking advantage of the power of your contacts while minimizing expenses.

Use Marketing Automation

Targeting the right audience with marketing automation is a more cost-efficient solution for developing interest in a SaaS solution. For example, marketing automation engines can supply personalized or targeted information to visitors or users of trial versions.

The automation system can also alert a salesperson to follow-up with a potential customer. When it comes to no-touch SaaS contexts, marketing automation can integrate throughout the entire awareness-approval-purchase process. 

Perform Testing with Free Trials

Testing your product during free trials can help accelerate customer evaluation time. Offering free trials not only grants your business the opportunity to test with customers, but also gives customers an opportunity to test your product, free-of-charge.

Use this product as a testing ground so that you can evaluate how customers experience their SaaS solution and make improvements as quickly as possible. It also indicates which features appeal most to customers, allowing your marketing and sales teams tailor their approaches. 

Related Article:Major Rewards: 3 Customer Loyalty Programs That Actually Add Value

Encourage Customer Buying

Tap into customer motivations for purchasing your product, tap into their pain points and make them an offer they can’t refuse. If you’re new to the market, start with a reasonable price that comes with simple contractual agreements. SaaS solutions that depend on a high number of low revenue per subscription should develop an automated process so that revenue per user exceeds CAC. 

Accelerate Adoption and Customer Loyalty

Incorporate user training tools to onboard customers quickly. If a customer signs up and leaves after a few months, you lose money. Prevent churn with the best tools in the business.

The most sophisticated onboarding tools are cloud-based guidance platforms that, when overlaid onto your app, train users in how to use your product. Integrating automatic online guidance software help customers get started and comfortable with the new software, faster. 

Use these tips to shorten your customer acquisition funnel. It’s no simple task, especially with all the competitors out there vying for your customer’s attention. But with the right formula and technological tools, it’s possible. So, get out there and good luck!

Now for the Next Step:

Off the top of your head, do you know what your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) cost is?

You should. Does your CAC include all of the costs involved in convincing a customer to buy a product/service, including the product cost as well as the cost involved in marketing, promotion and accessibility? It should.

Your CAC is an important business metric that serves as a determinant to your profitability. What you can’t measure, you can’t manage. So, make sure that you periodically measure you CAC. Once you’ve measured CAC, you can attempt to reduce it, although only without negatively impacting sales or customer lifetime value (LTV). 

Related Article:The Perks of Being Loyal: How to Build a Customer Loyalty Program That Works

Zero CAC is impossible, but this list below can get you started in keeping CAC to a minimum and consequently boosting your overall profitability.

  1. Eliminate any friction in the sign-up process.
  2. Showcase value to potential customers fast.
  3. Secure endorsements to spread awareness.
  4. Use content marketing over traditional advertising.
  5. Provide online guidance, rather than deploying customer service representatives, to automate onboarding.
  6. Invest in turning new customers into recurring customers to increase LTV.

Good Luck!

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