Organic SaaS Growth: #22 LinkedIn SaaS Organic Sales Funnel

By Ankur Tiwari on 13-10-2022

Here is an organic sales funnel for your SaaS business that can attract new leads without paid ads.


Resource: A model to design a high-impact SaaS growth strategy.


LinkedIn SaaS Organic Sales Funnel

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Bonus: Download LinkedIn SaaS Organic Sales Funnel Spreadsheet


“Go where your audience is” — it’s marketing 101, but people often ignore it.

The easiest way to fail a growth strategy is to promote your business to the non-audience, for no matter how loud you shout in the vacuum, no one will hear. On the other hand, even a casual introduction of your business to the right audience can generate new leads.

LinkedIn is the hub of ‘right audiences’ for SaaS businesses — CXOs, VPs, and even B2C ninjas. Using LinkedIn alone as a social network may not drive growth for a SaaS business, but there are effective ways to harvest a LinkedIn audience for growth. Most famous of them (pushed by LinkedIn) rely on LinkedIn ads. However, I found LinkedIn ads expensive, low-touch, and unsuitable for early-stage SaaS businesses.

A lesser-tried yet effective way is to integrate LinkedIn with a content funnel. When you do it right, you set in motion an organic, scalable, and semi-automatic acquisition machine that generates new customers at will. What truly sets it apart from the paid ads is its ability to provide ancillary benefits - idea validation, message and positioning testing, insights gathering, and networking for future benefits.

As a SaaS founder, you will create an immensely powerful and, more importantly, long-lasting leverage if you build such a LinkedIn funnel.

In today’s post, I am going to discuss the ways of the LinkedIn organic funnel.

And, at the end, I will link a spreadsheet to manage and run the entire LinkedIn funnel for your SaaS business like a breeze.


Funnel Blueprint

The LinkedIn content funnel thrives on native LinkedIn posts from the personal accounts of the founding team. When you create an interesting post on your LinkedIn account and people in your network read it, you help LinkedIn increase engagement on its platform. In return, it rewards you by showing your posts to more people.

Your initial network size is the baseline for the reach and engagement level, but as you become more active on the platform, you invariably increase your reach. To understand this point, let’s look at an account that had a small network and had never published much content. I worked on this account by creating daily posts for thirty days. We received high-quality engagement, website traffic, and sales inquiries for about 90 days.

Here is a snapshot of LinkedIn’s analytics for that account:

LinkedIn account analytics
Engagement from organic LinkedIn content

The way to derive business growth from such content distribution is to ensure that people within your target audience see your content. If such people are not already in your network, then you must take steps to add them in your network.

Thus the two essential elements of the LinkedIn sales funnel are:

  1. Add people from your target audience to your LinkedIn network.
  2. Create useful and interesting posts from your personal LinkedIn account.
Linkedin SaaS organic sales funnel blueprint
LinkedIn SaaS Organic Sales Funnel

In addition, you will have to integrate your LinkedIn account with the overall content funnel.


Prerequisites

Before you can implement the LinkedIn ABM funnel for your SaaS business, there are a few action items that you must complete:

  1. Social Selling Index: Log in to your LinkedIn account and head to the social selling index page. Save the screenshot of this page every three weeks. It will help you understand how you are progressing with social selling.
  2. LinkedIn Profile Optimization: When someone visits your LinkedIn profile, they should get a clear idea about the body of your professional work and, more importantly, your current endeavors. If they are interested in what you are doing, they should clearly understand the next steps. You would also want to give them a glimpse of your unique point of view about the problems that your business solves. Optimize your LinkedIn profile to deliver all these requirements, and here are the specific action items:
    1. Profile Banner: Design a banner to quickly introduce your business.
    2. Profile Headline: Write a crisp headline with two key elements: the benefit you (or your product) delivers and the target audience. For example, if you are the founder of a decision-making app for remote teams, the headline could be, “Founder ABC App | Helping remote teams make better decisions.”
    3. About Section: Write a short introduction and string it together with your business positioning.
    4. Featured Section: Add the link to a few content pieces that can help people understand your product.
    5. Work Section: Add all current and past work experiences.
  3. Target Account List: Create a list of companies you would like to target; these are the accounts. For each account, find out a person whom you would like to reach and note down their email, LinkedIn profile, and designation. If you are targeting medium to enterprise companies, you can add two or three people per company. After creating an initial list of 50 accounts, keep aside a few hours every week to add more accounts to this list.
  4. Bottom-of-the-funnel content: Create at least one bottom-of-the-funnel content that details how your product solves your potential customers' specific problems. It can be in any format, like a blog post, a video, etc. Make it compelling enough at the intersection of logic and emotions. In a true sense, having BOFU content is not a prerequisite. You can start posting on LinkedIn and plan for it alongside.

Daily Workflow

You have to do only a few things every day but do them consistently — old-fashioned relentless execution.

The first action item is network building. Send 5-7 connection requests every day to the people from your account list. You can add a non-salesy note with your requests and experiment with different note copies. Consider sending cold emails those who do not respond to your connection requests. Keep the cold email short and non-salesy by sharing the link to your BOFU content as the solution of their problem.

The second action item is posting content every day. LinkedIn does not have much engagement on weekends, so you can leave out Saturday and Sunday and post content from Monday to Friday; that's 20-22 days a month.

The third action item is network engagement. It includes liking, sharing, and commenting on others' posts, replying to comments on your posts, and sending direct messages to people if you want to appreciate things they are doing or if you have noticed something interesting about them.

The fourth action item is to pay attention to potential leads. When someone asks you for more details, handhold them on priority.

Pro Tip: You might come across people who do not belong to your target audience but would be interested in your organic posts. They may be industry analysts, investors, students, or fresh-out-of-college employees. It's unlikely that they will buy from you; still, you should add them to your LinkedIn network. If they are interested in your work, they will like, comment, and share your content and, in turn, amplify its reach.

Overall, it should take you around an hour or less every day to build the LinkedIn funnel for your business.


Content Creation

John Doe, the antagonist of the movie Se7en said:

“Wanting people to listen, you can't just tap them on the shoulder anymore - you've to hit them with a sledgehammer. Then you'll notice you've got their strict attention.”

Unlike John Doe, I am a non-violent person, and I don't suggest hitting someone, but for the sake of my work, I believe in writing headlines and content that make people pay their attention. Once you have someone’s attention, you can leverage it for business growth. And here is what Jeff Bezos said about attention in 1997:

Bottomline? Write content to capture people’s attention.

Often people find it difficult to find topics to write about. The goal of posting on social media is to build trust and position your business in the minds of your target audience. It is not direct sales. Thus, your posts should discuss your audience's challenges and present their solutions based on the unique point-of-view you have gained while building a business to solve those problems. Broadly you can categorize the content into three categories — thought leadership, domain insights, and product use cases. Brainstorm and make a list of topics that you can write about under each of these categories. If you have a business blog, filter the insights from blog posts and repurpose them for LinkedIn.

Pro Tip 1: In some posts, you would want to add a link to your website. Do not add the link in the posts itself. The way LinkedIn works, posts with links in them get suppressed by the algorithm. Instead post the link as the first comment of your post.

Pro Tip 2: If you find synergy between your point of view and things someone in your target audience is doing, it's a perfectly smooth way to give a shout-out - link them in a post and add a line of appreciation.


Systems

Systems simplify everything, especially those that you repeatedly do. For the LinkedIn ABM sales funnel, I use a simple three parts system that streamlines all activities and make execution a breeze.

  1. Content ideas and pipeline (spreadsheet): Our brain works in mysterious ways and generates new ideas at odd times. I often come up with ideas in bits and pieces, note them down in a Google Sheet and add a remark against each in the next column. When I want to write a full post, I don't have to think about everything from the ground up; instead, I have access to a list of discrete ideas to create the structure.
  2. Account List Management (spreadsheet): In the account list you have created at the beginning, add columns to track each outreach step, e.g., 'LinkedIn connection sent,' 'cold email sent,' etc. This way, you know the outreach status of each account.
  3. Scheduling: Instead of manually creating a post on LinkedIn every day, you can schedule them in advance. I use Buffer for scheduling, though there are many software for it and you can use the one you like best.

In advance stages of this funnel, for scalability, you can consider using LinkedIn sales navigator, but you do not need it at the beginning.


The B2B vs B2C Debate

The account-based approach I have discussed above goes well with B2B SaaS businesses. However, we can tweak it to work for B2C businesses. If you are a founder of a B2C SaaS business, try targetting B2C influencers instead of company accounts. These influencers can be media persons, social media influencers, or analysts - anyone who works within your domain and can influence individual customers to sign up for your product. These influencers can share and repurpose your content or create their own content and quickly spread the word about your business. Think of them as advocates of your business.


Mindset Essentials

Like everything in life, SaaS growth is a mindset game. There are two specific mindset challenges that you must be aware of to win with the LinkedIn funnel:

  1. Ninjas and their bandwagon: You will find people on LinkedIn with thousands of followers. Their posts get hundreds of likes, shares, and comments. They seem to be killing it. Do not let their over-the-top success overwhelm you. There are many reasons for the success of social media ninjas, and the ways of online marketing are sometimes opaque. When you start posting content, you might not get those fancy likes and shares, as it takes a while to build momentum. People with unfair advantages are not your competition. Your only goal is to get new clients. Ignore the ninjas. Period.
  2. The pendulum of doubt: It may happen that one day you might feel all inspired while the next day you feel down and disheartened. Execution of a strategy is a skill; learn it, for strategies work only to the extent of their execution. Setting up the systems will help you with execution. I have discovered a handy technique for superior execution: staying focused on bigger goals. Add your goals to your affirmations list and use Affirmations Flow to keep at it. Just keep at it.

You now know everything to start building a LinkedIn ABM organic sales funnel for your SaaS business. Give it 30 days and then take a decision whether it is working for you or not.

Download LinkedIn SaaS Organic Sales Funnel Spreadsheet

You can do it on your own or join the Organic SaaS Growth discord channel, it costs $0, but you should be fully committed to the growth of your business. Think of it as an accountability collective, where members share a common goal to motivate, guide, and inspire each other. To keep the sancity of the group, I would like to invite only those who sincerly want to try this strategy for 30 days. Apply here and I will send you the invite.

Mindset Essential
Mindset Essentials

That’s all I wanted to discuss today on building the best product. I welcome your suggestions, questions and feedback. Leave a quick comment below.

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SaaS Growth Consultant

Hi, I'm Ankur

I'm a SaaS growth consultant. I help SaaS businesses grow using organic growth strategies.

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