How Most Sales and Marketing Tactics Have Been Beaten to Death

The common sales and marketing tactics used by SaaS companies have been beaten to death. This creates the primary risk for new software startups.

It’s just very, very difficult for frugal software startups to create an efficient customer acquisition engine using the same old PPC, paid social ads, social media posts, content for SEO, sales or BDR outbound, or media/PR outreach.

Each of these tactics is much more expensive now, per $ of revenue created, since prices have been bid up higher and we buyers are ignoring noisy channels. There aren’t any easy or quick tactical wins as there were when these channels were new.

Big well-known competitors can also spend more on sales and marketing per customer since they have trusted brands that convert better, teams who can test and optimize their GTM, and typically higher LTV (long-term value per customer) with mature products and proven upsells. They can spend more than you per customer. Highest LTV wins.

AI-powered software tools for sales and marketing will just raise the table stakes to make the game even harder.

Here are a few ways to avoid the common Sales and Marketing Inefficiency Trap:

  1.  Build an uncommon customer acquisition channel.
    • Build an active community of your target customers. Community-led growth.
    • Build a large and loyal following for your thought leadership expert content (like my LinkedIn posts).
    • Integrate with popular products and build a following in their add-on marketplaces.
    • Crazy massive word-of-mouth referrals with an amazing product and a spreadable story
    • Solve your customers’ problems with services first then build your product from that.
  2. Create a strong and unique message that will get attention.
    •  Don’t be the ___ for everyone. Be the ___ for just a small unserved segment.
    •  Product-led growth uses freemium products to get attention and engagement.
    •  Innovate your business model to stand out with a similar product.
  3.   Master a sales or marketing tactic that you can do 5x better/cheaper than your competitors.
    •  Are you the best at PPC or TikTok or outbound sales?
    •  Do you have an insider relationship with a big partner?

Does that look hard? Yep. That’s why not everyone is doing it.

These “earned” GTM approaches are hard and take time, which is why most of your competitors are just doing the simple “paid” tactics.

But savvy SaaS founders, even technical founders, can play this game and win if they focus on it early.

You need an unfair customer acquisition advantage.

What non-standard marketing and sales approaches are working these days for SaaS startups?


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