Predictable and reliable pipeline generation is one of the critical indicators for startups and SaaS companies to achieve consistent ARR growth. Although partnerships, AE outreach, and client referrals are extremely valuable for generating pipeline, it’s been my experience that marketing, both inbound and outbound, has the biggest potential to drive pipeline growth at scale.
For more than 10 years, I’ve worked closely with early stage B2B SaaS companies as the head of various marketing initiatives. I have achieved my best results by building campaigns on what I call high-congregation moments.
By focusing on two or three high-congregation moments each quarter, I’ve seen significant impact on pipeline growth. This growth has boosted sales opportunity creation by 76 percent YOY, raising sales calls threefold, and ultimately attracted more qualified leads.
Let’s break it down.
What Are High-Congregation Moments?
High-congregation moments are industry-specific events that can last more than three weeks, are strategically important and have a high congregation of your target buyer personas. These events draw significant buyer attention and offer companies a unique chance to position their solutions when they’re most needed.
If you happen to be in the AI and data sector, you might have seen that big players like Snowflake and Databricks host their summits simultaneously. Both companies hold strategic positions within the data industry, and their AI announcements signified substantial future shifts in the market.
Moments like these generate attention, with major media outlets like The Wall Street Journal covering them and a significant number of buyers focusing on them. For solution providers in this market, this could be the perfect time to shine a spotlight on your brand and solution.
So, what do you do once you’ve spotted your ideal moment?
Use High-Congregation Moments To Build A Pipeline
Once you identify high-congregation moments in your industry, strategically build marketing campaigns around them. By doing so, your company can engage with its audience in a more meaningful way and drive growth.
Here are my four go-to steps to get more prospects into your marketing funnel.
4 Steps to Capitalize on a High-Congregation Moment
- Capture signals through media-monitoring platforms.
- Present a unique perspective that isn’t about you or your product.
- Offer a solution without promoting your product.
- Introduce your solution.
1. Capture Signals Through Media-Monitoring Platforms
Media-monitoring platforms allow you to stay up to date on recent trends and discussions and identify topics with high coverage. My go-to solution is Feedly. Some marketers I know prefer Muckrack and Prowly, however. A more manual approach that I’ve also seen work is subscribing to credible resources that your buyers follow.
After thorough research, identify two to three key high-congregation moments each quarter that stand out for their significance and where your target buyer personas are highly concentrated.
During my time with Snaps, a leading conversational AI solution, we needed a more significant level of awareness and demand from our enterprise buyers. We noticed a great high-congregation moment when extensive coverage of Instagram’s DM automation feature by prominent retail publications meant our potential clients brought the feature to our attention. Instagram was a strategically important channel for our enterprise buyers and the new feature was at the forefront of customers’ minds.
2. Present a unique perspective that isn’t about you or your product
Contribute to the conversation with your unique voice. Highlight unique data points or observations and use those to show your perspective on the high-congregation moment, whether supporting or contradicting. In this phase, it’s key to amplify your voice. Organize a webinar or a podcast by inviting your senior executives, a client, or a researcher who shares your perspective.
At Snaps, when leading publications and influencers began discussing the implications of DM automation, they invited thought leaders in our space to share their insights. We capitalized on this opportunity to build recognition and credibility in the field.
3. Offer a Solution Without Promoting Your Product
Once you’ve gained enough attention, invite the audience to see practical solutions from a peer’s perspective. Allow customers to share their visions and the practical solutions made possible by your product. Make sure those are relevant to the high-congregation event and not a direct promotion of your product features, however.
Present these success stories on a panel at a popular convention. Sponsor a webinar with a well-established publication. The bigger the reach, the higher the demand will be.
I adopted this strategy at Snaps by inviting our clients to showcase their strategic plans for incorporating DM automation on Instagram through webinars and various industry panels.
4. Introduce Your Solution
With your audience now warmed up, begin highlighting the benefits and business outcomes your product provides, all aligned with the high-congregation event that’s top of mind for your audience.
Organize product webinars, create email nurture campaigns, and make product-oriented social media posts, specifically educating the audience about how your product features and capabilities make an impact.
While running the Instagram DM automation campaign, we generated three times more marketing-qualified and sales-qualified leads compared to traditional campaigns across various channels. Even better, these leads were not only qualified but also deeply engaged with our content.
To further introduce them to our product capabilities and the strategic benefits for their businesses, we launched email marketing campaigns, including blog posts, e-books, and webinars, boosting our qualified lead generation and attracting senior decision-makers into meaningful conversations.
Spot and Capitalize on High-Congregation Moments
Spotting high-congregation moments is my strategy to boost the sales pipeline and engagement. Proactively searching for high-congregation moments and following these four steps has helped me drive more demand and raise awareness with SaaS companies, thus achieving predictable and more reliable pipeline growth.
For SaaS companies trying to navigate the tech downturn, this is especially a practical approach to proactively and systematically influence awareness and sales pipeline growth when demand is low.