Reputation Management

SaaS Customer Journey: 7 Things Customers Do Before Purchasing

Alon Keren April 12th, 2022

Updated on April 12th, 2022

You have a great product that solves your audience’s problems and has all the features they want.

But they still don’t buy from you.

Why? 

Have you tried to reverse engineer their decision-making process? Are you aware of the things that impact their purchase decisions and shape their opinion about your product?

With so much competition in every industry, a great product isn’t enough to attract customers. You also need a carefully designed strategy that positions your product as the most credible option, in your SaaS customer journey.

In this article, we’ll share the most common things customers do before purchasing a SaaS product and how you can influence their buying decisions.

Let’s get started.

1. Search Google For Your Brand Name

Did you know that 68% of all online experiences start with a search engine? Another research found that 81% of consumers use Google Search when evaluating a product.

So it’s safe to say that searching your brand on Google is the first thing most of your prospects do.

But what do they see on the first page? 

Have you secured your online reputation by optimizing your website and claiming your brand’s digital assets? Are you sure your competitors aren’t running paid ads for your brand searches to undermine your authority?

Search engine reputation management is a crucial factor that heavily influences your product’s success or failure. 

If negative reviews or competitor sites dominate your brand searches, you’ll lose thousands of potential leads every month.

To ensure this doesn’t happen, you need to invest in an ORM strategy that protects your brand’s reputation by securing your digital assets and brand searches. An ORM strategy enables you to remove negative search results, and build your authority through SEO and content marketing. 

2. Check Your Website For Credibility Signals

Your site is the first thing that comes up for your brand searches. Great.

But what do your prospects see when they land on your site? Does your site immediately make an impact on your visitors and move them closer to conversion? Or do people bounce off it, never to come back?

In our experience, adding the following credibility signals and trust elements to your site can be a gamechanger for building your authority and enhancing your SaaS customer journey.

Brand Logos

Logos of your clients and the publications that have featured your brand immediately establish your credibility and play a vital role in convincing prospects to buy from you.

Here’s an example from GreenPal, a successful startup in the home care niche.

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Buffer, a leading social media app, also uses brand logos on its site to borrow credibility.

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But of course, you can’t use brand logos if your brand hasn’t been featured in any top publication. This is why it’s crucial to invest in a PR strategy that gets much-needed coverage for your brand.

Digital PR

Highlighting your digital PR wins on your website is another way to boost credibility. One way to do it is to create a dedicated “In the Press” section on your website that contains your brand’s press releases and media coverage.

Monday, and many other startups, use this strategy.

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ClickUp’s website has a dedicated section that contains its CEO’s interviews with different media companies and general brand coverage articles.

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Testimonials And Case Studies

Customer testimonials and case studies are among the most powerful types of social proof and play a vital role in shaping customer purchase decisions. 

According to research, 77% of B2B customers agree that testimonials convinced them to try a premium SaaS product as part of their customer journey.

An effective testimonial or case study should highlight customers’ problems before using your product, how it helped them, and the results they achieved after using your product. 

3. Search Google For “[Your Product] + Reviews”

Research shows that almost every customer searches for online reviews before purchasing a product.

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This is why “[Brand]+review” is among the most frequent searches by B2B SaaS customers. 

What comes when someone searches for “[Your Brand]+review”?

If negative reviews dominate the results page for this query, consumers are unlikely to buy your product.

To ensure this doesn’t happen, you need to invest in SEO and consider hiring a B2B content marketing agency, that will help you partner with content creators and bloggers to guest blog for you on high-authority sites.

For example, this is the kind of review you want to show up for your brand.

At InboundJunction, we have a large and diverse pool of guest bloggers who regularly contribute to some of the highest authority sites. This allows us to feature our clients in different publications and ensure that positive reviews dominate their brand searches.

4. Explore SaaS User Review Sites

SaaS review sites dominate the search results for software review queries, and get millions of visitors every month.

The main ones are the following:

  • Capterra
  • G2
  • TrustPilot
  • Software Advice 
  • Trustradius

So, when a prospect searches Google for “[Your Brand]+review”, they’ll most likely end up on a popular SaaS review aggregator site.

If your product has a strong presence there, you’ll get thousands of referral visitors but can use your positive ratings as social proof on your website.

SendInBlue, and many other SaaS companies, do it.

But if your product isn’t listed on these sites, most users wouldn’t even consider it an option. 

Why? Because being listed on these sites shows your product is reliable.

However, getting listed isn’t enough. 

Because most buyers are reluctant to purchase products with a lower than a 4-star rating.

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How do you get more ratings on these SaaS review sites? By encouraging your satisfied users to leave reviews using incentives such as discounts, extra subscription credits, or even simple email prompts.

You also need to actively respond to negative reviews to minimize their impact and show other users that you care about your customers and take feedback seriously.

5. Find First-Hand Experiences On Social Media

Social media is another place where users are most likely to search for your brand before reaching a purchase decision.

A negative Facebook or LinkedIn post or a Twitter thread about your brand can seriously damage your sales prospects.

So, your immediate goal should be to have an active presence on the social networks your audience uses the most. 

Plus, you need a dedicated social media reputation strategy that monitors your brand sentiment, keeps an eye on user feedback, responds to negative Tweets, and shows users that you care.

6. Check For Specific Use Cases

People buy SaaS products to solve specific problems, not because they have great features. This is why most buyers look for a product’s use cases to see if it is designed for them.

To make their purchase decision more straightforward, you should create dedicated pages for your product’s use cases to help users understand its utility.

Loom, a leading screen recording app, has done an excellent job by creating a separate section that lists all its use cases with examples of how different brands are leveraging its features.

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Wrike, a leading project management tool, also has a dedicated section that lists its different use cases.

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So, analyze your customer base to find the most common use cases of your product and list them in a dedicated section of your website.

7. Compare Your Product With The Top Competitor

In their customer journey, SaaS customers love to compare products before making a purchase. This is why “[Your Brand] vs. [Competitor]” searches are very common in the B2B SaaS industry.

To tap into this search trend, create dedicated pages on your website comparing your product with its biggest competitors.

For example, ConvertKit has created separate comparison pages for eight of its top competitors. 

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Similarly, Aweber has comparison pages for four of its most commonly searched competitors.

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Creating such pages would allow you to get traffic from comparative search queries and position your product as the better option.

Are You In Control Of Your SaaS Customer Journey?

As you can see, users perform several actions before saying yes or no to a SaaS product.

To influence their decisions positively, you need to build a comprehensive online reputation management strategy that proactively secures customer touchpoints and ensures that your brand shows up wherever your prospects go for research.