From Prospect to Advocate: How to Market to Cloud IT Buyers

Published on
January 9, 2023

The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) industry has witnessed exponential growth over the years, with IT buyers becoming more discerning in their decision-making process. They tend to research and self-educate long before they engage with your company for buying an IT service or SaaS solution. In most of the cases, by the time they engage with your sales team, they have already decided.

Considering this, it is imperative for b2b marketers to tailor their marketing strategies that aligns with the IT or SaaS buyer’s journey.

But what does the SaaS / Cloud IT buyer’s journey mean or how does it look like?

Let’s find out.

Understanding Cloud IT/SaaS Buyers Journey

According to IDC, a SaaS buyers journey comprises of six stages, from exploring a solution to advocating it.

From Prospect to Customer and Customer to Advocate, SaaSbuyer’s journey comprises distinct phases that potential cloud/IT buyers go through before becoming loyal advocates.

To help illustrate this, think about how you buy a new car. Before going to the car showroom, you identify what kind of a car you are looking for (Hatchback, sedan, or an SUV). Then, you research various car models, read their reviews, and check their prices against the features available. At this point, you are ready to visit the showroom of the car of your choice to take a test drive and see if it resonates with what you have already read.

This is the same journey followed by cloud buyers. This approach is popularly known as ROBO: Research Online Buy Offline

When it comes to connecting and targeting with IT/SaaS buyers effectively, B2b marketer need to understand and devise their market strategies according to each of these stages.

Let us dive deep into each stage of the SaaS buyer journey and understand how to cater to each stage.

Marketing to IT/SaaS Buyer - From Prospect to Customer

1. Explore

At the outset, potential buyers embark on their journey by exploring various SaaS solutions to address their business needs. During this stage, they conduct extensive research to identify options that align with their requirements. To effectively market at this stage, B2B tech marketers must focus on creating awareness and visibility by delivering educational content that showcases their SaaS product's unique value proposition and how it addresses their needs.

  • Utilize Content Marketing: Develop informative blog posts, whitepapers, and e-books that address pain points and offer valuable insights. According to HubSpot, companies that publish 16+ blog posts per month generate 4.5 times more leads than those with 0-4 monthly posts.
  • Engage in Social Media: Establish a strong social media presence on platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. Share educational content, customer success stories, and thought leadership to foster engagement and brand recognition.

2. Evaluate

As prospects move into the evaluation stage, they are actively comparing different SaaS offerings. At this stage, they seek detailed information about each solution they are evaluating. It is essential to provide prospects with the information they need to understand how your solution can address their pain points. At this crucial phase, B2B marketers should focus on building trust and showcasing the unique value proposition of their product.

  • Leverage Case Studies: Provide real-world examples of how your SaaS solution has helped businesses overcome challenges. According to Content Marketing Institute, 73% of B2B marketers believe that case studies are the most effective content marketing tactic.
  • Offer Free Trials and Demos: Allow prospects to experience the product firsthand through free trials and personalized demos. Offering these opportunities can increase conversions, with60% of SaaS companies reporting an increase in conversion rates after implementing free trials (Vimeo).

3. Purchase

The final stage before conversion, the purchase phase, requires a seamless and frictionless experience for prospects. B2B marketers should prioritize customer-centric strategies that facilitate a smooth transition from evaluation to purchase. At this stage, sharing reviews and clear pricing structures is important. Once they are convinced at this stage, they are ready to commit and purchase your solution.

  • Share Reviews: Collect and share as many reviews of your solution as possible to share with prospects at this stage. The positive reviews and feedback by your past customers can definitely have a positive impact on the decision maker.
  • Offer Competitive Pricing: Transparent and competitive pricing plays a crucial role in the decision-making process. Clearly communicate pricing structures to avoid any misunderstandings and foster trust.

Once a prospect becomes a customer, the IT buyer’s journey doesn’t end.

Since most of the SaaS solutions are subscription-based, the cycle of renewal and upgrade keeps going. Also, the after sales support and services keep recurring, not to mention the opportunities to cross sell, upsell, and upgrade to the new features and additions. This means, B2B marketers need to keep engaging with their current customers with more targeted and relevant offers to turn them into long-term and recurring customer until they become the advocates of your solutions.

Hence the IT buyer or SaaS buyers journey continues to another three phases from becoming Customer to Advocates. Here’s how marketers can strategize engaging and delighting with customers at these stages:

Marketing to IT/SaaS Buyer - From Customer to Advocate

4. Expand

Once a prospect becomes a customer, the focus shifts to expanding the relationship and encouraging upsells. Existing customers are more likely to convert and spend more than new ones. B2B marketers seek to maximize the value customers derive by providing personalized upsell campaigns and communications to nurture a strong customer relationship.

  • Personalized Upsell Campaigns: Leverage customer data and insights to create personalized upsell campaigns. Businesses that use personalized campaigns see an average increase of 20% in sales (Instapage).
  • Continuous Value Communication: Stay engaged with customers through newsletters, webinars, and personalized content, highlighting new features and updates.

5. Renew

Securing customer renewals is essential for maintaining a stable revenue stream and customer base. Customer satisfaction and success become the primary focus during this stage.

  • Proactive Customer Success Management: Assign dedicated customer success managers to proactively address any concerns and ensure customers fully utilize the product's capabilities.
  • Engaging with NPS: Implement Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys to gauge customer satisfaction and identify areas for improvement. Customers with high NPS scores have a higher likelihood of renewing.

6. Advocate

Happy customers can become powerful brand advocates, driving organic growth through referrals and positive reviews. At this stage, a positive word-of-mouth can significantly impact potential buyers' trust in your solutions, leading to increased conversions.

  • Referral Programs: Implement referralprograms that incentivize customers to refer others. Referred customers have a16% higher lifetime value compared to non-referred customers (Harvard Business Review)
  • Testimonials and Reviews: Showcase customer testimonials and positive reviews on your website and marketing materials to build trust and credibility.

Once the strategies are aligned as per the different stagesfrom prospect to advocate, marketers can start executing and creatingdeliverables that are required at each stage.

B2b marketers need to carefully consider that each asset, campaign or collateral should be able to solve the challenges of your prospects in a manner to move help them seamless move to the next stage and gradually enabling them to sell their decision internally within their sales and management.


The SaaS buyer's journey is a multi-stage process that demands strategic and tailored marketing efforts at each step. By tailoring marketing strategies to each stage - from building awareness and showcasing value to nurturing customer relationships and encouraging advocacy - businesses can enhance customer acquisition, retention, and loyalty. Aligning marketing efforts with the SaaS buyer's journey creates a seamless and customer-centric experience, leading to sustainable business growth in the competitive IT market.

Ready to elevate your marketing game and excel in the IT buyer's journey? Contact us today to discover how our expert strategies can propel your success in the competitive IT landscape.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key characteristics of cloud IT buyers, and how do they differ from traditional IT buyers?

Cloud IT buyers typically prioritize flexibility, scalability, and cost-efficiency in their purchasing decisions. They are often more open to adopting new technologies and solutions compared to traditional IT buyers. Cloud IT buyers also tend to value data security and compliance with regulations.

What are some effective marketing strategies for targeting and engaging cloud IT buyers throughout their buying journey?

Effective marketing strategies for targeting and engaging cloud IT buyers include creating educational content that addresses their pain points and challenges, showcasing case studies and testimonials from satisfied customers, leveraging social proof and influencers to build credibility, and using targeted advertising and email campaigns to reach them at different stages of the buying journey.

How can B2B marketers build long-term relationships with cloud IT buyers and turn them into advocates for their brand?

B2B marketers can build long-term relationships with cloud IT buyers by providing ongoing value through thought leadership content, personalized communications, and exclusive offers or discounts. They can also encourage advocacy by soliciting feedback and reviews, showcasing customer success stories, and incentivizing referrals.

Devanshi Jain

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