Back to all news

Top Three B2B SaaS Marketing Myths

Knocking Age-Old Beliefs Out of Your System
July 17, 2023
B2B SaaS Marketing

How’s it going, fellow truth seekers? We’re delighted to be back with another myth-busting episode to discuss the dilemmas wracking the world of B2B SaaS marketing

Should you avoid cold emails and go fully inbound? Should sales teams stay in their lane and leave marketing specialists to do their job? Will an all-encompassing B2B marketing strategy work? These are important questions, and we’re here to make sure “industry best practices” aren’t pointing you in the wrong direction.

Rhys Hodkinson
Rhys Hodkinson
Chief Commercial Officer at Definely
Elliott Begley
Elliott Begley
Head of Marketing at Definely
Olha Olifirenko
Olha Olifirenko
Product Marketing Lead at Retainly

Once again, we have Olha Olifirenko, Product Marketing Lead at Retainly to lead the conversation. She has gained extensive B2B marketing experience with her current job and her former positions at Microsoft and Ciklum. 

Rhys Hodkinson, Chief Commercial Officer, and Elliott Begley, Head of Marketing at Definely are here to help her work through the myths. They’re putting the spotlight on their firsthand experience at ​​Definely, an award-winning LegalTech company that has redefined the way law firms and in-house counsel manage documents and related workflows. 

Let’s get right to the first myth on our list.

Customers knocking at your door to buy your products — this is what every business wants. And you’ll find its online equivalent in inbound leads. 

Many marketers have come to believe that inbound marketing is the only way to go. After all, people have long shunned salesmen showing up at their doorstep uninvited, “the most powerful and efficient vacuum cleaners” in tow. It’s not any different in the online world. Nobody likes cold emails pitching “the most cutting-edge, robust, and best-in-class solution.”

But is inbound marketing really the only strategic approach you need to reach customers? Or are we dealing with a pipe dream here? 

To answer these questions, let’s unpack what drives this myth. 

Inbound efforts are sufficient

With inbound marketing, you establish your company as an authority or opinion leader and show how you can address your target audience’s pain points. And your content and discussions are often found by people actively seeking them out. It’s easy to see how these tactics could lead to sales. And they do. But no, they’re not sufficient. 

No matter how robust your inbound marketing campaigns are, they are only part of the equation. And not as effective for newer companies as they are for well-established ones.

Definely’s CEO / Rhys Hodkinson singled out the following reasons:


Inbound marketing takes time to bring results. Inbound marketing requires a lot of effort upfront, while the results don’t show up until a while longer. It will take much more time to achieve your goals if you wait for customers to approach your business.


You may be offering solutions that your target customers don’t know they need. Many new businesses and startups are offering solutions to problems their target customers are not even aware of. Common inbound marketing tactics (like running social media campaigns, publishing content, and optimizing SEO) may not be as effective if people are not even searching for the solutions you offer.

Startups can’t afford to burn resources as they wait for customers to approach them. This is where outbound marketing steps in. It allows businesses to proactively reach out to customers at the right time with the right message and in the right venue.

A false dichotomy between inbound and outbound marketing 

Inbound good, outbound bad—people have a way of reverting to this kind of simplistic thinking. If you like to browse social media, you’ve probably seen this at play. And, well, marketers are not immune to the false logic that compels people to limit their options between two “mutually exclusive” things. 

Put simply, businesses make the mistake of treating inbound and outbound marketing as two different approaches that they must choose from. Instead of going to one extreme end of the pole, marketers should find the middle ground where both strategies work together to bring the best results. 

The right mix can look different for many companies. You’ll find businesses that pull in customers with B2B digital marketing, then gear up their outbound tactics to get customers through the funnel quickly. The Definely team, on the other hand, uses outbound marketing to get people to the top of the B2B SaaS marketing funnel, after which inbound marketing can do its magic. For instance, they use outbound marketing to contact people and invite them to view their gated content. 

Hodkinson and Begley stress that the combination of inbound and outbound marketing has allowed them to create a buzz around their brand. Case in point, they would attend conferences to establish themselves as opinion leaders, after which their audience could jump online to learn more about Definely. 

Conferences are the outbound tactic that allows them to proactively reach their clients, while their inbound online content is what establishes their trustworthiness and firmly holds their customers’ interest. As Hodkinson points out, leads could easily fall out of the pipeline if you don’t have both inbound and outbound tactics at play.

Traditional businesses typically organize their teams into functional departments, bringing together people with common job functions. For instance, salespeople are grouped together in one team and marketers in another. 

This kind of functional structure comes with a host of benefits, including greater specialization, efficiency, and accountability. But it also has its drawbacks. Organizations often expect these departments to function independently, thus, unintentionally, building barriers between teams. They end up creating a silo mentality that restricts the efficient flow of information and knowledge between departments. Worse, they breed an “us vs. them” mentality among the teams. 

Although two sides of the same coin, sales and marketing are particularly susceptible to this disconnect. Instead of getting a productive Sherlock Holmes and James Moriarty tandem, companies sometimes get a chaotic Batman and The Joker face-off. 

Marketing and sales

You’ve probably heard someone from sales lament how they can’t close deals because the marketing team is bringing in low-quality leads or spending too much time on social media. Meanwhile, marketing peeps are taking a swipe at the sales team for failing to promptly follow up with their leads or close a deal they’ve basically handed over on a silver platter.

Marketing and sales require different mindsets and competencies, so it still makes sense to keep them separate. But the B2B buying process is so complex that the traditional handover from marketing (generating awareness and demand) to sales (converting demand into sales) just doesn’t suffice anymore. You need these teams to collaborate and work closely throughout the buying journey.

Definely takes it one step further by organizing its sales, marketing, and customer success teams into a fully integrated commercial team. Since these three departments hold different types of conversations with customers, bringing them together creates feedback loops that pave the way for B2B SaaS marketing strategies which are always in sync with the market. 

One-size-fits-all clothes always look great on models. You’ve probably ordered one only to find out that it does not fit. It’s not any different in the marketing landscape. It’s easy to be seduced by one-size-fits-all B2B marketing strategies that look dazzling only on paper. 

People will always crave clear-cut answers to their problems. And there will always be a quick-fix formula or definitive guide promising to deliver the ultimate solution. But the reality is that any approach that claims the status of the be-all-and-end-all solution is likely to end up too general to offer any real value. Marketing should always be utilitarian and compel you to go for whatever works. And “whatever works” can differ for different scenarios or use cases. 

Begley talked about how they, at Definely, tailor their offerings to fit the varying needs of their multiple audiences. For instance, enterprise law firms will encounter challenges that solo practitioners do not have to worry about. So, Definely will talk about driving enterprise-wide software adoption with the former but not with the latter. 

You can’t have a one-size-fits-all strategy because if you try to appeal to everyone, you will most likely end up appealing to no one. Rhys Hodkinson

As you can see, we have effectively busted all three myths for this episode, trumping some age-old beliefs in the process. You may need a drink or two to process all this. 

So, what can you take away from our myth-busting? 

For starters, stop taking an “either or” approach to the inbound vs. outbound question. These are two complementary approaches to marketing that you must mix in the right amounts. 

Next, you must boost collaboration between sales and marketing. This will increase the synergy instead of unnecessary friction between the two powerhouses.

Last, don’t buy into the one-size-fits-all lie. You’re most likely dealing with a wide variety of audiences that require targeted, tailor-made messaging. 

Watch the recording

What else to read
Webinar Software: The Green Flags of the Best Ones
Read the article
Webinar Software: The Green Flags of the Best Ones